The Car, or lack thereof

I purchased my car in June of 2005, she was meant to be a new start for me.  My wife had left me and the car I had been driving was covered in memories good and bad, basically things I didn’t want to remember.  I had traded that car in and got the first car I was truly comfortable in, a Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS.  Black exterior and black interior, she was a smooth, fast car and I loved her.

As of yesterday at 2:45 PM I no longer have a car.  She was a good ride.  I took her from corner to corner of the lower 48, she took me there in style.  I never had any serious issues with her and I was happy to have had her as long as I had her.

Selling my car is a big step for me.  It means I can’t just go where I want to when I want to anymore, I have to plan my trip a little more carefully to include public transit or a ride from a friend.

Some might ask why on earth I would sell my car, especially if I loved her so much.  Well I did love her, I just didn’t love the payments on her.  She cost me on average $600 a month, which didn’t even include gas.

Oh well, I’m just going to have to get in better shape!  More bike riding for me!

Update!

I’ve just submitted the payoff on my car!  I should have the title in hand to sign over to the new owner by next week!!!

Update Again!

The purchaser of my vehicle is coming by to pick up the title!  The last step in the transfer of the vehicle to someone else.  This is it, after today I no longer have a vehicle in my name!

Camping, or how to make yourself as tired as possible by doing as little as possible

Pre Day 1, or the night before I decided it would be a good idea to not pack, go to dinner with friends and go to a concert that one of my co-workers was performing in.  So I stayed out late, had a great time and got home before midnight.

IMG_0353Day 1, after being out late and getting up at 5:30 so I could get my packing done, which was made a little more difficult from the lack of sleep and the lack of prep work on my part made the morning a little more difficult than it needed to be.  Of course from the night before I had a few beers and that didn’t make the hand eye coordination that much better, but I did it to myself.

We made it out earlier than anticipated and made the ferry just in time.  The ferry boats here are a lot better than the system I’m used to in Washington, the boats are larger, and better equipped for longer journey’s.  We were able to grab breakfast on the boat and it was so good.  I was able to have bacon with a side of bacon on top of my bacon.  It sure made the hangover go away pretty fast. 

We got off the boat, and made our way to the beach, which was a three hour drive from the ferry landing, but it was a nice drive and we saw some awesome vistas on IMG_0355the way.  Once we got the campground and got everything setup, you could tell during the setup what we do for a living.  First we moved tables to make space for the “village” and while some went to go get water and firewood, others setup “FAB”.  Something tells me that we packed more food than necessary, but I was sure we had packed to many beverages.  We had a great night, and made our dent in the food and beverage. 

Day 2, I got up at the dawn and wondered why I was in a tent and not in my bed, IMG_0363but than I figured out where I was any why I was feeling the way I was.  Which is to say we enjoyed as many beverages as we could safely enjoy.  It’s a great group of people I went with, we all do our own things on our own schedules.  C and I were first up and we sort of lounged around the remnants of the fire from the night before and contemplated the rest of the morning.  I decided to go shower, which I couldn’t tell if it was a mistake or not, it was definitely a shower, but it wasn’t satisfying by any stretch of the imagination. 

Once everyone was up and fed, we decided to head into Tofino to get some provisions and see if there was a surf shop to get some rental boards for the next day.  We found out that the bottle shop was going to be closed on Sunday so we decided to stock up for the rest of the weekend.  In other words we were out of beer and it seemed to be the drink of choice for everyone so we needed more.  After the bottle shop run we headed to the beach, having no knowledge of this coast, I wasn’t sure what to expect, that and I’m used to something a little different from the time I’ve spent on the Washington coast.  Needless to say my expectations were a little lower than usual, but it turns out that I shouldn’t have worried.

IMG_0365Day 3, getting up was easier now that B figured out we all needed ear plugs since sleeping on the ground + alcohol = lots of  snoring.  Thankfully we were sleeping outside, since beer farts are not something you want have in a closed space.  Getting going we ended up renting some boards, packing an eskie and heading for the beach for the second day in a row.  B, B, M and C were the only ones brave enough to head out into the water and try their hands at surfing, but since B knows how to surf and the others were keen to learn it was a good setup.  G, N and myself were content to just lounge in the sun and watch the others surf.  At one point N and I went into the water and after I found my testicles in my throat heading for my brain to do some damage I decided to get the hell out of the water and back into the sun to warm up.

Day 4, we packed our things up in record time and made our way to the ferry.  We had booked into the 3 o’clock ferry, but we managed to make good time from Tofino and made it in time for the 12:45 boat.

All in all it was a great weekend and there were some really good times with great friends.  I look forward to doing it again!

Another year another event

I’ve been working on this event for the Zoo for the last 10 years.  I got involved when I was first starting out at PNTA.  Since then I’ve seen the event grow and evolve into one of the best events in Seattle, and arguably one of the best group of people I’ve ever worked with.

The first year I worked the event it was an odd theme from what I can remember, it was China / other.  I can’t really remember all that much about the event that year, but I remember the weather being alright, just a little on the cool side.  I also remember the scenic company didn’t measure the tent correctly and built the backdrop too tall to fit into the tent.

The second year was African Savannah, which I had done a false ceiling in the main tent that took all night to rig and wasn’t the greatest looking but it did the job.  Along with the tent ceiling we placed saw grass and other things all around the meadow to make it feel more like a Savannah village.  This was the first year we tried to place a fake cover on one of the tents to make it look less like a rental tent and more in theme.

The third year the theme was a little odd again, being Brazilian shanty town mixed with Dr Seuss.  Needless to say I was not all that thrilled about that year.  We managed to make some pretty fun elements, the main entrance to the live auction tent had a jungle feel, we even managed to make it rain in the entrance and have a great, but wrong, water feature in the center of the stage. 

The fourth year was one of the best I worked on, the theme being India.  We managed to recreate the feeling and the energy of an Indian market, the weather cooperated, almost like we ordered it special for the event.  It was hot and muggy, the perfect combination for the type of feel we were going for.  We had hand dyed awnings made, and bells were everywhere, including one tied to my radio that I didn’t find for hours after one of my crew put it there.  Since there were so many bells I didn’t notice that one was following me around until I took my radio off at the end of the day.  I ended up leaving it on as I liked the joke!

The fifth and final year I worked the Zoo as a contractor was Australia.  I thought it was a good theme and I think we executed an interesting and unique look for the event.  We designed the backdrop to be five animals, which were art done by the creative person who had done the rest of the art for the event.  We blew them up to 4’ x 6’ and sandwiched them between panels of plexi, we then hung them on in front of a section of lightweight white fabric, applied some color changing to the fabric and then applied some fans to the fabric to give it some movement.  The final effect looked liked the animals were alive.  The other effect we managed to pull off was a 6’ tall fire pit in the middle of the stage.  We had some leftover high velocity compact fans that we used to create a large silk fire which was very realistic in the end.  So much so that when we took it off the stage and placed it near the main entrance spectators thought the building we put it in front of was on fire!

I had so much fun working on the Zoo over those five years that I’ve been volunteering my time to them since.  I always went a little above and beyond when I was working on the event, but I felt I had to.  Besides feeling like I had to go above and beyond I liked it.  It was one of the few events that I was able to throw myself completely into and design some fun looks.  It wasn’t corporate theatre, it was actually an event that used my schooling.  I miss those days where I could sit and design for events.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to get back into that, but for now I’m happy doing what I’m doing and looking forward to getting down to business in October!