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Good Gravy

Another week where I was too busy to write!

Well, we went to see Shin Lim and Colin Cloud, courtesy Jameson's friend Terrance!
If you don't know, they're magicians and they're both AMAZING.

We got to chat a bit with Terrence during intermission, and it sounds like he's doing well. Tour life keeping him busy and all that. Very cool! It was a really fun night. I love our little adventures together :)

The rest of the week kind of flew by in a blur because I was working and Jameson's mom came to visit! She's getting to enjoy the pool and all the fun things about our new house, but I also feel bad because she's doing a lot of cooking and cleaning. I know she likes it (you guys, she really does, I'm not kidding) but a lot of what she's cleaning are things that I've not had time to do because I foolishly took this second job. So I kinda feel guilty, you know? But I am helping where I can, and at least the things are getting done! Also Friday is my last day at Music and Arts, so after that I'll have evenings to tear it up around here!!

My weekdays were pretty normal, just work followed by work and more work. I was pretty exhausted by the time we hit Thursday! After breakfast Jameson's mom and I went shopping for various things for the house, then she showed me how to make buttermilk biscuits! Oh my gosh, they were so easy and good! They look a little pale in this picture, but they really were just right. We had them with butter, and later while I was at work she made some chicken to go along with them. Awesome! There are literally only four ingredients, I can't believe how easy they were to make (recipe HERE).

On Thursday night I drove over to Orlando Shakes to audit the show Evita. I was originally supposed to play the whole run, and would have loved to, but contracts were sent out too late for me to make schedule changes at work. So I ended up only able to sub in for a few days. Still, I'm glad for the opportunity and enjoyed following along with the trombone part last night. There are definitely some bits I'm going to have to work on before performing the show!

On Friday while Jameson's mom painted our door I typed most of this up and weeded some of the bushes out front. Later on I worked on my online course, then went to work. My last day at Music and Arts! I was only there for about a month, but it was worthwhile in several ways. I was glad for the extra money, and the new friends made :) But I will also be glad to have that time back, to work on Future Things.

And now it's already Saturday again, another week swept past, and I'm getting ready for work while typing this. I got an email recently about the all-girl cruise ship band getting back together for a contract in April/May/June, and I don't know how to feel about it. As I mentioned in a past post, I'm trying to move away from music a bit because the opportunities are drying up, and I need to think about the future. This gig would be nice, and it might enable me to see some interesting parts of the country/other countries. But I'll need to consider how it could interfere with recertification and things. For now it's only just been brought up, so we'll see what happens as details emerge.

Work Week

Let's see. On Saturday I went to work, and it was fine. On the drive home I made sure to stop for gas as many stations are out because of the hurricane frenzy. Even though they're saying it may not hit us directly any more.

Back at home, the dishwasher had been installed! Yay!!! I'm still bummed that once again, we find ourselves having to hire a third party (happened with the dryer, and also with the dishwasher in the apartment) which is more expensive. But hey, at least now we've got all of our new appliances! They look beautiful and are working great so far. I'm very grateful to have the money saved to be able to get these things.

Jameson wasn't feeling great that evening, so we just stayed home and relaxed.

Sunday, more of the same. Dorian is rocketing along at 3MPH soooo...whatever I guess!
CapTel will be open (pretty sure they're required to be as their services could be lifesaving) but Music & Arts will be closed on Tuesday in anticipation of stormy conditions. We'll see what happens. In the meantime I picked up some pizza on the way home, we ate it, and chilled. It's nice to have a little time to chill lately.

Monday, more CapTel for me and more chill time for Jameson. Dorian still wasn't here yet, so my day at work was rather slow; they overscheduled thinking people might call out. After work we got a few things at Target and had dinner, then I had planned to chill but my stomach had other ideas. Something I ate.

Tuesday and Wednesday, not much to report. This was when Dorian was supposed to either come ashore or not, and it ended up being "not". So we got a little rain, a windy day, and about 50% of all businesses and schools closed. Oh, and suspended tolls, that was nice! Lol. It was nice to have time to relax in the evenings. I did some cleaning and watched Jameson play video games.

Thursday was supposed to be a day off, but my schedule got shifted around due to the hurricane. Before work I did a little of my online course, then went out to enjoy the pool with Jameson. It seems like lately we're never home at the same time, so it was really nice to enjoy the pool together :)

After that, work was work, I did it and came home.
The next morning we got to enjoy breakfast at Keke's with LaRena, a former Ringling clown who currently works with Feld Entertainment in a production capacity. She was in town for a vacation that she'd been planning for months...and then Dorian came and ruined it :( But at the very least we got to enjoy a meal together, and get caught up a little over stuffed French toast and giant pancakes, and that was wonderful. She seems to be doing really well. I'm still amazed every day at how all of us former circus people are getting by.

