That's Wall Folks. Sept 17, 07.

Well - it started off seeming as if there was not going to be much to report - but we managed a flurry of late night activity... so I can report in without shame or desperate need to invent stories of saucy locals. Although - I forgot to mention yesterday that Davis... the son of She Who Would Like to Open Head Shop... came by and introduced himself on Sunday. When we met his mother she mentioned him and said she would send him by, since 'people should be offering to help us for nothin'. Of course when these things happen Rich is never around - so I'm forced to kind of 'wing it'. Skateboard in hand (is anyone under 21 NOT legally obligated to carry a skate board in Huntington?) he very politely said his mom had sent him down to find out what was going on. I told him kind of what we were going to be doing and he asked if we were going to be doing The Rocky Horror Picture Show any time soon, since he liked it. I told him that would probably be a later addition to our repertoire (which, frankly it might well be - just not in the first three years at least) but told him since the Haunted Hotel was opening up for the season across the street, he might wanna find out about getting involved there since that would be in a similar kind of vein. Sort of. Anyway - he said 'if we ever needed any help to let him know' which was really really sweet actually. The tricky thing is, you don't really know if people mean 'if you are HIRING people let me know' or 'if you need HELP let me know'. Granted his mother had been quite fiery about the fact that community should be rallying in droves to help us (and why not, say I). So who knows. Anyway - he was a very nice young fellow and I took his number - and his mother has our contact information and I'm sure we'll all get to know each other over dubious brownies or some such thing sometime soon. Whenever there is a knock at our door I think of that iconic line from the Producers: "They come here... they all come here.... how do they find me?".

So - anyway - today.

I was supposed to start my wall today... so as Rich continued to hobble about while doing his designated day of website work, I was put to the test and instructed that one should begin by planning. I also quickly learned that Rich's version of me building 'A wall' was, in my opinion, interpreted by the rest of the world as 'Joel builds three walls'. It transpired that I was building a wall that ran along the bedroom corridor (housing the new linen closet), the wall against which the refrigerator and some cabinets will run, AND a wall which turns the corner and meets the door to the downstairs. APPARENTLY if a wall is CONNECTED to another wall, in Rich-Land that is still the same wall.

Hence: labyrinth.jpg

Qualifies as one wall.

Ok - so I make my little drawings - which take a while - and start to figure things out and actually cut a piece of wood... (naturally to the wrong length) and then it's time to grab lunch. During which I had my FIRST...

PORK TENDERLOIN!!!

Ok - well it wasn't fried and breaded. It was grilled. But it WAS a pork tenderloin sandwich at Nicks. And, you know what... mighty tasty. I was kind of hoooked. It was actually prepared by Jean Anne's son who is her new cook. She lost her old one, and Mason, her son, asked if he could have the job... and he did a very nice job indeed. Jean Anne sat with us and we grilled her (no pun intended) about the upcoming Pionear Festival that we hear is big doin's around here. It's the Forks Pionear Festival. The Forks apparently refers to the fact that the River comes to a fork in Huntington... and that's all I've figured out so far. Now we ASSUMED that Jean Anne would be selling Tenderloins at the Pionear Festival... but NOOO. See... apparently she used to sell tenderloins but there was also ANOTHER guy who sold them. And he was apparently kind of in-your-face about it. He hired kids from the college as servers and had them dress up as Amish people. (At this point I thanked Jean Anne for only making us wear pork tee shirts to Indianapolis and NOT dress up as Amish People). And he 'barks'. Not like Po. You know - like a barker. And he apparently started his sandwiches at one price at the start of the day and then saw Jean Anne's price and dropped it to less. AND - cue Columbo theme song - during the course of the day the water supply to Jean Anne's coke machine was... CUT OFF. (And it was - according to eye-witnesses (ok...Jean Anne) buried behind like a bale of hay and really impossible to 'accidentally' disconnect). So - Frankly - Jean Anne felt the Pork Tenderloin competitin at the Pionear Festival was... ironically... not Kosher. So she has not returned. And you can bet that I and Rich, for one (or two) will NOT be partaking of any fake-Amish-barking Pork products at OUR River-Fork-Pioneering-Hoe-Down-Festivities. We know where our bread is buttered. And our pork is breaded.

BEWARE FAKE-AMISH BEARING PORK 5104ct5enel.jpg

So - we had lunch - and THEN it's nearly time to take the wiener to her vet appointment in Fort Wayne. Her skin allergies have been acting up again - and she definitely needed some help. So we hitch up the Po and headed out.

Seventy six hours later. Well - it turned out that she needed a pile of stuff - particularly since we were now in Indiana and she was exposed to stuff that was more of a threat here than in the city. On top of the allergy attention she needed - she's never been on Heartworm medication or been tested for it... she hasn't had a rabies shot since 2002 (apparently they have to be given every year????), there were other vaccines, AND we decided that we should probably get her one of those microchip things that they can scan and find the owner if your dog gets lost. And since she's managed to slip out a couple of times through the door when we weren't looking, and if she DID get away she probably doesn't have a clue how to sniff her way BACK, well it's a good idea. So we went through all this stuff with the vet - who was actually awesome and really sweet - and we got a whole 'ear cleaning master class' and talked through all the care programs they offer (the vet is located in a PetsMart) which cover various things etc.... well there was enough to do that they suggested we just come back in a couple of hours. I asked if there was an Olive Garden nearby. No dice. I know we had just eaten...shut up. :)

So we went to Lowes. Surprise surprise. We also went to Best Buy, where Rich took a fancy to a refrigerator on major clearance (which we'll probably go back and get for the shit box) and at Lowe's we got a bunch of 2x4s so that I could keep working on my project when we got home... eventually. Then we went back to get the wiener. She was not ready. So, we also stopped by Big Lots and got my bi-monthly stockpile of soda pop (it's only a buck for a two liter bottle there... so we buy a ton at a time). Finally Her Ladyship was done with her big-to-do and I was able to pick her up and pay the bill. For eighty zillion dollars. Ok - well - it wasn't that bad. But it wasn't good either. We got her a wellness plan (which gives her unlimited vet visits for the year... and covered all the vaccines etc....) - so the bill was to get her signed up for the Plan... plus her micro chip, plus her allergy meds.... plus her shampoo. Basically we could have bought a new Shit Box. But we love her.

Astoundingly the vet said she was "incredibly well behaved... especially for a dachshund". Admittedly she is really laid back about shots and stuff...but if you ask us, we probably left that place and Po barked her noggin off for half an hour and they probably slipped her a mickey. When I went in to pick her up they were probably back there smacking her face and trying to pour coffee down her gullet. They also apparently inserted TWO microchips (there are, so we are told, two kinds that they use... so they gave her the double whammy just in case she's scanned at by a Wallmart teller not a KMart teller or something. So now the dog has more microchips than the Six Million Dollar Man. At a comparable price.

PEE MAJORS winer-tired.JPG

So by the time we got home it was like six o clock already. But - we forged ahead anyway - and I actually did not do half badly people. I did all the things you're supposed to: measure twice, cut once and all that jazz. I used framing nails... i used screws.... I used hammers... I used clamps... I even used wood.

And - after a brief commercial break for dinner at Applebees.

I present, for your shock and awe, my 2/3 complete Wall(Zā€š).

I'VE BEEN FRAMED jo-jo-wall.JPG

It stands up. It's level. It's sturdy. It's pretty freakin' cool. Frankly I astounded myself. I only had to get Rich's help to hold the first half of it up while I attached it to the existing hallway wall.

GREAT WALL OF MINE-A wall-progress.JPG

Now, I KNOW, at this point you're like, "Moron, you guys have already built a zillion walls... etc etc etc." But this was my first STRUCTURAL project that I was in CHARGE OF And I had to do it by MYSELF. AND it actually stands UP. AND I didn't cut off my hand. The not-cutting-off-hand part is, frankly, the most astounding. And that means Rich can give me more to do eventually... which means there's less that he can only do himself. And I can feel more useful. And did I mention I didn't cut off my hand. And thus... I am quite enamored. It will be even more exciting when it has it's little triangle piece up at the top - and I think I can get that finished along with the last corner piece in a couple hours tomorrow. And Rich said that My Project could take me two days (and considering I THOUGHT it was only ONE WALL SINGULAR) and that usually I run about eight years behind schedule... it's nifty.

ODE TO WALL I think that I cannot recall A sight more lovely than this wall. If Shakespeare was alive today I have no doubt that he would say: I think it's fitting I forget that stupid bimbo Juliet... Instead my study of amore is "Romeo and Two by Four". Our Jo Jo cut and nailed these studs without a single drop of blood. In places, it's a tad off kilter... Who cares - so is the guy that built her.

So - tomorrow I might actually get to sheet rock this baby. Of course, before that I'll probably cut off my hand.

xo Jo Jo.