A whole new racquet... Weight and see... Pool-ing our resources. Sept 7.

First thing this morning - as I still slumbered - Rich patched the roof. It became quite the priority because the weather report was wrong (fancy that!) and it started to sprinkle. He says the patch kit did an ok job - but he's not convinced it's a permanent solution. So - a roofing dude may be in our future. I have no pictures yet... this roving reporter did not manage to make the climb up up up up to the Heavy-side Lair quite yet. I'll try for it tomorrow. Actually - all the pictures I took today are still on the camera.. and the camera is downstairs... and I'm TIRED. And you can't make me go down there, I tells ya - so I promise TOMORROW will be a visual feast. Today we went on the grand tour of the YMCA. When we first arrived in town we learned that they had just broken ground on a new building and would be moving sometime next year. The current building is around the block. What's that whirring noise, you ask? Mr. Najuch's wheels turning :) We have been trying to find out for a while what was going to happen to the building - and Natalie the other day managed to get in touch with the right folks and find out that they were entertaining proposals.

Today we had a chance to meet with the head of the facility and take a big tour, ask him a bunch of questions and learn a whole lot. The building is HUGE... and it's not young. It is in rough shape in some places - but nothing is really overwhelming - and parts of it are in fantastic shape. I mean - it's an institutional building... it's in the same shape my highschool was in when I went there... it's in the same shape almost every YMCA anywhere (including the one in NY) would be. They aren't architectural wonders...and they feel a little old. There's one small enclosed area that has some mould issues - some leaky places in the ceiling (hey... NO PROBLEM - our specialty) - and it generally looks just run down in places. The reality is that they have WANTED a new building since the 80's - and Rich and I have the tiniest sense that when something went wrong or needed repair, rather that really attend to it 100% it was considered possible additional evidence that a new home was needed for the Y. So no one really RUSHED to keep things in tip top shape - if that makes sense. :) Smart cookies, I say.

But what could two young men like us, in a new town, do at a YMCA?

"IT TAKES A VILLAGE" ymca.jpg

What's that you say? We can "make all our dreams come true...!" Well then, why not?

It's NOT a traditional Y in the dorm sense. But there are a LOT of sizable classrooms and offices which could become actors quarters. There is a great big (really cute) kitchen, big group locker rooms and shower facilities and a really nice big foyer which, with some love and a little queer-eye fairy dust could be made into a great space to rent out for events. BUT - here are the best parts: HUGE basketball court (with wooden floor), big racquet ball court (with wood floor), a big aerobics room (with wood floor), a dance studio and the main cardio area. REHEARSAL SPACE!!! Tons of it. And that's something we have NOT yet had a good plan for. We COULD have rehearsed certain things in the foyer - but the floor is concrete - and you CAN'T rehearse dancers on concrete or they'll be injured because it has no give or spring. The basketball court is huge and could literally be split in two and still make two giant NY size major-musical rehearsal halls. The raquet court could be a dance space... there's room for music rooms... it would be great. And the swimming pool could be.... um... well not much really. A swimming pool... and apparently lit leaks. So perhaps we'll do one big Esther Williams tribute and then drain then probably drain the puppy. But Rich reckons that if the other rooms were configured correctly we might almost be able to give every actor their own room... which would be a HUGE bargaining chip when luring talent for at modest competitive salary. AND... yes.... and... there is a parking lot. Which would be VERY helpful - cuz hopefully people will be a-drivin to see the shows... and there isn't a plethora of parking on our street. Obviously there are places TO park...since the theatre has been operational since 1901 and people parked SOMEWHERE - but - a designated area for at least a chunk of our patrons would be a huge boon.

Now - before my mother collapses on the floor in a panic attack at the prospect of another purchase. They don't feel like the buildling is in a strong enough condition to put up for sale. They are accepting submissions for an appropriate organization to whom they can donate the building - OR they are going to have it demolished. We know that one of the other groups is a church... and I think, TOTALLY in a unbiased opinion, that we'd be better to give it to because a church only includes a small faction of the community (it's particular flock, as it were) whereas a non-profit theatre company exits to benefit everyone in the community.

So - Rich is going to put together a proposal... and if it's one thing our Rich is good at - it's proposals. He's mighty good with the bullet points, pretty pictures, census details, facts figures and five-year plans. So - who knows.

One slightly amusing Jo Jo foible... I of course, as per usual, was running around taking pictures of every room from various angles - classrooms... excercise rooms etc. Because every property we look at, Rich wants lot of pictures so we can then look at the stuff later and plan out what needs work, how we would set up housing etc. Anyway I'm zipping into rooms... click click...flash flash. And I was just doing one room after another and didn't even THINK about the fact that taking unannounced candid photographs in the mens locker room might not be the best idea. LUCKILY no one was in there - but I think Rich had a brief moment as he saw me disappear behind the door camera aloft, when he thought things might take a very unfortunate turn for the worse.

Yesterday I said I was gonna start my own very own wall project... but it didn't happen. Not because Rich felt the future structural integrity of the building would be at stake... we just got sucked into a lot of little projects that we were trying to take care of so that we could gain some maneuvering space when the in-laws and aunt-laws arrive. I finished (except for a teeny tiny itsy bitsy area where we ran out of quarter round) the the window sills and chair-ledge in the living room. It's been painted, the moulding attached, the seams caulked and painted again. And it looks REALLLLY nice. So much better than before it's not even funny. I'll show you a picture tomorrow. The completion of this project was partially made feasible by Rich's exodus out of the living room with his computer. He is now fully functional, if slightly askew) in his office area now. The carpets down... the desk is made, the computer and internet fully functioning and most of his books and his filing cabinet have a new home. So the living room gained some major yardage (or foot-age really) and I was able to get to the areas to do the trim finishing work.

We also were able to bring in and assemble the breakfast table we've inherited from Rich's Aunt Susan. Apparently this table is like fifteen years old... but I swear, Susan must have threatened people at gun point to use coasters - because it's PRISTINE. It's looks brand new and looks really nice in the living room... and it's the first time in my ENTIRE life that I have a TABLE to eat at in an apartment. It's kind of thrilling. We can eat our meals at table - and still watch tv - and have to guard our food from kamikaze wiener dogs trying to commandeer our pizza crust. I'm a happy bunny. Now, we just need a kitchen so we can have food to actually consume. Until then... we shall mime.

Speaking of the bathroom/kitchen extravaganza we bought the concrete tile board today. Let me just tell you folks... this stuff is NOT light. So - over the weekend that stuff is going up and some tiling action is very very likely on the agenda.

We also managed to assemble our bookcases, get them up in the living room and (after a delightful late-nite scavenger hunt for the bookcase shelf hardware) some of them actually have BOOKS on them. Who'd a thunk we'd ever get THAT far. See the books are in boxes...and the boxes are in the foyer... and we can't start on the foyer until the boxes are out of there. It's like Pay It Forward... with clutter.

So - that's about it for today, kids. Lots of pics tomorrow... maybe even one of the basketball court. ("High School Musical" anyone?)

xo jo jo