There's a heaviness in my heart as I type that, because this week we lost Ian, one of our Pie Car chefs. He died unexpectedly in a car crash that's still under investigation. Everyone, please be careful. Please. I don't know what else can be said or done...it can happen to any of us at any time.

After a great morning with LaRena, we went back home where Jameson practiced some audition materials and I worked on my online course, then headed out to work. I forgot my phone -_- so the day went a little slowly, but I was able to help some customers and also practice some materials for my course, which was nice. At night I came home and finished the coursework and headed to bed.

Today is Saturday and I'm about to head out to CapTel. I'm finishing the final Harry Potter book and am starting Deathstalker, so pretty excited about that (at CapTel you're allowed to read a book between calls). I know this is middle school material but it's ideal for my work situation, where interruptions are frequent. Tonight after work Jameson and I are going to see Shin Lim!

A Storm of Appliances

This week being a little less bonkers, I made time to really actually try to write this time instead of slapdashing from memory later on.

Over the weekend Jameson had gigs with Barfly, and I had CapTel during the day and my evenings blissfully free. I cleaned the house--like thoroughly cleaned it--for the first time on Saturday. Vaccuming, dusting, mopping, bathrooms, etc. It took about two hours. A lot more ground to cover here. Jameson also organized and swept the garage and put 90% of the artwork up on the walls. It's lookin' good around here.

On principle we went to see the Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark movie. The book is so great...well, the book art is so great. The movie, unfortunately, was a pretty big disappointment. A poor and unnecessary storyline, a massive number of plot holes. But most of all, they completely ruined the story of Harold the scarecrow. That story is so disturbing, it could have easily been the highlight of the movie. But no, they had to work it into their halfhearted plot, so it ended up totally different and extremely watered down. Read the original story HERE.

To sum it up, it would have been much better as a retelling of the actual tales in the book. I hope someone would consider making a movie or series like that in the future.

Anyway, I spent the week working both my jobs and eagerly awaiting Thursday, my first full day off in a while!

Finally Thursday came. yay!
I got up earlier than I should have but later than usual, so there.
Had a nice breakfast and explored a free online course that I'm taking...an attempt at deciding a new career path.

Music has been awesome. And I'm still planning to play when/where I can. But the thing is, I just gotta move on from it. A gig like the circus is never going to happen again. It's no longer possible for a trombonist to tour on Broadway. I'm not nor will I ever be good enough for a major symphony (that's not a put-down, it's just a true fact learned over time.) Most of the gigs that can be pieced together with any regularity for the trombone are jazz-oriented, which was never a genre I enjoyed. I learned last year that cruise ships are not for me. It's still possible to do theatre gigs, or community bands, holiday/one-time events, etc., which I will be happy to do when the opportunity presents. If any openings start appearing at the theme parks again, I'd be glad to audition for those too. But you guys, that's not enough to live on. To base a future on.

I'm at a point where my enjoyment of playing music is running dry because the money factor is in the way...and that's a bad thing. If I have to look at every gig and make a decision based on money, rather than how much I'd love to do it, is it really any different than any other job? I went into music because I loved it, and if I find myself approaching it grudgingly or with dollar signs on the brain, it's really just not right.

Over the past two years of feeling the stages of grief in relation to music, I've finally accepted that it's time to put it down and pick up something else. It was hard to admit, it's going to be hard to do. But here's the thing. We now live in this nice house that Jameson has bought, and we have a chance to start our lives here. I want to be a part of that. I want to find something that will make me happy AND pay the bills. And yeah I know I said all this last year when attempting to become a vet tech. Things don't come together on the first try for everyone, so I hope I can be excused. It's taken a long time for me to understand and work things through and come to acceptance. At some point I will find a fulfilling career, and if that means I have to keep looking then I keep looking.

Oooook, so back to Thursday, I did laundry and checked out the online course and printed some things off for it. Then I went to the library and got some groceries. Jameson made our first meal in the new house on Wednesday night, our usual chicken and roasted brussels sprouts! I wanted to follow that up with enchiladas, since Jameson has to work all day it'll be nice for him to come home to an awesome meal! I also picked up some minor "hurricane supplies": a case of water (which we like to have around anyway), a loaf of bread for Jameson, and some peanut butter for both of us. I see no reason to buy a zillion loaves of bread or all the batteries in the world.

Later that evening I made the enchiladas, which were finished just as Jameson walked in the door.
Ok, it's more like a burrito. Because I got the wrong size tortillas. Oh well...still tasty.

We caught each other up on our respective days, had dinner, and chilled out. Jameson sat by the pool to read and watch the Cubs game. I got another set of transcripts ready to send, and prepped the kitchen a bit. Because on Friday....


