Archive for the ‘East Side’ Category

The Last 24

Friday, June 21st, 2013

I’m excited to be a part of this year’s Seattle Art Car Blow-Out at the Fremont Fair this weekend!

But (there’s always a but) the events leading up to it have been busy and anything but smooth. Our fearless leader Kelly Lyles informed us that KING5 had invited the art cars to participate in an Evening Magazine segment about the fair. So yesterday, I went home for lunch, put on a dress, did my hair and makeup, and attempted to drive to Power House (fair-prep headquarters) in Fremont.

Since Westlake is closed and probably will be until I die, I decided to take 99. It should have been an easy straight shot. Nope! Everyone and their elderly mother was scuttling around Pioneer Square yesterday afternoon, despite the pouring rain. Bad weather also heightened the traffic on multi-lane roads even though we should be used to it by now.

I finally arrived at Power House and I saw some art cars lined up across the street. Parking hadn’t been reserved for us, so we were scattered among the regulars. I’m guessing some clever video-editing will make up for it.

At this point, I should mention that Fremont has things in every possible place you could put a thing. Some of them are cool, some of them are obnoxious, and some of them are just plain stupid. If you could model a neighborhood based on a six-year-old’s bedroom, you’d have Fremont.

Anyway, I wish I had dismissed the person who told me to back up and take the place of a recently departed “straight” car. Amid the trees, traffic, and… things… was a short 30-minute parking sign so close to the curb that I had the pleasure of scraping my rear quarter panel against it.

Just in time for TV appearances and the fair! Yay!

A few moments later, the people from Evening Magazine finally made it out to our little line-up and said they’d interview us one-by-one. The other cartists were awesome to let me do my interview first so I could escape the time-consuming embarrassment that the day had become. Here I am getting prepped:

While the reporter put a mic on me, I had the chance to catch up with Clea, Fremont Fair’s head of marketing. She is reason I was able to display the hearse in front of the SEAF Launch Party last year, and it was tons of fun.

My interview was pretty short. I tried to keep it short and sweet, but I know I have a tendency to ramble. (Looking at the length of this post, you’re thinking, “No shit, right?”) They didn’t ask me any awkward questions, which, given the recent events, was definitely a concern.

Phase 1 of interviewing was complete. Phase 2 never happened.

Today I was supposed to join some early-rising art cars at the KING5 morning show at 7am. I woke up and got ready on time, but my car battery needed a charge before I could go anywhere. In an effort to be helpful to the light-starved camera crew yesterday, I turned on my rear-cab headlamps. In a mundane failure of pedestrian proportions, I forgot to turn them off after the interview and caused myself problems.

After calling the event organizer and then Triple-A, I gave up and changed out of my dressy clothes, annoyed that I had worn makeup two days in a row for nothing. Who the hell has time for that? Oh yeah, about half the women in America.

The guy who jump-started my hearse was super-nice and more excited about its uniqueness than most people in his position. Like those before him, he got to my place sooner than predicted. I’m a little surprised I haven’t been visited by the same person twice by now.

I could have made it to KING5’s studio around 7:45, but the organizer made it sound like anything before 7:30 was an absolute no-go. Fuck it, I had scratches to buff out.

So I headed out to Kirkland to see Dave at L-M Body Shop. I linked their yelp page because all of those positive reviews are absolutely deserved. Every time something stupid happens to my car, I feel like I’ve been punched in the face… until I go see Dave, who welcomes me in, hands me an ice pack, and imparts some encouraging words.

Jeremy immediately buffed out the scratch, and Carl fixed my hood latch, which was fresh on my mind after having to muck with it to have my battery fixed. In the meantime, Dave and I chatted over doughnuts and coffee. As I was leaving, I had to admit that despite the state of my car, I had a good morning.

You want to know how bad the damage was, don’t you? Well, go ahead and look for yourself. L-M did a great job in what short time they had.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I paid a visit to Jody at JJ Graphics. He did my rear decals way back in the day, and I wanted to see if he could redo my rear quarter panel decals once I could give Dave’s team more time to properly fix it. We also did some catching up as we peeled the lettering of my now defunct website off my rear window. He’s staying busy, which never seemed to be a problem for him, and I appreciate that he dropped what he was doing for a bit to listen to my woeful tales of the universe being out to get me.

Here’s Jody, trying to realign my stars:

By the way, did I mention that I have a regular 9-5 job that I like with people I respect? I had to be there, too. Job or no, I prefer not to do so much running around before a big event. In spite of that, I’ve spent time with some of Seattle’s most wonderful people this last 24!

Labor Day Not-So-Fun

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

I wanted to write this in a separate post because 99 percent of Labor Day weekend was awesome. I loved being a part of some Seattleites’ special events and helping make their celebrations memorable.

BUT… now I need to address the one percent that is decidedly not awesome.

Rarely do I leave the garage without some impromptu interaction taking place, and that’s fine. Hearses are weird, and the Dream Hearse is really weird. So if I’m out and about, I expect some questions, picture-taking, and gaping-maw gawking. You can’t run around screaming, “Look at me!” and then expect everyone to leave you alone when you want them to (ahem, Kim Karda$hian).

That said, I don’t particularly love when people interrupt me while I’m helping customers, but I understand this is a common problem with any public-facing job. As a former sales associate, bank teller, ice cream scooper, and yes, even sandwich artist, I know interruptions are going to happen and patience is always the best policy.

However, some rubbernecking activities are just plain wrong and unsafe. If I’m going 50 mph on I-90 in the middle of the night, don’t sidle up next to me with a camera pressed against your passenger side window and a flash going off. And when you realize the picture is going to be blurry and unrecognizable (because we’re on the fucking highway at nighttime), don’t hang back and get cozy in my blind spot, shining your headlights in my rear view mirror for five miles. When I slow down further to pull over and get away from your nonsense, don’t keep pace with me, causing everyone behind you to slam on their brakes even though they have a reasonable expectation to go the speed limit in the middle lane!

Yeah, it’s not the end of the world, but I don’t want to be the indirect cause of an accident because someone can’t handle his own vehicle in the presence of an unconventional one. There’s a phone number and a website on the back of the hearse. You can find out more when you’re not in the middle of conducting a two-ton killing machine.

In our day of tiny attention spans, I realize it’s unlikely that the person who sparked this post is going to read this, or even remember that they saw a hearse last night. But if you do, know that you’re also the impetus for the new East Side tag. Congratulations on being another bridge-and-tunnel stereotype.