In Which I Go Sleuthing: Postscript

A few weeks ago, I checked my voicemail because the box was full. (As an aside, if you ever have an urgent message to get to me, voicemail is not the way to do it. Send a text message or email me — I am quite frequently very remiss in my voicemail checking.) One of the messages was from my contact at the Palladium-Item.

She said (paraphrased): “Because the person was an independent contractor, we will be unable to reimburse you for the $14. You’ll have to get it through the courts.”

If you recall in the Epilogue, I had been told that they would take care of it and reimburse me. So why the sudden change of heart? Continue reading


Malm Bed Frame (IKEA)We are totally buying a new bed. 


I <3 IKEA.



* Note: if you happen to click on the image to read more about it. It’s important to note that the bed FRAME is $200 — but that doesn’t include the slats or the mattress. Altogether it comes to right around $500-600 for a Queen Size bed, including mattress. Very affordable, and SOOOOOOO comfortable. IKEA is AWESOME.

Joys of Homeownership: The Attic (pt. 1)

Attic, 26 July 2006

Attic, 26 July 2006

When we bought this house, it was originally advertised as having “3 Bedrooms.” Any of you familiar with reading real estate listings probably know that this really means “2 bedrooms and a large closet” or “1 bedroom with a large basement.”

In our case, it was 2 bedrooms with a large, partially finished, attic. 

The attic is mostly floored (3/4″ floor boards), mostly drywalled (it still needs finished), and mostly wired (three outlets, two light sockets).

But it’s not a bedroom. Continue reading

Receiving the Santa Hat

“Aaron, wake up; it’s Xmas!” Melissa whispered, lying next to me in bed. The sun was just barely up; I figured it was about half-past seven.

“No it’s not, it’s only the 21st.” I was close — it was the 22nd. She smiled at me and we got out of bed.

Flashback a few years ago. the house where I grew up in Pennsylvania, December 24th, around eleven PM. My mom and I are the last people awake after my little brother went to sleep a little while ago.

“Are you going to help me?” Mom asked me. It was genuinely inquisitive, not rhetorical. I think I was either watching the color television or cleaning up in the kitchen. I’m a bit of a night owl. 

“Help you with what?” I replied. 

“Put the presents out.”

I was a little surprised, partly because I had forgotten that it was Xmas eve, but also because every year prior I had also been asleep, or at least out of the room, when the presents were laid out. Continue reading

Winter Solstice and the so-called “War on Christmas”

We are all very excited about the upcoming holidays. Our presents are packed (and most of them shipped / delivered), the tree and lights are up and decorated, we’ve made cookies, and we’ve dove headfirst into the Winter Season media: The Grinch, Bing Crosby, Ultra Lounge, Muppet Christmas, etc.

The thing is, although all of this looks like the holiday we commonly refer to as “Christmas”, it’s really not. Our family celebrates the Winter Solstice – the astronomical event occurring between the 20th and 25th each year, where the Sun is at its lowest azimuth and the day is the shortest. 

Historically speaking, people have been celebrating Solstice for CENTURIES (I would even venture to say “millenia”), and many of the traditions that we all know and love (tree, gifts, Santa, etc.) all have secular / pagan origins. But what bugs me is this whole “War on Christmas” thing that’s all the rage in the media right now. It’s just plain silly, and it’s mountains from molehills. I want to discuss two topics here: Why the “War on Christmas” is ridiculous, and why (and “how”) we celebrate Winter Solstice.

Continue reading