Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

Hearst World Problems

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Terrible injustices are taking place:

1. I found myself at the front of a four-car pile-up while driving my body shop’s loaner car. (I am not at fault.) Some say I was lucky not to have been driving the BDH when it happened. How is it lucky to be stuck in Everett for two hours while the police fill out paperwork?

2. I recently learned that the Russians sometimes transport their dead in buses. How do they decide who gets to sit up front?

3. I went to the Seattle Auto Show and there were no Cadillac Ciels for me to sit in. How have they not started building these damn cars?

4. It’s hearse, not hearst. How did you get through this post without calling, texting, and/or visiting me personally to tell me what a horrible mistake I made?

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.

It’s Kind of Like Going to a Party Where Someone’s Wearing Your Dress

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

And you look better in it.

Yesterday on Pike Street

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

I was impressed enough when I saw it idle, but when the light turned green and the engine roared, I was truly humbled.

And I Thought *I* Got Stares

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Love Letters

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Dear Zoa Goa,

You clearly put a lot of thought into choosing a cutesy vanity plate for your 10-year-old hatchback. Now if only you could put as much energy into driving your car when the light is green. I followed you all the way down 12th Street and had to honk at you at every light in order to get you to move. I’m sure you have all kinds of serious business to conduct that takes precedence over driving, such as refinancing your credit card debt, wolfing down a Big Mac, text-fighting with your ex-girlfriend, and using a discarded two-liter Pepsi bottle to scrape the gum off your shoe. Sadly, I do not lead a life as rich and exciting as yours, and I would like to just drive when I am in my car. Perhaps you could use the money you save from switching to a credit card with a lower APR to hire someone to drive behind you and honk when the light turns green. This way you could avoid the pesky task of looking up and leave it to us plebes with nothing better to do than drive when we’re on the road.

Beep x 15,


Dear Disgruntled Hipster,

One minute you were walking up Pike Street, and the next minute you were trying to cross. That’s fine, but if you don’t pause at the crosswalk and instead make a sharp right-angle turn as I approach, don’t be surprised if I have to stop short to keep from hitting you. And don’t feed me a line about how I wasn’t watching out for pedestrians. I walk up Pike Street all the time, so I know the pedestrian’s plight. Traffic thickens, there are no lights, and your friends can’t sit at the Cha Cha and be smug all by themselves. I understand. But don’t gripe at me as I pass just because I didn’t know you wanted to cross the street before you did.

Enjoy your can of horse piss / PBR,


Dear Complete Jerk,

First of all, I apologize for not making my left turn quickly enough. Time is of the essence, and you are a very important person without a moment to spare. Second, l commend your brazen initiative in maneuvering your Ford Focus around my law-abiding death-beast so you could make your left turn a whopping 20 seconds faster. But after that, when you immediately pulled into an illegal parking space, thus solidifying your top position in the asshole food chain, I wasn’t sure whether ram you or marry you. Then as I passed, you sneered at me over the collar of your pressed striped shirt and threw a cigarette out the window, so it is with great pride and honor that I now ask for your hand.

Much love,
Mrs. Complete Jerk

La Dignidad

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

When I tell people I drive a hearse, they sometimes ask if I have a casket. (I don’t.) If you haven’t heard of the Barbie Dream Hearse before, this is actually not a stupid question. It’s reasonable to assume that a hearse, even when used for show, might come with a casket. And it looks like the Mexicans don’t want to stop there.

Just think, if I’d bought a minivan instead, I could have had it all!

More Like What You Were Expecting?

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Barbie hummer sighting in Austin, Texas! After unabashedly stalking it through the ridiculously ritzy Domain shopping center, I gave up trying to meet its owner in the parking lot and just made my friend take a picture. (By the way, I’m in Austin! Details at 11.)

A common misunderstanding I encounter often is that the Barbie Dream Hearse is pink. I don’t know why everyone wants/expects her to be pink. Not everything Barbie touches has to be pink. When I was a kid, I had a white Barbie Jeep and a yellow convertible. Okay, I also had a hot pink T-top Camaro. So one out of three, 33 percent. I guess that’s about the same proportion of people who hear about me, know about the car, and exclaim, “You’re the girl with the pink hearse!”

I bought my car in excellent condition with no need for a paint job. Since it’s white, I have to work really hard to keep it looking bright and clean. Forgive me if I sound “intense” when I correct you, but I’m going to.

Keep It Down, Hitler

Friday, February 26th, 2010

While looking for examples of girlie auto decoration, I found this eyesore:

Pink Beetle Convertible for Barbie’s Big Five-O

*cringe* I guess it makes sense that our traditional blond-haired, blue-eyed buxom babe would be driving a femmed-up Nazi sled for her 50th birthday, but did they have cram it down our throats with 50 different shades of pink?

A New Frank

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Rick from the Rain City Hearse Club recommended L-M Body Shop on our discussion forum right around the time I returned to Seattle. In the back of my mind, I was planning to look for someone as patient and skilled as Frank to help maintain the car once I got up here, but I wasn’t looking forward to the arduous task of finding the phantom “perfect shop”.

Of course, I found myself needing some minor body work and door lock repairs almost immediately, so I took the car in last week. Since I never had a car up here, I wouldn’t have known where to go if Rick hadn’t said something about L-M out of the blue.

Dave, the owner, was relaxed and pleasant to do business with. He was happy to hear Rick recommended him and to have the opportunity to work on my (now) one-of-a-kind hearse. This was a huge relief, as I’d half-expect a “WTF” reaction from the average body shop, not to mention a stiff “female tax” when the bill came.

All of Dave’s employees were enthusiastic and complimentary of the car. They seemed quite knowledgeable of older and custom cars, and happy with their jobs in general, which I think says a lot. His wife, Tami, runs the office, and she’s very nice and well organized.

They had my driver’s side rear door looking like new by the deadline quoted, and they fixed the passenger side door lock so it would actually lock when I used the remote. I had to leave LA in a hurry, so I didn’t get to test everything I wanted to before I left. It is such a relief to have a good, reliable shop up here since I can’t visit Frank and his people.

The man who drove me to and from home while they worked on my car, Luis, was friendly and gave me some good tips for cleaning my car. (Did I mention they detailed my car when they were done working on it? How awesome is that?) Although we spoke English the whole time, he did a great job of filling Pablo’s shoes.

When we arrived at the shop, I saw a light blue ’86 Lincoln hearse parked next to my Barbie Dream Hearse.

“Did you get my car a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day?” I exclaimed as I walked into the office.

Rick found out from Dave that I would be picking up the car that day and wanted to see Barbie for himself. He (like many other car enthusiasts) was wary of the girlie limo seating idea, but admitted that it was well executed and perfect for what I want to do. And, his car is also a girl, so I guess Barbie’s gonna swing both ways.

I ended up going back to L-M today because the passenger seatbelt was over-extended, and I thought maybe something had happened when they popped the door off to look at the locks. They took off the door panel and showed me the plastic track that was getting in the way of it catching to allow it to roll back up, and they fixed it about 10 minutes. It wasn’t their fault and they still didn’t charge me, which was really nice of them.

Pictured below is my passenger door with the panel taken off. They mostly just had to cut out that white plastic part and reattach it.

All in all, I can’t believe how lucky I got when it came to this particular to-do item. If only everything could be this easy!