Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Gift

Hey everybody,

I was so busy today with the three shows and people visiting that I didn't have much down time to write the blog.
I'll give you an Easter gift tomorrow of two blog posts. See you then!


Friday, March 29, 2013

"Say My Name, Please"- Me To My Sushi Waitress

Wednesday, March 27: Frisco, TX-Travel Day
Miles: 268
Lot: FC Dallas Complex Fields

On this morning's jump I was driving along, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I saw the flashing lights of a police cruiser behind me.
I waited a second to make sure he wasn't going to pass me, and when I verified that he was indeed chasing me, I pulled over to the side of the road.

My mind was racing as to why he would have pulled me over. I had passed somebody, but I wasn't speeding, and I had used the proper signals.
I woke Christian up and had him dig through my glove compartment for my registration. I don't have any lights in the cab of my truck, so I was using my iPhone's flashlight to see.
Later I thought that it must have looked pretty suspicious seeing a light moving around the cab while one guy frantically pulls stuff out of the glove compartment.

The police officer walked up and informed me that my taillights were out. My turn signals and brake lights were apparently operational, just none of the other lights on the trailer.
After confirming that it was ok to get out of my truck, I went back and gave my light connection a little jiggle, which solved the problem.

Luckily the police officer was very nice, and he only gave me a written warning and sent me on my way.
I made sure to keep an eye on the side of my trailer to make sure the lights were still on until the sun came up.

When I got to the lot in Frisco I saw that there was a man mowing the grass, so Ryan (who had been there for about 15 minutes already) and I had to wait for awhile to park in the back yard until he was finished.
I'm glad he did the job, I just wish he had done it yesterday!

As soon as I had parked, got Emmie set up, and showered, I went out to have some fun in Frisco.
I hit up three different malls in the Dallas area to visit GCX, a video game store dealing in older systems and games.
I picked up a couple of Nintendo and Super Nintendo games, which I was very excited about.

I also visited a couple of Half Price Books, as well as Movie Trading Company locations, the latter to look for Tales From The Crypt DVD sets for Ryan.

During all this driving around Dallas and perusing media stores, I also managed to get my hair cut.

Nico has been feeling sick since yesterday, so today Ryan and Tatiana took him to Durant, OK to go to the doctor.
Ryan called me with great news. Nico no longer has the C. Diff infection that he had at the beginning of the year.
He was sick from a simple bug that has been going around. Ryan and Tatiana were very happy, because the doctor in the Valley told them that Nico could be infected with C. Diff for a year.

Once I got back to the lot in Frisco, I picked up Radar, Elisa, and Pete, and we went to an English pub about a mile from the lot.
There used to be a great Irish pub in Frisco that we would always frequent, but it is closed.
The English pub was ok, but it was no substitute for the other place.


Thursday, March 28: Frisco, TX-Day Off

We didn't have shows today, but the tent was set up, and a couple of promotions occurred.
Ryan and I helped out with a PR that happened in the morning. The mascot from the local soccer team came over to play ball with an elephant.
Ryan and I were there to add color. And sex appeal.

After our PR we got cleaned up and I took Ryan and Pete to the book and movie stores I went to yesterday, and we also went to the mall so Pete could look at Macbooks.

After dropping Ryan and Pete back off at the lot, I went to do laundry. I had to drive aways in rush hour traffic to get to a laundromat, and the one I found was small and crowded.
To add to my frustration, one dryer didn't live up to its name. I put my clothes in a different machine and got out as quickly as I could.

In the evening Radar, Elisa, and I went for a sushi dinner. I was cracking up when I saw the names of some of the special rolls:


That's my kind of sushi!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"The Best Part Of The Show, The Big Show, Is The Show Where They Put Up The Tent"- Radio DJ At The Tent Raising

Tuesday, March 26: Jasper, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 78
Lot: Lions Rodeo Grounds

Harry Kingston was on the lot this morning to greet the show as it arrived. We caught up for awhile while I unhooked my truck and set up my duck habitat.
He was nice enough to bring a delicious cake that his wife made (Harry is a lucky man), as well as a book on Ringling in the tented days that I had never seen before.
Thank you very much, Harry!

I drove into town to go to the post office and to find a baby duck. Unfortunately Tractor Supply Company was out of them.

While I was driving around I was scanning through the radio stations, looking for some good music.
On one station I heard a man talking, and I thought to myself, "Self, that guy sounds an awful lot like Armando."
Sure enough, it WAS Armando giving an interview to the mayor himself via a live radio feed at the circus.

I had such a great performance for the first show, but then for some reason I was in a terrible mood for the second show.
Luckily talking with people at Intermission put me in a much better humor, and I ended the night on a more positive note.

I'm going to take the day off from blogging tomorrow since it is a "day off". Today was a travel day, but I blogged anyway because I'm just that awesome.

Please enjoy these wonderful photos of the lot that Chris Hamblen took from a helicopter in Jasper.
Thank you, Chris!








Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Ya'll Make Me Proud To Be A Clown"- Lady In A Silly Hat

Sorry everyone,

My Internet crapped out on me yesterday, so you'll get two blog posts today to make up for lost time.

Sunday, March 24: Magnolia, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 81
Lot: Celeste Graves Education Center

The strong, loud wind blowing outside woke me up around 4 a.m. It continued for the whole jump; the show trailers were getting blown quite a bit around as we drove to Magnolia.

When we got to the lot, everyone was instructed to pull into a little parking lot to wait. There was a big BBQ cook off last night, and our lot was used to park cars.
There were still vehicles sporadically scattered around the lot, so owners had to be found to move them.

The one vehicle that caused the most trouble was a truck with a "For Sale" sign in the window. The owner had to be called several times before he came to move his property (which was exactly where the tent was going to be).

Since the car debacle cost the show a couple of valuable hours on a morning with early shows, everyone quickly went to work to get everything ready.
I helped out by staying out of everyone's way, and going to get some klobasneks and kolaches:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klobasnek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolache 

Houston seems to like pastries that start with the letter K. I always try and get some while I'm in the area.

The wind continued throughout the day, and it had quite a chill on it.
The lot had a chain link fence running through it, so the tent, semis, and animals were on one side, and all the performers were on the other side.
Luckily I was able to move my truck over by the tent for easy prop loading and unloading. Anyway, I wasn't looking forward to trying to jump the fence while wearing the big mouth.

Our friend, Crystal, came to visit the show today. She is studying to be a vet in college, so she spent most of her time around the animals.
I got to see her for a bit, though.

During the performances Fridman's wife, Valerie, and his children, Dylan and Nicholas, arrived, as well as Castro, our mechanic.
Fridman was happy to see his family, and my truck (and I) were happy to see Castro.

The new foam sledgehammers we ordered arrived today. It's always like Christmas when we receive new "toys" in the mail.

My friend, Stephen, and his fiance, Sarah, came to see the second show. They are both clowns in the Houston area.
After the performance Ryan and I talked shop with them for awhile, and then they were nice enough to treat me to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

Stephen and Sarah also provided me and Ryan with circus clown essentials: baby wipes and chocolate! Thanks guys!

This has been a fantastic weekend for visits with clown friends!


"I Hugged The Clowns So Hard That I Couldn't Breathe!"- Little Boy
Monday, March 25: Shepherd, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 62
Lot: Community Center

Our route this morning took us right by a Flying J, which I appreciated; I stopped in to take advantage of their dump station.
Since I had stopped to fuel up this morning as well, the jump seemed to go on forever.

It was another chilly day. Our friends, Chris Hamblen and Mike Swain, visited today. Most of the times I saw them they were talking to Radar, but I got to speak to them briefly.

There was a police officer on duty at the shows who was a tall drink of water. Mr. North asked him how tall he actually was.
The man is SIX FEET NINE INCHES tall.
I bet he has no problem striking fear into the hearts of criminals.

Just like last night we had power all evening since the temperature dropped into the 30s.

In closing, who wants to own a piece of circus history!?

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/212-College-St_Holly_MI_48442_M42049-07527?ex=MI546108861

It's a house in Holly, MI that James A. Bailey built for his brother back in 1903. You can take a virtual tour of the home here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFQC1-BLx3Y&feature=youtu.be

Circus fans and historians, please feel free to share this info among your ranks, and to any of the circus blogs that you see fit.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"You Guys Are Weirdos"- Little Boy In A HUGE Cowboy Hat

Saturday, March 23: Columbus, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Miles: 104
Lot: Colorado County Fairgrounds

It rained a bit on this morning's jump, but I didn't mind. It washed some of the Rio Grande Valley dirt off my rig.

