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Skipped a Week

There hasn't been time to write.

We were supposed to move in this Monday, the 22nd.

We spent the previous week packing, cleaning, preparing. We transferred utilities to the new house. I forwarded my mail. Jameson's mom flew down from Chicago to help us pack and clean. We took furniture apart, threw stuff out, packed everything in boxes.

And waited.
And waited.

And we are still waiting.

The buyer wanted to move in on Monday, the 22nd. Her choice, her insistence. And yet none of her finances were ready. She didn't even do a walk-through until the weekend. And now we are all waiting on the underwriters, whatever that means.

We have been in a hotel for the week. Jameson's dad generously got us a week's stay in a hotel near the house, figuring we'd be moving in at some point this week.


You can imagine the frustration, and stress, and anger that is building for Jameson and I every single day.
I guess things like this are common, but when you think about it, and when you're in the situation we're in, it's incredibly disgusting and disheartening that banks and lenders and realtors and lawyers, all of whom are supposed to be profiting from your purchase of a home, could care less if you end up spending your deposit on hotels and fast food and cancelled utilities because THEY don't have their shit together. I just don't understand it at all.

Anyway, I could rant for days but the bottom line is that we haven't moved in and are not sure if we will be able to. Jameson has cancelled the moving service and lost his deposit on that, and also had to cancel the utilities. I cancelled the washer and dryer I'd bought for us, and also had to redirect my mail again. We may extend the hotel for a day or two so Jameson can do his teaching work, but we're going to have to go back to the apartment for clothes and to do laundry and probably to live out of boxes until SOMETHING happens. It would just be nice to know at this point what the hell we are doing.

I have never seen Jameson so stressed and it hurts my heart because there's nothing I can do. This situation just has to resolve, and I can't make it. And until it does we are both going to be stressed and losing sleep and money. That said, I am grateful to be here with Jameson during an extremely rough week in his life. I want to at least be there to talk to or to decompress with, or anything that I can do even if it's just being in the same room. I want him to know he's not alone, that if nothing else works out at least I'm going to have his back.

Anyway, poor Jameson's mom flew all this way to help us move and now finds herself stuck in the hotel with us, often alone for the entire day because we both have to work. We have been able to do a few things together, like go see Jameson's show at Epcot and eat some really fantastic food at se7enbites and then Sette (same owner, different food). I hope she's had some fun while she's here, but it's still very disappointing that she didn't get to help us like she wanted. She did buy us a whole lot of house stuff though, which will be awesome to have if we ever get into this hoooooouse arrrrgh

se7enbites Benedict: buttermilk garlic biscuit, over medium egg, crispy green tomato, applewood smoked bacon, topped with peppercorn dill hollandaise.

arancini from SETTE - risotto, gorgonzola, fig, pancetta crumble, pesto cream sauce.

A warm brownie sundae from Ghirardelli at Disney Springs. For lunch. Because I'm an adult.

Jameson being an awesome alien in the Awesome Mix Live show at Epcot.

The Epcot ball or whatever.

A big beautiful swallowtail butterfly we saw in the gardens at Epcot.

So that's what's up this week. I am working, Jameson is working, and trying not to lose our minds and just start screaming about everything. I know I've got lovely food pics and we get to stay in a lovely hotel, but you know what, even the things that that we get to enjoy "for free" are costing Jameson's parents, and us as well. If we are going to lose the money anyway we may as well treat Jameson's mom while she's here, and enjoy the hotel that's being gifted to us. You may be thinking how entitled we are that we aren't sleeping on the floor eating McDonald's every night. Well, that's next...only the generosity of family has given us the luxuries we've experienced this week. Also please remember that Jameson's apartment is on OBT (if you don't know what that is check out this playlist) and he has been living there for almost fifteen years, not to mention living in industrial train yards across America during our time with the circus. We know what it's like to be without power and water and climate control. We know what it's like to have no groceries, and to have your entire life grind to a halt because of the incompetence of others. So before you judge just know...that we know. We know we're lucky. We appreciate what we have. Which is why I take pictures and write these posts. Because I know.

I wanted to share something.
Remember a while back, I had mentioned that I was working on a "project" or "super secret thingee" that I didn't want to talk about in case it didn't work out? Well it didn't work out. So let me tell you about it.

I was trying to go back to school to become a vet tech.
Many people have told me that I'm good with animals, and it's only a two year program. Music seems to be grinding to a halt for me, so I wanted to look into other options that might be as fulfilling for me.

While working on the cruise ship, I used every opportunity in port to prepare my application for vet tech school. I sent in the application, and did counselling sessions, and saved my money, and applied for student aid. I missed out on many opportunities to enjoy the ports and leisure time so that I could prepare to go to school when I got back home.

One of the requirements for the vet tech program was spending 40 hours observing in a veterinary office. I was able to arrange for observations with Exotic Animal Hospital of Orlando. Everyone there was wonderful, and I learned a lot and got to see lots of different procedures including bearded dragon surgeries, hedgehog anesthetization, and guinea pig ultrasounds. I also saw animals die due to owner negligence, and personally held the gas mask over the face of a small mouse to put her to sleep.

