You know you make me wanna GROUT! Oct 10, 07

Hey - it's really late and I'm totally wiped - but I didn't want to ignore y'all. So forgive me if this is a wee bit fast and furious. Kind of like my driving. At breakfast, Cindy (Helen Hunt, remember?) shared her volleyball paper mache woes. Things were not going quite as planned and she suddenly realized that she had confused a basketball which has this many lines:

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with a volleyball, which has THIS many lines: volleyball_color.jpg

Oh shit. So - I seem to have been given pack leader blessing for an emergency volleyball craft visitation tomorrow. She said she was all worried cuz her house was a mess. I said, "Cindy... do you have a bathroom?" "yes". "Do you have a kitchen?". "Yes". "Then don't worry". So tomorrow I'll let you know how volleyball-ing goes.

Jean Anne took me out for another lesson today (mad, I tell you...totally mad) - and she survived. There was a point where I had to turn onto the main street and pass by a young feller about seven years old on his bicycle. I rolled down the window and said "Hey... I'm a really bad driver and I don't want to kill you... could you watch out for me?". As I drove past he applauded my successful non-smooshing of his person with great glee. Bless. The rest of the driving went pretty well except for some reason today I had an aversion to stop signs. It was like someone kept spraying them with invisible spray. They just kept creepin' up on me. I didn't run any... but I came purty darn close. Now, this is TRULY pathetic... because of all the things I have as an excuse as a foreign driver... we have STOP signs for goodness sake. Yeesh. But - Jean Anne did not feel an impending side-swipe the entire trip...which was major progress.

Part of our excursion took us to a local orchard which was super pretty. They have all their pumpkins for sale, and barrels and barrels of apples... I'm gonna make Rich take me to pick out a pumpkin, so I'll take pictures. Speaking of pumpkins... now Huntington Visitors Center has a Pumpkin Carving Contest. Naturally my competitive juices started to flow...because if it's one thing I love, it's using my Masters Degree to crush the artistic hopes and dreams of six year olds. :) Anyway - they have this competition and there's a fifty dollar prize. Now the reason this is funny is because at dinner tonight, Rich said "Ok - you can only enter the pumpkin competition IF you promise not to spend MORE than fifty dollars on making the pumpkin." I was like "How on EARTH could I spend fifty dollars making a pumpkin". He said "I know you - and for a fifty dollar competition you're going to end up saying 'but I can't do this without the Henkel limited edition pumpkin carving scimitar'." Tragicaly, he had a point. So - pumpkin carving insanity wisely has a glass ceiling. But I did pick up a carving kit at WalMart. Rich, I am sure, is delighted the one of the first uses of our kitchen will be to cover it floor to ceiling in pulp and pumpkin seeds. Cuz we all know how tidy I keep my projects.

I got a phone call today from one of the universities that I wrote a letter too! And not one of the scary ones! The chair of the drama program at the Fort Wayne chapter of Purdue (which actually has a pretty big theatre dept) called and left a message. He didn't say exactly what he wanted...but at least returning my phone call is massive progress compared to the rest of them, right?

So - now to more important matters. Kitchen progress. Like I said - I'm really tired (I'll explain why) so forgive the fact that the wit factor is going to be burning at a low ebb.

Rich continued toiling on this Columbia website which seems, in size, to be multiplying faster than the ebola virus. But he DID manage to get the letter box on the door of the storefront to make sure that was all finished off... BECAUSE...

THEY SIGNED THE LEASE!

The facial folk signed the paperwork and Rich, with great ceremony, removed the "Remodeled Storefront for Rent" sign. I met Linda (she of the skin empire) today, and was delighted that she was, indeed, wearing her signature flower in her hair. I think somewhere, Barbara Siegel, will be pleased to know that festive hair adornments will continue to play a significant role in my life.

THE SIEGEL'S REVIEW: "NOW, THIS WE LIKE EVEN MORE THAN VEGETARIAN LIVERWURST". fh000020.jpg

So... Rich took the contract over to Walmart, took them through it (very carefully because, believe it or not, our Indiana lawyer does not draft documents in Korean). And, they've paid five months up front (and at that point they will re-negotiate a higher rent if their business is taking off). So - the storefront just PAID FOR ITSELF. Woo hoo. Which makes the pack leader very happy...because last night he sat in Applebees staring at his plate saying "I just can't stand that we are now making payments on everything we bought so that we could have a kitchen so that I could make 39 cent frozen quesadillas, and yet I'm still sitting here eating an eleven dollar frozen quesadilla as WELL as the payments." It's not easy being a pack leader, kids. Soon, though... soon he can eat himself silly in brand x mexican micro-waved goodness.

When he took the "For rent" sign down he said "What should we replace it with". I said..."Well, since we'll be getting more money the more successful Linda's business continues to be... what about "Help keep Huntington interracial - Get yourself an Korean facial." Amazingly, he said 'no'. Anyway, we don't have enough 'T's yet to spell it. I need to find an outlet where my creativity is more appreciated. How bout volleyball pumpkins??

Keith - our walking Old-Spice-Father's-Day-Ad awesome plumber arrived. Now I totally lied to you yesterday. I THOUGHT he was installing the TOILET. Nope. He came to install the FLANGE. The FLANGE is a plastic pipe looking dohinkus which lead up to the wax ring upon which the toilet (which apparently WE are installing) will rest. BUT Keith, realized very quickly that he had a flange that was too long... and a flange that was too short. But not one that would fit. Rich thought things were turning terribly Goldilocks, assuming that which Keith comes back he will have to have blonde pigtails and say:

THIS FLANGE IS JUSSSSST RIGHT keith.JPG

So he'll be back tomorrow with a new part. I'm sure it will be flange-tastic. During his visit I asked him if he had EXPECTED us to have installed the Kitchen sink. He said "uh, no...but that's ok... I mean...whatever". Which now explains, apparently, why he looked at Rich and Bobs handiwork with slight bewilderment. See - the quote they gave us - and we're being charged for - said on the paperwork that WE do the 'finish work'. Now - we may not have DEFINED that well enough.... or Keith bein' a busy guy forgot the details and thought he had to do it all. And since his Faboo wife Desiree handles all the business ends of the things he might not even remember what the quote they agreed to INCLUDED. Poor guy. Poor Bob. Poor Rich. So Rich has gotta call Des and find out exactly who's doin' what. It's kind of funny really. We thought it was our job to install the shower fixtures and stuff - but who knows... we might actually have already paid Keith to build us a swimming pool, spa and bowling alley :)

Even though he couldn't finish the flange install - Keith said that I could go ahead and grout...so's I did :)

And this, kiddies is what totally whooped my butt. And that's why I'm falling asleep typing this. And it's 3:00 - and I have to install linoleum tomorrow. So - I'm gonna stick the progress pictures up - and then I'll tell you all about my grout toiling anon.

Deal?

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it actually looks, despite my frustration over just one or two little slip-ups, really really good. The grout color is lovely - and it really looks pretty darn professional. And Rich loves it. Which makes me really, really happy.

While I spent the evening on that he cut the last countertops and installed them onto the cabinets. He also secured the last cabinet unit to the walls, and attached all the drawers and door pieces. I only have one picture because I want there to be lots of impact when I show you the linoleum tomorrow. I"m pretty excited.

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Ok - really - exhuasted. I'll gussy this up in the morning, I promise.

xo jojo.