They sent us a date and time for a personnel Zoom meeting.
They informed us that we'll get a lot of info from an internal website, which will contain contact info, travel info, updates, etc.
Very much looking forward to that, so I don't have to pester people with questions.
And we've started booking our flights into Buffalo, and have been given the hotel info.
It looks like our hotel will be easy walking distance to the theatre, which is excellent.
In general, I think that most parts of this type of touring will be straightforward.
The things that concern me the most are laundry, transportation details/transporting our luggage details, and what taxes will be like at the end of the tour. But at some point I'll find the answers to all of those things.
I'm still kind of suprised that this is happening. What with covid, and my own withdrawal from the arts during covid, it hasn't seemed real. Ever since receiving the email inviting me to be a part of this tour, a part of me has been laughing with disbelief. Like, this is a dream, right? This is some cruel trick my mind is playing on me.
But my flight is booked. And we're having a meeting next week. And I've resigned from my job.
So this is actually happening. Hopefully that sinks all the way in before I actually get there!
Work this week was nothing special, other than I gave my notice and no one was surprised because they've known for a few weeks now.
But it was a relief to finally be able to talk about it without having to worry about being overheard.
On Monday and Wednesday I had steno class, it went fine, but I did find out that I need to complete more briefs exercises in order for more tests to open up. I guess I went about pretty much all of this the wrong way. So now I need to do a bunch of exercises before I can even think about taking any tests. So much for graduating that class on time; now I'm going to be 2 semesters behind. Feels like I'm flushing my money straight down the drain.
Anyway, let's not dwell on my persistent failures.
Wednesday was a lovely day off and I wanted to try my hand at making bagels.
The dough was suuuuper tight! While researching recipes I noticed that many of them recommended not using a stand mixer, as this dough is so tough it can burn out the mixer's motor. No problem there, I had wanted to hand knead it anyway. It was a nice workout!
(I found out later, from professional bread-makers who looked at this picture, that I did not knead the dough enough. This explains some of the issues I encountered later on in the process. Rats! It was so tight, I was sure it was done. But bagel dough is different. Better luck next time.)
I let the dough rise for about an hour, then chopped it into eight pieces.
I rolled the pieces into balls and let them rest for about 30 minutes.
(This was another thing I was advised not to do: don't proof the dough. It takes so long to shape that it's just better to use the shaping as the proof time, then boil the bagels in the order you shaped them. These notes are for Future Me making these bagels again.)
Two of the pieces I kneaded a little with some raisins, cinnamon and sugar. I should have done that step in the initial knead, because in this stage the dough was not having it, it kept spitting the raisins back out onto the counter. Sigh. Live and learn I guess.
Meanwhile I boiled water on the stove with a little sugar and some barley malt syrup.
Barley malt syrup is a lot like molasses, except it's extracted from barley and smells exactly like Grape Nuts.
Apparently barley malt, or malt powder/syrup, is a key ingredient for the flavor and chewy crust of the bagel. Neat!
When the bagels were done resting I poked a hole in the center of each one and twirled them around until the center hole was about 2" wide. This method of shaping may have been a mistake, the finished bagels looked kind of bumpier than I wanted. And the raisin bagels were just ridiculous, they would not hold together at all. Anyway, I boiled them as instructed, and they still look like bagels, so!
I left two plan, then made two sesame, two everything, and the two cinnamon raisin.
Into the oven they went for 25 minutes. Results:
Not bad! Three of the bagels stuck to the sheet, and I had to saw them off. I must not have oiled it enough. Whups.
Other than the bumpy look of them, they seem OK. They're also a little bit less puffy than I'd expect. Maybe they were overproofed. It was a hot day, and I wasn't really paying attention to time as I was doing the shaping and such. Regardless, they should taste fine. Good experiment!
After that and cleaning up, I practiced trombone and ate dinner and then was Wednesday steno class.
Then the AC guy came to have a look at our unit which has been leaking water recently (it was just a clog and fortunately an easy fix), then Jameson had a night swim to cool off while I typed this up and thought about all the things I need to do and don't want to do, lol.
Thursday, woke up nice and late and had a nice breakfast.
Did my breakfast meal prep, and prepped some things for enchiladas for dinner tonight as well.
When lunchtime rolled around I enjoyed an everything bagel, one half with cream cheese and the other with egg whites and herbs/herb butter. Welp, the bagels may not look right but they taste just like bagels!
After lunch I practiced trombone for a good long while. I'm going to visit my aunt next week, which I'm very much looking forward to, but it means four days straight of no practice. So I'm doing a little cramming now.
Then a little break and gathering some things for the thrift store, then it was time to prep dinner already, dang, why are days off over and done so FAST?
Enchiladas are easy to make, I just cooked some chicken and shredded it, toasted some onions and red peppers and garlic in olive oil, wilted some spinach in there, then added the cooked chicken and black beans and corn, some nice smoked canned adobo chiles, and a little red enchilada sauce, stirred it all together and stuffed some whole wheat tortillas with it. Topped them with more sauce and shredded cheddar, into the oven for about 25 minutes, then broiled it for the last 5 minutes to get a little caramelization on that cheese. Topped with sour cream (Greek yogurt for me) and a little avocado, it's an easy tasty dinner.
No pics because despite being tasty, it's pretty ugly :p
After dinner we watched some new cooking show on tv, I forget the name.
I ordered some N95 masks, because I realized suddenly that I still feel very nervous about flying, and equally suddenly that N95 masks are now actually available to the general public. I got a 20-pack, which I hope will last the whole tour if I only use them for situations where I'm in crowds such as the airport or a subway or something.
Then Jameson wanted to practice for RENT, so I practiced steno and had a nice glass of wine while he did that.
It's nice that we can work on our own projects like this. I love hearing his playing while I'm doing steno. It's relaxing.
Tomorrow it's back to work.
I want to stop at Sam Ash and get some Yama-snot (it's a trombone lubrication product that looks like, well, snot) and maybe take some stuff to the thrift store. Otherwise it's looking like a normal week. Next weekend I'll be in NC visiting my Aunt. It'll be awesome to see her and spend time with her, we haven't had that opportunity really since covid started.