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On Monday I woke early to take Jameson to the airport. He's flying to Florida for a final in-person interview with a company that would hire him as a teacher.

I'm very excited and happy for him! But you know, I also worry. He'll be leaving the circus in a few weeks, and after that...when will I see him again? What if I don't get a job in the same state? What does this mean for us?

It's something we've talked about a lot. Both of us are very practical people, and it's clear that we both put career goals ahead of relationship goals at this point in our lives. And while I'm OK with that, I also don't want to lose an amazing relationship because I end up having to work at a McDonald's in Maine or something. I worry too much, but if there's one thing I'm confident about, it's that both of us will try hard to keep each other.

After dropping Jameson off, I drove to the very high-end Lenox Square shopping center to buy some nice clothes. This mall had a Coach, Bulgari, a Tesla dealership...oh and a cupcake ATM...all indications that I shouldn't be shopping here :P

After finding what I needed I went to Best Buy to recycle my old laptop. It's served me well for six years.
Then I went to Target for groceries and to look at storage options. I have no idea where I'll end up as yet, but don't want to be packing my room at the last minute, so decided on three large bins that would fit in my gauchos (train room storage spaces). I also decided to try some vacuum bags for my sweaters and other clothing.

Once home, I began filling the bins. Most of my belongings will go into cardboard boxes at a later date, but I also wanted some climate-proof options in case things need to be stored long-term. I neglected to take a picture of my disasterous room as I was packing. Just imagine it. Well, here's a picture of when I did a similar thing in 2013. Room explosion!

By the time that was all cleaned up I was surprised to see that it was dinnertime. The day went quickly. I ate dinner and while I was at it, listed a spare trombone slide for sale on Ebay. It's a good slide, I just don't need it what with all of the trombone purchases I've made this past year. Hopefully it will find a good home! I spent the rest of the night alternating between looking for jobs and trying to do something relaxing. I don't think I'll feel relaxed until I'm employed again.

The next day I indulged in waking up a bit later, then did a load of laundry, then drove the 40 minutes to the arena to wash my trombones. When I got there our dressing room was locked, but fortunately a building employee was nearby with a key and allowed me to duck in for a few items. Before I could begin washing there was a phone conference for our severance negotiations, so I took part in that for about 30 minutes. Then rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Unless you've done it before, you seriously have no idea how difficult it is to wash a trombone slide in a tiny bathroom sink. Add that to the list of things I won't miss about touring. I carefully washed the inner stockings and outer slides, then wiped down the bells first with t-shirts and then with microfiber. I re-lubricated the tuning slides, then dried everything off inside and out with a Slide-o-Mix cloth. By the time I was finished it was nearly 4pm. Time to hit the road and beat the rush hour traffic.

On the way home I got a notification that my credit card had been fraudulently charged. This is the third time this has happened in less than a year. When I got back to the train I cut up the card and threw it away. For dinner I cooked a chicken breast and some rice with spinach.

Jameson sent me a text to let me know his interview had gone well. I guess it's ok to say that he'll be working for LA Film School at their Winter Park (or was it Garden?) campus, teaching composition. He's very excited to get started with them, and hopefully he'll be a great fit! For the rest of the evening, I made phone calls to kind of come to terms with my health insurance ending, made an appointment to have my trombones tuned up, looked for jobs, and also had a surprise phone interview that went pretty well. It's for a place in Missouri and it's sort-of retail but sort-of more than that...we'll see what happens. I'm waiting on many things right now.

Wednesday. Gosh, I am not used to having so many dark days! I decided to use this day to really actually try to relax. It was hard. We've found out that the train cars, which to many of us are the only home we have, are being auctioned off. And not even after we leave...now. The auction starts in a few days and runs through June. I hope that some cars will be bought and put to good use. Here's the listing for the car I live on (highlighted in grey). Sad to see.

Around 3:30 I drove to Atlanta International to fetch Jameson. On the way back he told me all about his interview. He's also starting to clean up his apartment for studio work. Very cool. We stopped at Kroger to grab dinner, then went back to the train.

