Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gluttony: The Most Fun Deadly Sin

Monday, May 30: Olney, MD-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

I got a ride to the shopping center down the road with the Fuscos this morning. Ryan and I went to the French bakery across the street, and then we had lunch at Cheeburger Cheeburger.

Per our annual tradition, we each ate the 1 lb.. cheeseburger that the restaurant is famous for. Unfortunately, just like two years ago, the restaurant's printer was out of ink, so we didn't get a good picture to chronicle our achievement.

They assured us that they would print one out for the wall of fame....yeah right!

Luckily Tavana was on hand to snap this shot:

Even though the burgers were filling, we still had room for dessert at Cold Stone!

The Freestate Clown Alley #30 was back again today to do more meet and greeting at the shows.

It was even hotter than yesterday, and we were all suffering. During the artist gag my stomach felt like it had a rock in it. Ryan was experiencing the same thing; obviously extreme heat and 1 lb. cheeseburgers do not mix!

Luckily our stomachs calmed down....just in time for us to get splitting headaches! No matter how much water we drank, we just couldn't seem to keep hydrated.

Time to start buying Gatorade.

Both shows had good attendance, but there were more people at the second show.

I was happy that we had early shows so we could finish and enjoy being in Olney for the evening.

Unfortunately I was so beat that I just went out to have sushi, and then I called it an early night.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pitchin' A Tent

Sunday, May 29: Olney, MD-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 87
Lot: Hospital grounds

Due to the poor service in Hancock, my phone's battery ran out and I didn't have an alarm clock this morning.
Luckily someone knocked on my wall at 5:45 a.m. and woke me up.

My brakes started acting up on the jump, so I told Castro about it as soon as he got to the lot.

Our friends, the Freestate Clown Alley #30, visited today with a great spread for lunch. During the meal there was the "tent raising" of the newest Circus Fans of America tent (number 178), the John Ringling North II/Steve & Ryan tent.

CFA president, Maxine House was on hand, a poem was read that was written by one of the clowns, Jim Shores, and the three of us signed the charter for the tent to make everything official.

Ryan and I are very happy about the creation of a tent bearing our name, but the reason we are happiest is that our friends thought enough about us to do such a nice thing.

A big thank you to Keith Karas, Pat Stevenson, and everyone else in the Freestate Clown Alley #30 that made this possible.
(P.S-Someone has a picture of Mr. North doing the muscle pose too. That's how you know we are an awesome tent!)

An excellent gift was also made by Katie, from the alley, and it was given to baby Nico: Steve & Ryan designer wear!

What an awesome present!

Both shows today had good attendance. The Freestate Alley was meeting and greeting with the crowds during Come In and Intermission, and when they weren't working it, they were hanging out in the backyard with me and Ryan.

It was incredibly hot today, which definitely zapped our energy in the ring.

After the shows the cast had a finale rehearsal that went on way longer than it should have; it figures that we had a rehearsal after work when there were lots of great places to go.

Our friend, Stephon Walker, who Ryan and I worked with in Myrtle Beach three years ago, came to visit after the shows.
We talked for awhile and then met up with Casey, Nikki, and Radar at the Italian restaurant down the road.
Most of the Freestate Alley joined us as soon as they got back from cleaning up at the hotel, and they were nice enough to treat us to dinner.

Back at the lot Ryan, Stephon, and I talked comedy theory until it was time to hit the hay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Barry Lubin/Adam Forepaugh Tent Rocks!

Saturday, May 28: Hancock, MD-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

I slept until 9 a.m. this morning, but I was still feeling worn out from our long day yesterday.

The swimming pool right next to the back yard opened at noon, so Ryan and I swam for about half an hour before we had to start getting ready for the shows.

We did good business for both shows. It was very hot and humid, which kept my energy dragging.

The Barry Lubin/Adam Forepaugh CFA tent was on hand today to serve cake and ice cream along with our lunch at the cookhouse.

