Archive for the ‘Parking’ Category

Busy Busy Busy

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

…is what we Bokononists whisper whenever we think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is. The last few weeks’ activities seem simple enough in retrospect (photo shoots, gigs, and events), but the complicated machinery of life added to the complicated machinery of the BDH is enough to make my cranial engine spin sometimes. Here are some highlights:

A Bajillion Photo Shoots
It started off with an evening of firsts: Last month, I did my first bathing suit shoot, which was also my first shoot with another model. To be honest, it was kind of nerve-racking, but everyone was great. We went to Volunteer Park at sunset, one of my all-time favorite places (and times!) to shoot. I pulled some of my favorite photos, but have many more to be filed away as lessons learned for next time!

The majority of my recent shoots have been with Stewart from the Life Aquatic themed kickball team I drove awhile back. We visited at least two dozen locations around Seattle for a video reel he’s making for my website, which will look something like this with more pictures. While he was shooting stuff for the reel, I took a few pictures too, if only because I wasn’t sure how long I’d be in some of these places before I was asked to leave.

Our first shoot was at Golden Gardens, which is no easy feat when the weather is nice. We tried a few areas, but my favorite was by the marina. Although I’m not really into boats (other than my own land yacht, of course), I like the high availability of boats. Just in case some real-life Miami Vice action occurs, it’s nice to know I could easily find a boat to commadeer and finish the scene if I had to.

The following Saturday and Sunday mornings were a blur of backroads and backgrounds. I actually drove inside Gasworks Park and set up several several shots… and no one told me to leave. The most difficult place to get a picture was at the Olympic Sculpture Park by the waterfront. Some poor security guard actually stands there day and night to make sure hoodlums like me don’t drive on the sidewalk trying to get a shot of my car with the fountain. Yes, the creepy fountain.

We had a considerably easier time setting up shots back in Volunteer Park, and then we stayed in Capitol Hill to take a few pictures in front of my favorite piece of art, which will probably go away in 2045 when the monorail is finished being built. Here’s my car getting screamed at by a mural:

We also got a good night shot of downtown from Capitol Hill on Melrose Avenue, and I appreciate all the nice people who maneuvered around us while we set it up. That said, we only ran into one true asshole in the two dozen or so places we visited. A middle-aged man in an Infiniti SUV nearly hit Stewart and me while we were trying to get our Kerry Park shot. Wherever he was going, it’s not worth hitting two people with his car. Insert rich asshole cliche here.

Someone Hit My Car!
I noticed my driver’s side rear panel looking a little black and dented right before the final leg of my series of photo shoots with Stewart. That’s the angle we’re shooting the pictures from! Grr! I don’t know who did it, since I wasn’t in the car at the time. I’m guessing someone poorly estimated the turning radius on their own car and nicked it in a parking lot or something. Although it’s always nice to see the guys at L-M Body Shop in Kirkland, I really could have done without the extra expense this month.

Bedlam Bedlam Grand Opening
Score one for the Gothic community! Last weekend, Capitol Hill added Bedlam Bedlam to its roster offbeat shopping spots. I attempted to help draw some attention by parking outside for a few hours. Despite my lack of interest in shopping, I couldn’t resist trying on this killer piece:

I also did an airport run and celebrated the Day of the Dead a couple months early with my “Katarina” skeleton from my friend, Luis.

Ladies’ Evening Out

After spending a hot minute at Car Toys, only to be told I’d have to go elsewhere to fix the motor in my partition (d’oh!), I picked up some lovely ladies downtown and took them to some scenic Seattle spots. I now feel like I have been to Kerry Park in Queen Anne enough times to warrant a commemorative BDH parking space, which may or may not have a big cement block in it right now. We also hit Capitol Hill, Olympic Sculpture Park, and a special super-secret park in Alki with a fantastic view. Too bad it was a school night… these girls were a pleasure to drive!

View All the Pictures!

Friday Roundup

Friday, March 18th, 2011

It’s a busy day in Barbieland. After a short drive to the Olympic Fairmont downtown, I tumbled down Jefferson Street to pay my tabs (and my tickets) and order my new personalized plates. Yes, I’m taking the plunge. After a year of indecision, I decided just about anything is better than blah-blah-blah-numbers followed by blah-blah-blah-letters. Shall I spoil the surprise? REALGRL. Go ahead, ask me about Lars.

And yes, I said tickets. Actually, it was just one ticket incurred almost right after I drove the hearse to Seattle and started my business. I parked on First Ave between 3 and 6pm, not noticing the sign amidst the 800 other signs gracing the central portion of the street. And then I put it off because I hate the idea of paying to take up space (which is why I don’t pay cover at clubs). But after a year of rolling up to dozens of parkways and loading zones and camping out for several hours (example forthcoming), 67 bucks is a deal. I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

I’ve also been meeting various home repair people lately, and it seems like experience with auto repair is a common precursor to fixing porcelain and plumbing. I don’t usually mention the hearse unless someone asks what I do, but since I tend to be home five days a week, just about everyone asks what I do.

This afternoon I did a brief photoshoot with Chris and his buddy Frogfrog. Chris created a website for Frogfrog, chronicling their adventures around the world. This kid-friendly site includes a “ribbitting” dragging cursor… don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The complete set of pictures is in my web album. Here’s a shot of Frogfrog enjoying the first-class service you would expect to receive in Seattle’s only girlie limo-hearse:

For the two or three of you who read this site but don’t follow me on facebook, I was at the Girl Talk show earlier this week. In addition to taking shitty pictures of the car out front and even shittier pictures of the stage, I wrote a good review of the show. Well, it’s good if you consider the fact I was writing it at 1am, and it’s good in that I enjoyed the show. I managed to drum up some business, dance like my inner raver-kid, and not get towed. Talk about a good night!

If you haven’t heard Girl Talk’s new album, All Day, stop reading this and go get it now! It’s on heavy rotation in the BDH and has something for everyone. Depending on your aural processing abilities, you may want to listen to this in installments.

Lastly, in honor of Barbie’s birthday earlier this month someone posted the age-old graphic of absurd proportions for us to enjoy. As I’ve said before, I can appreciate that Barbie is a toy, and we must suspend our level of disbelief to play in the fantasy world Mattel so generously bestowed upon us. However, due to Barbie’s momentous popularity, the tall, blond image has been ingrained in our minds as being synonymous with beautiful. For shame, America! In my opinion, a fat barbie is not the answer. There’s so much more than fat and thin at play here. For instance, how about a life-sized doll with bangs and a mouth that opens? You don’t have to sacrifice sexiness to get your point across. Besides, HAPPY 2B ME was too long for a Washington state license place.

Big Barbie Birthday

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Yes, Seattle’s favorite girlie hearse-haulin’ heifer has hit the big three-oh-no-it’s-really-not-so-bad. I still can’t believe how hard everyone rallied on a Tuesday. We even had the cops show up! But unlike my younger years, it wasn’t to say, “Shut down the PA. Everyone leave,” instead it was to hold up traffic on Pike Street just to say, “Your car is really awesome!” Multiple times!

I parked the BDH in what has become my signature spot-that-isn’t a spot in front of the Comet and handed out some new Barbie stuff, which I’ll have up on the site shortly. It was really great to see everyone, and enjoy a special birthday set from Sounds in Your Sleep.

Big shout out to Josh, who helped make my birthday special even from way down in Dallas. Southern boys clearly know what bitches like:

Now if only I could get someone to install the thing.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

I broke my record for number of costumes worn in a single weekend. Besides being a ladybug at the Bone Bash, I dressed up as a witch, a cat, a zombie, and a pirate. Whatever I lacked in scary appearance, I’m sure I compensated with the usual lunacy.

On Friday, I helped a JLS committee hang decorations for a Halloween Party at Vito’s. In honor of the venue’s scary past, I brought the hearse. Okay, that’s a lie. I brought the hearse because I was having it cleaned and battery tested, and I didn’t feel like going home yet.

Also, I lived across the street from that festering crack-den for a year, and its renovation was highly talked up to me. I didn’t try the drinks (obviously), but the look and feel of the place have improved to say the least. I talked to the manager for a bit, nice guy. And he seemed interested in the car, which always gives me a tinge of pride.

On Saturday, I rolled by zomBcon to get made up like a zombie by my favorite zombie killer (ironic?). He gave me a steel bracelet, I got some buttons for shooting a zombie-clown’s eye out with an Airsoft, and since Halloween is my Christmas, I got some Barbie Colorforms (elsewhere) too:

Zombie-killing-man and I took some pictures together (send ’em if you got ’em!), and then I drove a zombie wedding officiated by Bruce Campbell from the Evil Dead movies. The bride and groom were pleasant and normal, and surprised by all of the media attention. We cruised Seattle Center for a bit and I took them to their reception at the Funhouse.

