Archive for the ‘Yakkin’’ Category

Your Ideas Are Good

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

No one’s put a microphone in front of me lately, so I wanted to pop on here and remind people this: Your ideas are good. Maybe not all of them, but at least some of them. Write them down. Think about how you could make them happen. Think about who might be excited to help you.

Sure, some people will say your idea is dumb. Some of those people will be your friends. Smile as if they support you and keep talking to people. If you think there’s a chance you can do it, then try. Be ready to fail. Failure isn’t bad. Not trying is bad. Living your life on other people’s terms is bad. Doing what you’re told without questioning why things are the way they are is bad.

When I was a kid, an adult family member took me shopping. We had to walk through a sea of cars to get where we were going. I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if all the cars belonged to everyone and you could just drive a car until you don’t need it and then someone else can use it after you?” The adult guffawed at this idea, saying it was impossible to manage and it’s normal for us to have our own cars. I followed suit and decided it was dumb.

Fast forward less than a decade. Enter Zipcar (merged with Flexcar, which began in 1998), Car2go, and ReachNow if you’re fancy. Self-driving cars will likely reach the masses before my lifetime is over, and everything will change again.

Who would tell the innovators of these and other life-enhancing technologies that their ideas are dumb? What value do naysayers get from dismissing ideas they can’t see? More importantly, what value does a person with an idea get from listening to them?

Yes, there will be what-ifs. Man, I’ve heard so many what-ifs. (I’m sure I’m surround by people who have heard many more.) What if you go broke? What if you get sued? What if you crash and burn? … And what if a nuclear war happens tomorrow and we all die? Then it really won’t matter! Of course, try to get ahead of issues and have mitigation plans for them. That’s not a reason not to try, that’s just a reason to plan better.

In short, your ideas are good. Even if you think they’ll remain ideas, try discussing them with people and you may be surprised. Also, you may open yourself to hearing someone else’s idea, and you can be the one to help them make it good. When we can talk to each other without being afraid of mocking and dismissal, society moves forward.

Thanks for reading. Be excellent to each other!

I’m going to be on NPR!

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Tomorrow, my life-long dream of saying words on National Public Radio will be realized. This isn’t how young-me thought I’d be doing it, but here were are.

My segment is on a show called Sound Effect, and it will air some time between 10 and 11am PST on KXAN 88.5 FM. The show features people around Puget Sound who do things and stuff. My interview was prerecorded and will air with a few other interviews that fit this week’s theme.

Listen live or listen later!

Updated FAQ on Rates

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

I usually get asked about rates after a big appearance (like Pride, which was awesome again this year). I don’t list rates here, which “forces” people to email me. I know it’s an inefficient process. As the sole owner and operator of the car, this layer of communication helps me plan and get to know you a little better. The BDH is one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. (I mean that literally. If something happens, I am not going to make another one.) To that end, I need some assurance that you’re going to respect me and not trash my car. Part of that filter consists of how willing and easily you communicate with me before the date of your trip.

So, to that end, here’s my canned approach to rates. It’s a work in progress. I will probably find better ways to word things when I come back to it.

The rate depends on your party, where you’re going, how long you want to be there, and other fun stuff. If you’d like a ride, please email me at and tell me what you have in mind. You don’t need to nail down all the details, I just want an idea of what you want so I can tell you if it’s feasible and help with planning. If this is way too personal for you and you just want a big car to take you somewhere, you’d probably prefer an Uber or regular limo. Unlike those companies, I am a person, and I want to connect with the people enjoying my artcar with me.

Can We Keep Doing Halloween, Please?

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

I’m sure it’s obvious by now that Halloween is my Christmas, so I took Friday off and gave myself a long weekend of festivities. Working on Thursday barely counted, since Halloween is a big deal there and costumes are almost a requirement. Finally, some mandatory fun that’s actually fun.

After work, I drove a party to the KUBE 93 Haunted House. (If you go to the site, watch the video. It’s pretty well done!)

While my customers went through the house, I hung out with the man in charge (who happens to play the creepy clown in the video in the link above). He was super nice and took me backstage to see how things worked and meet some of the actors and actresses.

After that, we went to a bar in Georgetown and I yikkity yakked with people outside. (Seriously, I’m not going to drink on the job!) I also ran into one of the first people I drove when I brought the hearse back to Seattle. Man, does time fly!

It’s All Abaht Customer Service

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

A letter I sent to the fine people at Brown Bear Car Wash:

Hi there, Brown Bear!

I visited your self-serve location on 15th Avenue last week to wash my hearse. I put $5 into the change machine to receive the equivalent amount in quarters, but instead I received $4.75 in US currency and the coin in this picture:

The coin was later identified by several of my more worldly friends as a Thai baht. It was so similar to the US quarter, I didn’t even notice it at first.

Baht wait, there’s more.

I attempted to insert it into the car wash machine and it was repeatedly returned to me. It was then that I realized what the mix-up was all a-baht. I was still able to wash my car thanks to your fine establishment, baht I would like inform you of the discrepancy between the scanner in your change machine and the scanner in your car wash machine.

Unfortunately, I did not fair too well from this error. According to the current exchange rate, 1 USD is approximately 31 baht. This means the non-quarter that I received from your change machine is worth roughly 16 cents.

In exchange for the 9 cents I was forced to give you, I am interested to know how one machine was able to read the foreign currency, baht the other wasn’t. If you can give me some insight abaht how this happened, I will drop my claim for monetary damages as well as the terrible puns.

Thank you!

Kat Taylor

Barbie Dream Idiosyncracies

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Got a new laptop and had to call tech support. We had to repair iTunes, and after we hit the splash screen…

“Are you Barbie Dream Phone?”



“Well, see it’s named after my car…”


“Yeah, that doesn’t make it sound more normal, does it?”

In Soviet Russia, Hearse Drivers Find YOU

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Thanks to Google Translator and the Internet, I was able to receive and understand a fan letter all the way from Russia! (And it’s not even spam!) These pictures are from Victor, who works for a funeral company. Naturally, I had a million questions for him and don’t speak Russian, so we’ll see if I get a response. Either way, I’m happy to admire this lovely Cadi in its home across the pond!

Haunted Nightmare Haunted House

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Last night I stayed up north for awhile and checked out the Haunted Nightmare Haunted House in Bothell. I had a great time last year, and really enjoyed this year’s theme, “Boogie Nightmare!”

This year’s haunt started on a trail through the woods by the building, which felt scarier than the actual haunted house. One of the volunteers went with me as I was chased by ghouls, demons, and the regular scary outdoor stuff. (I am very much an “indoor Kat.”)

Once we got inside, we waited a bit while the fro-donning zombie I endearingly refer to as Disco Stu lumbered around. He and I had been talking outside earlier and he gave me hand-warmers, so it was kind of hard to be frightened by him. Further reducing my suspension of disbelief was hearing his voice on my companion’s walkie-talkie.

Him: “What’s the hearse girl’s real name?”

Someone Else: “Kat.”

Us: (Laughter.)

So I walked through the haunted house in a small group, navigating twists and turns full of flourescent lights and 3-D figures, hearing someone shout my name and cackle every few seconds. At the end, there was a clever “Brady Bunch”-themed room where Alice the maid had all the kids’ severed heads on platters. It was better than all of their reunion specials combined.

Even though the thought of a Brady Bunch revival is more annoying than scary, I managed to let a real scream escape from me at one point. One of the zombie girls did an excellent job of pretending she was part of our group before she turned around and jumped at my face. I must admit I was more than startled. You win this time, zombie girl.

Coincidentally, the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been closed all week, diverting traffic to my regular route along I-5 and its nearby arterial roads. I have my fingers triple-crossed that it reopens early to ease everyone’s Halloween weekend travel times. That said, I’m glad to have been able to wait out my commute with a freaky little zombie and some living dead disco-pimps!

View All the Pictures!

Adventures in Everett and Beyond

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

First, happy birthday to Holly, who is 21!

Second, even happier birthday because you’re going to the casino like a good girl!

Before the party, I went to Costco to gas up, and I encountered some of the employees talking about the car. They were gesturing and saying “BARBIE DREAM HEARSE” really loud within earshot, so I walked over and said they can just ask me if they have a question about the car. I never know if people are talking that way because they want my attention and don’t know how to get it, or if that’s just how they talk. Anyway, one thought it was a hearse, the other thought it was a limo. I thought they sounded a lot like Jessica and Ashlee Simpson in the Icebreakers Liquid Ice Commercial. I cleared up the confusion (or perhaps caused more) by stating that it was a limo-hearse, and walked in to buy 30 gallons of everything.

Then I went to Brown Bear and gave the attendant a tour. Since we were talking a whole bunch before my wash, we both got distracted. He forgot to tell me to put down my antenna… and I forgot to put down my antenna. Now I have another thing to add to my laundry list of things to do. I wouldn’t mind just removing it. The only good station on AM/FM radio is NPR, and I can stream that.

After I drove Holly and her friends, I stopped into Walmart for the novelty of it. The cashier said she saw me pull up and complimented the hearse, saying she’d like to buy one herself someday. I gave her the advice I give everyone (research research research!) while she tried to find the proper pricing code for my bundle of kale. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t ring up kale very often. In fact, I’m surprised Walmart had it in the first place.

Then I passed back over the Bridge of Doom in Marysville. Although I usually go a steady 50 mph for fuel efficiency, one whiff of that nasty sludge gets Barbie up to 75 in no time. There were actually workers on the bridge at 10pm inhaling that odor. As long as I see people doing this, I will never, ever complain about my job. Eek!

Crypticon and Then Some

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

It’s the time of year again: Convention/festival/party outside season. With the daylight hours starting to extend beyond the usual 4pm, we might as well.

I was much more relaxed at this year’s Crypticon because a) it wasn’t way the hell up in Everett and b) I didn’t offer to help. Yes, that’s right, Barbie Dream Hearse doesn’t care about (semi) famous people. But it’s worth mentioning I met the guy who played young Superman and the kid from the Chuckie movies, and they were both really nice.

The bulk of my experience was spent outside chatting with my fellow hearse owners and some passersby. Last time, the convention was partially held in a parking garage, so we just backed our cars into it. This time, we were parked in between the exhibition hall and the hotel rooms, so most of the schmoozing was happening elsewhere. I don’t really mind, since I’m not much of a schmoozer.

It rained a bit in the morning, so I didn’t stop at Brown Bear for a wash after I picked up the new BDH shirts.* Once I got to Sea-Tac and breakfast was over, the sun was out and we were ready to put our cars on display. Barbie was looking a little bedraggled, Marcelo kindly offered to wipe her down.

“Mmmnnnyesss, dear boy. And when you’re done, please polish my brass knuckles.”

(Thanks for the picture, Naomi!)

*OH YEAH! I have a new batch of black star logo shirts available in both mens and womens sizes! They look awesome and I’ll be adding them to the store in the next couple of days. Yay!