I visited with them a bit during my break in the first show.

I took a nap in between shows, but it didn't really help my energy; I was still beat.

Luckily my evening was low key. I watched Ryan train his pig for awhile, and then I hung out with the group assembled outside Lucky and Vickie's trailer.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Travel Day

Friday, May 27: Hancock, MD-Travel Day
Miles: 68
Lot: Widmeyer Park

I was happy that I traveled to Hancock last night instead of waking up at 5:00 a.m. this morning to make the jump.
I got to sleep in, but only for an extra hour, as Alex woke me up at 6:00 a.m. to park me in my correct spot: about a foot back from where I was.

Casey, Nikki, and I left around 7:30 a.m. for our trip to Hershey, PA. We spent most of the day at Hersheypark, the Sweetest Theme Park on Earth! (ffffrrrrrrtttttt)
The park was packed with school groups, and it was hotter than blazes. Nikki and I waited in line over an hour and a half for a rollercoaster that lasted maybe a minute. It was an awesome ride, but not a "stand in line forever surrounded by annoying teenagers while getting roasted" kind of awesome.

Joy, who came to visit the other day, met up with us and together we all explored the park. We opted out on any more rides due to the crowd and 50% of the party's lack of interest in thrill rides, but we looked through the zoo section and saw a fun tap dancing show (most importantly, the theatre was air conditioned.)
The best part of the park came while I was keeping Joy company in the slowest food stand line in the world.
We were right next to a karaoke studio where park patrons can record a music video onto a DVD.
I, along with four of my Ringling clown co-workers, recorded "Hard Knock Life" back in 2006 when we went to the park in make-up. (It is a yearly tradition for the clowns to get an old time photo done in Hershey. Here is ours from 2006.)

(Left to Right: Dean Kelley, Jesse Highley, Scott O'Donnell, Neal Skoy, and Steve, the knight in mobster's clothing)

Well anyway, there was a video playing on a loop outside the studio showing highlights of different videos customers had made.
All of a sudden, our video came on. I frantically called Casey and Nikki over so we could all bask in the glory of klown karaoke.
Casey summed it up best when he said, "Wow Steve, you suck."

Ringling's Red Unit was playing right across the street from the park, so about an hour before the show, we went over to visit with friends. I hung out in Clown Alley, while Casey and Nikki went to visit Tabayara, the tiger trainer, who graciously set us up with comp tickets.

I was so happy I got to spend more time visiting with the clowns. When I saw the show in January I didn't get much of a chance.

Ryan, Armando, and the Fuscos were also visiting since the Fusco brothers are doing their juggling act in the show.

We all had a great time at the show, but all good things must come to an end; we had 110 mile drive back to Hancock to overcome.
After such a full day, we were bushed by the time we got back to our trailers.

Impulsive Jump

Thursday, May 26: Grantsville, MD-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 30

Lot: Town park

There were no warnings about steep hills on this morning's route slip, but it turned out to be a pretty stressful drive nonetheless. I will be happy to see flat terrain once again.

We did great business today; both shows were almost full.

After the shows, those of us in the back yard had to move off the grass into a parking lot because a storm was brewing.

Casey and Nikki were making the jump to Hancock tonight, and at the last minute I decided to do the same.

I am glad I made the jump at night since the extremely strict scale en route was closed.

Even though I shouldn't have to worry about a scale, I am very skittish about all things D.O.T. after my incident in Refugio.

The jump was slow going, with lots of steep hills, but I finally made it to the lot in Hancock.

Alex parked me in a temporary spot as it started to pour down rain.

I was happy to have that stressful jump behind me, and I was doubly happy that I had city power to plug into for the night.

Impulsive Jump

Thursday, May 26: Grantsville, MD-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 30

Lot: Town park

There were no warnings about steep hills on this morning's route slip, but it turned out to be a pretty stressful drive nonetheless. I will be happy to see flat terrain once again.

