Thursday, October 16, 2014

baaaaad business

Our annual adults-only Banister Abbey Halloween party is happening in a week and a half.  The weeks leading up to this event are tense ones in our house, especially for the children.  Lucien and Coco come home from long days at school only to be confronted by objects like these:

The kids are also fed things like this for dinner while I stand over them and ask, "Do these look like bloody severed fingers to you?"

Why aren't you guys eating?

The kids have been awfully jumpy lately.

I hired a tarot card reader for this year's party.  It was the first time I'd interviewed a tarot card reader and I had no idea what to ask.  I figured my opening question should be, "Are you full of sh*t?" hoping the fakes and crackpots would then hang their heads in shame, shuffle their feet and mumble, "Dang, you got me."  It seemed as good a place to start as any.

I didn't end up asking that.  Instead, as I sipped my grande americano at my favorite Starbucks, I was treated to a fascinating history of the tarot and how it works for this gentleman in particular.  He seemed completely sane and passionate about his tarot work.  And bonus -- he can talk to trees!  That was welcome news; I've got an Alder out back that's been reclusive lately and I'd like to know what's bugging it.

In my search for Halloween party entertainment, I also talked to a numerologist who gave me a reading over the phone.  He pegged me, was right on the nose in his assessment of who I am as a person, yet I still don't believe in numerology.  It shouldn't have surprised him when I didn't hire him -- he had just told me five minutes earlier I was a born cynic and very difficult to sway.

In other news, this is what Lucien chose to wear for his school picture day --

the bowtie really takes it over the top

And I made a bowl-like object in my pottery class --

And Supermodel Neighbor has saved the day regarding the continuing work on Banister Abbey.  He may live in Portland now but he has heeded my long distance plea for help several times and remains my most loyal and unbroken contractor.  (I've broken several other contractors, you see, and have no idea where they've scampered off to because they're very good hiders.)

For weeks now my house has smelled like wood stain and bacon -- wood stain because Supermodel Neighbor and I have conditioned/dyed/stained/sealed several new doors and miles of new wood trim, and bacon because it's delicious.

Here's a couple before and afters to celebrate this fumey period in our lives.  The kitchen has always bothered me because everything is new.  The previous owner left no hint of the original character of the kitchen when he remodeled it.  So we decided to fake the character.  Thanks to Supermodel Neighbor's knowledge and his continued gentle redirection of MJ when she bought the wrong product (often), I learned brand new wood can instill old character when finished properly.



The previous owner also installed cheap hollow-core doors all over the place.  We are one-by-one taking those down and replacing them with five-panel fir doors, as the gods intended it to be in houses as old as Banister Abbey.



It's good to have loyal unbreakable friends in the carpentry business.

The Seahawks played last weekend.  It didn't end well.

Alex and I, for reasons we don't understand other than we're pretty random, ended up at an Ethiopian sports bar for the game.  We were the only non-Ethiopians in the place.  The air was thick with accents and the smell of Ethiopian food.  Al and I have never been the only white people in a bar before.  Nobody seemed to give much of a rip about the whiteness in their midst so we happily settled in for the long haul and ordered some of that Ethiopian spongy bread smothered in lamb and onions.

It's not what I would consider "bar food" but I'm not Ethiopian so what the hell do I know.

The game was abysmal and depressing but the company was good.  One man sitting next to us was such a fanatical Seahawks fan he could not sit still.  Whenever the Hawks eff'd up (often) he began pacing back and forth next to our table, wringing his hands and shouting, "That's just baaaad business!  That's just baaaaad business!"

Also, when the Seahawks challenged a catch made by the Cowboys -- it was obviously a legitimate catch and was a dumb thing to challenge -- the guy paced around waving his arms and  yelling, "Awwww no! That was a love-ly catch, a love-ly catch."

I now use both these phrases, much to Alex's delight, often and repetitively and loudly.

Al:   "MJ, I can't find my wallet."
MJ:  "That's just baaad business!  That's just baaad business!"

