What Happened to My Facebook Profile?

December 1st, 2014

Thanks for asking! Even though our mighty Facebook overlords deactivated my personal profile a little over a week ago, I’m still getting asked this question so I figured I’d use my own website to talk about it. This is an oddly novel concept now, considering you can almost pinpoint the month that I joined FB by observing the decline in posts to this site.

You could say I got lazy, busy, or a combination of the two, but you’d only be half-right. The real heart of the situation, a topic of many social media-related articles, is the huge increase in instant feedback I got from every FB post versus my blog posts. No one wants to visit a site, read the equivalent of a printed page, and write a comment. Many people want to scroll through a feed of photos and one-liners, hit the “Like” button, and move on to the next thing. Thus, the lengthy descriptions of my adventures in hearse land were replaced by pictures, short quips, and #hearstworldproblems.

But who cares, right? The reason I joined FB and other social media was to get people talking about the BDH. How I do that shouldn’t matter, since the ends justify the means.

Well… yes and no. Now that you know I’m still alive and kicking, what follows is a story of my tumultuous relationship with social media and why I’m on the fence about reinstating the prevailing medium that I display my online self.

Looking back to the technological dark ages of the early ’00s, I joined Fark and Friendster, mostly to give me a way to look busy at a computer at my heinously under-challenging tech job. Fark is a news aggregation site that still runs itself like a simple BBS. (I’d say that’s part of its charm.) Although the Fark community is comprised of some awesomely weird people, its structure was nothing new.

Friendster, however, set the format for many of its social media descendants. Its purpose was to put real people in touch with other real people. The platform was straightforward and intuitive, so naturally I wanted to break it. In addition to my real name, I registered an account for Buddha, a dining room set, bored hipsters, Homestarrunner’s The Sneak, and more. The fake friends and their funnies came rolling in. Among my friends were the color green, a cigarette, and Kelly Osbourne’s ass. Now I’m having fun!

Fun was my only goal, so when Friendster banned my ISP no one cared, including me. My real account had been wiped out with all my fake ones, but I had strong roots where I was living at the time (Austin, TX). People were much less reliant on social media 10 years ago.

If Friendster was the tyrannical grandfather of social media, MySpace was its free-wheeling son. “You don’t have to use your real name!” people told me excitedly in order to persuade me to join. (I don’t think this is the case anymore.) I was still a late adopter, and for all the good it did me, I wish I was a non-adopter.

The Friendster hijinx were a fun experiment, but I was tired of it. I had also found a new job in California that was more interesting to me. I had no reason to join MySpace, but I did so anyway under the guise of keeping in touch with my Austin friends. Ironically, I used MySpace more often after I returned to Austin a year later.

All MySpace really did was give people a way to stalk each other. Who’s friends with who? More importantly, who isn’t friends with who? What does that backhanded comment on my friend’s page mean? Why is this person contacting me? Et cetera. I knew it was a complete waste of time, but I couldn’t look away. The increasing amount of drama in my life probably would have still happened, but MySpace did a splendid job of helping it along.

When Facebook opened its gates to the ivory towers, I remained steadfast in the hell-no camp for years. I was living in a city where I knew almost no one (NYC) and then moving to another city where I knew almost no one (Seattle), so I should have jumped at any chance to connect with people. I still don’t think FB would have helped me in the way I wanted it to. I was determined to continue forming real, substantial friendships instead of superficial online ones.

I didn’t, and still don’t, understand how one makes the leap from a collection of pictures and blurbs to a friendship. Something has to be there already, and an online connection just helps keep it going. I remember receiving a physical LSU Freshman Facebook the summer before I began college. I didn’t want to be in it then, either.

As you see, I succumbed. Once I completed the BDH, I felt like I finally had a reason to be in the modern interpretation of a social network other than “look at me, another special snowflake!” (“Modern” meaning post-Fark. Even though I post less than I used to, I’ll always be a Farker.) I had made something unique that I was proud of and I wanted to share it with anyone who would like it. To guard against the same self-defeating patterns I experienced with MySpace, I vowed not to post anything outside the realm of Barbies, Hearses, and the occasional Dream. Some Seattle topics were okay, too.

Did I keep my promise? Well… yes and no. I say that I succumbed because I started to use FB for its intended purpose. I joined some groups, spent some time reading my feed, “liked” things… all that shit. If ever I found myself lingering on someone’s profile, I reminded myself that my FB account is for other people to look at me, not for me to look at them.

Believe it or not, I stayed the course in that respect. In place of all the self-defeating MySpace creeping, I was racking up friends and likes and general support for all the events I was doing, and even getting invited to more. While studies have shown that most people who use FB excessively are less happy because everyone’s lives appear better than theirs, I was the exception proving the rule: My life looks awesome because it IS awesome. Everyone thinks I’m great and hooray for me.

Oops, now I’m a giant fucking narcissist.

I heard FB recently changed their terms again and also began cracking down on profiles that don’t represent real people. As if everyone who decides to use their real name are being 100% truthful online to begin with. It doesn’t matter what you choose to call yourself, we all present an image that we want others to see.

Anyway, the BDH is a person, place, and thing, and I want to use the internet to convey that in the most friendly, honest, and interesting way that I can. Perhaps this post isn’t doing the trick. However, it has been festering in edit mode for awhile, so I’m going to make it live and possibly edit some more as the spirit moves me.

Sorry for the abrupt (non)conclusion.

Steamroll the Barbie Dream Horse

November 27th, 2014

Thanks, Bukharin! (Much more coming soon!)

Out of Hibernation (Maybe)

May 3rd, 2014

After our first (really) hot day of the year, people all over town are silently retreating indoors in response to the returning rain. Since I’m here, I wanted to write about what a pleasure it was to assist the Junior League of Seattle Life Skills for Teens committee with transportation this year.

The committee focused on creating programs for teenagers in the foster care system. While it’s great these young ladies had a place to go do something productive with their evenings, the JLS committee leaders received the feedback that some of the girls were uncomfortable riding cabs home at night and found it a bit creepy. What does it say about our current taxi system that people find it to be creepier than riding home in a customized funeral coach?

Anyway, the girls got to ride in Seattle’s most unique limo, and I got to have a reason to leave the house on a Thursday. I suppose many reasons exist, but “meh, I don’t feel like it” often prevails.

For those of you not following me on Facebook, here are some pics of the girls having fun in the hearse!

Can We Keep Doing Halloween, Please?

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!

Say “HELLO” when You See Me

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!

Don’t Worry, It’s Cool to Hate Facebook

July 1st, 2013

Updates are coming, I swear! Until then, visit me on Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news.


The Last 24

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!

The Saga Continues

June 4th, 2013

Here’s the part where I attempt to reorient myself with automating my new(ish) internet presence so it’s faster, crasser and bad-asser than ever, leveraging every social media network in the free world. Remember the good old days when you just visited a damn website when you were interested in something? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

A Little Bit Louder, A Little Bit Worse

May 31st, 2013

I’m all transferred now, thanks to the patient folks at Bluehost. Good-bye, Barbie. Hello, B*rb**!

How I Feel When I’m Driving a Full Car and Everyone’s Asking Me Things at Once

February 5th, 2013