So I know I promised you construction stuff - but this blog (when I got the end) was already getting lengthy - so I decided to split it into another chapter... So after THIS one (I swear - honest - truly) there are actual RENOVATION pics. Ok - so Pack Leader STILL inundated with Columbia work...which means his computer is occupied...which means no scanner. So - patience Grasshopper I'll get your fun surprise up here eventually.

Anyway - we arrived back in chilly, cold, snowy, chilly Indiana. Did I mention chilly. When we got into the building it was FREEZING. I mean soooo cold - see your breath inside cold. When we turned on our heaters in the apartment they registered forty degrees - so thank goodness we have an electric blanket which stopped us being discovered months later as two giant icicles. Frankly, I'm surprised we didn't find this dude in our closet:


After a day and a half the apartment began to thaw to a more acceptable level - and, surprisingly, now it's quite comfy. The baseboard heat actually does work quite well when it gets going... proven by the fact that Po perches on the couch directly above it wafting in the convection current coming from below.

Speaking of Po - we went to pick her up from Cindy's the next afternoon and, surprisingly, they were all still living. I was pretty sure by the end of her stay Po was gonna be dropped off at Jean Anne's with no return address... but nope. As I understand it, Po actually slept every night in CINDY'S bed. Well, actually she would START in Cindy's bed and then kind of whore herself around the house trying to find the person with the warmest body temperature. Cindy said they were actually SAD to see her leave... which a) astounded us and b) made us really happy...because it means we know there is someone who actually enjoys her mercurial personality for her to stay with when we have to go away. When we wanted to go pick her up, we were actually told we couldn't yet - that Cindy was WORKING on something. Which, as we have now learned from the purple christmas tree, is always a reason for deep concern. It turns out that Po had been through enough adventures to warrent a "Po's vacation photo album'. Which... and believe me this is not an overexaggeration - defies description. If you thought the tree implied that Cindy needed a) a rewarding hobby and b) intense therapy, well kids - you ain't seen nothing yet. I cannot WAIT to post this thing - but it can only be done justice by being shown in it's complete uncut form. So - at some point soon I am hoping to comandeer Rich's computer.

So Po is now back home, and seems pretty content - but clearly she had it pretty good over at Cindys. We were told that she not only had a singificant amount of 'people food', she also managed to wipe out the cats bowl on multiple occasions. Yes, you heard that right, she co-existed with a feilne. Who only whacked her across the face once after Po had been licking her. For like ten minutes. Whenever we are eating now she looks at us with a sense of entitlement, and frankly, if she could figure out that she Cindy is at Nicks every day, which is only a block away - I think she'd probably try to tunnel her way there. Frankly I think it's the most unexpected female romance since Cynthia Nixon and her girlfriend. Come to think of it...have you ever SEEN Cynthia Nixon's girlfriend. Please - prepare yourselves. You might need a brandy or something:


Yup, that's really her.

Anyway - in the process of catching up with stuff we opened our mail...and you will not believe this. Someone from LA sent us 100 dollars. Someone we've never met. He said he saw the video, thought we were great, believed in the project and wanted to support us. We were so blown away. I don't want to put his name here without permission, so I'll just say thank you, thank you.

In addition, the Editor of the Herald Press called Rich today and says he wants come tomorrow and interview us about the youtube thing. Also, Jean Anne has been asked to be a speaker at the Rotary sometime before we have to do OUR big dog and pony show... and she is terrified of public speaking. So, she asked me if I would basically do it with her. I'm still not quite sure how this would work:

JOEL AND JEAN ANNE WOW THE ROTRAY. (the PORK-chop costume was unavailable). shari_lc_sparkles.gif

I'm hoping I don't have to wear this: 1728.jpg

Actually she kind of wants me to interview her. Like James Lipton. The fact that Jean Anne thinks I can be trusted to do this without embarrassing both of of us beyond comprehension is kind of astounding:

Interviewer: And then, as in every great performers career, a misstep was taken. An artistic miscalculation greater than Ishtar meets Rocky 12... Jean Anne: Yes... do we have to discuss it? Interviewer: I feel we must. Steven Spielberg made "Howard the Duck", but you Jean Anne made...MALIBU BLEND. (screams of terror fill the audience).


Oh - people are also being very complimentary about our Xmas cards...which sadly, if I don't know who you are and you never signed up on the mailing list or comment... we couldn't send to you. But I'll show you anyway:


I was particularly flattered that Jolene, the photographer next door, said how much she liked it and was impressed with my Photoshop skills. Not bad, right? Even mommy liked it, and it's not beige.

So I've gone all these blogs without even telling you about my multiple injuries. It seems I managed before Xmas to acquire not only tennis elbow (without playing tennis), golfers elbow (without playing golf) and some delightful thing in my feet called Planters Fasciitis (without eating Planters Nuts OR being a Fascist). So while I was home at Christmas I was bouncing between accupunture and physio tryin' to get them better if not healed. I've still gotta try and find both those things here - since it's gonna a be a while before it's all well. Rich loves to point out that I have acquired the most injuries while doing the least amount of work. Nice. Anyway - I got the wrist/elbow crap while tiling the bathroom I think, and now it's not easy to pick up anything heavy with curled fingers or to do anything that involves a twisting motion. Which, tragically knocks me out of the Chubby Checker Impersonator business which we had been planning on being a real bread winner.

Amongst the New Years Resolutions bouncing about the place I am trying to both get my drivers license and lose these pie pounds. Jean Anne and I have been perambulating about Huntington, and I'm starting up with Gary the extremely patient Driving instructor again starting tomorrow. We have the elliptical machine set up - thanks to the pack leader, and I've now ellipticalled twice. Actually today I managed 40 minutes without needed resesutation - so I was pretty excited. It's pretty darn awesome so mega thanks to the 'rents for the incredible xmas pressie. It will save my bacon. Or rather work off all the bacon I've eaten. Speaking of bacon - I have been trying for the past four days to do the Atkins thing. I gave up carbs a couple of times in NY to get into what was known around our house as "Halloween shape" (which in Manhattan usually involved me wearing very little and winning large amounts of money - we are not counting on that in Huntington). Anyway - in NY I managed it without going too crazy - but OMG I'm losing my mind trying to stick to it here. I guess in NY there are a zillion nutty health conscious actors and models and insecure body-obsessed freaks - so the restaurants and markets really cater to that kind of diet. But here....well let's face it...The midwest likes carbs. Lots of carbs. And although i like caesar salads and omellettes as much as the next guy - At this point just looking at an egg makes me want to throw myself into oncoming traffic. So - we'll see how long I can stick it out. I may just give up on the carb thing, switch to trying to do low fat and elliptical myself from here to Denver. Jean Anne, who as I've said before is very excited about trying out the elliptical machine herself (somehow the two of us are dieting at the same time - but her diet allows birthday cake - so I'm jealous). It's kind of fun watching health conscious Jean Anne... when we go for our daily drives she always stops at the bank... and yesterday she ran out of the bank to the car. I thought the place was being held up and she was going for help. Turns out she just wanted a three second spurt of cardio. You go girl.

Anyhoo - Jean Anne has contributed her old TV to our exercise room. it's the one which ALLEGEDLY Mason might have, possibly, shot with a paint ball. Allegedly. So, now see, the screen has this sort of bullet hole where in a small area in the middle of the screen it pixelates. For you main televisual experience I imagine it could get a little distracting...but for an exercise room - AWESOME. In fact - we can just imagine we're being shot at and run faster.

Wow - ok this blog is long already and I don't want you to have to read too much at a time (since I'm been getting length complaints from people who attempt to read the blog at work instead of, you know, working. So we'll continue on in another chapter.

xo jo jo