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Last Days of Summer

I can't believe it's the end of August already.

This week was still not as busy as I expected, but at some point we're just going to get hit with the rental crowd, can't exactly predict when that will be. Most of what's going on at the store right now is to prepare for that. Making sure we have enough instruments to rent, enough accessories in stock, etc.

Somewhere in there (was it Thursday? Friday? Can't remember) my boss decided that we should have a drainage ditch outside the store. When it rains really hard the water pools right at the entrance, and it's really difficult for people to get in and out, plus it creates a huge muddy mess. So he got out the power washer and started hosing away, then Kristy (repair tech) had to dig a trench next to the sidewalk while my boss went to the hardware store for pipes. Meanwhile the hose for the power washer was running directy through the center of the store. There's a bucket under the leaky section.

At the same time, we got a huge shipment of T-shirts that are going to be given out as a freebie to anyone who rents an instrument in-store. While Matt and Kristy were doing construction, I got them sorted, folded, and put away.

At the end of the day we had several customers looking for percussion equipment, which led to the realization that some things were missing for rental season. This led to a slew of frantic orders, cancellations, phone calls, and emails. That trend continued into Saturday thanks to changes in the method books that teachers are using. Hooray retail.

After work on Saturday I went to the local community college to practice trombone. I'm trying to prepare for an audition even though this is a terrible time to do it. But that's life. From past retail experience, I know that there's got to be something to look forward to at the end of the day. A carrot to dangle in front of yourself so that you can put your head down, get through it, and hopefully get out the other side with yourself as a person still intact. I don't have close friends or family here, I don't have money to spend on entertainment or really even time for it if I wanted to. So until I can get to where Jameson is, I can try to enjoy tromboning and whatever down time I'm left with after that. I'm not writing this for a pity party. This is just how things are at the moment and I've got to suck it up, and writing helps me to cope and do that.

After practice I got groceries for the week. I was careful to grab things that could be eaten quickly and without being heated, like Clif bars, jerky, and microwave potatoes (which I can cook in advance and eat cold if necessary). I don't know what rental season will be like here, but I'm remembering what it was like at Music & Arts. 'nuf said.

Then I got home and tried to do as much as I could so that I'd be able to have some time to relax on Sunday. Cleaned and cooked, and I should have done laundry but got very tired and ended up taking a nap. Some people from work went out that night, but I declined, feeling antisocial. Then, hey, it was bedtime.

Sunday, volunteering at the nature center (which sadly it looks like I will not have time to do any more for a while). There was a small storm on Saturday but in some areas there must have been high winds or something, because there was a huge influx of baby squirrels that had been knocked out of trees. And there was only one trained vet on-site. I did some things that I know how to do without supervision (dishes, cleaning the mews) and then helped her to feed some baby birds and squirrels. It was too busy for me to be snapping away with the phone, but I did get a few pictures of random things.

Random snake.

This rabbit is like the nature center mascot. I forget her name, but she is very old.
She hangs around near the food area, eats snacks, and sleeps.

I left an hour early so that I could get home and finish doing my own chores, and have a little time to either work on some side projects I've got going or rest.

There was one update on our beloved car 38 this week, from Brian Collins who is working on the renovations:

"The demolition on the inside of RBB circus car 41406 is done. The long road back has begun. Pictured here is the ceiling treatment we will be doing throughout the car. This picture was taken just outside the door to where bedroom seven was. The lower hallway ceiling is gone as is all walls and even the original ceiling boards. More to come as we progress."

That's it. Another week in paradise.

I'm sorry if I don't sound all chipper and such, but I don't find value in censoring myself other than to spare you readers my moaning (and you can be spared by just not reading). I'm not looking forward to the next month, and I'm feeling very stressed lately about various things, and I miss the people I love. So that's what I write about. Life's not all crystal stairs, for anybody.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2017 08:30 am (UTC)
Cheer up!!!
So sorry to hear that you are down in the dumps. I cannot begin to imagine the emotional roller coaster you've been on since last mid January and I know you miss the circus life deeply. As a fan of the circus, I too mourn the loss of this great American icon but I know your feelings run much deeper since you actually have invested five years of your life in Ringling. I'm certain your sorrow is shared and understood by many whom you'll never know or meet.

I know you are very busy but would you consider a request? I've been searching your archives from the beginning and am starting on the year 2015. What I am looking for is a photo of the outside of the door to your room in car 38 showing the room number. If you have any such photos would you kindly post them at your convenience or email them to me at BHigh@sbgtv.com?

