Monday maybe? Sept 26, 07

Ok, so yesterday we kinda, sorta took it easy. After the Janice/David/Adam fun fest we sort of needed to recharge our batteries. We did bits and pieces but nothing of too much note. We are going on a road trip with Jean Anne though (David's favorite blog 'character). Rich found a Days Inn that is shutting down and selling off all their room contents. Shit Box furniture, anyone? The stuff actually looks very nice on the 'actor furniture scale'... and one must always consider that frequently actor housing provides furniture more along these lines:homeless-box.jpg

Anyway - so we wanna go check this place out - and it's in Indianapolis. And LAST time we were in Indianapolis was for Pork-apalooza. And that was when Jean Anne was so upset that we DIDN'T think to go to Cheesecake Factory (because it's both of our favorite places to eat. Or live.) So - when we were there for breakfast I thought it would be fun to ask her if she wanted to come sometime this week. Now keep in mind NO ONE works harder than Jean Anne - she buses tables, she takes orders, she schmoozes regulars, she cooks a lot of the time. She's a busy lady. Ain't easy for her to get away. And Indy is an hour and a half away - and we need to be there when this place was open. So she'd need to leave early. So we say "We're going to Indianapolis - do you want to come with us to the Cheesecake Factory." Without blinking... "Yes". Ha. So we're totally psyched that is turning into a Road Trip (with Cajun Jumbalaya Pasta and Snickers Cheesecake thrown it).

Jean Anne stopped by Natalie's office for some reason later in the afternoon and I was TOTALLY shocked but Rich offered her a tour. He hasn't let ANYONE local come up to the apartment (well - we're still trying to hide the body from the scissor lift guy). Natalie has been itching to get up here - but we don't want her to see it until it's all done (because she likes experiencing the 'wow' factor). So - it was pretty funny that she got to come up and poor Natalie was told she couldn't come up yet. Awww....

Anyway - Jean Anne bravely traipsed through our emerging nest. She was so sweet - saying that it was going to be really cute, and how impressed she was with what we had done so far. We ended up sitting and gabbing until she realized she had to get home to poor abandoned Kenny. We promised her that we'd have them over for dinner when the kitchen was... a kitchen. God knows what on EARTH we'll figure out to cook. Hopefully she'll bring pie. :)

THE QUEEN OF 'NICK'S KITCHEN' SAYS: 'FIX KITCHEN'. jeananne.JPG

I managed to finish Natalie's storefront sign - but I couldn't figure out how to upload the file to them in a way that the printers would know what was supposed to be 'invisible' and what was supposed to be solid. Soooo I had to wait until the morning to get advise from customer service.

I officially got my offer to sign with an agency in Columbus. They're have three offices all over the tri-state area - which implies they do a lot of business. So that's really encouraging. The one thing that I'm not thrilled about is that it's an exclusive contract within a 200 mile radius of their office. And almost all of my work is going to come from Fort Wayne or Indy... which is JUST within that 200 mile area. If they got lots of jobs coming in for that area - then great... but if it makes more sense to be working with an agency in Indy (if one is interested in me) they may get more casting calls. The agent dealing with me says you can terminate the agreement at any point - but that's not in the contract. So I've asked if they'll put a clause in that says that, and we'll take it from there.

HYSTERICALLY... or rather completely arm-biting annoyingly, I got ANOTHER agent-related call today. I got a phone call from a this woman saying "Joel... hello... I don't know WHEN I got your demo, but I've just listened to it... and you're brilliant... and I have to have you. I hope I haven't had this for too long and I hope you haven't signed with anyone. There's something I want to submit you for right away...so call me at 212..." At the 212 part my heart sank. Alas - NY agent. Sadly, she had my stuff from a mailing we sent out LAST THANKSGIVING. :( Such a shame. I called her and she was so sweet - and said I was just amazing and my dialects were so flawless and she was so upset I wasn't in the city. But - she asked me if she could still submit me for projects, and I said, 'you bet'. Stuff might come up. The GOOD news of that is... if someone in NY who gets a TON of demos to listen to (enough that it took her since last Thanksgiving to get to mine) loved my demo that much - then HOPEFULLY people in Indy will think I'm worth using. Fingers and tongue crossed.

In the evening I decided it was time to take Rich on his FOOD SURPRISE. Rich has a special place in his heart for anything fried, as you well may know. However - as fried things go - there is not much he gets more excited about than vegetables that are fried. I think it's some subconscious appreciation of health/death food irony. Nonetheless he hasn't had a piece of Kentucky Fried Broccoli since we left New York. When Jean Anne and I were chatting during the last catering gig, she told me there was a place that did fried veggies that were really good. So I was all excited and have been dangling a 'food surprise' in front of Rich for the past week or so. So we finally went. And it's this really nice Taverny-Inn type restaurant. Cosy and relaxed but really well designed. Anyway - I make Rich scour the menu to find the food surprise. And finally he finds the fried veges. And he's excited. And the waiter comes to take our order. And they're out of fried veggies. Well - we had a nice dinner anyway. I said the to waiter, "So, since we don't want to miss out again... how often do you run out of the stuff". "Well, I've worked here two years and this is the first time." ARGHGGHGH.

Rich also managed to multi-task over our meal and have a chat with the jazz combo that was playing... since eventually we're gonna need musicians.

So I called the online printing place to find out about Natalie's sign today. And i can't say I was delighted. First of all, the call was outsourced to India - which always drives me crazy. Not because I'm all - USA A-Ok - even. I just want people that CAN UNDERSTAND MY QUESTION. They transferred me to three people... and none of them could understand what I was asking. Finally I kind of gave up - and it turns out that they have a 'proof approval' system that will at least prevent it from a major mistake. I spent some more time on the website and figured it out. You can send it to them as an adobe photoshop file - which means it will still be in layers... so you can make it clear what is supposed to be a non-existant background and what is supposed to be solid. Phew. We ordered a sample kit of their stuff - and once that arrives and we take a look at the quality - we'll get Natalie all 'signed up'.

We got a lot of smaller bits and pieces done today. We spent a couple hours carpet and linoleum bargain hunting. There was an ad in the local paper for place in Wabash (which the GPS high-sterically pronounces wa-BASH or some reason) that was having a "Blow out Retirement Sale". So - we went. Rich's favorite words (after 'crispy and breaded') are 'everything must go'. The place actually had GREAT prices... and we spent a long time with the measurements of all the rooms (for our place and the Shit Box) trying to figure out what we could use where. We found linoleum for the kitchen in the Shit Box (that will go very nicely with the paint we chose with Winston), and we think we're going to go back on Friday and get some carpet for it's living room and bedroom as well. We also got linoleum for OUR kitchen. It was a tough decision - because we had seen some other stuff we really liked somewhere else - but THAT was $26 a yard... and this was $6 bucks. Because they were going out of business. :( Now because my mother is always nervous about sales... I should point out that it was VERY VERY clear why this guy was retiring. Every time he laughed he choked up at least half a lung, and he laughed often. This did not seem to deter him from carrying a cigarette with him at all times. We were there for an hour and half and we were suprised he made it that long. I don't mean 'that long' without a cigarette... I mean 'made it that long' period. Pretty much imagine a Dark Crytal/Crpyt Keeper combo - and you've got it.

WERE YOU (HACK) LOOKING FOR SOMETHING (WHEEZE) IN A (COUGH) BURBUR? watermark.jpeg

Hopefully when we go back on Friday to pick everything up... we won't need to wear black.

So - after that we came home and started getting lots of kitchen finishing projects done. We were intending to go the maybe-we're-gonna-rent-to-them church service at 7:00, so we didn't want to get into anything too major. But I figured I had time to mortar the cement board in the bathroom... and we had managed to pick up another set of measuring cups this morning (since the last set have been lost to the blackhole that is the vastness of this building). OF COURSE the packaging came with another one of those incredibly helpful "mixing entire contents of the bag" set of instructions. Or rather "mixing the entire bag" set of illustrations on the back with spanish subtitles. So if you didn't want to mix the entire giant bag of mortar (y'know and lay enough brick for a Presidential Library, or something)... you had to figure out how to divide the bag up and what amount of water to add. So we figured a fifth of the bag... so I smooshed the bag into my plastic tray, and then figured out how much of the tray it would fill (pretty much all the way)... so then I took the tray and filled it with water. And then I removed the water using my one-cup measuring cup. Seventy cups in the bag. Five litres of water for the bag. Rich did the dividing by five math and ta da! And then I realized I had used the 2/3 cup rather than the 1 cup. Rich did some more math, and ta da again. I started a-mixin.
SHUFFLING OFF MY MORTAR COIL isthisright.JPG
THE FIRST THING I MIX IN THE KITCHEN... HOPEFULLY THE NEXT THING HAS FEWER LUMPS. mortar.JPG

I was a little nervous about this stuff - the last mortar I used was pre-mixed. But it seemed to come out fine and thanks to my perfectly scientific approximation I mixed just the right amount. To run out. So I mixed more. At which point I started getting a little more confident - and, remembering Janice's and my experience figuring out the concrete ceiling goo, realize that you can really pretty much do the mixing by eye. Just make sure you don't add too much water too fast - or you'll then end up having to thicken it - and then you'll have too much left over. Not that I did that. Not me.

SECRETARY OF SLATE, COLIN TROWEL trowelling.JPG

Troweling, by now I'm used to, so that was pretty straight forward. Goop goop, spread spread, scrape scrape. I did figure out BEFORE HAND, luckily, to take all the slabs OUT of the bathroom before i started - because once one was down, wouldn't be able to get your fingers into the gap to lift up the next one. And, save a little mortar on the walls... and the vanity... and the ceiling probably (which all wiped off, jeeeessh) - it seems pretty good.

There was debate about whether we should fill the cracks between with grout or with the mortar. It really didn't matter looks-wise because the tile was being set on top of it. So - we figured mortar and went for it. More gooping... I was having a minor freak because the concrete didn't seem to be sitting completely flat against the mortar - so I was worried it wouldn't set evenly. Rich reminded me you're supposed to SCREW THE SLABS DOWN. Ah, yes. So - I screwed them all down... trowelled into the gaps. And it looks dandy. It has to dry overnight and then we can get back to work in the bathroom.

FOR LAND OF THE PEE, AND THE HOME OF THE PAVE cement-down7.JPG

So then Rich realized that that church was not necessarily having a service tonight - their website said Bible Study. A lengthy discussion ensued trying to figure out whether or not we wanted to brave direct contact (rather than sneaking into the back pew etc.) I maintained we didn't KNOW it wasn't going to be a service as well... so we should just try. By the time we arrived Rich explained that we couldn't exactly say, if they WERE only having bible study "Sorry... we'll come back, we only wanted Christianity in a spectator form." I, of course, thought this was perfectly acceptable. We got to the parking lot and I totally chickened out. We'll go back on Sunday. God willing. Literally, I suppose.

So - after Applebees (which has totally remodeled). Why would you remodel an Applebees? I mean the place is always PACKED... it apparently KILLS other restaurants that try and open in the area. Why did they suddenly decide to take it up a notch? Who knows. It looks much less TGIFriday kitsch now.. and a lot more - I suppose - upmarket. So we're went to the FANCY applebees and then came home and did some more work.

We managed to get the final finishing coat of joint compound on most of the kitchen walls... including the one where Adam practically had to SCULPT an entire wall corner because there was a 1/4 gap down the whole thing. Look how purty it came out:

PLASTER SURGERY new-corner.JPG

Then I decided to try an experiment. I'll letcha know how it turns out. We have these not-real-small gaps in the wall in places where an old wall came out - or it's very tough to patch etc. And they are just toooo wide to fill with joint compound. A) It would require more goo than a GhostBusters sequel... but it also would eventually crack with expansion and contraction. Joint compound would be great to finish it off and smooth - if I JUST had something to fill in the majority of the void.

FOAM.

I wanted to try filling the gaps with foam... then I'll shave it down even with the wall surface... and then joint compound the whole thing smooth. It SHOULD work. And... I wore gloves. Po nearly thought it was whipped cream - but after a few sniffs, she thought better of it. Rich actually is tentatively optimistic about this (once he saw it implemented). Hopefully phase two will work out ok. I mean, I shaved the stuff down in the bathroom - so there's every evidence that it's a good plan.

FOAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS foam-up-close.JPG

Just so's ya know - that above caption is two-fold. Bob calls gaps between things "holidays". For instance "You did a wicked crappy job painting that wall, there are a lot of holidays". So - foam for the holidays - is actually EXACTLY what I'm doing. Thank you, thank you. I couldn't do it without the little people. And by 'little people', I mean the Roloff family. They commute every night and write the blog with me.

little_people.jpg

Sooo - that's about it for the night. Rich actually says - believe it or not - that he thinks that by Monday there will be cabinets in a painted kitchen with linoleum on the floor.

HAHAAHHAHHHHAHAHHAHAAH

No, really. Stop laughing. He means it. I saw his 'to do' list - and if we get it 'to done' - we'll be good. We can't USE the kitchen then... because the bathroom has to be done before we can have any WATER running there.

Oh.... i forgot to tell you something really cool. Yesterday we went to look at the furniture store on the corner. LIke two minutes after as walked in the proprietor came up to and said "I need you to stay here for a few minutes - I just called my dad and he's coming by". At first I thought we had become more of an oddity than I had even fathomed. Hey Pa, come on over, them swishy folks is here. But NO. His Dad apparently had a bunch of photographs from when the theatre was renovated. So we looked at furniture, and a few minutes later his dad arrived. And sure enough. He's 86 - and he's went to theatre from the age of 13. And he's always had a fondness for it. And he had a stack of AMAZING pictures of the theatre before, during and after the 1941 renovation that are awesome. It gave us our first glimpse of the lobby as it used to be... they are fantastic. I'll post them all. He was so nice - and he let us bring them home and scan them - if we promised to take care of them. :) The best part of the whole thing was this - he's 86, and he took his still-wife of sixty years on their first date to the theatre. And it's the only time he ever sat in the balcony, (where it cost more to sit) because he wanted to impress her. So - opening night of our first show - we're gonna put them in the front row of the balcony. Awwwwwww.

Finally, I have good news and bad news. BAD NEWS: The Legally Blonde broadcast on tv has been postponed until October. I was sooooo EXCITED about this :( I don't have much to get excited about people... this was keeping me goin. :(

GOOD NEWS. Twizzlers has come out with EXTRA LONG Twizzlers. I got a giant bag for four bucks. They are insane. Compare them to Po length.

I LIKE MY CANDY LIKE I LIKE MY DOGS. EXTRA LONG. twizzler-dog.JPG

How many of you wagered that the above joke was not originally about dogs? Yah well. I cater to a sophisticated audience.

Anyway - Miles of Twizzlers. Like I said... it's the little things that make ya get up in morning.

xo Jo Jo.