Archive for July, 2004

california… knows how to party.

July 28, 2004

okay, so as promised, the california/garrett turbos lj update.
better go get some popcorn or something, this is gonna be painfully long…
okay so tuesday the 20th.
woke up, went to class, came home, did some work for my job. my mom drove down from ny and got here around 3. we drove to the airport, dropped off her car, and went to go check in for our flights. (my mom insisted on coming with me. she said it was because she wanted to see where i was going to be living since it was so far from home, i found out later it’s because she thought this trip was a vacation for her, not a business trip for me. damnit.)
i haven’t flown in ten years. planes scare the shit out of me. i’d rather get into a car accident and at least have some chance of surviving than being in an accident in a plane and then having to p
lummit 35,000+ feet to the ground. what a nice final kick in the ass that would be. so yea, planes scare me. plus i always think about those oxygen mask things and what they’re really there for… thanks fight club! gr. anyway.
we had a stopover in denver, colorado. most of the way there all i could see was clouds. i caught a few farms which was weird considering i’ve never been anywhere other than ny/nj/pa/md and virginiabeach/atlantageoriga once each. weiiiird. anyway. we hit a pretty bad storm on the way into denver and yea i was scared outta my mind and grasping the armrests on my seat as if my life depended on it. funny, like that would have done any good if my life actually did depend on it… lol. but we made it through *yay*
flying into denver was cool. i got to see my first mountains! but then it got dark really quickly and i couldn’t see anything. oh well. but uh yeah, in the ladies room in the airport there was a big ‘tornado shelter’ sign. that kinda weirded me out. because yeah, if i was in a tornado the first place i’d wanna be is in a bathroom… NOT.
flying into la was pretty amazing. the city is HUGE. much bigger than i expected. very pretty too. we arrived at 12midnight PST, so 3am my time. i was pretty tired yea but who cares. cali baby! went to the rental car place and i thought i was gonna get a droptop mustang but i wound up getting a seabring convertible instead, which i was
bummed about at first (i was looking forward to beating the crap outta the poor defenseless ‘stang) but i actually grew to really like the seabring. it fit a lot better ergonomically than a stang and it had some really decent power/torque! seabrings get my approval. weirrrrrd to admit that but whatever. it was fun.
got to the hotel and finally fell asleep around 4am my time, 1am cali time. mmm sleeeeeeep.
wednesday, the 21st, my first *real* day in cali.
i woke up around 8am cali time, 5am my time. ewww. but i guess technically that meant i got 7 hours of sleep? sure as hell didn’t feel like it to me plus it was more math than i was willing to do at the time. haha. damn time zones. anyway. around 830 i figured i should call my ‘boss’ tracie at garrett (the woman i would be working for but had never met yet). just as i go to roll out of bed my cell phone rings and it was her asking if i’d like to come by that morning for the tour and to meet everyone and go out to lunch. tour of garrett turbos? hell YES! so i got dressed, said goodmorning to the seabring, dropped the top, and headed down to their headquarters in torrance 😀
so i get there and i go to the front desk to tell security i am there to see tracie and she’s like ‘shes expecting you, have a seat she’ll be out in a minute’. so i sit down in the lobby and there is a big corporate coffee table that i was expecting
to see lame-ass business magazines on… but nope. all hardcore car-tech magazines. AWESOME. so i picked one up and was reading an article ‘in defense of pushrods’ and crap, and this woman comes out and it was tracie so i stand up and introduce myself and she’s like ‘i know who you are’ and i’m like uhhh what? and she’s like ‘i met you at sema atlantic city. well, i didn’t actually meet you, but i remember you were there talking to some of our guys’ which is true, cause they saw my turbo tattoo and we got to talking. how weird is that? she didn’t know it was me when she got my resume and hired me, but like, she already knew who i was… or something. weirddddd.
so she takes me around and shows me “garrett turbo technologies, a division of honeywell inc”. it was amazing. absolutely unbelievable. surreal. i felt like i was dreaming.
you guys know how in a usual office they have stupid cheesy motivational posters on the walls? and people have lame-ass pictures of tropical islands and their families in their offices? and stupid toys on their desks?
well at garrett, there are pictures of top rally and drag cars on the walls instead of those stupid posters, people have car-calendars and posters and pictures in their offices instead of people, and parts of turbos just laying around. seriously. everyone’s got parts just sitting on their desks for no good reason. and they have turbo
-paperweights. and even the mousepads are in the shape of turbos!!!!
then she takes me downstairs to engineering to show me the ‘real’ stuff. the “garrett garage”
i don’t know how much i am allowed to say about that so let me just say guys you have to see it to believe it.
then, just when i thought it couldn’t get any better…
tracie tells me for the first week or two i will be down with engineering learning how to build turbos!!!!
i have died and gone to heaven.
the rest of the day was a blur.
i met some of the guys that work there. a lot of them also remembered me from sema. that was a weird feeling, but good i suppose.
lunch was fun, it was weird sitting in a restaurant and looking out the window to see palm trees…
i can’t wait to start working there. everyone was so wonderfully nice. it is like a dream come true. i couldn’t ask for a more perfect job.
anyway. i left garrett around 2pm, went to redondo beach for about an hour. it was so pretty! kinda weird feeling though to be driving north and have the ocean on the left of me rather than on the right… *creeeepy*
apartment hunting went not-so-well. i found a bunch of places $750-$850 a month, but apparently they are all in not-so-good areas… but at least i drove around a lot and started to learn the area more.
didn’t do much
that night because i was still jet-lagged, so i just slept 🙂
i did however watch the news. a jogger was mauled to death in the mountains by a mountain lion. thank god i am lazy and don’t exercise! i don’t have to worry about that! 😀 and i watched a few local la high-speed police chases on tv. rawk \m/
thursday, the 22nd.
more apartment hunting. i found a bunch of places that were in a good area but they were all way out of my budget! $1300-$1400 a month plus utilities. i can’t swing that. so i was just driving around up and down main roads that had apartment complexes on them stopping in front of each and calling about availabilities, and i found this place right near the beach that had an opening starting in september for $1000 month plus electric & cable, which is more than i wanted to spend but realistically i won’t be able to find anything better. it’s 625sq feet, has a pool and garaged parking. sweeeeet. i put a deposit on it just in case 😉 however, it’s unfurnished. shit.
me and mom drove to la that night, i found the hollywood sign even after a bunch of streetsigns saying ‘no access to the hollywood sign’ tried to stop me. facker. i win 😀 also found a “no smoking, no campfires, caution rattlesnakes” sign in some park on the hollywoodsignmountain. how odd. california is a weird place. arnold will be my new governor.
friday, the 23rd.
Ai looked at a few more apartments, but since i was content with the place i found the day before me and my mom spent most of the day at the beach. i actually got some color. and tan. not pink. so now i am normal-people-colored instead of freakishly pale. yaaay! thanks cali!!
while i was there i saw something i thought was unbelievable. at first i thought they were sharks, i saw dorsal fins slicing through the water. a moment later, i realized they were *dolphins*. about 20 feet offshore, swimming and playing with surfers and riding the waves. it was incredible. if i hadn’t been wearing jeans and if the water wasn’t so cold (i am a wuss) i woulda ran in and tried to hitchhike a ride on a dolphin. oh well, something to add to my to-do list for when i live there i suppose.
after the beach i wanted to go do some things like visit motorex or signal but since i mentioned before my mom had been making it more and more abundantly clear that she didn’t give a fuck about what i wanted to do and was only going with me to look at apartments because we only had one rental car and wanted it her way or no way and refused to do anything except what she wanted to do, we went to los angeles to visit her friend. he showed us around. saw the tourist sights. i found a ferrari/maserati dealer. very cool. it was kinda like those pizzahut/tacobell places, but uh, much more expensive and not food. hah.
after that
, me and mom drove to santa monica. i wanted to see the sunset over the water but of course she didn’t give a shit what i wanted to do (even if it would only take 10 minutes out of her precious ‘vacation’…) and we got in a huge fight and didn’t speak for the rest of the night. that sucked. a lot.
saturday, the 24th.
princess demanded we do what she wanted again, so we drove to the valley (san fernando valley i learned is it’s proper name). she wanted to see her brother which i completely understand but i wanted to see my friends and go check out more apartments just in case and learn the area more. they could have come to visit her. but no, she insisted we go there. granted i was really happy to see my uncle again but it could have been done in such a manner so that all parties came away happy. oh well. spent the whole day there… it was nice i’ll admit, but i was really angry at the situation.
i did however manage to steal the car later that night and go back to redondo beach to get some cool sun-setting-over-the-water pictures. a few of them came out blurry though because staring at the sun for 20 minutes trying to take pictures really messes with your eyes and the ability to focus on anything. however it was the prettiest, although most painful, sunset ever.
sunday, the 25th
woke up at friggen 5am. wow did that suck. but i was glad because my flight got cancelled and switche
d to a flight an hour later but it arrived in philly at the same time as the previous. (previous had a stop over in denver again, the rescheduled flight was nonstop)
drove to get gas for the seabring before returning it to the rental place, and my mom couldn’t figure out how to get the gas cap off (she’s not the smartest when it comes to car stuff) and like, she asked me to help so i get out and took it off and then got back in the car and i hear her outside mumble something and call me a bitch so i get out of the car and fucking went off on her. i screamed at her and i was telling her that no matter how much she had pissed me off the whole week i never once called her a bitch but she was calling me one like every 5 minutes and i was fucking sick of her shit and this was supposed to be a business trip for me to meet my boss and find an apartment yet she tried to turn it into her own personal luxo-vacation and that i didn’t even want her to come in the first place and blah blah blah and she started crying and i didn’t give a shit which is weird because usually i can’t stand to see my mother cry but i was so angry it made me happy she was upset so i kept telling her off and eventually she appologized and i was still pissed and all but i could tell she finally understood so i tried to let it go. oh well.
so the plane ride back was not that bad. i got to see the desert and the grand canyon. but like, you kn
ow how if you know cars really well and motors you can hear when somethings not right? yeah well lucky me having the ability to hear every single sound a motor makes and like an hour before we got back to philly one of the plane’s engines started making a weird noise and i obviously didn’t know if it was normal or not but it scared the hell out of me.
thankfully, obviously, i made it back okay 🙂
some random cali-related news. amy is trying to get a co-op job out there too so we can share a place. guys keep your fingers crossed for her!!
cali rocks.
i ❤ garrett.
the end.
oh yeah and i found out that i got 100 on my managerial accounting midterm that i didn’t even study for. i am smrt 😀