Cheer up!!!

Aug. 26th, 2017 10:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Cheer up!!!
Hi Bill,

Sorry this response is so late, LJ has not been notifying me of messages and I'm not sure why :/ It's possible that I accidentally blocked the notifications or something. Argh.

I don't think I have any such photos, but there is a video somewhere out there, and you could freeze a frame of that and take a screenshot. I'll try to find it.
Aug. 22nd, 2017 08:15 pm (UTC)
Just to let you know, still reading here.

Our local news here in Massachusetts just had a story about flooding in Kansas City. They were showing people on roofs of their homes and dloating on the roof of their cars. Hope everything is okay with you and you are staying safe.
Aug. 26th, 2017 10:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was ok. We had some really bad flooding last week and got something like 7" rain in an hour. I heard that some folks did get flooded out. But for most of KC I don't think it was an issue. Thanks though!!
Aug. 24th, 2017 09:14 pm (UTC)
An explanation
I just wanted to explain my earlier request for any photos you may have of the door to your room on car 38. I was able to contact Mr. Collins of the Cincinnati Dinner Train and asked if he would be willing to sell any of the materials salvaged from the renovation of of your former home and I am happy to report that Brian has agreed to sell me the door to your compartment #7 for a very reasonable amount. The door is currently wrapped in plastic and stored in a barn on my farm. I wanted to see if I could locate any photos of the door prior to the car renovations to document its history as a very small but very real artifact from the Greatest Show on Earth.

I hope that I did not give you any cause for concern. I am a simple 58 year old man living on my farm located about sixty miles east of Cincinnati who happens to love the circus. I am deeply saddened about what has happened to Ringling and what other circuses are going through at the hands of the animal extremists. I am not a nutcase (at least I don't think I am). I've never harmed anything or anybody and about the only thing I terrorize is the occasional six pack. I think it is so cool to actually communicate with a real circus veteran and you have my most profound respect and appreciation. Reading about your experiences in the circus have provided me many hours of joy and I now have a real understanding of the dedication and sacrifice you and other members of your circus family have for your craft. I

I have no immediate plans for the door but am thinking that someday I may have a man cave with a circus theme and this door could be the entry to my fantasy circus world just as it once was the door to your very real circus world. I hope you will approve. However, if at any time you would like to have the door it is yours simply for asking. Mr. Collins is a big logistics kind of guy and I am sure he would be willing to help find an affordable way to have it shipped to you. While I would hate to give up the door, knowing how much it meant to you and that it would be cherished and loved would make it a right thing to do.

I hope this helps to clear up any misunderstanding about my intentions. If you would prefer that I not contact you via this forum then please let me know and that will be that. My email address at work is BHigh@sbgtv.com should you wish to contact me privately.


Bill High

Aug. 26th, 2017 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: An explanation
It's ok Bill, I understand.

I'll bet that door is pretty heavy. Pretty sure it was (or parts of it were) solid steel. Pain in my ass :P Don't think I'll be wanting it but kind of cool that you get to keep it!

I swear I took a video of my train room from the hallway but I'm having trouble finding it. If anything turns up I'll let you know. The other issue is that the hallway on the train was extremely narrow. Any pictures of the door would not have the full door in the image unless it was taken from down the hall; there's no way to stand across from the door and get a picture of the whole door. The best I could probably get is a photo of the number :/
Aug. 27th, 2017 11:51 am (UTC)
Re: An explanation
I appreciate the response as I was afraid that maybe I had creeped you out.

Two things that impressed me about the door was it's immaculate condition compared to other doors from car 38 which had scribbles, grumpy cat stickers and the like on them. Actually, I was somewhat disappointed that your door lacked some sort of personalized markings. The second thing that impressed me is that the door is so narrow. You must be one slender lady to fit through it comfortably!

As I stated, I know you are extremely busy with the daily demands of life so I especially appreciate any help you can lend with the photos of the door. I found the video you referenced from 11/30/14 but it only shows an interior view of the door and not a hallway view. Oh well, I'll take what I can get.

Aug. 28th, 2017 02:39 am (UTC)
Re: An explanation
Tbh every time I put something on my door it was either "against regulations" or someone would peel it off. So I gave up and just kept the door clean.

All of the doors were narrow. They're small rooms.

I think the video I'm thinking of was on my phone and I never uploaded it. It might be in my carrier's cloud storage...or it might have been deleted. If I ever find it I'll let you know, otherwise I don't think I have an existing photo. Even if I did, it's probably just the number with no "background" to give context.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )