Archive for the ‘Seattle’ Category

Emerald City Artists Finding Greener Pastures

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Recently, reddit had a post about the end of Decibel Festival, an annual electronic music festival similar to Austin’s SXSW. In its 12-year lifespan, I have participated as a patron, a driver, and press. Although cobbled together at times, it was an event unique to Seattle and right up my alley musically, socially, and culturally.

DB is going away because the guy who ran it found a better opportunity in Los Angeles. I think he should have handed it off to a local, but either way his move is part of a larger trend. Tangentally, a redditor responded to the post with a Seattle Times article about why bands leave Seattle.

As someone who considered a move last year, I could relate to the sentiment of this article (although it focuses on musicians and not artists in general). It’s not just the tech boom pushing out lower-income talent. The loss of inspiration, feeling like you’re doing the same 5 gigs over and over… you want to see what else is out there.

Then again, people also come back. As I learned during my trial runs in other cities, there’s a solidarity among artists in Seattle that many other cities don’t have. I like that most people out here get the joke and can offer feedback beyond, “Oh you’re doing a different thing. That’s neat!”

As we experience this time of enormous growth, I think the broader question is whether the culture will grow with it. People fall in love with Seattle’s rarities and move here, but only a small percentage seem to give back in a way that fosters that uniqueness. We’ve done a good job luring in some of the brightest technical talent. How can we do the same with creative artistic talent?

I know I’m not the first to ask this, and I won’t be the last. I may add to this post later on. I may try to create something. Time will tell!

January Round-Up

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

What a great month for the BDH! After ringing in the new year like a boss, it was time to get rolling. Despite my continued lack of online presence coupled with some new real-life responsibilities, I still managed to pop out of the garage frequently for a winter month.

First, I drove these kick-ass SPU ladies around Queen Anne for a birthday party:

Then I spent an evening with a bunch of cute gentlemen for another birthday:

(To the one with the Ford who said he’d drive me around for a night: *makes call-me sign*)

I’m also back into my routine with the Junior League committee, Life Skills for Teens. Here are some of the great girls I drove this month:

After that ride, the fun didn’t stop! My day-job was having a shindig at Anheuser-Busch, er Elysian, so I stopped by to say hey. After driving to the Capitol Hill location to which I am accustomed (we all make mistakes), I was helpfully guided by a cow orker to the newer, correct location downtown. That’ll teach me to read my email too fast! Anyway, here’s part of our awesome web properties team hanging out:

Lastly, as part of our super Seattle software start-up’s recruiting effort, I used the hearse to hand out Binary 12th Man t-shirts and rally towels before the big sports-ball game. We posted up near Amazon, Microsoft Tech-Ready, and some Pioneer Square companies for maximum pwnage. Although the Seahawks lost the game, Seattle is winning the war on cool places to be!

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Say “HELLO” when You See Me

Friday, September 27th, 2013

To those of you who saw me in front of the Crocodile last night, congratulations on your uninhibited curiosity and ability to use Google. You are a gentleman/lady and a scholar (particularly if you have used Google in the past to conduct research for scholastic purposes of some type). I hope this site answers all of your questions and entertains you as well!

Note to Visitors

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

A little backstory: Pike Place Market is a big tourist attraction in Seattle. It is situated between our downtown area and the waterfront. The market spans a little three-block street, which for some reason is open to thru-traffic. It is also open to pedestrians, cyclists, vendor tents, weird dudes with snakes, street performers, and every other thing that makes driving impossible. You’re not going to score a killer spot in front of the first Starbucks or a waterfront with thousands of visitors a day. Don’t even try. Just don’t.

Here’s a map of the street on which no one should ever drive:

Thank you for your attention.

Jerk Night at the Apollo

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Despite the new law that allows the SPD to draw blood for DUI offenses, the Friday-night stupidity was in full swing on I-5. Perhaps not everyone was drunk, but the situation was bad enough to warrant this rant post.

I spent my entire evening driving to and from the airport, transporting out-of-town guests for a convention. I will write more about them in another post, since a quick skim would reveal a bunch of names under the heading “Jerk Night at the Apollo,” which is rather misleading because everyone I drove was extremely nice.

On my first trip, drivers were swerving at 60+ MPH speeds to avoid a traffic cone in the middle of a lane. This was a small green cone, not a the standard bright orange cone used in actual road construction activities. It probably fell off of a building or lawn care contractor’s truck because someone wasn’t talented enough at the Tetris game of packing tools into a truck bed. No matter where it came from, drivers clearly weren’t thinking of the several hundred pounds of impact they could endure from side-swiping the car next to them.

On my way back into town, I was nearly hit with a hubcap that came flying off of a beat-up old Sedan. I guess car maintenance is a thing of the past. I fear for the many Smart / hybrid / tiny fiberglass cars that would have been easily taken out by one of those things.

So some people lack judgment and are careless. Others are just plain shitheads. While I was slowly making my way through the parking lot known as “Arrivals,” a passenger in another car gave me the finger because I wouldn’t let his car in front of mine. If you have road rage as a passenger, I hope it’s because your driver license has already been revoked.

Their car was going to get to the terminal just fine (if there had been a lane-split, the finger would have been justified). The only difference is that it would be one car-width further away from the curb than the drivers who anticipated their desire to be close to the curb earlier and safely moved into the correct lane.

I’m not mentioning any of this because I’m surprised. It’s just more evidence that they should make the driving test harder, the fines for littering higher, and the desire to keep good company stronger.

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!

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?

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!

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Seattle Bride’s Best of 2011

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Yesterday was action-packed! After a long trip from Everett back to the Emerald Motherland, I picked up my new friend Jessica and brought her back to my place for a quick interview and photoshoot. She’s doing a photojournalism project about people who were affected by the recession. Since I had saved up before ending all of my contracts back in 2008, I enjoyed my year of “funemployment” traveling and working on the Barbie Dream Hearse. Most people were not so fortunate, and I’m happy to have been able to contribute a positive story to the project.

Afterward we headed out to South Lake Union for a party hosted by Seattle Bride Magazine. I won the “Kookiest Getaway Mobile” award and received a small write-up:

Since our shoot ran long, I missed the ceremony in which these kinds of important awards are accepted. If I had known it was not just a party and actually serious business, I would have been more prompt. But Jessica and I were having fun, and we kept having it well through the rest of the party:

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.