Archive for the 'Car Living' category

Converting the prius for life on the road

 | June 18, 2008 9:45 pm

removed-seats.jpgThe first step is to remove all the pieces of the seats that you can. Everything was just bolted down with easy to get to bolts so it wasn’t hard. Out came the front seat (slightly tricky since it’s attached to the floor by a set of wires for the seatbelt detection system (when there’s no one sitting in the front passenger seat it turns off the passenger airbag). The backs of the other seats were easy though unfortunately I couldn’t take out the bottom parts of the back seats. Now all three of these pieces will be living in my parent’s garage.

Thanks mom and dad!


Next came building a support for the bed. I pulled the main board of the bed out of the van and was just plopping it down in the prius. In the back it just rests part way down on the “floor” of the trunk, but in the front it needed something to hold it up.

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Another blog to check out and a possible new home for me.

 | June 9, 2008 3:29 pm

A friend just sent me a link to a blog called Daniel’s Big Trip. I haven’t had a chance to read through it all, but enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

The pledge drive is OVER and I can now start thinking about other things. One of the big things on my mind is the possibility of moving. For those who don’t know, I don’t own the van I live in. It’s my dad’s. My car is a Prius and we’ve traded for my trip. While I love the van, I like the idea of spending less on gas and also like the idea of forcing myself to simplify more and take less stuff with me when traveling. As I look around at the van I’m fairly surprised at how much stuff I carry around with me that I never use. (It’s pretty easy to use very little when you’re only gone for 1-1.5 months at a time.)

I’m heading back down to San Diego on Wednesday and staying through the weekend so I’ll have a chance to take a look at the Prius in person and figure out how I’d want to modify it to move in. When I first ‘lived’ in a car it was in a ’93 Camry (the old Camry’s were much smaller than the current ones) so I’m pretty sure I’m not over-estimating the amount of space I would have. There’s a number of things very different about living in a car versus living in a van and I’ll have to consider which I prefer for the next couple months. At some point soon I’ll write up a post about those differences. I do prefer the van for when I’m staying in one place and working.

I’m heading out to Colorado next and I’ve been warned that the little Prius isn’t going to be able to make it up the mountains, but I think I’ll give it a shot anyway. I’m 27. I can’t possibly be expected to learn anything from the advice of my elders, I need to try and fail on my own for anything to sink in. Besides, that’s how you get the better stories.

Also, I have to admit, it would be nice to actually be driving around the car that I paid for, rather than letting my dad enjoy the (most likely now gone) new car smell.


 | May 14, 2008 11:17 am

I have a friend who dresses up everyday. When I say “dresses up” I’m referring to more than just the quality of the clothes. In fact, lots of her clothes were bought at thrift shops. Some required repair and all require accessories.

I think sometimes that when she’s getting dressed in the morning she’s not thinking “what do I want to wear today?” but “who do I want to be today?

A flapper-ish dress means she takes the time to do her hair in a 1930′s style, (complete with a feather or two), find a long beaded necklace, and a pair of two-toned shoes. Another day, she might go with a gingham farm dress, pigtails and a sunbonnet.

I don’t want to imply these are outrageous costumes she’s wearing to work. I think of them as “outfits.” There is a theme, there is a plan and there is a great deal of thought that goes into each day. There’s also a very large closet involved. She takes pleasure in the everyday activity of picking out something to wear.


I admire her for it because she always looks great, but I haven’t the interest in shopping or patience to consider spending this amount of time on clothing. Or, at the moment the space. I’m sure she will shudder to see this picture. This box, (a drawer, really), and my gym bag are my clothes for the next month or so. (Well, plus a shoebox of underwear that’s already packed away in the van.) It’s probably more than I need, but since I’m working for the next month I’ve got all my nice office clothes along with the normal jeans and such.

The fact that I’m repacking, of course, means I am back in San Diego. I’ve been lax about posting lately, but the quick run through is that I made it back from Death Valley to the LA area, went to my college reunion, (more on that later, perhaps), and back to work for a week and a half. I came down to my parent’s in San Diego over the weekend, and now I’m packing and heading back up to LA later today. For about the next month I’ll be working at KJAZZ on the next pledge drive, then back on the road again.

Posting has been lax largely because of computer trouble. Technically nothing that actually made it impossible to post, but along with restarting work things that took too much time. Also I’m going to buy a new DSLR camera soon so I’ve been busy researching that.

Other things on the way as well, but I’ll get into those later. Hopefully will have all this computer mess sorted out soon.

An annoyance

 | May 1, 2008 1:57 am

Damn you zamboni-like parking lot sweeper! Why must you keep circling back to the places you already been?

I don’t see how running these things for a couple hours a night can possibly be a cost- effective way to clean up the trash.

So which of these cars has someone living in it?

 | April 28, 2008 6:54 pm

Antonia and me at Ralphs

Trick question. There’s someone living in both of them. Or at least there was at the time of this photo.

Before a friend of mine moved back to the east coast she had three weeks between giving up her apartment and finishing at her jobs heading out. I like to think that I was a partial inspiration in her decision to try out living in her car for that time.

This picture was taken the morning after we had a “sleepover” in a grocery store parking lot. She finished work at midnight, and we met up at the store. I went over to her place for a midnight snack, (chips, soda and gossip), and in the morning she came over and had breakfast at my place. My only regret is that it didn’t occur to me to dig out some nail polish for the more complete sleepover experience. Would have been just too funny.

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