Friday, December 23, 2011

At Last

At last I have a weekend free, well mostly. I've been busy on weekends since last winter. Wow.
So now it's Christmas time, which I really love. I'd like to share some Christmas thoughts.

Christmas means a time of rest for me. Mental rest anyway, because there is always something to do that needs doing. I always get a few more moments to reflect on family and how fortunate I am. I think about my friends too; not just witty things to say to them, but really what their friendship means to me.

Even though I go a long time between listening, I really like music. Christmas music goes with the season and I often find a new thing to hear in pieces I've heard many times over. I relish those tiny sparkles of discovery. I think as I've aged, I listen to music more in its parts than I did before; I hear the individual players and listen to what each one is doing.

For example, I heard a Boston song (Yes, that Boston, from the 70s) today and discovered that one of the things that made them sound that way was playing guitar in unison following a pair of brief solos. I find myself remarking that a lot of songs have brief iconic parts that are really bold in retrospect. I imagine the young artist in the studio laying down that hook, probably one that they had practiced a thousand times to make it perfect. It's like looking back in time.

Round Christmas, we get lots of cards. I always imagine all the effort that went into sending them all. Wow, that's a lot of work. I'd like to individually thank each of you for all that work. It's a labor of love. I love reading the cards and the annual letters and hearing how everyone has aged and grown and achieved. Really. It's cool.

Christmas for us immediately follows the Dickens Christmas Fair. This year was really great, with tons of people attending, lots of acting opportunity and practice, and remarkably good shows. Once again, the Naughty French Postcards cast sang Happy Birthday to me, topless. The first year (7 years ago) it was really stunning - I didn't remember the singing. This year it was just sweet.

The Oliver Twist scenes went extremely well. This season I really hit my stride with the most difficult scene, a dramatic confrontation with Nancy where she tells all about Fagin and everyone else allied against Oliver Twist. The scene has to be fluid because it's essentially a heated interrogation of Nancy by my character Mr Brownlow, and it has to be very believable because it sets up Nancy's impending murder. We usually had a good crowd, we held their attention and it always played about as tense is it was supposed to.

This coming year at work is shaping up to be one filled with lots of excitement. I'm looking forward to it. I'll tell you all more later. I'm also looking forward to having weekends free from now till May. Whee!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Whaddaya mean it's been seven weeks!

People, it's been a long time in the making, like most of this year, but now we are just an easy weekend away from turning over our finished place to our first renters.  That's right, we have a contract for a ski lease through the winter.  The lease will essentially cover all of our out of pocket costs.  Naturally, we're pretty pleased.  We'll get it back at the beginning of May.

Here are a few pictures and some Witty Commentary.

This is the fireplace and the TV - as if that wasn't obvious.
Stair railing thingy.
One of the first things that we noticed when we saw the place was that it lacked any railing on the stair.  This was approximately the last project we completed.

The wooded wonderfulness that you can buy at Home Desperate
Upstairs bathroom.  The bead board paneling looks even better in person.
We used the bead board to make doors for the downstairs bathroom closet.
When you paint a house all one color it looks a hell of a lot better.
New deck rail that we built together.
When you come round the corner, this is what it looks like.
The laundry room has new electrical, gas line, and appliances.  The floor is still pretty ghetto.
Gregor helping me rebuild the back wall of the laundry room (ants ate the framing).  This was one day before the painting was to begin.

I never gave so much thought to the seasons until this project came along. At Tahoe, the seasons are obvious and they played into whether you could work or even drive to get there. Getting there was its own odyssey approximately every week. Now I know the road in both directions, and where to downshift. We found out that the gas prices are lowered in Tahoe City during the weekdays. We ate in good restaurants and pretty mediocre ones. We camped out in our place when it was little more than a roof, walls, and some crappy doors. It used to stink like smoke, it was covered in stickers, you could literally hear the ants inside the walls, and all the neighbors told us tales of ridiculously bad behavior - like low-life residents chipping golf balls toward the nearby houses, drug deals, and lots of beer bottles in the streets. Essentially every passerby told us they were ecstatic about all the good we were wreaking on the house.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's take a look

It takes a lot of time to build a house over again.  Here is a picture of the latest good part.
There is a buttload of wood here...