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First Week in FL

I woke so early, way too early. Ugh. Dumb car.

I loaded the last of my belongings, dropped my keys in the leasing office drop box, and headed off into the sunrise, haha. My car held up pretty well, though it almost stalled a few times.

At the dealership I explained to the service rep what was going on, and that it was the same problem as last time (ignition coil failure). Fortunately he was the same rep that I'd had last time, and he remembered me. He promised a quick turnaround so I could get to my last day at work.

Within two hours the part was fixed and I was out the door. I fueled up, got some breakfast, and went to work. It was a surreal day. I spent much of it just trying to make sure I'd finished most of my business and wasn't leaving behind any half-assed stuff. Mike (owner) and Greg (real owner) both happened to stop by, a real rarity, so I counted myself lucky to be able to say goodbye to them. It was harder to say goodbye to Kristy and Eric, who have been a lot of fun to work with. I'll miss them! Knowing that I was planning to start driving that night, my boss gave me permission to leave early, and I took him up on it, peacing out around 3pm. I hugged everyone, clocked out...and that was that. Crazy. Even though I've given nearly two months notice, and even though I've been prepping to move for weeks, it still seemed very sudden, and strange to be driving away for the last time. It's been somewhat fun, BAC Music ;) It's been nice, Kansas City. Goodbye.

I drove for about six hours, stopping in a small Illinois town overnight. The next day I drove from 8am to almost 11pm. I only hit traffic twice, once near Nashville and once in Atlanta (of course), but neither was that bad. I lucked out in Atlanta and got through the city right before rush hour hit.

Traffic pattern about an hour after I passed through. Sucks to be y'all...

From then on it felt like a straight shot, though it took SO LONG. But finally I pulled up to Jameson's apartment, where he ran out to greet me. We are together! I was too tired to be truly excited, but still. It felt like a weight lifted.

I was too tired to unpack. We came inside and after talking a bit, pretty much went straight to bed. The next day he helped me to unpack. We went to a nearby mall to look at bed options, then came home so that Jameson could do his work from home and I could begin the tedious process of unpacking. Then we ordered a pizza and watched Food Network. It felt very nice :)

The next day Jameson had to work all day, and he also had a gig at night, so I was on my own. I decided to both unpack and also clean. Jameson's a pretty clean guy, but I'm pretty strict on myself with the way I clean. Plus I thought he might like coming home to a cleaner-than-usual house! So I got to work. I dusted all the furniture, straightened and organized cabinets and closets, put my things away, vacuumed every room, mopped the tile floors, emptied the dishwasher, scrubbed the bathrooms and got groceries. Just when I'd finished a box arrived that I'd shipped to myself, containing even more of my crap. I was pretty tired at that point, but unpacked it and then crashed hard with dinner and a movie. When Jameson came home he was surprised and happy to see the cleaning I'd done, and that made me really happy!

On Friday he worked from home again, so we enjoyed waking up late. In the middle of the day he had a lunch appointment and I had some errands to run, so we went our separate ways for a bit. I picked up a silent brass mute, because so far I haven't found a single lead on where a girl can practice in this dang town. Then I tried to hit the bank to get my pin changed, but it was packed so I came home and had lunch and did some shopping for Jameson's birthday, coming up soon!

Around 6:30 we drove out to a local community center for a very special event: the 50 Years of Funny Ringling Clown College reunion! When we arrived we quickly recognized many of our circus friends in the crowd, and greeted them warmly. As we waited in line for food, we were jumped by various friends happy to see us :) Jason Gibson, who just got a new job in Tampa and only arrived a few days ago. Johnathan Lee Iverson, who lives nearby and is working on several projects including the new and innovative Opera Del Sol. And the clowns of course, who were the stars of the show that evening! After piling into the auditorium, we were treated to an awesome display of comedy and circus skills. It felt very much like a No Talent Talent Show run entirely by clowns. Jameson and I enjoyed every act, from the clown who blew bubbles onto a bald guy's head, to the fire breather, to the classic slapstic from award-winning clowns. All of it was awesome. But most awesome was getting to see members of our circus family again.

Some of us, self included, are still struggling to figure out "what happens next". And that's ok. Talking with people last night, it seemed clear that most of us would ideally like something similar to what we got out of a circus life. And it's equally clear that we're unlikely to find that again. So, the next step may be difficult because whatever-it-is might bear no resemblance to the life that we miss so much. All we can do is keep trying.

