In theory our journals are due on the 25th of each month but removed from the theoretical we are often later. Today is Thursday the 7th of March. It’s late in the afternoon. I’m in shorts and a t-shirt – so eat your frozen hearts out Minnesota fans. The weather here is GORGEOUS. I’m watching the end of the latest Sherlock Holmes film; I do love me some Robert Downey Jr. I just watched an interview Heather and I did for the local ABC affiliate… interesting. Now I have to try and crank out this journal so I can get cracking on a boatload of more work.
I want to take a moment and acknowledge that we have some of the coolest fans in the world. During the Christmas show back in mid-December Riki made mention on stage the fact that he didn’t know what sugar plums were. A few brief interchanges via Facebook later and voilà! I get to thank Mary and the whole Yarborough family for our first-ever experience with SUGARPLUMS! No really, sugarplums. This was certainly a month of parties. Groundhog Day saw Scarlett’s FIFTH birthday. Whoa. Groundhog Day saw Scarlett’s FIFTH birthday. Whoa. Groundhog Day saw Scarlett’s FIFTH birthday. Whoa. Five! As I am (trying) to write this she is being very insistent about the fact that I should be giving my attention to her… but in full sensible sentences. We’ve temporarily negotiated a compromise, so I’ll type whilst I still can. Scarlett got to celebrate the first of her extended birthday period parties at the epitome of Tot-cuisine Chuck E Cheese! Ha, “Tot –cuisine” that’s funny. A smaller gathering that Daddy wasn’t able to attend (I was once-again doing construction). We continued Scarlett’s celebratory month a few days later by taking Scarlett to her very first Circus! It was so much fun, especially since there was a group renaissance festival performers and crafters in attendance. Circus Vargas was charming, thrilling, and an interesting mix of intimate and big deal, compelling and cheesy. It was cold that night in the quaint circus tent in a nearby mall parking lot; so cold in fact that Scarlett climbed-up in the lap of her not-so-secret boy-crush Colton. Colton is a charming kid, the son of a jouster friend of mine. I’m going to feel so bad about eventually shooting him.
But Byron and I did manage one “boy’s night out”. Too cold for my fair weather kayaking outfit we decided to take a couple of pistols and go shooting. We were hoping that the expensive and swanky Scottsdale Gun Club would have a rare, high-tech newfangled revolver that we’ve been hoping to shoot and they did! Only, not for rental; just for sale. We only shot about a box of ammo apiece using the weapons we brought with us. Ever since the twin tragedies in Aurora and Sandy Hook, and the knee-jerk response to those events, guns and ammo have become really expensive and hard to come by. Still between a little fun shooting, some window shopping at the TWO gun stores located side-by-side and the Hawaiian barbecue for dinner – it was a grand time.
Sometimes the line between fan, support crew and friend gets a little blurry. Mary has been following us for years, and has the semi-ironic title of “Pacific Northwest Fan Club Chapter Head”. She was kind enough to visit and invite us out to country club brunch on the Friday before the second weekend. I’d also like to acknowledge the tiny visitor in this photo below. Say hello to Mia Iolanda Hall, Jeff’s tiny, fresh-from-the-factory daughter…. And by “Factory” I mean the lovely Jessica also pictured below. We continued dining with friends that weekend. We rarely go out on what we refer to as “School nights”, Fridays and Saturdays. But we had a passel of old, dear friends in town and we actually dragged our happy butts out to the smirkingly-named BJ’s in Mesa. Besides Wendi and Rhyne and their awesome kids – who I have mentioned before in previous journals – we were joined by Jamie and Mike; more dear friends from back in the day. Though Jamie and Mike and their kids now make their home in LA, they are also former Florida residents who essentially grew up with us. We also got to share the lovely company of Kara Beasley. We’ve all been friends with Kara since she was a very young and excited puppy. It was interesting to see her not only grow up to become a woman and tour the circuit for a few years but when she became bored, she went back to school and is now an honest-to-god BRAIN SURGEON! How cool is that? It is especially poignant for Riki, Jef and I since we can all remember a time when the brainy, blonde, bombshell was a starry-eyed teenybopper with a crush on the Twins.