Radar bought a grill last night so we can start having barbecues again, but on this morning's jump the grill blew off the back of his truck!

I needed to go grocery shopping anyway, so I told him I'd pick up another one.
I was so disappointed with the three grocery stores I visited in town.
Yes, three! Each store's selection was so bad that I had to visit multiple places to get everything I needed.

I was happy that today was our first weekend of the tour without a three show day or a six pack. Huzzah!

Kelly Van Cleave, a former Ringling, Circo Americano, and Kinoshita clown, and her parents came to see the first performance today.
Kelly's mother made delicious cookies for me and Ryan. Thank you, Mrs. Van Cleave!

There was a three year old girl that was constantly critiquing me during the first Intermission. "You're not really a clown!", "Why were you acting so silly?", "Your feet are so big!", and so on.
After the show when I went into the audience to get the Van Cleaves, I saw the little girl and her family leaving.
I waved goodbye and said, "It was nice meeting you. Thank you for pointing out all my faults."

Ryan and I had a great visit with Kelly and her parents between shows. Talking shop with other clowns really recharges my batteries.

The people at the second show were keeping us amused during Intermission. They were saying lots of funny things and giving us perfect set ups to make funny jokes.

After the shows Radar, Elisa, Christian and I broke in the new grill with our first BBQ of the year. It was a good one! I look forward to many more over the weeks to come.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Are You Guys Consistently Hilarious?"- John Strong


Wednesday, March 20: La Feria, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The weather was threatening rain today, but it ended up just being overcast and windy, a perfect recipe for a lazy day, which is exactly what I enjoyed.

John Strong Jr. and Kenny Twomey were at the second show tonight. Guys, if you have online copies of the pictures we took, could you please send them to me?

There was a girl in the front row during the second show who was texting during the big mouth gag. She was so into her phone that she didn't realize I had snuck up on her until I was right in her face.
She jumped and screamed and the audience got a big kick out of it.

After the shows Ramon and his wife came by to pick up the GoPro camera that I borrowed but unfortunately didn't use.
I said goodbye to them since we are leaving the Rio Grande Valley in the morning. 


Thursday, March 21: Port Lavaca, TX-Travel Day
Miles: 260
Lot: Next to Downtown cleaners

Christian rode with me on this jump. He usually rides with Armando, but his son, Luciano is visiting, so Christian was out of a ride.
It was nice to have him along. Besides our conversations making the jump go by quicker, Christian also played some Family Guy on his laptop which kept us entertained for a good chunk of time.

Our lot in Port Lavaca is right on the Gulf of Mexico, so I took Emmie over to go swimming once I got my trailer set up.

I had a great rest of the day off. All I did was relax and watch movies. I would be a very happy man if we had non show days a little more often.


Friday, March 22: Port Lavaca-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

There were a ton of school kids at the lot this morning for the tent raising. I could hear them all the way from the midway when I woke up.

I took some time today to do a little cleaning, which I definitely needed to do. I also walked out to the dock on the Gulf in the hopes of seeing some dolphins.
Cody told me he had spotted some yesterday, but all I saw were some strange looking ducks and a couple of pelicans. Good enough!

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day, and today everyone wore black "Dress Down For Down Syndrome" shirts that we bought from Dee Dee.
In addition to the shirts, Dee Dee had the school kids make posters that were on display by the big top's entrance.

Since we are out of the Rio Grande Valley, we went back to our regular show times starting today.
It sure was nice getting done at 9:30 as opposed to 10:30 p.m. Even though I had an extra hour at my disposal, I still didn't fall asleep until almost midnight.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sorry

Hey everybody,

My Internet decided not to work well today (despite working perfectly yesterday), so there will be no blog post.
You'll get three entries tomorrow. Sorry....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Travel Day

Hey everybody,

Today was a travel day, so I'm going to take a break from blogging. I'll see you all tomorrow!

Steve

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"We'll Pray For All Of You"- Woman After The Show

Tuesday, March 19: La Feria, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 21
Lot: Behind McDonald's

Rex, a circus fan from the Rio Grande Valley, and Vincent, a circus fan from Europe, were both at the first show today.
In fact, I believe Vincent is visiting for a couple of days on his tour of American circuses.

It was a lot of fun to perform for the second audience; they were quite a lively bunch. During Intermission we found out they were nice people as well.