After this observation period, my application was complete. Almost.
I still needed a veterinary facility to agree to be my mentor, because I was participating in the online program.
I needed somewhere to observe procedures and practice myself.

I applied to 23 different facilities, some of which (like Banfield) were chains with multiple locations.
Not a single one would agree to mentor me.
When I asked the school for help, I was told that "maybe you need more volunteer hours" before anyone would accept me.

My other obstacle was financial aid, because my aid was calculated based on my 2016 income (when I was in the circus making good money).
I had to formally contest my Estimated Family Contribution, which I tried very hard to do, but unfortunately the due date for my 2018 tax summary was April 10th. You know, right around when I would have JUST filed my taxes. So of course no tax summary was available until weeks after that date. By then my financial aid application had expired.

So, it didn't work out this time. When I was younger, my passion for music outweighed pretty much any obstacle. I didn't care that people put me down, or that I had to work four jobs at a time, or that I had to play for free, because I was passionate about what I was doing. But I am not willing to do that again in a new field, and frankly I wasn't expecting to have to. I didn't think I needed to be a veterinary volunteer since the age of 14 to even be considered for a two year program. I didn't think that in a field where more vet techs are desperately needed, I'd have to fight my way in just to get started. I'm tired of having to "prove myself" every two seconds. Doesn't ANYTHING I've done up until this point count for something?

So I dropped it. That was my big secret plan, and it fell through. Just thought you should know in case you've been wondering.
Maybe someday in the future I'll try again. Or maybe I'll find something else that I can pursue without having to kiss ass or pay an arm and a leg or "prove" that I'm "worthy" or whatever. You know, maybe I just want to work hard and do a damn good job. What's wrong with that?

Alright, rant over.

Packing It Up

We worked as usual, but now the house is a mess as we do a little packing each day.
We still have two weeks, but I feel panicky just looking around...it seems like there's so much to do! But it's probably not as bad as I think. Probably.

This week was an emotional roller coaster for Jameson. Things keep sort-of progressing, and then another issue comes up that needs to be addressed. I suppose this is just part of selling and buying at the same time, but my goodness. I'm looking forward to everything being over so that he can relax.

I had a nice work week, nothing particularly special happened. This is my second week at over 97% accuracy for the whole week, so I'm really happy with that.

On Thursday (the start of my "weekend") I went to the dentist to address some sensitive teeth that are getting worse, and got some medicine for that. Jameson was at work, so I stuck around the house to do some chores and wait for the AC people to come and fix the work they've already done because apparently they're incompetent. I did laundry, got groceries, packed up the kitchen a bit, cleaned the bathrooms.

On Friday Jameson had a lot of work to do with making sure his mortgage company hadn't screwed him over (They misquoted his monthly rate and down payment by around $7,000. Because again, no one seems capable of doing the job they're hired to do.) Once that was taken care of he had some student meetings while I packed up some more of the kitchen. Then we dropped a box of binders off with Jameson's friend, picked up some more stuff at Lowe's, got groceries, grabbed dinner, and came home.

While in the grocery we came across Stranger Things 3-themed ice cream, and with silent agreement, grabbed one of each flavor. Shadow Sherbet, Portal Praline, and MindFlayer Mint. Yeah they're basic flavors. But...it had to be done. Millennial marketing y'all.

Back at home, we ate, watched a little TV, and packed just a bit more.

Saturday was much the same. I worked, Jameson set up water and internet for us at the new place.
When I was done at work I came home with dinner and we ate, watched TV, and packed.
After a while Jameson developed a migraine, so we stopped for the night. I packed my lunch and we had some quiet time.

It's so strange that we are leaving here in less than 10 days.
It feels like there's so much to do.

This Posted Before I was Done Writing It

Another "basic" week hardly worth mentioning.

We both worked, with a lot of added stress about the house for Jameson. He's had to call a plumber, electrician, and HVAC techs to fix a few things for the next owner. And while the holiday weekend is coming up, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't have to call multiple times across multiple days just to get a receipt for work already done. I'm pretty sure you would expect your HVAC guys to show up with the correct equipment to repair your unit (they did not and now the parts are on order). I'm pretty sure when you quote someone $750 for a water heater, you should not then turn around and say it's actually $1300 a day later despite nothing having changed.

I just don't get it. Neither of us do. It's kind of bullsh*t.

Anyway, hopefully after the holiday things will come together. It just adds a lot of stress when you've signed a contract to do specific repairs, you are expected to be out of your apartment in two weeks, and no one is returning your calls to get the work done.

Yeah that's right: we may be moving in just two weeks. I'm not ready!

I mean, I kind of am. 90% of my belongings have been in storage all this time anyway.
The main issue of course will be Jameson's things, but his mom is coming down to help us pack next week and hopefully we can get everything together alright.

Right now I can't even imagine living in an actual house. With a pool. Whaaaaaat.

Work was good for me this week. I got several 100% scores in my evaluations, which made me feel really good. I think it's because my supervisor isn't there; she seems to be more strict than most others with scoring. She's fair imo, I just don't seem to score as high with her as with others.

