Skimming the Surface. Sept 13, 07

Ok - not my fault - our internet went totally down yesterday... So yesterday there wasn't a whole lot at all to report. Rich is now suffering more from a foot injury than his groin. The groin seems to be ok - but he's now limping around like he's auditioning for a rather low-budget pirate film. He's awaiting the go-ahead on his new insurance policy - so hopefully that will come through imminently so that he can get it looked at. I'm not thrilled about him being up on the roof this weekend - but duty calls - and unless the leaks get taken care of, we are at a fairly real stand-still. Yesterday he took it fairly easy and did more Columbia stuff. I actually managed to make some serious progress on the logo for the theatre - enough that we actually ordered prototype notecards to see how they come out. I had a leaning towards one that didn't make the grade because Rich is concerned about it being versatile enough in all print medium... but he said I can order a couple note cards to test it out too... I"ll show you both of them. These may not look that complicated - but if you knew how hard it was for us to agree on a version we were satisfied with you would understand my relief that this is at least past the prototypical stage. Although it LOOKS like we just copied the sign on the front of the building (which is what you're supposed to think) it isn't that simple... every one of those horizontal lines has been in sixty different positions and every color of red has been the topic of many go-rounds. So - we'll see. Hopefully they'll come back from vistaprint and we'll ooo and ahh in delight. At any rate - they'll be perfectly adequate for future pie bribes :) Anyway - we'd both like your opinions - so feel free to weigh in if you think we've made the right decision - or if you think all of them are deeply shit :o

THE ONE I WAS ANGLING FOR

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I liked it because I thought on posters and stuff it would float nicely against any background like soooo...

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But Rich feels - and he may well be right - that the detail requires too much quality for it to be versatile in all print mediums. So he much prefers something that is a simpler, bolder design:

IN THE LEAD:

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So - let us know - start a grassroots campaign... call People for the American Way... Have a debate on Logo... whatever ya want. But we'd certainly like to know what you think.

So - not to blow my proverbial wad all at one time... but Rich also (while hobbling around his office with his shoulder-parrot) managed to hook up the long-illusive share drive. So - I can also show you Non-Profit logo. Which you really thought didn't exist, right? You thought it was all b.s.?

LOGO-LICIOUS? jefferson-blog.JPG

Anyway - so yesterday was all about Logos for the Jo Jo. It was also about Jo Jo wandering around like a zombie because I'm on some new medication which they told me would pretty much knock me out for the first two days.. and they didn't lie. It might also CONTINUE to knock me out - in which case it wil be a no-go... so we'll see. But at present I've still been feeling like I'm an extra in Night of the Living Dead. But - I've tried my best to overcome it...Today, even with Rich half-cocked as it were, we had to get some things taken care of in the traditional Big-Push anticipating Najuch arrival. The Three-Amigos arrive tomorrow, so it will be a fun filled marathon of accomplishment and home-cooked carbs. Wheeeee.

Today Rich decided to once and for all tackle the store-front door... and frankly if curb appeal is a big factor in Real Estate Rental Success... we kind of were not doin' too well - because that door was not looking sharp. The storefront itself is gorgeous - but the door was only half-stripped - and as a result we had the old icky screen door still on there to protect it. So - it wasn't exactly beckoning potential store-front-renter wannabees. So we got the monstrous thing down onto carprenter's horses and Rich spent the day sanding, scraping and sanding varnishing.

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The old molding which ran along the inside glass frame was really in bad shape and, in some places, warped beyond repair. So - we voted to remove it and put in new quarter round. Rich discovered that it stained a slightly different color - but it's a very happy accident since it really is a nice little deco detail touch.

It was a big job and it took Rich all day - sanding it down..scraping the glass clear of all the debris and stripping residue... cutting the new molding... staining it... etc etc. Finally i got to come in for the big finish, since I seem to be the caulker of choice around here. We did a line of clear silicone caulk (using the previously blog-recommended painters-tape masking for a crisp clear line) and on the exterior door jam (which Rich gave a nice new coat of white paint - a generous bead of white caulking. The door jam, to be honest, is never going to look pristine. It's like at LEAST sixty years old, and it's rough in places. But it would be very costly and complicated to replace it for these gigantic doors... so he chiseled away all the old caulk and residue and painted them up. And they look a billion times better (ESPECIALLY with the Jo Jo caulk :)).

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Now - we have learned that whenever we have to take a project outside on the sawhorses underneath the theatre awning (as one has to for the door-staining) that we inevitably end up sitting ducks. For whomever... or whatever might be passing by. This is how we met faux-Amish John and faux- British Paula... this is how we met One-Guy-And-A-Bike (now, officially, the Artist FORMERLY Known as One Guy and a Bike). Today - as we were toiling away trying to improve the luring potential of our storefront... it turned out to practically rent ITSELF. A woman and her grown daughter walked by and started chatting to us. They were salty lasses, shall we say... full of the kind of local flavor which Steinbeck fans would delight in. Should one be casting Cannery Row... or Grapes of Wrath - these are the kind of hearty women that one dreams of walking into your audition room. They found us today. They were very excited about the theatre... thought it was very exciting... wanted our phone number so they could all us and volunteer... nay... bring along their strapping six-foot-two (yes, full stats were given) sixteen year old son. They wanted to pitch in and help out. Heartwarming and absolutely delightful... One expects the cultured elite such as London-starved Paula... but to have such enthusiasm on a more grass roots level... well how could one ask for more. As we were chatting with them the storefront caught her eye and she asked - with more than a slight twinkle - if it was availble. Kaloo---kalay we thought! Hurrah! Stop all this staining rubbish, we're home free.

She asked what we wanted for rent. We told her - it seemed but a trifle... a pittance. Then she enquired if we'd be open to the possibility of a Head Shop being housed in the now-empty locale. "A Head Shop" nieve little Joel asked (me, who barely has stepped one foot out of Sesame Street in my adult adventures). Rich's eyes have widened slightly like beaker after Dr. Benson Honeydoo has accidentally electrocuted his earlobes. "Oh", she says "It's a place where teenagers, young adults in their twenties go to buy things like ashtrays. They usually have roses or skulls on them, and they sometimes have hidden compartments"... Very slowly I start to catch on and begin desperately trying to figure out the polite way to respond. The most peculiar thing was that she felt quite convinced that a musical-theatre venue was the perfect cross-over locale... When we got going, she thought, it would do gang busters business. I explained that usually one expects an older clientele - fifty and above - as your mean average theatre-going crowd. "Not when I'm done tellin' people" she said..."I won't be finished till they know in Kentucky". Well - at least we've found a potential marketing manager.

Natalie, of course, the MINISTER'S wife, did advise us that 'rent is rent'. I, for one, know that if my mother finally managed to conquer her feline-separation anxiety to attend our opening night and got out of the taxi only to find 'Bongs R Us' sandwiched between our apartment door and the theatre lobby... well... things would not go well. Pity I'm a Mama's Boy.

Although - I have to say the prospect was tempting just for store names alone.... "Lullaby of Bong-way".... "Rainbow High"... "How to Suck-Weed In Business Without Really Trying"... the possibilities are endless.

This is just a run-of-the-mile event in our day people... really. I always thought Garrison Keillor made this shit up.

Anyway - I spent the afternoon embarking upon my first foray into the exciting and satisfying world of skim coating. What, pray tell, is skim coating? Well - if you have an wall with a uneven texture, or peeling areas, or cracks - then you skim coat it. If you see perfectly smooth walls somewhere, then chances are it's been skim-coated. So - It's a fine layer of joint compound spread over the surface of the wall. But not not just one layer. It goes like this: skim, sand, skim, sand, skim, sand. Three times. It's all very Karate Kid. All the books speak about it as if it's this very elusive art and they almost all say "Get a professional to do this". So - of course - we have to do it ourselves. It took some experimenting... but once I learned about the correct consistency of the joint compound ("pancake batter" so they say) I was doing better. You roller it on with a paint roller (see you wouldn't have THOUGHT you'd roller joint compound would ya?) And then you take the trowel and smooth the excess off. Then you let it dry. Then you sand. Then you roller. Then you trowel. It's like watching paint dry. Except you're watching joint compound.

Any-hoo. I managed to get two layers done by the end of the night. And - it seems to be working quite well. We basically only did a test area... to see if it was going to be the correct solution for the foyer walls (which, we think, it is) and the curved sections of the walls are going to SUCK. But - that'll be my next learning hurdle.

I took pictures of the first coat and second coat - but frankly in the picture they both look the same. So - if you want - close your eyes and look at the same picture twice.

MORE BATTER THAN AN IHOP ON SHROVE TUESDAY. skim-coat.JPGMORE

Anyway - it's messy. And I'm ALWAYS messy - so this was REALLLY messy. It took a long time to clean up... so I'm wiped. And the weiner needs a walk. So I'm going to hit the hay...

G'night kids.