John Moss had a great joke about when I fell in the dirt yesterday while singing a Queen song.
He quipped, "You went from 'We Are The Champions' to 'Another One Bites The Dust'!"
Well played, ringmaster....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"You Guys Are F***ing Funny!"- Father At Intermission

Monday, March 18: Rio Hondo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 42
Lot: school grounds

There were scorpions on today's lot. Some of the crew guys were trying to catch one in a cup this morning, and Carolyn told us that she was bit by one while moving a prop sitting on the ground.
Ryan and I joked about the possibility of a scorpion getting in the big mouth with me, and what kind of hilarious acrobatics the prop would do as a result.

Ryan and I practiced our cornets for a bit this afternoon. I don't think I've picked mine up since we completed the Christmas tour last December.
It was strange getting used to the small mouthpiece after becoming so accustomed to the trombone.
We learned the song "Little Mary Sunshine" from the musical "Reefer Madness".

In the second show I was entering the ring for the trombone gag when I tripped over some rigging and fell face first in the dirt.
I was so shocked, embarrased and angry when I fell that I just laid there on my face for a few seconds, making jokes into the microphone to cover up my aggravation.

The reason for my anger was that the outfits we wear for the trombone gag are the nicest wardrobe we wear this season, so of course that is what I wipe out in.
Luckily when I got back to the trailer and examined the costume, there were no major stains. The most dirt was on my forehead, stuck to my make up.

Of course now that I am out of the moment I can look back and laugh at the situation, especially since I was singing Queen's "We Are The Champions" when I ate it.

In conclusion, here is the Kelly Miller Circus' Harlem Shake video, directed by Delena Fusco:



Monday, March 18, 2013

Let's Get Pharr Away

Sunday, March 17: Pharr, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

It was hot and humid today; I feel lucky that the temperature has been fairly mild for the past few weeks.
During the first show, every time I looked into the audience I saw people fanning themselves. I took pity on them while performing as the big mouth, and I magnanimously spit on some lucky spectators. I think in hot weather the show should sell upgraded tickets to the "Splash Zone".

Ramon and his wife were at the first performance. He brought some pan dulce for me to share, and he also lent me his GoPro camera for a little project I've been itching to try.

Even with the sun down in the evening, I think I sweated more for the third show than I did at three in the afternoon.
At Intermission people were lined up to take their picture with the sweaty, stinky clowns. Must be a pheromone thing....

I hit a wall between the last two shows. I was very grateful that the audience was energetic; I needed that shot in the arm to get through the evening.

In closing, here are some fantastic photos taken by Rick Purdue while he was traveling with the show a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/partridgeroad/sets/72157632938235166/


Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Snooki Want Smush Smush!"- Snooki

Saturday, March 16: Pharr, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

Today my friend, Ramon, took me to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant ever, Poncho's. I was so happy that I got to eat there one more time before we leave the Valley next week.
Ramon also just got over the flu, so we swapped war stories while eating delicious molcajetes.

This is our final six pack in the Rio Grande Valley. I guess I should have taken a few more days to recuperate so I would have missed it!

I made Pete laugh in the first show because I picked out a woman in the audience that looked like Snooki from "Jersey Shore".

The audiences today were making us work hard for laughs, but thankfully the third crowd was fantastic.

Tonight Mr. Fusco was reunited with a good friend that he hasn't seen in over 50 years. A mutual friend of theirs informed the gentleman that Mr. Fusco was in town with the circus; understandably they were both overjoyed to see one another again.
The Fuscos had a BBQ after the shows to celebrate. Ryan invited me to join them, but I declined so I could get rest for the three shows tomorrow.

One little anecdote before I close. Last night Pete was outside Ryan's RV during the show. A family in a truck pulled up, and the father rolled down the window to ask, "Hey, where are all the performers?"
"They're in the tent working right now," Pete replied.
"Can my kids get a picture with you?", the father excitedly asked.
Pete got a kick out of the fact that he was such a draw in his black jumpsuit. I guess Andy Warhol was right, everybody does get 15 minutes of fame.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Back To Work!

Friday, March 15: Pharr, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 17
Lot: Corner of Sioux & 83

I felt so much better after resting for two days and getting some good meds in my system. As much as I hate missing work, I'm glad I got the flu under control before it took me out of commission for even longer.
Thank you everyone for your well wishes and good thoughts!

