Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Range Hood in the Kitchen

New range hood
One of the smaller items on the kitchen's to-do list was installing a new hood over the range and oven. Or at least I thought it was a smaller item until I rolled up my sleeves and got into the details of the job...

I took out the old range hood last year when I replaced a couple sections of drywall and painted the cabinets. Usually I like to reuse whatever parts and materials I can to avoid being wasteful, but the old hood was a nasty orangish-bronze color and had over 40 years of grease worked into every corner of it. After the cabinets had been painted and reinstalled, I just couldn't see the old hood being anything but an eye sore and decided a new one was the way to go.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pendulum Box

Pendulum box
I like pendulums. I like the materials they're made from, the various cuts that shape them, the symmetry and balance that comes from their point, but most especially I like the feel of their weight when they hang from a silver chain. The challenge with pendulums, however, is they're also rather fragile, especially at that delicate point that gives them their focus.

I've acquired five pendulums to date: two of them were from a street market in Santa Monica, one was from the Jade Market in Taipei, and the last two were waiting for me at a gem and mineral show here in Colorado. When I only had one or two it was a easy to wrap them up and keep them safely tucked away in a pretty pouch or box, but as my collection grew that method no longer seemed adequate or, perhaps more accurately for this project, appropriate.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spirited Times

Hong Kong hostels
I'm a terrible tourist, sincerely and truly I am the worst. I'd known for 60 days when my next visa run would be and still I waited until only 8 were left before booking my flight. I was even worse with the my room at the hostel...they replied "all full" only 22 hours before my arrival on the Dragon Boat festival holiday weekend.

And I somehow decided the rest of my preparations were "complete" with a single page Google Maps printout of hostels in the target neighborhood and a copy of Wikitravel's article on Hong Kong saved to my laptop.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The True Meaning of DHL

Singapore Skyline
My first image of Singapore, even before the stubborn ATM outside of 7-Eleven, was that of a DHL truck laying at a 45 degree angle in the bushes of the meridian leading out of the airport.*

"Do you know what DHL means?" asks the cab driver in a strong Philippine accent. I search my jet-lagged expat memory and am forced to admit that I don't.

"Don't hurry la!" he says glancing at me in the rear view mirror as I burst into laughter and immediately take a liking to Singapore.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ginger Tea to Universal Adaptor

Ginger Tea
So what's the first thing I want after I get my ATM card working again? Food! And being from Los Angeles with a host of Indian buffet lunches, and Taiwan having a severe lack of what I think of as curry dishes, I head out to Little India.

About 15% of Sinpagore's population is from India and from the moment I step off the subway car I can see I'm in a totally different part of town.

At lunch I get my curry fix with a fork and spoon while fingers all around me mix together rice and sauce into small mounds on their plates.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April (four-letter-word) Fool's!

I ended my employment at Kojen on Wednesday and as is the custom for foreign teachers who leave their jobs in Taiwan, I needed to make a visa run the very next day. So I packed clothes for a 6-day trip to Singapore, every possible document the consulate might need neatly copied and organized in both paper and electronic forms, and a bit of work to take with me for the those afternoons in air-conditioned cafes when I'd be avoiding the mid-day heat. Then I was off for a nice little vacation before my official "working vacation" in Taiwan began.