Thursday being the 4th, and also a day off for both of us, we had a pretty relaxing day. Jameson had course building work to do, but after that we went over to his friend Paul's house to pick up some boxes to start moving. Paul and his wife, two daughters, and dog just moved into an absolutely gorgeous home, with a huge pool, modern kitchen, built-in stereos in every room, and even a movie theater room!! We got the grand tour and were duly jealous! They had a lot of great recommendations for us, from moving in to incorporation technology to make the new house that much more awesome. Thanks you two!

After a quick stop at Lowe's for some tape and other small supplies, we drove back home and brought the boxes inside. We were starving, so I got started on dinner: basic All-American burgers! I made orange honey bacon from Lucky's, then cooked the beef patties in a bit of the leftover bacon grease. This was my first time making burgers, and although I wasn't able to control the done-ness they still turned out very tasty!

We also had watermelon and mini ice cream sandwiches. Because 4th of July. We watched a few episodes of Stranger Things 3, then decided to pack up a few things! Jameson got a lot of his sheet music and books packed. I mostly focused on getting my own stuff together so that it would be in one area of the house and out of the way. Then we wrapped and packed a lot of the framed art. It felt really weird to start this process, and also really good. Jameson felt a little emotional...he's lived here for nearly fifteen years after all. I don't even know what it's like to live somewhere for that long.

Friday we got up and did our usual stuff, Jameson did school stuff while I ate breakfast and goofed off online. A mover came over to assess the condo, but he apparently wasn't listening when Jameson gave his moving dates like a week ago, because he was like, "Oh, I'm not available that day, sorry." Dumbass.

So then Jameson had to call around to a bunch of other movers. Again, I don't understand why no one in this town can return an email, phone call, or do the job they're getting paid to do right the first time so you don't have to email and call for weeks on end. It Is SO AGGRIVATING. But he found another mover, so that's good. After that we packed some more. We're making pretty good progress there.

That night we went out to Rock n' Brews to see some of Jameson's friends play, and since Rock n' Brews is now in the same neighborhood as our house we went over there to see what it's like at night. Answer: quiet. Amazing. No domestic disputes in the middle of the road. No crackheads sitting on the fence, or random pregnant women wandering around at 11pm with another baby in a stroller. No chopped-off weaves in the middle of the street. Whuuuuut.

Pleased with all that, we went to the restaurant and had a drink and a nice time just hanging out with basically the entire cast of Awesome Mix Live. I feel very out of place when it's all Disney people, but what can ya do. It's nice of them to try and include me even though I can't understand inside jokes, or gripe about work drama, or do anything other than listen. That's ok.

Saturday, I went to work and it was a fairly busy day. I had picked up some extra hours and thus got monitored twice, plus my supervisor wanted me to do my CATS test (it's a company-issued test to make sure you're up to speed and accuracy standards). I did worse than usual because I was tired and it was late by the time we got to it, but still didn't do bad.

That's the week y'all. The next two weeks are going to be super hectic with packing, cleaning...and MOVING.

Day 12,931

I wish there were something interesting to share with you this week, but it was just regular working and such.

I had a nice time at work...I'm getting better at understanding how Dragon interprets things, I think, and for the whole week I had a lower error rate overall. Even though I'm not earning the 100% bonus coupons (exchangeable for CapTel t-shirts and snacks and stuff) I would rather have an overall average of 96-97% than the occasional coupon but an average below 95%. Anyway.

Jameson is really stressed this week and I'm not sure how to alleviate it...I think it's all dependent on this house issue getting resolved. Initially we were supposed to have a pretty fast move, to be out of the apartment and into the new house by July 22. And now we are near the end of June and still don't know for sure that we're moving. So we haven't packed anything, meaning if we do still have to peace out packing will be very rushed. Jameson is being hit with all of these little issues with his apartment, most of which was supposed to be handled by his HOA, and that's what's really holding us up.

The reason we're having to move so soon is because the woman moving in has to be out of her apartment by the end of July. And of course the move date is a day when Jameson has to work for Disney, so that adds a whole 'nother level of stress as he'll have to give his mother power of attorney to sign off on the house that day. Well...no one ever said it would be easy I guess.

Anyway, Thursday rolled around which was a day off for me. I did some house chores and spent a lot of time writing on Quora, something I haven't had time to enjoy recently. Before Jameson came home I fixed myself a drink and made dinner, summer spaghetti with pancetta, tomatoes, zucchini, and balsamic vinegar. We didn't get the closing information for the house that we were expecting because the woman wants another day to decide what to do. Argh. So we had spaghetti and watched Master Chef and ate ice cream. What else can ya do.

Friday Jameson finally had a day off too. "Day off", he still had to do a lot of work for his teaching and normal stuff like grocery shopping and laundry. While he did that I continued writing online, watching The Handmaid's Tale, and trying to catch a lizard that had gotten stuck on our patio and couldn't find his way out (as of this writing, still haven't caught him.) For dinner we had some delicious pizza.

Saturday we both went back to work. Nothing to report.

Half Normal Half Crazy

This week's episode is a bit more than a week long due to how last week went. Hope you don't mind, all two of you.

