Musings Episode 11: Cars and Status Quo…

Recently a few friends of mine have been looking for decent automobiles – and naturally with me having ties with the auto auction business, I was the first person they turned to.

Classic.

Classic.

One of them in particular wanted either a BMW or a Lexus. Another wanted a Nissan GT-R.

“Rego, I seriously want a nice luxury vehicle, I’m thinking a BMW 7 series with all the bells and whistles, gps, seat warmers, crazy sensors, one touch gear change, the works,” one of them says.

“Why?” I ask nonchalantly but curious as to where they’re going with it.

“Because – they’re sick! They’re the best luxury cars out there, and I really think it would reflect my personality and lifestyle.”

It’s here I laugh and flop back in my chair putting my hands behind my head.

“Dude….have you looked around lately?” I smirk proceeding to explain my logic.

Everyday I ask this question. There was a time, when seeing a BMW on the road was something enjoyable, unique, different, refreshing….but now, they seem to be the most commonly driven car.

bmw it's a lease

“It’s a lease…” – Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

Their advertising displays speed, elegance, class, adventure, durability…and while all of these may be true unique to the brand, ironically there are so many leased units out there, the terms “originality” and “distinction,” have lost their association with the BMW name.

What I’m trying to say is – why is it, that every Tom, Dick, and Harry runs around thinking they’ve got the best thing since silk sheets when they own a car that practically everyone drives? There are so many on the road yet I’ve met many a BMW leasee (or owner) that acts with an air of superiority and cockiness because of the keys that jingle in their pocket.

Mila Kunis Quote

I think it all boils down to status quo. An obvious statement some may see that as, but I’m being serious.

Think about it – if media such as television and commercials, movies and music are all things that many people as humans listen to on a daily (especially television), the subconscious idea that car companies such as  BMW or Lexus, Infiniti or Dodge (their new Challenger and Charger models) attempt to instill seems to unintentionally portray that there is, and should be, a certain way one should act upon acquiring such an automobile.

....and that's how I became a douchebag. Now, who's up for champagne?

….and that’s how I became a douchebag. Now, who’s up for champagne?

It was then I continued to explain to my friend there are loads of other ways, and other automobiles, to express your personality and lifestyle choices.

I’ve always been a fan of classics. I love the way each car used to be truly unique – in shape, engine, and characteristics. Customizable, where you could bond with your vehicle and that bond made it feel like it was yours.

Nowadays you see so many cars with automated this and automated that, it becomes so hidden and neatly tucked away from you, that when you pop the hood you’re lucky if you can find the dipstick to your engine’s oil.

Wait...wait...there it is...!

Wait…wait…there it is…!

Pre 2000’s, auto makers strove for originality and keeping their vehicles “open source,” as funny as that may seem to use a computer term…and though I understand today many cars are made the same to maximize costs and time efficiency, they’re made cheaper with lesser quality materials.

Yet there has been another thing going on – you see many people starting to bring the classics back…the A/C 427 SC, ’69 Ford Mustang, Plymouth Cuda, even the VW Beetle – all slowly being restored and coming out of the woodwork.

1966shelbycobra427sc_243183

That’s originality.

Like I said, and as I will always say, life is all about experiences, and it is absolutely unnecessary to pursue an experience television advertisements flash in front of your face everyday simply because they dictate what qualifies as status quo and lifestyle classification.

After hearing this my friend then starts thinking differently, realizing there are loads more options he really likes but just never thought of before.

Long story short he’s a large-sized car fan (go figure wanting a 7 series) and decides instead of dropping $70-$130,000 on a single, shiny BMW, he’s gonna do his research and look for 3 cars he really likes – one of them being a Plymouth Superbird.

"Like in the movie...???"..."Like in the movie."

“Like in the movie…???”…”Like in the movie.”

Many times I find that hype and enough mass enthusiasm can get people as humans into a real pickle and cause many to lose track of their real desires and dreams.

Truth is it’s not really what anyone else thinks or drives, what commercials or large corporations tell you what’s in or out, or even if your tailor tells you “ostrich shoes are far more stylish this year than your standard cow hide.”

It doesn’t matter how stylish anything is – it boils down to what makes you feel good in your own skin and you alone. Not anyone else.

We have so many choices as humans yet daily, I see many give up their free will and follow in masses. Like Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”

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I’m sure I’ve written that previously, but it constantly needs reiteration, because it’s true. This post isn’t just about cars, but the overall message of what society claims status quo to be.

If anything, it is merely a meter. A measure for what qualifies as social class and what drops below any given rank.

Forget the ranks.

Forget the social class.

Always pursue great experiences yes, but sometimes a ride down the boardwalk on a long board can beat a ride down South Beach in a ridiculous looking stretch limo.

It’s all about the good feeling.

What makes you feel good, without letting the majority of what you see influence your decisions.

Lifestyle? Personality? Like I tell my friends – always, always make sure your personality defines your lifestyle – not the other way around. Keep your eye on the ball, avoid getting caught up in the majority, and stay true to yourself – regardless of what anyone else says.

Also, before I conclude, there’s this really great song (featuring Seulong of 2AM) from DJ Clazzi – the leader of Clazziquai that’s been stuck in my head. Great driving song 😉 Thought I’d share it with you all, it’s got a great beat and the lyrics are well written (which you can find here – thanks Princess of Tea for the post).

Have a great week.

– Rego

Musings Episode 11: Cars and Status Quo… is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

For The Weekenders: Gravity-Free Plane Rides, Bruce Lee Surfing, Drive-In Movies

All this week I’ve been itching for some creative fun things to do. So I got to thinking of all the things I like – and this is what was created. Enjoy.

I’ve always been a fan of travel – travelling on planes especially. Flying above the clouds at 37,000 feet always seemed so calming for me…floating would’ve been even cooler…and now I can – and now you can…with Zero G.

These guys, are pure genius. If you ever wanted to be an astronaut, and feel what it’s like to float effortlessly from your bedroom to the living room – they can deliver. Well, minus the living room and bedroom. But you can catch drops of water in mid air with your mouth, just by floating your way over to them.

It’s like Hungry Hungry Hippos…but cooler.

It works a little like this:

You grab a few buddies who are thrill seekers like yourself or maybe just like doing kung fu moves mid-air without risk of injury and slow motion style, and you book 4-5 reservations for a trip on a Boeing 727. Sounds pretty standard, no? Well, did I mention this particular 727 is modified to do parabolic arcs?

Lo, ladies and gentleman: the ancient smiling fist punch.

Yeah. Pretty insane.

So once you’re all booked and paid up, you head on over to Las Vegas, this Saturday, grab your new flight gear and suit up, shuffle over to the plane, board, and away you go. It’s from here the cap’n does a few whirls and loops until boom – gravity free…and you’re floating, effortlessly like a dandelion in the wind (poetic much?). Just don’t get too caught up in the moment and close your eyes – lest you bump into your best mate and end up bumping heads – literally.

It costs a few grand for this insane adventure, but it’s well worth it and most definitely a story worth looking back on and telling. The best part is it’s not just Las Vegas you can make your reservation at – but numerous other cities, such as New York. So when you ring up your guys/girls this weekend and ask what they’re up for, ask yourself: what sounds better? Beers at the usual bar, or gravity free high flying oh-em-gee adventures? The answer is clear.

So after all that mid-air slow-mo kung-fu judo action, you don’t want the good, high flying times to end. What do you do? Well, you hop over from Vegas to L.A., call up that girl/guy you’ve been wondering about regarding how good they look in swimwear, and make it a good excuse to try some at the beach martial arts. In the water. On a paddle board. Did I mention in the water?

Don’t take that wave set. I will Judo kick your ass the next time you cut me off for my set.

In being a fan of the ocean, fitness, and at one point taking three different forms of martial arts plus fencing all in one go, this is probably the most fun hands down…I won’t lie – I scream like a little fan girl every time I think of the awesomeness of whoever took such an idea and put it into an activity like this. It’s downright original, and refreshing…it will also kick the absolute crap out of your core.

Dammit Jack. You had one job. Don’t let go. Was that so hard? Now reach, dammit, like your life depends on it.

Looking for that extra step to carve your abs even more? Congratulations – I present to you a solution.

Paddle board martial arts is more than just a fun time – it’s a work out. Think about it – you’re there trying to do crane poses and high kicks, but not on a nice dojo mat, no, and not even on the wood floors we’ve all grown so familiar with – but instead, a board. A paddle board. That sways back and forth with not just the help of the ocean, but any tiny little movement you make.

Master this and you’ve officially gained bragging rights to say you outgrew the dojo, the pond was too small and you needed an ocean (did I just make a pun? I believe I did.)

Classes can be found held off of Marina Mother’s Beach, D-Basin, Marina Del Rey, and run four times a week, two of which are by reservation only. Check out the full details on scheduling here.

Ninja status.

Ninja status.

So your wish came true and you got to see that that hottie does look great when they hit up the beach, and have now invited them out for a movie…but a regular movie is so…well, regular. Also you can’t drink at movie theaters. Boo. No fun.

But wait, what if I told you you could? In fact, you could eat, drink, and be merry? Picture a movie theater with a beer garden….that also serves wine. Not to mention thin crust pizza – and quality burgers. A whole menu, really.

coyote drive in great promo photo

Classic, meet modern day.

Boredom of standard movie theater, meet Coyote Drive-In. Created back in 2011 by four guys who envisioned their perfect idea of a great, super chill time, they went ahead and kicked it old school, making a blast from the past become reality once more with a Drive-In movie set up located in friendly Forth Worth, Texas. They didn’t reinvent the wheel – just pulled it from the dusty corners of the garage and cleaned it up.

first_drive_in_630px

Vintage.

I remember going to the drive-in when I was a kid, thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. Located in a small little town and one of the few left, it was the highlight of my weekends after school.

10-15 years later and I still get stoked just thinking about it. The comfort of your car. The sounds, voices, special effects pumping out through your own vehicle’s speakers, just by tuning to the assigned station. The much desired privacy when you and your date have that moment…wait – what…? Rego, you mean no awkward strangers slurping the last of their soda while eyeing me stealing a kiss anymore…? I’d say that’s win.

