So - after spending five months on the down-low - the press has found us. Well, actually the tv station in Fort Wayne found us a few weeks ago, and wants to do a story. But the local paper... the Huntington paper...finally heard that we're here. It was the DAMN PUMPKIN :) The pumpkin winners were sent out on a press release (yes...take that in... the winning pumpkins apparently garnered more news hound attention than five months of two confirmed bachelors wearing construction clothes walking their wiener dog up and down main street, working round the clock (with open windows lit and night with no blinds) doing major construction on one of the town's most historic buildings, and banishing the only Pepsi machine (under our awning) in a five block radius. Frankly, I thought the Pepsi machine was going to give us away. See, Rich and I had wanted to kind of keep things quiet UNTIL we had something to show... because we didn't want to be all talk. Other people have come and go with this building trying to get it going again (always as a movie theatre) but we didn't want to just get lost of the jumble of 'other people who tried to run the theater'. Even though what we are dong is a million miles in a different direction from what anyone else has tried. Anyway - so they are coming tomorrow to interview us. With a photographer. The photographer part is what truly scares us...since obviously no renovation work has been done in the theatre itself yet...and the Lobby looks like a cross between a WWII bomb shelter and a Harlem storage facility. I thought a nicely posed picture in front of the rainbow mural in the Shit Box might be charming...but Rich was not convinced :) So - I'll be newsworthy on two counts in one week after months of obscurity. I'll make sure to buy a pair of dark glasses to wear when I go to Walmart. So tomorrow is also going to be a big bath/kitchen finishing day. I just spent an hour running painters tape everywhere I need to caulk around the bath, and we are in possession of our 400th threshold. And I'm going to install it a.s.a.p. Rich is going to paint the hallway leading which link the old wing and the new wing together and if he's gonna start cutting the finish molding as well. Oh, crap, that means I probably have to paint it before it gets installed - he has as system. The system is called "Joel gets paint on anything within a 300 mile radius...so have him paint as much as possible outside of the job site". Seriously - I think there are pieces of pumpkin that flew as far away as Chicago from when I was carving.
We have some real estate adventures going on tomorrow too - so it should be a nifty blog.
Today was half recovery and half shopping. The weekend involved a lot of activity with the Halloween stuff and a lot of late night back and forth figuring out the YMCA stuff - so we needed to recharge out batteries a bit. On the way back home from Fort Wayne tonight I was falling asleep in the back seat...and that's not easy to do in the back seat of a truck. We ran a Lowes trip to get the thresholds, grey caulk to blend the blue tile nicely into the grey walls, and a big contractor pack of molding to do the new parts of the bedroom, the kitchen the bath, and some left over for Byron Street.
Rich and I have been going back and forth about housing investments and how much to spend at what point. The reality is, though, we got 10 actors housed by buying the shit box for the price we got it. Which ends up being a price per person's accomodation of like $900, right. Which, if they were being housed at a hotel...for even $25 bucks a night (which ain't gonna get you the illustrious Inn at Joseph de Quis. It might get you the Dumpster at Joseph de Pee.) Anyway - so at that price, within one month of accommodation at a hotel, the Shit Box has started saving us money. And the sooner we HAVE shit boxes before we open... the longer they can be rented while we renovate and pay for themselves. AND the reality is the market is never, ever going to get crappier. Right now houses we are literally looking at for 2,000 could end up being 20,000 in two years if the market shifts. And a house that's 20,000 might be 100,000. So even though it freaks me out a little that we are using our preciously pack-ratted modest savings for real estate rather than lights and a sound system... lights and sound system are ALWAYS going to stay the same cost. They isn't a fluctuation light-board market... so when Real estate is cheap...we need to buy that. Pardon me while I hyperventilate.
Anyway - we took a shopping trip to Fort Wayne with a special guest star Lowes shopper Jean Anne. I looked at her half way through the traditional "Rich oggling clearance inspection" and said "This is my life. Boring huh." Of course if you've been working magic with cracker crumbs and Crisco every day for twenty years, I guess molding makes a nice change. Which is probably why at this point I have so much fun catering. The pork is always crisper on somebody else's bun. Unless it's Nicks Country Cafe or Nick's Junction...their pork AIN'T AS CRISPY. :)
Anyway - before I started falling asleep in the back of the truck - Jean Anne, Rich and I hit the Olive Garden. Eating out with Jean Anne is truly a HOOT. She totally tries to hide that she's doing it... but she CLOCKS the waiters. She TIMES how long it takes for your drinks to arrive...appetizers... for them to ask if you need anything. I think at this point she doesn't even realize she's doing it. It's like a reflex. And then if your drink is like getting empty she gets this little look of panic in her eyes like she's Keanu Reeves staring at the bomb ticking away on the bus. And the cutest thing...she totally doesn't do it about HER food...it's everybody elses she get's so worried about. I only think it's funny cuz I do the exact same thing during a show I didn't work on. If I get bored I start paying attention to how well the stage manager is calling the lighting cues and timing set changes. Of course, once I get trapped in my growing concrete pants and turn into a statue, she and Rich can rig me up as a Diet Pepsi fountain and I'll be perpetually refilled. Everybody's happy.
Speaking of the world of pork... Jean Anne lost one of her waitresses. And I'm kind of trying to decide whether or not taking a stab at helping her out as a fill-in-temp would be a) the most disastrous recipe for destroying a friendship ever (because of how much I would suck), or b) a really fun way of driving Cindy totally bonkers (because of how much I would suck). See, Rich was a master-waiter in his day... and Rich knows me pretty well. And Rich is convinced that my trying to wait tables would rapidly lead to some sort of "I love lucy" type episode most likely culminating in the arrival of several fire trucks, the national guard and Anderson Cooper. Although, the Anderson Cooper part...not so bad.
So there wasn't much to talk about today...I still owe you pictures of the other pumpkins. While I have you I wanted to share two things that have not yet made it on to the blog...
First of all... my construction pants. They are now at the point where they can almost stand up by themselves. Seriously... when I wear them I look like 'The Things' less butch cousin. What you are looking at is a closeup of the 1/8" thick layers of concrete, mortar, caulk, paint, joint compound and grout that has built up on my jeans in five months.
In another few months I'll look like Han Solo trapped in that slab.
The second thing is the great backsplash conundrum. Janice and I found this tile at Lowes that happens to match our linoleum. Like scarily, perfectly, identically matches our linoleum. See... here's the one sitting on the other:
So I think it would look kinda neat to have it as a backsplash along the back of the countertops - I think it would tie the room together. Rich isn't convinced. He's concerned it would be too matchy-matchy. Now, my mother is going to love this stuff...because a) beige; b) match match (she's not big on contrast); c) beige. Rich says he's not AGAINST it - but he's not convinced he'll love it. He kind of was hoping at some point to do glass tile - which would be really nice, and catch light. But, these are such a perfect match that it seems like some kind of bizarre design intervention (like divine intervention...gettit?).
So - tomorrow I"ll take a picture of the tile up against the counter and you can all weigh in. You were super helpful last time with the theatre logo. It's like being on Who Wants to Be a Millionare and using the 'Ask the Audience." Except, apparently we're on "Who Wants to be Penniless and Freeze To Death in a Concrete Monolith". Tomato, tom-ahto.
xo Jo Jo.