I picked up the zombie killers afterward and cruised SoDo, downtown, and Capitol Hill before heading home to prepare for Halloween Day.

Unlike most Halloweens, the weather on Sunday was great all afternoon. I love that Seattle really gets into the holiday. I spent the afternoon checking out costumes close to home and then ventured out to Bellevue to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters at my friend’s house with his family. Everyone knows you have to go to the nice neighborhoods if you want to get the good candy.

Despite this, everyone I’ve talked to in every neighborhood reported an all-time low in trick-or-treating this year. I guess it has all officially moved to the malls in the name of safety. It’s shame; until they decide to make a trailer for Blues Brothers III starring Kat Taylor, the Barbie Dream Hearse probably won’t be driving through any malls.

Later that night, I drove a costume wedding at the Capitol Hill Garage. The bride and groom looked fantastically macabre and were also a very nice couple. The ride was a surprise from one of their friends, and I was so happy to help make their night special.

I cruised the Hill some more and yapped with the after-party Dick’s crowd. The rain made it difficult to stay out though, and all my hearse-people were home in bed at that point. I decided that was a good place for me too and got to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. Something about life being nice makes you wanna do things right. Or maybe I have old age to blame for making me so responsible. My impending doom, I mean birthday, is in just 4 weeks!

Decibel Weekend

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Saturday I drove. Sunday I didn’t.

After enjoying a good night’s sleep, I got a call Saturday about driving one of the Bluetech guys to the party in the park. It was a beautiful afternoon and I wanted to go to the party as well, but I had also been around people the entire previous night and would be again that night, so I had to decline.

With multi-day events like this, Saturday is often the most challenging, whether you’re working, attending, or doing a combination of the two. There’s always more going on than you can prepare for, so you need to do what you can to stay functional and remain in the zone. For me, that means being comfortable. So I didn’t change out of my tube socks and Adidas shorts, and I popped in a DVD to give myself and my passengers a break from the chugging techno we’d been hearing for the last three and a half days.

My first run that evening was shuttling Scuba from the hotel to the Baltic Room. Since he’s from London, I asked him what he thought of the US… the huge cars, ridiculous portions, celebrated gluttony, how is that perceived across the pond? Basically, I wanted to get him to admit we’re fat, and he did not disappoint.

Next I picked up Praveen and Travis from Machinedrum from the hotel and took them to Motor. They told me they were playing another set at Baltic at midnight and could I please take them there as well? Totally doable.

Then I had to head back to the hotel to get Monty Luke and his lady-friend. He was barely in the car when he said, “Batman Begins is one of my favorite movies of all time!” I gave myself a mental pat on the back for nailing it.

Before I made that run, I crossed paths with Cnyce from Soul Clap who exclaimed, “I was meant to ride in this car!” I checked my schedule to see if that was indeed true. Of course, his crew was assigned to the other driver, so I did the herp-the-derp PR thing and told him I hoped we could make it happen. “The schedule doesn’t even matter,” he replied, “It’s going to happen.” Well, a positive attitude never hurt anyone. Just look at Richard Simmons.

I rolled up at Neumos a little before midnight to park and watch Carl Craig and Kevin Saunderson wrap up the D25 Showcase. The Scion tent was packing up as I arrived, so I got better parking than I could have asked for: Parallel parking (instead of back-in) right in front of the door.

“Hello, Neumos? Could you please clear a space right in front of your venue on one of the busiest nights of the year? Also, I want to be able park along the street so my back door opens up to Pike Street. And I’d like to be able to go in and watch two of the pioneers of techno perform but still be able to see my car through the door. And I want meet them when I’m done and drive them back to their hotel. By the way, you don’t know me and I don’t have any money.”

Even my balls aren’t that big. So I was feeling really lucky. Then I managed to run into Cafe Vita right before it locked its doors. The barista said they were closed but gave me coffee anyway and didn’t charge me for it. So I fueled up and watched the Family Guy movie with some passersby.