We did great business today; both shows were almost full.

After the shows, those of us in the back yard had to move off the grass into a parking lot because a storm was brewing.

Casey and Nikki were making the jump to Hancock tonight, and at the last minute I decided to do the same.

I am glad I made the jump at night since the extremely strict scale en route was closed.

Even though I shouldn't have to worry about a scale, I am very skittish about all things D.O.T. after my incident in Refugio.

The jump was slow going, with lots of steep hills, but I finally made it to the lot in Hancock.

Alex parked me in a temporary spot as it started to pour down rain.

I was happy to have that stressful jump behind me, and I was doubly happy that I had city power to plug into for the night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Casey Cainan, The Balloon Man???

Wednesday, May 25: Farmington, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 40

Lot: fairgrounds

On this morning's jump there was an extremely steep hill that went on for three miles.

I put my truck in first gear, said a prayer, and did not stop. It was truly a white knuckle experience, and I saw a couple of people that had pulled over to stop, I assume from their trucks overheating.

I made it to the top without incident, but my blood pressure was definitely higher.

I was beat after all of my travel yesterday, so I slept most of the morning. Ryan put a fresh coat of paint on the hammer handles for the artist gag, and I sewed the horse walkaround.

I also had to make new skull caps since the elastic snapped in the one attached to my wig.

There was an average crowd for the first show, and there were more people at the second show.

It was an easy day because we were on grass and it was sunny.

Don Curtis came by today to take some pictures of the performers in the back yard. He brought me a delicious snack tray of crackers, meat, and cheese.

Armando was back today. He left on Sunday so his wife, Natalia, could get the paperwork for her green card.

While he was gone, a handler named "Ace" stepped into Armando's position.

In other animal news, Casey worked the tiger act using only balloon dowels instead of his whip and stick.

Since I had breadsticks and beer in his yard after the shows, you can see that it worked out alright for him.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Tuesday, May 24: Waynesburg, PA-4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 105
Lot: Fairgrounds

The start of this morning's jump was 23 miles of the same hilly, winding road that we traveled yesterday.
The rest of the jump wasn't much of a picnic either, especially when we drove through West Virginia, where the Interstate had some very steep stretches.
On two separate occasions I passed Carolyn's truck, smoke pouring out from under its hood.
The Fuscos also had problems. Theirs was a broken axle; Ryan stayed with them to help out.

As soon as I got to the lot I unhooked my truck, unloaded everything I needed for the day with Radar's help, and then I moved my truck to the parking lot.
I took a nap to prepare for my busy day, and then about 11:00 a.m. I left for the Pittsburgh Airport.
Joy Powers, one of the Red Unit clowns, was coming to visit today, so I went to pick her up and bring her to the lot.
As I was leaving Waynesburg, I passed Ryan and the Fuscos, who were just then getting to the lot.

After I picked up Joy we had lunch and got back to the lot with just enough time for me to show her Ryan's pig and my ducks before Ryan and I had to set the props and start getting ready for the shows.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was full. Joy watched both performances; there was a gentleman also at the first show who kindly gave me some circus audio tapes, including one of the Al G. Kelly Miller show back in 1959.
(I know you read the blog sir. Please remind me of your name so I can give you proper credit. I must apologize, but I have the worst memory in the world)

After the shows I made dinner and then I had to take Joy back to Pittsburgh to the Amtrak station.
The station's parking lot was very confusing to find (especially in the dark and rain), but we eventually found it.
I wish Joy had more time to visit, but the Red Show opens in Hershey Wednesday night, and she had to get back for an afternoon rehearsal. I am happy she at least got to come see the shows and visit a bit.

I got back to the lot, hooked up my truck, loaded up the ducks, and collapsed into bed around 2:00 a.m. Talk about a full day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bye Ohio; Hi Jairo

Monday, May 23: Woodsfield, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 41

Lot: fairgrounds

This morning's drive was very winding and hilly; tons of fun.

