Monday, March 9, 2009

Working For The Weekend

Get comfy; there are a lot of people to thank so this is gonna be a long post. Working for the weekend used to mean slaving away all week at a 9-5, just to be able to relax come Friday night. It now serves, for many of us, as the answer to "What are you doing this weekend?"... taking the place of such phrases as "going away for the weekend," or "maxin' & relaxin' at home for the weekend." It's undeniably crunch time.

Last week, we started quite a buzz with the commencement of Origami's Monday night residency at the Echo... which also served as a mildly official announcement of, slash countdown to, the opening of Origami Vinyl. Having lit a fire under his own ass, Neil put out his email version of the bat signal, and the response was an outpouring of love, support and, of course, labor for pizza. Please meet the weekend crew, as we have come to know them:

Jim Schield - The measurements man. Jim is Neil's grandpa and the mastermind behind the custom workbench tables that now line the walls of the store. Don't let the glasses fool you; his vision's so sharp, he'll accurately eyeball any necessary measurements in the time it takes you to find your tool belt!

Jan Schield - The artist and antiquing authority. Neil's grandma paints, and she paints well... so well, in fact, that her patina job on the cash-wrap display case (and the now matching bookcases) could easily pass for a naturally weathered piece aged by Mother Nature herself. Who knew distress could be such a beautiful thing?

Jeremy Balko - The undercover carpenter. On any given day, a conversation with Jeremy will likely reveal 1) his awesomeness, 2) that he is a cuddly bear of a man and 3) his expertise in both Mixology and hanging blowfish. Not so readily apparent is the fact that he can work a tablesaw and hammer like a pro. An effing pro! For his Saturday AND Sunday handiwork, it's safe to say Jeremy can pretty much call in a favor whenever he wants for the rest of his life.

Todd Armstrong - Woodsman... Dennis Quaid lookalike... Goalie... Jeremy's partner in crime at the wood pile. What started with two men and a wood pile quickly developed into a comfortable rhythm and soon they were dancing their way through the wood pile, turning out workbenches. Soooo smooth.

Ben & Heather Heywood - Summer Darlings-turned-staple-gun-gurus. The Heywoods came bearing staple gun, paint, other assorted Home Depot treasures and some much needed sunshine to the dim, naturally lit workspace. (If all goes well, the electrician should be hooking up power as we speak/blog.) I've never used, nor loaded, a staple gun and Ben stepped in just as my mind started wandering off to the voices chanting "You'll shoot your eye out." Before that, Ben braved the big ladder for as long as he could manage to not get vertigo. Heather also took over the duties of documentarian while I was trapped in the rafters.

Jeff Oonchitti - Keeps truckin'. Somehow, despite long work hours at a restaurant (paid work, that is) and a less-than-friendly drive to Echo Park, Jeff always seems to find the time to help out. He lent his muscles, oversize load driving skills and Toyota truck all to our cause... very early Saturday morning. Keep on truckin'!

Dave & Alexis Woodall - Paint patrol. Alexis very thoroughly slapped on the first coat of paint outside the store. She also very thoroughly reported as an fyi, that although it looked very blue, she was sure Neil knew what he was doing and that it would dry black. Good lookin' out, Alexis. Meanwhile, Dave had the kind consideration to bring back the ladder and free me from the rafters. Good lookin' out, Dave.

Loop & Kara Haro - Flea market masters. Vintage frame finders. Though limited, both time- and budget-wise, Loop and Kara set out to tackle the very overwhelming Rose Bowl Flea market, tasked with finding big vintage frames to hang in the store. Two words: Mission accomplished! It was as if they'd simply reached into the thought bubble above our heads and delivered our vision as reality! Complete with a sixer of Amstel Light. And... one frame came with a bonus painting that will soon hang in Neil's kitchen as a tribute to fish, lemons and the Haros.

Katie Garrison (not pictured but, trust me, she's cute) - Arch rival (of the arch). The very intimidating, very large, very stuccoed arch above the door was no match for Katie and her paintbrush. On Sunday, she pretty much single-handedly masking taped and painted the arch that no one really wanted to tackle the day before. Even the very very tip top part! And she's little... little and amazing. We sure did put her John Muir Trail survival skills to the test.

Taj & Matt - Dirty birdies. Clean up duty... it's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. Taj and Matt were unfortunate enough to stop in after the mess making fun was over. And they came in for the clean up without a single complaint. Taj stepped up and moved a big pile of leftover 4x4s. That shit's heavy. And Matt took to the broom like a gull takes to the wind.

Thanks to the efforts of the weekend crew, the store is now starting to look like a store. And we feel very loved and lucky to have such supportive friends. We must also thank the folks at Two Boots for once again feeding the entire crew. My new obsession: Earth Mother with cheese:

You, too, can get in on this action... next weekend! See you then!

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