So, I live in this city called Grand Rapids, MI. It’s a nice city.
There comes a time in Grand Rapids, MI where we are a little more widely known. People come from all over to see the great display of Art Prize.
Art Prize is a giant explosion of stuff in downtown Grand Rapids. The whole downtown area is like a giant canvas for artists. People cram into downtown like sardines and get to vote on what their favorite piece is. Yay, public opinion!
There is an excellent part about Artprize – the constant debate on what defines art. As far as I know, anyone can enter Art Prize. Last year, a tapestry won. Another year, Jesus won. The variety of art spans from musical performances to musicals, to sculptures and paintings, and to this furry box located in front of the hockey arena with eggs inside. There was a year when a giant pig was art. And another year that a penny made of pennies was art.
And this year, Boo decided to define art as only a six year old can.
Boo: Mom, look! It’s more art!
Me: Boo, that’s not art.
Boo: It’s in artprize!
Me: Boo, it’s a garbage chute.
Boo: Oh, I thought it was art because it was so tall.
Me: Nope, just garbage.
Boo: Now why would anyone put garbage into artprize??!
Vote on, Grand Rapids.
Post Edited – scroll down, friends and lovers.
I took Boo to a hockey game a few weeks ago, because we like hockey and that’s what we do sometimes.
It turns out that the game is the annual teddy bear toss, so we stop by the store to get Boo a teddy bear to throw. He’s excited, guys.
And then the bears start flying.
Boo: Is it time?
Me: Yeah, you can throw the bear now.
Boo: We’re too high, it won’t go that far.
Me: We can go closer so you can throw it.
Now, we’re sitting in the upper bowl…
…and the kid has a point, so we start moving closer so he’ll have an easier time of getting the bear onto the rink.
Boo: Where do I throw it?
Me: On the ice, see all the other bears?
Boo: Throw him on the ice?
Me: Yeah, see how everyone else is?
Boo: …he’ll get cold.
Me: I think they’ll warm him up.
Boo: …he’ll get wet.
Me: I think they’ll dry him off.
At this point, volunteers are on the ice to start boxing up all these flying teddy bears. The players start helping gather the bears. That’s when it gets really fun.
Me: Just throw the bear, bud.
Boo: THEY’RE USING THE BEARS AS PUCKS.
Me: No, they’re just helping to gather the bears up.
Boo’s face is a cross between Puss in Boots and the Screamer. This isn’t a good cause. This is not for the children, like Mommy told him. This is a mother-effing massacre.
Boo: THEY ARE HITTING THE BEARS WITH THEIR STICKS.
Me: Baby, just throw the bear. It’s not hurting the bears.
Boo: THEY ARE HURTING THE BEARS!
Me: They’re not hurting the-
Boo: WHY ARE THEY HURTING THE BEARS?
And that’s how Dash the polar bear joined our family.
I’m mildly amazed at the amount of popularity this post has gotten……and the various tweets and facebook posts from people who have enjoyed this post (all the good karma to you people) — amazed to the point where I read the whole thing out loud to Boo, as I sometimes do when it involves cute things he says, minus the swears Mommy adds when she writes it.
Mommy: “…and that’s how Dash the polar bear joined our family.”
Boo: He’s a pretty good bear.
Mommy: He taught Mommy that we will probably not be going to the teddy bear game next year.
Boo: He taught me that the only thing we throw at hockey games is the octopus.
Once upon a time, I was at a hockey game.
It was Griffins hockey, Star Wars night, and it was a sold out game. I took the Boo (this was back when he got a free ticket and life was awesome) and his Nana (BabyDaddy’s mom). We went early because there was a Darren Helm bobblehead giveaway for the first so many fans to arrive. I wanted that Bobblehead. For the Boo. And for me too, because hi, it’s Darren Helm, and I love him.
But alas, since the game was sold out, despite being early, by the time we made it into the arena, the bobbles were gone. The Boo cried, since he wanted one. I cried inside, because I really wanted one too.
Cue to the end of the game. A few weeks early, when Boo’s Grandpa was at a Red Wings game, he paid a small child $10 so he could have a Red Wings lunchbox for Boo. We pooled our cash. Six dollars. We figured some kind soul would sell his bobble for that, and we would have paid less than Papa Bear did.