Al:   "MJ, can you help me lift this heavy cabinet that has fallen on me and crushed my spleen?"
MJ:   "That was a love-ly catch... a love-ly catch!"

Al:  "MJ, should we diversify our stock portfolio?"
MJ:  "That's just baaad business!  That's just baaad business!"
Al:  "Really?  Perhaps you're right.  Let's just keep all our money in that one stock."
MJ:  "Uh-oh."

I'm very busy, have to get back to curating my Halloween party playlist and perfecting bloody fingers and entrails and various other disgusting things nobody's going to eat because I am truly that good.


  1. Love the doors!:) Always a sucker for a little reno porn:)

    I sent you some creepy inspiration for your Halloween buffet on FB:)

    The Loosh is ever the snappy dresser:)

    Love Ethiopian food! I've had to swear off it for a while though because in my neck of the woods, they make the injera (the spongy bread) with a mix of teff and whole wheat flour, and I have issues with gluten. Darn. I love me a good vegetarian platter of Ethiopian food with beer (that's out too).

    Your Halloween buffet looked positively repugnant last year and it didn't survive the evening, so I'm guessing that your bloody severed fingers will look as appetizing as your brain and vomit from last year after a few drinks (boy! Aren't I the faithful reader?!:))

    1. Reno porn! Reno porn! I keep meaning to do an extensive reno porn post but dammit, things keep happening and I don't get to it. Soon.

      I love the post on FB. I'm a bit behind the 8-ball this year so I'm re-doing, more or less, with a couple creepy additions, the same buffet as last year (you're welcome, guests, it was indeed disgusting!) I'm keeping your photo as inspiration for next year. It's so gross I love it.

      You are a faithful reader, D, and I love ya for it. Cheers!

  2. Oh, by the way: that's a very nice bowl that you made. Well done!:)

    1. Thank you, Duchesse. It did not come without blood, sweat, and tears.

  3. If I was a kid I still think I would choose all the unique experiences you expose your kids to, even bloody fingers for supper. My family has settled into an apt. on NE 42nd street close to Univ and work. They are adjusting to the wet weather and wonderful city and walking everywhere. I love to compare your stories and theirs. Have fun at the adults only party!! Cheers and Boo!!!! Kathy in Iowa

    1. Thanks, Kathy. My kids will either be well adjusted for an unpredictable life or basket cases. Fingers crossed.

      I hope your family loves Seattle as much as I do. I think I love this city more every day.

  4. "That's just baaad business! That's just baaad business!"


    You know, I am just at a loss for words because I am grinning so hard at this post I can't even make my fingers work to type, that's how much I love it. And Lucien's bow tie. *DYING* And damn, effin' FINE doors.

    My socks are blown off, m'dear. I cannot WAIT to see the post-Halloween post -- um -- write-up and photos. *hint hint* Lots and lots of Love from Loveland, CO.

    (BTW, I finally responded to your lovely comment on my blog just now. Internet Issues. As in, not having any, still, lol. This too shall pass!)

    1. You're always a positive person around here, Karin, and I love you for it. Thank you for loving the Loosh's bowtie as much as I do. I want him to wear it every day.

      I was so thrilled to see your new blog. I'll be there, woman, you go!

  5. Holy mother of Coco's room painted all in blackboard paint?

    love the those fingers...completely gross

    hi Paris Karin and of course..the Duchesse

    1. That's the first-floor hallway between the kitchen and bathroom done in blackboard/magnetic paint, Deb. It was a way to make a previously blah space usable for our kids and their friends. A bedroom done in blackboard paint is a pretty sweet idea, though....

  6. You are my remodel inspiration. Caterer, maybe not so much, unless I wanted a super awesome Halloween party. The severed fingers look a bit too realistic for my stomach to stomach. Awesomeness.

    1. Hi, ADoC! Don't look a the bloody brain or kitty litter cake, then. It only gets worse up in here.