After a week in Phoenix, we shot into California and have been bouncing the Golden State ever since. While I hopefully will get time to do blog entries about every city, post all the pictures (I've never been a big picture taking guy, but since taking this job, I've taken hundreds) and give an update on the type of stuff that us circus folk manage to find to entertain ourselves in each city.
A few updates on life in the circus, as I mentioned already, it's still pretty great. While I'm still relatively new at this game, I continue to build relationships every day and the longer you're out here the more people start trusting you and allowing you into their cliques. One way I measure the number of connections/friendships I am making in the circus is the number of Facebook friends I have in the show. While this may seem like an exceptionally shallow and pointless way of keeping score, there is a method to my madness:
Back in college, when Facebook first came out, I friended just about everybody who you could because...well...I don't remember exactly why, but we did. You meet twenty people at a party and have 21 friend requests by the next night and find yourself wondering who some of these people actually are. Since I've "grown up" I no longer spend my days actively trying to expand my social network, at this point it's already at a sufficient size. So, to date, I have only sent a friend request to two people in the circus while I have received friend requests from about twenty.
My "people you may know" have started to change from distant friends of friends I had met once, distant family and people who I have been actively trying to forget for one reason or another, to 3 clowns, the show PR manager, some show riggers and other various and sundry show folk. I suppose if I needed a digital example to show the change in the people I come in contact with my Facebook news feed would be a good one.
Before I took this job, the only time I had ever spent in California was in LAX running between gates, so it has been an interesting thing to see all the good and the bad that the 31st state has to offer. So far, the weather has been incredible, since we rolled into town, we have had ONE day of rain and the weather always seems to be sunny and warm. That being the good part, as somebody born and raised in the midwest, everybody out here is insane. Let's go down my top five examples:
5. The Government of Alameda County: So far, this county (and several others, my apologies for not being inclusive) have managed to solve all problems of urban blight, homelessness, city services operating properly and the buses run on time. Wait, that's not true, but they do seem to have managed to eliminate the dastardly plastic grocery bag from all local stores. I'm sleeping better at night knowing that the local government has its priorities straight.
4. The drivers: In every part of California, I've discovered that all drivers are either insane, blind, jerks, impaired with who knows what substance or some combination of both.
3. Whomever owns Arco Gas Stations: These maddening places which dot the landscape of California only accept debit cards and cash, only have one place you can pay to operate a dozen pumps and everything is at least 20% more expensive than I think it should be. As a side note, they don't take the company gas cards. Forget those guys.
2. Anybody who lives in Ontario, California: The place is every bit as exciting as your local TGI Friday's restaurant and the only thing that every local I talked to could suggest to do for entertainment was to go to the mall.
1. The guy who was walking around the U.S. Open of Surfing on Huntington Beach with "Free Hugs" written on his back and torso. This particular gentleman (I use the term lightly) was one of many who were sporting this look so I generally ignored it. However, when this guy walked up to me and grasped me like a long lost relative to inform me that "I looked like I needed some love, man", "I was giving off some broken spirited vibes, man" and "the beach is a wonderful place to commune with the spirits of the ocean" (man?) I decided that another part of the beach was a good place to explore.
Well, big three show day tomorrow, so I'll cut things off there:
"May all your days be circus days"