Archive for the ‘Exterior’ 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!

Random Acts of Vandalism

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Thanks to the fantastic guys at L-M Auto, the Boobie Dream Hearse has a fully functional set of headlights. I hate having to get my car fixed, but I like going to L-M, if that makes any sense.

Also, I hate having to deal with the SPD, but I’ve spoken with some kind and competent officers. The one who handled my case was nice enough, but said he probably couldn’t do anything. He then repeated this lamentation to one of my neighbors who reported an incident right after me. Yes, two more cars were vandalized just days after mine. But even if my hearse wasn’t the target of someone’s rage against death humor, I don’t feel much better. We put cameras all over the city, but we can’t put them in garages in quiet neighborhoods where we park our most expensive possessions.

I didn’t expect the cops to do much, since a broken headlight is considered a petty crime. Another thing I didn’t expect was how long it would take to report the incident. I discovered the damages on Saturday and called the non-emergency number. I was told that my issue would receive more attention if I could provide (mostly unhelpful) security footage. The property manager gave me the footage on Monday, and for the next three days I played phone tag with SPD’s crappy reporting system.

On Tuesday, they left a voicemail to recognize the fact that I had called a long-ass time ago and they still hadn’t sent anyone. The call back number went to a recording from the City of Seattle. The recording basically said, “Someone from the city called you. There’s no way to tell which department. There’s no way to tell who it was. If you’re trying to get in touch with someone here, go back in time to before the call was made and answer your phone, dickhead.”

Go ahead, give it a ring: (206) 733-9093.

While the folks at the SPD are doing their best to be public servants, whoever set up their POS phone system took the money and ran.

Not-So-Random Acts of Vandalism

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Someone bashed in my headlight while my car was parked in my own garage. More later. In the meantime, enjoy this transcript courtesy of the film, Pulp Fiction:

Lance: Still got your Malibu?
Vincent: Aw, man. You know what some fucker did the other day?
Lance: What?
Vincent: Fucking keyed it.
Lance: Oh, man, that’s fucked up.
Vincent: Tell me about it. I had it in storage for three years, it was out for five days and some dickless piece of shit fucked with it.
Lance: They should be fucking killed. No trial, no jury, straight to execution.
Vincent: Boy, I wish I could’ve caught him doing it. I’d have given anything to catch that asshole doing it. It’d been worth him doing it just so I could’ve caught him doing it.
Lance: What a fucker!
Vincent: What’s more chickenshit than fucking with a man’s automobile? I mean, don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle.
Lance: You don’t do it.
Vincent: It’s just against the rules.

For a Low Down and Dirty Good Time

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

See #29 on The Chive’s latest picture round-up. I’m a little lukewarm about being sandwiched between a fat lady and a bookstand featuring Fifty Shades of Grey, but at least they’re helping me stay under 30 as long as possible. Taken last week at the Greenwood Seafair Parade, this picture is proof that innocent bystanders give me better PR than I give myself. It also explains the poofy sleeves and pirate hat (I hope). Thanks to Chad for sharing the link!

Notice something different about me? Yes! I finally found a talented and efficient company to supply and apply my new side decals. Thanks to Erikka and Jed at Rainier Industries for making it happen!

And no, dear reader(s), you are not behind the times. I’ve haven’t been good about posting lately, which a quick google search shows has knocked my ranking back down below M@ttel’s. I have no excuse, except facebook, which seems to garner more traffic than any other web-based method, despite its dismal business model (but I’m certainly no one to talk). I can’t even blame the dog days of summer, since Seattleites all know it hasn’t happened yet.

It has been cool and cloudy (as I like it), but the rain has stayed at bay long enough for me to do a few more fun things. Touch-A-Truck presented by the Junior League of Seattle was a hit:

And I had a great time (as usual) riding with the Gothic Pride procession at the Seattle Pride Parade. I couldn’t decide whether to go goth, zombie, or girly, so I did all three.

Coming up next month is the long-awaited GeekGirlCon. I’ll be driving panelists, selling shirts, and yikkity-yakkin’ with some fantastic female business owners, artists, and authors. Don’t despair, geeky guys are welcome too! Since I’m a huge Wizard of Oz nerd, I am particularly excited about this event.

