Saturday, December 26, 2009

nostalgia for christmas past

at home we don't do very much for christmas. these days it's all been even less ceremonial. i at least remember as a child that christmas was a big day. the whole holiday season felt like a definite period. now, it's just another few days between going back to work.

the period of christmas and new years were much more enjoyable when i was a child. unlike people who complain of the holiday season being too in your face now, for me i see too little of it. we don't have tv, we don't go out shopping for presents, and i feel like i've barely heard a christmas jingle. sure, i hear jingle bell rock and it still annoys the hell out of me. but it's different. when i was a kid and i first heard jingle bell rock, it became ingrained in my memories as part of growing up and experiencing christmas. much like the following bits of nostalgia, that i have no way to experience anymore except through excerpts of youtube.

a charlie brown christmas.

how the grinch stole christmas

a christmas story

i remember watching this in the middle of the night before christmas while old tnt or usa commercials played in between. or while my mom was cooking a decidedly chinese christmas dinner and my dog athena was sitting there eyeing the scraps. or the next morning when i'd be playing with my new crossfire system or new ninja turtles! (surprisingly that's the only gift i really remember receiving.)

while we're at it, here's an old favorite of the eighties.

incidentally, reading rainbow only stopped having new episodes in 2009.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

construction work before christmas

i leave for NC tomorrow (wednesday, dec 23) and before i even pack i've made some last minute construction work. but overall it's been slow progress. i don't really have more than an hour each day at home, and that's usually spent cooking and being lazy. so finally i stripped the wall down to the studs.

they're thick old studs - covered in nails. and i had some trouble with the top and bottom where they extend above the ceiling and below the floorboard. there's still a baseboard that's nailed to every stud and is below the hardwood flooring.

right in the middle of the wall there's a set of daisychained electrical outlets. it's a mess to deal with, because the wiring is old and the outlets are just hanging out in the middle of the studs.

yesterday i went to home depot and got a bunch of supplies like an extension cord and a work lamp, and a multimeter, so i could switch off the power to the upstairs (which also switches off power to half the kitchen and the living room) and finally remove the outlet. after some nervousness and basically prayers in case i get zapped and explode, i finally get the outlets off and cap them, so now they're no longer in the middle of the wall. the live wire is actually quite pretty, with my new green ladder in the background.

jordan came by and looked at the studs, and they seemed to bear a little bit of load (hopefully not a lot of it) so we decided to brace the ceiling before cutting off the rest of the studs, and eventually building a frame into the center of the room. that's as far as i got, and hopefully the house doesn't fall down on me while i'm gone for break.

when i get home, there'll be more construction work, in my dad's attic. it's fun, but i hope i can eventually actually finish a project.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I've started to renovate my house. and by renovate i mean tear it down haphazardly and hope that drywall, spackle and paint will be enough to overcome any blunders. Hey, it sounds just like college! I've also set up some music and beer right next to the rooms i'm working on. soon when the paint fumes hit, it'll be so reminiscent of phi sig i'm going to cry.

anyway here are some photos from last week's work. i've since torn down more of the wall but got stuck.

View from the "Office" with panels and drywall on this side completely removed.

The first view of the "Small Bedroom" through the Office.

Studs and Jordan's ladder. It's a sweet ladder.

A view from the Small Bedroom. There is a panel that is stuck behind some window trimming that will have to come down.