I was scheduled to pick up Scuba at the Baltic Room at 2. Actually, I was scheduled to pick up half the artists at 2. My partner in crime was covering downtown and the no-man’s land known as SoDo, so I decided I’d be in charge of rounding everyone up who was still on the hill, namely Carl and Kevin.

Kevin and his wife got in first. Neither of them said much. Kevin’s kind of a big guy, so I don’t think he was digging my cute little pink and white bench seats. Carl spent 15 minutes taking pictures outside of Pike Place Fish Fry before getting into the car. Before we even crossed Pike Street, he jumped into the front seat. He was pretty friendly in a king-of-his-world kind of way. My favorite excerpt from our conversation:

CC: Where’d you get the work on the car done?

Me: Glendale, California, mostly. Then I drove it up here after about a year.

CC: You should have had it done in Detroit. We’d have your car lookin’ tight in less time.

Me: Yeah, but then I’d be in Detroit.

I stopped to grab Scuba from Baltic, which is ON THE WAY to the hotel. Seriously. You have to pass it to get to the hotel. There was balking. I don’t take too kindly to balking. However, had I known Praveen and Travis were going to be with him, I might have tried to make two trips without stepping on anyone’s toes. The total travel time from Neumos to Baltic to Hotel Max is less than 10 minutes, but the tension in the air made it feel like 10 hours. A white girl driving two black guys, a black lady, an Indian guy, an English guy, and a hipster from Brooklyn. My car had become a crowded cultural melting pot of noise and flashing lights.

Carl wanted an explanation as to why I made a Barbie Dream Hearse instead of something else. I tried to explain the play on words, but he seemed to have trouble accepting my answer. He suggested I do another theme: Barbie Dream Nurse. I considered buying an ambulance, tricking it out with a similar theme, and driving around wearing one of those tacky vinyl nurse outfits. Then I remembered what a heinous mind-fuck it was just to make the hearse and will table that idea until further notice.

When I pulled up at the hotel to drop off my various herbs and spices, who was waiting on the curb but Soul Clap, asking to be taken to Motor. They had a bunch of chicks with them too, which made me happy, ’cause chicks dig my car. I considered staying for the afterparty, but knew I wouldn’t sleep well if I didn’t get to bed before the sun rose.

Sunday was all about me enjoying some music. I caught the whole Optical 3 Showcase at the Triple Door. The main draw for me was Tycho, but the rest of it was lovely too. On top of that, I made a new friend who did the visuals for the showcase at Baltic Room on Friday. We both had all-access passes, so they stuck us in a box suite where we enjoyed relative privacy and isolation from the plebes.

When that was over, he drove me up the hill to Neumos where I saw Monolake, one of the other main draws at the festival. There was a parking space right in front with my name on it, and I was a little bummed that I couldn’t go grab the car and promote some more. (I live a short walk from the venue, but I have a zero-tolerance policy on driving after I’ve had a drink.) Then again, I was almost out of business cards and I worked really hard on Friday and Saturday and SWEET I CAN DANCE TO THIS.

All-in-all, it was an action-packed and productive weekend. I never would have guessed I could have this much fun, and I’m already excited about driving in it next year!

Addendum: Lots of people took pictures of the car, but I’m only seeing a few on the dB flickr page. If you’re a photog and managed to make it through this entire post, my hat’s off to you and please post your pictures!

Golden, er… Turquoise Handcuffs

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

This post’s title refers to the turquoise all-access wristband I received in exchange for providing transportation services to some of the Decibel Festival artists. It seems to be getting tighter and tighter as the weekend goes on. By Sunday night, I fear my hand will turn purple, detach from my body, and strangle the next person to ask me to wait a minute. (Handy music industry time conversion: 1 minute to you and me = 20 minutes to most of them.)

Okay, I’m being overly dramatic, but last night was rough. I am writing this after an excellent night’s sleep though, so I’m apt to remember the good parts rather than how I was trying to operate on four hours of sleep after a full day of normal-people work and an earlier East Side rush-hour fare.

Most of my Decibel drives were to and from Motor, which is way the hell south of everything. I seriously felt like I ran for the border five times last night. I drove Emancipator mostly and played phone tag with Beats Antique for much of the evening.

If every performance hadn’t ended at the same time, I might have also fetched Modeselektor. I caught most of their show at Neumos and could have justified staying up there to wait for them since they were on my schedule, but I had promised Emancipator I’d get them from Motor. Remember, Motor might as well be Mexico if you don’t have a car. Neumos is an easy haul, and Modeselektor seemed to have half the city up their ass that night so I know they were taken care of. All I really wanted to do was tell them I enjoyed their set, especially their goofy lip-syncing to Bjork and Antony’s “Dull Flame of Desire”. I nearly jumped through the roof watching that.

Anyway, after a night of driving artists, friends, friends-of-friends, and strangers with money, I got my cookies at the hotel when I dropped off Beats Antique. Another volunteer saw me and said, “Hey, Flying Lotus asked about you.”


He said some other stuff about how was talking to them, how they heard about the hearse, etc. but I don’t remember any of that. I just remember thinking, “Good. Because I asked about them too. A lot.”

So FlyLo, I know you had to go, but maybe when you’re back up this way, you can call a bitch instead of letting some random guy named Eddie call the shots, huh?

Thursday Night at the Decibel Festival

Friday, September 24th, 2010

I’d like to come up with a more clever title to this post, but I’m totally wiped and the weekend is only just beginning. Last night I drove Ben Frost, Grouper, and Lawrence English to their showcase at Pravda. Then I drove Lorn, who was playing at the FlyLo and Friends showcase. “FlyLo” is Flying Lotus, and apparently he has so many friends that he doesn’t need a ride to the damn venue and didn’t want to tell any of the organizers.

So FlyLo was a no-show for me, but I still made it to his set. It’s hard to hold a grudge when music is involved, and this guy made three of the best songs on my stereo right now. He even worked each of them into his set in some sort of fashion. The artist who played before him, Eskmo, was new to me and also lots of fun to watch.

Since I parked in front of Neumos, there was some light-flashing, hearse-promoting, hand-shaking, and tour-giving. I love every second of it. Even the parts where people walk up to me, not giving a damn about the custom work in the car, and launch into a full powerpoint presentation on their ideas for stuff they want to do with some other car and some barbies or something maybe sometime in the future. And how their dads thought about buying a hearse when they were in high school. (I want to link to that post, but I can’t find it.)

Anyway, the most personally newsworthy event of the evening wasn’t music-related though. While I was showing the car to some people who were waiting for Neumos to release the last of the FlyLo and Friends tickets, a photographer came by and asked to take some shots. I was thrilled, and I gave him a card afterward so he could email me the pictures. Even though 9 out of 10 photographers fail to do this and it’s nerve-racking. It takes three seconds to upload a few and click send. Please!

But what should I find in my Inbox this morning but links to a couple of pictures on Flickr. Nic Launceford, you are a gentleman and a scholar. It was a little dark and rainy and all around not picture-perfect last night, but a promise was made and fulfilled.

Aaaaand I’m spent.

Look! I Parked in a Compact Space!

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Shutt Up

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I returned to Seattle after a relaxing month in Boise and found this on my car:

Yes, indeed I was occupying three parking spaces. You are quite observant, Random Note-Leaver. You are not, however, any of the following: Articulate, persuasive, or even passably literate.

I could bring up the fact that the garage we occupy is in a constant state of being half-full. No one has ever been denied parking due to lack of space (or in your case, “spass”). I could also mention that I park in the very last bank of spaces (“spasses”) on the very bottom floor, out of everyone’s way.

But no, this isn’t about my parking. This is about your inability to leave a typical passive-aggressive note to vent frustration about things beyond your control.

If you want to at least feel like your note could have some impact on my parking behavior in the future, follow these handy tips:

1. Spell correctly. It will add to the legitimacy of your complaint while making it easily readable. You will also look less stupid.

2. Use complete sentences. See above.

3. Explain the problem and how it inconvenienced you. If I know who is complaining and why, I might be able to bring myself to care.

4. Discuss what action should be taken as an alternative to the current situation. Then you can be reasonably angry with me when I don’t do it instead of the stupid sort of angry the village idiot experiences when he realizes a kick-me sign is stuck to his back and he has only the use of his fat, stubby arms to attempt to remove it.

There you go, Note-Leaver. Now do your worst. If that’s too much of an effort for you, perhaps you should return to the envelope-licking assembly line and discontinue writing inconsequential notes.

Saturday Norwescon Highlights

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

I got free parking by the main entrance because I’m a rock star and my car is pimp.

That is all. (Seriously. Ask anyone who went.)