I’m also looking forward to serving as the getaway limo for some fun, highly anticipated Seattle-area weddings. Summer (or the season we call summer) is busy, but I still have a few nights open. Drop me a note if you want to make Barbie part of your big day!

As always, all photos (except the Chiver) were taken by Stacey Ryan Farrar, best photographer ever and all around amazingly sweet and wonderful guy.

View all the pictures!

At Last!

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

My driver’s seat no longer has a butt-dent!

I dropped my car off at Mac’s Upholstery in Ballard this morning, not sure what to expect when I returned. They were highly recommended by Dave at L-M Body Shop in Kirkland, my hearse club’s go-to place for body work, but I still get a little antsy every time I need to work with someone new.

No matter, these guys rocked. They got everything done in less than a day, from the partial rebuild of the seat, the rear cab seat belt replacement, and hard vinyl paint touch-ups throughout the car.

Now let me be clear about the butt-dent: It was not caused solely by the fact that I have a vast and voluptuous backside (although it may have helped). When Frank and his team worked on my car, the just covered the two front seats; they didn’t add any more padding. So basically, I was sitting on a leather covered chair from 1992. If you’ve been sitting on anything made 20 years ago lately, you know that familiar sinking feeling. It felt weird getting into my car after the fix… I was so much taller I had to adjust my mirrors!

It’s What’s Underneath that Matters

Monday, September 20th, 2010

TL;DR: Oooooh, shiny! Scroll down for pictures!

My underbody kit and LED strips from finally arrived in the mail last week, so I called Car Toys to make an appointment to have them installed. I dropped of the car Friday afternoon with plans to pick up my sweet-ass ride on Saturday afternoon.

As planned, I received a call on Saturday at noon. It was Robert at Car Toys telling me the underbody kit is installed, but one of the tubes housing the LEDs is broken. FFFFUUUU! And the LED strips aren’t long enough to run along the top and bottom of the bar/cupholder area like were were expecting. FFFFUUUU more!

I needed to get the car back despite the level of progress because I had a drive on Saturday night. Regardless, I didn’t want to keep my car in a strange place longer than necessary. Out of the 10+ months it was in Glendale, it was being worked on, looked at, or even thought about during maybe two of those months. Obviously, I need not repeat any part of that experience, especially with the stormy Seattle fall season around the corner and my hefty insurance bill.

So I did the two-mile stomp from First Hill to Belltown, and I arrived to find a nice surprise. Robert fixed my broken tube, so the underbody light show looked fantastic. He also repaired the iPod cable connection, which had been acting finnicky. I hadn’t spent much time troubleshooting it since I don’t have an iPod, and I play such good music in my car that no one ever requests that I plug in his/her iPod either.

Anyway, my kit is sick and all of you agree! The lights can flash at different rates or blink to the music, which is pretty cool. I also have a splitter, which would allow for more additions if I happened to come across some pink lights that I could use for accents.

I ordered another flexible strip of white LEDs for the interior, and they’re being rushed here on Wednesday so I can have them installed before the Decibel Festival this weekend. Did I mention I’m driving the Decibel Festival? YES. It will be the best collection of parties Seattle has ever seen. And as you know, it’s about parties.

How do I control all this bigger, brighter mobile fiesta? Meet the newest addition to my dashboard:

I have a remote to power the the lights on and off, as well as change their patterns. I found myself switching patterns a lot during my drive, despite their lack of effect on my passengers. Hell, I can’t even see them unless I pull up next to a car or reflective store window. So pedestrians, I am relying on the reactions displayed on your happy faces, basking in the glow of my unnecessary auto trickery.

The Seattle rain is back with a vengeance, so the outside pictures are limited to the confines of my parking garage:

And of course my new toy lent itself to another awkward show-car conversation before I even left the shop.

Cashier at Car Toys: We don’t get many people asking us to install these.

Me: That’s because they’re illegal in Washington.

Cashier at Car Toys:

Me: Thanks again!

A Three-Day Barbie Extravaganza

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

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.

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!

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!

Happy Birthday, BDH!

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

It has been exactly one year since the Barbie Dream Hearse began her transformation from a plain old funeral coach to heavenly cute girlie taxi. I decided to celebrate with a much-needed bath (for both of us!), a lightning speed photoshoot, and a trip to Norwescon, a scifi/fantasy convention.

