Monthly Archives: April 2010

Long Drive

Well, that “comfort behind the wheel” turned out to be 7 hours on my butt each way, fighting strong head winds and praying that the bus could make it up the next big hill, cursing myself for taking the 5 northbound where I was bound to hit two enormous cow factories that instantaneously filled the cabin with methane and other toxic ass fumes. FUN TIMES!

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And, an old problem resurfaced. The dreaded ‘hot start’ problem manifests after long journeys, characterized by idiot lights firing up on the dash but the starter not engaging when the trigger is pulled. Fortunately, previous experience with this demon left me adequately prepared with the correct tools (a remote starter, flashlight, and a nice rug to lay on) and a calm collected consciousness. I will admit though, that I miss the days when I would have Ms. Kat crawl underneath the bus and have passer-bys gawk in horror as they find out I made my girl crawl under the car, not me. This time, people just gawk at the dog as he paws on the windows in a valiant attempt to get some fresh air and prevent himself from pissing all over the driver seat. Which, as it turns out, is another story that only a few close friends shall ever know the real deal about. Hooray.

The Road

Taking the bus for a long trip to San Francisco this weekend, possibly through the 101. Looking forward to that certain magic behind the wheel, a comforting lull that brings me closer to the salt of the earth. Always a guaranteed break from the routine, which I find myself needing more often as I age. Instead of accepting everything as you’ve decided them to be – ask yourself more questions, and the world will give you even better answers.

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Just don’t die on us, or catch on fire – and we will love you forever. Guaranteed.

Post-Coachella Storm

One of the few things that I really love about LA (aside from the weather, KBBQ and Kogi BBQ), are the big names that come through town and play great venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Santa Barbara Bowl, Hotel Cafe, the Troubadour. And this time of the year, after the dust of Coachella has passed, we usually find the bands hanging around to play shows this side of the planet.

I found out this morning through The Scene Star (I love you), about all the bands going on pre-sale. Without you, I’d be SOL. Muse (lower level @ Staples), Phoenix (box seats at the Bowl), Pavement (terrace seats at the Bowl), Vampire Weekend (terrace seats at the Bowl). I totally would’ve gotten LCD Soundsystem also, but it’s on Pepel and Pat’s wedding weekend. Miike Snow is also on sale this weekend.

I just charged more than $1,200 on concert tickets, and the fraud department kicked the doors down! Granted I was buying blocks of 4-6 tickets, one gig after another, I would be suspicious of my activity as well. However, I always feel like this is a chance of a lifetime. Each day at a time!

Year 6: Meet at the Robot

Just got back from the desert.

Friday
Hockey
Ra Ra Riot
She and Him
Passion Pit
Them Crooked Vultures
LCD Soundsystem
Vampire Weekend
Benny Benassi
Ceu
Whitest Boy Alive

Saturday
The Temper Trap
Band of Skulls
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
The XX
Corinne Bailey Rae
Hot Chip
MGMT
Muse
The Deadweather
Die Antwoord
Devo

Sunday
Deerhunter
Matt and Kim
Florence and the Machine
Julian Casablancas
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Phoenix
Pavement
The Big Pink
Sly Stone
Gorillaz

2010 is a good year. With a lineup like this, it’s hard to get my head wrapped around the fact that I saw and heard what I did.

Music is life. Life, is music.

This Weekend

… is going to be epic.

I usually am not agreeable with desert summer heat (although the weather report of high 80’s will be a ten degree drop from the usual hell), but I have come to the realization that music can save me from any misery and turn it over to the other side of imminent awesomeness. And I will be lying if I deny the pleasure of wearing pekpek shorts over the weekend.

There really is nothing like exhausting yourself with amazing music, from the best artists of our time. See all you cool kids at the party. :)

Indulgence

An excerpt from Indulgence, by Hendrick Hertzberg, The New Yorker (Apr 19, 2010 issue).

The Catholic Church is an authoritarian institution, modeled on the political structures of the Roman Empire and medieval Europe. It is better at transmitting instructions downward than at facilitating accountability upward. It is monolithic. It claims the unique legitimacy of a line of succession going back to the apostolic circle of Jesus Christ. Its leaders are protected by a nimbus of mystery, pomp, holiness, and, in the case of the Pope, infallibility-to be sure, only in certain doctrinal matters, not administrative ones, but the aura is not so selective. The hierarchy of such an institution naturally resists admitting to moral turpitude and sees squalid scandal as a mortal threat. Equally important, the government of the Church is entirely male.