About a week ago I purchased an appliance package from Home Depot, including a fridge, oven, dishwasher, and microwave. Our appliances that came with the house are nice, but they are a bit dated. Since I couldn't contribute to the actual house-buying process, I wanted to do my part in other ways, hence this appliance package. The stainless steel definitely makes this feel less like a vacation rental, and more like a home.

Unfortunately we have the wrong water attachment for the dishwasher, so I had to hire a plumber to come out and install the dishwasher tomorrow. Hopefully that'll work out all right. But hey, 3 out of 4 ain't so bad!

We spent some time fussing with the fridge...it's so big! It has an ice machine and dispenser! I'm gonna pack that freezer with stuff! :D
I don't currently make a lot of money. But I save money very carefully. And it makes me happy to be able to help make this house amazing for BOTH of us.

Later in the evening I went to work, and Jameson went to a friend's birthday party.
Work was slow as most people are prioritizing preparing for Hurricane Dorian.

Today (Saturday) we've got a plumber coming to install the dishwasher, I work at CapTel, and we may go to Rock n' Brews.

Busy Week is Busy

Last week's post didn't really get finished due to it being SO BUSY.
Jameson was finishing up his final week on the Guardians show. The cast and crew had an awesome year, got along really well, and put on an amazing show every day! Congratulations!

I just had a lot going on and not a moment to write, but that's ok! All good things!
Jameson and I went to see Queen in Tampa! Of course they were absolutely amazing. I'm not even a "real" Queen fan and I had an absolute blast.
(Again, use the little arrow to the right to click through video clips)

I also had the chance to visit with one of my Ruby Princess band ladies!!
Rebeca was in Tampa rehearsing with Norwegian Cruises for an upcoming Alaska-to-New-York tour, and she had a free night. So I drove down, and we went to Seasons 52. We had a great time getting caught up and enjoying a delicious meal together :)

Fun stuff aside, I spent several days working from 6am to 10pm, at CapTel in the morning and Music & Arts in the evening.
I did end up giving notice at Music & Arts. I took the job for the extra money, but with the goal of possibly going full time or being a manager again. It kind of didn't take long for me to realize, that's just not what I want any more. My heart is not in it, it doesn't pay the bills, and I need to be pursuing other things. My manager was really understanding, and was just glad I'd be helping through rental season (their busiest time of year). So at least it wasn't a total wash. I'll stay on through mid-September.

Then throughout the rest of the week, we had a bunch of stuff to do on top of work. Jameson's piano finally arrived and was set up and tuned. Jameson's mom sent us a mattress and sheets for a guest bedroom set, and we also got two more dining room chairs, a garage door opener, lounge and deck chairs for the pool, and ordered all-new appliances. Phew! I'm poor haha. But it's worth it. There will be a lot of moneysaving after all this, but hey. We've got a sweet house.

Funny story, Jameson got a flat tire this week. I got one last week! What the heck! To "celebrate", or to express exasperation, we visited Yeoman's Cask & Lion, a chain British pub with rockin' desserts. That sticky toffee pudding is swimming haha.

I finally got to take a dip in the pool! It was glorious. You guys, it's been extremely long since I've been swimming. Probably 5+ years. Now I can't wait to hop in there at every opportunity! What an amazing thing, to have your own pool! I can see why Jameson wanted one so much.

It's been a good week. Maybe I'll have more time to write next week.
The plan for today (Saturday) is to come home and clean the house while Jameson is at a gig.
The plan for the work week...get through it!

First Week in New House

This week was a lot of work and house prep for both of us.

Jameson got a new motor for the pool pump--or maybe it was a new pool pump, not sure--but anyway, he took care of that so our pool is almost ready to use! The next step is to clean it and get the pH balanced.

Firehouse Pressure Washing was finally able to seal our pool deck, which is amazing considering all the rain we've been getting. The deck looks great and is under warranty for three years, I'd highly recommend Firehouse if this is something you need done!

Jameson has been working on setting up the studio and getting our landline phone working, between going to work at Epcot and doing his teaching from home. Pretty soon the Guardians show will end for the summer, giving him a bit more free time.

I have just started a second job near Mall at Millennia. I feel pretty grudging about doing it, but with all the house stuff going on and Secret Plan Part 2 in the works I'm going to need the extra money. I love working at CapTel but it's an hour commute from the house; my second job splits that commute and it's something I already know how to do so I think it'll be good for a while. We'll see.

Once again I didn't get to finish this post before it went live. There's just not enough time in the day!
Here are some pictures of the house still kinda in progress.

Double Post

Without getting into too much detail, I done f***ed up.

As mentioned in the previous post, Jameson and his realtor have been having a crazy amount of trouble selling Jameson's condo.
Well, one morning we got the news that our HOA was dicking the deal even further in a variety of ways. Mostly by being corrupt and unorganized.