After this morning's jump I went to do laundry, which was way overdue. I had planned to go in Elsa, the last town, but obviously my immune system had other plans.

Besides that outing I spent most of my downtime resting up in preparation for my return to work.

The shows tonight went well; it was nice to be in the ring again. Unfortunately we are back on another lot with high winds and a lot of dirt.
I'm hoping we get a break from dust storms when we leave the Valley on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"The Flu Can Kill You"- Doctor

Tuesday, March 12: Los Fresnos, TX

I had a rough night. I didn't get to sleep until almost 4 a.m. I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable, but I had a pounding headache and I was burning up with fever.
I took some ibuprofen around 3 a.m., and if that didn't help I was going to go to the emergency room. Luckily I finally fell asleep, and when I woke up I felt much better.
My nose was still stopped up and my throat was raw from coughing and hacking, but my headache and fever were gone.

Today a big group of us from the circus went to Port Isabel to go on the Black Dragon Pirate Cruise. Our friend, Christy, is the entertainment director for the cruise, and every year we set up a ticket trade between the ship and the circus.
Unfortunately, more people showed up than I had accounted for, and the ship had filled up fast with paying customers, so a few of us couldn't go on.
Ryan, Pete, Tavana, Marshall and I sat out the cruise to accommodate the extra people that had never been before.

Ryan, Pete, Tavana, and I drove over to S. Padre Island to look around for a bit, and then Ryan, Pete, and I walked around Port Isabel until the cruise came back in.

I started feeling worse as the day wore on, and when we got back to the lot in Los Fresnos my fever had returned full force.
Ryan took my temperature and saw that it was 102 degrees. He told me that I needed to go to the doctor, but I was stubborn and persisted that I'd be fine.
Finally after much persuading I agreed to go see the doctor.

There was a clinic in Port Isabel, so I drove there and checked in. The doctor saw me, checked my vitals, and gave me her diagnosis; I have the flu.
She prescribed three medications for me and told me to take two days off work to rest. She said to stay away from people, and if I felt worse to get to an emergency room.

Normally I hate missing shows unless I absolutely cannot work, but when she told me that the flu could kill me, I figured that the show could go on without me.

I went across the street to Walmart to fill my prescriptions and pick up some drinks and food, and then I went back to my trailer in Los Fresnos and began my convalescence.

Ryan will be covering our spots in the show until I return to work (hopefully) Friday. Pete played the part of the mouth in the second half, and I hear he did a great job (looks like I may be unnecessary).

I'm going to take a break from blogging until I'm better and back to work. I doubt you guys want to read about me lying in bed all day and taking lots of medicine.

See you soon!

Monday, March 11, 2013

"God Bless The Clowns"- John Ringling North II

Sunday, March 10: Edinburg, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, my throat was feeling worse today. Coughing throughout the day and having to talk really left my throat feeling raw. I'm sure my lack of sleep over the past couple of nights contributed to my sickness as well. Darn you, Daylight Savings!

In the second carpenter gag I was running around with the power saw in my hands when I tripped over one of our props laying on the ground.
I stumbled for a few steps, and just when I thought I was regaining my balance I tumbled over onto my side. Luckily I was able to roll and stand right back up again, but the fact that I was falling hard (without the benefit of breaking said fall with my hands) on cement, meant that I was sore and irritable after the act.

During the second Intermission the power went out. After awhile Ryan and I decided that enough time had passed, and that we needed to go into the ring to keep the audience entertained.
Luckily there was just enough sunlight out that the audience could still see us in the tent. Thank you, Daylight Savings!

We did some of our standard filler schtick, and Pete ran back to Ryan's house and got our juggling clubs for us. We kept going until the power came back on several minutes later.

The show's main generator blew a gasket, so it is out of commission for a few days until a replacement part can be obtained.

Show power was re routed to the smaller generator on the pole truck, but unfortunately that left all the trailers without power for the rest of the evening.
Thank goodness my little generator is working!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Carson & Barnes Had Six Rings"- Woman At Intermission Lamenting The Downsizing Of Circuses

Saturday, March 9: Edinburg, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

Even though I got to bed super late last night, I still woke up on my own about ten minutes before my alarm went off.
I got up, let Emmie out of his kennel, and promptly got back in bed to sleep for another hour.

