Archive for August, 2010

Sorry I’m Not Home Right Now, I’m Walking into Spiderwebs

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Most people e-mail me when they want to book me, and that’s great. But phone calls are fine too… if you know how to use the phone. Here are some examples of how to successfully ride Barbie, followed by a few that won’t even score you 15 minutes on a segway.

Messages I Answer
Example 1: “Hi, this is [Firstname Lastname] and I saw you at the Zombie Walk. I work for [Reputable Tech Company] and was interested in using the Barbie Dream Hearse for a parade we’re having to celebrate shipping a new product. Please give me a call back at [Phone Number] for details. Thanks!”

Example 2: “This is [Firstname] calling from [Local Tour Guide Company]. I saw you driving by the other day and we’d like to partner up with you for a special tour where guests can get a ride in the Barbie Dream Hearse. It’s [Day] at [Time], please give me a call back.”

Example 3: “Hey, my name is [Firstname] and I’m planning a wedding for a couple of friends on [Date]. If you’re available, call me back. Thanks!”

Messages I Don’t Answer
Example 1: “Hi, this is [Firstname]. Uh… what is the Barbie Dream Hearse ABOUT?”

Example 2: “I’m the one who yelled at you on Pike Street! Hey! What’s UUUUUUP!”

Example 3: “Wjdfhiuehyguvjbrugfjvfj… chchchch… Whdgrjvnjfjagdhgk. Okay.”

Okay?

A Three-Day Barbie Extravaganza

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Sunday
I attended the hearse club’s big ol’ picnic on the hottest day of the year. I got a sunburn, dozens of compliments, and the usual indignant assertion that my car isn’t a hearse.

I went to Factoria because it was Right There. Like most malls in the Seattle area, it’s laid out all stupid-like, but I had to park in the back of the lot either way. I bought a new pair of shorts and some cups for my upcoming drive:

When I got back to civilization, I rolled by the 12th Avenue Festival. I was thinking of crashing it (figuratively) and promoting the car, but it was at least 90 degrees out. The festival itself was comprised of several dozen uncomfortably hot people milling around on a short block of closed-off street. Meh.

So I went a little further down the road and put some air in my tires. Finally! Do you know how hard it is to find a decently functioning air machine in this town? You’d think I was looking for a hovercraft. Full of eels.

Monday
I high-tailed it from Everett down to Rainier Drive and picked up newlyweds Audrey and Liam. I took them to a park. Then I took a picture.

Then a professional photographer took some better pictures, which I’m hoping to receive sometime before I die. I don’t know what it is about photographers being stingy with their pictures, but I’ve run into a LOT of that since I started getting my picture taken all the time.

Me: “Hey, here’s my card. Would you send me the set or a link to it?”

Photographer: “Oh yeah, totally! I’ll do it this week! I’ll do it tomorrow! I’m doing it RIGHT NOW.”

Me: … (No pictures.)

So I took a self-portrait:

Then I headed over to Ballard to visit Josh, owner of the Geo-Duck Underwater Tour yellow submarine looking coolness.

Josh is gonna see about making some pinstripes that match my logo. I was going to have stars placed on the sides (a la the Barbie Dream Shirts), but time has passed, balls were dropped, and I’m moving on.

I also happened to encounter a guy named Jacob who was interested in doing some metal work to Barbify my bow. (That’s the curly thing on the vinyl top that helps charactarize my car as a hearse and not some other type of car with an extended chassis, vinyl top, and curtains.)

It was a pleasure meeting them both and I’m excited to see what comes of it!

Tuesday
I went to traffic court to fight a rash of photographed red-light tickets I received when I first started driving around my neighborhood. That would be First and Capitol, ahem, HILLS. My car is pretty heavy, so it isn’t as easy to accelerate and stop. Add hills and timing becomes even more of the essence. Despite my best attempts to follow the rules, adhering to posted speed limits and obeying traffic signals, I was sensed to have literally crossed a line or three. Funny how I get those pictures back right away.

So how’d it go? Two words: Female judge.

She knocked them down to half-price and I took off at my earliest convenience. But of course there was obligatory conversation.

“THREE? You know the definition of insanity, right?” she said.

First thought: “Expecting you to have a modicum of understanding that these red-light cameras are a waste of resources considering the serious and often fatal accidents that regularly occur on highways that could be made safer by police monitoring?”

Alternative answer: “So you’re saying I can use the insanity plea?”

I would have liked to explain to her how that line of logic is not at all relevant to this situation, but it was not likely to decrease the price of my tickets, so I gave her the answer she wanted: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

(And I imagine I’ve slipped through a few more orange lights that aren’t monitored by cameras and I DID receive different results, i.e. no tickets. Come ON, lady.)

When I got home, I ordered new pirate-themed BDH magnets from Vistaprint for Talk Like A Pirate Day next month. Y’ar, it’s gonna be a fun one! (Incidentally, I’ve been using Vistaprint for little jobs like this for years and they are fantastic!)

Big Bonus Wednesday
I saw the chicken truck on my way to Everett again. This time, some of the chickens appeared to be alive and flapping. Maybe they were all just sleeping last time.

Also, I finally made the call and turned Admir’s debt over to a collection agency. I am sick of dealing with this whole mess. If you want to know what the hell I’m talking about, you can read back through my summer 2009 posts, but if you’re just joining me, I wouldn’t bother. It’s a common and tiresome story, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Here’s to calmer seas ahead!

Thar Be Contrast Ahead

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Who doesn’t love a good pirate-themed parade? And I didn’t even have to pillage and plunder to be invited to drive in this one!

Thanks to my new friend Shyster for my excellent Barrrrrbie Jolly Roger!

My Band of Wild Hearses

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The Rain City Hearse Club had a photo shoot at Tacoma Cemetery this weekend, and we had 10 coaches in attendance&mdasha new record for us, I think! We also had a gaggle of zombie models, a sadistically awesome clown, and eight photographers. Three of them were mine, because driving all the way to Tacoma is Serious Business.

Highlights included meeting Pandora for the first time and seeing my Bremerton brethren so we could continue basking in the glory of small town fame garnered by the wildly popular Silverlake Whaling Days Parade. I also got to eat a cupcake, and I hear the pictures of that are even better than the related video, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

So I’m clearly not as dark and scary as my cohorts, and I’m the only one smiling in a lot of these pictures. The sun came out almost the minute I arrived, and my day was filled with junk food and good friends, so yeah, I’m smiling!

The full album from Chad is shared publicly on facebook (no login required). I have a few shots from John posted in the official BDH Picasa web album as well. Pictures should continue rolling in. I’ll just keep grooming while I wait…

98… 99… 100.