This information seemed to have a serious impact on the ability to sell the condo.
Feeling helpless and frustrated, I made a very poor choice. Even though I am in no way involved in any part of this process, I was so angry and upset that I got on facebook and sent a very nasty message to Jameson's realtor. The worst part is, I didn't even tell Jameson I was doing that.

So Jameson had to hear about it when his realtor called to warn him that if I continued to behave inappropriately toward him, they would not be able to move forward.

As you can imagine, Jameson was livid. I'm not sure I have ever been more embarrassed or ashamed in my life.
I'm supposed to be a rock for him. I'm supposed to be a support to lean on, a light to keep negativity away, someone who lifts up my partner. And instead I was the opposite of all of those things. I was supposed to be the one constant in all of this, and instead I was just another thorn in his side.

Anyway, I had already done it and could not take it back. It seemed like things were moving forward anyway, although at great cost to Jameson financially and emotionally. I didn't know if I could be forgiven, that was some pretty serious damage I've dealt to our relationship, and this isn't the first time it's been me who's been the weak link. But all I could do is keep trying. All I could do is try to be a better person. I wished so badly that I could undo the damage I caused. I want so badly to be the type of person that others can rely on. But clearly, I'm not there yet. And I don't know how much patience there will be in the world for me to become that person. I can't expect others to tolerate my failings or wait for me to be a better human. But at the same time, genuine change often doesn't come as fast as we'd like. So I don't know where that leaves me, us.

I made a mistake. Moving on.

We moved back into the condo on Tuesday. On Tuesday night I got to attend the wedding of two awesome circus clowns, Dean and Taylor. Jameson couldn't come because he had to work, but I made sure to give his regards to all of our friends :) It was great to see so many circus people again and see how everyone is doing!

Circus-themed wedding decor:

They set up a little "SugarFest" station where you could load up on junk foods!

Of course it's not a circus wedding without circus acts! There was a hoop performance that was really spectacular, followed by an acrobat who balanced on stacked chairs and then made a touching wedding speech from his perch.

A few close circus friends asked about Jameson's house situation. I answered as best I could without going into too much detail, although I did spill the whole story for Dustin and Brandon, two clowns who seemed sincerely concerned. I am extremely grateful that they took the time to talk with me, actually, because they've had a lot of the same hurdles as our relationship is facing (having to do with one partner not being as strong as the other in a variety of ways/situations). They listened and offered advice and encouragement, then suggested a few books that I might like to read to help address some of my personal shortcomings. I am so, so grateful for circus family. For people who can see all of the horrible things about me, and still hug me, encourage me, and give me a chance to change. I dont' deserve it, I never have, and I am so grateful for the grace and patience of others.

Back to the wedding, the whole thing was just really wonderful. For the cake cutting, Dean and Taylor pied each other, hilarious!

(photo courtesy Dean & Taylor)

Then for their first dance, they did a juggling act! It was so cool and so "them" :)

(photo courtesy Dean & Taylor)

Everything was perfect. Many circus attendees commented that it felt like a "real circus party", and questioned whether a venue had even been necessary, because even on the street or in a barn we would have had just as much of a great time. Because all we needed for that, was each other.

I really wished that Jameson could have been there, but he did get to go out with the Disney crowd the very next night and blow off some steam. I think both of us needed that a lot, just a chance to loosen up with friends and not think about things for a while. Thank god for entertainment, yo.

On Thursday Jameson had to go to the office, and as of this writing we are supposed to move into the house on Friday. Don't ask me how, I'm not asking and have pretty much forfeited any right to the details at this point. But yes, supposedly this is still actually happening. So I stayed home and re-packed, gave everything a quick wipe-down, and generally made sure we'd be prepared for movers to come in the very next day.


You guys. It happened!

Last Friday, the movers came. We STILL did not know if we'd actually be moving into the house! The person buying Jameson's condo came for one last walk-through while the movers loaded up the truck, then she went to go sign papers. It was weird to see the apartment get more and more empty.

Finally, everything was packed up. Jameson signed his papers, and then he and the movers had to wait until we'd be allowed in the new house, hopefully around 3pm. Meanwhile I got to work dusting and vacuuming and cleaning the condo as best I could for the new owners. It was strange to be the only one there. I did the best that I could, and locked the door behind me for the last time. Goodbye Holden Heights.

Then I drove over to the new house. Jameson and the movers were there already, moving everything to the garage.

Soon the movers were finished, and Jameson and I were left standing around. We waited and waited. There was still a possibility that we'd be getting a hotel for the night if the money didn't go through. It started to rain.

Then...a knock on the door!
It was the realtor!
The house belonged to Jameson! It was all over!

In the midst of our excitement, I got the opportunity to apologize to the realtor for my behavior. He was very gracious and forgiving, and I was extremely grateful. While I was delivering my apology, I felt Jameson come up behind me and gently rub my back. I can't tell you how this made me feel, after spending the past week terrified that I'd ruined everything.

I'm still going to be staying off social media for the most part, because that should never have happened. But I think now that it's all over and we have moved together, we can start fresh.

And then...what a beautiful house!!!

We spent the whole week unpacking, setting up utilities, and making plans for making a home.
Every day I've been going to work, running to Home Depot or Target or Lowes, and running home to work on the house.
It's actually kind of fun, something to look forward to every day!

On Wednesday Jameson's dad came to visit, watching Jameson's show at Epcot and then having pizza with me in the evening.
We found a great brick oven pizza place very close to the house! It's been really hard to find good pizza in Orlando. Yay!

We gave him a house tour of course, and he loved it! He also gave us some awesome artwork for the new home. We can't wait to start decorating! Thanks Mr. Boyce!

On Thursday we got a Nest thermostat and Ring doorbell, and someone came to hook up our cable and internet services. It was nice to finally have internet in the house!

In the evening we headed over to Hollywood Studios for a very special cast-exclusive event: a preview of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge!!!
Jameson was allowed to bring one guest, and he brought me!!!
You guys...it was incredible. Like, I didn't even feel like we were at Disney at all. It was completely immersive, from the castmember costumes to the food to the landscaping and rides. Even the bathrooms were themed! When we saw employees moving dumpsters, chairs, or other equipment, it was all made to look like Star Wars cargo materials!! Insane!

We didn't get into the Cantina because there was a huge line (and we could only sign up for certain events), but we did get to pilot the Millennium Falcon Smuggler's Run ride! I get motion sickness and have particular trouble with simulators, but I was OK as long as I focused on my task in the ride. There are two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers for each compartment. I was a gunner, so I did a buttload of shooting haha. I did my best to watch the main screens where the action was taking place, but could not look at it for more than a few seconds. I would say if you are sickness-prone, just be prepared to miss a lot of the immersive element. But you can still participate! Which I really appreciated :)

It was just such a fun experience. Here are a few of my favorite things that I got to see! For those unfamiliar with Instagram, you can hover your mouse a little to the right over each image and an arrow should come up, click it to see more pics and video!


The green drink in that one video was supposed to be "milk" from Bubo Wumba Family Farms, haha. It's a smoothie-type drink made with coconut and rice milks. Jameson got a blue one that tasted sort of like cotton candy and was spiked with rum. Mine was green and citrus flavored, with tequila. Not everyone will like these because they are not very sweet and they're pretty thick, but I was glad to try them!

On Friday there was a lot going on. I had someone coming over to power wash the pool patio, and another gentleman to install our new washer and dryer. Unfortunately it rained partway through they day (because Florida) so the patio did not get finished, and then when the new dryer didn't work we had to hire an electrician to find the problem (a bad outlet). While I was glad to get some things done, I was a little put out by having to reschedule the deck sealing...now it will happen on a day I'm not around, and Jameson will have to handle it. It was supposed to be a present from me, so it irritated me that I couldn't get it done hassle-free for him. But as Jameson so aptly put it, "Life doesn't work that way." Ain't that the truth!!

So along with all of that craziness, we had a nice day. I tested out the new washer and dryer, they're great! Jameson played some video games for the first time in like a month, and we watched Food Network together while eating dinner. Jameson installed a Ring doorbell so now we can scream at anyone trying to break in or steal packages. And we also cleaned the bathrooms and unpacked a bit more. In the evening Jameson had a gig. All in all a good, productive day :)

Saturday it was back to work for both of us. I took some excess moving trash to the dump and picked up a few things for the house, then went to work, then came home, ate dinner, cleaned up a little, and had a little Me Time. In a few days I start my second job, and while it won't take up all of my time it will certainly take more. So I want to enjoy my free time when it rolls around!

Skipped a Week

There hasn't been time to write.

We were supposed to move in this Monday, the 22nd.

We spent the previous week packing, cleaning, preparing. We transferred utilities to the new house. I forwarded my mail. Jameson's mom flew down from Chicago to help us pack and clean. We took furniture apart, threw stuff out, packed everything in boxes.

And waited.
And waited.

And we are still waiting.

The buyer wanted to move in on Monday, the 22nd. Her choice, her insistence. And yet none of her finances were ready. She didn't even do a walk-through until the weekend. And now we are all waiting on the underwriters, whatever that means.

We have been in a hotel for the week. Jameson's dad generously got us a week's stay in a hotel near the house, figuring we'd be moving in at some point this week.


You can imagine the frustration, and stress, and anger that is building for Jameson and I every single day.
I guess things like this are common, but when you think about it, and when you're in the situation we're in, it's incredibly disgusting and disheartening that banks and lenders and realtors and lawyers, all of whom are supposed to be profiting from your purchase of a home, could care less if you end up spending your deposit on hotels and fast food and cancelled utilities because THEY don't have their shit together. I just don't understand it at all.

Anyway, I could rant for days but the bottom line is that we haven't moved in and are not sure if we will be able to. Jameson has cancelled the moving service and lost his deposit on that, and also had to cancel the utilities. I cancelled the washer and dryer I'd bought for us, and also had to redirect my mail again. We may extend the hotel for a day or two so Jameson can do his teaching work, but we're going to have to go back to the apartment for clothes and to do laundry and probably to live out of boxes until SOMETHING happens. It would just be nice to know at this point what the hell we are doing.

I have never seen Jameson so stressed and it hurts my heart because there's nothing I can do. This situation just has to resolve, and I can't make it. And until it does we are both going to be stressed and losing sleep and money. That said, I am grateful to be here with Jameson during an extremely rough week in his life. I want to at least be there to talk to or to decompress with, or anything that I can do even if it's just being in the same room. I want him to know he's not alone, that if nothing else works out at least I'm going to have his back.

Anyway, poor Jameson's mom flew all this way to help us move and now finds herself stuck in the hotel with us, often alone for the entire day because we both have to work. We have been able to do a few things together, like go see Jameson's show at Epcot and eat some really fantastic food at se7enbites and then Sette (same owner, different food). I hope she's had some fun while she's here, but it's still very disappointing that she didn't get to help us like she wanted. She did buy us a whole lot of house stuff though, which will be awesome to have if we ever get into this hoooooouse arrrrgh

se7enbites Benedict: buttermilk garlic biscuit, over medium egg, crispy green tomato, applewood smoked bacon, topped with peppercorn dill hollandaise.

arancini from SETTE - risotto, gorgonzola, fig, pancetta crumble, pesto cream sauce.

A warm brownie sundae from Ghirardelli at Disney Springs. For lunch. Because I'm an adult.

Jameson being an awesome alien in the Awesome Mix Live show at Epcot.

The Epcot ball or whatever.

A big beautiful swallowtail butterfly we saw in the gardens at Epcot.

So that's what's up this week. I am working, Jameson is working, and trying not to lose our minds and just start screaming about everything. I know I've got lovely food pics and we get to stay in a lovely hotel, but you know what, even the things that that we get to enjoy "for free" are costing Jameson's parents, and us as well. If we are going to lose the money anyway we may as well treat Jameson's mom while she's here, and enjoy the hotel that's being gifted to us. You may be thinking how entitled we are that we aren't sleeping on the floor eating McDonald's every night. Well, that's next...only the generosity of family has given us the luxuries we've experienced this week. Also please remember that Jameson's apartment is on OBT (if you don't know what that is check out this playlist) and he has been living there for almost fifteen years, not to mention living in industrial train yards across America during our time with the circus. We know what it's like to be without power and water and climate control. We know what it's like to have no groceries, and to have your entire life grind to a halt because of the incompetence of others. So before you judge just know...that we know. We know we're lucky. We appreciate what we have. Which is why I take pictures and write these posts. Because I know.

I wanted to share something.
Remember a while back, I had mentioned that I was working on a "project" or "super secret thingee" that I didn't want to talk about in case it didn't work out? Well it didn't work out. So let me tell you about it.

I was trying to go back to school to become a vet tech.
Many people have told me that I'm good with animals, and it's only a two year program. Music seems to be grinding to a halt for me, so I wanted to look into other options that might be as fulfilling for me.

While working on the cruise ship, I used every opportunity in port to prepare my application for vet tech school. I sent in the application, and did counselling sessions, and saved my money, and applied for student aid. I missed out on many opportunities to enjoy the ports and leisure time so that I could prepare to go to school when I got back home.

One of the requirements for the vet tech program was spending 40 hours observing in a veterinary office. I was able to arrange for observations with Exotic Animal Hospital of Orlando. Everyone there was wonderful, and I learned a lot and got to see lots of different procedures including bearded dragon surgeries, hedgehog anesthetization, and guinea pig ultrasounds. I also saw animals die due to owner negligence, and personally held the gas mask over the face of a small mouse to put her to sleep.

After this observation period, my application was complete. Almost.
I still needed a veterinary facility to agree to be my mentor, because I was participating in the online program.
I needed somewhere to observe procedures and practice myself.

I applied to 23 different facilities, some of which (like Banfield) were chains with multiple locations.
Not a single one would agree to mentor me.
When I asked the school for help, I was told that "maybe you need more volunteer hours" before anyone would accept me.

My other obstacle was financial aid, because my aid was calculated based on my 2016 income (when I was in the circus making good money).
I had to formally contest my Estimated Family Contribution, which I tried very hard to do, but unfortunately the due date for my 2018 tax summary was April 10th. You know, right around when I would have JUST filed my taxes. So of course no tax summary was available until weeks after that date. By then my financial aid application had expired.

So, it didn't work out this time. When I was younger, my passion for music outweighed pretty much any obstacle. I didn't care that people put me down, or that I had to work four jobs at a time, or that I had to play for free, because I was passionate about what I was doing. But I am not willing to do that again in a new field, and frankly I wasn't expecting to have to. I didn't think I needed to be a veterinary volunteer since the age of 14 to even be considered for a two year program. I didn't think that in a field where more vet techs are desperately needed, I'd have to fight my way in just to get started. I'm tired of having to "prove myself" every two seconds. Doesn't ANYTHING I've done up until this point count for something?

So I dropped it. That was my big secret plan, and it fell through. Just thought you should know in case you've been wondering.
Maybe someday in the future I'll try again. Or maybe I'll find something else that I can pursue without having to kiss ass or pay an arm and a leg or "prove" that I'm "worthy" or whatever. You know, maybe I just want to work hard and do a damn good job. What's wrong with that?

Alright, rant over.

Packing It Up

We worked as usual, but now the house is a mess as we do a little packing each day.
We still have two weeks, but I feel panicky just looking around...it seems like there's so much to do! But it's probably not as bad as I think. Probably.

This week was an emotional roller coaster for Jameson. Things keep sort-of progressing, and then another issue comes up that needs to be addressed. I suppose this is just part of selling and buying at the same time, but my goodness. I'm looking forward to everything being over so that he can relax.

I had a nice work week, nothing particularly special happened. This is my second week at over 97% accuracy for the whole week, so I'm really happy with that.

On Thursday (the start of my "weekend") I went to the dentist to address some sensitive teeth that are getting worse, and got some medicine for that. Jameson was at work, so I stuck around the house to do some chores and wait for the AC people to come and fix the work they've already done because apparently they're incompetent. I did laundry, got groceries, packed up the kitchen a bit, cleaned the bathrooms.

On Friday Jameson had a lot of work to do with making sure his mortgage company hadn't screwed him over (They misquoted his monthly rate and down payment by around $7,000. Because again, no one seems capable of doing the job they're hired to do.) Once that was taken care of he had some student meetings while I packed up some more of the kitchen. Then we dropped a box of binders off with Jameson's friend, picked up some more stuff at Lowe's, got groceries, grabbed dinner, and came home.

While in the grocery we came across Stranger Things 3-themed ice cream, and with silent agreement, grabbed one of each flavor. Shadow Sherbet, Portal Praline, and MindFlayer Mint. Yeah they're basic flavors. But...it had to be done. Millennial marketing y'all.

Back at home, we ate, watched a little TV, and packed just a bit more.

Saturday was much the same. I worked, Jameson set up water and internet for us at the new place.
When I was done at work I came home with dinner and we ate, watched TV, and packed.
After a while Jameson developed a migraine, so we stopped for the night. I packed my lunch and we had some quiet time.

It's so strange that we are leaving here in less than 10 days.
It feels like there's so much to do.

This Posted Before I was Done Writing It

Another "basic" week hardly worth mentioning.

We both worked, with a lot of added stress about the house for Jameson. He's had to call a plumber, electrician, and HVAC techs to fix a few things for the next owner. And while the holiday weekend is coming up, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't have to call multiple times across multiple days just to get a receipt for work already done. I'm pretty sure you would expect your HVAC guys to show up with the correct equipment to repair your unit (they did not and now the parts are on order). I'm pretty sure when you quote someone $750 for a water heater, you should not then turn around and say it's actually $1300 a day later despite nothing having changed.

I just don't get it. Neither of us do. It's kind of bullsh*t.

Anyway, hopefully after the holiday things will come together. It just adds a lot of stress when you've signed a contract to do specific repairs, you are expected to be out of your apartment in two weeks, and no one is returning your calls to get the work done.

Yeah that's right: we may be moving in just two weeks. I'm not ready!

I mean, I kind of am. 90% of my belongings have been in storage all this time anyway.
The main issue of course will be Jameson's things, but his mom is coming down to help us pack next week and hopefully we can get everything together alright.

Right now I can't even imagine living in an actual house. With a pool. Whaaaaaat.

Work was good for me this week. I got several 100% scores in my evaluations, which made me feel really good. I think it's because my supervisor isn't there; she seems to be more strict than most others with scoring. She's fair imo, I just don't seem to score as high with her as with others.

Thursday being the 4th, and also a day off for both of us, we had a pretty relaxing day. Jameson had course building work to do, but after that we went over to his friend Paul's house to pick up some boxes to start moving. Paul and his wife, two daughters, and dog just moved into an absolutely gorgeous home, with a huge pool, modern kitchen, built-in stereos in every room, and even a movie theater room!! We got the grand tour and were duly jealous! They had a lot of great recommendations for us, from moving in to incorporation technology to make the new house that much more awesome. Thanks you two!

After a quick stop at Lowe's for some tape and other small supplies, we drove back home and brought the boxes inside. We were starving, so I got started on dinner: basic All-American burgers! I made orange honey bacon from Lucky's, then cooked the beef patties in a bit of the leftover bacon grease. This was my first time making burgers, and although I wasn't able to control the done-ness they still turned out very tasty!

We also had watermelon and mini ice cream sandwiches. Because 4th of July. We watched a few episodes of Stranger Things 3, then decided to pack up a few things! Jameson got a lot of his sheet music and books packed. I mostly focused on getting my own stuff together so that it would be in one area of the house and out of the way. Then we wrapped and packed a lot of the framed art. It felt really weird to start this process, and also really good. Jameson felt a little emotional...he's lived here for nearly fifteen years after all. I don't even know what it's like to live somewhere for that long.

Friday we got up and did our usual stuff, Jameson did school stuff while I ate breakfast and goofed off online. A mover came over to assess the condo, but he apparently wasn't listening when Jameson gave his moving dates like a week ago, because he was like, "Oh, I'm not available that day, sorry." Dumbass.

So then Jameson had to call around to a bunch of other movers. Again, I don't understand why no one in this town can return an email, phone call, or do the job they're getting paid to do right the first time so you don't have to email and call for weeks on end. It Is SO AGGRIVATING. But he found another mover, so that's good. After that we packed some more. We're making pretty good progress there.

That night we went out to Rock n' Brews to see some of Jameson's friends play, and since Rock n' Brews is now in the same neighborhood as our house we went over there to see what it's like at night. Answer: quiet. Amazing. No domestic disputes in the middle of the road. No crackheads sitting on the fence, or random pregnant women wandering around at 11pm with another baby in a stroller. No chopped-off weaves in the middle of the street. Whuuuuut.

Pleased with all that, we went to the restaurant and had a drink and a nice time just hanging out with basically the entire cast of Awesome Mix Live. I feel very out of place when it's all Disney people, but what can ya do. It's nice of them to try and include me even though I can't understand inside jokes, or gripe about work drama, or do anything other than listen. That's ok.

Saturday, I went to work and it was a fairly busy day. I had picked up some extra hours and thus got monitored twice, plus my supervisor wanted me to do my CATS test (it's a company-issued test to make sure you're up to speed and accuracy standards). I did worse than usual because I was tired and it was late by the time we got to it, but still didn't do bad.

That's the week y'all. The next two weeks are going to be super hectic with packing, cleaning...and MOVING.

Day 12,931

I wish there were something interesting to share with you this week, but it was just regular working and such.

I had a nice time at work...I'm getting better at understanding how Dragon interprets things, I think, and for the whole week I had a lower error rate overall. Even though I'm not earning the 100% bonus coupons (exchangeable for CapTel t-shirts and snacks and stuff) I would rather have an overall average of 96-97% than the occasional coupon but an average below 95%. Anyway.

Jameson is really stressed this week and I'm not sure how to alleviate it...I think it's all dependent on this house issue getting resolved. Initially we were supposed to have a pretty fast move, to be out of the apartment and into the new house by July 22. And now we are near the end of June and still don't know for sure that we're moving. So we haven't packed anything, meaning if we do still have to peace out packing will be very rushed. Jameson is being hit with all of these little issues with his apartment, most of which was supposed to be handled by his HOA, and that's what's really holding us up.

The reason we're having to move so soon is because the woman moving in has to be out of her apartment by the end of July. And of course the move date is a day when Jameson has to work for Disney, so that adds a whole 'nother level of stress as he'll have to give his mother power of attorney to sign off on the house that day. Well...no one ever said it would be easy I guess.

Anyway, Thursday rolled around which was a day off for me. I did some house chores and spent a lot of time writing on Quora, something I haven't had time to enjoy recently. Before Jameson came home I fixed myself a drink and made dinner, summer spaghetti with pancetta, tomatoes, zucchini, and balsamic vinegar. We didn't get the closing information for the house that we were expecting because the woman wants another day to decide what to do. Argh. So we had spaghetti and watched Master Chef and ate ice cream. What else can ya do.

Friday Jameson finally had a day off too. "Day off", he still had to do a lot of work for his teaching and normal stuff like grocery shopping and laundry. While he did that I continued writing online, watching The Handmaid's Tale, and trying to catch a lizard that had gotten stuck on our patio and couldn't find his way out (as of this writing, still haven't caught him.) For dinner we had some delicious pizza.

Saturday we both went back to work. Nothing to report.

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