Friday was a busy day of preparing for life. Laundry, cooking meals for the week, boiling eggs, making iced tea for Jameson, running misc errands, making appointments.

Saturday, work. It was nice to come back and get settled back in, remember how to do everything. I made sure to wear my "Auntiesaurus" shirt :) After work Jameson's apartment was getting inspected, so I took the car for an oil change (had meant to do that yesterday) and ran a few smaller errands. At home, dinner and then trying to work a potential gig into my schedule for September. That's pretty far in the future, but asking for time off at work is complicated and this gig covers the entire month. I'll need to not only request time off but also request additional hours on days when I normally wouldn't be working. Ugh. But if it works out, it could be fun.

When Jameson got home we talked about our day, then he played Kingdom Hearts while I packed lunch and spent a little time relaxing.

Sunday and Monday were kind of more of the same. Jameson is freaking out a little bit about this buying-a-house-while-selling-an-apartment thing, totally understandable, I just wish I could take some of the pressure off him. I've offered to buy some appliances and take a class to learn how to care for the pool, and of course I'll continue cleaning and all the stuff I do to try and help. But I want it to be more.

Maybe soon. Who knows. I keep applying for jobs. The silence is deafening -_-

Tuesday was a good day at work because I truly, finally became a full time employee. My 90-day trial period was over.
(speaking of which, if I had previously made this statement in my blog at the 60-day mark, turns out I was incorrect. whoops.)

I am so, so grateful that CapTel hired me and did not shitcan me the moment my trial ended. All I want is a job. I just want to be helpful, useful, worthwhile. That's it. I know it's a lot to ask, that's why I'm incredibly grateful to keep this job for this long and as long as possible.

It was also a good day at work because I got a good score on my daily evaluation. Yay!

Wednesday was great because it's my Friday :) His apartment got inspected and everything is ok except for "something in the attic", which is the HOA's territory. The house he'd like to move into also got inspected and the AC is broken. Of course! So we are having it evaluated to see what is wrong, how much it will cost to fix, and of course who will be paying for it :P

It was a normal day at work for me, nice and relaxing. After work it was raining pretty hard. I decided to stop at a restaurant that I've passed many times on the commute. It's called Viet-nomz, meaning my Hipster Sense requires me to go in there at least once based solely on the name. Glad I did!! They have some amazing stuff in there, including pho of course! I got a pretty basic pho since it was my first time there, double chicken with veggie broth (the cashier recommended veggie over the other broths).

Before leaving the parking lot I had a good long gawk at the sky, which was swirling and looking incredibly ominous. And then a tornado warning came on the radio. Sooooo I sat in my car and waited to see which way things were going. I have been caught in my car too close to a tornado before (Brooklyn 2010) and did not want a repeat experience. Better to stay put and dive into the grocery or something if I had to.

Thankfully it turned out to be just a fast-moving storm cell, and so I took some footage and went on my way.

Back at home, I assembled my pho. Being part-Japanese I feel like I'm supposed to love ramen more, but pho is just so fresh and aromatic, I love all the herbs and vegetables! Ramen has it's place too, but today was a pho day :)

Thursday was a lovely day off for me. Jameson and I woke up late, and I had breakfast and job hunted while he got a shower and worked on his school stuff. In the afternoon he left for a gig, and I did some chores: washed the sheets, cleaned both bathrooms, vacuumed, helped a friend edit a resume, and got groceries. I meant to cook but didn't get around to it. Instead I enjoyed some Handmaid's Tale, a sushi burrito, and a glass of cheap wine. Yum!

On Friday we woke up a bit early, because Jameson was taking me to see the house he might be buying! Even though I'm not financially involved, I am very excited! This would be different than any other living situation I've experienced. And hey, it has a pool!

We looked around inside and made note of the little things here and there that will need work. The realtor was there, and unfortunately he had some crummy news for Jameson about the inspections for both his apartment and this house. Doesn't this always happen when you go to sell/buy a house? You end up having to make a bunch of fixes and pay twice as much as expected :( I feel like I've heard this happen with many of my friends.

Anyway, I felt bad about the news but hopeful about the house. We will see what happens with everything...it's just exciting to be looking!

That evening we went to see a play at Theater West End, Ghost The Musical, because Jameson's friend was the lead! She was AMAZING, and despite my very low expectations the play actually wasn't bad either! We had a great time, this is our second time attending a show at Theater West End and I'm sure we'll be back for more!

Saturday it was back to work for both of us. As I type this Jameson just rushed in from Disney and is gathering his things to play a gig with Barfly. I have been pretty lazy today, just doing work and looking for jobs, nothing special. It always makes me feel bad, but I'm still out of ideas for what to do with myself. Soon it shouldn't matter, because we'll be moving, and hopefully I'll need to start practicing.

California Niece :)

Sorry for basically skipping a week on this blog.
It was a very busy week and I didn't have a lot of time for this.

If you follow me on facebook you've probably seen all the pictures. I flew out to California to visit my neice Elliotte! She is about two months old and is super cute!