I ended up sleeping through my alarm and waking up just a couple of hours before the first show.
WOW! I must have needed rest!

I had a sore throat today, which was a pain in the....well, throat. I was feeling pretty rough every time I came back from an appearance in the tent.

In the first show there was a teenage girl in the front row talking on her phone during the carpenter gag. During a free moment I walked over and took the phone from her and started talking to whoever was on the line.
I then handed the phone over to Ryan and he carried on the conversation a bit before we finally hung up and returned the girl's phone.
I love that the carpenter gag is loose enough to allow us to riff in situations like that, and I'm happy that the audience enjoyed the spontaneity of the moment while still sticking with us for the remainder of the gag.

On the subject of phones, a man came over at Intermission to buy a coloring book. As he was digging through his pockets for money, he pulled out a phone, and then another from the same pocket before finding a wad of cash.
I laughed and told him that I was disappointed that he didn't pull out another phone.
Without missing a beat, the man pulled a third phone out of his other pocket. Ryan, Pete, and I couldn't help but laugh.

The wind was terrible today. It was blowing at such an angle that my water heater's pilot light kept going out, even with the door covering it.
Before the third finale I tried to re light it so I could take a hot shower afterwards. I don't want to know how much my blood pressure went up during that struggle; it was extremely frustrating.
Anybody watching would have probably received great amusement at my fruitless efforts to block the wind with my body, hold the water heater door open with one hand, and light the pilot light with the other hand.

After the shows a group of us went out to celebrate Elisa's 23rd birthday party. It was a lot of fun; the company was great and the food was delicious.
Unfortunately we got back late, and I was awake to see my phone tick over from 1:59 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. for Daylight Savings.
It was a very depressing sight....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"I Like Money!"- A Toddler At Intermission

Friday, March 8: Edinburg, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 30
Lot: Municipal Park

There were two pallets of boxes for Oscar sitting on the lot this morning, so a few of us had to wait to be parked until the forklift could be unloaded to move them out of the way.

We are in a park with a big pond next to it, so as soon as I was parked I took Emmie over to go swimming.
Unfortunately he wasn't interested and just returned to the shore to bite my legs. Sigh, that's my boy....

I went for a walk this afternoon to familiarize myself with my new surroundings. I explored the nearby pond some more; it was like being in duck Heaven!





I enjoyed watching them all swim and play. I figured it was time to leave when a couple of big, scary geese came out of the water and threatened to chase me away.

Everything is set up on a parking lot for the weekend; it was actually nice to be on cement. I could especially tell a difference (for the better) when we were driving the little car around the ring.

Nico played clown today. During the first show he got his face painted like Ryan, and he was made up like me for the second show.
You can see how excited he was about the whole prospect....



After the shows I joined Armando and his family, the Fuscos, and the Combses for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant ever, Poncho's.
Unfortunately, first we had to tackle the obstacle of the locked gates. Yes, you heard me correctly. Locked gates.

Since we're on the grounds of a park, the gates are locked every night and re opened at 7 a.m. Meaning we are either trapped inside for the night, or locked out if we decide to try and enjoy ourselves after the shows.

It took us awhile to locate a key for the gates, and then by midnight we were on our way to eat.

The food at Poncho's is absolutely delicious. My friend, Ramon, took me to eat there a couple of weeks ago, and I just had to go back since we are only around the restaurant down here in the Valley.

I got a Molcajete, which was filled with prime rib, potato wedges, and awesomeness:


In addition to the great food we had entertainment as well. It was karaoke night, and the DJ was right by our table.
A group of dancers from Circo Vasquez were also at the restaurant, and they got up to grace us all with their dancing and singing talents.
We were cracking up because Nico was nonchalantly checking the girls out while they were dancing right in front of him. Atta boy!

It was about 2 a.m. by the time we had left the restaurant and returned to the lot. I know somebody who is sleeping in tomorrow!

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Dang! Ya'll Clowns Smell Good!"- Woman At Intermission

Thursday, March 7: Primera, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 57
Lot: City Park

The lot in Primera is a tight one, but it didn't seem as bad this year as it has in the past. I remember in 2011 when we played here I could barely get my trailer door open since we were all parked so close together.

Ryan and I took some time to clean off the props (again) since we have been playing on dirt for the past 10 days.
That being said, it sure was nice to be on grass again!

Today was the first one day stand of the season. After all the multiple day towns we have been playing, it felt strange to have to turn around and pack everything up this evening during the second show.

The first audience tonight was fantastic; it was a blast to perform for them.

Yeah.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"I Wanna Take A Picture With You Guys, Even Though I Hate Clowns And Everything"- Drunk Man At Intermission

Wednesday, March 6: Sullivan City, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Today Ryan introduced me and Pete to the series, "American Horror Story". We watched the first three episodes; I greatly enjoyed it, and I can't wait to see the rest of the first season.

I was in a very loopy mood for the second show. I blame it up to the box of Thin Mint cookies that I ate throughout the course of the day.....

Our friend, John Sayre, called tonight to share some exciting news. He has accepted the position as Advance Clown for the Kelly Miller Circus.
We're very excited for him, and we wish him the best of luck when his new adventure begins next month.

In closing, here are some pictures of the show in Laredo taken by Andrea Paredes.















Thanks Andrea!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Quote Of The Day Was Too Long To Go Here...

"Can we have some of your nachos? They don't feed us! They just show us pictures of food and then spray us with a hose."- Me begging to a woman that didn't speak English

Tuesday, March 5: Sullivan City, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 120
Lot: Vacant lot/Hwy 83

Last night we were warned that today's lot was less than ideal, but I think the warnings were worse than the actual lot.
Don't get me wrong, it was still a dump! There was dirt everywhere, occasionally broken up by patches of tall, itchy, dead grass.
The wind started blowing the dirt around this afternoon, but thankfully it wasn't nearly as bad as Roma. Still, we'll wait to clean the props until we're back on grass.

In the afternoon when we unloaded our props we noticed that one of the wheels was coming off the construction box. Sometime in Laredo the nut and washer holding the tire on must have fallen off.
I ran out to pick up what we needed; luckily there was a hardware store about six miles away. I was afraid I was going to have to drive 20 miles to either Rio Grande City or Mission.

The ground in the ring was terrible. I thought we were going to bounce out of the little car as we drove in for our carpenter gag entrance.
It was difficult to find stable footing for any pauses in the gags as well.

In the first carpenter gag I almost got uppercutted in the jaw by the slapboard. It came up and hit the front brim of my hat. Another inch and I would have been seeing stars....and Ryan solo clowning.
I made sure to move further back the next show!

Mike, the drummer, picked up a DVD of classic comedians (Laurel and Hardy, Abbott & Costello, the Three Stooges, Chaplin, etc) for me and Ryan.
I relaxed this evening after the shows by watching and learning. Thanks Mike!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"My Friends Bet Me I Wouldn't Take A Picture With You Guys"- Woman At Intermission

Monday, March 4: Laredo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

During lunchtime in the cookhouse Rick Purdue had his computer set up with a slideshow of the fantastic photos he has taken during his stay with the show.
When he puts some of them on Flickr, I will share the link here.

Carolyn came into the cookhouse with a cute little puppy that she found on her morning walk. She was trying to find someone that wanted to give him a home, and for a brief moment I was considering taking him.
The deal breaker was when I remembered how difficult it is to find someone to take care of my duck when we go off on our winter dates. I don't need to complicate things further with a dog.

This afternoon I went out to run some errands. I went by the post office and sent my taxes off (early for me), got some groceries, and filled up my truck so it would be ready for the big jump in the morning.

During the first show my body was feeling worn out. Luckily the second audience was great and really gave me an energy boost.

Aaron, who has been filming the show for Mr. North the past few days, was back again today to get a few more shots.
He rigged up a little camera that Delena wore on her chest during the web number. Before finale several of us gathered around Aaron's laptop to see the footage.
It certainly was an interesting perspective!

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Never Trust A Man Whose Eyebrows Meet In The Middle"- Angela Lansbury In "The Company Of Wolves"

Sunday, March 3: Laredo, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

Aaron dropped me and Lamount off at the lot pretty late last night/this morning. I didn't get to bed until around 2 a.m.
Despite that, I woke up much earlier than I wanted to.

Because of my lack of sleep in the middle of the six pack, I was dragging today. Pretty much the only thing that kept me going was the thought of treating myself to a milkshake after the show.
That shake was my motivation; the carrot dangling in front of me.

After the shows I went next door to get my milkshake, only to discover that they had already cleaned the shake machine, so I couldn't have one.


This episode of "First World Problems" brought to you by Jack In The Box.

In closing, here is a nice video piece done on the show here in Laredo. Thanks to our friend, Rick, in Michigan, for sending it to me.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

"How The Hell Do You Guys Keep It From Running?"- Man Trading Makeup Tips With Us At Intermission

Saturday, March 2: Laredo, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

This morning we had a quick rehearsal for the carpenter gag. There is a music cue that has been off several times over the past few days, so we ran over that section of the act twice and we were done.

There was a school group at the first show that Ryan and I went over to talk to during Intermission. The teacher said the class had been learning about the circus for a few days: it's history, traditions, etc.
The lesson culminated in a trip under the big top. I wish I had gone to that school when I was a kid!

Mr. North hired a local man named Aaron to film the show while we are here in Laredo. Ryan and I were talking to him a bit this evening, and he invited us to a get together at one of his friends' house after the shows.

Ryan couldn't go because of his family, but Lamount and I went to get away from the circus for awhile. Aaron took us to meet his friend, Kevin, and we also met his sons, Michael and Kevin. Kevin Sr. has an awesome house with a lazy river, tiki bar, and BBQ pit in the backyard.
He is also a heck of a cook. We were treated to some of his delicious fish stew; I also had a plate of his scrumptious lasagna.

Lamount and I had a great time hanging out, meeting new people, and enjoying good hospitality and food.
Thank you guys for a great evening!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!"- Kelly Ballagh

Friday, March 1: Laredo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

This morning I walked to the shopping plaza about a mile from the lot and got a hair cut at Walmart.
I was a little uncertain how it would turn out since the woman cutting my hair spoke English about as well as I speak Spanish.
Also, she seemed extremely nervous the whole time she was trimming. I have that effect on women....
Despite these handicaps, I think the hair cut turned out rather well, don't you?


Kelly came to see the second show tonight with his gun fighter co workers. I was happy they got to see us in front of a great audience.
I'll be honest, I really needed the energy of a good audience. 

After the show Ryan and I visited with Kelly and his friends for a little bit, and then I got cleaned up and went out to dinner.

When I got back to the lot it was very tricky to drive my truck back to my trailer. There was some kind of event going on at the ballroom next to us, and the parking lot was packed!

I didn't get into bed until after 12:30 a.m., and the nice, considerate drunk people leaving the ballroom kept me up for about an hour after that with their yelling, whistling, laughing, radio blasting, and horn honking.

It's a good thing we don't have three shows tomorrow!
Oh, wait......

Friday, March 1, 2013

"What The Hell Was That?"- Pete, Referring To The Second Carpenter Gag

Thursday, February 28: Laredo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 90
Lot: Casa Blanca Ballroom

The jump this morning wasn't as bad as I remember it being last year. I think there was less construction this time around.

Our friend, Kelly, who was a Ringling clown with us, is working just down the road at the Laredo International Fair and Expo.
This morning I went on an epic quest to find the fair. I walked about a mile in three different directions before giving up and jumping in my truck to find it.
It turns out that I went the correct way on my first trip; I just needed to go about half a mile more and I would have found it.

A group of us from the show walked to the fair in the late morning. We saw the wild west comedy gunfighter show that Kelly is a part of, and after their performance he joined us as we continued to explore the fair.

Kelly had about six hours off before his next show, so he got to visit with us this afternoon. It was a lot of fun catching up with him.
He kept us company while we cleaned the dirt off all our props. Unfortunately the tent is set up on dirt once more, but I don't believe it will get blown around and stirred up like it did in Roma.
Knock on wood!

I was in a very wacky mood for the second show. I don't know if it was from lack of sleep or what, but my choices in the carpenter gag were pretty out there.
I created a running gag by doing a hat trick at certain points in the act. It seemed to work out pretty well, so I may revisit it at some point.

Towards the end of the gag, as I was running around out of control with the saw in my hand, I got the extension cord tangled on the little car.
When I ran over to untangle it (still working the saw in my other hand like it had a mind of its own), I just made things worse and also managed to tangle myself up in the cord!

I was very scared that I wouldn't be able to free myself before I was supposed to throw the saw at Ryan, but someone up there must have been looking out for me, because the cord seemed to magically sort itself out moments before the cue.

Never a dull moment on the Kelly Miller Circus!