I went with Casey, Radar, and Nikki to do laundry...about 30 miles away in West Virginia.

I'm not sure if there were closer laundromats (I'd hope so), but this one had a Wal Mart and TSC close by.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show, and there were more people at the second show.

I expected a lot worse since this was a lot and license town.

Renato Fernandes, who worked with us in 2009, and his girlfriend came to visit and watch the shows.

Ryan and I also got a surprise visit from Jairo Ojeda, who we worked with in the Great American Circus over the winter. He saw the second show and caught us afterwards.

We had a good but short visit with him. As we were saying goodbye it started raining, so I ran to my trailer to seek shelter from a soaking. (That was dumb)

As I was running, I stepped in a hole and hurt my ankle. I thought I may have twisted it, but I was lucky and everything was fine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Say Cheese!

Sunday, May 22: Old Washington, OH-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 47

Lot: fairgrounds

It rained pretty hard on this morning's jump, but then everything cleared up once we got to the lot, and it turned out to be a sunny, humid day.

My photographer friend, Kerri McMullen, came to visit today. She took me to breakfast at a delicious restaurant in Cambride, and then she took me to Wal Mart for a little shopping. I was also able to get a much needed hair cut from a salon in the same shopping center.

We did good business for both shows; Kerri watched and took photos, and her friend Katrina joined her to see the second performance.

The audiences were dead, but Kerri and Katrina had a good time, so that is all that really matters.

After work Casey, Radar, Nikki, and I went to downtown Cambride for dinner. I went to bed early because I was bushed after such a busy weekend.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's Wrong With Old Philly?

Saturday, May 21: New Philadelphia, OH-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 28

Lot: First Baptist Church Grounds

When we got to the lot this morning, we were all instructed to pull over to the church parking lot and wait.

I heard that another lot was being looked for, but then about an hour later we started pulling onto the lot where we were.

The set up was a bit screwy, but we have dealt with much worse; I'm not sure what the initial problem was.

Jeff Potts came back to visit today. He brought us a great antique, wooden ironing board, and a pair of his Spears clown shoes to check out.

We went to a great coffee shop on the lot that opened for circus day (they are usually closed on Saturday). They had delicious flavored coffee, and they even had showings of old movies and shows like "I Love Lucy" during the week.

I wish my church in Walterboro had a coffee shop!

Jeff took us to the mall where I finally was able to use the Borders gift card that Radar got me for Christmas.

I got Dick Van Dyke's autobiography that came out at the beginning of the month.

It was another beautiful sunny day today, and the tent was on grass; hallelujah!

Both shows had good attendance. There was a lot of joking around backstage about how judgement day was supposed to happen.

The last prediction I heard was that it was going to happen at 6:00 p.m., which was when Ryan and I were doing the artist gag.

When I got a first look at Ryan in drag and saw what a hideous visage he was, I clutched my heart and said, "It must be the Rapture!"

Yeah it doesn't make total sense, but it made Ryan laugh.

After the shows Radar, Casey, Nikki, and I went to a great brewhouse in town, and then Casey got Genevieve's name inked on his arm at a tattoo parlor across the street.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hog Wild

Friday, May 20: Millersburg, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 63

Lot: Mt. Hope Auction Grounds

We were supposed to play the fairgrounds in Millersburg today, but because that lot was flooded, we ended up 9 miles outside of town in Mount Hope, OH.

Unfortunately, that 9 miles was on the horribly hilly and winding State Road 241.

I knew it was going to be awful when I immediately had to shift into first gear upon turning onto the road.

The majority of the 9 miles was spent in either first or second gear, praying that my truck would make it up the next hill. My knuckles were as white as a Will Smith rap song by the time I got to the lot.

The upside of our location was that there was a great Amish buffet across the street, and the auction grounds had all kinds of great animals for sale!

