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Three days off again! Gosh!

Mostly house chores. Cleaned my room top to bottom, changed my sheets (not easy on a bunked bed!), changed my air filter, did laundry. Wrote answers to some lingering circus questions on Quora, one of which required me to watch Water for Elephants. Near the end of the day I got a notification that one of my answers had been published on slate.com.

(link to full article is HERE)

I'm really happy that my lowly perspective is considered good enough to publish! It's very awesome that people are interested in finding out what circus life is like. I wrote the answer to this question more than a year ago, and hadn't really looked it over since. IMO there were a few things that I should have cleaned up before it was published. Still, I think it's a good start! The next ones will (hopefully) be even better!

Jameson and I went to the grocery in the afternoon. I bought the ingredients for meatloaf and made it for the first time ever, using this recipe and the NuWave infrared oven. The meat shrank an awful lot more than I was expecting, but otherwise I think it turned out very tasty!

Later in the day I borrowed Jameson's car to visit the post office and drop my bike off at nearby Urban Bike Fitters for maintenance. It ticks me off that I haven't ridden my bike at all yet this year, but the brakes aren't working :/ No gouda. The gent who will be repairing my bike, Mr. Pan, seemed really interested in it (it's a vintage Raleigh Folder custom restoration) and asked if he could keep it through Friday. I said sure, why not! May as well spread the love :D

There was an Asian grocery very close to the bike shop. Had to go in. I want all of these ice creams.

Oh look, durian fruits! *keeps walking*

Fruit-flavored jerky. I've seen this multiple times on my travels. Why is this a thing??

Found this strawberry candy, a nostalgic memory for me. There used to be a really great, authentic Chinese restaurant in my hometown, and they'd serve us these candies after our meal was finished. It was one of my favorite places on earth, and it's closed now. Sigh.

I ended up buying a small 3-cup rice cooker, something I've been wanting for a while. It's always hard to decide whether to buy appliances...you've got to make sure there's space for them in your tiny train room, you know? I also got a mini bottle of Choya Umeshu and a "mooncake". Didn't know this when I bought it, but these are a Chinese traditional treat for the Midautumn Festival. When I bit into it, it resembled a fruit cake with nuts and fruit chunks suspended in a sort of paste. There also seemed to be pieces of meat jerky in there, something I was not expecting. The labels on all the cakes said "with yolk", so I figured this just meant they were made with egg yolks. No, THIS is what was meant:

(photo courtesy aliexpress)

There is a salted duck egg yolk in the center of each cake. It was actually really good, a nice contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the cake. I'd eat it again :)

Woke late, enjoyed breakfast, and then it was time to try the rice cooker.
For the first time ever, I've made perfect rice!!!

After that adventure, I spent several hours fixing my blog. Now only three more months need to be fixed. Then since the weather was nice, I walked back to the Asian grocery for more mooncakes to share. I ended up buying a small bag of chestnuts and the fruit jerky, too.

Thursday was opening day. Commuting to the arena takes an hour or more this week, so there are multiple charter buses running and those of us with cars have to remember to leave the train earlier. Cow Palace is a very old building. The ventilation is horrible, the arena and dressing rooms are musty and dated. Still, it's a cool piece of California history.

(photo courtesy Bill D.)

The rehearsal and show went well, although we noted that it was a smallish crowd for an opening day. Maybe the weekend will be better? I brought the fruit jerky in for everyone to try. It tasted...kind of gross :/ Guess I'll never understand why it's a thing.

Thursday was also our 300th show. Wow!! That means we've only got about 100 left to go!!

Friday, I picked up my bike in the afternoon. The brakes are fixed and it rides great. Can't wait to take it for a spin in Salt Lake City! Thank you Mr. Pan! We had one show that night. It went normally...we had some sound issues but nothing noticeable in the house. I shared mooncake and it got better reviews than the jerky. After the show Jameson and I got a hotel near the airport. For one night we figured it was worth the money to avoid the stress of an hour-long commute and enjoy an extra 30 minutes of rest.

Saturday, three shows. We had a wonderful surprise visit from Steve Smith, a well-known clown and circus director. He directed my boss Brett's very first circus show, the 123rd edition. It was awesome meeting him in person!

(photo courtesy Brett)

On Sunday, interestingly, a few protesters decided to buy tickets to see the show. They caused a small commotion during the elephant portion of the preshow, but during the show there were no disruptions thankfully. To be totally honest, I'm glad they came regardless of their intentions. It's always better to experience things yourself and draw your own conclusions.

We still have two shows on Monday, but as always I like to post my blog regularly on Sunday :P
I'm excited for the "weekend", because Jameson has booked us a fantastic 4.5 star hotel!!

Yes, I know. My boyfriend is fantastic. I'm spoiled :D

Other stuff:

This week Mable has learned something new!
Using a special nozzle, she sprays paint over a stencil to create art <3

(photo courtesy Adria C.)

We got a new bus!! It looks much like the old one but is brand spanking new, and features storage compartments and a modern A/C system. Hooray!!!

(photo courtesy Nikki R.)

See you down the road Michael K (sound tech)! Enjoy working for Disney!!