This morning I went out to run some errands. On my way back to the lot, I felt my truck lurch, and then it began to vibrate violently.
I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw smoke and rubber flying out from behind my truck.
I quickly pulled over on the highway and got out to investigate; I had completely shredded my rear driver side tire. I guess it was inevitable since those back tires have been on since I bought the truck from Nikki over two years ago.
Luckily it didn't happen while I was making a jump (which would have happened had the Fort Worth run not been extended by another day), or right before a show.
I called Good Sam Roadside Assistance, and they sent someone local to replace my tire. I was scheduled to meet Kyle Clay at 11:30 a.m. for lunch, so I called him to let him know what had happened.
Kyle was nice enough to come visit with me on the side of the highway until the mechanic arrived.
I ended up waiting over an hour and a half for the mechanic to show up, but once he got to me, the tire was switched out in a matter of minutes.
The one hassle was that people were being real jerks and not moving over a lane to give the guy some room to work.
He had to keep checking on traffic and moving out of the way, because a few people would have hit him if he wasn't paying attention.
(Please everyone, if anyone is pulled over on the side of the road, be courteous and move over one lane, or at the very least, slow down)
After getting my spare tire mounted on the truck, I followed Kyle to the restaurant where we were meeting his wife.
Kyle and Anna treated me to lunch at the Chef Point Cafe, which is a gas station turned restaurant.
The story goes that the owner asked the bank for a loan to open a restaurant, but they wouldn't give him one based on the fact that almost all restaurants fail in their first year.
The owner turned right around and asked for a loan to buy a gas station, which was approved.
He turned the working gas station into a restaurant, and the rest is history!
Obviously Chef Point is doing very well for itself, because Kyle and Anna said it had expanded since they had last been in, and there was a patio area being constructed in the restaurant's rear.
The food was amazing. Kyle and I both had the Better Than Sex Fried Chicken (that's the restaurant's claim, by the way), and we all shared some delicious bread pudding for dessert.
After lunch I called a nearby tire place and asked if they had the size tire I needed for my truck. They did, so I drove over and bought two new truck tires (I wanted to replace the other back tire since it was on its last leg as well), and I replaced the trailer tire that I shredded on the jump down to Donna.
It was an expensive day! Thank goodness for my rainy day fund!
Back at the lot I walked over to the tent a couple of hours before the show to set some props, and I discovered that a strong wind had blown in the back door and knocked over the poles and curtains for the men's dressing room!
Everyone's costumes were on the floor, and all of the paraphernalia that Ryan and I keep on our table had also been knocked over. Even my nose glue had spilled. Grrrrrr.
Mike from the band helped me pick everyone's costumes up. I didn't even want to try and set up the curtains again.
Apparently the stage crew kept fixing the dressing room, but it kept blowing over during the day. How frustrating!
Kyle came to watch the show tonight. I had been bragging to him about the air conditioned tent, so we were both surprised when we found out that for some reason it wasn't on for the one show this evening. Yuck.
Despite the lack of cool air, it was so nice only having one show before loading out, as opposed to the usual three shows.
Ryan and I were able to get our props over to our trailers and loaded fairly quickly, which was a definite plus.
5/6/14- Travel Day to Dallas, TX
Today I just hung around the house waiting for the trailer in front of me to leave so I could drive to Dallas.
Ryan and I were finally able to leave the lot around 3 p.m., and then we only had a 36 mile jump to our lot in Dallas.
It would have been a very easy jump if not for all the construction and wind. I couldn't believe how much the wind was blowing; once again I felt like I was driving on ice.
I definitely need to invest in sway bars before we head to our next city.
It didn't take too long for us to get parked in Dallas. We pulled into a big empty area next to the trailer parking area, and as soon as we stopped Ryan was called over to be spotted.
I waited for maybe an hour before I was summoned, and then I was parked right in front of Ryan's house. I was very happy about how quickly they got everything done for this move.
After getting cleaned up, Ryan, his family, and I joined my vet friend, Crystal, for dinner at a sushi restaurant in North Dallas.
5/7/14- Day Off!
This morning I drove up to Frisco, TX to visit the Stonebriar Mall and pick up my brand new Macbook Pro from the Apple Store. Whoo hoo!
I visited a Half Price Books in a shopping center next to the mall, where I found pristine copies of John Towsen's "Clowns" and Emmet Kelly's "Clown", for $20 a piece.
I was very impressed with the amount of circus books that particular location had in stock.
I drove over to Frisco Sqaure, where I had played for a few years with Kelly Miller, but the restaurant I had hoped to lunch in, Go Go Burger, seemed to be closed down for good.
Luckily there was a good sushi restaurant down the street, so I had the pleasure of eating there instead.
I met up with Ryan and his family back at the Stonebriar Center to walk around for a bit. Crystal joined us after awhile, and then she and I went to see "The Amazing Spider Man 2". It was a long movie, but I was never bored. My one complaint was that I wish they hadn't tried to fit so much exposition into one movie. There were some story arcs I would have liked to have seen get more attention, but overall I enjoyed the film.
This evening Ryan and I met up with Russ and Marie, two local performers who saw our show in Fort Worth, for dinner at Afrah, a restaurant serving delicious Lebanese food.
Russ and Marie are part of a troupe called Circus Freaks, so Ryan and I had a great time picking their brains about running a business and gigging in a major city, and we all enjoyed discussing clowning and performing in general.
5/8/14- Day Off!
Today was a rainy day! Thunderstorms occurred on and off until the evening, and the precipitation was constantly coming down. In fact, the rain was coming down so fast and so much that the cement we are parked on was frequently underwater!
Our friend, Kelly, came out to have lunch with us today. Ryan and I worked with Kelly on the Blue Show Ringling Alley, and we always look forward to seeing him whenever we're in Dallas.
We went to Pappa's BBQ to eat. I missed out on eating bbq in Fort Worth, so I was happy I got to have some before we left the DFW area.
There was a tornado warning while we were visiting with Kelly after lunch, so I decided to join Ryan and his family for a night out to get away from the trailers. (Luckily there were no tornados. Just a lot more rain!)
We visited an Argentinean bakery where Ryan and I had coffee; Ryan and Tatiana also picked up some goodies to enjoy at home.
We then visited a Movie Trading Company where I rented a couple of movie classics like "Swamp Thing" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night" (Parts One AND Two!).
Finally we wound up at the house of Ryan's uncle Mike, aunt Michelle, and cousin, Brandon. Michelle made a delicious dinner for us, and then Mike showed us an episode each of the reality TV shows "Face Off" and "Jim Henson's Creature Shop". Reality TV has never interested me, but I could definitely get into each of those programs since they involve people making things with foam, latex, and many other tools Ryan and I use every winter in the creation of our new gags.
Mike is a big fan of comic books and video games, and when he was at a Hastings on Free Comic Book Day, he spotted a replica of the Brain Gremlin from "Gremlins 2" (my favorite character from one of my favorite movies).
It was marked as 30% off, so he sent me a text about it. I quickly checked online and saw that I couldn't find a better price than what Hastings was offering.
I begged him to pick it up for me, which he was nice enough to do. Tonight I paid him back and brought home my very own Gremlin, a dream I have had since I was a little boy.
We're going to stay up late, jump on the beds, have tea parties, and be bestest friends!