Those Magic Changes

I'm on a horse

Andy on his high horse

Meet Cole, my mustang on loan from Five Oaks riding stables. He had the softest coat. Our hour-long trot through the mountains was stunning. We couldn’t have picked a better day to make the trip – the weather was a perfect temperature and the leaves were crimson and gold.

Our tour guide, Slim, was a pleasant man who had grown up riding. He retired from the rodeo a few years ago to live at the stables, take care of the horses, and give horseback tours. He suggested coming back to the stables when it snowed – and I can imagine how beautiful it would be.

In the stables with Cole

Sevierville traffic is awful though and we dread it every time Andy and I journey into it. Strangely, it’s only the traffic going south that is terrible, traffic heading north, out of the town, is pleasant. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, it doesn’t matter which day of the week – the main drag is awful and should be avoided at all costs. It’s a tourist trap, for sure.

We left Sevierville behind to travel to Sweetwater, TN for the start of week 7 of tour. Fortunately, we stumbled upon the neatest Cavern called Craighead Cavern. It was a mere jog away from our hotel and after our shows on Monday we treated ourselves to venture out. The coolest thing about these caverns is that deep inside of them is an underground lake called the Lost Sea.

Civil War Era Graffiti, verified by carbon dating and science!

It’s the largest under land lake in the United States – discovered in 1905 by a 13 year old child. In addition to the Lost Sea, the caverns were also home to Confederate Soldiers who mined salt peter in the caverns.

This tour is one of the best tours I’ve done – and I would highly suggest it. I know I will be returning to these caverns to camp overnight. Camp in a cavern? It’s number two on my bucket list right now. (Number one is Scotland to visit Tony and Al – so expect me soon!)

Today’s shows were great, albeit stressful because we had to rush from the morning school in Decatur to the afternoon school in traffic-city Sevierville. Tomorrow is the same song, where we rush from Del Rio to Lenior City. Lando, our blue Hyundai Elantra, is due for another oil change soon – so we’ll have to find time to make that happen. Just another day in the life.

Still Hurting

Thursday was good. The principal of our afternoon show was a fantastic woman from Atlanta, Georgia (when she said it it had more syllables than I can imitate. I love how Georgians pronounce Georgia.) who was excited to have us. She wanted to know our whole life story and was happy to hear all about our lives. In our second show at the school though, a kid got up and left during our show and didn’t return. He was angry because he couldn’t see, I think, and two teachers chased after him into the hall. I’m sure he was fine, but it reminded me too much of other events that may or may not haunt me. I couldn’t get her out of my head that night and I wonder if I ever will. I wish I would have woken up that morning and sat with her.


The kids enjoyed the program immensely however, and it was a joy to bring theatre to children who do not get to enjoy it on a regular basis.

Friday’s shows were stellar.

I've finally made it in this world. ;)

The Marquee at Lenior City

We pulled up to our school to find that we were on the marquee! Our morning school had a fantastic principal who greeted me with a smile and a hearty handshake. His name was Skip, and I could tell he loved his job so much. A woman named Mary coordinated our visit, offering us refreshments and a pitcher of filtered water that was delicious. Two teachers, a PE teacher and an Art teacher, also made us feel welcome by offering their services and being very friendly. The children were fantastic to work with as well, and we were sad when we had to leave.

Our afternoon show was great too, but after the second one I started to feel my throat tighten up. Uh-oh. By the time we got to the car, it was difficult to speak and impossible to swallow. We checked into our hotel and I immediately climbed into bed, happy that it was the weekend and I had time to recover. I slept from 5 pm til about 10, then went back to sleep after chugging some water. When I woke up at 6 am, my throat was feeling a bit better and it wasn’t as impossible to swallow. I watched the sunrise and made my way to the breakfast room to drink all the orange juice I could get my hands on. I’m able to speak again, but my throat still feels pretty dry and I’m on strict vocal rest so I can kick it in the bum.

Andy and I have two tickets to horse riding stables at 3 pm. You can bet I won’t be missing that. The last time I was on a horse was 11 years ago. Too long, if you ask me. High-ho Silver, away!

Is it too late?

This website makes you think, doesn’t it?

In case you weren’t aware of Worldometer, it is a real-time count of several vital statistics in the world. Interesting numbers include how much water has been consumed this year, money spent on weight loss programs in the US today, and blog posts today.

But most of these numbers are frightening.

Among those numbers is how many hectacres of forest have been lost this year, how many CO2 emissions this year, and then there is energy…

The energy countdowns are interesting because in addition to showing how much oil and gas we are using, it also provides an estimated date of when we run out of oil and gas. As of today we have 15,387 days left in oil and 60,814 days of gas. Energy usage statistics are divided into renewable and non-renewable resources – of which the majority is non-renewable.

Andy and I do our part to educate the youth and ourselves daily. We turn off our lights when we leave the hotel room, we unplug unnecessary appliances, and we conserve the best we know how.

Now a question for you, dear reader! Which of the stats from Worldometer scare you the most? Why?

Great Big Stuff

It has been a fantastic week.

Driving through Virginia

We had great shows on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday’s afternoon school was especially awesome, with a great staff and student body that loved the show. I want to send them candy.

NTC presented our show at the NAAEE conference in Raleigh, NC on Thursday, which gave us Wednesday and Friday off for travel.

After Tuesday’s show, we drove to Hillsville, VA to make the drive on Wednesday as short as possible. The drive through Virginia was beautiful. The trees we beginning to all turn a golden color, the road overlooked a beautiful valley, and the clouds were so close we could almost touch them.

Our first order of Sushi at Orchid

Our first of three orders of Sushi at Orchid

We reached Raleigh and checked into our hotel without much to report. (Well we did stop in McDonalds to grab a McRib on the way. It went okay.) The Best Western we stayed at was swanky, because we had done our best to conserve our budget for the nights in Raleigh. That first night lent it’s self to swimming in the mediocre pool and all-you-can-eat made-to-order sushi from a fantastic place called Orchid Japanese Restaurant. It was all-you-can-eat sushi done right. Then we went to the Red Box to rent X-men First Class, because I had hyped it up and Andy had never seen it. He wasn’t disappointed, though he had some critiques – and valid ones. Sushi and movie night was a success.

The next day was our day for the NAAEE conference and we were pumped to present the show to educators and academics alike. We had small crowds, but they were lively and seemed to enjoy the show. The man himself, Mr. Ward Eames, flew in for his panel on Friday and was able to catch our last show. After a successful day, we joined Ward, Kevin, and Beth from TVA for dinner at Zely & Ritz, which is a local/organic restaurant that served the most delicious grit-cake I’ve ever seen. The food was delicious and the company was spectacular.

What we had learned most about Raleigh was it’s excellence in cuisine. Om nom.

The closest to St. Andrews I will be until I visit the crazy kids in Scotland

We left the next morning for a dance with Wilmington, NC. I love Wilmington and plan to return soon. Our first night in Wilmington, I headed off to the historic downtown district by myself in search of coffee and stumbled upon one of the best coffee shops I had ever been in. It was superb. I returned to pick up Andy for Dinner at Caprice Bistro, also in downtown, and had the second best cheese plate ever to grace my lips. The wine was to die for. We then caped the night with more wine and champagne at the Fortunate Glass. A drunk chick walked down the street and stopped to tell me she was a lesbian. A taxi smelling of hemp and blasting Alice Cooper took us back to the hotel. Wilmington done right.

Ocean front

The next morning took us to Goody Goody Omelet House for brunch, then to the beach for sun and fun. The weather couldn’t have been better. I found an assortment of fantastic shells to bring to Allison. The ocean always makes me feel so small and insignificant, but in a good way. It reminds me to stay humble. It also makes me feel lonely. I think this is because I feel like I have to connect with someone, because the vastness of the ocean is, honestly, quite frightening. So I thought of you a lot. And then wrote your name in the sand. And the water came up and took your name away. So it goes.

Book treasure island

We also made it to a fantastic book shop while we were in Wilmington, called Old Books on Front St. The clerk was awesome and the selection was massive, but unfortunately it didn’t have the titles I was looking for. I ended up finding a copy of Caucasian Chalk Circle,Civil Disobedience, and The Hunger Games.

When we returned to our hotel, we found a gentleman who wasn’t wearing any pants. He was wearing an adult diaper and accused me of being a cop. Another woman outside, who looked like she might have been with him, asked me to call the cops. He harassed me for some time before the cops arrived. Five cop cars and two ambulances later, the hotel staff apologized and told me he was a local who wasn’t right in the head. He was a character. I’m not sure what else to say. The next morning two more cop cars were searching a room on the other side of the hotel. We said a quick goodbye to Wilmington with the promise that we would be back, though not staying at that hotel. Eek.

No kidding

Now we are back at our favorite Super 8 in Knoxville, ready for week 6 of our tour. Tomorrow afternoon we return briefly to Kentucky, hoping we won’t run into our friend from last time. Regardless, everyday I am shocked to wake up and realize that I’m getting paid for this shit. Andy and I toast to it at every glass of wine. We are the luckiest actors in Eastern Tennessee, if not the world.

I’ll leave you with one last gem – Ecto-1 is in North Carolina.

Just In Time

We are half way through our tour. I will be home to you soon.

In the General Lee bumper car

This last week has been great. Shows are humming along, Schools are fantastic, and I’m never going back to Kentucky if I can help it.

We had a woman tell us that we were unamerican in Kentucky. She said that we were supporting China by brainwashing kids to use compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Strange to me, because I use GE compact florescent lightbulbs… She also said that the myth that compact florescents save energy is the biggest scam in the american economy. I wanted to direct her attention to the Occupy movement, but I thought better of it and Andy smiled and nodded and said we would look into it ourselves.

We kissed the ground when we got back to Tennessee.

This weekend has been an adventure in the Dollywood area. We stayed in a suite in Gatlinburg with all the money we saved from staying in cheapo-hotels during the week. These cheapo hotels don’t always have the best internet connection, which is why my updates this week have been sparse. Gatlinburg has an Oktoberfest that runs every day in October, and four handsome German boys welcomed us into the city. *swoon despite their awful haircuts* We checked into our hotel then set off to explore Gatlinburg.

We walked everywhere from our hotel, which was brilliant and allowed us to partake in some excellent beverages at a little place called Crawdaddy’s – which was delicious and a good time. We met some other travelers and had drinks and good times with them. One of the crew, Emily, is supposed to send me the photos from the evening and I’ll post them on here in all their glory as soon as she does.

Richard the TomTom kept telling us 'bear left' and then we found THIS guy!

The next day we woke up and checked out and walked around Gatlinburg some more. We had a delicious brunch at the Flapjacks pancake cabin. We were told that the Pancake Pantry was the place to go, but when we got there – the line stretched around the building for days. While I’m sure their pancakes were delicious, we had no intention of standing in line for hours and then being rushed through our meal. Instead we trotted down to Flapjacks and I can’t imagine Pancake Pantry being better – Flapjacks was the best breakfast that I have EVER had, and for 8 bucks I had a heaping helping of Oatmeal, raisins, milk, brown sugar, a banana, toast, apple butter, and sausage links that were out of this world. According to Andy, “Pancake Pantry probably also included free handjobs under the table during breakfast.” I think they might, judging by the size of that line. In light of that, however, Flapjacks comes highly recommended on Rebecca and Andy budget breakfast ratio. Delicious.

After noms, we made our way to the self-proclaimed “South’s number one psycic”, Rene Rose in where else but Gatlinburg. I wanted my tarot read. The following is what I was told. Things in Italics are something I think is true about myself, things struck-through are things I don’t think are true, things in bold are things that haven’t happened (yet) but will occur according to the cards. 

The journey that I am on as an actor is a spiritual journey. This is an important journey to me but I will eventually find my calling in something else, most likely in psychology or counseling. (When I asked her about teaching she said she didn’t see that for me.)

I do lots of counseling in my daily life and always have. People tell me their problems and I feel responsible to fix them or find them the help they need. This is especially true with my family, but also my friends. I don’t always enjoy my work with them, but I feel like I must do it because it would not be done without me. 

She asked me if I felt like I could foretell the future at times. I said yes, because I really do predict things happening before they occur. She then asked if that frightened me. I told her, honestly, that it did. She said I had nothing to be afraid of. This is because I was a spiritual healer in a past life. She said this was because my past lives are accessible to me, most especially my life as a spiritual healer.

I carry a lot of my pain on the inside, choosing to cry and deal with it alone. I have lots of tears and I shed them behind closed doors. I should burn a white candle each night before I go to bed to heal myself from the burdens I carry. I do this to protect and be strong for my family and friends. They come to be with troubles and I carry the burdens for them. 

Max is hesitant and suspicious of me, perhaps with good cause. In the past, we have always been out of sync. One of us has been more dedicated than the other, though we will find soon that we are completely in sync. I will be married in time to Max. We will have two children. The first will be a girl. We will always have plenty of money, but not excess of wealth. Money appears when needed in our lives.

I will find much success in my current work and life.