They had dogs, cats, ducks, swans, geese, cows, pigs, llamas, GIANT rabbits, baby foxes, and baby raccoons!

Many people from the circus gained a new pet today, including me. Casey texted me and asked what kind of duck I wanted. I replied that I didn't need another duck.

He stated, "That is the wrong answer. What kind of duck do you want?"

I relented and answered that I wanted a black one.

Lo and behold, here is the third member of my fowl family:

I think Keith is an excellent name for this Cayuga duck...

Not to be outdone, Ryan bought a new pet as well, a teacup potbellied pig!

We are well on our way to having our own barnyard revue!

David Powell came to visit today and brought some delicious Amish pies with him.

Ryan and I also got a visit from our clown friend, Jeff Potts, who I invited out after discovering that he didn't live very far from Mount Hope.

The first show had good business, and the second show was full. Both audiences were very quiet and reserved, but Ryan and I still managed to get some good laughs for the gags. Opening was painful though.

I was just happy that it was a beautiful sunny day for the first time in what seems like ever!

After the second show Ryan and I hung out with Jeff for awhile and talked shop.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Thursday, May 19: Centerburg, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 117

Lot: School

This morning's drive seemed to go on forever, but there was a Flying J not too far from town, so that was a definite pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

We were on a cement lot, and it was overcast all day. Right before show time it started raining, and the rain went on and off all evening.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was full; the audiences were great too.

Doug Kruest came back to visit today, and he brought a big box of cookies for everyone.

He also brought back the pair of clown shoes I sent with him to get repaired. The cobbler did a great job; the shoes look like new!

In the second water gag, after I drank the water that Ryan had spit in, a girl in the audience yelled out, "Don't swallow!", which got a huge laugh from the audience, as well as Ryan.

The ring mat was treacherous as the shows went on; the rain and cement made the mat as slick as ice in some areas.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

"They All Float Down Here!"

Wednesday, May 18: Bellbrook, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 40

Lot: Middle School

We had a 7:00 a.m. call this morning, and I greatly enjoyed sleeping in for an extra half hour.

Since today was Casey's birthday, we went to the mall in Dayton. I couldn't find anything good to buy Casey for his birthday (he bought all the good stuff for himself), so I will get him something in the next couple of days.

It was overcast all day, but luckily it wasn't as cold as yesterday. We were on cement, and most of us parked in the back yard were subject to the grey water from the cookhouse semi. Yuck!

On the plus side, I only had to walk about 15 feet for a delicious ravioli dinner.

Both shows were full, and the audiences were great. It would be so easy if all the audiences were that responsive.

There was a sewer grate in the ring, so naturally Ryan and I were laughing about one of us opening it during the water act so the other would fall in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sabina The Teenage Witch

Tuesday, May 17: Sabina, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 47

Lot: gravel lot

This morning I think we found the worst breakfast spot in the country. It was a diner that had been open for 3 weeks, and Casey predicts that if they stay the same, they will be closed in another 2.

Even though we got free shrimp for breakfast (don't ask), the waitress was a dingbat and screwed up a bunch of orders, so the Poemas, who were also at the restaurant, got our food, and we got theirs (after them, even though we got to the restaurant first).

It was a pretty miserable day; even though we were on gravel, parts of the back door were muddy, and it was cold and rainy.

Ryan and I were keeping ourselves laughing in the gags to cope with the situation.

There was an average sized crowd at the first show, and there were more people at the second show.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Batavia Out Of Hell

Monday, May 16: Batavia, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 12

Lot: Red Barn

I never thought I would make it on this morning's extremely long....12 mile jump!

I ran errands with Casey, Radar, and Nikki, and then Casey was nice enough to treat us to a visit to the Cincinnati Zoo.

My favorite part was interacting with the lorikeets....

...that is until one of the little so and sos took a chunk out of my ear.

The little %@&$ drew blood! I think I smell a lawsuit...

