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Monday was a day of rest. For dinner Jameson and I got dolled up and went out for sushi at Azuma in downtown Houston! We first decided to start dating over a sushi lunch three years ago, so figured this was an appropriate way to celebrate! We both managed to order the same rolls...you know, the lovebird connection and all :P Here we have the "Peppercorn Kings" (peppered salmon and tuna, cucumber, Old Bay) and the "Sunshine" (salmon, avocado, asparagus, mango, and marbled kombu paper):

After our meal we went to see Lights Out. Jameson is a big fan of scary movies! I'm ambivalent toward them :P This one was enjoyable, several cool moments, but not enough to give me nightmares! We had a lot of fun and enjoyed each other's company, and that's what it's all about :)

On Tuesday we went to the gym, then relaxed back at the train. Partway through the day train crew made an announcement that the water would be shut off momentarily. I thought nothing of it until about an hour later, when I saw Josh (trainmaster) and Nikki's (train crew) photos. Our water had been knocked loose by a large tree branch floating down the rain-swollen stream next to our train. Train crew dove right in!!

(photo courtesy Nikki R.)

(photo courtesy Josh R.)

(photos courtesy Nikki R.)

Soon enough the water was restored. Thank you train crew!!

Meanwhile, at the arena, something special was taking place. A wedding! But not just any wedding. A wedding on the HIGH WIRE!!!

(photos credits L/R T/B: Mustafa, Chron.com, Victor L., and Mustafa)

The ceremony was made into a PR event. Our Ringmaster got ordained so that he could perform the service. Many circus folks participated in the ceremony, including dancers, aerialists, acrobats, clowns, and even some dogs, camels, and horses! Mustafa and Anna both seemed to have a great time getting hitched. I can't believe they got married 40ft in the air!! So cool!!
Please CLICK HERE to watch a short video of the ceremony.

Congratulations to the lovely couple!

(photo courtesy David S.)

Wednesday was the start of our last week of shows in Houston. Jameson and I hit the gym in the morning, then relaxed at the train until showtime.

Thursday was a split day, so we started off with a morning show. Lots of energetic kids in the stands! The show was delayed by about five minutes so the buses could have more time to unload.

There was a pretty strong thunderstorm rolling through during the second act. When the show was over, Jameson went back to the train while I stuck around to run some errands. First I took my bridesmaid dress to Rebecca (wardrobe). She's hemming it for me so it'll be ready for my sister's wedding in the fall! Then I went to Verizon because it was time to upgrade my phone. Exciting stuff! Then I went to Fiesta to explore all the international foods that grocery has to offer. I picked up some guava (which I've never had raw. You can even eat the peel!), and some honey, and a few other interesting items, then took everything back to the arena and settled down to play with my new phone.

While I was fiddling around, I overheard a short conversation from some teachers in the nursery next door, one of whom said, "Tonight's show is cancelled". I immediately dismissed it...she must be talking about something else. OUR show wasn't cancelled.

Within seconds I got a text from Jameson. "Hey. Have you heard anything about tonight's show being cancelled?"

And then my phone was flooded with texts as the news reached more and more circus folks.

Our show was cancelled, just a few hours before start time, because the air conditioning had broken.
It's extremely rare for a Ringling circus show to be cancelled. When it happens, it's almost always due to an act of nature. This might be the first time it's been cancelled due to arena climate control issues. Well...there's a first time for everything!

After checking and rechecking the news to make sure I wasn't dreaming, I went back to the bandstand to put my instrument away. The first thing I noticed was some giant fans sitting in the middle of the floor. These were for the animals, who are living inside the arena. The fans will circulate air and keep the animals and their crew comfortable.

The air conditioning was fixed sometime during the night, so we all got up early for the first show the next morning. During that split, Jameson went out to lunch while I returned to the train for a nap.

Saturday was the typical three shows. Crowds were good but not great. As per my recent habit, between shows I walked through the animal area to see what everyone was up to. I hope you guys aren't getting bored of seeing animal photos and videos. Perhaps I'm trying to make up for time I didn't spend with the elephants. In any case, I feel it's good to give a little glimpse into the everyday lives of circus animals.

This camel is taking a nap. They seem able to sleep sitting up as well, or lying on their sides. I find it a little funny that they can't sleep on their backs! By the way, today was Moose's sixth birthday! Happy Birthday Moose! (there is video of Moose in last week's post.)

These two were spooning for several hours. How cute! Some of the tigers are in heat currently, and behave in a similar manner to house cats in heat. Blech!

Tiger playing with a ball after being rejected by his would-be lover :P

On his way to the snake section of the open house, Jonathan (reptile specialist) let his Australian carpet pythons roam around a bit on the arena's gigantic floor. Here's Charlie being dazzling!

And here is Diva making a figure-8!

I tend not to spend much time with the horses. I mean they're not as exotic as tigers and camels, right? But Ringling's horses are beautiful animals and deserve some attention too! Here is Colonel, a black Fresian stallion. His handler, Mr. Piecha, has worked with him for a long time. In this video you can see Colonel extending his lips to try and grab Mr. Piecha's hand during grooming. Colonel really enjoyed being brushed under the chin! I also found out that he likes it when his handler plays with his tongue! Silly horse!

On my way back to the dressing room, a tiger handler waved me over and handed me this: a tiger whisker! He says that once they've been shed they usually break apart pretty easily, so it's rare to find one intact. Fascinating! Thank you so much! (You know who you are! ;) )

Sunday was a normal two-show day, except Dean (clown) got to be the Ringmaster for the second show! Dean is the substitute ringmaster for whenever David Shipman is unable to perform. Great job as always Dean!

(photo courtesy Dean K.)

After the second show, Jameson and I checked into a hotel and went to Planet Fitness for one of our weekly workouts. Tomorrow we travel to Dallas, where we'll stay for two weeks of shows!

Other stuff:

Some candid shots of Anna getting ready for her big day!

(photos courtesy Anna D.)

Father Cancro delivering Mass between shows on Saturday. Thank you for your work, and for providing circus folks the opportunity to worship.
(photo courtesy Francis C.)

Trainbow! Photo taken by the talented Nikki (train crew).

An American flag hanging from the Ringling circus train's shop car.
(photo courtesy Nikki R.)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2016 03:43 am (UTC)
That sushi looks absolutely mouth-watering.
Aug. 2nd, 2016 03:44 am (UTC)
love that last pic
Aug. 2nd, 2016 10:31 pm (UTC)
Cool because I almost didn't include it lol. Now I'm glad I did :)
Aug. 2nd, 2016 10:32 pm (UTC)
It was pretty darned good. That one roll had asparagus and mango, and I was wondering how that would go. Pretty well surprisingly!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )