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Now that the week's over I can spill the beans!

Jameson flew home to Florida during the break for a surprise visit, to see his Disney band Mulch Sweat & Shears, one last time. Like many live entertainment groups at Disney World, MSS is being canned while the park undergoes a massive expansion/rebuild. It was a bittersweet visit for Jameson, seeing old friends and watching the band he spent six years with as they performed some of their final shows. But he says it was worth it and a wonderful thing to be able to return and see the band off.

(photo courtesy Jameson)

While this was happening, I was keeping busy thanks to Jameson's car :D
I had quite a few errands to run. Monday was spent scanning documents and mailing things to people, eating pizza, and shopping for new work clothes. Near the end of the day I decided to go to the movies solo, something I haven't done since working at a movie theater in the early 2000s! I saw M. Night's The Visit. It was both disturbing and funny, I enjoyed it :)

The next morning I got up early to "audit" a Colorado Symphony rehearsal!

I contacted the symphony's principal trombonist John Sipher, who kindly got the OK from the Personnel Manager for me to watch the rehearsal. I had originally planned to attend a concert, but there were too many schedule conflicts. But to be honest the rehearsal was better in some ways. For one thing, I had the whole auditorium to myself. It felt like a private concert! Also, with rehearsals you don't start at the beginning of the piece (in this case Brahms Symphony No. 4) and play it all the way through. The orchestra will usually rehearse out-of-order, stopping occassionally to clarify the parts or fix mistakes.

This morning Mr. Dragon chose to rehearse the 4th movement first, probably so that the low brass could leave early (they don't play for the first three movements). I got to hear the entire movement once through, then the orchestra went back over it in chunks to fix a few things, so I got to hear the famous brass chorale twice. Yay!!!

After the 4th movement was deemed satisfactory the trombones were dismissed. The rest of the orchestra continued with the other three movements, then took a break. I wanted to say hello and let the musicians know that they sounded wonderful, but didn't want to seem like a weirdo so settled for a quick "Thank you" to Mr. Dragon before scooting out the door. I would have loved to stick around for the horn concerto rehearsal, but there were more errands for me to run.

If you ever have the chance to attend a professional orchestra rehearsal...like, if you know that one is rehearsing somewhere in your town or city...go listen. You'll see and hear firsthand the incredible effort, the relentless attention to detail, and the dedication and focus that result in the perfection of a live concert performance. These people are extremely talented, true, but they also work incredibly hard so that they can perform as perfectly as possible every time. I'm very grateful to have been able to listen to this group of amazing musicians today. Thank you Colorado Symphony!

I found a quick lunch and got a much-needed haircut, then hit a thrift store to find a microwave plate (the band microwave fell out of the road case last week and the plate broke). No luck, but I did find some pajama pants! Then it was back to the train to do some laundry and send some emails before heading out to fetch Jameson from the airport.

Wednesday was thankfully another dark day. I got to sleep in, but circus crew and staff had to attend a safety meeting. Don't look too excited guys!

(photo courtesy Claudia)

But this was more than just a sit-and-snore meeting! Activities included forklift maneuvers, something involving a cherry picker, and fire extinguisher relays (CLICK HERE to watch)! I'm almost jealous :P

For lunch Jameson and I went to a place Tim (sax) recommended, called Buckhorn Exchange. The restaurant is a national historic landmark and has been in operation since 1893. Teddy Roosevelt ate here. And it is NOT for vegetarians.

(photos courtesy roadfood.com)

That's right folks, this is a game meat restaurant and Bambi is going to judge you with every bite. But it's pretty delicious food. We both got buffalo meat; Jameson had a buffalo prime rib and I had the buffalo Reuben. Mmmmmm. No photos because the place was way too dim for that.

After our delicious meal we got back to the train and chilled. Jameson was very excited for the Cubs/Pirates game. I was excited to do some nothing :P

On opening day we had the performer's safety meeting, which consisted of a video and a lesson on how to use the new rigging for the aerialists. It didn't take long, so we found ourselves with a few hours to kill before the show. I read a book. The show went well.

