Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cold weather days and library excursions!

First three weekends of Sherwood Forest Faire have passed! We've had a few fantastic days and a few mediocre days. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the way this year is starting out. Made a few new friends already and am looking forward to getting to know a few people a little better.

This week is looking to be one of the miserable weeks of the season. Between the quite literally freezing temperatures (I think it's only about 34 right now at 3pm) and the drizzly dreary weather, gathered up a couple of friends and escaped to the library for warmth and internet. After this we're hoping to fund a golden corral or some such buffet. Sadly after all the warm errand running inside, we will have to go brave the cold again back in the tent with the heater cranked up. Past few nights have been about an 8 or 9pm bedtime mainly just to get under the covers and stay warm regardless of being tired. Hosting a friend and her 5 yr old this week due to the cold, and strength of warmth in numbers. As nice as company is, I'm looking forward to warmer weather and less clothes again.

On to the next adventure!

Love, hugs, and light,
ChrisMonkey Jones

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Preparing for my second year travelling!

Less than a month away and I will on the road again travelling every two months. I'm looking forward to it immensely. Starting off with less bulk and extraneous supplies, jobs lined up already, and friends along the way!

Not only will I have my jobs lined up already, instead of rushing to find them as I travel, but at a couple of faires, I will be working what I hope to be better jobs. Instead of teaching and selling juggling toys at Scarborough, or selling and playing bamboo flutes at TRF, I will be working with Lucia's Jewelry selling her beautiful creations! I am looking forward not only to not having to teach people all day long, but also (hopefully) a little more stable income. Although playing flutes and juggling all day long is fun, it'll be nice to have a calmer job. Also at TRF I'll be a lot closer to my friends and family I've been close to for the past several years of working in the same area of faire.

Also, a friend who had been picking my brain for advice on travelling is actually taking the plunge as well. She will be my neighbour at Sherwood, and if this faire works out well for her and her child, she will continue on to other faires as well. Another friend of mine I've known at TRF for years is camped on the back side of my tent, but will only be there weekends. Glad I'll have close friends nearby at Sherwood (as well as many other people I know that travel).


Until then I'm doing a few tasks for a friend earning a little extra cash. 

Wish I had some rum  As always I hope to update more often than I have previously over the past few years....

Til next time!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

So hello and hello again!! Since TRF has ended I thought I  had a lot of time to visit friends and family. Well, sadly that was not the case. I was in Austin for a couple of weeks working at a Xmas bazaar, and it was a lot of fun and also allowed me the opportunity to accept the opportunity to accept a job as selling stones and gem jewelry, not only at Armadillo Xmas bazaar, but also at Scarborough Faire,  and TRF (hopefully).

So the past few weeks have been pretty fun working and catching up with a few friends that I haven't had the chance to hang out with for a year or so....And advised another friend to join the road travelling circuit.

Currently on a trailer reconstruction modeling job, and planning on setting up camp at Sherwood a week and a half from now and starting the whole cycle over again. This time however, I've already got all my jobs lines up....life should be pretty good in the year come.

I'm slightly drinking at this point, and have made a lot of effort to not have typos in this post. Good night and hope to talk to you all later.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Back home in Texas

It's been a crazy few months!

Scarborough faire was fun and fantastic juggling and making new friends as well as catching up with old friends. Weather was decent about half the time on the weekends. Overall life was pretty good. While at Scarby I picked up a travelling/camping companion. Our departure started off with a few hiccups, but once we got rolling things went pretty well.

Then....Kansas happened.

About halfway through Kansas the trailer lost a tire. Lugs sheared right off. Luckily there was no major damage as in the trailer flipping or rolling into a ditch. Over the course of three days, my friend Bailey got to visit with a friend that lived 10 minutes from our breakdown. Thankfully small town locals are friendly and helpful to people in need of obvious help. Once the trailer was mobile again, we were happily continuing through Kansas on our way to Colorado. Can't say much about Kansas except it's full of wide open plains.

About an hour after crossing the Colorado border we finally saw what we'd been waiting for after all the flatness of Kansas plains.....we saw.....MOUNTAINS! And then it was evening, night fell, and all we saw were road and headlights. As we pulled into a parking lot to meet a friend of ours, I hear a not-so-good squealing behind me coming from the trailer wheel. Looking at it in the morning, the hub's bearings are greaseless and no good. Thinking this issue, in addition to the ungainliness of the trailer, I decided not to take the trailer further along the journey. Good idea in theory, but in practice it didn't work out so well for me.