All in all it was a fun day out, bloodshed withstanding.

We were on a mostly gravel lot today, but there was a lot of slick, disgusting looking algae on the ground.

It was also a very chilly day; not much fun in the water gag.

We had average sized crowds for the show....sorry folks, I've got nothing....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hull In Da House

Sunday, May 15: Bethel, OH-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 36

Lot: Bethel-Tate School grounds

The show was set up on a gravel lot today. There was a patch of tall grass that most of us had to pass through to get to the tent, so some rubber was laid down to make a little path to the back door.

It rained on and off all day, and it was cool and overcast.

Both shows were almost full, and the audiences were very responsive for being Sunday crowds.

At the first show I met two Shrine clowns from Cincinnati, "Barrels" and "Snacks". Barrels was nice enough to give me his fancy Shrine circus hat, complete with light up emblem.

In between shows I was relaxing when I got a call from a South Carolina number that I didn't know.

It was our friend, Dan Hull, who we got to know in 2008 when we worked in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Dan is a musician who married a former Ringling clown, Peggy O'Neill.

It turns out that Dan was driving from Myrtle Beach to Illinois to see his family, and he knew we were in the area, so he made a surprise pit stop in Bethel to see the show and visit with us.

It was such a great surprise, and Ryan and I had a good time catching up with him. We haven't seen Dan since the night we left Myrtle Beach to join Kelly Miller.

In fact, Dan's wife, Peggy, is the one that gave me the idea to start the blog, so you can all thank (or blame) her!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jungle Jim's Rocks My World

Saturday, May 14: Sharonville, OH-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 45

Lot: Princeton band field

The show was smack dab in the middle of civilization today. Hooray!

When we got back from breakfast, I was just in time to meet up with my friend, Karen Lukes, who came with her children to visit.

Karen was a clown on Clyde Beatty and Ringling, and she also did advance work for Kelly Miller back in 97.

She took me to Jungle Jim's, a HUGE, awesome, and awesomely huge international market.

The store had great displays and just about every nation had an aisle or two of food indigenous to that area.

I spent $64 on gifts for friends and also on some goodies for myself.

Today's lot was a difficult set up. The whole lot was cement except for the back door, which was muddy grass. Also, there were bits of curb separating the grass from the cement, so getting props into the tent was a royal pain.

Because of the difficult situation, the tigers stayed inside the back curtain the entire first show. This affected almost all of me and Ryan's entrances or exits, so we ended up using the other curtain, which totally threw me off a couple of times. It's tough to break routine when you do something the exact same way two times a day, seven days a week.

Both shows had good crowds, but there were more people at the first show. Karen, her children, and some of her friends came to the first show. Also in attendance was circus fan Doug Kreust and Blue Unit assistant trainmaster, Joe Colossa.

Joe worked on the Blue Unit in concessions while I was there; I got to talk to his girlfriend, Carmen Torres, on the phone for a couple of minutes. Carmen rides a motorcycle in the globe, and we used to joke around a lot when I was on the show.

Doug is taking one pair of my clown shoes to see about getting them repaired. I hope something can be done; I am afraid they may be beyond repair.

After the shows I caught a ride with Casey, Nikki, Radar, Sarah, and GiGi to Jungle Jim's again. I explored the market a little more and bought more food gifts.

Back at the lot I dropped Johhny and Nathan Moss' present off at their joint birthday party, and then we went out to have an early birthday celebration for Casey.

We ate at an Irish Pub that didn't have a single Irish meal on the menu. Lame!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

O, Hi, O

Friday, May 13: Camden, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 15

Lot: Elementary School grounds

We were playing on a tight fenced in lot this morning, so it took a long time to get everybody parked.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show, and boy howdy, were they dead!

The second show had a bigger crowd, and thankfully they were much more responsive.

After the shows we moved off the lot because it was supposed to storm during the night.

Parking everyone next to the lot was a bit of a mess, and unfortunately, not really knowing what I was doing, I put myself right in the middle of it.

Luckily Oscar came over and straightened things out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stupid Blogger

Sorry this is late; blogger was being a jerk all last night and wouldn't let me post. This should catch everything up.

Wednesday, May 11: New Castle, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 50

Lot: Greenstreet School grounds

About a block away from the lot this morning, one of my trailer tires on the driver side stuck out at an angle. Tavana was behind me and saw it, but I had turned and moved on before she could jump out and tell me.

As I was getting ready to pull onto the lot, I heard a squealing noise and looked in my rear view mirror to see the tire jutting out.

I pulled onto the lot as slowly as possible (of course I had to go over a curb), and got situated.

My friend, Kyle Winchester, came to hang out with me today. I had to wait on Castro to get to the lot since the pump truck had broken down on the jump, so Kyle and I went to Gamestop, where his girlfriend, "Cookie", works.

Castro took a look at my trailer and diagnosed the problem. The outer bearing for the wheel had broken off. Luckily he had a bearing the correct size in the shop truck, but I needed to buy a new racer for it. Double luckily, there was an O'Reilley's right next to the lot.

I walked over, got a racer, walked back to my trailer, found out I needed a new seal as well, walked back to O'Reilley's for the seal, walked back to my trailer, and then went back to O'Reilley's one more time to order a bearing to replace the one Castro gave me.

By the end of it all, they knew me very well at O'Reilley's.

Kyle and I went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant next to the lot, and I also got to do some grocery shopping at the Kroger that was right there.

Castro fixed my tire problem, and just as it seemed like I was set for smooth sailing, I blew a power plug.

Luckily Alex, the electrician, was able to get me set up with a new plug. I ended up spending a lot of money today!

Kyle and Cookie watched both shows. The first show was almost full; it was a hot and humid day, and I was drained from keeping on the move all day.

I was very excited for the second show because some of the clowns from the Blue Show came to visit.

They were loading in at Columbus, OH and had a chance to drive out and see our show.

The second show was full. Ryan and I had a rough artist gag for the first show, but everything went smoothly for the second performance.

After the shows Kyle, Cookie, and Taylor, LaRena, Andrew, Jared and Oscar from the Blue Show joined me, Casey, Radar, and Nikki for dinner at Applebee's.

I had a lot of fun sharing road stories, and after dinner we all crammed into my trailer to watch some funny clown videos.

Today turned out to be a great day despite a couple of things that could have brought me down.

I'm glad I had Kyle around to take my mind off of everything this afternoon and to give me rides to the places I needed to go. I was also very happy that the Blue Show came out to help recharge my batteries.

I had a lot of fun hanging out with them, and it made me miss working in a Clown Alley.

Thursday, May 12: Liberty, IN-4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 50

Lot: Middle School grounds

All of my tires stayed at the proper angle on this morning's drive. Huzzah!

I was happy that I got to go to laundry this morning since I hadn't been for two weeks.

Ryan was feeling really sick today, so we didn't do the water gag.

We did good business for both shows; it was humid again, so the audiences weren't that responsive. (I'd like to think that the humidity was the sole reason, but honestly I was off my game this evening)

After the shows we played everyone's favorite circus game: Move Off The Lot!

Two years ago this lot was miserably muddy. We were lucky this year, but there was a chance of rain during the night.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Clark Kent From The Mudville Chronicle

Tuesday, May 10: Montpelier, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 38

Lot: Motor Speedway

When I heard that we were going to be on a Motor Speedway today, I assumed that meant that we would be on cement.

As well all know though, assume makes an ass out of "u" and "me". I didn't see cement anywhere; we were on a combination of grass, dirt, and rocks.

About an hour before show time it stormed for twenty minutes or so. The rain came down hard, the thunder was booming, and the lightning was flashing.

