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Chicago Week 2

We got to see some snow on Monday!

(photo courtesy Ryan)

When it gets this cold, it's hard for train crew to keep the water pipes from freezing.
One solution is to fill the water tanks--normally only filled on runs--and keep the hydrant water constantly running through the pipes.
Although this isn't ideal as it can be somewhat wasteful, it's better than having 200-some-odd people without water.

Tuesday's show was...weird. It was one of those Murphy's Law days...a whole lot of close calls. Maybe everybody was in 'rest' mode! Ashley, our Preshow Host, tripped head over heels on a prop on her way off the floor (sorry Ashley, I know you hate me for sharing that :P). She's bruised but ok! Then our 'plant' drummer didn't show for the Band Gag, so Alex pulled an actual audience member down! That was handled well, but after that one of the clown cars came to a dead stop in the middle of Opening, almost causing a train wreck as the two stiltwalkers behind him nearly crashed into the back end. Then one of our high wire guys stepped on his jump rope and nearly lost his footing. Yeek! Tuesday shows, throwing everybody off!!

Small disclaimer, it's pretty rare for those kinds of things to happen. All of our performers are highly skilled professionals. It just so happened that multiple people were subject to Murphy's Law that day :P

We had late split shows on Wednesday. I was surprised at how packed the arena was the day before Thanksgiving! The shows went well. The next day, the Red Unit had the honor of opening the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Chicago!! Ringling has been the opening act for this parade since 2001.
I did not have to attend, but for those who did, you did a FANTASTIC job!
CLICK HERE to see the opening act!

(note: Andre's mike WAS working, but the audio was not included in this clip for whatever reason.)

I would have loved to be home for this holiday, but unfortunately we've got an 8-pack scheduled over the weekend. Jameson and I went to see the second Hunger Games movie. I'm not a huge fan of the books, but the movie was entertaining. I got a caramel/cheese popcorn blend, something you don't see in east coast movie theaters.

After that, we went back to the condo and cooked a mini-Thanksgiving meal of our own :)
Jameson made apple rosemary turkey burgers with cranberry sauce and sweet potato butter, all on a crescent roll bun. He came up with the recipe himself. It was restaurant-worthy!

I made the green beans (woo hoo!)
and these pumpkin pie 'cupcakes' with vanilla vodka infused Cool Whip topping for dessert!

It was nice to be able to relax for the holiday :)

Then we had the 8-pack. Friday and Saturday went by...pretty normally I think...had my nose to the grindstone and didn't notice anything other than the large crowds and the appearance of Johnny Galecki, aka Leonard from The Big Bang Theory. Supposedly he had to leave halfway through the show because he was mobbed at intermission. Bummer.

On Sunday we had two shows. It felt great to play that last show. Everyone was tired, but I could tell some people were excited to be moving on. We've been in the same train yard for a month! Chicago is a great city, but a change of scenery will be nice. Next week is our last set of shows for 2013. Hooray!!

Photos this week:

From the No Talent Talent Show:
Two of the B-Boys show off their aerial skills.

(photo courtesy Ariel)

Olesya showing how it's done :)

Melissa B was nice enough to record the Christmas trombone choir (thanks Melissa!)
I was unable to embed it, so CLICK HERE to watch.

This week there were vintage circus items for sale backstage again!
I caved and bought a 5-disc vinyl Merle Evans tribute album, signed by the man himself!!

Last week my boss found an elephant hair and gave it to me.
Circus folks believe that elephant hairs are good luck. Even in the circus it's very hard to get one of these hairs, as elephants only have long hairs on the tip of the tail and these don't fall out, nor can they be plucked. But sometimes one will break off, and if you can find it before the floor is cleaned, you're pretty lucky!
Here's the hair next to a Skullcandy earbud cord for scale.

Last but not least, circus people on the Skydeck!

(photos courtesy Chris, Cindy, Theresa)