Oh crap it's june - they're comin' soon!

Ok - see this is where I WISH I could post a link for you to the now infamous clip of Leslie Uggams singing "june is busting out all over' at an event in Washington and forgetting every single lyric on national television. But tragically Ms. Uggams must have REALLY good lawyers because that clip has now disappeared from the internet :( Sorry. Well - we just got through with the EVENING Kiwanis. Who were actually a younger general demographic than the daytime demographic (I guess the older people like to be in bed by the time the evening Kiwanis start to par-tay). This was actually quite a bit easier because we weren't serving food at our place. They wanted tenderloins, and we have now decided that in general tenderloins are just easier to do over at Nick's. So they ate at Jean Anne's and then perambulated over to our place for cake and Ye Olde Reliable Speech. We did tenderloins over here for a luncheon the other day for an Economic conference thingy whoo-zit. The whole event was a little more harried than we'd like, because at the exact time everyone was supposed to be arriving we were told we needed another table for six. And we didn't have a another tablecloth pressed. So all the tables (which were set for five) had to be super-quickly turned into tables of six, and all the place settings rearranged. AND Jean Anne had to make extra food at the last minute as well for them - so she was later getting over to us for set up. It all went fine - but it was just less polished than we like to project as an image. And because we squished people in so tight at the last minute the table arrangements (which now had people sitting closer to other tables) were too tight for us to smoothly weave in and out to serve. AND a few of the added chairs ended up too close to the walls. So at one point somebody accidentally must have nudged one of the sconces on the mirrors when they were moving from behind the table. And the people sitting right by the sconce BOTH were addressing the group. So for fifteen minutes i'm standing over in the corner chewing my fist off because everyone is staring at the people addressing the crowd who are standing RIGHT NEXT to my crooked sconce. It was killing me.

I'm sure you will be very happy to know that the sconce has been returned to it's rightful perpendicularity.

Anyway learned another lesson at the Economic conference.

No blackberry pie.

The Pork Queen gave them blackberry pie because it's the favorite of the gentleman who organized the event. The gentleman who organized the event however wasn't the poor dude who had to deal with blackberry stains on linen tablecloths :) That was the packleader. Thanks to some handiwork with Shout Action Gel the stains came out - but I think Rich has told Jean Anne "in general, no more purple food" :) Which makes me happy because we're serving beets over my dead body. And we've got four more events BEFORE the actors even arrive - so that could be a whole lot of Shout.

The Kiwanis thing actually went great this evening. It's so much easier when we're not serving over here as well - although each time we do it, it's good practice for the Supper Club. The Kiwanians asked some great questions, and the parents of the gentleman who owned the theatre about five years ago was also there - and they were incredibly supportive and enthusiastic. We also sold some tickets, which is always a big plus. When we started the speech Rich was a little winded - he had to run over to Nick's because we ran out of chairs again! BUT...

I'm THRILLED to report that we finally found the final chairs we needed. The Pack Leaders many hours on ebay have paid off, and we found another matching bunch of them (PLUS tables) in Ohio. So we know have more than enough for the Supper Club. So before July there's gonna be some more powerwashnig and uphoustering in our future.

Speaking of tickets - here's the loony update. We originally had 900 tickets to sell. We have now sold over 1,100 tickets. Eight added performances - if you count the two private events we're doing. There are only tickets available AT ALL for four dates. Now, this SHOULD make us stinking rich. Sadly, no. See, the tickets only went up to their full price two days ago. By which point we were already practically sold out. And we NEVER EVER EVER expected people to buy this many tickets a MONTH before we even open. Plus we NEVER EVER EVER thought people would buy SEASON tickets - because we figured they would want to see if the shows were crap first :) And THEN they'd buy season tickets. At which point we'd be well past the early-bird discount stage. So although we thought the tickets were going to be $35 - we've sold over seventy five percent of our tickets at $26. So it took a lot longer for us to reach breakeven. So. Lesson learned. But, it's an AWESOME problem to have when you're selling to tickets faster than you want to. See we just started selling them too early (beause we wanted them available for that Expo). Next time we'll do the same kind of thing - but it'll be a shorter period of time. Actually the other thing we've learned is that you should have a limit of one discount per transaction. Those senior citizens can be pretty crafty - and we've had a few occasions where it's been like: "Well, my bridge club and I want 300 season tickets. So that's the 10% season discount. And the 10% group rate. And the early bird special. Which means YOU owe US $67.42."

So. If ya ain't got tickets and ya want them. Click on that little banner at the top of the site and them NOWWWWW. Because there's like none left. And we've reached the point that if we add any more shows we're going to have to clone the actors AND use hand puppets.

I'm reallllllllly excited that we've hired one of our favorite people to serve at the Supper Club. Natasha (the girl who ordered the Louis Vuitton cake) is gonna work with us...she's GORGEOUS, and smart and sophisticated and PERFECT. Very psyched. We still need to find a wicked awesome bartender.

Ok - so let's get to the progress report. Peckerwood. How's it going you ask? It is now well on it's way to being a Shit Box Lite. Things are taking shape. It still looks like a bomb shelter - but it's starting to look like a HOMEY bomb shelter!

Now that the final electrical crap was run under the kitchen floor the Pack Leader was able to a) stop acting like a gopher; and b) screw down that kitchen floor once and for all. I don't think he was sorry to not have to scramble down there any longer. Seriously ick.

RICH IS HAPPY TO NO LONGER BE AUDITIONING FOR 'THE MOLE'. floor-hole-of-death.JPG

Once that floor was down, I learned we had to lay down a sub floor. So the first floor, I guess was sub-sub floor. It's apparently not GOOD ENOUGH to lay the linoleum on top. Soooo we needed a floor on the floor. Rich was originally gonna do this while I hung sheet rock in the Hallway with Dylon (our acting-lesson slave-labor/he-man) but Dylon was under the weather. So Rich said thought I should take a stab at it. Which if you knew my proficiency with power tools is a good description of how I saw things. Actually - Rich said I did a bang-up job. It took like four hours - but he said that I was way faster at it than he would have been. I'm pretty good at measuring and cutting weird pieces to fit. And luckily even though the floor is still a little slanty (hysterically the highest point is the center of the room and it slopes down both sides from there!) the walls are actually pretty square. So it wasn't THAT bad of a job... If you look at the top right of the picture you can see the UNDER floor peeking out beneath the SUB floor. Of course 'sub' means 'under'... so I dunno WHAT to freakin' call these things.

JO JO IS: FLOORER THE EXPLORER sub-on-top-of-under.JPG

And voila... All by my own-some. jo-jo-subfloor.JPG

The only thing that sucks about putting down the floor stuff is the SCREWS. You're suppoed to put a screw like every eight inches and you just lose your mind after while. I also should have gone back to theatre and picked up a pair of knee pads - cuz that's what really blows.

BTW you'll notice in a lot of these pictures there's a weird shadow at the bottom of the picture. That's because to document all the renovation stuff I'm using the wide angle lens. And the lens is so wide that when I use the camera's flash, the lens casts a shadow. I need to get a proper flash attachment at some point - so it doesn't always look like we're renovating during a partial eclipse!

While I was working in the kitchen Rich was pulling all the new cable for the television and internet... rich-wiring.JPG

Jean Anne is donating the TV which used to be up at Nick's (she bought a new flat screen) - and it has one of those fun wall hangy-up things - so we're going to mount it up there. Rich also got busy building the new little half-wall ledgy thing to which we needed to mount the lower kitchen cabinets (so that wiring could be run behind them).

RICH'S FAVORITE BURGER JOINT - STUDRUCKERS making-half-wall.JPG

WALL DONE, SIR richs-new-wall.JPG

I don't know if I said this before - well the whole original downstairs kitchen was NOT PRETTY - so that got gutted. The kitchen upstairs was in pretty good shape, but it was kind of too large for what we needed AND a couple of those cabinets were damanged. So the Jo Jo had the bright idea (I know, shocked much?) of using THOSE cabinets downstairs since we would not need as many down there (and thus there were enough of them that were in good shape.) Of course THEN the Eckerts reconfigured everything and there isn't going to BE an upstairs kitchen. But - that's how it all developed. So anyway - the cabinets going downstairs used to be upstairs... AND...

We were pretty darn psyched that by the end of the work day yesterday we were able to actually get some of them installed. We haven't attached the base ones yet, but we got a full run of the top ones in place.

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pecker-cabinets.JPG

Normally we'd paint first - but we have to get done what we can WHEN we can - and this was a better use of our scheduled time. We'll put up cut panelling on each side of the cabinets and then be ready to texture paint pretty darn soon in there. And the bedrooms are all sheetrocked and mudded now (except for one little corner I couldn't get too because there's so much stuff stacked up in the way) which means we can do the stucco in there and the ceilings too very soon. We also made the decision that when we shop for linoleum that we are going to try and buy some more of that awesome no-glue stuff we got for the ladies room - because that will save us a half a day on our knees troweling and glueing in at least one room.

Another fun job I managed to take care of was prepping the rafters in the kitchen. We couldn't face the ceiling in there until the eight zillion staples which held up the old nasty panelling were allllll yanked out by hand. It took like two hours - and I'm sure I pried out about 140 staples. But now I star up at those ugly bare rafters with pride and satisfaction :)

We were SUPPOSED to finish the Ladies Room today, but we had a couple water-related snafoos. Things just ended up more finicky than the pack leader expected - so it'll be another day or two. The wonderful news is that one of the ladies from the Kiwanis tonight asked if she could take a look in and see the bathroom's progress. I said sure. FIRST she said it looked so much better than before (apparently there used to be black toilets in there which skeeved people out quite a bit). But ALSO she noticed IMMEDIATELY that we had removed that step and brought the whole floor up to the lobby level. She said that her mother had been at the theatre once and fallen down that step and hurt herself. I said "That's GREAT!". Then quickly clarified that I was excited not that her mother had taken a spill...but I was so glad Rich had decided to take the time to fix the floor in there. Go pack leader.

I haven't had a good Po picture up here in a while - so I'll give you two for the price of one. She literally spends about eight hours a day just laying there watching us walk in and out of the apartment every so often. It's like we're a spectator sport.

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But she's also pretty good at processing ticket sales: awesome-po.JPG

The actors are now mostly reading the blog now and watching their house slowly come to life. Remember guys, in our job advertisement it said "newly renovated housing". We just didn't say HOW new :) :)

xo jojo.