I bought a 1996 Winnebago Rialta to live in starting when the lease on my house is done at the end of May. Obviously Tynan was an inspiration in the sense that I would never have considered an RV if not for him, but long before he and I reconnected I'd always taken the stance that I would live in the smallest living space possible as long as I had a great kitchen.
So, when I was looking around at apartments in Seattle's Capitol Hill recently and dreading moving into a lousy studio in some nice building's basement with an electric stove and a crummy refrigerator, I thought, wait a minute, Tynan's got a great kitchen in his RV. Time to put my money where my mouth is.
I've done a fair amount of work on it. The Community section of tynan.com is a perfect place to log this stuff. I'll post some status here in a minute.
I was going to just email this to Tynan but noticed Tynan.com is running on SETT now so figured, what the hell, I'll share it with everyone.
The reason I came to the site was to find the quote from his post on meditation. It's the first sentence of the post. "The thing that really scares me is spontaneous personal expression."
That's certainly the case for me, too, and of all my fears, pushing on that one has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Eight years of western therapy and western Buddhist meditation have done a lot for that particular fear but it's still the strongest. I'm afraid of heights and falling and injury and public speaking all sorts of other stuff but working with those fears is nothing compared to the fear of expressing myself, especially in ways that I don't already identify as "things I'm good at" or "things I'm proud of."
I went to the Game Developer's Conference last week, but only managed to attend two talks other than my own (because I was still preparing for my own) but one of them was by John Sharp, an art historian, academic, and game designer who teaches at Georgia Institute of Technology. His was a talk on Abstraction in art and game design. He talked about a lot of stuff: painting, photorealism, photography, Jackson Pollock, Islamic religious art, dance, and more I'm forgetting, but one thing that struck me was the trailer clips he used from Wim Wenders' "Pina", a documentary film about Pina Bausch, a choreographer I'd never heard of, but Wikipedia told me was one of the foremost influences in modern dance over the last 30 years.
Then I got back to Seattle and completely coincidentally a friend had posted on Facebook about it playing at a theater here, and about wanting to see it. I bought tickets and saw it tonight.
First, it's the first and only 3D movie I've seen where the 3D was not just a dumb gimmick. It was integral: it felt like you were on stage watching all the dance. Second, the dance was all incredible. And third, and most important, it did an incredibly job of showing how modern dance is a practice of - and performance about - overcoming that deepest fear of personal self-expression. Bausch died days before the film began shooting, so it became a tribute to her, but has no interviews with her directly. Instead, her dancers talk about how she was constantly challenging their fear, pushing them out of their comfort zones, driving them to explore the deep yearning that motivates them, and inviting them to scare themselves and others with the intensity and intimacy of their work.
I cannot recommend this film highly enough. Like I said, I was just going to tell Ty he should try to find a theater showing it because I think he'd love it, but I'd say the same for any reader of this blog. If Tynan's words and attitude resonate with you, I bet Pina will too. It's a real masterpiece.
A friend just sent me this link: http://nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/12/09/how-to-fly-35000-miles-visit-4-continents-9-countries-and-15-cities-for-418/
Pretty much the most insane example of travel hacking I've ever seen. Plus, it makes me really really antsy to get out there and do a massive, months-long trip of my own.
I haven't read nerdfitness before, but he's talking about a lot of the same principles as Life Nomadic.
As I prepare to move into the Rialta the one lingering annoyance has been finding mobile internet. T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all nixed their unlimited data plans (one of them still does unlimited but heavily throttles after 10gb, the others charge after 10gb, and 10gb is like a day of usage for me!)
Can anyone recommend great mobile internet solutions? A guy at work recommended Clear:
I figure there should be a good thread for minimal living spaces that are worth looking at. Someone mentioned www.stealthsprinter.com in a side thread and I'm glad I saw it - amazing work they did!
I was just looking at this:http://www1.ttcn.ne.jp/~gyo/English/campingcar.htm - and figured it needed a place to go on here too. This thing is insane. Some Japanese dude fabricated a two-story house that folds down (!!!) into a small truck trailer. It's all mechanized, with pneumatic cylinders that lift the entire second story up. The second story is this immaculate Japanese tatami room with shoji windows, and the downstairs is a kitchen, bathroom, storage - outrigger dock with a 2 meter wide deck that folds out.
It's super conspicuous so it wouldn't work for boondocking. Rather, I should say, it's inconspicuous when folded down, but when you need to live in it it's like a Transformer and would stand out like a sore thumb. But it's really gorgeous.
When you find cool minimal / mobile living stuff post comments! I love looking at this stuff for inspiration and ideas.
I just did some in-depth research (8 google searches) and couldn't find an answer, so I'll ask here: does anyone know what the legal restrictions are on what seats I can put in a car that I'm sitting in with a seatbelt while driving? I've got my Rialta and the captain's chairs are bulky and barely fit in the space well. I can't really lean back much in them when I turn them around to face into the cabin area. They're awkward and cramped.
What I would love is to just mount Aerons on those two and use those.
I mean, Aerons are heavy-duty seats that can take a beating. I wouldn't worry about them breaking in a crash any more than these junky old things already mounted there, especially if I mounted them very solidly (i.e. got custom-welded attachments.) Plus they're very comfortable for long-term sitting because people routinely sit in them for hours every day. They'd be much better for lumbar support and whatnot on road trips than the existing seats.
Plus they aren't that bulky, nowhere near the existing seats, and I could spin 'em around and then have two sweet Aerons to recline in when watching movies or eating or whatever.
But when I mentioned the idea to a car-savvy friend he looked at me like I had just suggested filling the gas tank up with Kool-Aid to save money. He insisted it was certainly illegal. But now I'm wondering, because it would be awesome if I could find a way to get away with it.
I was just gonna shoot an email to Tynan recommending this but realized, what the hell, might as well put up a community post for others. A friend recommended Tiffany Shlain's work to me, including her film Connected and a little 8-minute piece on vimeo called "The Science of Character".
I only watched the trailer for the first one, so far, but watched the whole second one (since it's short.) A lot of it was content that I knew, but her production values and presentation are very good, and in particular one quote that jumped out at me and really resonated was:
"The way to strengthen that filter is as simple as taking a moment, focusing your attention, and asking yourself: Is what I'm about to do a reflection of who I am, and who I want to be?"
It's not like I haven't heard that sentiment expressed a thousand ways before, but for some reason that italicized sentence really moved me. Actually I was thinking about heading out to get an unhealthy but delicious brunch right as I was watching the video, and when I heard that it immediately broke me out of that and made me realize it was just me wanting a distraction and some sense pleasure. It was super effective!
I carry little quotes around with me, like on cards in my wallet or places I'll see them (my only tattoo is, in fact, a quote I carry around with me) and I think I'm going to make this my next one, and anytime I'm tempted to do something, try to pause, gather my attention and ask myself that. I bet it'll be pretty effective (at least for like a month before it starts to feel stale and loses its power, but hopefully by then I'll have found another motivating turning phrase...)