Now remember that I am the oldest of three sisters and a brother. I do have some experience changing diapers, burping, warming bottles, etc.
But then again, my siblings are all grown up and it has been a LONG time since I've interacted with any babies. So I was pretty nervous to hold little Elliotte for the first time! Kayle laughed at me because I was so stiff and awkward! But over the course of the week I got a little better at it.

The main purpose of the visit was to meet Elliotte, but I got to spend time with Kayle and Skylar as well, and help out a little where I could.
The first night of my stay overlapped with my sister Kate's visit, so that was really nice! We had an awesome seafood meal together. I felt a little like a 5th wheel since Kate and Kayle had their husbands Pat and Skylar, but hey, Elliotte was my date ;D It was great to see everyone and catch up a little!

Some activities during the week included a food truck festival and a hike at Rancho Palos Verdes. The food truck festival was a lot of fun, though it was very crowded! Hipsters everywhere lol!! There were so many kinds of food, I had serious trouble deciding what to eat! Despite all of my fancy food pictures, I don't typically eat that much in one sitting. I ended up settling on some bao, because it's one of my favorite foods and also why not compare CA Bao to Florida's King Bao!! I love them both! We got katsu chicken and korean brisket :)

Later on Kayle got a huge delicious sushi burrito and I stole a few bites of that, while Skylar enjoyed a fried chicken sandwich on a doughnut (doing it RIGHT). I knew we were getting ice cream later and decided that today, dessert was my dinner!! We had churro ice cream! Each of us got a different flavor: Kayle had Fruity Pebbles, Skylar had salted caramel peanut, and I had Nutella. The ice cream was pretty basic but the churros were delicious! These were fun to eat and a great way to end the night :)

The hike the next day in Rancho Palos Verdes was awesome. California weather is SO PERFECT. I'm jealous! I would love to go for hikes in Florida, but it's always so gross out, plus we live in a pretty unsafe neighborhood so it's not a good idea to go for walks after a certain time. We followed one of the shorter trails and enjoyed some stunning vantage points of the beach and town below.

Along the trail we encountered many types of wildlife, including an assortment of beautiful plants and flowers, bugs, birds, and reptiles! Skylar brought binoculars so that we could see some of the birds better, but we ended up not using them mostly because of all the other stuff in plain sight!

Skylar managed to catch this lizard! I found out later it's a Western Fence Lizard or "blue belly", so named for obvious reasons. These lizards eat ticks and are an important part of the local ecosystem. They can also change color from tan to black in order to regulate their body temperature. Not to mention their cool blue coloring!

Near the end of our hike we were getting pretty hot and tired...Kayle carried the baby the whole way! We found a shaded rock wall and decided to take a short break there. Well, the break ended up being even shorter than expected because as soon as we arrived a HUGE snake popped out of the wall!! Kayle has a phobia of snakes and ran screaming, Skylar close on her heels. I couldn't help it, I had to stick around and get some footage! The snake had to be at least five feet long, maybe six, and was scaling the rock like it was a staircase. It was very cool to see. I took a close look at its head and patterning and decided that it was likely not poisonous, neither was it showing threatened/fearful body language, so I thought, why not get a little closer and check him out!
On the way back to the car Skylar and I did some research and decided that this was probably either a plain garter snake or a gopher snake. After asking a local California herpetology group on facebook, we found out we were right, it was a gopher snake! They are nonvenomous and have a gentle, easygoing temperment (if I had known that I might have tried to touch it, but better safe than sorry!). One cool thing about this snake is that when it feels threatened, it can flatten its head and body to mimic a rattlesnake, and will even hiss loudly and try to rattle its tail (despite not having a rattle lol). I know Kayle hates snakes and all, but I love to come across wildlife and was really happy that I got to see such a beautiful animal up close! <3

Anyway, it was a very fun experience and I'm glad we did it!

Throughout the rest of the week I got to help out with some doctor appointments for both Kayle and the baby. Babies are super demanding, and I was regularly amazed at what a massive time investment it was for Kayle to go about a "regular" day with Elliotte in tow. It really made me rethink such simple things as going to the bathroom, getting groceries, or cleaning up. For a mother to do these things all by herself while caring for a baby is frankly astounding. I have a new respect for all mothers out there, and especially single mothers who cannot rely on a helping hand. You rock, ladies.

Twice during the visit, I was allowed to have Elliotte more or less to myself. Once was during Kayle's dentist visit, I took her to the boardwalk in her stroller. She was very well behaved, cooing at passers-by and staring at everything. But after a while I think she wanted to nap, and it was way too loud outside for her to fall asleep. I bought her about 10 minutes of rest by standing under an industrial fan outside a pizza place, which was loud enough white noise to drown out other sounds. But it didn't last, and unfortunately I had to bring her back to Kayle crying her head off! Babies! I tell ya ;)

The second time it was myself and Skylar alone with Elliotte for about six hours while Kayle went to work to prepare her classroom for next year. I braced myself for a day of crying, but apparently having Daddy around is enough! Elliotte was extremely well behaved for us, although she didn't nap as much as she should have. We had a nice long playtime, a good walk, and several feedings. I enjoyed this one-on-one time a lot :) And Kayle got me a special Auntiesaurus shirt which I reserved specifically for this day!

