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Too Busy

I was too busy to write this week.

Jameson had a lot of gigs and a lot of work, so he got home late most every night.
We also had Encore final rehearsals and concerts all week and into the weekend, which ate much of our free time...I usually went straight from work to rehearsal.

Soon we will begin the process of listing Jameson's apartment for sale. I am sure there will be a lot of cleaning and rearranging for me to do at that time. We also got a new front door which will be installed Monday, but in the meantime it's sitting in the living room. Which is just fine since neither of us has time to hang out anyway.

We are both still waiting on the results of interviews. I have high hopes for Jameson to get an offer...not so sure about mine. Even if I am offered the job, it would mean I'd have to get my own apartment for a while. In other words the pay would have to offset that. I'm not sure if that will happen.

One of the worst things about being a musician (or trying to be one) is constantly having to decide between gigs and jobs. No musician wants to turn down a paying gig for a 9 to 5. But sometimes it really is the best choice.

Anyway. Just thoughts.

As I'm writing this it's Friday. I won't have time to write on Saturday because I'll be going from work straight to this wedding gig. I'm looking forward to it but also apprehensive. Being a sub can be kind of stressful until you get integrated into the group. Oh well, hopefully it'll be a nice wedding and a good time for all.

Jameson is at a costume fitting for Disney, then he's got work to do when he comes home. I have to gather the things for my gig tomorrow, and finish installing some apps and creating a setlist, and also do a little shopping for the appropriate clothes. Then we have an Encore concert tonight. It's been a really busy week and I'm looking forward to a little time to think and clean and get my life together next week.


Again No Pics Sorries

Sunday, I worked. Jameson had a fun day at Universal with some friends, hung out, went to see their shows, brought me a Voodoo Doughnut <3

I had my first 911 call today at work. We were warned that this would happen sometimes, but we would 99.99% of the time be captioning the dispatcher's side of the conversation. Which as you can imagine is far less traumatic than the other end of the line. Anyway, my supervisor said I did a good job, so I felt good about it.

After work I put my library card to use for the first time, checking out a book that someone had recommended to me (Wings of Fire) but a little disappointed that it's a "Juvenile Fiction" book...if it were Young Adult at least it'd be longer. This is only about 300 pages...I'll probably finish it in two days. But hey, maybe it will be a great 300 pages haha.

I've just finished Neal Stephenson's REAMDE, which is I think about 1,000 pages, so maybe I need to reset my standards anyway :P

I went to the gym, came home, ate my doughnut, and watched Dororo while Jameson watched the Cubs game.

Tuesday, more of the same. Work went well, and afterward I came home to find Jameson had cooked dinner for us! He was talking to someone on the phone about possibly selling his apartment...that's an exciting thought. He's poured so much into this house, especially with all of the recent repairs, but I know he's wanted to get out for a while. Talking about it and feeling the process out is the first step. I'm excited for him!

I practiced some of my wedding band music, ate the other half of my doughnut, and packed my lunch and laid out my clothes for tomorrow. I don't have kids because I already have to do this crap for myself, why in the world would I want to do it for someone else :P

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty normal...except for some potentially life-changing news on a couple of different fronts. For one thing, we found out that Jameson was going to have a surprise interview with Disney corporate! That's very exciting, and could really change his entire life. On the night he found out about the interview, he told me all about it and described how much it meant to him to have this opportunity. I'm incredibly excited for him...even if it doesn't work out, just the fact that he is being considered is a HUGE deal and an indication of how hard he has worked to get this far. Amazing.

Secondly, Jameson has been talking to some realtors about selling his condo, and there are some good indications that he may be able to move by the end of summer. Wow!

Both very exciting events, nothing solidified, but that we're even talking about these things and having these opportunities is really incredible. I wonder what will happen!

I'm not sure if it's because of how I was raised, or because of who I am as a person, but there's a part of me that feels guilty for not contributing to the potential new house purchase. Like, I guess I feel like as a 35-year-old adult I'm supposed to be making home ownership decisions too. And maybe as The Oldest Sister there's a subliminal current running through me of wanting to always be Most Responsible and Most Stable. But, I think I am learning to be supportive in other ways, in the ways that I can right now. I'm actually typing these feelings out because I feel guilty, and that in turn helps me to feel less guilty. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I can hardly wrap my head around some of the maybe-changes taking place this year. And I'm very grateful that so far, all of these potentials are positive.

Friday, Jameson had his interview and I went to get a Tetanus/Whooping Cough booster shot in preparation for visiting Kayle and the baby next month! So exciting! Jameson's interview went well, and since we were both excited we did a little packing...yes, I mean like literally sorting through things in preparation for moving months from now haha. My belongings are still in storage so for me this was cake, just a matter of throwing away or donating things I never use. After a while our adrenaline wore off and we crashed on the couch with a pizza. Then Jameson went to his gig while I stayed at home to prep for work.

And Saturday, today, you guessed it, work. After work I went to the local Music & Arts to visit with a friend who is working with Buffet Crampon to promote instruments in the area. After that I came home to clean up and get ready for work again as usual, and contemplate my life a little bit. When a lot of new things happen there is a lot to think about.


No Pics

Another week where I'm recapping, having not had time to write in the moment.

Ummm Sunday. No idea what we did. I went to work? Came home? Went to bed? That kind of thing.

Monday, more work and the AC was fixed! It was expensive for Jameson, but hopefully now it's done and one less thing to worry about. We had Encore rehearsal at night. It went pretty well, but if I'm gonna be honest, I wish people would stop yapping while the conductor is trying to answer questions, or continue playing when he cut us off like six measures ago. These things are an issue with a lot of volunteer groups. We'd get so much done if people would rehearse during, you know, rehearsal. Anyway, we got out of there later than scheduled thanks to all of the stopping and starting, and went straight to bed.

Tuesday and Wednesday, more work for both of us. Jameson has his classes and also rehearsals and gigs at night. I just had work during the day and generic things to do at night, like practicing and meal prep and all that. Definitely practicing a lot more for this wedding gig I've got coming up in May. The book contains a lot of music I've played before, but a lot of the charts say "Chart is a Guide ONLY" across the top, and I've got no idea what that means and it freaks me out. So I'm making sure I know what's there at least, that's all I can do right now.

Tuesday night in addition to practice and meal prep, I did a lot of cleaning. The windows have been open all week because of the broken AC, and it disturbed a lot of dust and brought in some pollen, so I wanted to clean that up. I vacuumed, dusted, and scrubbed the shower. But I also set aside time to get caught up on Game of Thrones! Ugh, SO GOOD.

Thursday, Jameson had to be in-person at the office so I had the house to myself. I woke up this morning to the "vwoomp" sound of the power going out. Sigh. At first I was pretty irritated, but after a few minutes I thought, what am I upset about? There's a Panera right down the street with everything I need to start my day. So I went into "circus power outage mode", in other words I packed up my laptop, battery backup, some money, and some snacks, and went to Panera to camp and do work. Fortunately for me the outage only lasted about an hour, so by the time I'd finished my yummy breakfast and gotten through some of my online errands it was ok to go back home.

I spent the rest of Thursday running errands...mostly shopping for another blazer because after washing the one I have something weird happened to it and it's not the same. Plus I wanted it for a job interview on Friday.

Friday, Jameson and I both had to be up early. He had a corporate gig with Barfly. I had a job interview with a musical instrument manufacturer. I thought the interview went well, but we will have to see what happens. As always. At least in the meantime I've got a job, so I don't have to feel so desperate.

Later on Jameson and I went to see some of his bandmates perform at Rock & Blues. It was nice to just hang out and enjoy the music and some good food :) I was tired as heck and fell right asleep when I got home.

Today, Saturday, Jameson gets to relax. He's got a busy month coming up. I'm going to work in a few minutes, but right now I'm just enjoying some coffee and some quiet.


Warm Week

Monday was pretty chill.

I went to work and about 30 minutes into my day the fire alarm went off. Since I didn't smell smoke or see/hear any sign of danger, I continued captioning the call I was on (also, I had no way to end the call myself) until a supervisor came over to close out my call and tell me to head outside. There's construction in the building attached to ours, and they think somebody tripped the fire system, which must run between both buildings.

Anyway, extra 15 minute break! Yay haha.

The rest of the day was uneventful. I had my monthly job skills check and passed, which is nice. Now I just need to make it for another month and I will actually "have a job".

After work I went to the store for a few things, then came home and had leftovers with Jameson. We spent the night just relaxing, we haven't been terribly busy but somehow we both just needed to chill.

Tuesday and Wednesday, honestly just more of the same. Sometimes I wish I could talk about work more, but nondisclosures and confidentiality are important. I would certainly want that if I were using a live captioned phone. Anyway, work was just work, and at home I ate and spent time with Jameson and all that good stuff. On Tuesday night we had Encore rehearsal, the first time we've been in a show together for a while, and that was nice.

On Wednesday, the air conditioner broke. This is a big deal because we JUST got it fixed, and it was VERY expensive for Jameson. And now the whole unit needs to be replaced. I don't understand why every single thing in this apartment is breaking. Am I bad luck for appliances? We are both trying to save money but having something break every other month is pretty dang prohibitive to having a savings.

So on Thursday Jameson spent some time negotiating with the repair company. His reasoning is that we've already paid a lot to fix certain parts of it...why should we have to pay to have the fixed parts replaced again? The technician at least seems to agree, but we'll see what the final say is. In the meantime, Jameson got a haircut, I did some networking stuff and even took a surprise job interview, and then we chilled out until it was time to go see Avengers Endgame!!

Jameson's friend got us tickets so that we could go together as a group! Since it was opening night, it was packed, but because it was a theater full of Marvel fans it was pretty fun. People applauded and cheered for certain characters, and funny moments were even more funny with a whole theater laughing :) It was a great movie, and yer not gettin' any spoilers outta me! :P Definitely worth seeing if you've been following this Avengers arc, and if not, I suggest you catch up on some of those movies!

Friday, we had a pretty relaxing day. My phone interview has led to an in person interview, so I made some preparations for that. Jameson and I went to the gym together, and then he spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing as he had a gig that night with Barfly. I ran to Target to get me some discount Easter candy and brought home a nice little stash :) I answered some questions on Quora, and reviewed some music that I've got to learn for a gig coming up in May. And after Jameson left for his gig, I played a little Castlevania. Good Lord that game is hard.

Today I'm getting ready to go to work. Jameson has another gig tonight...I will eat dinner with him and then practice. The air conditioner is supposed to be fixed on Monday.


Busy Easter Week

Well! This week was very busy. I didn't have any time at all to write about it in real time, so here are the highlights.

Our fridge finally died. I guess it's been coming for a while, I've noticed the temperature going up and up, but it finally got above 50 degrees and bit the dust. Jameson had to get a new one. It looks great, I like it a lot, and I hope it doesn't give us any trouble. Recap: since I've moved in, the A/C, dishwasher and refrigerator have broken. The washer, dryer, and oven are holding out like champs.

On Monday I had my first eight hour work day. It went well, two extra hours isn't that much and having a real lunch break was nice. After work I drove an hour to Maitland where I filled in on a college jazz band concert for a friend of mine. Jazz ain't my thing but it was still a fun experience.

Tuesday, work again, then off to rehearsal with Encore. They're going to be doing a Disney medley show called "When You Imagine", with a huge choir and orchestra. It's not paid, but again, a good experience. This was the first rehearsal and I thought it went well. I peaced out a little early because I was exhausted and needed to prep for work the next day.

Wednesday, more work...the work is still not difficult, but at this point I have been working for two weeks straight and it got mentally difficult today. The most important part of doing your job here is paying close attention, listening carefully and staring really hard at your screen and enunciating everything. When you're tired, well...all of that just gets harder. I still did a good job, but boy was I glad when the day was over!

I drove to St. James Cathedral downtown, where I'd been asked to play for the chrism mass. I had to look up what a chrism is: it's a ceremonial service involving the entire local diocese, during which all of the holy oils that the church will use throughout the year are blessed by the bishop. There are three different kinds of oils, and each priest/father/worship leader takes a portion back to his own church to be used by that congregation. It was a very interesting experience. But let's be real, I was just there for the organ! Duuuude. This guy is SO GOOD. He is my hero.


I'm playing here again on Easter Sunday and can't wait to hear the organ again. Speaks to my freaking soul.

Anyway, Thursday, finally a much-needed day off. I spent most of it catching up on cleaning: scrubbing both bathrooms and the kitchen, vacuuming, washing the bedsheets, etc. I got some groceries to restock the fridge, and had a few hours to just relax and enjoy doing nothing. Jameson came home around dinnertime and we got some groceries for him and dinner from Target. Then I went to Fiddler's Green to meet a new friend, a local guitarist who wants to collaborate. I'm certainly not sure how a trombone could collaborate with a guitar, but hey, it's always good to try new things. We'll see how things go. Anyway, he sounded great!

Friday, a glorious day of rest. Jameson and I had breakfast and went to the gym together for the first time in a long while. Then he came home to work on his class grading while I ran to Lucky's to try and find us a ham for Easter. Lucky's smokes their own meats, so I was hoping to get a nice house-made ham from them, but all of theirs were 10lbs!!! We can't eat that much! So I went to Publix instead and got your standard pre-sliced deal. We are going to make ourselves a nice Easter dinner on Sunday :)

The rest of Friday was spent just chilling, there were some thunderstorms moving through the area so we stayed inside. We cooked chicken and veggies for dinner, enjoyed ice cream for dessert, and Jameson played Kingdom Hearts while I prepped for work tomorrow and did some writing on Quora. A pretty nice day. I'm really grateful for days like this.

Saturday, I had a shorter workday. After work I came straight home and we went straight out. It was time to do an Escape Room!!!
Jameson and three of his friends had planned this for us. We went to The Escape Effect first. I'm terrible with names, sorry...one of Jameson's friends, who we've done escape rooms with before, brought us here. He's done several of their rooms and loved the theming. Tonight the them was theater, and the room was called "Encore". The backstory was that the Chicago theater owner, kind of a mob-looking dude, had secretly stashed his money and a valuable necklace somewhere inside his theater, but it had never been found. Now the theater is scheduled to be demolished, and we've only got one hour to find the loot!

I wish I could tell you all about the fun stuff we did, but that would spoil this room for others! There were multiple locks and at least two clue rooms to unlock. Everyone played an important role at least once, and everyone contributed to the puzzles. Jameson's experienced friend put together one massive clue by himself. His two other friends, who had never done an escape room before, turned out to be extremely good at it. Claire (?again, names?) discovered lots of clues herself, and her beau happened to be the type of person with a really analytical mind so that turned out to be a huge advantage for us. We cleared the challenge with exactly five minutes to spare!!

It was still light out when we finished, and we were all ecstatic over our win. What better way to celebrate than with ANOTHER escape room!!
Claire and her man were rearing to go having experienced their first escape room ever haha.

Jameson's friend looked up another room for us, and we drove over there and signed in. This one was through The Escape Game Orlando, and was one of their most difficult rooms with a 9/10 difficulty rating! We began the game separated into two groups in two prison cells. We could hear each other, but couldn't see each other. Using clues in each cell, we had to work together to first escape our cells and then escape the prison! Claire and her beau really ramped up their game on this one, solving a complicated tic-tac-toe-style puzzle all on their own! Jameson and I had been put in a cell together, and we are such a great team you guys. Especially once out of the cell...while the three amigos solved the tic-tac-toe, he and I found like four different clues together without even any dialogue between us on how to go about it.

This escape room had several different rooms, a real challenge! We barely made it, and honestly had to ask for an extra clue, but the room operator ended up giving it to us as a freebie because the clue we had missed was REALLY simple, kind of a "duh" moment! So we technically escaped the room 15 seconds late, or right on time depending on how you look at it! Still, that's incredible! The room operator was very impressed :) I was especially proud of myself because I was able to contribute more this time...I solved one puzzle completely by myself, and found one correlation that ended up leading to the last several clues that we needed to escape. Yay! Once again, though, we could not have done it without all of us there. Different people see things in different ways, and the more perspectives you have in an escape room the better your chances. We went home super satisfied and feeling like total asskickers! I want to team up with these guys again!!!

(probably the least flattering picture of me in the world...for the record I am 128 pounds and not pregnant...sigh)

Our trophies! Stickers!

We will hopefully get to do another one of these again soon. There's a two-hour room that we're all interested in :)

I woke early on Easter Sunday. The first thing I think about on Easter, usually, is my mother. I thought of her as I got dressed all in black for church (musicians wear black, even for Easter) and had a light breakfast. The weather was unusually cool for Florida, I really enjoyed it. At the church I went straight to the balcony to catch me some organ vibes.


Instrumentation today was the organ, timpani, two trumpets, trombone, tuba, and choir. We played two services back to back, and for the second service we added the Hallelujah Chorus. Everything sounded great. It was fun to play. And of course I stuck around for the organ playoff. YAAAAAASS.

Awesome. I'm so grateful that I get to play here!
I drove home, where Jameson was in the middle of prepping ambrosia for us! We are having a pretty basic Easter dinner together: ham, crescent rolls, asparagus, deviled eggs, and the ambrosia. I think that's it...we will see! I've just finished lunch and will get started on the eggs in a minute.

I'm grateful for such a busy but nice week. I want to mention that we were informed this week that one of our circus family unexpectedly passed away. She leaves behind a husband and two young children. Our circus family is thinking of her and her family today.

Food for Thought

Saturday was pretty good to me. I did some "air trombone" practicing on some jazz music for a volunteer concert I've got coming up...air tromboning is especially good when you haven't practiced in a while, it lets you just get those pesky rhythms and muscle memory out of the way so that when you do pick up the horn (which I will do tomorrow) you can focus on restoring your chops, sound quality, and other things. I just find the songs on YouTube and listen along while miming the slide movements.

I haven't played in a month and it's going to be weird. But I've taken breaks like this before. I don't like to do it because you lose so much endurance and control and such. But sometimes it does happen.

After that I took care of some errands, picked up a few things from Target, and enjoyed some pizza from Lucky's for dinner while watching anime and emailing some friends and family. After dinner I decided to hit the gym, just because tomorrow I might not have time/I might want to spend my time with my Jameson :)

Sunday, I had breakfast and enjoyed a relaxing morning while thinking about how to maximize my time this week. Mostly I'll just need to include practicing in my schedule, in between work and the gym. So I did practice, and later that night Jameson and I went to a going-away party for one of his friends at work, the one who made me those elephants stickers I posted last week! We had a nice time together and some great food. I enjoyed hearing their stories from work, and telling a few circus stories too! And the food was great! I had a bison burger with pineapple, provalone and bacon on a pretzel bun. Jameson had a buffalo chicken and waffle sandwich with bleu cheese fondue.

On Monday I had work...my first day of real work, not training! I was a little nervous, and arrived early because I've been assigned to a room I've never used before. But everything went smoothly, and I had a really nice day of just being able to work without worrying about a person staring at my every move behind me. My supervisor will still take samples of my work every day just to evaluate how I'm doing, and I will still have a monthly "test". But I don't mind. Just...let me work. haha.

That night we drove out to Sanford to the Theater West End to see Wild Party. Several of Jameson's theater friends and Disney cast members were performing in the show. It was AMAZING. I swear, the level of talent around here is incredible! We had an awesome time. Due to a little snafu with our dinner, we found ourselves scarfing sandwiches around 11pm by the time we got home haha. That'll be a fun memory, along with this great show :)

Tuesday, Jameson had callback auditions for the Guardians show, then he went to hang out with his Disney friends. I went to work, the gym, came home, cleaned, packed lunch for tomorrow, contemplated my life. The usual.

Wednesday, more work for me. There seemed to be a lot of technical difficulties for everyone, perhaps because of the storm system moving through the mcountry. Or the SpaceX launch. Or the black hole vibes. Who knows. In any case, it was a good day but I was glad when it was over and I could go home and practice quick and get some Panda Express with Jameson. Later on he relaxed with some video games and the Cubs game while I got ready for work and watched some anime. Both of us are introverts and we respect each other's down time :) At some point in there the power went out for a large chunk of Orlando, including us. We suspect that workers on I-4 hit a power line or something.

Thursday was a normal day, I did all right at work. Jameson got the news that he'll be doing the Galaxy show again this summer, not surprising y'all! He's a talented guy, that Jameson Boyce ;) We will get fancy steak this coming Saturday to celebrate!

I was supposed to go to the gym but decided to get my hair "fixed" (just had it cut last week and unfortunately the hairdresser made some pretty bad mistakes) instead. After that I came home to say hello to Minnie, a little dog belonging to one of Jameson's friends. Jameson had offered to babysit her for the day! She was very sweet and I had fun playing with her a bit before her mom came to pick her up. The rest of the evening was uneventful...Jameson watched the Cubs game and talked to his friends about the audition results and related drama. I played spider solitaire.

We ended up having a sort of "talk" right before bed, because I still struggle with defeatism related to where my life is at right now. We have had this talk before, I'm ashamed to say, and I don't want to go into detail because this was personal stuff. I just want to say that Jameson is incredible, and supportive, and I do not want my bad attitude to continue hurting him. I had hoped that some things would have cleared up for me by now, and they haven't. Maybe my expectations are too high. Well, whatever the reason, I need to be more patient, work harder, and try new tactics. I'm just grateful that Jameson has been so patient with me.

On to Friday: work went well, and I was pretty productive. I practiced, and went to the gym, and sent a few emails that needed sending.


I had work, my first day on my actual full time schedule instead of the training schedule. Afterward I came straight home, we both got changed, and went out for steak at Del Frisco's!

Del Frisco's is a special place for us. I took us there by accident one night while we were in the circus, on a loadout day in Ft Worth. There was a Del Frisco's Grille and a Del Frisco's Double Eagle within a mile of each other, and my GPS took us to the wrong one! We walked in in our jeans and t-shirts, into this upscale steakhouse where there was very clearly a dress code and the menu consisted of dry-aged steaks and such. But we were hungry...and since they weren't opposed to our dress, we rolled with it! It was the best steak we ever had! Two years later we returned to Ft Worth and just had to go there again!

