Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Get your plums off my windowsill

Surprise, everyone, we're still renovating our house.  It was recently my job to carefully chisel off the century-plus buildup of dirt, caulk, paint, glue, whatever (I called it "lead-laden potpourri") that was caked on the frieze so it can be repainted (the frieze is the sculptural element that fits into the middle of the triangular pediment over the balcony over the front door.  I know you are fascinated.)

First I used a small chisel to chip-chip-chip at the frieze then I used a dremel tool to vroom-vroom-vroom.  It took forever but I love work like that -- the kind of work where you can get lost in your thoughts for hours.  After about thirty minutes I realized how weird my thoughts are and spent the rest of the time compiling mental lists of people I had to tell about them.

 Before -- an unacceptably gunky frieze  

After -- hot damn, girl, nice frieze!

a frieze-cleaning station

I worked alongside our normal team of guys for a couple days as I cleaned the frieze.  I kept wondering when we were going to start scratching our balls and talking about chicks.  It never happened, likely because I didn't know the secret pre-ball scratching password.

Which reminds me -- Contractor God has plums.  Really great plums.  Many friends have spoken fondly of Contractor God's plums; some have even boiled and crushed them into a fine jam.  I winced when I heard that, too.

Contractor God asks me all the time if I want to sample his plums.  He says he can "put them in a bag and bring them over tomorrow."  I can't tell if it's a sexy joke or not, so today I yelled, "Keep yer damn plums away from me!"  He seemed confused so I explained I just really didn't know what to do with his plums.  When Contractor God then said, "you just put them on your windowsill until they're nice and ripe,"  I said, "Don't put your plums on my windowsill, you sick freak, what the hell is wrong with you?"

He walked away.  I may have missed out on some great plums but that's the price you pay for being hysterical and confused.

For those of you still around from ye ole Paris blog, we had a visit from one of the featured players of that blog over the weekend.  Remember our English friend, Newcastle Guy?  Newcastle Guy was in Tacoma on business last week and came up to see us over the weekend.  I found him wandering around outside the front of our house trying to figure out how to get in.  Thanks to the construction covering the entire front, we really don't make it easy.

I welcomed Newcastle Guy back into our lives with great emotion and great joy.  It was strange to see such a Paris-themed friend sitting at our dining table in Seattle, but there he was anyway.  He still looks like Jake Gyllenhaal.

I departed from our previous fancypants Paris ways and handed him a PBR (and in a can to boot!)  He looked at it suspiciously, sipped it, then made many horrible sour faces.  I told him it was a hipster beer -- because it's ironically awful! -- and therefore acceptable to drink in Seattle.  He then asked me repeatedly to define "hipster" but I really couldn't.  I know irony is key.  I think I may have gotten frustrated and sputtered, "Hipster is a state of mind" a few times, which didn't help Newcastle Guy's understanding of these complex beings.

Newcastle Guy choked down a couple PBRs then asked if we could order a nice wine at dinner.  I think he was worried hipster wines existed, too.  (They probably do -- anyone know of any?  I'd like to serve them in a glass full of delicious irony.)

We went to Poppy on Capitol Hill.  I recommend it highly.

eggplant fries coming at your face

a delicious cocktail with some delicious fried ball things.  Not plums.

The food was incredible but the company so-so.  Newcastle Guy and Alex can be quite crusty and curmudgeonly individually and the problem gets exponentially worse when they're together.  I suggested they chat with a crack whore up on Aurora Ave. to put the relative awesomeness of their lives in perspective but I realized the point was lost when Newcastle Guy said, "She gets to make her own hours!"

We put Newcastle Guy in a taxi back to Tacoma.  He wasn't interested in trains and none of us were in any shape to drive, so into a yellow cab he went.  Tacoma is about 45 minutes away so the trip wasn't cheap.  Between the PBR in a can and the hundreds of dollars spent in a handful of hours, Newcastle Guy may be happy he's not in our lives very often anymore.

My in-laws arrive this weekend.  Soon thereafter, Al and I are going to Hawaii.  The two of us.  No kids.  We are looking forward to it the way a hipster looks forward to a concert by that band you've never heard of.

As always, I am eternally grateful to my in-laws for taking care of our children so we can get away.  I'm also hopeful they're not offended we yell "SEE YA!" and run out the door pretty much every time they arrive for a visit.

Here are a few awkwardly placed and random photos to leave this post on a scattered note:

Coco got some red boots, never wants to take them off, has slept in them twice

we are about to pour concrete into these forms Contractor God built when he wasn't badgering people about his plums

here's Contractor God doing..... something

corbels and balusters

 Al telling Loosh how many hands he has to use to throw the ball back into play

we put our hands in cement at Banister Abbey.  One of the hands is Contractor God's which is appropriate since without him our house would have fallen down already

I went out with some people and saw this guy at the bar.  Attempted hipsterdom?  Drunk golfer?  Lost gendarme?

I'm now officially sick of writing about plums and hipsters.  Time to go to bed.


  1. nice frieze!....maybe you could send some of those contractor guys over to my house to fix the whole in my ceiling caused by the leak in my shower....I'm convinced it will never get fixed and I'm sourcing fancy buckets since the one in the dining room isn't going anywhere soon.