July 27, 2004

okay i’m going to do the california/garrett update sometime soon but meanwhile… just go there and sign up its free bullshit crap and i get a free ipod which i will need like whoa on my cross-country drive. 😀

July 19, 2004

looks like i am going to need a rebuild or a new motor, and i can’t afford either…
the car is running, but not well. the oil pressure is still ridiculously fucking low, and i can’t figure it out to save my life. i have a sinking feeling that all the tolerances and clearences on the internals are way off and that is what’s causing it…
i’m fucked.
i have until early september (only a few weeks away) to get the car running perfectly for cali…
somebody HELP
donate your spare chage to my paypal account (

July 14, 2004

okay so yeah my entries lately have been kinda not covering the daily wonderful activities of, uh, me, so this entry is gonna try and fill in the gaps and spaces from the last good entry to the present, of which i can only think of three major things…
one was the 4th of july, which rocked. it was my first 4th in philly and honestly i was fuckin surprised as hell at what a huge celebration it was. there were like thousands and thousands of people all over by the art museum/kelly drive area and like carnival games and food and all this crazy stuff and it was just unbelievable. i walked over to j’s place and we hung out and watched a movie (independence day, how ironic) and had a good time. then we watched fireworks. tom came by to watch with us.
they were really good but i was expecting more from philly. i mean come fucking on, city of independence or whatever the hell it is, i was kinda disappointed the display wasn’t that great. maybe i am just spoiled by ny, who knows. i do think that it was fucking awesome however, that they played Outkast – Hey Ya during the fireworks over the
sound system. :thumbsup:
other than that, my car almost went kaboom again.
you guys remember when the oil change fell out in december? to those of you who don’t, let me refresh: i needed an oil change and there was like 3 feet of snow on the ground so i brought it to my parent’s mechanic of 10+ years and the fucktard didn’t tighten the oil drain plug completely and well one morning two days later in philly when i started the car to go to work at 630am, the drain plug fell out, the oil change fell out, and the car stalled from oil starvation. i remember back then thinking to myself ‘wow, i bet that fucked up my bearings pretty bad…’
so, as i predicted, my rod bearings started making some hideous noises last week. quiet at first, but got a lot effing louder as i proceeded to drive the car 50 miles roundtrip to/from work on wednesday (not smart i know, but if i call in one more time due to my-car-broke, they’ll kill me).
i got it flatbedded from philadelphia to new york thursday. i refused to even start the car to drive it out of the garage. i just put it in neutral and pushed the damn thing as if my life depended on it. wasn’t too hard. just sucked getting it up the first initial hill. from there on it was mostly ramps that i could push it down, chase the car, jump in while it’s rolling, grab the ebrake, repeat. kinda like skateboarding with a car. fun. i recommend eve
ryone try this at least once.
got it up to ny to hamid’s house, got the part number for the rod bearings off the crank, and i spent all of friday driving (rockin my mom’s P11 G20, woot) to dealers trying to find parts. i called 60+ nissan and infiniti dealers, nobody had the bearings in stock, had each store run a locator and apparently there was not a single dealer in the entire country that had the parts in stock, so i had to order them from friggen south cakalakka.
also picked up my bride seats from fizz…
spent friday night at the races, a bunch of oldschool fast-as-balls muscle cars, so many damn blowers it made my head hurt. went down ocean pkwy for some races, cop came, shit got broken up as usual. oh well.
saturday was the NYCGs annual BBQ at valley stream state park. i say annual because we had our first meet this same time at the same place last year. actually that was my first G20 meet and my first time meeting the guys. funny how far we’ve all come since then, i feel like they’re my family now. it’s also funny how far my car has come. i was looking at pictures from last year’s meet and i was staring at this gray p10 thinking ‘who the hell’s car is that??’ took me a few minutes to realize it was MINE! weird huh?
but the meet was awesome, we had a great turnout, i think at one point we had 20+ cars. not just G’s though (iirc we had 6p10s an
d 5p11s)… a bunch of b13 se-r’s from team se-rious came down, a b14, a b15, an fc, a mazda3… even my mom came with her P11 😀
i’ll have pictures posted on very soon
it was also hamid’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAMID!!!
saturday night i hung out with patrick till god knows when.
sunday i went out to dinner with my mom then back to philly courtesy of hamid’s 1G talon. woot. rockin a DSM 😀 thanks hamid!!! (hamid= best friend evAr.)
anyway. updates on my car: she seems to be okay. no apparent or noticable damage. it seems i caught it in time. the bearings (from what hamid tells me since i am currenty 130+ miles away from my car… this is the first time i’ve ever been away from her actually, it sucks. seperation axiety blows) are completely toasted, and the oil holes are all clogged. i got lucky as hell i didn’t blow the motor. but i’ll get the final word on her condition soon…
going back to ny thursday to return the talon and hopefully bring my girl back with me… then tuesday i’m off to cali to try and find an apartment.
wish me luck guys

July 7, 2004

last night: while looking at a soccer jersey hanging on tom’s wall while doing co-op resumes for him…
me: what’s ‘tomasu’?
tom: my name in italian
me: oh. are you italian?
tom: no not at all
me: what are you?
tom: italian and german
me: uhh? i thought you just said you weren’t italian?
tom: shit, no! i meant english and german
hahaha. slow people rock.

July 6, 2004

work tomorrow
drive to ny thursday night if my car doesn’t die
friday pick up and install bride seats, new passenger side axle, and figure out what the FUCK that noise is that my motor is making
saturday, NYCGs meet!! bbq/beach what what
sunday, back to phila 😀

July 5, 2004

this is a map of torrance, california.

“start” is the address of Garrett Turbos where i will be working
“end” is the address of Signal Auto’s US headquarters.
estimated time: 9 minutes
estimated distance: 3.58miles
Life. Is. GOOD.