Indianapolis Five Hundred (calories a spoonfull). Aug 27, 07

We had a lot of fun today. Even though we both slept in a little, we managed to get some chores done before we had to meet Jean Anne for our Road Trip to the Cheesecake Factory... No, no...I mean our BUSINESS TRIP to look at furniture. Yeah, that was it. I did some foam-work home-work... shaved down the poofiness with a kitchen knife (for which, no doubt, Janice will chew-out my butt)... but it worked pretty well. I got it about to an even surface level, hit it with some sand paper, and then joint compounded over it. When we got back tonight I noticed it looked a little... deflated. I guess the joint compound sucks some of the air out of the foam holes or something (I know that doesn't seem like it makes much sense...but the foam really looked like it was about to say "what a world...what a world" and shrivel up. So I think I'll let that dry - assume it's done it's shrinky dinkness and then hit it with another layer. I also sanded down the bathroom, ready for the last coat of joint compound, and sanded the new drywall Adam and Rich put up where the kitchen cabinets are going. So - not anything major... but at least a few steps in the big push to Monday. Tomorrow is gonna be a much bigger work day. So we grabbed a quick snack at Nicks' - during which I berated Cindy (the wonder-waitress and pie-concocter) for having the AUDACITY to add apple dumplings to the menu. I thought - at least - I was safe from THOSE at Nick's kitchen. But no. I swear, she and her mother sit around at night trying to figure out new ways to make me consume sugar. They appeared two days ago - but I couldn't handle one that day. BUT they told me that they only make 10 a week, only on Tuesdays during the apple-dumpling season.... so I got one to go. And I had it for breakfast - two days in a row cuz it was so big. So I told Cindy today that her apple dumplings were awful. And I wanted her to hold one for me every Tuesday.

So - it was time to head off on the great furniture/cheescake excursion. We hooked up Carmen the GPS Garmin and let her do her thing. We had a great trip up there. Jean Anne was telling us how some her customers think we're completely insane... they wonder how on earth we're going to get actors to come to Huntington. Which, is really completely hysterical, because considering some of the places WE have worked - and places we know our favorite performers and friends have worked..ain't a problem. Everything ELSE is a problem - but the reason THEY think we're nuts... not so much. I'm not saying Vanessa Redgrave is gonna stay at the Shit Box... but Charo and Sally Struthers - probably not a problem. We actually are fairly confident that, having dealt with Marsha Strausman's agent (she was the wife on Welcome Back Kotter and Honey I Shrunk The Kids) that SHE would be willing to bring her own costume, pay for the rights and probably build her OWN Shit Box.

Jean Anne also discovered today that there was a blog. We have not really told anyone about it - just Natalie - because most of what makes it funny is the whole 'fish out of water' element of this - which could rub some people the wrong way. When she took the tour of our apartment the other day, she evidently saw the blog up on my computer... and today she must have mustered up the courage to ask us if she could read it. We explained to her a little bit about it - and why we were doing it in the first place... and said if there was anything she didn't like on it, we could take it off. We also told her that she was the favorite character of David (who she had just met), so that she knew that she was developing a cult figure status. (I think David has convinced himself he was actually visiting The Truman Show - and all these people are actors). Anyway, when we got to the Days Inn to look at the furniture (I'll get to that in a minute) there was a public computer in the lobby. So while we rummaged through second hand hotel furniture, Jean Anne powered up the blog and read June and half of July. Rich and I were a little nervous. Then from downstairs after about two minutes we hear:

hee hee Hoo hoo HAHAHAHA.

She thinks it's a hoot. She's all about the blog. She's a blog-o-holic now just like you. And she likes the fact that there's a Nicks Kitchen link on the right hand side :)

So - we get to the Days Inn. This truck was in the parking lot - which caught my attention:

frisbee-cu.JPG

To which I ask: "how many people NEED their frisbee painted?"

We walk in and the guy at the front desk was like something out of a Chevy Chase Vacation movie. You know one of those scenes where the exhausted exasperated traveler arrives, and then the clerk doesn't really know ANYTHING. This poor kid was pretty lost. He was like "um... welllll they didn't TELL me someone was comin' to look at furniture. Umm.... well... errrr..... ummmm". (We had called in advance and set up a time to look at the stuff). Finally he led us up to a meeting room with glass french doors and he stuck his nose to it and said "do ya think this is it?". Hmmm.... room full of stacked up furniture. Maybe. So then he tried to let us in. He took out a key chain with about fifteen keys on it. And tried every one. And then he went and got another key chain. And tried almost every one... but he did get it open. So we started our rummage. The stuff was in very good shape - and looked exactly like the furniture you'd find in your average motel. This kinda stuff:

_room2.jpg

They had desks and nightstands and those tv stand/drawer things you see in the picture above. The tv things Rich and I figured wouldn't be of much use to us. And the desks - although really quite nice - were very large for a small bedroom which will probably need to have two single bed in each one. So after some humming and hawing we figure 'no'. Rich was gonna take 20 of the nightstands so he went down to talk to the dude. The weird thing was that they wanted 20 bucks for these giant desks, but ALSO wanted 20 bucks for the nightstands. Which made no sense to us. So Rich wanted to know if they would negotiate on prices - because it didn't seem like they should be the same price as the desks... and we were willing to take all of them off their hands. And they had been sitting there for three months (because that's how long it's taken us to get time to make the trip up to look at them). The dude said his manager told him that they could NOT NEGOTIATE the prices. No matter what. Which is not the way to deal with a Najuch. When you're stuff has been sitting there for three months. Rich said "But I'm willing to take all of this stuff off your hands... and you can use that meeting room again". The desk-guy said: "Um...we have another meeting room". He'll be management in no time. At the Daze Inn.

So - we went back up... thought about the nightstands. Figured since they were a very specific stain of wood that it would not be really attractive to have JUST the nightstands and nothing else that matched. See, we were REALLY bummed that they didn't have any dressers, which is what we REALLY wanted. So we decided to take measurements, look at the shit box... see what our layout could be... and then maybe come back.

We DID however pick up five armchairs. For five bucks each. FIVE. And they are really nice. WAY nicer than the nightstand - so someone figuring out the pricing was taking too much vicadin or somethin'. Rich shopped around for this kind of furniture for the offices at Columbia... and these chairs are really worth a LOT more than that. We are gonna reupholster them (which is an easy staple job pretty much) sand and stain them to match the color scheme in the foyer - and they'll be awesome.

SURPRISINGLY, RICH'S DOUBLE-DECKER BUS TOUR OF HUNTINGTON NEVER REALLY CAUGHT ON armchairs.JPG

So - then it was on to the Cheesecake Factory. Which, in the parking lot, provided me with the first photographic evidence that might finally coerce my Mother to book a flight to come visit:

mom-stores.JPG

A Crate and Barrel, Saks Fifth Avenue AND a Cheesecake Factory attached TO EACH OTHER in the same complex. And there is a Bed Bath and Beyond RIGHT out of camera shot. People, there is nothing else in the world this woman needs to be happy. When I was on the phone with her this morning she got all Cheesecake Factory Jealous... So did Natalie when she found at we were going. She was not happy that she couldn't come because she had to go tour a calf-farm which she had just gotten a call about listing. I never realized the Cheesecake Factory could potentially destroy so many relationships.

NEXT ON DR. PHIL: TWO SISTERS DEADLY SCUFFLE OVER WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE 151736__drphil_l.jpg

So this Natalie calf-farm thing is kind of fun. She just got the call today - and it's some huge calf farm. Which makes ME think of something like this:

DON'T WASTE TIME WITH THE UDDERS... LIST WITH NATALIE ELLE gothicpumpkin.jpg

But - no... such things exist. Anyway - so she got this listing today. And apparently just the other day she got another call from a guy who wants to buy a HORSE farm in the exact same area. Now... knowing Natalie, and her go-gettum attitude to sales... we think the whole thing is going to end up something like this:

NATALIE: "YESSIR... SHE'S THE FINEST FILLY YOU EVER DID SEE. Hi HO BESSIE... I MEAN... TRIGGER." 8671.jpg

We ate ourselves silly. I had my traditional don't-even-try-to-get-me-to-order-anything-else Jumbalaya Pasta. But we were CRAZY enough to order an appetizer sampler platter BEFORE our entrees... madness. You can't do that AND budget space for Cheesecake, people. What were we THINKING!!! Truly, an intervention was called for. We all started turning slightly green at the table and ordering to-go boxes so that we could leave room for dessert. It was not a pretty sight. But we were SOOOOO happy. Especially Jean Anne and me. It was kind of like Christmas but with even MORE food. We got Natalie a piece of Cheesecake so she would still love us. Poor thing... we kept getting text messages from her sort of like this:

"U R HVNG CHZCAK...I M STNDING IN MNUR."

And we all KNEW she was wearing high heels. :(

So - we rolled ourselves out back to the truck and spent the ride back enjoying the company, the sun setting over the cornfields...and Tums.

More tomorrow - tonight I'm digesting.

xo jo jo.