Gold Linger. March 11, 08.

I feel like Rumple-freakin-stiltskin. Gold Gold Gold. On Monday, we got about six solid hours of work in - amazingly free from the usual interruptions. Apparently Margaret dropped by while I was still in deepest slumber to give her sister a tour of out progress. Word is that Julia wants to try and find a room in her house where I do the gold treatment for her. Okey dokey. While our day was uneventful, those near to us were having a tougher time. The Prince of Pork is very sadly going to be taking a sabbatical from his culinary duties for the next two years. We're going to miss having him around a whole lot. And the other Nick's kitchen babe is also being torn from us... Cindy's son is going off to Iraq tomorrow with the National Guard. Jean Anne is on vacation and Cindy, a TRUE Steel Magnolia is keeping it together with grace and style. The restaurant, however, has totally gone to the crapper :) Kidding.

So other than zipping out for lunch, I pretty much spent the day gold-ing. Rich actually grabbed a few pictures of how the process develops - without Janice here its actually tough to remember to take pictures of people actually DOING things!

Here's my nifty new soon to be sold on QVC for $19.99 cardboard template for the 45 degree brushstrokes.

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So I paint a couple guide lines with the cardboard and then do the rest of the lines by eye. And when the paint first goes on it looks kinda pinky because before the glaze dries it's a kind of milky suspension... Here's the first set of brushstrokes that go on:

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While I made more strokes than the Oxford rowing team on a ridilin overdose, Rich continued stripping the interior doors...

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Which was tedious slow work, but what else is new! And, as the hours whittled away...progress.

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By the even-time he who Leads Yon Pack had to go to his Board Meeting for the Visitors Center and I kept on a brushing. I wanted to have the whole wall done by the end of the day and sadly I feel short of my goal. It's just very tricky doing all the curved walls - so that takes twice the time. But - the worst is done, so I should be able to hop on the scaffolding and certainly have the whole far wall done by the end of the day.

But here's where things stand now. The whole far wall is done as high as I can reach.

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The NEXT day, Tuesday, began the gold drought of '08. See despite my itching to finish, it just hasn't been possible. Why, you ask? I'll tell you... PeGans, man. PeGans EVERYWHERE.

I thought I'd get at least the gold on the wall o' doors finished by Monday, but it turned out that was sand blast day. I thought, ok, maybe an hour, tops. Nope. We spent almost all afternoon and evening at Larry and Margaret's. Rich was outside in the cold and mud (lots o' mud) blasting those palms for HOURS. But they are going to look fantastic.

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I've gotta say I don't know how the Pack Leader managed to blast for that long, cuz just standing around him the little grains of sand bouncing off the palm against your face felt like a dermabrasion performed by the Marquis de Sade. Not fun. But he blasted and blasted. At the same time Larry coated those in line for blasting with stripper. See, there were like five coats of paint on these things (including one point in their life when they had been painted red white AND blue?) and the sand blaster couldn't really cut through all those layers without some help. So the areas where the Diet Pepsi dip had done it's thing were fine, but the rest of the palms needed a little help. They put the stripper on, let it dry and then blasted (when it was wet the sand just kinda gooped on the surface).

While Rich was blasting away, Margaret and I ran some errands and met Larry and her brother George down at the theatre for the 'trough consult'. If you recall, Larry has had the ingenious idea of cutting a trough in the lobby concrete slab and permanently running all the sound and control cables for the Supper Club sound. Since Rich was occupied, it fell to me to let them into the theatre and try and answer questions. And we all can imagine how well that goes. See, when you get Eckhert's and Pegan's in a room with no Pack Leader supervision they starting THINKIN. And BRAIN STORMIN'. And before you know it they're having conversations like this: "Well, they want the bar over there, but if we just get some TNT and blast out that room we could put in a couple of gondolas and a duck pond... Then you could have the handicapped bathroom suspended in a plexiglass trapezoid rotating like the Space Needle over the stage. Then we could run one of them hydraulic air tubes and shoot pie through a tube from Nick's Kitchen."

And basically you can just stand there and say, "um...". :) Actually there was one point where I was useful. I pointed out to Margaret that putting the handicapped bathroom at the top of stairs wasn't always the ideal way to cater to their needs. Go Jo Jo. But George was totally gung-ho, and wanted to know if Larry was available to start excavating our lobby the next morning. Awesome. However, that meant no gold for two days in a row. Ah well. See, we managed to tackle two things all of sudden that we hadn't planned on this week - the palm sculptures and the trough. So it's ok that the gold is a little waylaid, I suppose. While we were at the theatre I also had a quick meeting with a great guy named Scott from a place called Carol Furniture who had been trying valiantly to help us with our carpet nightmare. He dropped by a couple of really interesting samples...so we've started to collect some actual OPTIONS which is a huge step forward. Last stop on my Pack Leader-less mission was to run to the Court House and meet the Fed Ex guy. I have NO IDEA why you're able to meet the Fed Ex guy at 5:00 every day at the Huntington Court House if you miss him, but you are. And the Supper Club flyers had arrived. So I met him, got them, and we're good. The flyers rock. Rock rock - significant rock-age. :) Rich is desperately trying to find a couple hours to build the Supper Club website (so we can start taking ticket orders) - and then we'll start distributing the promotional materials.

When we returned to Margaret's, the Jo Jo actually got to be useful. The blaster couldn't get into the hundreds of little pin holes which are supposed to let light through (but have been clogged with paint since the Joan Rivers could blink). So I was given a nail and had to kind of try and push it through each hole to clear it out. This rapidly became rather hard on the hand so I had a brilliant plan. I wanted to whack my nail through a small piece of wood to make a handle. Larry, however had an even brillianter (what, it's a word if I say it is) plan! He took my nail and inserted it into a drill like a drill bit. Instant hole makery thing. It worked SO WELL. It was so much faster and less painful than trying to play 'crucifixion the home game'. They worked well into the evening and managed to get two of the suckers pretty much finished. This included Rich's first welding lesson - which was quite an exciting event. While trying to remove two of the palms from the wall and stripping them, they had separated along their join. So they neeed to be spot welded to joint the tops and bottoms back together. Yes, this was momentous because Rich is starting to learn to weld (which is going to be totally invaluable when it comes to stage platforms etc.) but also because it provided the first photographic evidence of Larry's existence. Yes, harder to document than the Loch Ness Monster, The Yeti and a good vampire musical... Here we have it folks:

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I had no idea that we'd be there all day, so the gold didn't happen. What did happen, however, was one of Margaret's famous Texas Sheet Cakes. This thing, you North Easterners, is some Mid West MIRACLE. It's like the best tasting thing ever ever ever. So good, in fact, that I'm gonna try and post the recipe for y'all on the blog.

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Margaret also insisted upon feeding us dinner, so, after a fantastic meal of steak and potaters and some American Idol, we headed home. We cleared out the lobby in anticipation of the morning's destruction, and pretty much called it a night.

In fun Supper Club news, we've decided we're going to give away a pair of tickets through a BLOG CONTEST! Yay! I'm going to come up with a multiple choice blog history quiz, and then the winner gets a pair of tickets. Fun, right? So, bone up people...eight months worth of Po trivia.

Final thing. I rarely post links to random stuff, but this is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. It's a clip from Ellen about this infomercial item called the "Hawaii Chair". Honestly - no matter how rotten your day was, this will cheer you up.

CLICK HERE TO GIGGLE

OK - I got another day to catch up on, but this blog's getting long. So - anon... xo jo jo.