Well, you start by downloading the kernel source. The "apt-get source" command should do it. Put it in your home directory, not /usr/src. Unpack it, go into the new toplevel directory and see if there's a .config file there. If not, create one by typing "make defconfig". Then use "make menuconfig" or "make gconfig" to edit that default file just the way you want it. If you have a gnome desktop, use gconfig; it'll give you a nice graphical menu system that you can navigate with your mouse. menuconfig will work on any desktop but some people find the interface offputting.
2) just to get it started, seems most of it is aimed at people already building and with specific problems.