On Saturday Jameson went to see Ben Folds with a friend. He had offered to bring me as well, but I had declined, not knowing my availability that far in advance. Instead I stayed home and practiced using the Silent Brass System, which I hate but have to admit it's worth having when you can't find a room for practicing. I was practicing because I was offered the chance to sit in on two rehearsals with the Brass Band of Central Florida. Lucky!

For those who don't know, British-style brass bands have the tenor trombones playing in Bb treble clef. This requires some transposition on the trombonist's part, especially if (like me) they're not used to reading in treble clef. It's been a while since I played this genre, and I needed to refresh my memory! After practicing I just relaxed until Jameson came home from the concert.

On Sunday we slept in and enjoyed a late breakfast. Jameson wanted to get groceries for the week, but he was tired and we ended up just lazing around. He's got a busy week ahead so I think it was necessary for him to chill. Plus it was nice :) In the evening I left for the brass band rehearsal. When I arrived I didn't know anybody and was kind of standing off to the side being shy, when this woman walks in...carrying a trombone case! YAY!!! We hit it off right away. In seventeen years of playing the trombone, I've never been in an ensemble with another woman. So you can see why this was exciting to me! The low brass is still very much male dominated, which I don't have a problem with, but it's nice to run into a chica now and then!

Rehearsal went very well. I was glad to have practiced my treble clef the night before so I didn't totally make a fool of myself. I got to meet several band members, and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. It was really nice! Even though I'm just sitting in on these rehearsals, it's a wonderful chance to play some great music and meet some people. I get to play with them again on Tuesday, and am very much looking forward to it. Afterward I was asked to go out for drinks, but declined. Jameson's birthday is this week, and I have some super secret errands to run, some of which involve getting up early!

I made my way home and excitedly told Jameson about my first playing experience in Orlando. I'm not a member of this group, and again it's just rehearsals. But just being able to participate makes me very happy. It makes me feel more positive about things.

Tomorrow Jameson has work, and I have secret missions. Off to bed!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2017 06:04 am (UTC)
I thought about you when I heard about the circus. I hope that you're doing okay. Do you think you could do something with one of the smaller circus guilds? There are so many in Seattle, but I don't think they travel.
Nov. 15th, 2017 03:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Do you mean Ringling's closing?
What's a "circus guild?" Is that an actual circus, or a fan club?

I'm a musician, and the problem is that the majority of remaining circuses are not willing to pay a full-time band. It's generally cheaper to use a recording, even if it means sacrificing some accuracy in the show. If live musicians are used at all, it's usually keys and drums, because these instruments provide the greatest versatility. Not trombone.

Big Apple Circus does have a live band, but the members have already been established and were chosen even before Ringling closed. Trust me, I tried to get in on that, but there are many other awesome musicians in the world to choose from, lots of whom are local to New York.

I could probably get a job with a circus as floor crew or some other entry level work, but frankly that is some seriously hard labor. I CAN do hard labor and am willing to AS NEEDED, but I don't want to push myself like that where possible. Hope that's not prudish of me but it's the truth.

I loved the circus...I loved RINGLING. But Ringling is gone, and what I enjoyed there is gone. I don't see value in dropping all of my other opportunities to follow other circuses around. I loved the circus but at the end of the day I'm still a musician first. Circus was and always will be a part of my life, but it's not my whole life.

Hope that makes sense. Sorry for the long answer, I got to thinking!
Nov. 13th, 2017 01:03 pm (UTC)
Yay for being together again!
Yay for being in Florida.
Yay for making connections that could lead to a job.

The next time we visit my MiL in Celebration, we'll have to meet up for lunch or dinner or maybe you'll be playing someplace and we can come watch or something.
Nov. 15th, 2017 03:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks yo!

Happy to be here. Super happy that right off the bat I've found a nice group to fill in with. It took two months for anyone to even talk to me in Kansas City.

Sorry I'm an idiot...what's MiL? *embarrassed*

Sounds good! :)
Nov. 15th, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
Oops, sorry MiL = Mother-in-law.
Nov. 16th, 2017 11:47 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! Got it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )