removed the carpet down to the concrete.
reinstalled the side jambs to get the spacing i needed.
here's the progress so far:
not too far off from the photoshop above.
don't let anyone tell you that a 36" door won't fit in a 73.5" opening. i actually had to reinstall the side jambs (.75" each side, 1.5" total) to get the right spacing, otherwise you'd see behind the door into the pocket when the door is closed. now it should be about a 1" overlap. and with the bumper in the back of the pocket, the door should only stick out about 1" when open. so with 35" i'm still ahead of the 32" opening i would have had if i'd listened to the HD guy telling me i needed a 32" door.
just remember to measure 5 times and cut 3...
had to do some mods on the fly, so i'll add more pics later.