Archive for June, 2011

Film Shoot in Granite Falls

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

It had been almost a year since my last trip to Granite Falls, and given the time, distance, and unfortunate events that transpired, I was not particularly excited to go back. Gravel roads (or no road at all) and wooded areas aren’t exactly good for near-classic cars. However, it was a paying gig, so I went (despite the fact that I would have paid not to go last time).

I was to make a cameo appearance in the film, Junk Bonds, a horror film about a strippergram job gone awry. The film is a sequel to Junkbucket in which a friend of mine appeared in 2008. Despite these being low-budget, independent films, I got to keep my clothes on, which is a plus for everyone involved.

Once I finally found the location they were shooting, it was all fun and outtakes. Here are the guys setting up the camera:

And my lovely passenger, Shawna:

After the shoot, we decided to hang out in the town’s rockin’ street fair. An entire block was closed to street traffic so a whole dozen local businesses could hock their wares. All kidding aside, I ended up selling two shirts that day, and I didn’t even have a table or know the street fair was happening.

I also met a very handsome and patriotic chicken:

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Fun in Fremont

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Fremont Fair as part of the annual Seattle Art Car Blowout. Dozens of “cartists” came up to Seattle from far and wide to show off their amazing work.

A few weeks earlier, I got a sneak preview of how Barbie would acclimate to her new lot in life (haha, get it?) at the Fremont First Friday Art Walk. I got to know a few other local art car owners outside of Bold Hat Productions, which hosted a nice little party for us. Kicking back on the porch for a few hours, I got to know Steve and his racecar…

…and get reaquainted with Marty, her husband, and her pink flamingo car:

Marty and I met at the Kirkland Art Walk last October, but since we had more time and considerably nicer weather (Seattle in the fall isn’t always bad, but it was THAT night), we were able to get better acquainted. For instance, I learned the “I love flying” sticker on the back of her car isn’t solely there solely to add to her feathered theme. She and her husband are pilots, so when I told them about my flying lessons (I’m about halfway through, for those keeping track), they were delighted to swap stories.

I saw them again when we kicked off the weekend with a Friday night pre-party in South Lake Union at Steve’s shop, Close Enough Engineering. I’m really glad I went to this, since it was the only nice day we had all weekend. I had a great time looking at everyone else’s art cars, many of which are in my Picasa web album. One of my favorites falls perfectly in line with one of the subtler messages of the BDH:

So many artcars, so little time! I had a great time exploring Steve’s shop, making new friends, and eating birthday cake cut by a drawing triangle.

Saturday was less fun, mostly because of the rain. I couldn’t open the car, so I played video games at 9 Million in Unmarked Bills, watched a bunch of naked people ride bikes, and ate lunch at Brouwer’s. I also chastised myself for getting a rush order of men’s star logo t-shirts because I wouldn’t be able to sell them. I still had a nice time in Fremont, surrounded by good company and fabulous vendors with free samples, such as Dave’s Killer Bread. Good thing, since I couldn’t get my car out of there until everything shut down at 10pm.

I’m happy to report Sunday was much better. It was overcast, but it didn’t rain, so I pulled open the back door and presented the BDH as the beautiful, engaging work of art she is. I even managed to sell a few t-shirts and take some fun pictures. Apparently, my car turns dogs into minions of Satan.

Also, I found out that I almost always look the same, with or without makeup.

Yes, this weekend was a true coming-of-age story about a young(ish) woman and her art car, destined to spread joy and goodwill throughout the land. Or to pig out on granola at the Kashi tent, drink a lot of free coffee, and show off the hearse in a neighborhood that isn’t Capitol Hill for a change. Something along those lines.

Auto Service that Doesn’t Suck

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Posted in Yelp: Ever since I bought my ’92 Cadillac Brougham hearse, doing mechanical maintenance has been a nightmare, expensive at best. I definitely signed up for some of it, but an oil change should be no sweat, right? I don’t normally sit around writing Yelp reviews, but I was in and out of the downtown Jiffy Lube so fast, I thought this would be a nice way to spend some of the saved time.

Usually places that don’t take appointments are packed by 9:00, so I came armed with a laptop and plenty of reading material, expecting to spend a good chunk of my day there. There was virtually no wait when I arrived on a sunny Friday morning. The waiting room was clean and comfortable, although I didn’t spend much time in it.

They changed my oil, refilled my windshield cleaner fluid, put air in my tires, washed my windows, replaced a gasket, and even vacuumed my car. It may seem like a small thing, but when you drive a giant custom car with lots of floor space in the back, it’s really nice to get a break from having to vacuum it yourself!

In addition to the quick, thorough service and convenient location, I also appreciated the professionalism of the staff. The way they’re set up is such that the customer can view everything the representative is typing on the computer, so you can see exactly what you are (or aren’t) being charged for. They alerted me to routine maintenance that should be done in about 7,000 miles or so, but didn’t pressure me into having any extra services done that day, which was a refreshing change.

I didn’t have any coupons and they didn’t have any specials running, so I paid about $45. True, there are cheaper places in town. But for me, it would mean driving further from home, a longer wait, and questionable service. I’m glad I gave this place a shot. I was pleasantly surprised!

Crypticon and Then Some

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

It’s the time of year again: Convention/festival/party outside season. With the daylight hours starting to extend beyond the usual 4pm, we might as well.

I was much more relaxed at this year’s Crypticon because a) it wasn’t way the hell up in Everett and b) I didn’t offer to help. Yes, that’s right, Barbie Dream Hearse doesn’t care about (semi) famous people. But it’s worth mentioning I met the guy who played young Superman and the kid from the Chuckie movies, and they were both really nice.

The bulk of my experience was spent outside chatting with my fellow hearse owners and some passersby. Last time, the convention was partially held in a parking garage, so we just backed our cars into it. This time, we were parked in between the exhibition hall and the hotel rooms, so most of the schmoozing was happening elsewhere. I don’t really mind, since I’m not much of a schmoozer.

It rained a bit in the morning, so I didn’t stop at Brown Bear for a wash after I picked up the new BDH shirts.* Once I got to Sea-Tac and breakfast was over, the sun was out and we were ready to put our cars on display. Barbie was looking a little bedraggled, Marcelo kindly offered to wipe her down.

“Mmmnnnyesss, dear boy. And when you’re done, please polish my brass knuckles.”

(Thanks for the picture, Naomi!)

*OH YEAH! I have a new batch of black star logo shirts available in both mens and womens sizes! They look awesome and I’ll be adding them to the store in the next couple of days. Yay!