To adventure...!

and such.

La Ballena

La Ballena
Three mammals

Saturday, August 28, 2010

another day in the life...of the Whale

So, perhaps i had jinxed myself by having written that lovely post about how i had everything in the whale dialed and perfect and life was grand and nothing broken and....

well, she's broke

in the scheme of things it could be worse, but hot diggity i was unsure of the two of us making it home together today

let me set the scene, it's 9:30 am on a saturday morning, late enough i don't worry i'll disturb all the sleeping beauties of the neighborhood with the roaring engine of the bus as she warms up (i know, courteous right?)
so i flip the all powerful switch that on/offs the battery, check the battery charge gauge...nothing...
being optimistic, i slip the key in the ignition and give it a turn. nada.

ok, so i've been here before, dead battery, bus that needs to move, 'shit'/shit to be relocated, so i get out my handy dandy jumper cables (remember the ones i've been so proud to NOT use), pull my truck up nice and close to the bus and charge that bad boy (that's right, i'm sure the battery must be male while it seems that i tend to say 'she' when it comes to the bus, quick, someone call freud stat!)

ok, so now she's running. see, there i go again..SHE...
what i have forgotten to mention, which may have no consequence as to the proceedings, is that prior to even attempting to start the bus, i noticed a small pool of something that does not seem to be gas, but does not smell like oil underneath the bus, fishy i says to myself...also have i mentioned this is a sparkly new enormous battery that should not be failing. double hmmmmm.

La ballena and i make it to WA rest area MP 11 (as per the usual) to 'unload' without much worthy of note (except it's a gorgeous day out might i add)
While there, i decide...for reasons only 76% knownst to me...that i will NOT shut the bus off while emptying it though i feel it should be charged enough by this point (score: 1 point for self).

I stop at a nearby gas station to buy some oil (what can i say, she's a whale, SHE needs it ) and i turn the key, kill the bus and low and behold, she's dead. Not even a lil' glug glug when i try and get her to start again. well shitballs i says to meself.

So i coerse an innocent guy with a truck to help me start my bus. He is not happy about this but begrudgingly agrees. thank you oh grumpy one. He pulls up his Truck with a captial T to my bus and after a few minutes of grumbling and yelling at how he's late and about to run out of gas and how i should just get this thing towed and fixed...she starts. YES! Challah for Allah! i will not be stuck in Washington on this day of days when i'm supposed to be finishing my final prep to leave for Burning Man!

The minute she jumps to life, he throws off the jumper cables and slams my door shut and drives away, slightly acknowledging my continued thank yous and sheepish looks of IOUs.
and like that, he's gone and the bus is running.

So out i pull onto the highway and head back to ptown, basically praying the entire time to the marine gods of land that me and the whale just make it home to our street spot on alberta.
...and we almost did.

but wouldn't fate have it, that a measley 6 blocks from home, while waiting to turn left, she just up and dies...i mean sure there were a few sputters but mostly just straight quit, poor old girl.

So now i sit, ridiculously close to home in the middle of side street. Time for friend making hooray~! Luckily this time i met a portlander, damn they're so nice! So Steve, thank you thank you steve, fellow graduate from Missoula Montana. Jumped my bus (this time it took WAAAAaaaAAAYYY longer and i fearerd that mr tow truck was not far in my future) but she hummed to life and brilliant wonderful caring Steve followed my home to make sure she didn't die on me again. I hugged him. I was so grateful at this point that just straight up told him i HAD to hug him and ran around his car and did it.

And now she sits, 12 hours before leaving for Burning Man, with 2 days between my return from the desert and departure for india... oy what a whale.

in the end here's what i think

Dear Steve, you were the rockstar of my day and savior of my faith in jumper cable humanity.

Dear mean guy from the Washington gas station, thank you soo much for getting me the fuck out of there. i hope i did not cause you too much inconvenience and that my consistently overly niceness atleast helped to dull the knife wounds that helping me with the bus was so obviously inflicting. but all the same, Thank You.

Dear La Ballena, i still love you, but damn if you don't give me a run for my sanity sometimes.

Dear alternator, let it be so simple as that you are broke and need fixin and are cheap cheap cheap.

Dear Japanese Maple Tree outside my house, Thank you for having the most amazing sunlight glistening through your leaves that i lay under this afternoon to regain my sanity and sense of wonder and calm.

Otay, to the Playa! to be a shenanigangsta!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

11 months and change

Holy moly how time flies when you're having fun, freezing yer ass off, listening to the pitter patter of rain or the louder than life hoodlums walkin down the street in the weeee hours of morning...

...when you finally conquer most of the things that are broken on your home, find a driveway next to a garden you can tend, learn just where on the roof feels the most solid, have a sharp eye for finding that fantastic symbol on park signs that means you can totally 'lose your shit' here....somewhere ...

...when driving the beast to WA mile post 11 is a seamless trip that equates more to rockin out and karaoke time in the sunset than a 2 hour stint of white knuckles and carefully calculated wheel-lane position...

...when your adorable kitty kat knows that 'Home is where the Whale Is' (and her collar/tag says so too!), when you haven't used the jumper cables (a most AMAZING gift, thank you Snapper and Scoot) in months!

...when summer months make for the best sleeping weather, early morning wake ups to the sun and breeze inches from your face, and perfect evenings spent with the front door wide open, when housesitting for your parents actually feels claustrophobic instead of spoiling because you're occupying a structure that's so HUGE-MUNGOUS!

...when you've wintered nights cold enough and/or wet enough that almost any temperature between the months of april and september will seem DIVINE! and when your head hits the pillow in the back corner of the sleeping mats on the uphill side and your body knows it's home...

...when telling people you live in a small motorbus comes naturally but still evokes a grin, when you've more than broken even with the costs you would've paid renting an apartment all this time (repairs included, but maybe not gas...hmmm), but you have a sweet WHALE to show for it...

...when you realize you've spent nigh a year living mobile-style AND haven't gotten towed yet (knock woood!)....

...when you realize that most people (in portland) are totally into your self-experiment and support your adventure completely...or atleast support your level of crazy perhaps...

...when ideals fade into realism and survival and then find their way back to ideals with a slightly different flavor, when there is a slight wait-list for 'whenever i decide to sell that beautiful beast'...

...when you are so busy and engaged in real life, and not simply surviving, to feel it unnecessary to blog about La Ballena...

that's when time has found its wings and you realize you've been a bird with sky high views all along.

cheers to 48+ weeks in La Ballena!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More fun photos!

So, for those who haven't taken a tour of the interior of my bus, here's a small dose (also included coolest bus kitty to ever stalk the earth)

Taken by Snapper quite graciously ;) Thanks Snaps!

oh yeah! and also a small picture of my second tow warning. those days are over! what's up now bright alien green superglue infused notices!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I moved I moved!

Two weeks ago and change, i moved to a new locale with my fancy pants bus and cooool kitty kat. It's a sweet spot with sweet peeps and it's getting better each day. This is what i wrote a few weeks ago, check it:

First night in whale on alberta and 49th. Just home from couchsurfing meeting regarding soak. Total conundrum of a day. Spent first part feeling displaced and wanting to continue to distance myself from others and just be in my own head though I know it will leave me still craving interaction...enjoying the feeling of unfamiliarity and yet longing for the norm. And then to the couchsurfwrs meeting where I knew no one and yet began to feel connected within
Moments and eventually found myself peeling each fiber of myself away from the fire knowing I must be waking and pedaling in but a few hours. From an introspective introverted move to an overly socialiZed outgoing element which I was hesitant to
Leave, though I know it will cost me come the morning . Say la veeeeee

Night nĂºmero tres

My new hood is growin on me like greg's beard grows on his face, fast and furiously and with intention.

I am exploring and meeting the neighbors and I think I've even almost met everyone who actually lives in the house whose driveway I am currently inhabiting. And funny, when
I do they are all relatively
Nonchalant about it, like "oh yeah ok, nice to meet you, see you around, off to
Go muck about"...
And that's amaZing and awesome and differnt from
Most of the reactions I've had previously!
Still working on the actual space element as the bus fits nicely between the house and the fence and I
Currently negotiating with an overgrown hedge each time I enter or leave home, not so flash as it means I get stuck
Halfway (like pooh bear in the honey tree) when trying to enter/exit while
Carrying my pack...though it does
Prove to
Be me and the lil' green men that must live in the
Hedge and work to keep
I also
That the way I'm parked puts my poddy right next to
The kitchen window ...not so

Two weeks in the northeast, today snapper and andie helped me rearrange the bus and i now have easy entry (just to the bus people!) and a shitter where i can open the windows and stare into the neighbors crazy cedar hedge. and tomorrow we build a chicken coop! yip yip!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Backlog posting

MARCH 27th

Sunny sunny day for march. The day felt long, made of more hours than seem real. Time did
Not quicken this day leaving me with a
Sense of things undone. Instead I chose not to
Them and the day crawled along in no hurry, with no real
Intention of becoming something more than just a
Sunny sunny
Day in march

And I bonded again with my legs and
My bike as one amazing combo pack built for fun and zoom
And greg who is built for fun and chill and overthinking and park picnics

MAY 9th

In the bus yet under a starry sky. Magic.
The world is.
Just "is."
The rain begins but the stars remain.
Those lil' wet drops can rehydrate us, and prevent that inevitable sunshine hangover we're all bound to have following spring's first glorious UV doses.

Think I see the north star. So I'll never be lost. Should I change my name to Majonah or Jonagellan?