Aug 292011
 
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A weekend of staying cool at Yuki’s, hanging out at Angel’s parents place, lunch meetups and the Hollywood Bowl with John Williams. As well as a conversion from my co-dependency on Toyota made cars, yes, we know they call them Scions, but they’re ultimately Toyota’s.

I finally got my car back on Friday afternoon from the collision repair shop. We parked it at the house and proceeded to throw our gear into Yuki’s civic as we were taking the dogs and our daily necessities over to her place for the weekend. The house’s ac is just too damn old and doesn’t do jack shit to cool the house down. Yuki’s place has dual ac units, one for the upstairs and one for the bottom floor, and she likes to keep it nice and chilly. Angel’s parents were out of town for the evening so he’s stuck dog sitting and calls us over. We head over with some leftovers to add to his order of pizza and wings. He and I cool off in the pool. Terry and Christis show up and we end up watching Paul, the alien movie with countless spielbergesq references – I smell drinking game. Before the movie started up, I brought up the suggestion to go check out cars at the dealership lots; but once the movie started, that all faded. After the movie, we all parted ways and I drove my “rental” for the week back to my mom’s house. I had been driving a 1990′s era Mercedes 600, the thing was a bloody tank. It ran a V12 and drank premium fuel like a thirsty Beanie on a hot summer day. I was glad to get it back to my mom’s house. We then headed back to Yuki’s. We had a lunch meet up with Jenn, Ed, Angel and Nicky at Boiling Point the following day.

Yuki and I got to Boiling Point just shy of 11:30AM, our slotted meet up time. We had to wait for a table, so we stood around. A line started to form and the folks signed into the wait list. I took this opportunity to check out the restaurant, it was about half full. We waited for another 20 minutes before another employee shows up. She then starts seating the people to fill in the empty spots. Apparently, they couldn’t figure out a way to put together a 6 person table, so we continued to wait. The once 6 person table that sat down before Jenn arrived has still yet to get their food. My patience is waning. A 4 person table opens up and I tell the group that Yuki and I will just go elsewhere so that they can snap up that table before it’s given to yet another group that is waiting behind us. The management at this place sucks a fat black cock. Run by teenagers that run at a snail’s pace and just don’t seem to give a shit about their craptastic job. This is my second attempt at dinning here; there will not be a third attempt. But enough of that, we headed over and tried an Indonesian place that was pretty good, even though they didn’t offer yellow rice; apparently, that has to be special ordered in advanced. Understandable as it’s a labor and ingredient intensive.

After lunch, we headed back to my house and swapped out cars. And stopped by the Puente Hills Subaru dealership. I had been following the news and rumors of the upcoming Scion/Subaru front mounted rear wheel drive, FT-86 that was coming 2nd quarter of 2012. It was still early, so I stopped by to see if I can find any news about the BRZ (Subaru’s version of the joint venture). Apparently, for 2011, they brought back the sedan style for the WRX STi. Damn it looked good. Yuki and I sat in it and I chatted with a sales guy that shadowed folks like us that walk into a dealership. The rear seats fold down, which is a nice touch that wasn’t there when I last looked at the WRX, back in 2002 or so. Yuki disappeared into an Outback. She was interested in the Toyota Venza but after sitting and checking out the Outback, has a growing interest in that as the future replacement for her 2001 Civic. I chatted a little more while checking out the STi and admiring it.

We left and hit up the Hyundai dealership. I wanted to check out the Genesis Coup. It’s front mounted, rear wheel drive, 2.0 engine with a turbo, or a v6 option. Still, it’s a fucking Hyundai. It smelled kinda odd, was plastic; and worst, the fucking pushy Eastern European douche bag of a sales guy and his turkish sales manager. Even while trying to drive away from the horrible experience, he ran after me trying to get me to drive his piece of shit plastic-mobile. Fuck him, I hope he steps in a puddle of aids. Regardless, the Genesis Coup would be a similar test for what the upcoming Scion will be akin to, so I wanted to see it for a frame of reference. I sat in the back seat; er, check that, I attempted to sit in the back seat. I can comfortably sit in the backseat of my tC. This however, cannot be said of the Genesis Coup. I couldn’t sit up straight. And there it clicked. The proverbial popping sound of my ass releasing it’s grip on my head. Yeah, the 2 door tiny coupe may not be the best choice for my next car. Well, after running away from the sasquatch of a salesman, we headed back to Yuki’s to meet up with Angel and Nicky for our evening’s activities. I had told them to be at her place no later than 4, it wasn’t even 3:30 yet and I figured we could drive by the dealerships near Yuki’s place. As soon as that idea slipped into the audible surroundings, my phone went off and it was Angel telling me he was at Yuki’s. We were less than 5 minutes away, so no trips to the other dealerships.

