The thin blue line. Jan 29, 09

Oh my GOODNESS - this many blogs in one week. I must have been abducted by gayliens and replaced with someone reliable :) Actually I think I think it's two fold - a) we're now consistently back and work - so I have something to really write about, and b) I'm still pretty excited about the update thing. I dunno why, but I really like being able to tell you when I've posted.

Soooo. Still having trouble getting to sleep. New resolution - Tylenol PM at midnight for the next few days - cuz I didn't get to bed and slept till way too late in the morning. And since Mama Najuch arrives on Thursday I better get my tuches into shape. Ok you don't know what a tuches is. It's a yiddish word for butt. Now you don't feel left out. Anywayyyyy... Last night while not sleeping I did manage to finish 'The Tempest'. Luckily there were no more major surprises (the pack of dogs and disappearing trips and onstage ships splitting in half were enough). Rest assured it's a bear of a play - and it has a weirdo ending. But we'll see what we can do. Nothing that some fog, a discoball and lasers can't fix :) I'm a traditionalist.

So a good chunk of the afternoon was spent at... three guesses... 0k, not Lowes or Home Depot. Yup you got it... Nick's Kitchen. The Queen of Pork has hurt her back pretty bad, which APPARENTLY she felt was grounds enough to not have the previously promised spaghetti and meatballs on the menu. Whatever. Isn't sad when a business just doesn't care about its customers anymore? Ok. So. We were there for a chunk of the afternoon BECAUSE I was working. Yes, working. It's been known to happen. Jean Anne wanted to do postcards for the restaurant (this 100 year old thing an' all). And I said I'd do them. I pitched her this idea a while back, and she liked it, and today it came to fruition. Since the tenderloins are so big and she has this catchphrase "bet you need both hands" (to eat the tenderloin - which frankly, considering the original guy who MADE the tenderloins had NO hands is a little insensitive if you ask me). So I suggested we find the cutest kid in Indiana and have a picture of him eating the tenderloin with a look of absolute "how on earth can I eat all this" wonder. Cuz, of course, the tenderloins are big...but to a little kid they are HUGE. So Jean Anne found a kid and today he arrived. His name is Luke Eckert and he is, quite possible, REALLY the cutest kid in Indiana. If not the universe. He and his mom arrived just as the restaurant was closing - and I felt like a dummy - cuz I should have asked Jean Anne to tell them to come a half hour later so I could get set up. Cuz I kind of had the rip the restaurant apart a little bit in order to make room for the lighting (we just used the utility work lights that we have when we're building around the theatre) and the tripod etc. So I had to move tables and booths and chairs all out of one corner of the place...and unplug her cash register and credit card machine... she was thrilled.

OK JEAN ANNE, I'M READY TO TAKE THE PICTURE. inside_house_damage.jpe

During all this little Luke and his mom were like super patient and I, wanting to keep my star happy, said "Hey Luke you want a MILKSHAKE". His little eyes light up and I say "Jean Anne, can you make Luke a milkshake." She says "All the stuff is put away". So I'm a big jerk. Yup - I'm the milkshake promising a-hole who also in his spare time pops balloons and runs over puppies.

Anyway - this kid was AMAZING. When we started taking the picture he was so well behaved, and tried so hard, and was so patient. Like he's only five - and the only problem I had was getting him to keep looking at the camera. Cuz I'd make the expression I wanted him to have and then he'd copy it perfectly but when then keep the expression and look at his mom. And then I'd say no look at me, and he'd change his expression :) It was kind of hysterical. But I got some great great great pictures. We actually had to go through two tenderloins because after a while the first one looked pretty beat up. See when they do anything like this in the real world, they use fake food. Milk on cereal is actually elmers glue...and all the bread is plastic etc. Cuz otherwise things start to fall apart, get soggy, whatever. So Jean Anne whips him up another tenderloin and the first time little Luke picked it up I think he burnt his finger. Every time we stopped shooting he'd put the sandwich down, he'd look at this finger and say "owey". Awwww. The other problem was how big the sandwiches really are... he's so small he really couldn't even pick it up. Seriously. We had to pick it up for him, get him to put his hands around it, and just try his best to keep it from falling.

So anyway - I was actually pretty nervous about doing it because I REALLY had a clear idea of exactly what I wanted the thing to look like, but I wasn't sure I had the photographic skill to really pull it off. But it actually came out really really really well. Jean Anne is pretty thrilled (I might be named a Pork Lord). I don't want to put the actual picture that we picked up... cuz I'll wait until the we get it back from the printer so I don't spoil Jean Anne's big reveal at the restaurant. But I'll show you some of the outtakes - which really are pretty precious. To start with, you should know that I was trying for a kind of a Home Alone meets Normal Rockwell thing... remember all those Normal Rockwell paintings with the kid sitting at the candy counter etc... Anyway - that's what I was hoping to evoke as best i could.

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Anyway - here are some of the pictures that came out of the photoshoot. These aren't the one we used, but pretty sweet.

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Here you can really see where the sandwich is falling through his fingers :)

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Anyway - the final picture is super cute, and I've given it the ol' photoshop polish to color correct, bump up the color of Luke's eyes (which in real life are like an amazing bright blue) and a couple other things. When I show you the actual picture I'll post the original and then the final print. All the ones above are unretouched - kids, remember when OUR skin was that flawless? Sigh.

So that's all squared away. I have to do the reverse of the postcard - but that won't take two shakes.

Rich and I headed back to home and started working on the ceiling. Turns out HIS ceiling markup system worked really well. (grumble grumble) and after about an hour we had all the lines marked. He stood up on the scaffold, and I was on a ladder and we just ran the chalk line from each point and voila. Ok, yes I did screw up twice and join the wrong dot to the wrong other dot and we had to erase a couple lines. But other than that... voila.

CHALK IT UP TO EXPERIENCE blue-lines.JPG

Then I started work on patching the parts of the ceiling where we'd had to remove peeling paint. It's really not an easy fix, because the texture of the ceiling is something that's tough to just 'patch'. So, even though it wasn't going to be a perfect solution, I figured using drilok would give it a little texture that I could blend and hopefully mask the lines where the paint was peeled and met the concrete.

'AND BLEND AND BLEND AND BLEND' drilok-outer-lobby.JPG

RICH DISCOVERS THAT ZOMBIES WORK CHEAP zombie-paint.JPG

Well, no such luck. I got the texture to be a pretty decent match - it doesn't stick out or anything - but unfortunately you still see the darn original paint line. Grrrr. So tomorrow I'm gonna try and use joint compound to blend the edges, let it dry and then texture on top of it. Any better ideas - throw them my way :)

AW, CRAP failed-patch.JPG

Rich also tried out the new meag-killer evil chemical stuff on the cement floor. Guess what? So far it looks like the eco-friendly wheat-grass-and-tofu stuff actually works BETTER. Who'd a thunk? So we'll let it sit overnight and then see how things look.

We rounded out the evening grabbing dinner with Jean Anne and her frequent-blog-commenter sister Linda. Linda lives in Oregon and we haven't really gotten to see her since she got blog-happy - so we had a great time. Although the service was a little crummy tonight and she started getting that Bruce Banner turning green 'don't make me have to ask for another refill, you won't like me when I have to ask for another refill' look. We were the only people in the restaurant and the high point of the evening was when Linda needed a glass for her beer which never arrived, and Jean Anne, in a voice that sounded like she was competing in a Town Crier contest, yelled out at the top of her lungs: "HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO".

Our business cards also arrived today. They're pretty sexy. So, since we've been going without them for six months now (hmmm who's fault is that. oh yeah, mine), if we run into you, we'll probably throw sixty of them at you in glee.

That's it. Jo Jo.