I can watch Iron Man 3 or Fast & Furios 6 and finally put those Audio Bahn speakers to good use I invested a fortune in, for more than just music you ask? You sure can.

spongebob excited

Welcome to the future…with a little bit of the past. Drive-Ins, congrats. You were missed enough to be brought back. Clearly, you must be doing something right.

– Rego

For The Weekenders: Gravity-Free Plane Rides, Bruce Lee Surfing, Drive-In Movies is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

For The Weekenders: Surfing in Santa Cruz, Luxury Racing in Texas, Absinthe in New York

Sun. Sand. Bikinis. Surf Boards.

Everything you typically expect during summer, especially in California….but how about a surf lodge that feels like a blast from the past, with a touch of class? Found in Santa Cruz, I’m talking about the Santa Cruz Dream Inn, a beachfront luxury hotel (and the only one at that) in California’s city of surfing.

Why yes, those two glasses are for us…let’s shuffle on over, shall we….?

Amenities included are enough to make anyone want to live here. Imagine starting your day off with waking up and walking out to a balcony with breathtaking views of Monterey Bay, as you snuggle up to your S.O. (or person you met the night before…this is a getaway, after all) to keep each other warm from the cool morning breeze. From there you get ready for the day and step into the shower, that’s fully equipped with a badass, super luxurious rainwater style shower head and wand, that makes you feel like those shampoo models on TV (because you’re worth it…go ahead, embrace that feminine side.)

Good morning, Santa Cruz.

From there, reach into your snack basket and mini fridge and grab a healthy snack and some sparkling mineral water while you wait for the hotel staff to bring up your in-room breakfast to the 10th floor…you’re going to need a big breakfast, because you’ve booked private surf lessons that make for an interesting date, and have plans to hit up the jacuzzi and outdoor spa after.

But let’s not stop there, no…you continue the day with the intent to get even further away from your usual techy side, turn your phone off, leave it in your room, and kick it old school by trying your hand at some classic board games and finally finish off your day with a pillow library…if this isn’t bliss, you’re not living enough.

After all that relaxing, you may want a bit of an adrenaline kick…well, let’s jet over to Texas for some luxury car racing at Texas Motor Speedway, one of the many spectacular spots to blow off some steam, burn some rubber, and get that adrenaline gland pumping…go ahead, you know you want to.

I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of my own mind-blowing AWESOMENESS.

The place that supplies the concept of luxury automobiles and high speed race tracks for access to anyone who’s willing to pay? Exotic Driving Experience. They dominate in the area where luxury meets thrill.

The GT-R being my favorite car, I naturally, would suggest it first. Yet if you fancy something other than Japanese import, they also have a range of automobiles, including but not limited to the sleek, sexy Ferrari 458 Italia…the masculine, powerful Audi R8….or if you feel like emulating Daniel Craig as the best Bond to date, the refined, prestigious Aston Martin Virage…and so many more, each car’s MSRP being upward of $90,000.

Strapped with a radio-equipped helmet and your own trusty driving instructor, from there you can do what you do best and tear up the track, pupils dilated and hands gripping the steering wheel while your super car hugs the curves of the road as if drawing the outline of Scarlett Johansson‘s measurements.

Scarlett-Johansson-Sexy

Ready. Set. Go.

Alright, so after the relaxation, and the thrills, let’s say you wanna close off the weekend with a touch of class (as if it weren’t classy enough). So what do you do? You hop a plane once more, this time to New York. As you leave the airport, you think to yourself you don’t just want regular drinks to close off your weekend, but something different. Something refreshing…something….adventurous.

So what do you do…? Well, you make a phone call seeing what buddies – or attractive acquaintances – of yours are free for the evening, and make your way over to Maison Premiere for an Absinthe and seafood fest.

Absinthe….makes the heart grow fonder.

As you walk in, you’ll hear the sounds of choice, carefully selected jazz, catch site of historic style interior design, and a big, borderline ostentatious absinthe and cold water delivery tap with a miniature Napoleon statue atop. Though absinthe is the main center-piece, not everyone can handle it – so if you have friends that need something lighter, they also serve wine and various cocktails…which also brings us to the seafood options available.

I’ll take the shrimp…and the lobster.

Being (unfortunately) allergic to oysters, I appreciate the wide variety in seafood options they have, which ranges from succulent crab and lobster, to melt in your mouth red snapper and cod. Under very specific circumstances, you can book a reservation, or hold private events.

So when you start feeling the absinthe come on in waves, you can crack open the menu and order up a plate of Cod Brandade, followed by cheesecake for dessert which comes with marcona almond, chocolate ganache, and maldon salt.

Want a double serving of dessert and feel your buzz slowly fading after filling that stomach of yours? Well, then go for a dessert cocktail and request the Moveable Feast, consisting of bols genever, rum, cane syrup, absinthe, coffee liquor, and aromatic bitters.

If that’s not enough to satisfy your palette….well then you’re just not trying hard enough.

Stay classy.

– Rego

For The Weekenders: Surfing in Santa Cruz, Luxury Racing in Texas, Absinthe in New York is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life