Archive for June, 2007

Ready to get started.

 | June 25, 2007 4:49 pm

Four more days until I’m homeless again. I can’t wait. Mom and Dad are visiting tomorrow and we’ll switch vehicles. I’m going to miss my pretty little prius, but I’m looking forward to getting the van put together. By Sunday I had basically run out of the packing that could be done before I had the van. I’ve been super busy with work the last couple days so no time to do anymore anyway. I just found out today that I have the fourth of July off. I never even occurred to me that I would. I haven’t had the fourth of July off in years. I haven’t decided yet if I want to go to a party/picnic and go see some fireworks, or if I just want to hang out on my own at the Malibu
beach campground laying in the sun and reading a good book.

A whole day off. It feels so luxurious. I like the work I’m doing, but I’m looking forward to when I get lots of time off. It’s been a while.

Spontaneous order is awesome

 | June 9, 2007 8:19 pm

This morning I was out and about and found myself with an extra hour and a half to kill before I had to be at work. Not enough time to go home, too much time to just get to work early, and I wasn’t hungry, so no point in going out for a nice lunch, (which I wouldn’t really want to spend the money on right now anyway). So I went for a drive down Mulholland Drive. Immediately upon rounding the first bend I felt a little leap of joy at a new view. Here I was only 200 yards from the freeway entrance I take a couple times a week and yet it felt completely new.

I used my extra hour an a half to drive down the section of Mullholland east of the 405, stopping at view points along the way and reading the small informational plaques, and reveling in the iconic sprawl of the city stretching out into the edge of the mountains. I love looking at Los Angeles from above. I better comprehend how it fits together nestled in the valleys, it’s tiny little downtown creeping down Wilshire blvd all the way out to the ocean while the rest of the city oozes out to the mountains. Even the traffic takes on a larger than life quality when you’re looking down on it. It feels like life. All these people going about their lives unconcerned about 99.999% of the other 4 million around them. But somehow they all fit together and a century of spontaneous order has created this beautiful city.

I can’t wait to get out on the road and check out some other new places.

Cars, money, moving out.

 | June 4, 2007 7:07 pm

Well, the van is sorted out. A bit differently than what I’d been planning, but it’s good to know what’s going to be happening. About a month a half ago I bought a Prius (named Edna Lee). This will not be my traveling car. I’ll be trading vehicles with my dad for the trip. So I’ll be living in a Pacifica.

It is not the ideal car van for living in. It’s higher off the ground than a minivan or regular van, which cuts down the space inside. What will potentially be the biggest problem is that there’s a big…I don’t know what to call it. A big block of plastic just behind the driver and passenger seats. I’ll take pictures at some point. It might end up being tricky to build around it, but it will work out and money-wise this works out pretty well for me. I could have bought a much older van (15 yrs) for a lot less and had more space, but I don’t know enough about car repairs and I’d be worried about it braking down. Even if it never did I’d worry about it too much for it to be worth the savings.

The other option was to but an older van/minivan (5 yrs), and this is probably what I would have done if dad didn’t offer me this trade. I was surprised at the prices of some of these though. You always hear about how driving a new car off the lot causes it to lose half it’s value. Well, apparently the people selling vans on Craigslist haven’t heard cause the prices for vans two or three years old were only a couple thousand less. Less, than new, but if I’m only saving that much money I’d rather buy a new one and get the warranty and knowledge that I’m the only driver. But still 5-10 years old was my best option until dad offered this trade.

The deal was though that I had to buy a new car, because he wouldn’t trade his ’05 Pacifica for my ’93 Camry. Go figure. This means, however, that I now have my post trip car purchased. I don’t need to go through the hassle of car shopping again and I don’t need to try to sell my van when I’m done. I just drive back to San Diego and trade with dad.

So the car is bought. (And I love it, by the way. In the back of my head I’m trying to figure out if I can do the trip in the Prius.) I moved out of the apartment at the end of this month (less than 4 weeks!! I have less than 4 weeks and so much to do!!).

The bad news is that between spending a large amount on the Prius and a even larger amount on an investment I am now in debt with my parents. (Wonderfully kind of them to help me finance all of this, but they’re also making 8% interest off me.)

The upside is that this investment will give me monthly checks that will be my main income during the trip. But I don’t want to leave LA (and my various jobs) until I’ve payed off my parents. Based on somewhat vague guesses as to how much I’ll be earning and spending while living in the van in LA I’m expecting this to be sometime around October. This actually coordinates well with the KCRW pledge drive, something I’d been planning on coming back to work on anyway.

Over the last few months I’ve been working on sorting though stuff, but as the move out date grows closer I find myself shifting from sorting to simply moving. Lots of things are ending up at my parents house, (did I mention how wonderful they are for supporting me on this trip?), but at the same time I’m getting rid of lots of stuff too.

I find I am a pack-rat not because I can’t bear to give up my stuff, but because I just don’t like throwing things away. I think I get this from mom. I can’t just throw things in the trash, I have to find a home for them. Someone who can get use out of them. Not necessarily because of any sentimental feelings towards the object itself, but just because it seems more efficient. I like efficiency. And a lot of the things I have are hand me downs, so it seems strange to throw them away.

So the free bin for volunteer at KCRW which is stocked with books and cds that the station doesn’t need anymore has been getting random stuff from me. A stapler, bookends, a small blow torch, (an impulse buy in Flagstaff, AZ that I’ve never used), also any books and cds of mine that I don’t want to keep but I can’t sell on Amazon. Various friends have also been getting random stuff from me since my first choice is to give it to someone I know rather than a stranger. That way if I find I do need it again I can ask them to dig it out of their closet and give it back.

My parents have been getting my furniture, (this is fair, I think, since most of it came from them in mom’s own attempt to get it out of the house and somewhere it could be used and not thrown away.)

Tomorrow after work I drive down to San Diego with a table in the back and whatever else I can get packed up by then. I will sit down with dad and sort out exactly how much I owe him, and then hopefully sit down with mom and sort out some boxes of old things that aren’t being used in the garage so that there’ll be room for a couple of my boxes of old things that aren’t being used.

Whew. So there’s the big catch up blog post. Once I move out of the apartment and into the van there’ll actually be adventures/disasters/musings to post about. Even if I’m not leaving LA for another 4 months it should be exciting. Can’t wait.

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