Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh Borscht!

Hello friends and family,

Today was our first show day here in Huntsville. On the first day at every site we have a full dress rehearsal in the afternoon before the evening show. They do this run-through because each building is very different, and it’s important for us all to know about the new spacing, where the props have to go, and the routes back to our dressing rooms. Why we have to be in full dress, including full makeup… Well that is just a mystery. I used to find this whole dress rehearsal idea entirely preposterous (and I often revert back to that opinion, it’s true), but recently I’ve been having too much fun goofing off during them to mind all that much. This is probably not something our lovely production manager would agree with, but I think that dress rehearsals are the time when you can do whatever you had been thinking of doing onstage, when you can be inappropriately creative. Choreography is slaughtered, jokes are played, and pyramids go up with the loosest definition of “up”. Today’s rehearsal was fruitful though, because the high wire was back in the show for the first time since Winter Quarters! Back in Tampa, during one of the last dress rehearsals, there was a very misfortunate accident that put the act on hold until now. Yohan, the older of the hire wire brothers (who perform in a quartet troupe with their wives), slipped while coming down the incline wire and fell to the cement below. He broke both of his wrists and dislocated an elbow, and the show had to be stopped. As far as wire-walkers’ accidents can go, he is very lucky to still be able to walk, and to look forward to sufficient recovery to perform again in his future. Still, it was a tragic thing to happen, especially to such a lovely group of people. The other three have stuck around to be in production numbers while Yohan heals. Ringling brought over another wire-walker from the Blue unit, and though the act is not what it was before, it is wonderful to have them back in the show.

As I mentioned before, I had a particularly lazy train run, and by yesterday I had gone absolutely stir crazy. I dragged Brandon, Dustin, and Eric to the mall just to get out of the train. We didn’t do much more than eat and talk, but I was really glad that we did. Then we walked to the nearest Walmart, because we all needed groceries, and since there was a run that evening we figured we would just catch the bus back. Well, the bus went to a different Walmart, so we were out of luck. Still, I had an incredibly fruitful visit to the toy section. Because my coveting of Brandon and Eric’s weapons had grown so strong, I felt the need to buy my own cap gun, and what must have been a year’s worth of ammo. Upon opening it in Clown Alley today I was very disappointed at the loudness of the shot: it was no competition for theirs. However, the bubble gun that I also bought did not let me down (I bought a gallon of bubble solution too). This made my pre-show very enjoyable, as I spent my time zooming around shooting bubbles in a big stream; too fast for pictures, too busy to stop. Man, everyone loves bubbles.

For about a week now, my friend Orest has been telling me he is going to make me some Borscht. He is one of the older Russians who live on my car, a base in the Swing act, and really one of the nicest people out there. Well today he came through on his offer, and appeared at my door with a huge hot bowl of absolutely fuchsia Borscht! (“You mast eat now. Vith bretd.”) I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, and I couldn’t have been more excited. It was truly delicious (definitely too good to have been made without any animal product, but I didn’t care). I think it’s safe to say that my fears about Borscht from the past have been overcome. Eric and Book, on the other hand, refused to try it. More for me!

We spent the rest of our evening baking cookies, on Book’s whim. It takes a long time to do this, because we can only fit batches of 6 in our toaster ovens at a time. So we baked and baked, and finally Book headed to bed leaving me one last tray in the toaster. He reminded me about it a good three times (“yeah, I know, Book”), but of course I forgot about it until I thought, “Gee, my room isn’t usually this smoky”. At my panicking and flapping, he came running into my room, grabbed the pan, and threw it out of the train. Then he proceded to pick the pan up and bash it against a stone wall until all the black cookies were detached, and finally flung it away again (and my potholder too). I appreciate his effort, but let's just say my pan isn't the same shape as it was before. At least we didn’t set off the fire alarms though, that would have been a catastrophe.

I am feeling well-fed and sleepy; it’s bed time.

Love to you all!


  1. So you got the card reader figured out ok?

  2. I'm not sure that Borscht should be served in a green bowl, actually, but I'm glad you tried it and even moreso that you liked it! Hooray!
    xoxox, Mom

  3. The card reader works fine for photos... I just can't get it to work with the video camera. Now to get in the habit of taking more photos...

    And eating more Borscht. Regardless of bowl color!

  4. Maybe someone could teach you how to make it yourself? You could trade for a crepe lesson, maybe. <3

  5. You're probably right; Borscht is made with beef broth and usually shanks (like ham bone in split pea soup). That was my first thought; I can't imagine an Eastern European cooking anything without meat product. I've never had borscht, but I LOVE roasted beets.