This Christmas while I was on the cruise ship, Jameson was lamenting his lack of steak to me over the phone. I thought it would be nice to find a good steakhouse in Orlando for us. I googled "Best steakhouses Orlando". Guess what was at the top of the list! Del Frisco's!!! I hadn't even known there was one in Orlando! Naturally I got us a gift card. And today we redeemed it. No special reason, just a nice dinner together :)

We started with a wagyu carpaccio which was FANTASTIC.

It was pretty dim so I didn't get good pics of our actual meals. Jameson had the prime porterhouse, I had the regular filet mignon. We enjoyed delicious roasted mushrooms and pearl onions, and a truffle baked potato for sides. Their steak is always so dang perfect. We savored every bite.

Afterward we came home to just chill out. Next week is full of insanity for me...I begin my full time work schedule, and I also have three performances in a row, meaning some long days. Hopefully though, someday, one of these gigs will lead somewhere. That's about all I can do is keep trying and hoping. I mean, I've BEEN trying, but I gotta try something new.

Normal Week

Saturday! We had a nice slow morning and went to see "Us". It was good...but honestly, very predictable. Like pretty much the whole plot is revealed 10 minutes in. Oh well...we still had fun :)

Afterward we had a nice dinner together, and went to see some of Jameson's bandmates playing at Rock n' Blues. It was a Saturday night so it was pretty crowded, but we were able to get a table. Several Disney cast member friends were there. It was too loud to talk but it was nice to see everyone and hear some rockin' classic rock!

We left relatively early because Jameson is playing for the Guardians of the Galaxy band auditions at Disney tomorrow.

Sunday, Jameson had to get up bright and early. He'll be playing for auditions all day! I don't know how that guy does it without coffee ;D

I couldn't sleep after he left. I was thinking about all the musicians who will be auditioning today, and how I don't get to participate in this one. Please understand, I'm happy for everyone and glad that there are opportunities still out there for live musicians. It's just that, you know...I want opportunities too! And lately I feel like finding gigs is like looking for a specific grain of sand in the desert.

Anyway, ugh, whatever. It was a very nice day and I have nothing to complain about. I had breakfast and got to work making sous vide egg bites! This is something I've been excited to try since sous vide became an option! I cooked some peppered bacon, chopped some jalapenos and spinach and tomatoes, measured out some cheese, and got to work!

They turned out great! These will be great to pack in lunches this week. And Jameson can have some too :D
I cleaned the house a bit, and went thrifting in the evening before Jameson got home. Didn't find a whole lot, but it was nice to look.
When Jameson got back he told me all about his day of auditions, it sounded like an awful lot of people showed up for them. Hopefully everyone had a good experience regardless of the outcome.

Work on Monday was stressful. It was our first time on the actual call floor, taking actual calls. But before that, we had a meeting to go over the company's confidentiality policies and other workplace information. I think that got us into a tense vibe, because there are just so many ways that you could easily make a mistake here.

From there we went to the call floor and got started. We were carefully monitored the entire time, which is great because we're still in training and we want to be doing a good job. But personally, having someone watching my every move was pretty nerve-racking! I mean, I was glad someone was there...but I was also stressed. You get me? Haha.

It went well, I think I did all right although I definitely made more mistakes than usual. Maybe over the course of this week I can get used to it and start to relax. The first day of doing anything new is always hard. After work I got a haircut (finally) and picked up a library card! I figured I might need one in the near future :)

Tuesday did indeed go better than Monday at work. I was less flustered, though still very nervous. Sweating like a pig the entire time haha. I had three very long phone calls, but got good reviews on all of them. After work I went to the gym, but wasn't really feeling it so only did the elliptical before heading home. Jameson and I had a nice dinner and a relaxing evening.

The rest of the week isn't worth a detailed report...I went to work/training every day, Jameson had work from home and a gig on Friday night. On Thursday I had a bit of a meltdown at work, just because as part of our training we are observed by many different people, and some of the feedback I'd been getting throughout the week was contradictory or confusing. It all just sort of came to a head for me on Thursday. I mean, all that happened was I got frustrated and had to vent about it a little.

But on Friday, I ended up graduating from training one whole week early!! Yay!! It turns out my frustrations were just me putting undue pressure on myself. As usual. Several of my coaches pulled me aside to tell me what a great job I was doing, and one even said my work was "pristine" haha. I think one of the difficult thing for everyone who live-captions is the fact that there WILL be mistakes, every single day, and there's just nothing to be done about it. But now that I'm through with training, I will work hard to overcome my insecurities and perfectionist nature regarding the captions. I'm excited to begin working for real next week!

And therein lies another problem that I've created for myself. I actually enjoy this work. A lot. To the point where I don't want to give it up in favor of the Thing I've been working on. Having this job actually kind of throws a wrench into my plans...I realized this last night as I was trying to fall asleep. Well...we all have hard choices to make in life. I will have to just do my research and make the best choice that I possibly can, and hope it's the right one.

Today is Saturday, and I'm happy to enjoy the day off because after this I'll have two weeks of work in a row x_x.
Jameson has a gig this afternoon/evening, so I will have the house to myself. I've got some small errands to run, and I need to practice for some upcoming Easter gigs (#grateful). And, of course, now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of 2019 regarding my future plans. But other than that my day is free haha.

And now...pictures of my Niece!!! I WILL SHOVE HER ADORABLENESS DOWN YER THROATS!!!

My beautiful sister and her beautiful baby <3

My parents, now grandparents, holding their grandchild. I love how proud they are!

Folding baby clothes while G-Pop and 할머니 (Korean: Grandma) read little Elliotte a story.

HI-YAH!!!! :D

I'm An Aunt!!

On Sunday we relaxed. I had planned to go to the gym, but just didn't feel like it. Hey, as long as I'm hitting 3-4 days per week for now, I think it's fine. I worked on some tax paperwork, and a project I'm doing, and made some final plans for Flat Stanley. Jameson needed to go to Target for a big expandable folder because he's saving his gig receipts for next tax year. I picked up a few things too. Then we went to SusHI for lunch, and came home to continue the relaxation. I packed my lunch for work tomorrow...my lunches are simple but healthy.

Later on we had dinner: ramen from Lucky's Market. It was just the thing for Jameson's sore throat, and I'll pretty much never say no to ramen :) It was very good!

Monday, work. We're starting to get tested more and more feedback as well. So far I'm doing good, but again, can't relax until I'm 60 days in. The work is enjoyable though. Afterward I came home to eat dinner with Jameson but left soon after to try and finish my Flat Stanley project. It is surprisingly hard to find somewhere to print photos any more! I tried FedEx first but they was extremely expensive. Turns out Walgreens was the right place, but they only printed half my photos and I didn't notice until I got home! I will have to go back tomorrow. Sigh.

Tuesday, I had a good day at work. We are practicing by shadowing real phonecalls now, which is either incredibly boring or very interesting. I mean, imagine sitting on hold for twenty minutes. Now imagine that your job is to caption the hold dialogue FOR THE ENTIRE TWENTY MINUTES. Your brain could fall out haha. For regular calls, we are not to listen too carefully to the content (these are peoples' private phone conversations after all) but a real conversation is much more interesting because you have to really pay attention to get the nuance and timing right. The goal is to give the listener (a hearing impaired person) the same level of "hearing" as a person with no hearing issues. That means captioning as much as possible, down to the "ums" and "hmms" and even background noise! It can be really challenging, but honestly I kind of like it. It's challenging the same way that music used to be. Timing, inflection, expression, accuracy, articulation. I'll bet I would enjoy any job that requires a combination of attention to detail and day-by-day variation. And I'll bet you can count jobs like that on one hand haha.

Anyway, I went to the gym after work and retrieved my photos from Walgreens, grabbed dinner, and came home. There was laundry and dishes to do, lunch to pack, and the Flat Stanley to finish. Geez! Jameson had a gig at The Villages tonight, so the house was quiet (I don't turn on the TV or anything usually). I did some work and some relaxing stuffs until he got home, then we went to bed.

Wednesday turned out to be exciting because my sister Kayle went into labor!!! My whole family is over in California right now to be there with her for the birth. I'm the only sister who couldn't go :( This is what happens when you go too long without work, you no longer get that kind of freedom. In general, thanks to work, I've missed weddings and graduations and other important events. It sucks.

But anyway. She's having a baby!!! My sister Kate is keeping me updated, but as of now (10:15pm my time) baby hasn't come all the way out yet. I'm trying not to lose sleep over it. Praying for her.

The rest of the day was normal, I had training and for dinner Jameson and I went to BJs. I ate way too much. Including splitting a Cinnamon Toast Crunch pizookie with Jameson. But sometimes you need a day like that, amirite?

Well, remind me of this post if I start whining about being/feeling fat. Started off the week all proud for being healthy and halfway through I'm wolfing down various stuff. Lol!

I slept poorly that night because all I could think about was Kayle and how she was doing and how much pain she might be in, and whether everything was going all right. I can only imagine how the rest of my family felt...they spent the night in the hospital waiting room and certainly got less sleep than I did.

I woke before my alarm and grabbed my phone. No updates...but partway through breakfast there it was!! Kate sent me a text...I had a new baby niece!! WOW!!!!

There were few details for the rest of the day, but I walked around in a fantastic mood and told anyone who asked (or even if they didn't ask) that I was an aunt, and my sister had just had a baby! I'm not even there, but it's such an amazing thing. I'm the oldest of four siblings, three of whom I was there to see through infancy. So even though I'm not there, I recognize the same warm feeling inside, of a new life whose soul fits with yours like a little puzzle piece.

Gosh. I can't wait to meet her.

(yes, her. I completely thought it was going to be a boy. Good thing I didn't bet money :P)

Anyway, it was a good day mostly because of my sister's awesomeness in bringing a human into the world. In addition I got some really great feedback at work. I just...after the way the past year has gone, it's just nice to get an impression of value from an employer. I hope it lasts. After work I spent some time just flipping through all of the baby pictures sent to my phone and curbing the urge to call everyone (they'd been up for like 24 hours remember!). Then I went to the gym and came home to eat dinner with Jameson. He had a surprise for me...check it out!!

It's a handmade decal made by one of his friends. Clearly, each elephant represents each of Ringling's touring units...Red, Blue, and Gold. Red is the largest and in front because, ya know, that's my unit :) and Gold is little and in the back because it was the baby tour! Awww. I love it! I'm going to have a heck of a time deciding where to stick it!!

On Friday I had a good day at work. Two weeks of training complete! Two more to go! After work I had an interview with a job related to my Thing I'm Maybe Doing, it went well but that's what I thought about the last one too and it was a flop, so we'll see. Then I drove home, Jameson was at a gig so I got a shower, had dinner, took care of some errands, and put some thawed chicken boobs in the sous vide so we'll have them to eat this weekend. Exciting stuff. Geez, everything is boring now that there's this baby haha! How far away is June again?? :)

So it was a pretty good week. Tomorrow I think Jameson and I will go see the movie "Us", and then his friend has a gig at Rock n' Brews so we'll be there at night. Should be a good time.

And now...baby pics...deal with it!!!!!!!!!

I love, LOVE this look on my sister's face. <3

Family pic (sans me). Everyone must be exhausted, but look how happy!!

Amazing to see my Dad holding his granddaughter.
(Fun Fact: he wants to be referred to as "G-Pop. Like a gangster". LOL!!!)

This baby is less than 24 hours old and it has better hair than I will ever have in my lifetime! Hahaha

Sous Vide Magic

On Saturday I drove the nine hours back to Orlando.
I like driving, usually. It's relaxing. It makes me feel like I'm between spaces, with no pressure and no deadlines and no expectations. Sometimes that feels really nice.

I got home in the evening and unpacked, and got caught up with Jameson before he left for his evening gig. He didn't return until late at night, and we both went right to bed.

On Sunday I got up "early" and spent some time catching up on job applications while eating breakfast. Eventually Jameson joined me, and after lunch I went to the gym while he got caught up on Kingdom Hearts. When I was finished, we decided to check out Lucky's Market, a new grocery only a few minutes from the apartment.

Dude. I am SO EXCITED for this grocery! It's like a miniature Whole Foods! The nearest Whole Foods is about 20 minutes away through horrible traffic, and it's always packed. The nearest Trader Joe's is even further away. This place has a bulk section, an excellent meat selection, a cafe, a sushi/ramen bar, AND they prepare and cure a lot of their meat products in-house!!

My sister Kate recently got me a sous vide cooker for my birthday, and we wanted to try it out! Jameson got us some beautiful salmon filets and some asparagus. The salmon was pre-seasoned; we sealed it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the water to cook!


While that was cooking he roasted some asparagus, and I got to work on some basmati rice. Oh my goodness. This was by far the best salmon either of us has ever cooked! The beauty of sous vide is that it cooks the meat perfectly and evenly every time. Even if you forget about your meat, it maintains a stable temperature so that nothing will be ruined. You can cook food for DAYS in there. Anyway, it was amazing and we're excited to cook some chicken with it tomorrow!!

After our wonderful meal I did a load of laundry and packed a lunch for my first day at work training tomorrow. I'm a bit nervous, but I'm always nervous haha.

I got up early, had a nice breakfast, and went to work. Most of the day was spent filling out employment paperwork and getting set up to clock in and such. We also spent significant time going over the company's nondisclosure/discretion/privacy policies, because this place is run by the FCC and hey, privacy is part of the job. We then learned how to use the Dragon dictation software that will be the main focus of our work each day. It took a little getting used to...much like the dictation program on your phone, the software often misinterprets what you say if you let your words run together or mumble. But after a bit of practice I felt like I was getting the hang of it. I'm looking forward to trying again tomorrow.

Back at home Jameson prepared us a lovely sous vide chicken dinner! The breasts were unusually thick, and while they were cooked through the texture of mine was a little too juicy for the psychological part of me that associates it with raw chicken. Still, the flavor was very good. I think with normal-thickness chicken it would have been great!

My second day at work was pretty good, there was a lot to learn. This job requires a lot of coordination and careful listening, so it takes some practice. There seem to be a lot of good people in our group, and our trainers are really good too. When my day was done I was supposed to go to the gym, but decided to pass because I ended up with a surprise job interview. In case you're wondering, I'm continuing to look for jobs that are related to That Thing I'm Working On And Not Telling Anyone About. The interview went well, and I'll be back on Thursday to do a little shadowing to see if I'd fit in. Of course, this creates a little problem because I've just started this job with CapTel...sigh. Hopefully it will all work out somehow, because I actually need both CapTel and this other job.

On Wednesday I had training again and learned more stuff. I did go to the gym this time, but cut it short because there was a fight outside that cut into my time and also I was just in no mood. I picked up dinner for Jameson and came home to try and pull some parts of my life together and get a little relaxation before bedtime. Jameson is sick right now, with aches and a cough. I feel bad for him. Luckily he's got a slow week this week so he can rest up a bit.

On Thursday I had work, then drove straight to the place for job shadowing. It was...interesting. I'm not sure I'd be a good fit there. But it's just as well, I don't need to complicate things at this point and there's still time to make decisions. ANYWAY, after that I came home and had some chill.

On Friday my first week of training at CapTel was complete, yay! I think it's going well, but I refuse to have any positive thoughts until A) training is over, because they could still decide not to hire me at any time, and B) my 60 day trial period is over, because of what happened with Full Sail, which I will never make the mistake of forgetting again. So as far as I'm concerned I only have a job for three months, and then we'll see. I wish I could be more positive, but these are the reasons why I can't.

After work I went to the gym and put in a real workout this time, then went to Lucky's Market to try some of their prepared foods. I ended up getting misc stuff from the hot bar...it was all decent, but nothing to write home about. Next time I want to try the pizza, it looked pretty good! I came home and got cleaned up...Jameson wasn't home tonight, he had a gig way out in Port Charlotte, so I had the apartment to myself. I did a little cleaning, reading, and other quiet activities like I like to do. It was nice.

Today I woke up late, had breakfast and got to work finishing my Flat Stanley activities. I took Stanley out to feed the ducks, and sadly they were not hungry, but I still got a few half-decent photos. Then I went to a craft store to find a little glass corked bottle to hold Stanley's Florida beach sand. Being in a creative mood, I also picked up a little compass charm and some cute labels. When I was a kid I loved stuff like this...hopefully he'll like it too.

Around then Jameson came home from his gig and splatted on the couch. He's still feeling sick and traffic was crummy. He has another gig tonight and needs to rest. I'm going to rest too, and just enjoy the fact that I have a weekend off!


Visiting my Aunt

Man, Daylight Savings is a bummer, isn't it?

I thought I'd be cool and ignore it this Sunday. Turns out that's a bad idea because you end up waking up at 11am and eating breakfast at noon and lunch at like 3. Whatever, it's a dumb change.

Anyway, Jameson spent Sunday getting settled back in, unpacking and doing laundry and catching up on work and all the stuff you do after time away. He told me about his adventures in Arizona. I was happy to see some photos of the band guys "together"...Jameson and Tim together in Arizona, and Brett and Tom together in the DC area :) I miss this band.

I had a nice "brunch", then went to the gym while Jameson got a haircut. I'm trying to get into a fitness routine, because my new job is going to involve a lot of time on my a$$ in a cubicle. Every other day seems to be working well for me right now. I always do 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then choose between leg/arm/core day. We'll see how long this lasts. I'm also trying to eat as healthy as possible. I've always been good at tracking my calories, and now I'm trying to really lock that down and establish good eating habits so that when I get busy I'll still stick to my macros.

After "lupper" I enjoyed some of the tea that my sister Raven got me for Christmas. It's REALLY good, but of a higher quality that I can afford. I'll definitely have to wishlist it! For dinner Jameson and I went to SusHI and got bowls with brown rice, various fish, and lots of tasty toppings :)

On Monday Jameson had a lot to do, and I needed to reset myself for Daylight Savings, so we both got up at 9 and got to work. He spent the morning grading and taking student calls and questions. I continued my job hunt (does it ever really end?) and was surprised to get a phone interview from a place I'd applied to weeks ago. It's always so awkward when you've already accepted a job but you don't want to discount taking on a second...especially when it relates to something you actually want to do...I did my best to be honest, but I'm not sure if they'll want someone with a weird schedule like I've currently got.

On Tuesday I drove nine hours to North Carolina to visit with my Aunt and Uncle. It's been way too long since I've seen them, WAY too long. We had a nice dinner together before I crashed in their guest room.

On Wednesday my Aunt took me for an amazing Greek lunch at Taverna Agora in Raleigh. The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor seating area, which we enjoyed while sipping sangria and eating delicous traditional Greek appetizers. We both had salmon for our main meals, hers with toasted baklava crumbles, mine on a bed of gigantes.

After that we walked off our meal at a local farmers market! I saw a ton of stuff I'd like to get...typical...and I did pick up a few little things. For Jameson, some honey with comb included. For me (and possibly him, if he wants it), some flavored honey sticks, pear butter, and farm eggs. There was some awesome-looking produce, especially beets and sweet potatoes, but not knowing how much time I'll have to cook next week I decided to hold off.

Later in the evening we played a few games with Uncle Andy. I lost the first game, it was sort of like dominoes where you match colors or shapes in rows of six. I won the second game, which was kind of like Rummy and more familiar to me :) We had a great time together!

The next day Aunt Chris and I went to a yoga class! She's been taking yoga more often lately and offered to bring me along. I was nervous because the last yoga class I'd been to had been pretty involved and pretty fast for me. But I was happy to be with my Aunt, and it turned out to be a lot of fun! I felt refreshed afterward, even if only for a little while! We ate a light dinner together and went to sleep excited for Friday!

Why were we excited? Food of course!
We had an amazing breakfast at La Farm Bakery. I think it's a local place...they bake their own bread and sell a variety of pastries, coffees, food/drink mixes, and granolas. My Aunt had a goat cheese salad, and I enjoyed a half-sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheddar, and fresh bread. Afterward she gifted me a La Farm gift card and stood by while I lost my mind choosing between all of the goodies. She spoils me!! I ended up choosing the weirdest bread I could find (turmeric raisin buckwheat), two massive chocolate almond meringue cookies, and two hand pies made with an heirloom rye, stuffed with hazelnut chocolate spread and strawberries. Good grief! Who is going to eat all this!!

Oh but that wasn't all. In the afternoon we were scheduled for High Tea at Duke University's Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club! Fancy!

I've never been to a real "high tea" before. We went with several of Aunt Chris's friends whom I'd met before, and all got caught up with each other as the tea and delicacies were served.

Everything was delicious! My favorite was that little pie-looking thing on the bottom tier with a flower petal on top. It was a lemon meringue, but possibly the silkiest meringue I've ever had. And I think there might have been a little flower water in it as well, because I tasted something floral (besides the petal haha). It was beautiful and tasty! The tea wasn't bad either!

We had a wonderful time. And I ate too much. But full disclosure, on Thursday we had fasted and only ate 500-600 calories. So, I think it evened out :P

Later that night we had a quick meal with my Uncle, then spent the evening relaxing.

Tomorrow I have to get up a little early to start my trek back to Florida. I'll have Sunday to get my life together before beginning my job training on Monday.

This week was full of food, and indulgence, and getting spoiled. It was also full of conversations, and catching up, and sharing love and stories and emotions and perspectives. I love spending time with my Aunt...not because she spoils me, or because of the fancy food. She grew up in a rough neighborhood under rough circumstances. I lived with her for two years way back after graduating college. And I think we share a connection that goes beyond just Aunt/Niece. She's like a second mother to me, and the one person I know I can always talk to, no matter what. Even though I don't spend time with her nearly enough. Which I always hope to change.

Anyway. I had a wonderful visit, and I hope my Aunt and Uncle did too. I'm grateful that I was able to visit my parents, siblings, and Aunt and Uncle before my life becomes potentially crazy again. I'm looking forward to visiting Kayle in California after she has her first baby. And I'm hopeful to start a new chapter in my life sometime soon.

See you all back in Florida.

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May 2019


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