Archive for July, 2007

Slowing down.

 | July 27, 2007 5:32 pm

It’s very odd to me to have nowhere to be. It’s something I’d forgotten about from my first taste of living in a car three years ago. I ended up spending a lot of time at the Burbank library.

The van is technically a machine for transportation and for the last four weeks I’ve been too busy to have any time with no where to go. Normally when I had nowhere to go I’d go home. I might not actually have anything to do at home, but it made sense to be there when there was no where I had to be. Now, when I get into the van I sometimes have to sit and think a minute deciding where to go. It’s a feeling I’ll have a lot of in the next year when I get on the road, but for the next three months while I’m still working the options will be constrained by time limits.

I did a tape sync* for All Things Considered on Friday in Malibu so I had Thursday evening and Friday morning with nothing much to do but hang out. I think It was the first time I’ve had a couple hours off since the 4th of July. I had a nice dinner at a park near Pepperdine, (I have photos but for some reason my computer and camera aren’t talking this weekend), then visited a bookstore, a pet store and a Radio Shack. (I actually had three things I wanted from the Radio Shack, but they didn’t have any of them.)

The next day I didn’t do much with my few hours off between the tape sync in Malibu and my normal Friday afternoon/evening job at Clear Channel. Drove up into the Santa Monica Mountains, passed a hike I haven’t done in years and thought about doing it again, (even ate my lunch in the parking lot of the trailhead), then decided against it drove up Mulholland Drive and took an hour nap at a scenic overlook.

I’m afraid it is not very exciting to read about. Drove through some pretty mountains, took a nap, went to work. But it was a pleasant afternoon anyway, and I’m working on slowing down and doing nothing.

That being said I promise I’ll also do some more interesting things as soon as I stop working so much. For now it’s nice to just sit around.

*A tape sync is where the person they’re interviewing can’t (or is too big/busy to) come into a studio to record so they send someone like me with good recording equipment and do the interview over the phone. Then I send them the audio and they sync up the interviewer and interviewee in post. Basically I’m half engineer and half mic stand.

I LOVE not paying rent

 | July 18, 2007 9:21 pm

In the first two weeks of this month I have spent about $350. Of that about $100 was gas and almost the same for food. I was surprised to see I’d spent so much on food, but I did go out a couple times with friends, so I was paying for the company more than the food. But I’m no longer paying rent so I can afford dinner out now days.

This has been such a busy week at work that even if I still had an apartment I wouldn’t be there. It’s nice not to have the first couple hours of work going to paying rent on an apartment I’m never at.

I broke the first rule of living in your van last night. I was at the Bolsa Cica state preserve (I think it’s some sort of state preserve anyway), and was there after 8:00 when they technically close. 8:00 is way too early, by the way, the sun was still up. Anyway, it was 8:45, I had just finished writing in my journal and was sitting in the drivers seat of the van enjoying the birds before I drove away when the police came by. Of course he shone his flashlight in the back of the van and saw the sleeping bag. He asked me where I lived and I explained that I lived in Santa Monica but was working in Long Beach. He asked me if I was living in my van and I said I was for that week. Then he wanted my license and I gave it to him then he took it back to his car to run it and my plates.

I let him do it. And that’s where I should have at least stopped and found out why he wanted to do that. Next time. I’d like to avoid it, but I have no doubt that I’ll run into the police again at many points along this trip. Now I’m just worried there’s some sort of record of this check.

Ahh well. I’ll have to do some poking around and see if it’s possible to find out what comes up with the police run your license. I’ve had the police wake me up plenty of times, so they may have run my plates before, but I think this is the first time they’ve taken my driver’s license back to their car to check. But it’s also the first time I’ve admitted to living in my van. As soon as I said it I knew I was breaking the rules, but I couldn’t see how I could deny it when the sleeping bag is laid out and there’s clothes hangers on the hooks above the doors.

All that being said. I love my little van. I like having as little stuff as possible. I’m looking forward to having the time to get rid of more of it.

The first two weeks.

 | July 14, 2007 9:11 pm

Ok. I’ve been out of the apartment for two weeks and finally getting around to posting. It’s been a crazy busy two weeks at work getting ready for the pledge drive at KJAZZ. So life in the van has been going well. I have found a number of things that I need do differently. For one, I had all this food at the apartment that I thought I’d be making at campgrounds in the evenings. Problem is, no campgrounds. All the campgrounds in LA county have been reserved for basically the rest of the summer. So it’s urban camping for me and it’s a bit hard to stay stealthy when you’ve got a camp stove cooking soup in the Ralphs parking lot.

So I have crazy amounts of canned soup sitting in the van that I can’t really make except at work. At any rate for the first couple days the van was a bit of a mess as I had just poured the last of my stuff in the apartment into the van. Now I’ve got a couple drawers that make the whole place feel more organized.

The last week has been spent at work. Basically I’ve done nothing but work or sleep so I don’t don’t really feel like lately I’ve been actually doing much living in the van, just sleeping. That will continue for the next week. Eventually I’ll get to actually doing more interesting things.

I did go to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the 4th of July. I’d been planning on going to the beach or hanging out at a campground relaxing, but like I said, no campgrounds. So I drove around till I thought of something to do for the fourth. They had some stuff doing on for the holiday. It was exactly the sort of thing I plan on doing for the trip. Random museums that I run into. Actually I will probably hit all presidential libraries. History is good.

And of course I’m still looking for suggestions of places to go.

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