    Enjoy Hawaii...and love those boots on Mme Cokes.

    1. Thanks, Debs. My contractor guys could probably use a vacation, so maybe I will send them on the road up to you. Can you take them to some nudie bars, too? They like those.

      I'm pretty sure we'll have a good time in Hawaii.

  2. Al has two hands! Pirates!

    I love it when side characters make it into the sequel.

    1. HA. Al DOES have two hands! Pirates! Bec, you always remember that stuff. You and Duchesse with the memories...

      I was happy for Newcastle Guy's cameo, too.

      Have a great day, or night, or whatever it is over there right now.

    2. Bec and I are dangerous that way;)

    3. Mwa-ha-ha! We never forget.

      Enjoy Hawaii! And just a tip for the 3 AM drunken karaoke sessions... When Al yells "Imma go climb me a fire mountain!" it's probably time to call it a night.

    4. That's good advice. Because it's Al. And he's cray-cray like that.

  3. Is PBR, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer? I didn't know they even sold that anymore!

    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii!

    1. Why yes, Tara, it is. And they still sell it so you should probably go grab a case. Make sure you get it in cans, though. In bottles, it's just crap beer, but in cans you're really making a statement.

      Have a good day, Tara!

  4. Nice work on the frieze, there!:) A bit like that paleontology kit you bought the Loosh at the Musee d'histoire naturelle, but with better instruments. Eh, myabe you should get him degunking the next time and tell him it's archeological/paleontological work of sorts:)

    Plums are good for regularity, you know;) it's like purple All-Bran;)

    I'm thinkinf hipster wine would be organic.

    Enjoy Hawaii! I hear it's spectacular:)

    Look at them boots on Coco! So hip and stylish!

    You have the best in-laws, you know that?

    1. Duchesse! Blogger allowed your comment today! Fantastic news.

      Cleaning the frieze was very, very similar to Loosh's dinosaur kits -- except for the fact Lucien was allowed absolutely nowhere near it. He had to maintain a ten-foot radius from the frieze at all times for obvious reasons.

      Hipster wine would be organic, and likely made of an obscure grape you've never heard of.

      Good Lord, yes, I have the best in-laws. We've taken some of our best trips thanks to them. I can't appreciate them enough.

      Bye, Duchesse! High Five.

    2. Never mind grapes, hipster wine would be made of some organic FRUIT (or veggie... or plant!) you've never heard of;)

    3. Well, your in-laws are French-Canadians. What can I say? We're good people.

    4. Don't forget to drink your organic hipster eggplant wine out of an original Scooby Doo thermos. Very important.

    5. Bec. You win. That. awesome.

    6. Duchesse, amen, sister. I looooove the Frenchie Canadians.

  5. After reading your explanation of a frieze, I see why the word 'thingy' is now used so often.

    I'm positive the workmen were were talking about chicks. They were doing it only when you were out of earshot. Where there are construction guys, there is 100% certainty chicks will be discussed. Quite often in details that would shock Caligula.

    Coco is always awesome in boots. Coco wears boots well and Alex wears hats well. What a fashionable family you have.

    For the full lowdown on hipsters tell Newcastle Guy to go to


    1. I use the word "thingy" many times every day when discussing the house. It drives the guys nuts but it's so much easier.

      I will now spy on the guys in an attempt to overhear their chick conversations. I love Caligula-shocking details, so hope there are lots of them. I will then, of course, write about them.

      I'm sending Newcastle Guy to that site now. Or perhaps he just wants to block to entire experience from his memory.

      Bye, Bill, thanks as always for stopping by.

  6. Again a nice and funny post ! Even better today, since I intend to make "confiture de prunes" (plum marmelade) ;-)
    Have fun in Hawai, make nice pics, forget Banister Abbey and Contractor God !
    Coco should write her own fashion blog, she looks great (this comes from a french girl, so it says something, uh ?)
    Cécile from the sunny South of France.

    1. Bonjour, Cecile!

      Thank you very much. Wow, there are a lot of people into plums these days, enjoy boiling and crushing them into a fine jam!

      I will forget B.A. and C.G. the second the plane wheels leave the ground, promise. We need a break.

      I'm going to tell Coco she just received the highest fashion compliment in existence -- from a French woman! (Seriously, why do you guys always look so good....)

      Au revoir, Cecile, et merci...

  7. Couldn't really see Contractor God's face in that photo because he had that shield over it. But did he have a shield to protect his plums, too?
    (Awesome frieze-work, BTW.)

    1. Contractor God will only permit pictures of himself that disguise his identity. He will forever be a masked man on the blog. He probably has not yet considered the plum-shield. I will suggest it today, and watch him back away from me slowly with a concerned look on his face.

      Bye, all! You make life worth living!

  8. well plums are a-plenty here-i just finished about 50 of them-not in one sitting....house is looking good -LOVE coco's boots-love that she fixates on stuff-and i hope you enjoy hawaii-lots of couple things and all...

    1. G.... rawr, "couple things" indeed. Rawr.