“Hey,” I find a kid with a bobblehead. He is eighteenish, coming out of a suite, and looking very bored. “I really wanted to get a bobblehead for my kid,” I point at Boo, who waves, little show boater that he is. “…but by the time we got here, they were gone. I was wondering…if we could maybe pay you a couple bucks…”
He shrugs at me and hands over his bobblehead without letting me finish. He doesn’t take the money. I am awesome.
FAST FORWARD. I am in the midst of my work day when it happens. Poof texts me and e-mails me immediately telling me that I must check the twatter. It’s urgent. Our lives (and amazing streak of lucky times) depends on it. I rush to twitter and find this:
Bobbleheads are up for grabs.
“I can’t talk to people. Especially strangers,” Poof tells me. “Call them for me.”
“I can’t,” I respond. “I’m at work. I don’t think calling for bobbleheads is considered work in any way shape or form.”
So I tweeted. Obviously, the first offer on the table was for my latest quest: ZamBattle 2k12. My logic is that if I offer this up enough, it will eventually happen. I mean, who doesn’t want to see two girls duking it out light saber style ON TOP of giant machines that polish the ice like china?
Unfortunately, the ZamBattle was a no-go this time…But they told me to keep thinking. I took this as a cue to push the envelope farther, but with less Zambonis.
I offered up my shooting skills. I play hockey with mini sticks on a regular basis with the Boo. I figured I could aim…and also, I offered Poof a goalie helmet. And said I’d use a soft puck. It was still a great offer, however. People are still talking about William Tell-ing an apple off someone’s head with an arrow, after. I just rewrote it for hockey, for awesome, and for bobbles.
Now that we had our heels (because you can totally rock heels in downtown GRap at a hockey game) in the door, we were excited. Bobblehead talk, people. And it was all because of the twatter.
Despite the fact that I was mildly disappointed that I had not been twatting with the giant mascot Griff, or even the mini-mascot Finn, I was still thrilled at the Bobble prospects. There was a Social Media Hockey Man offering up Bobbleheads. That wobbly rap song began playing in my head on repeat. If you don’t know what song I’m talking about, be grateful. It gets in your head, and it stays there. Everytime I look at my shelf of Bobbles, I think of it….a shelf, by the way, which now contains one Ericsson 80’s Porn-stache Bobblehead.
Poof and I were equally thrilled by the awesome that was PornStarHockeyManBobbleHead. We were so thrilled, that we both tweeted our love for said PornStarHockeyManBobbleHead.
Double thanks for Mr. Bobble. We even showed how thankful we were by bringing him his drug of choice (Peanut M&Ms) the next week. Two bags.
He was then so grateful for the deliciousness of peanuts, chocolates, and a thinly coated candy shell, that he proceeded to help us begin what I’m calling:
But that’s another story. For another time. Unless you have some item of awesome you’d like to barter with the Hotches for.
Until then, peace, love, and bobbleheads.
By the way, if you don’t know how the Zamboni Tale started, check it out here first.
You know what’s unfortunate about living in Michigan? It snows. No, actually, it’s not that it snows, because it’s lovely to have a white Christmas (even though we didn’t this year). What is unfortunate, is that it snows, and everyone drives like a bumblefuck.
We got to the game. The line for tickets was horrendous and long. I was never going to make it.
But there’s reasons to have a friend with connections, and Macy proved this twelve times over. She mentioned to her friend working at the arena that I was THE zamboni rider.
The man pulls me to the front of the line to get my tickets. Things are still taking too long. He pulls me out of the line, and next thing I know, he’s leading me through random doors with card scanning entrances and past all sorts of people with earpieces and clipboards.
“Dear Lord,” I think to myself. “This is the secret service of the AHL. I AM IN THE BELLY OF THE HOCKEY BEAST.”
I debate texting Poof to tell her where I am. I debate taking a picture of the underbelly. But the man is rushing, and I don’t want to miss my zamboni ride. I take mental note to tell her about this later.
“You know,” Macy’s friend with the earpiece tells me. “Since you’re so late, they might have found another rider. You might have to give up your ride.”
My heart breaks a little.
“It might be a little kid,” he continues.
“Well,” I say. “If it’s a little kid, I guess I’ll let him have the ride.”
In my head, however, I was thinking I’d stab anyone who tried to steal my zamboni ride. I had sharp things in my purse. I had heels on. I could take anyone down to get on the zamboni.
But we get there, and there’s no other rider. There’s another girl for the other zamboni. But just one. No little child to make cry. Thank God. The other girl and I make nice. I learn she’s riding the Zamboni because it’s her 21st birthday. She asks why I’m riding.
Short answer: it’s on my bucket list. Also, I have a blog.
Another man comes up to me. He’s holding thundersticks. They glow. I’m wondering exactly why they have these, when we’re both twenty something girls.
“This was the closest thing we had to light sabers,” he tells me. I’m ecstatic. I immediately text Poof that they gave me a light saber. Her reply? Of course they did.
“Can I take a picture of you two?” He then asks us. We both nod.
I turn to the other rider. “CAN WE PLEASE BATTLE?!”
We discuss our respective lives waiting to get put on the Zamboni. We make a short video:
Then, they put me on the Zamboni. I’m riding on a zamboni with french fries on it. It makes me wish Ronald McDonald were driving.
The Zamboni has a giant seat belt with seventeen different buckles. I ask the driver if anyone has ever fallen off and gotten sucked up with the slush. He just chuckles at me. And then part of my seatbelt comes unbuckled. I have a fear I’ll be the first one gobbled up by the zamboni. I never should have told them I wanted to steal it.
We pull onto the ice, and I am unsure what to do. I make another video:
Then, I remember all my friends teasing me about practicing my beauty queen wave. So, that’s what I do. I wave with my thunder stick. I take pictures. A girl on skates asks me if I’m taking pictures and I shrug at her. Of course I am. By this point of the ride, this is what I’ve learned: it’s a big rink. And a slow vehicle.
My ride ends. I’m running high on life.. Bucket list item #50-something. CHECK.
The guy asks if I had fun. I nod. I wanted to take a picture with the machine and my driver, but they close it’s little Zamboni door before I can.
“Damn,” I think. “They really thought I was going to steal the Zamboni.”
Excitement over, they walk me back up to the arena, where I regale Macy of the tale, before opening up twatter.
I actually have a very large car. I drive a Chevy Equinox, which although I did have to shovel out of a ditch at one point in time, has been very reliable to me over the past year or two.
But. I have my goal. Now that I’m working again, and have money coming in again to support my crazy lifestyle of going to bed at 9:30 (twitter permitting, sometimes it keeps me up), I have my future car in mind.
Let me explain.
It happened yesterday. I happened to glance down at twitter, and saw this:
For some reason, I have always wanted to ride on a Zamboni. It just seems so exciting. I would be capable of driving on the ice, in no danger of sliding or tail-spinning or hydroplaning or whatever the hell happens in winter in Michigan, because we all drive like bumblefuckers when it snows, even if we’ve lived here for years.
So, I entered the contest.
Now, you know I am a huge hockey fan. But you don’t know this: I’ve tried to get on a Zamboni for years. For realsies, kids. It’s on my bucket list. I remember singing the National Anthem with my choir, at my first Griffin’s game ever back when I was in the fourth grade, and thinking.
Damn, I would love to steal this large box-like car that polishes the ice like china.
Was that my exact thought? Probably not. But it was the IDEA. I tried to get on the Zamboni for my 23th birthday. For the Boo’s birthday (1, 2, and 3). For Poof’s Bachelorette Party. Have I succeeded? No. Therefore, I tweeted.
I told Poof. I told NeighborGirl. I told Macy. How awesome would it be if I, or someone I know would be on this large box-like car that polishes the ice like china?
The day moved by, slowly. Poof entered the contest too, and we bantered about the Zamboni ride via the twatter. We joked about stealing it and about riding the two Zambonis simultaneously. We made plans that whenever the Zambonis got close we would whip out Light Sabers and fight across the ice like the two battle warrior princesses we are.
But the contest moved to the back burner of my mind. I mean, they haven’t picked me yet, after all these times. I will really just have to buy a freaking Zamboni to ride on a freaking Zamboni.
Follow us on the twatter for more engaging conversations involving light sabers, zambonis, and free stuff. For us, free for us, not for you.
And our always exciting schizophrenic mass group twatter: @thetriplestop