Friday, April 18, 2014

Monday, April 14-Thursday, April 17: Fort Worth, TX

4/14- Travel Day

This morning I went by Kick Butt Coffee for one last visit before we hit the road to Fort Worth. I'm really going to miss that place, and their delicious Peruvian blend coffee.
While I was enjoying my coffee and free Wifi, it began to storm outside. The rain was coming down in buckets, so I waited for awhile before braving the elements and returning to my trailer.

When I got back to the lot, I discovered that the drain closest to the trailers was covered up by all the leaves that had fallen over the past two weeks. This kept the rapidly collecting rain water from draining, so there was ankle deep, standing water surrounding our houses.
My socks and shoes were thoroughly soaked by the time I got inside. Good thing I have a spare pair of shoes besides my clown ones.

Our route sheet said that everyone must leave the lot by 11 a.m., but after the last travel day, Ryan and I realized that what was written on the sheet is not necessarily the law.
People started leaving a few hours after 11, but I was stuck behind the trailer of someone taking down the tent.
Since I was going nowhere fast until they moved their house, I pulled out my generator, powered up, and relaxed while watching a movie.

The trailer in front of me finally moved out of the way, so I was able to hook up my truck. Ryan had been ready to go for a few hours.
We finally hit the road around 5:00 p.m. and began the 180 mile jump to Fort Worth.

The first thirty miles of the drive were extremely stressful. The wind was blowing with all its might, and between that and the semi trucks flying past me, my trailer was moving so much that I felt like I was driving on ice.
Once we got farther away from Austin, the wind died down. I slowed down a bit (not that I was speeding; I simply dropped down to 50 instead of 55), and I also loosened up a bit, which helped whenever the semis flew by. And fly by they did, even when we were driving through construction areas with concrete walls on either shoulder. Yeesh!

We made it to the lot in Fort Worth, La Gran Plaza Mall, around 9:30 p.m. and relaxed for the evening.

4/15/14- Day Off!

This morning I walked around the mall and generally familiarized myself with the surrounding area. The mall is definitely catered to Latin Americans, so I should be able to enjoy some great food while we're here. Also, I won't be lacking for a dress when my QuinceaƱera comes along.

My friend, Crystal, came to pick me up and take me to lunch this afternoon. Crystal works as a vet tech in the DFW area, and whenever circuses come around, she is always excited to help with the animals any way she can.
Being I am 90% a circus animal, she found some time in her busy schedule to hang out with me.

She took me to a sushi restaurant downtown that had amazing sushi rolls. While we were dining, Ryan called to let me know that he was being parked.
When we were finished eating, Crystal took me back to the lot so I could park my trailer as well. Once that was accomplished, I had nothing tying me to the lot until opening night on Friday. Whoo hoo! Sweet, sweet freedom!

Crystal was nice enough to patiently wait while I parked my rig, and then she took me to the Ol' South Pancake House for dessert.
We both split one of their world famous German pancakes, which had the consistency of a crepe and was filled with heart clogging goodness: whipped butter, powdered sugar, and squeezed lemons. Mmm mmm!

Before kicking me to the curb, Crystal took me to Apple Store, where I decided on which new laptop I'm going to purchase. Mine is on its last leg.
I decided on a basic Macbook Pro, but I am going to wait for another paycheck or two so my purchase doesn't completely obliterate my rainy day fund.

A big group of people from the show were going to watch a Rangers baseball game tonight, but I found out just as they were leaving, and I wasn't feeling spontaneous enough to drop everything and join them.

Ryan and I had planned to see the horror movie, "Oculus", tonight at the Latino Cinema in the mall, but the girl behind the counter informed us that the film wasn't working.
The most likely answer is that the theater is haunted by the evil mirror featured in the movie.

4/16/14- Day Off!

This morning I went to the laundromat conveniently located on the other side of the mall, and then I met up with my friend, Abra, and her baby, Levi.
Abra is the daughter in law of Gary "Patches" Ray, who was a graduate of the 1972 class of Ringling's Clown College; he worked the shrine tours for many years with his partner Steve "Checkers" Baker.

I took Abra and Levi to the same sushi restaurant that Crystal introduced me to yesterday. It was just as amazing today as it was yesterday!

Back at the lot I joined Ryan for a painting party. He was painting props for Jorge Pompeyo, who performs the dog act in the show.

All the advice Ryan culled from Bobby Rawls, who paints trucks for Kelly Miller, definitely paid off!

Since the weather was nice and Ryan had all our painting supplies out, I pulled out the sawhorses from the carpenter gag, which have needed a touch up for a long time.

While we were working, our friend, Kyle Clay, swung by for a quick visit. Kyle is a firefighter and clown in the area, and we should see a good amount of him while we're in town since he doesn't work too far from the lot.

Ryan and Tatiana were craving sushi for dinner, so I joined them and Nico for an evening out.
And yes, sushi twice in one day is JUST as awesome as it sounds!
We didn't go to the same place I had gone before, but the new place was very good, even though it was a lot smaller.

Ryan and I were going to try and catch the 10:30 p.m. showing of Oculus, but we didn't get back to the lot until the movie was starting.
I remembered seeing a listing for an 11:20 p.m. showing, so Ryan and I decided to just wait a bit and catch that one.

When we arrived at the theater the girl behind the counter informed us that the movie was actually at 11:00 p.m. (the error was on my memory's part), but no one had gone to that showing, so they hadn't started it.

Ryan and I had the whole theater to ourselves, which prompted our own running Mystery Science Theater 3000 style commentary. Well, when we weren't making out of course.

I really enjoyed the movie. It was scary, but it didn't strictly rely on "jump scares"; there were a lot of moments of suspense and straight up creepiness.


This morning I visited a Half Price Books. Don't look so surprised.
I made quite a haul; I even found a pristine copy of Three Stooges straight man, Moe Howard's, autobiography for $5!

I had lunch with the Combs family, and then we visited another Half Price Books that was across the road from the restaurant.
I was surprised to find yet another copy of Moe's book for $5! I let Ryan get that one; I found a Laurel & Hardy book for myself that I had never seen before.

Next we visited a Movie Trading Company, which is a great used DVD chain in the DFW area. I found out today that you can rent any movie in their stores, which is amazing because
a) We are in the DFW area for 5 weeks, and
2) They have a lot of hard to find films that aren't available on Netflix.

I am a happy nerd.

This evening Teo brought over a cake that he had picked up at a Czech bakery on the way to Fort Worth.
Tatiana had made dinner, so we all ate at Ryan's house and then enjoyed the delicious chocolate cake. Thanks for sharing, Teo!

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