Friday, February 19, 2016

Operation Giant Van: The Preparation

I have to turn a passenger van into a rolling home, and that's the first step. I have to sell or destroy everything that's not coming along, and that's step two. Kristin has to burn or destroy thousands of pounds of clothing. To my regular flabbergastation, many items have appeared in the bathroom and kitchen over the past twelve months. We need to disappear many shits. All this has to happen while still sort of trying to make a little bit of money with what I'm calling our "job."

Progress to report: I've designed and built the bed platform. We have a memory foam mattress already. It's 58" wide by 78" long. That's too big, even for this huge van. I'm cutting ten inches off the width, and six inches off the length. Then I'm cutting it into two pieces. That will leave a 48" square for the top part, and the rest will be a foot part to support our legs below the hip-zone, maybe mid-thigh and down. Continuous support in two sections. A platform will go across the back for the main part of the bed, plus storage on the curb side. The lower bed-part will be supported by a table at a level height with the main platform.

This is already too many words. Basically, I'm splitting the bed up so we can toss the bottom mattress section onto the top section and save a lot of space without sacrificing comfort during sleeptime. The table that supports the bottom mattress section can double as a work table, cooking table, desk or ottoman. I am very proud of this.

Bed platform parts. Back section needs legs.

In my previous vandwelling times, my only amenities were a sleep area and a chair, and I never had complaints. I relished it. It's cold outside, and I don't want to waste a bunch of time and effort fooling around with piddly details before we get the fuck outta here. Time to go. Whatever I get done - great.

So I spent some time building the bed parts, and that's pretty much done. I have the basis of some storage over the bed inside the huge hi-top fiberglass area. I put down new plywood on the floor.

Storage in the hi-top. Needs some 1/2" ply.
The rear door is letting some water in, so I'm chasing potential leak areas around and trying to find a product that can be applied when it's cold outside. Most of this sloppy junk isn't supposed to be squirted anywhere in temperatures below 50 degrees. Geez guys. I have a life to try and run here. Anyway, the plywood on the floor was rotten toward the back from water leaking in. So I ripped all that out. That was something to deal with.

All this shit is gone... outta here.
All I can say about bolts is that I had to grind the heads off a lot of them and pound the threaded sections out through the floor. I wore down a cutting wheel until it was about the size of a quarter. Vestigial wheelchair lift parts be gone! Chopped, scraped, swept, and primed. The floor is ready for business.

I don't know how to run a normal life. Asked and answered. Cannot do. My operating instructions are soaked, burned, and demolished. I'm pushing my life forward by slamming my head on mountains until they budge. I accept this because it's the path I'm on, and I have faith that a fresh dose of vandwelling is an escape hatch and salvation is on the other side.

This van is huge.
Daisy. One out of three ladies who I live with.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Getting shit undone.

Getting shit done is not my strong point. I have occasional bursts of extreme productivity, but the daily to-do lists on scraps of paper keep adding up. When there are too many scraps, I transcribe them onto new scraps. Maybe a tablet.

My brain is a hammer. My brain is a machine gun.

On the productive side, I've accomplished plenty. Built a small house once. I could give myself credit for that.

On the arguably productive side, as in "I produced this content," I updated the Condiment Packet Gallery in January. Nearly eleven years passed without an update. Suddenly I was inspired to continue. Countless hours were spent re-learning basics; writing CSS for the first time, and updating my use of HTML. Then came the repetitive copy-paste creation of a thousand static pages. Scanning hundreds of new packets followed. Now there's an Instagram account: @condimentpacket is back open for business.

Sure, I can do that, but today I can't muster the energy to walk to the liquor store. To fold laundry. To step outside. To charge my phone.

We bought eight 18-gallon rubbermaid totes, just like Bob Wells recommended. My apartment is a loud sack of shit.

How am I going to muster the wherewithal to walk out and tap the gas? Nagging last-minute operations suffer in the undercurrent of daily to-dos. I'm suspended like a fruit chunk in jello. The van needs some work; inside and out. It's winter. I need to build a bed platform, but it's cold outside. I need to run some wiring, install lights, sort out the propane situation, and decide what goes into the blue totes. But I barely stretched socks over my cold feet by noon.

I can talk about booze and brains and adderall and ADHD, but what more can I really say. Today is one, and tomorrow will be another.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Alright, so here's finally the fucking plan!

It's time to go. This apartment is the pits. It's a reasonable deal on space and it gets sun, but for $900 something with utilities it can fuck itself. I have not been feeling it.

I'm happy. That's the only thing that matters.

I got married this year. We got a second dog. We need space. We need to be out. I require novelty.

You gauged that right. We are not fucking around.

That's a '98 Dodge extended passenger van with two whole feet of Hi-Top. I had the severe pleasure of driving this home today. Back seats are getting trashed. Inside is a hotel now. Welcome to the U.S.A.

We are so out of here. I'm going to bring my lady to Key West, where we will fall in love for probably the 4th time. Then we're going to edge our way across the country, stopping at the same places we went last year in this Festiva:

Here we are getting married:

About to get away from the house I built:

I've been asleep for a long time. Now it's time to remember what tires are made for.