Colorado was (and I guess still is) beautiful. The weather was fun though...almost everyday there was rain around 2pm, anywhere from storm to sprinkles. It really made planning any outdoor activity a hoot. Really. (not really.)  The faire site was small but nice, and the crowds couldn't compare to Scarborough or TRF... Lots smaller, even on our crowded days. Got out a little to see Boulder, Colorado Springs, and explored a couple of small hills and such during the weekdays.

Between Colorado and NY's Tuxedo ren faire, we had less than 5 days to travel more than halfway across the country. The trip started off well enough, but then we approached the border back to Kansas. And apparently Kansas hates us. Not 10 mile from the border our tire blew out at 9pm and no spare in good shape with us. Towed back to a tire shop, we slept in the cab of the truck until the shop opened, and then boogied on across the states up to NY without further incident.

Although small, Tuxedo was a very busy faire, especially at the jewelry booth I was working for. Once again new friends made and areas explored. One of the coolest experiences was filling up from a flow of fresh mountain spring water for drinking. Very tasty because there was no taste. Yes, lovely. Slightly inconvenienced due to Tmobile's lack of coverage up on the mountain we were on. The local libraries were very close and very quaint and full of plenty of wifi.

After two months of NY though, we had to pack up and say goodbye. Fantastically the drive home was much smoother that any of the other legs of the journey. Taking out time we rolled into Dallas just recently and are spending a few days visiting and relaxing before heading down to Houston for TRF, final big faire of the year.

I am eager to see how next year pans out. Already I most of my employment planned out, rather that this past year as I was spending time during each fair seeking employment for the upcoming one. I've even had to turn down a job offer or two so far.

Looking forward to life. So far it's been good. I think I'll keep at it some more.

Love, hugs, and smiles,

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

First off, the trailer tows well, but it was necessary to sell my Honda Element and buy a beefier truck to pull with. I now own a 1998 Ford F-150, shortcab, longbed, with a V-8 5.4L Triton engine. In short, Big-Ass Truck. Still getting used to how wide this new beast is, but she rides smooth and can haul what I need to.

So the year of travelling is kind of off to a rough start. Although my time at Sherwood Forest Faire was fun and I got to see old and new friends, the weather was more than a little disagreeable at times. Enough money was made to survive and for fuel to the next faire.

So here I am at Scarborough Renaissance Faire, with an actual booth to stay in (with electricity) thanks to a few friends of mine. I'm once again working for juggling toys and am happy to have the boss that I do. So far he's treating me fantastically, and in turn not only am I doing the job I was hired for (juggling) but also doing a little booth maintenance and such.

First weekend wasn't all warm and comfy like we always hope. It was a bit overcast and cool all day. A few cloaks but overall decent enough to make more than a few sales. Sunday however, was a completely different story. Cold. Rainy. Windy. Although our toys do work in the rain, we don't generally demonstrate and have out product out in the rain because it just gets filthy. And no one wants to juggle with funky toys. We did have two sales that day so I was paid a partial day for at least hanging around and keeping company when I didn't have to.

Tomorrow will be some cabinet rebuilding and some sign painting. Hopefully the sunny weather that we had today (minus the 10 minute rainstorm at 8pm) holds out and we can get some work done without having to freeze and dodge raindrops while we do it.

So...off too bed! I'll talk at you later!

Monday, March 03, 2014

On leaving home...

Aaaaand two months later another update! (I swear I'll get more frequent at updating one of these years)

So the quick and semi-uneventful bullet points of two months time:

I survived the flu! Worse and only major sickness I've had in quite a while.
My hair? Slowly growing back is to the point that it spikes a bit when wet, and has direction when combed.
My pizza delivery job? I'm picking up my final check this coming week.
Rennaisance festivals? Built a camper (of sorts) and will be living on the road as of next week.

Now for the longer version to appease the story-teller in me:

After my sudden haircut and during my sickness recovery, I received many texts and facebook messages. Both keeping my self-esteem high, and filling my heart with love at the wish to feel better soon. Not only did I recover my health, but also continued on with the assurance that I was still one good-looking mofo (Thank you, friends).  The hair is currently just long enough to get a hold of with a pinch of the fingers, as well as long enough to spike when wet and comb visibly in certain directions. And then it dries and does what it wants.....

The biggest decision of the year has been to quit this "mundane" living and travel the country with fellow wanderers and work along at Renaissance faires and festivals. So far I have some of my many belongs and clothes in trunks, but have procrastinated and will be stuffing things in boxes shortly to take with or store somewhere.  I have also quit my job delivering pizzas (as of the last day of February). I've one more check to pick up and am unnerved beyond belief. Coming up, this will be the first time I can think of in my life that I will be supporting myself from my own fundage and work. Previously, I was either being fully supported (parents, Marines, govt) or in a partnership where my income was supplemental, but definitely not the primary portion.