My kid is just cool. She’s stubborn, she’s maybe overly willful, she’s smart and she’s five so she is a constant trial. But she’s also funny, quirky, loving, loyal and so smart. She plays tricks on me. She gives the best hugs and kisses and she and her mother really have me wrapped around their fingers. You guys remember that I don’t like dogs right? Would you like to guess what we just got? So our new puppy is named Winter Moon Kagogi. I never had a prayer. It’s bad enough that Heather wanted this dog, and Scarlett wanted this dog AND I agreed suspiciously close to Valentine’s Day but considering that this is a specific, hard-to-come-by Korean dog breed that we were planning on getting eventually… Oh wait, I haven’t told you the most impossible-to-resist part. Winter Moon is not only a rescue dog from Korea – which means we got her for less than a tenth of the amount we were thinking we’d spend to get this breed of dog – but this particular, smart, cutie-pie was actually on her way to a meat market in Korea. My new dog was supposed to be food! We commemorate this with her third name Kagogi means “Dog Meat” in Korean – though I may have misspelled it. I already like this giant of a dog – we think she’ll top out at 50 pounds – I certainly like her more than the little yappy dog, but less than Inari. Scarlett took to her right away. Heather loves her. I guess I’m stuck with her.
I don’t really have a lot to say about that other than it was pretty, it was cold and Arizonans lose their mind and absolutely do not know how to drive in even the lightest snow. We got so shook up by the sleet and threat of black ice that we actually turned-around just a few miles from our door and missed Justin’s Birthday Party Dinner. It wasn’t so much that we couldn’t drive in the light frosting of snow, but looking at all of the pile-ups in the half mile of highway we could see, we retreated for our own safety. Arizona, in case you’ve forgotten; we come here so we can skip winter. It sure was pretty while it lasted though.
And Scarlett’s second was a joy. We share this one with her “Little brother” Malcolm and there was a horde of people who dropped by. Don’t let Riki’s scowl in the photo below mislead you. Everyone had a good time. There was food, drinks, gifts, and a gajillion kids. There was a surplus of cake, a lot of sunshine (but comfy short-sleeves weather) and the whole shindig culminated in a combined Malcolm-and-Scarlett-present-opening FRENZY! I think Scarlett’s favorite gift may have been the Easybake oven. She literally could not wait to use it and got to do so that very evening – even posing in her baker’s outfit as a special “Thank you” to Uncle Jef and Aunt Jessica. I have to tell you – I like our lifestyle. I like our extended/multiple birthday party policy. I really, really, like Scarlett.
There is so much to really love here. The people I work with from the management to the cart-workers from my slide employees to the Joust troupe – I really like them all. The money is good. The show is run perfectly. Happy people who want to spend money and have a good time always come through the gates. I love the weather. I love the locals: Wendi and Rhyne, June and Dave and Bryon our former stage hand are just a few examples. I love our living conditions – our little courtyard and our sewer line all add to the charm. I love sharing the stage with Ded Bob as portrayed by Muggsy. I LOVE the audiences here. Two weeks from now, two weeks before we are scheduled to leave, I’ll already be in Georgia in my mind. Such is life. I am so lucky that I will never have to pick just one Renaissance Festival to get to work at; if I had to, I would both love and hate it if it was this one. Oh, and in the deserts of Arizona, our backyard is occasionally invaded by ELEPHANTS!!!!
People ask me these days “How are you” and my instinctive response is “Busy”. I keep getting busier. I have been vigorously attacking my “to-do” list, which is why I am still typing here at 8pm. I think we’re taking some time off next week to go shooting, re-visit the Out Of Africa park and just goof off up in the Jerome area for a little while. I’m looking forward to it. I’m shuffling papers for our many businesses; I’m trying to figure out how to pay for our unexpected business expansion. I did manage to do yet another birthday celebration – this one for friend, fellow stage performer and published author Chris Buehlman. I have dogs to not kill, a daughter to whip into shape and so many balls up in the air. Heheh I said “Balls”. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph Heather, Scarlett and I were featured on a local TV show called “The List” as a travelling renaissance family. The girls got more air time than I did – Neato! If I can find an available copy I’ll post it here next month. We’ve cancelled our additional trips to Vegas for this year. We just don’t have time, shouldn’t spend the money and I have too much to do. I thought I was done with construction too but now THAT’S back on the menu. I’m really looking forward to slowing down one day. But it will probably never really happen. Huh, that’s weird. I just noticed that I was petting the new puppy!
Valentine’s Day happened on a Festival day but I still wanted my amazing wife to get something a little better than a dog, the gun I got her and the typical hallmark card she might have otherwise gotten so in-between my sets on stage that day, I made her the following six special Valentine Cards. Enjoy.Members Only Journal. Bookmark the permalink. ← February 2013 January 2013 – Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Mia!!! →