Basically it rained just enough to turn the area around the tent into a muddy mess, and then the sun came out and made it humid.

The mud was very nasty too; it was wet, slick, soupy mud that stuck to everything. Ryan and I had a few inches of mud caked to the bottom of our clown shoes all evening.

Speaking of which, both of my pairs of clown shoes are shot, and there are holes in the soles. This caused squishy mud to get inside my shoes and ruin my socks.

Luckily Ryan lent me his pair of Clownverse so I wouldn't get the "goof rot".

We had average sized crowds for both shows. They weren't great audiences, but I can't really blame them. We were miserable performing, and I can't imagine it was too much better sitting there and watching us.

There was a man at the first show that made me laugh though. He was a reporter from the local paper that was trying to interview us during opening.

He was standing in the preferred seating section, blocking people's view, and trying to talk to us while we were performing.

Ryan and I both exited the tent, looked at each other, and at the same time threw up our hands and said, "What in the hell was that!?"

Sarah said that during the camel act he was asking people in the front row questions while they were trying to watch the show, and he was attempting to get them to stand up so he could take their pictures with the show in the background.

Casey said when the reporter wasn't working he was slumped in a chair looking like he was bored out of his mind.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fancy Pants

Monday, May 09: Decatur, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 32

Lot: Riverside Center Grounds

This morning I blew the arrows for the first time this season, but luckily I headed in the right direction and saw the cookhouse for reassurance.

We found a great place for breakfast; it didn't look like much and the first impression was not that good, but they had eggs florentine and it was delicious.

Ryan fixed the squib pot on the back of the artist gag table this morning, and I sewed the horse walkaround so the head doesn't come off. One Godfather reference is more than enough for us in this year's gags.

We were right by the downtown of Decatur, and I walked to a bookstore where I had lunch and coffee. I also bought two copies of an American animation history book: one for me and one for Ryan.

We did good business for the first show and the second show was almost full. I tried out the new pants that Ryan made for me. I love them!

It was a nice sunny day, but there was a slim chance of rain, so all the vehicles moved off the grass into two different parking lots across the street.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tinkerbell, Chalk, & A Rusty Dog

Saturday, May 07: Huntington, IN-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 58

Lot: fairgrounds

Huntington is a decent sized town, but we were a few miles from everything out at the fairgrounds.

It was Sarah's daughter's birthday today. Gigi had a party at the cookhouse for everyone; I stopped by to eat and drop off her present. I bought her a box of sidewalk chalk. Normally I'm not too good at shopping for four year old girls, but I knew she was in need of chalk since I tried to borrow a piece from her a couple of months ago.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show, and a smaller crowd for the second show. Yay lot and license towns!

Ryan made a great new pair of agent suit pants for me, but I didn't wear them today because it was rainy and muddy.

He also made a new pair of boxers for me to use in the water gag. The pink polka dotted ones I use now are very funny, but they are also made of a very thick fabric that takes forever to dry.

The new pair are equally as funny (purple, with big pictures of Tinkerbell and her fairy friends), but they are made from a lighter material. Unfortunately, they are also a bit transparent, so no more going commando in the water gag. (You are all welcome for that visual)

After the shows Casey, Radar, Nikki, and I went to a great Irish pub in town called the Rusty Dog. My Guinness must have been more than I could handle, because I ended up throwing a lemon across the room while trying to squeeze it over my fish and chips, AND I knocked Radar's beer over while trying to pick up the salt.

Sunday, May 08: Huntington, IN-Day Off

I slept in late today and lounged around the house until 2:00 p.m. I caught a ride with Casey, Radar, and Nikki to Fort Wayne, IN to go shopping at the mall.

Most of my time was spent at the three book stores in the area: Barnes & Noble, Border's, and Half Price Books.

We were going to go back to the Rusty Dog again tonight, but they were closed for Mother's Day. We ended up at a wing restaurant where we got to play trivia while stuffing our faces.