This might be an odd thing to say, but if you are from a broken family like ours I think you might understand where I'm coming from.
Kayle and I are not related by blood. Technically, I am not an "auntie" at all. Kayle has no obligation to include me in Elliotte's life as an actual relative. This fact has crossed my mind several times, and even while staying with Kayle I didn't have the balls to bring it up or ask about how she felt about it. But I think this shirt, and having her call me "Auntie Megan", told me all I need to know. I am really, really grateful that we are really, really family. Kayle would probably be annoyed that I even had these thoughts. And that's how you can tell we really are sisters :)

Anyway, a few more highlights of the week included learning a new train-based game that's kind of similar to Monopoly and a lot of fun! We also got to skype with our parents, who have learned how to use Portal filters to hilarious effect. We cooked several meals together, watched Chernobyl, had some great talks, and went out for shabu shabu (Elliotte was extremely cranky and poor Kayle had to spend almost the entire time outside the restaurant with her. Again, mothers are AMAZING.)

I had an absolutely wonderful time visiting Kayle, Elliotte, and Skylar. Having grown up alongside Kayle, I am completely in awe of the amazing woman and mother she has turned out to be. I hope that as Elliotte continues to grow and become her own person, that I can spend time with her and experience life through her eyes. Big thanks to Skylar and Kayle and little Elliotte for a wonderful week!!

On Thursday I flew back to Orlando. While I have been away, Jameson has been EXTREMELY busy. Not only has he had overnight rehearsals with Disney for the Mix Tape Live band, he has also been selling his apartment!! There were quite a lot of viewings while I was away, and several offers were made. Jameson has accepted an offer that's slightly above the listed price (yay!) and he has also put in an offer on a house in Kissimmee! He was so excited that he called to tell me about it (he almost never calls anyone unless he has to haha).

Long story short, we may be moving as early as mid-July!!! Into a REAL HOUSE!!!!

I won't share the details until things are finalized, but we are both very excited!!

Now that I am back, I will be spending time each day preparing for the move. But we are still waiting on the home inspections, so I've got a few days to get settled back in. Today I'm catching up on a lot of things and preparing to go back to work. Jameson has already left for opening day at Epcot. I am doing laundry, getting groceries, taking the car for an oil change, making a dentist appointment, and doing all the stuff one typically has to do when they've been away from home for a while. It feels nice :)
Saturday was...interesting.

For some reason, I was very stressed out all day. I was thinking about some things that are pending for both Jameson and I. Then I had trouble getting to work because all of the I-4 entrance ramps were closed...I had to go all the way downtown before I could start driving to work. Then once at work I was told I might get my speed evaluation, plus it was discovered that I don't have an employee mail folder yet for some unknown reason. On top of that I am still worrying about whether taking a week off to visit my sister will endanger my job here.

Finally, I didn't eat enough for lunch and ended up on a call that went way past my second break time. As the caller rambled on and on I felt my blood sugar dropping and my bladder filling, and my already-high anxiety just excalated to such a pitch that I broke out in a cold sweat and had to put my head down for fear of passing out. I immediately called for a relief captionist and took my break, but had to find an empty cubicle and actually lie down on the floor for a second until the blood went back to my head and stayed there.

From now on I'm packing an extra snack because this was really upsetting and uncomfortable and ridiculous.
The rest of the day was fine, but I don't ever want to be in that situation again. I wish my anxiety weren't so strong. I wish my brain weren't such an a$$hole. This is exactly the kind of stuff that used to happen to me in the circus. Nothing at all happening around me yet my body and brain are just screaming non-stop. Y'all can knock that off ANY time.

Anyway, back at home Jameson and I had leftover spaghetti before he had to rush off to his gig. He is working so hard. Thankfully Sunday will be a day of rest for him. I spent my evening scrolling through job listings just in case something magically presents itself, playing Castlevania, and drinking an apparently much-needed glass of wine. Well.

Sunday was a little better for me at work, I had my speed evaluation and passed and also did generally well throughout the day, although my anxiety was still a bit high. I should probably go back to the gym this week. After work Jameson and I went to get some sushi at a nearby place, it was tasty :)

We spent the rest of the night relaxing. Jameson showed me some pictures of houses on his radar. I totally agreed with is top picks. One of the houses is bright pink on the outside, another has multi-colored walls for some reason! But those things are easily changed. All of the houses in his list were exciting!

Apartment Week

This week was pretty busy for us.

Jameson has started rehearsals for the Epcot "Mix Tape Live" Guardians of the Galaxy band! He has to get up a lot earlier than usual, work for about eight hours, then come home and do more work as an online instructor with LA Film School. He is having fun, but it is definitely an awful lot of work and he's very tired :/

Compared to him, I feel almost embarrassed to have as much free time as I do. I'm going to work as usual, but my job is blessedly low-stress, so when I get home from it I tend to feel as though my day has just started. That said, I am at least trying to be helpful. We have both been working hard to get Jameson's apartment cleaned up for the listing photoshoot. I've done most of the heavy cleaning to spare Jameson from that on top of everything else he's got going. Last week I cleaned all the windows in the house, the fan blades, and scrubbed the laminate countertops with baking soday to remove stains. This week We both started hiding appliances and getting our personal effects out of sight.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I vacuumed, dusted, cleaned both bathrooms, and polished the stainless steel appliances.
Thursday was a day off for me, and the photographers were coming at 12:30. I ate breakfast, got dressed, then did one final sweep of the house. I put away any remaining items and did a little touch-up cleaning. Per the photographer's instructions, I turned on all the lights in the house and opened all the curtains/blinds. I carried my trombones to my car just to free up a little more space in the studio.

The realtor and photographer both arrived fifteen minutes early, and after introductions got right to work! I had planned to be out of the house for them, but they insisted that it would only take a little while, so I stuck around. And I'm glad I did! It was fun to watch them build a little script, record an intro/outro, and line up lighting and shots. Jameson's Smart Hue bulbs turned out to be a really nice photo aid; for the first part of the shoot they used white lights and switched to a warmer tone later. Convenient. We must have done a good job cleaning up because the only thing that they ended up moving/changing was Jameson's big recliner. Yay!

During a little break between shoots, we talked a bit and the photographer mentioned that he had just bought a condo because his girlfriend is moving in with him. He was genuinely excited about what a big step this was for both of them, and their relationship.

I pondered this. I mean...I guess it's normal in a relationship where two people aren't married, for just one of them to be the homeowner (in fact it's recommended haha). So I don't know why it just feels so weird to me. Well, maybe I do know. For my entire life, I have always been extremely independent, extremely careful of my finances, and extremely convinced that I would always be the financially responsible party in any circumstances. How can I describe it...it's like mentally I have always been "wearing the pants". Like I just assumed that I would always be the breadwinner. It never even occurred to me that I could find myself in a "supportive role" when it came to a relationship...or that it would be OK for me to do so. I am surprised to realize that I had such a strict mental image of what was expected of me, what I expected of myself. But you know, I am glad to have this realization now. I was wrong to think I needed to always fill a certain role. And wow, it's even OK that I'm wrong. Huh!

Anyway. I'm weird. But I gained a new perspective today and wanted to share.

After everyone had left, I dug a few things out of hiding, but left a lot of things stored because once the apartment is listed, people could come to view it any time. I'll be keeping an eye on clutter/cleanliness levels from now on until the apartment is sold.

The rest of my day was spent doing minor chores and avoiding going to the gym :P
I decided it would be nice to cook dinner for us, and picked up two salmon filets. I seasoned them pretty simply with fresh herbs, pepper, and salt, then cooked them in the sous vide. Then I seared them for a nice crunch. I also roasted some brussels sprouts and made some basmati rice. I wanted to take a picture but forgot because we were hungry and just sort of dove in haha.

Friday, since Jameson really needed to catch up on sleep, of course the power went out like an hour before his alarm went off. Of course. I feel bad for him today, he's got Disney all day and then a late gig at night :/ But that's the hustle. And once he gets through to Sunday, hopefully he'll enjoy a full day of rest.

As for me, I got up a bit later after the power came back on, had breakfast, made iced tea for Jameson, and boiled some eggs for me. Then I took a drive to my favorite thrift store which is called OMG! Thrift. I always find something good there! Something I never mentioned: while on the cruise ship I had an "altercation" with one of the ship's dryers...for some reason it got extremely hot and actually burnt about a third of my clothes!! It also shrank my favorite pair of 100% cotton jeans so badly that nothing I did could fix them. I ended up having to throw out several shirts and pants. I've since replaced a lot of the shirts, but am down to just four pairs of jeans, so thought I'd better find a few more. After an hour or so of hunting I had two pairs of pants and two shirts for $30! Yay!

After that I drove to Target for a few things, then home to relax for a minute before starting dinner. Spaghetti and meat sauce with peas. When Jameson got home he told me a bit about his day, and we watched tv while eating. Too soon he was off to his gig. I cleaned up and got ready for work tomorrow.

Just another week. And one more week until I get to meet little Elliotte!!

Weddings, cheese, dirt

Over the weekend Jameson and I had concerts with Encore, both of which went well. It's a nice group to play with, and I'm glad we got to participate.

On Saturday I was especially nervous because I was playing a wedding in Vero Beach with Elite Showband. Everyone was really nice, great musicians and a really fun set list for the evening of rock, jazz, R&B, and 80s stuff. I felt very much like I was flying by the seat of my pants for most of the gig, but that's just me in general until I calm my tits. Anyway, it was fun. It's been a while since I've played a wedding, probably since living in Kansas City with Flashback KC (great band, I miss them).

I didn't get home until 1am, and just as I kicked my shoes off I realized that I left my (expensive) Zojirushi thermos in the ballroom. Two hours away in Vero Beach. DANGIT!!

