Weekend plans spring a leak. Sept 7, 07

So on the cusp of the Najuch clans arrival in droves (or rather, three... drove singular?) all of our weekend to-do list has gone up in smoke... or more accurately down the drain... or even more accurately through the roof, down a wall and into an unknown location. Rich discovered another leak up at the tip top area in the third floor. Water is coming in somehow from one area in the roof (which he can't yet locate) and running down the inside of the exterior side wall. (So it's on the inside of the building - but it's an exterior wall, gettit). Anyway - this wall happens to be the same exterior wall that is belongs to our new bathroom and kitchen. So water is terminating somewhere and Rich is afraid that, until we can get the roof dude to come look at it, the water could cause damage to any new work we do... drywall...tile...etc. So everything we planned this weekend has gone up shit creek, down poop pike, and across manure mile. Grrrrrr....

I put up a big fight to AT LEAST move ahead with my grand wall framing project...how much damage could some water do to 2x4... and after all, there's no visual evidence that the water is getting as far down as this area of the building. But Rich, sensibly (pout pout pout) feels that if something has to be torn out to repair some damage in the ceiling, it will mean yanking out all the framing in that area... and why waste the time or money. To which, my only mature and reasoned answer is, 'BECAUSE I WANT A BATHROOM NOWWWWW WAAAAHHHH".

Now - on the Jo Jo contributing cash flow front - I did advertise on Craigslist and got a nifty response... "This is Richard.I am from Netherland,my son will be coming for an holiday in the U.S,and i want him to be busy throughout.. Therefore, i just want to know maybe he can always come to you and teach him great things on every afternoon. If this is possible,i will want you to get back to me with the cost of your teaching for the MONTH of SEPTEMBER...He will be coming to your house for 1 hour each afternoon, I have someone that will always drive him down to your house.. His name is collins,he is 14 years old. I will want you to calculate 1 hour per day for Monday,wesnday,Friday for the whole 1 MONTH."

Now if you think about it, this one email presents a solution to two problems. First - it will be nice to get in 12 hours of private teaching... but ALSO I hear those Dutch boys are quite handy with the leaks...


Rich and I individually had telephone customer service headaches today. I was on the phone to Mac because my computer was doing something very odd. When I was using the computer it was fine... but when I left it and it went into sleep mode, it wouldn't come back on. Turned out that when everything was shifted to move cable wires into the Rich's office, my monitor must have come slightly loose. Rich, when this whole problem started, kept asking me if I'd checked all the connections. Well IT LOOKED connected darnit. Meanwhile - he was on his 8,000th call to Verizon - who had said there were going to send a 'reception specialist' or some such thing out here to look at our problem. Well they hadn't... and then they said they weren't going to... but they did do SOMETHING today and apparently his service is a lot better. He was on a fifteen minute call in his office without dropping the call... and a few days ago, he would have been excited for a call to last fifteen SECONDS.

Some good news from Natalie re: the Shit Box! The bank has agreed to the pay for the plumbing issues. They DON'T want to take any money off the price of the house... instead they want to put the $1,100 in escrow (which until now, I always imagined was a spinach like vegetable) and then pay Keith when the work is done. We said that was fine - and frankly it could work out better for us potentially if the plumbing work costs more - because Keith sends the bill to THEM... So, it looks like we may be able to close very early next week... and then Operation Duplex Thunder will kick into full force so we can get that puppy spick and span and rented lickity split.


After all, lettuce not haggle over a few minor details. Ba dum dum.

So - the new plan for the weekend is still being formulated... but it looks like Janice, Cheryl and I will start stripping the foyer walls in preparation for painting...and I might take a stab and skim coating them. The walls have to be made smooth - and in some areas the paint comes off in big chunks just by flicking at it with your finger... but in other places, it's going to be a tougher job. And... in the areas where the paint won't budge - skim coating is probably fine. That is, once I learn to skim coat :) I have now determined (after my first failure) that you are supposed to do it with joint compound diluted to the consistency of pancake batter. It goes on with a roller and then you trowel smooth after application... the thin consistency is why every reference says it takes three coats. Coat, sand, coat, sand, coat, sand. So... we'll give it a shot. But there's a good deal of scraping (even to just knock down the high points of the textured paint) that it will keep us busy. Rich and Bob will try and get out as much of the unneccessary defunct wiring and conduit and stuff that adorns the lobby walls. We won't be able to lose all of the conduit - but there's a fair amount that can just go... and the cleaner the walls look, the better.

So - in anticipation of all of that... and in readiness for our new sleeping quarters... (Bob and Janice get the living room, Cheryl gets our room, we're camping in the lobby) we cleared out a lot of the lobby area. Some stuff went to the balcony, Rich tore out the moldy carpet that had to be removed from the managers office - so some stuff could go in there, some books came upstairs to live in the bookcases ("well, I never!") and the rolls of carpet for my office went into the auditorium. It hasn't looked this empty in weeks and weeks... and this might well be the last picture that you see of it before stages of transformation begin:


BTW - Rich constantly take great glee in mocking me for calling the foyer a foyer. "it's the LOBBY" he says... "not the foyer". So I've looked it up, Mr. Richard Oxford Webster Najuch Poopy-pants.

According to Dictionary.com:

LOBBY 1. an entrance hall, corridor, or vestibule, as in a public building, often serving as an anteroom; foyer.

FOYER 1. the lobby of a theater, hotel, or apartment house.

So there. Vindication is mine... Foyer foyer foyer.

Rich also did a final patch on that wacky pipe that had never been closed off in the cardboard room of death... so, one more thing crossed off the list. Then the Fam arrived in the Blazer, and Bob and Janice perused the progress since the last were here. Apparently our framing walls in the bathroom/kitchen are very sturdy and installed securely. Which is great if we get to hang cabinets on them, and shitty if they have to come down again :) They think the new windows look great... and Janice was VERRRRYYYY pleased with the outcome of the living room ledges and sills - of which I now have a photo for you:


And here's a pic of the gorgeous table that Aunt Susan gave us (which, once the dryer is out and we have more space, won't be so smooshed in the corner).

WE GET A LITTLE NOOK-Y kitcehn-table3.JPG

Cheryl had to get the grand tour, since it was her first time here... She had that wide-eyed 'call for a pair of strait jackets' look about her as she surveyed the work ahead... but she thinks we've done a very nice job with the .00001% we've managed to tackle already :) Like Winston, she can't believe how BIG it is... so if you wonder why things don't go faster around here, kids... remember BIGGGGG. I think the real reason people can't tell how vast the space is, frankly, is because we don't have any ability to take a picture of an entire area in one shot... and since you all don't get to see it in one view - it's tough to realize how big these rooms really are. So - when you all come and visit... it'll be neat for you to see. Until then, press your face up against your computer screen... maybe that'll make things look bigger :)

Janice prepared the much-beloved toasted ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner and we rapidly decended into well-fed grogginess.

Before I go though... I promised you some pictures of the Y. We're going to take the gentleman who showed us around a pie to say thank you. And yes.. it's kind of a bribe. A pie bribe. A pie-b if you will. Jean Anne actually liked the idea of pie-b and thought she could sell them online to a niche market. She wanted to put fancy little labels on the pie that say "To____ . You have received this tasty home-made pie from Nicks kitchen because _____ wants you to ______." Hey - people said pet rocks were a stupid idea. It could open up a whole empire... ransom note pies... death threat pies.... the possibilities are endless. If she makes millions we'll demand some of the action. A piece of the pie, if you will.

Anyway here's some pictures from the Y, as promised:

Here's the giant lobby (it's twice as big as this picture shows). With some aesthetic TLC it could be a beautiful area to have receptions, rent out as an event-space, or even do before-show meal packages. Pork and pie, anyone?


Giant areas with wood floors... dance dance dance.



This is one of the many day-care type rooms which could be easily divided into bedrooms.



Here is only half of the cardio area that would be a fantastic book or music rehearsal room.



Here's the kitchen. It's actually in quite good shape and easily could facilitate catering receptions and things in the lobby.



Those are just a handful of the rooms in the place. But you get the idea. Anyway... tomorrow let the stripping begin. It's sad, really.. so many of these old theaters end up as strip joints. :)

Jo Jo.