The day went as planned… sort of. Someone must have told the sinister weather gods I was planning to wash my car. Just as I finished making plans to meet my friend Josef at the car wash, the rain began rolling through. We opted to meet at Top Pot Doughnuts instead, where we watched camera crews from the Food Network battle the weather, disruptive parked cars, and ugly patrons to capture the perfect 20 seconds of scene-setting footage for the TV show, Chef Vs. City.

After chugging 20 ounces of coffee, I decided it was time to make my own magic and clean my car. Although Pink Elephant down the street will do something to your car for reasonable price, I opted to haul it out to the DIY Brown Bear. My two favorite chores in the world are walking the dog and washing the car. My dog is in Austin, so I’ve got plenty of steam to spare.

There’s something about covering every square inch of my largest, most prized possession that requires my full attention and permits me to shut out the rest of the world for all the precious time my quarters can provide. I think washing your car should be fun. If it’s not, get a new car.

Yes, this car wash picture finds me fully clothed and makeup-free. Winter in Seattle lasts until at least May, so if you’re holding your breath for something more “traditional,” I suggest you exhale and wait a couple more months.

After washing my car and cursing at the drizzling clouds all the way home, I loaded up on mid-afternoon snacks and makeup and drove out to Volunteer Park for a quick photoshoot with Josef. The overcast sky forced me to rush through a blitzkrieg of poses all around the car until resistance was futile and the expected showers began once more.

Here’s another whoop, painstakingly paint-shooped:

For the amount of time we had, there are a large number of photos, which I’ll be combing over and hopefully adding to in the near future. (Big thanks to Josef for making the effort to come out and shoot me. Many are willing, few manage to take the plunge!)

As the rain died down (of course), I cruised through Capitol Hill and headed down south to collect a couple for an impromptu date at Norwescon. He was dressed for the Zombie Walk, she was in it for nostalgia’s sake, and I heard there was a poker tournament.

So, decked out in a skull-covered party dress, I played cards with a bunch of people dressed like zombies and scifi characters. This was by no means a serious game, but all the fake blood might have outsiders believing otherwise.

What began as a good-spirited effort to promote the Barbie Dream Hearse ended with me placing second in the satellite game and moving on to the big tournament Saturday. I mentioned the car at the table, but no one seemed interested in discussing cars so I dropped it. I don’t see the point in becoming one of those LOOK-AT-ME-I’M-SO-UNIQUE-WHY-AREN’T-YOU-RUBBING-ONE-OUT-AT-THE-MERE-THOUGHT-OF-ME-GODDAMMIT people, since the result would probably be the same. I think my car is pretty awesome, but everyone’s got their tastes. Check it out or don’t, whatever.

Thanks to everyone who wished her a happy birthday, though. I appreciate all the support and positive wishes while I dealt with the ups and downs of this crazy project, and I’m looking forward to many more fun-filled years going wherever this morbid party bus takes me!

The Decals Are On!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Jody did a great job on my rear door decals, and they got all kinds of exposure as I drove from Kirkland to West Seattle in rush hour traffic to run an errand.

I decided to leave the sides alone for now. Enough people have convinced me that I don’t want to junk it up like a race car, and I don’t have any concrete design ideas at the moment. The fact that it’s a big white hearse makes it stand out on its own.

I’ve spent the last few days cruising to different Seattle locales. One of the places I hate to drive most happens to be my current neighborhood. I rarely park on the street here since I have an expensive garage space, but last night I found myself trying to parallel park on 1st Avenue in front of Le Pichet with a bunch of people hollering, gesturing, and otherwise distracting me. I know you think you’re helping, but I have a backup camera… so back the hell up and let me park.

Also, to the striped shirt wearing douche in the black Mercedes who cut me off at the Seneca exit on I-5 only to get back on the highway, thus negating any reason for being in my lane in the first place, I’m shaking a tiny fist at you too!

Addendum: The picture requests were almost instantaneous, so here’s one of the back of the car, even though the light is hitting it wrong and it looks like crap. And here’s one of Lola, the little dog that hangs out at the shop.

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?