Sunday, I had work and Jameson had a day off (he needs it, his summer is about to get crazy).
Work was pretty good, Dragon and I got along well today so I had few captioning errors. That always feels nice :)

Although this job doesn't pay the greatest, I am doing well and therefore enjoying it. This job requires a lot of accuracy, a long attention span, confidentiality, and strict adherence to all of the rules. There's no question about what you should be doing and when. Probably why I like it so much: when it is clear when the breaks are and who is doing what work and on what criteria one is evaluated, I find it so much easier to just work. Just do my job, and focus on it, and do my best. That's all I want to do. And here, so far, I am able to do that.

So even though it doesn't pay the greatest, I am very grateful for this job. Being able to do work that is fulfilling relaxes me and allows me to have a more positive attitude about lots of other things.

If you are curious about what I'm actually doing, this video is a good example. Basically I am listening to what someone says, and I am trying to repeat their words almost immediately after in order to create captions for the hearing-impaired client. It requires some concentration, especially when you have a fast talker or someone with a strong accent.

Anyway, that was Sunday. Monday, more work for me and installing a new front door for Jameson :) It's a really nice door with a really nice seal to keep the bugs out! We had dinner together at a new Thai place, then just chilled for the evening.

Tuesday, I had lots of errors at work, at least in the sample that my supervisor took for evaluation. Of course just when I say to myself "I'm getting better at this!" immediately the very next day Murphy's Law has to come and sit on my head and fart in my face. Thanks for that. Oh well, I got through it and hopefully will do better on Wednesday. Jameson had a gig so I cleaned up around the apartment a little bit, then watched the Game of Thrones finale episode. I don't know what people were so upset about...there were a limited number of ways that this could end, and without further books to draw from I think the producers and writers did the best they could possibly have done. I'll not say the same about "The Long Night" though. Ugh.

Anyway. Wednesday was slightly better at work, but still not as good as I would like. Jameson and I had a simple Subway dinner, then started looking at a checklist given to us by his realtor to help us prep his apartment for a photoshoot. As part of listing it for sale. Exciting! At first the list seemed overwhelming, but in just minutes we had cleared most of the kitchen and actually made quite a lot of progress.

Thursday, it was my lovely day off! Jameson happened to have the day free too, so we enjoyed sleeping in and catching up on chores and watching TV. In the evening I made grilled mac and cheese sandwiches with tomato soup! I used brioche bread, and havarti, cheddar, and parmesan cheeses. I was worried about lactose because this recipe did call for evaporated milk, but I made sure to take Lactaid. Anyway, it was delicious and totally worth the risk!!

Friday, I went to work for just a few hours to make up for the time I lost working the wedding last Saturday (my work week is Saturday-following Sunday). It went pretty well, and when I came home I began doing some of the heavier cleaning required for the apartment photoshoot. I wiped down all of the windows and the glass sliding doors. I cleaned the blades of every fan in the house. I scrubbed the kitchen countertops with baking soda to remove stains. I scrubbed the bathtubs and tile with a Magic Eraser, then wiped them down with CLR. After that I needed a break, so Jameson and I went to Moe's for dinner and relaxed before he left for his gig. While he was gone I got ready for work tomorrow and just chilled.

Today I have work for six hours, then I'm coming back home to work some more on apartment cleaning. The photoshoot is on Thursday so there's plenty of time, but there are some things that I can do now. Today will be packing away some of the things I don't use, and gathering things for the thrift store/trash, and making space in cabinets and closets to hide some of our appliances while photos are being taken. As we get closer to Thursday I will hide more stuff, and do some regular cleaning like vacuuming and dusting the night before. Should be good.

Jameson is about to begin rehearsals for Guardians of the Galaxy again. It's gonna get busy around here!

Too Busy

I was too busy to write this week.

Jameson had a lot of gigs and a lot of work, so he got home late most every night.
We also had Encore final rehearsals and concerts all week and into the weekend, which ate much of our free time...I usually went straight from work to rehearsal.

Soon we will begin the process of listing Jameson's apartment for sale. I am sure there will be a lot of cleaning and rearranging for me to do at that time. We also got a new front door which will be installed Monday, but in the meantime it's sitting in the living room. Which is just fine since neither of us has time to hang out anyway.

We are both still waiting on the results of interviews. I have high hopes for Jameson to get an offer...not so sure about mine. Even if I am offered the job, it would mean I'd have to get my own apartment for a while. In other words the pay would have to offset that. I'm not sure if that will happen.

One of the worst things about being a musician (or trying to be one) is constantly having to decide between gigs and jobs. No musician wants to turn down a paying gig for a 9 to 5. But sometimes it really is the best choice.

Anyway. Just thoughts.

As I'm writing this it's Friday. I won't have time to write on Saturday because I'll be going from work straight to this wedding gig. I'm looking forward to it but also apprehensive. Being a sub can be kind of stressful until you get integrated into the group. Oh well, hopefully it'll be a nice wedding and a good time for all.

Jameson is at a costume fitting for Disney, then he's got work to do when he comes home. I have to gather the things for my gig tomorrow, and finish installing some apps and creating a setlist, and also do a little shopping for the appropriate clothes. Then we have an Encore concert tonight. It's been a really busy week and I'm looking forward to a little time to think and clean and get my life together next week.


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