On Thursday we were supposed to go back to Kevin's house (Jameson's brother), but Jameson had come down with a flu over the course of his travels, so we decided to stay at the train. It's been raining these past several days and today was colder but sunny, so I took a walk to a nearby graveyard. I've been here before and wanted to visit one last time. The ground was too wet to sit, so I just walked around and tried to relax and collect my thoughts.

Graveyards are quiet, and peaceful, and a good place to silence your mind and get some perspective. I have so far been unable to visit the graves of my friends and family who have passed away, so often I will visit other graves that probably don't get many visitors, or have been forgotten by time.

I was there for probably an hour, then returned to the train. It was a pretty slow night. After completing a job search online, I decided to spend time on facebook like I often do to see what my friends and family are up to. It occurred to me that most of my posts lately either had to do with circus drama, or had to do with personal matters, and that perhaps rather than trying to change how people perceive my posts, it would be better to take a break from posting altogether. So I swore off facebook for this week (with the exception of Messenger as some correspondence was needed there). So far I'm enjoying it.

On Friday we had a split. After the morning show we decided to stay at the arena, as it would take an hour to get back to the train plus an extra half hour to get back fighting rush hour traffic. Jameson went to a clinic where he was officially diagnosed with the flu and told to stay home from work. HA HA. Another thing I won't miss: having to work when you are so sick you have to puke into a bucket, and being unable to take any time off. That's right, musicians here do not have subs and cannot take days off for illness. If there was anything that truly got to me about this job, it was that. So anyway, Jameson went back to work with the flu. I'm sure we'll all have it soon.

I spent my time practicing my large trombone and playing on the computer before the evening show (which went well). There was also a BBQ at Pie Car for some unknown reason...I'm not complaining! We got to choose between delicious beef, pork, or chicken, with pasta and potato salads, cookies, and soda. Yummy :)

Saturday was a two show day. I was grateful for the opportunity to sleep in. Both shows went well, and afterward I had time to pack a bag for Sunday and prepare my room for the train run.

Sunday, two more shows. Both were sold out. Thus ends our tour of Georgia. Thank you to everyone who came out to see us off! Next we travel to Cincinnati OH, where we'll be for the next two weeks. Cincinnati will be Jameson's last city with us.

Other stuff:

Feld will be selling the Ringling circus trains, car by car. Just think of the possibilities...you could live in one, use it as an AirBnB, or a hostel, or a restaurant! But the catch is, you have to remove the logo. Darn. You can bid on the train cars HERE.

In other news, Cirque du Soleil's "La Nouba" is closing. All of you who like to rumormonger, here's your chance to convince all your friends that you have an inside scoop on the circus industry.

Happy Belated Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar) to our Mongolian circus family!

(photo courtesy Suvderdene S.)

Just a picture of our train in the Atlanta yard.

A cake given to us by the Duluth arena, to say goodbye. It was both pretty and pretty tasty.

Brett found a piece of costume after the National Anthem, and decided to try it on. Pretty!

(Photo courtesy Jameson)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2017 04:25 pm (UTC)
Absolutely the most poignant post I've read--the sad, tough realities of life and the emotional trials of determining to move on. I so feel for you!
Mar. 7th, 2017 12:43 am (UTC)
OOoooooh they're gonna get more poignant that's for sure haha. Stay tuned...

Thank you for your empathy. I'm one of the lucky ones. I have prior work experience, a network of wonderful people to help me, options and opportunities. So many people here have done nothing but circus from the day they were born. For them, the circus closing means losing their home, their job, their families, and everything they've ever known. And with all the other circuses closing these past few years (Big Apple, Cole Bros., Cirque's "La Nouba") the market is saturated and circus jobs are harder to get. I hope these people can find the strength to start from scratch.

Thanks again <3
Mar. 9th, 2017 04:00 am (UTC)

Hey Megan I hope you're just doing alright,idk why but I was flipping through a program and I just of sending you some best wishes. I hope everything goes well for you and Jameson and I know everything is crazy right now but I know it'll work out,you're a hard worker and hardworkers always succeed

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )