The Magical Mystery Tour...

I think one of the most unique summer adventures that I haven't told you about was the bus tour that Rich and I ended up serving as tour guides for 48 hours. There were two days of bus tours planned to come into Huntington that were gonna go all over the place. It wasn't originally planned this way - but by the time the big days came, Rich and I had been signed up to spend the day with them as Huntington chaperones and 'experts' (particularly hilarious since I can't find my way to Walmart and back most of the time. The gimmick of these two full-day tours, however, was that they were MYSTERY tours. Ooooooooooooooo. This is where various bitchy people say "that's because if it hadn't been a mystery they never would have agreed to get on a bus and go to Huntington". Anyhoo - these mystery tours are apparently a big seller - the woman who runs this tour company out of Ohio even does full three day ones... where the group has NO idea where they are going until they get there. Something like this is NOT in my constitution... I'd be like "do i need a blanky? What's the food like? Will I be allergic? Is there electricity? Are there snakes? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" But apparently zillions of Golden Girls (and Guys) LOVE THEM. So - these two groups were coming from Ohio, driving with no knowledge of their destination - and then spending the entire day in Huntington. Surprise! Rich and I were under the assumption that once they GOT to Huntington they would be told where they were actually gonna visit... so they wouldn't be like "well THIS sucks" straight away... Nope. In fact we weren't allowed to tell them anything about each individual destination until we pulled up INTO the parking lot of each place. Which made filling the time in between stops rather tricky. They went on a boat ride on the reservoir, the indian chief's house at the Forks, downtown, had a tenderloin, saw candy being made, went to the sheets museum and, of COURSE, the Dan Quayle museum... who didn't really seem to understand the whole concept of 'mystery' too well...

THEIR FORMER JOB AS A MURDER MYSTERY WRITER DIDN'T WORK OUT SO WELL... mystery.jpg

And then, finally, they ended up having dinner at the Supper Club and seeing a show. And the entire day we weren't allowed to tell them anything about ourselves because we couldn't give away that they were going to a show. Now... Day two of the tours. Rich wasn't available. So I was gonna being doing this on my own - which seemed pure madness. So, since he hadn't had much opportunity to do touristy things in the area, I was able to emotionally blackmail our stagemanager, Nathan, to come along with me as my wing-man. This worked out very well for the city of Huntington since Nathan purchased approximately $4 gazillion dollars worth of souveniers at the Dan Quayle museum. I don't think Dan Quayle has as much Dan Quayle stuff as Nathan now has in his possession. We also had a good time at the Sheets museum (which you may recall we took my Dad to on his first visit) - it's this building that houses this collection of hunting trophies from one man's adventures all over the world. If you like the old fashioned museum type exhibits with all the stuffed critters it's actually kind of amazing... although I'm not sure that the children's play area is trauma-free. For a museum that celebrates the joy of hunting, is this the ideal stuffed animal to have around?

HIS MOM'S IN THE OTHER ROOM. nathan-and-bambi.jpg

Debbie's wasn't the only place where the actors were wined and dined during the last part of the summer - we got invited to Ryan Warner's house (home of the greatest room to watch tv in the entire continental united states) AND the world's most fluffy puppy: erika-doggy.jpg AND, since Ryan is a farmer, LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of Corn...

THEY'VE GONE NATIVE. corn-pic.jpg

We also celebrated my birthday on the last day of the run (the 'best of' show was the next night). Cindy and Margaret knew I was on a diet so they made me a special surprise...

A LITERAL RICE CAKE rice-cake.jpg

of course my Mom had no interest in my diet - so she got us a cake the size of Nebraska. Seriously... cake-close.jpg AND then Jordan decided to use left over fireworks from the fourth of July to blow it up... jojo-cake.jpg

Jordan's dad apparently determined that basically his son is a pyro - and the best course of action was to teach him how to embrace fireworks safely... so on the fourth of the July he pretty much spent his summer's salary on enough fireworks to keep Disneyworld going for a month.

During the run of the Seventies show, Cindy, now with too much time on her hands, decided it would be fun to decorate Deb Jacobs Volkswagen and park it outside of the theatre every night of the Seventies Show...

PSYCHADELIC DRUG BUG. debs-car.jpg

ZSA ZSA, IS THAT YOU? dan-in-car.jpg

One of the most exciting things of the summer, for Rich, was the new giant ice machine he got at an online auction... we previously were having to buy 4 bags of ice from Walmart every night because our machine couldn't produce enough ice to get us through a summer night of drink sales... This baby does the job realllll well.

IT MAKES THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS THE LAST MACHINE. THAT'S ICE... CUBED. ice-machine.jpg

The "Best of Show" was a huge success - Debbie and Ann said they could have sold it twice over - which was really exciting. It was a whole lot easier to put together than last year, since we had been doing all three shows in rotation all summer (Last year it had been months since we had donw some of the songs we had to brush up). The event raised $2,910 for arts education in the schools, which is pretty darn cool. The hardest part of the whole thing for me was having to come up with a whole new script... And because I get such stage fright, it sucks not having any time to run through it. I was finishing writing it practically while the audience was finishing their dinners - and normally I get to at least do it out loud once before I face an audience. But people seemed to really get a kick of hearing all the behind the scenes stuff - and for once the poor actors didn't have pretend to seem interested in what I was saying - since they'd never heard this stuff before (and were paying VERY close attention in case I said something that embarrassed them!).

And then before you knew it - it was time for the chicks to leave the nest. This group was hard to say goodbye to, since really it had been the least drama of any group we'd ever had...

APPARENTLY THE ONE SECOND IN THE SUMMER NATHAN DECIDED TO EAT... last-supper.jpg

They all seemed to get on really well and they were really fun people to work with. Even if they were very fond of purple...

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For a few days Rich and I kind of stared at a wall trying to recover - and I caught up on a lot of sleep. But in only a few days I started teaching college again. The good news is that I've invested in a parking pass (really good news is that it was half the price I thought it would be... And it lasts twice as long), the bad news is that my classes are at 9am. And I'm not a morning person the way the wicked witch is not a 'shower person'. But so far I haven't fallen asleep at the wheel - and doing the class on only Tuesday and Thursday is a lot more civilized and seems to allow me to get a lot more accomplished in the week. Once I have enough energy back to get something accomplished!

Last weekend we had an event for the Arts Initiative that was a HUGGEEE success. It was all Ann Siegfried's brain child... It was called Dog Days of Summer and they got local artists to paint the fire hydrants downtown like dogs. It got fantastic press and about 350 people showed up on Sunday with their families to purchase Sundae's (proceeds went towards the Opera House renovation), and walk around and see the hydrants and meet the artists. The Sundaes were a big ol' hit and they raised over 300 bucks. Debbie and Ann also sold some baked goods that were remaining from an Arts Council Bake sale the day before - the stuff looked amazing - ESPECIALLY these artist pallette cookies with which I was obsessed:

PALLETTE COOKIE. pallette-cookie.jpg

Considering that the hydrants were going to be there for months I was AMAZED at home many people came along on the day.

SUNDAE FUNDAY HAPPY DAYS. sundae-line.jpg

A SUNDAE AIN'T THE SAME WITHOUT NUTS... sundae-trio.jpg

Somebody asked us if there was an admission price, which I thought was pretty adorable - how exactly would we PREVENT people seeing them if they didn't pay the admission? We'd have to cover every hydrant downtown with a veil! It was a great day - and the hydrants are sooo cute. A certain someone even ended up in the Fort Wayne paper looking like Cujo on a bad day.

CLICK TO SEE PO IN THE JOURNAL GAZETTE!

I'm actually pretty happy with how my hydrant came out... dsc_0080.jpg

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It took about five hours for me to do - but it wasn't that hot - and I had fun. I just laid a towel down, took a pillow out, and worked. It's funny cuz it's house paint - which, since the only kind of painting I really know how to do is scenic painting, is the only kind I'm actually ANY good with. So I got lucky! The hdyrants will be painted all year and then next summer they'll be whole new theme for the artists to paint over.

Rich and Cindy are working on the restaurant and doing great with it. Cindy even tackled that pesky black grout with the muralic acid and cleaned all the most recent tile leading into the kitchen area.

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And Rich has almost finished painting the tin ceiling in the restaurant - and it looks fantastic. Yesterday he went and bought a little paint sprayer for fifty bucks - and this thing is FANTASTIC... It hooks up to our aircompressor and does an incredible job spraying the metallic paint (which I was not convinced it would do).

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Even if he looks a little like the tin man with a skin disease. tin-man-hands.jpg

So - that's it fer now. Get those christmas tickets soon cuz they're goin'. We actually start the casting process on Tuesday... my lord it's like being on a hamster wheel. xo jojo.