Friday was a split, the first "real" split we've had in a while. The kids were really energetic during the first show! During the break Jameson and I got pizza and returned to the train for a rest. There is an old passenger train sitting next to us in this yard, so I decided to take some pictures.

There was one car that had stairs leading onto a small vestibule. I climbed up there and tried to see inside, but the window was too dirty. By pressing my phone up against the window, I was able to see that it was some sort of shop area. Neat!

Back at the arena I received my third and final Japan Crate from Jameson! I forgot to take a picture before we dove in, but highlights included a vintage orange drink with roots in California, some extremely tasty rum raisin candy, and the freaky Umaibo cow tongue-flavored stick. I've loved all of these weird and delicious treats! Thank you sweetheart <3

The second Friday show went well. Upon returning to the train I noticed that Rebecca (wardrobe) was hanging up some Halloween decorations. She let me help! Our car is now creepy :D

Funny story, as we were hanging the webs we remembered how Slick, our deceased trumpet friend and longtime circus musician, had been terrified of spiders. As an affectionate joke, I "asked" Slick where we could find some spiders for our web (Rebecca hadn't found any plastic ones at the store). We both laughed at the memories, and went to bed. The next morning as we began playing the first show of the day, I noticed something moving on my music stand. It was a small white spider.

Very funny, Slick ;)

The rest of Saturday was uneventful, except that my boss Brett gave me a large stuffed Chik-fil-A cow that he'd weasled from LaRena (clown). She'd gotten it from a recent PR event. It's pretty squishy and cute. Thanks Brettastic!

For Jameson, it was a difficult day because while we were doing our second show, his band Mulch, Sweat & Shears was performing its very last show. Using the Periscope app, he was able to "be there" for a little while and interact with his Disney friends and fans of the band. It was an amazing and bittersweet moment as the band, which has been performing for eleven(!) years, played its final show and left the park. Best wishes to all involved in this wonderful production.
Rock on :)

Sunday's shows were good too.
The weather was pretty warm, so unfortunately the arena got very hot and stuffy again. It was very uncomfortable for performers and audience members alike. I'll be glad to move on to an arena with climate control! But on the bright side, a circus fan from Gigi's Cupcakes brought a huge batch of cupcakes for everyone! How generous! The unexpected treat definitely improved our day.

(photo courtesy Claudia)

We have one more evening show tomorrow, for Columbus Day. After that it's off to St. Louis!!

Other stuff:

It's been all over the news this week, but in case you haven't seen it, there's evidence that elephants are highly resistant to cancer. Because of this, Feld Entertainment and the Center for Elephant Conservation have been asked to participate in a study to discover how elephants protect themselves from cancer and how it might benefit humans. Perhaps what they learn will be able to help those suffering with this horrible disease. CLICK HERE for the Times article, or watch the CEC video below to learn about the study.

Reporters from Fox 31 Denver came out to tour the animal compound and discuss this breakthrough elephant cancer research announcement. CLICK HERE to watch!

This week our train is "cut" into many parts and the vestibules of each cut are lined up so that we don't have to zigzag between the cars. The result is a sort of tunnel effect. I took a picture because I thought it was cool.

Nikki captured this bright and beautiful sunset on Sunday evening.

I was published via Quora again! This time it was an answer having nothing to do with the circus. (CLICK HERE to read).


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
Dude! I loooooved Mulch, Sweat and Tears. I was last at DHS three years ago and I wonder if I saw Jameson during our day we spent. I have pictures of them, even. Fun! It sucks that Disney is getting rid of some of their best entertainment. I was pissed when I heard they canned the lady that did the candy art in Japan at Epcot. And a lot of the bands in the World Showcase got the axe, too.
Oct. 12th, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC)
Cool! I don't think Jameson was with MSS three years ago, but it's still great that you got to see them!

Yeah, Disney is canning a lot of live entertainment right now. However it's likely that they'll create some new bands to fit the new theme(s) of their park.
Oct. 13th, 2015 04:39 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh, the Buckhorn place! That is intense. Reminds me of Cabella's, an outdoors store.
Oct. 15th, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
Haha yeah, I've only been in a Cabella's once and...intense is the right word heehee
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )