Damn skippy! The wookie was a great find at GeekGirlCon and I know he’d fit in the back of the hearse, but this little suction-cupped masterpiece/daily affirmation probably travels better.
Purchased from Ugly Baby Shower Art.
With PAX, Bumbershoot, and UW’s opening game going on, Labor Day weekend is already a crazy time in Seattle. Seeing the throngs of people on the streets near these events, you’d think the rest of the town would be subtly doing their own thing.
Nope! My Friday night consisted of driving a bachelor party (yes, boys are allowed) around downtown. Fortunately for them, I didn’t have my camera, so their illustrious activities can remain a mystery.
Saturday started off with a (mostly) girls’ night out.
The night ended with an epic wedding in Sammamish and the first-ever signing of a marriage license in the Barbie Dream Hearse!
(Thanks to the Universal Life Church, I could have married them in there too.)
Congratulations, Kelcey and Christina!
I wanted to write this in a separate post because 99 percent of Labor Day weekend was awesome. I loved being a part of some Seattleites’ special events and helping make their celebrations memorable.
BUT… now I need to address the one percent that is decidedly not awesome.
Rarely do I leave the garage without some impromptu interaction taking place, and that’s fine. Hearses are weird, and the Barbie Dream Hearse is really weird. So if I’m out and about, I expect some questions, picture-taking, and gaping-maw gawking. You can’t run around screaming, “Look at me!” and then expect everyone to leave you alone when you want them to (ahem, Kim Karda$hian).
That said, I don’t particularly love when people interrupt me while I’m helping customers, but I understand this is a common problem with any public-facing job. As a former sales associate, bank teller, ice cream scooper, and yes, even sandwich artist, I know interruptions are going to happen and patience is always the best policy.
However, some rubbernecking activities are just plain wrong and unsafe. If I’m going 50 mph on I-90 in the middle of the night, don’t sidle up next to me with a camera pressed against your passenger side window and a flash going off. And when you realize the picture is going to be blurry and unrecognizable (because we’re on the fucking highway at nighttime), don’t hang back and get cozy in my blind spot, shining your headlights in my rear view mirror for five miles. When I slow down further to pull over and get away from your nonsense, don’t keep pace with me, causing everyone behind you to slam on their brakes even though they have a reasonable expectation to go the speed limit in the middle lane!
Yeah, it’s not the end of the world, but I don’t want to be the indirect cause of an accident because someone can’t handle his own vehicle in the presence of an unconventional one. There’s a phone number and a website on the back of the hearse. You can find out more when you’re not in the middle of conducting a two-ton killing machine.
In our day of tiny attention spans, I realize it’s unlikely that the person who sparked this post is going to read this, or even remember that they saw a hearse last night. But if you do, know that you’re also the impetus for the new East Side tag. Congratulations on being another bridge-and-tunnel stereotype.
After its successful debut in 2011, Seattle’s own GeekGirlCon blew up with even more panels, more guests, and more vendors. For me, it was a totally different experience.
Last year, I drove a few guests to and from the airport and spent both days of the convention sitting at a table, selling t-shirts and promoting. I met a crazy amount of people and despite the con’s feminine theme, my stationary position in the middle of the action managed to score me a few dates with geek-lovin’ guys.
This year involved more guests, more driving, and I even got to take a break from tabling to see some panels. It was particularly fun to see writer Jane Espenson and the stars of Husbands, a witty internet sitcom about a married gay couple. They previewed the first episode of the new season at the panel, which made the crowd go nuts. Had I known they were planning to show it, maybe I would have asked for a preview-preview in the back of the hearse, what with there being a DVD player and all.
I also had the pleasure of meeting and driving Renae De Liz, graphic artist and creator of the Womanthology project, a compilation by 150 female artists, Ashley Eckstein voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV show, and Erin Prather Stafford, producer of Wonder Women! The Untold History of American Superheroines. I really wanted to check this out, but driving duties always come first!
In between rides, I met a wookie. That does not make sense.
Photos taken by Stacey Ryan Farrar, best photographer ever and all around amazingly sweet and wonderful guy.
Can’t wait for next year’s GeekGirlCon!
Now that summer is almost over (or already over, depending on who you ask), let’s take a moment to remember the Fremont Fair, Seattle’s favorite festival coinciding with the summer solstice. You can safely assume those sunglasses were worn solely for aesthetic purposes.
Photo taken by Craig Niece.
I’m not sure how effectively she would balance the budget if she’s buying sunglasses for her dog, but I’d feel better about the future of my reproductive rights.
Seriously though, over the years people have suggested I run a Groupon deal to drum up business for the Barbie Dream Hearse. I don’t even need to hear the sales pitch to know that cutting a deal with Groupon or any other daily-deal site would be shooting myself in the foot.
For those of you living six feet under a rock, Groupon offers daily deals on local businesses delivered to your inbox. Customers buy coupons for a set dollar amount and then redeem the coupon for around twice the value in goods and services. After a short hey-day, this business model ran into a series of problems, followed by plummeting stock.
As a human being, I like Groupon. It’s a great way for consumers to try a new business at a low cost. As a business, I know I hate Groupon for that very reason.
Most people want to ride Barbie once. That’s okay with me; it’s about more than getting from point A to point B, and it’s not an everyday experience. For that, Seattle is littered with cabs, with most of the drivers having moved here yesterday from the other side of the world, but I’ll save that for another post.
If you’re trying to get somewhere cheaply, ride the bus. If you don’t mind giving specific directions and sometimes having to spell out the name of your destination (W-A-L-L-I-N-G-F-O-R-D—true story), take a regular cab. If you want to surprise someone or do something different for a special occasion, hire me.
I appreciate but don’t expect repeat business. I certainly don’t take it personally when clients don’t book me for a second time. They’ve usually told some friends, who hire me for another event, and the cycle continues.
Someone recently noted that the hardest part of my business is getting the word out. Indeed, self-promotion is a delicate dance between politely informing the community of your presence and bugging the living shit out of all your friends and relatives.
Yes, paid advertising is an option, but it’s hard to say how successful a print ad will be, and I think print ads are overpriced for the declining number of eyes they reach. (Businesses keep paying, so maybe it’s worth it for some of them.) However, I’ve found out through sweat equity with other projects and the mistakes of bigger companies that Facebook ads don’t work. So why not try a different form of online advertising?
My more experienced
Unlike other transportation services in the area, my business has always been and continues to be comprised of one person: me. There’s only one BDH and only one of me to drive it. It’s an art-car, a giant tchotchke, a unique way to make a good party great, and another great reminder of what a creativity-fueled city Seattle is.
I didn’t set out to make a fortune, but even if I had, Groupon would have been no help with that. Even businesses who wish to rely on repeat customers have been unsatisfied with the Groupon experience.
So yeah, I don’t want to give 75 percent of my already competitive price for every one-time rental of a luxury service that I provide mostly for fun. I guess I could have just said that, huh?
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.
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:
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.
The Seattle Erotic Art Festival kicked off sexy season with a super-fun launch party. When I wasn’t inside gawking at the rope-tying and bondage wear, I was outside showing off my erotically artful Barbie Dream Hearse.
The Capitol Hill crowd was out in full force, and it wasn’t just corset-clad ladies and shiny-suited men surrounding this year’s party venue. The SEAF launch party happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo, so the hill was rife with pub-crawlers in ponchos and sombreros as well. Even the SPD kept with the theme, outfitting one of their patrol cars with a musical horn playing “La Cucaracha.”
Despite the two big events going on, there were still plenty of regular folks out and about with whom to crack wise throughout the evening. Here are some of them:
This guy gave me a rose:
And I verified its authenticity:
L-A-N-T-Z spells LANCE:
This guy gets the Weird Dude award:
Here I am enjoying some off-time with my favorite photographer:
Although I received many compliments on my hearse, my outfit, my lack of an outfit, etc., one stood out the most. This kind fellow said he liked my blog:
So, Mr. I-Read-Playboy-for-the-Articles, I dedicate this post to you!
Once again, all photos were taken by Stacey Ryan Farrar, best photographer ever and all around amazingly sweet and wonderful guy.