It is not “anti-Catholic” to hypothesize that these things may have something to do with the Church’s extraordinary difficulty in coming to terms with clerical sexual abuse. The iniquities now roiling the Catholic Church are more shocking than the ones that so outraged Martin Luther. But the broader society in which the Church is embedded has grown incomparably freer. To the extent that the Church manages to purge itself of its shame – its sins, its crime – it will owe a debt of gratitude to the lawyers, the journalists, and, above all, the victims and families who have had the courage to persevere, against formidable resistance, in holding it to account. Without their efforts, the suffering of tens of thousands of children would still be a secret. Our largely democratic, secularist, liberal, pluralist modern world, against which the Church has so often set its face, turns out to be its best teacher – and the savior, you might say, of its most vulnerable, most trusting communicants.

Heat in Breadloaf Mountain


Rudy came by yesterday and we bolted up the entire exhaust into place. I spent a good part of two days trying to fit everything correctly, and couldn’t have done it without help. Worming myself under the bus for the past few days trying to line up heavy iron pieces of exhaust that are meant to be placed in order, quickly reduced me into a tired, mumbling idiot. And to think, I thought it would take only a few hours to get everything together. More like, a few days. Anyway we finally got her off the jackstands and fired her up for a little maiden voyage around the village. And turned on the non-smelly heater (hooray).


Since I had the bus exhaust out for a few months, I haven’t driven her in awhile. As soon as we started her up and tried to back out of the garage, my heart skipped a beat when I popped it into reverse, but the bus didn’t budge. It didn’t feel like the transmission bit into gear,and when I slowly release the clutch, it would inch forward. It took me a few seconds to realize I was shifting into 4th, which is the typical spot for reverse on 5-speed transmissions, instead of pushing the stick down and back towards me, as it should be… Yay.

You can view the rest of the project here: http://lovine.com/photo/2010/vw/heating-system/

Hey Vanessa, we need a lot of catching up to do. :)

Photobooth Weekends

Me, Kat, and Nickel

Nickel’s first time. I think he is finalizing an exit strategy on the last frame.

Taken last weekend inside a vintage/thrift store in the city (SF) which had one of those old school photobooths hidden in the back – the kind that still develops the picture. None of that digital crap. Hooray for analog! And using chemicals! Digital photobooths have no soul!

Countdown to What are You Doing

There is exactly a week before Coachella starts.

Vanessa
Happy days in 2008!

I’ve been worried about the weather. It’s weird. I usually don’t like the summer season, since unnecessary sweating bothers me. But I find myself re-checking the weather forecast every few days and finding that this year’s Coachella looks AT LEAST 30 degrees cooler than all the previous years I’ve been. What is happening!? What will it be like without the death-defying heatwave that makes you spend all your money on lemonade and seek shelter getting fire hosed by the Do Lab freaks?? Will it ever be the same?! And never in my wildest dreams would I think of finding myself wanting to be scorched bone dry in the desert. It just won’t be the same without pain!

I need a beer. I spent too many hours again underneath the bus. I finally hooked up the heater control boxes and tried valiantly to set the control cable. Am learning some obvious lessons on how to pay attention to detail and becoming more thorough in your work and analysis, which of course manifests itself at the 11th hour when you realize that a few things have already gone wrong. After awhile, I eventually managed to stick one heat exchanger up into the exhaust heads, but quickly realized that there is an unwanted dent in one of fresh air channels from the engine fan that is preventing a flap from opening completely. I’ll have to hammer it out tomorrow. Not like I have any more time to dilly dally – I need to get this shit together and still pass by the shop to get my EGR filter welded back on in time for her maiden summer voyage of 2010.

As my dad asked for the umpteenth time tonight, “What are you doing??”

Pep Talk

I passed by a small warehouse in the valley in a quest to look for odd metric screws. As I got inside, there was nobody at the counter and was about to hit the “press the button for service” but I lay my finger on it while eavesdropping on the profanity exploding from the back door. Basically, the guy was ripping his employee a new asshole. About how he spent years working and taking orders and doing everything from the ground up, and about how this job isn’t effing easy and if you wanted to have a good time go sit your ass down in the movies and work there, about how he says things straight and doesn’t do bullshit. Say it like it is, brother.

Mmm, Blood

It’s not really that deep, but I thought it looked pretty cool. Was lining up some parts on the Veedub this afternoon, but my hand slipped. Dabbed on some expired (2008) liquid bandage, taped it up, and crawled underneath the bus to pry out the exhaust gaskets on the heads.

My dad walked in the garage and asked what I was doing and why I was underneath it. He said something like, ayan bulok kasi kotse mo (that’s what you get for getting a shitty car). I chuckle to myself, and he says “Mag-ingat ka diyan, baka mag-earthquake” (Take care underneath, there might be an earthquake). Lima-Oscar-Lima.

FB Farty

I feel really detached lately, and have no life outside of work and a small number of people I keep tabs on. It’s hard to pretend that I’m fine, blabbing away in this quiet corner of space, while everyone else is enjoying the party. And so after careful thought and preparation my friends, I finally bit the bullet.

I am on Facebook.