Getting back to her house, everyone rested from extremely hot day. Then piled into my car and we headed down to Gardena to get food from Guilano’s deli. Nicky went nuts at the bakery counter. We ordered our food, picked up some drinks, then headed over to the local Mitsuwa to pick up some mochi and apple teas. Then back on the road to the Hollywood Bowl. We got there around 6:30 and got a decent parking spot. Found a very nice open spot on the grass and Nicky whipped out her blanket and we set upon our dinner. Finishing up the dinner, we put the leftovers back into the car and headed to the Bowl. It was John William’s night. People here and there are seen carrying lightsabers of different lengths, as has become tradition with his annual visit to the Hollywood Bowl. Hell, I even brought mine for the first time.

The day was hot, and hiking up the hill towards the bowl just had me dripping with sweat. I think I finally cooled down during the intermission. We snapped a few pictures of the group and had the guy sitting next to me snap some pictures. I had my camera set on manual so the guy wasn’t too familiar, so after a few attempts with mine, Yuki handed her camera over.

The evening started out with a medley of music from very well known movies. The second song after the medley was the John Dunbar theme from Dances with Wolves; the fist time I’ve heard the song played live. I’m glad I was able to capture the whole song on video before my camera completely ran out of juice; and I had left the extra batteries in the car. I was also able to snap the following pictures as well using the stalker zoom.

 

Here’s a video I snapped of the John Dunbar Theme, again, apologies for the Michael J. Fox camera work. It’s at max zoon so the slightest movement will cause shakes. And yes, I wasn’t about to try sneaking in a tripod. Not sure how much of the end got cut off since my battery died right when I ended the recording.

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From then on out, we used Yuki’s camera. Here’s what she and I snapped taking turns on the thing.

The sea of lightsabers all lit during the playing of the third Star Wars song, the main theme. Funny that the Cloud City theme and Leia’s Theme barely got any lightsaber love. Either it was out of respect to the slower song or the majority just didn’t recognize those two songs as being from Star Wars. There were a few performers that brought their lightsabers too. Always a cool thing to see.

 

Here’s a video I snapped using Yuki’s camera duing the Star Wars theme. Panning a little, one will see the sea of lightsabers.

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A special guest for the evening was James Taylor. He read excerpts from The Reivers, a novel by Faulkner while Williams and the LA Phil played music from the 1969 film of the same name. After the story, a guitar was brought out and Williams and the LA Phil sat and listened to Taylor play Sweet Baby James. At the end of the show, James came out for a final bow with Maestro John Williams.

There was a second medley at the start of the second half of the show, showcasing villains, heroins, and heroes. Williams also played the main theme from Harry Potter, an excerpt from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, first playing the scene without music, then playing along with the music. This was something new in comparison from the past William’s concerts. The encores were from ET, Empire’s Theme, and Indiana Jones March. It was a very good concert. The show ended around 10:45 and we headed out of the Bowl around 11:15 or so. With traffic, we ended up getting home around 12:30 or so. I spent some time doing some research on the cars I saw earlier before crashing out.

We had another lunch appointment with family and their friends the next morning. Finishing that around noon, we dropped by a local shop for some dumplings before heading back to the house. Before hitting the house, we stopped by the local dealerships and I checked out the Subies again. The dealership was a little smaller than the Puente Hills one and the sales guy saw that I wasn’t buying so he left me to check out the cars in the hot summer sun. Getting back to the house, Yuki took some time to rest while I did a little more research and called up a few dealerships. The STi was going to be way out of my budget and a little too excessive for what I want in a car. I’m not a racer, nor will I ever take the thing to the track, so it’d be a waste of the car. I do like the 6sp, the HID, and Bembo brekes; but that’s about it. So time to look at WRXs. After relaxing for a bit, we headed back to Puente Hills to look at the one blue WRX they had left. The sales guy was fairly patient and wasn’t pushy, hanging back while I checked it out.

Historically, my white tC had 73k miles when I up and sold it and picked up the RS 4.0 tC. Coincidentally, the RS 4.0 has 73k miles. So they take a look at it and do a quick estimate for a trade in, and they’ll give me 11k for it. Granted, off craigslist, I could easily get 16k for it, but there’ the hassle of dealing with that process. Well, for shits and grins, I have them check my credit. I think I scored right at 500 or so when I got my white tC, so my APR was something on the order of 9-12%. Pretty high. My credit was much better when I got the RS, but still not top tier to qualify for the lowest APRs. Well, what do you know, after paying off two cars, my credit gets to 745, which easily qualifies me for the top tier 1.9 APRs. I take the 72 months at 3.9 APR for the calculations. After running the numbers, and thinking about it for a whole 5 minutes or so; I pulled the trigger. Good bye cursed child eating RS 4.0, hello Speedy Smurf.

Once upon a time, back when I lived in Sacramento, I really wanted a WRX; but the numbers didn’t work and it wasn’t the right time. Up until I sat in the back seat of the Genesis Coup, I was going to wait for that new Scion FR-S to come out. Guess it really it time to grow the fuck up and stop getting toy cars. Well, with the WRX, I compromised I guess; a whole 9 years or so after my initial interest in getting one; I now have one. After 15 years, I’ve successfully broken the grip Toyota had on me, or the grip I had on Toyota – 1993 Camry (235k miles) driven from 96-04, 2005 Scion tC (73k miles), 2008 Scion tC RS 4.0 (73k miles).

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