April 21st, 2019

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.