I should have plenty of space to take my stuff. Traded my canoe for a utility trailer, and proceded to build a camper onto it. Currently it is just the shell of the trailer with a couple of windows. Still needs a bit of work, to include inside walls, cabinetry, and a bit of weather-stripping around the door. So far although tall awkward looking, it is coming along nicely as far as livability goes. There are a few things to be desired though.

It's tall. Not such a bad thing in such that is how I designed it. Plenty of room to stand up inside beats hunkering over to change clothes, or squatting and crouching to make dinner and snacks. It does however make it a little more unstable when towing it along, what with angled entrances to gas stations/stores, wind, and bumpy roads. Although the structure itself seemed to do well, I was nervous the entire trailer and all would weeble and wobble and tilt over. I plan on getting a stabilizer bar, but imagine it will only help so much. It's also heavy. I was hoping to keep it under 1000lbs, but with no cabinets, nor belongings, it weighs a whopping 1360. My 4-cylinder is only rated for 1500. Just pulling it to Austin, I had to take it slow and feed it more gas than expected. And just to repeat, it was wobbly - So I want to add a couple of storage boxes to the lower sides to help increase the weight on the bottom. That leads int my next issue.

(Yes I'm aware this post is long; the end is almost here.)

As much as I love my Honda Element, and as well as it has served me/us well over the past several years, it was just not made for towing. So although it pains me, I'm looking to sell it for as much as reasonably possible for a decade old SUV with almost 120k mile that has seen an accident with a few pigs that required some heavy repair and an engine swap. And concurrently or shortly thereafter, I am hoping to get a 6-cyl SUV (or truck) in as reliable shape as possible for as low a price as I can. Currently the money I get for the Element will probably be the extent of my budget for car shopping. Expectations are not high that I'll come out head monetarily on this exchange...lol.

My box is parked at Sherwood faire, east of Austin by ~40 minutes. I'll be bringing a spare tent to use as storage for my trunks and a few other items. Life is about to get much more simple a bit easier, but at the same time a little more difficult and perhaps complex in a few aspects.

And I must not forget to pack my bicycle. It has always been there to bring my body where I wanted, to keep my mind where it needed to be, and to give my mouth extraordinary stories to tell about at times.

Such is the adventure I choose - full of love, full of life.

Ready for adventure! I think....

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Happy New Year! And all the ups and downs....

Not even a week prior to new year's eve, I discover that I've got critters in my hair. Not just a couple of tiny bits of lice, but quite a few, and quite full grown. **gross!** It's hard enough combing through my mess of freshly conditioned healthy hair with a wide tooth comb; there's no way I was going to try to get through it with an extra fine tooth comb and catch all these nasty little buggers. Instead, I took the relatively easy way out.

Scissors and clippers!

Yes everyone who hasn't seen it on facebook....I'm bald once again. Definitely not a look I'm fond of, although from many, many comments and messages from friends, my ego is still intact. Apparently I look pretty good without the head of hair too. Who knew bald was a thing chicks went for?

So now approacheth the party of the turning of the year. Pinstripes and derby, I make my way downtown after work, looking sharp and ready to have fun. Into the wee hours of the morning there was dancing and pictures and laughter galore until eventually we all either went home or retired onto couches and spare beds.

Early-ish morning was met with the discovery of several broken car windows (although I don't think anything was actually reported stolen....weird) and some more drinking, albeit mainly coffee. After a luncheon and drinks with my friends, I made my way down to Victoria to visit with my Mom and see a few friends while in the area.

Alas, plans went awry. Before I even got to meet up with a couple of friends the first night ((we were going to karaoke!)) I started feeling a little sluggish after having a slight cough build earlier that day. After eating out for some Thai soup while my mom had a nap that evening, I stopped by CVS for some meds, went home and laid in bed....for two days.


I wish I could say that I had some good sleep during that time, but it was mostly tossing and turning due to either ridiculous heat, or ridiculous chills, and tossing or clutching at the blankets accordingly. After I finally felt well enough to at least get out of bed, I enjoyed eating food again - small amounts, mind you - but solid food. Spent two more days at moms while she reveled in getting to take care of her baby again.  

Home again on Monday and napped the rest of the evening. Work today wore me out. More water and rest scheduled to day and early tomorrow. Hopefully I'm not as beat after tomorrow's shift.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I've been sick with an illness like this. A sinus infection here and there, or something that passes within a day, but rarely if ever in the longest while an actual sickness with fever and chills and fatigue.  I guess for someone who takes very little precautions against these things and is pretty reckless when it comes to being around sick people, it's about time it caught up to me.

 Go-go-antibodies! Getting stronger by the day!! 

(*I hope!*)