A Road Trip Breakdown

Below is the lay, from the constraints faced, to budgets versus actual, and the route: Constraints The trip was completed in a 2006 Corolla-S sedan manual transmission. Two people were moving out to Los Angeles permanently, the third was traveling out with six weeks worth of belongings. The fit was tight in the car, but not completely uncomfortable. Moving in one vehicle is a daunting proposition for folks who’ve been settled down for a few years, and own possessions like beds and dressers and brushed silver frames. If you must bring these belongings, this wikiHow article explains different options –
Continue reading...

Planning the Road Trip

The planning can feel overwhelming. Below, I’ve tried to break down the process into digestible chunks. Take on one piece at a time, and don’t rush or stress. The process is supposed to be fun – if anxiety doesn’t overcome your enthusiasm. First: buy a large, updated road atlas. Combined with online mapping services like Google Maps or Bing!, you can spend a week tinkering the itinerary. Please, do not rely solely on the online maps! They help foresee day-to-day travel options, but an atlas makes big picture planning easier (like calculating miles and time between destinations.) On that note,
Continue reading...

Packing

Bring Less. It’s easier. All other variables go out the window (how many people you’re traveling with, your destination, your vehicle) in the face of this rule. Simplify the process by bringing less. It’s not just important to be physically lighter, but you want to be as emotionally light as possible. The less you bring, the less you have to worry about. Letting things go seems scary if you can’t imagine yourself without the furnishings surrounding you as you read this. After all, they’ve been there for the last 20-plus years. But most things can be repurchased or replaced. So
Continue reading...

Cold Feet

A month before we left, a friend asked if he could tag along with us. He said he needed out: out of Albany, out from his family, who had his back since forever, really. It was the reason he stopped trying in high school: “I stopped taking it seriously, since I knew the business was going to be there. That was six years ago. He’s been going crazy ever since. “You don’t know how sick I am of old people. And omelets. That’s all I see: old people and omelets. If something doesn’t change soon, I’m going to lose it.”
Continue reading...

Why Move to Los Angeles?

You’re moving your life away from family and friends. You’re leaving the house you grew up in, the street where the school bus picked you up. Love or hate where you’re from, at the very least, you know it. And by leaving, you sacrifice your knowledge of the terrain, the edge of familiarity – so you better know why you’re doing it. Don’t underestimate what you’re giving up. You’re leaving your doctors, your dentists, your favorite orthodontist. The relationships with your mailman, the grocer, the barista who knows how you like your coffee. You know where to go for sushi,
Continue reading...

The Finer Points

He watched. Caress with the index’s paddy flesh paddy, then square off the block of rice. With two fingers, shape it: give it a curl that’d make Goldie Locks blush; an arc so gentle baby’s bottoms gives it a rash. Rotate, and repeat.  21. 22. 23. Rotate, repeat. Rotate, repeat. It takes 10,000 repetitions to achieve mastery. 26. 27. 28. “Let me show you something.” From the bar, Joe come-hithers with a wagging digit. He plucked the Saran wrapped rice finger without a raised eyebrow. The sliver of warm sushi rice, encased in a sheet of plastic would prompt questions
Continue reading...

Free

Most people jump at the opportunity of “free.” At the end of our serving shift, I told the other server our tips were a dollar over, and I wanted her to have it. She tried shrugging it off. She continued pushing the vacuum cleaner over the tan carpet. “Don’t worry about it,” she said. I insisted. I told her I left it in my pocket and almost forgot it. If she didn’t take it, the guilt would eat me. She thought about it for a millisecond. “Okay. I’ll take it. I’m poor,” she said with a short laugh, then, just
Continue reading...

Corolla 2006 CD Changer iPod Hack

This hack creates an Aux-like hook-up from the stereo to an iPod, as pictured below. To download a .pdf version of this guide, right-click here, and Save As. Introduction The hack was completed on a 2006 Corolla-S manual shift with a 6-CD Changer (model number: A51814.) The 2006 Corolla doesn’t have an auxiliary hook-up, and the stick physically interferes with a FM Transmitter – which sounds awful, anyway. This hack was completed with zero knowledge about cars, stereos, or electronics. References used: Dante Cardova’s Stereo Removal Guide – no longer available chrisayad’s Instructable Matthew Jorgenson’s Ehow Disclosure: Modifying your car
Continue reading...

Service

“It’s not just about making tips,” Frank said. He’s always said it. “Don’t look at your job like that. Otherwise, you start thinking, ‘I’ll treat these people sitting over here better than those people over there because I think they’ll tip me better.’ You might know they won’t leave you a good tip. You might remember the last time they came in, how nice you were to them and how the man thanked you and shook your hand on the way out, but when you counted the cash on the table, you found they only tipped you 13%. Some people
Continue reading...

Joseph

The giant textbook took up two tables – half of his, and half of the table to his right. He made enough room for his lunch after pushing aside the drinks menu and the soy sauce container: a beef teriyaki bento box, with shumai instead of harumaki, and sides of wasabi mayo and mustard. The cast iron teapot steeped the genmaicha. The warm bottle of sake rested by his left hand. Joseph signaled for a second sake, and it was only as I poured his cup did a downwards glance catch the book’s color-illustrations: warriors in full-metal jackets resembling skirts,
Continue reading...