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Artsy, Fartsy

So, I live in this city called Grand Rapids, MI. It’s a nice city.


It’s a nice place. You know, museums, hockey team, symphony, etc. etc. And not only that.

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.

IMG_4432Art 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??!


Boo’s Art Prize 2k14 exhibit.

Vote on, Grand Rapids.



it’s a massacre, guys.

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.

Here we are, hockey gaming.

Here we are, hockey gaming.

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…

This is KINDA high up.

This is KINDA high up. That’s Boo’s head.

…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: …

Boo: …

Boo: …he’ll get cold.

Me: I think they’ll warm him up.

Boo: …

Boo: …

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.


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 childrenlike Mommy told him. This is a mother-effing massacre.


Me: Baby, just throw the bear. It’s not hurting the bears.


Me: They’re not hurting the-


And that’s how Dash the polar bear joined our family.

Boo and our new friend Dash and his hockey bell.

Boo and our new friend Dash and his hockey bell.


I’m mildly amazed at the amount of popularity this post has gotten…

[Almost] FAME. I'm gonna live forever.

That’s the blog. [Almost] FAME. I’m gonna live forever.

…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.

When in doubt, write more. Or bitch more, in which case, someone will tell you to write.

You guys all owe Scott (found @ThisDaddys_blog and a big fat gigantic thank you for finally getting me to publish something, since I’m sure you’re terribly sick of reading the same 80 some odd posts I’ve deemed acceptable for Chicks in the Mitt.

Or you might owe him a big fat gigantic F U, depending how you’re feeling when you get to the end of this post.

I posted on twitter today in a fit of desperation —


-which is really rather inconvenient for me because lately it’s felt like everything I’ve written has sucked, sucked, and sucked more.

Blog about kidney stones? Not as funny as the FRIENDS episode.

Blog about the twitter? It’s already been done by me a few times, and to be completely honest, I am mad at the twitter for allowing me to be funny in 140 characters, and unable to be funny in 500 some-odd words.


Blog about the hockey even? Well, I’m pretty sure a lot of hockey blogs have covered the popular topic of the Red Wings Power Play. In that, right now, we really don’t have one*.

So then, what does one write about with the blog and the block and the lack of funny?

If only I had a small child who said such hilarious things that I could basically topple Bill Cosby’s Kids Say the Darnedest Things


So, we’re at the Griffins game and there’s a very vocal guy sitting a few seats over from us that is just screaming bloody murder at the ice. I bet he and I could be friends.

Boo is watching the game but is totally distracted by this guy yelling. “Mommy, he’s loud.

“I know,” I tell him. “It’s okay. You know you can be loud at the hockey game.”

Boo proceeds to let out a shriek that ‘s rather reminiscint of a hungry pterodacytl.

“Not that loud,” I remind him. “We don’t need to break the sound barrier.

At that moment, the Griffins do something good and the very vocal guy lets out a cheer. “Griiiiiiiiiii-fffffffffons!”

“MOMMY.” Boo is very upset by this. “MOMMY, HE BROKE THE SOUND BARRIER.”

I shake my head, but Boo cannot be disuaded


“No, buddy, he said ‘Griffins,’ he’s on our team-



At this point Boo leans around me to the guy. “YOU CHEER FOR THE GRIFFINS. WE ARE CHEERING FOR THE GRIFFINS!

I don’t know where he gets this super fandom from.

Oh, and also:

Boo: Mommy, what are you doing?

Me: Mommy forgot how to be funny, BooBoo

Boo: Don’t worry. When you grow up, you can be funny like me.

Well, thanks, Bud.

*The Red Wings scored a PPG as I was writing this blog. RELIEVED FACE HERE.
And seriously. No idea where my kid gets the hockey love from.

Here’s to you, here’s to me, friends forever we shall be.

This post was actually written a number of months ago. Shit happened. I didn’t post it. Time passed. I now feel better about posting it. Thanks, life. You’re awesome. You too, twitter. You’re awesome too.

I’m amazed at the fact that it’s hangover Saturday, I’m having trouble keeping down orange juice, I cried in my car last night, and I’m blogging.

Yeah. I’m a trooper.

Last night, Alto came over and we headed downtown for the opening night of the Griffins. Thank goodness for the AHL gods keeping their hockey going even if the NHL can’t figure things out. One of my friends, Photog, was down there too, for other reasons than mine (those namely being yelling, watching hockey, and ingesting dollar beers).

We met up during the game, and made plans to meet up afterwards. We figured Gardella’s. He wasn’t a fan (probably just has never had a one legged lesbian), so right after the game, Alto and I headed there to get some food and drink before he met up.

Cue the obligatory bathroom shots.

After awhile of being there, I found out he was at a different bar, and we abandoned a giant tray of cheese fries to meet up.

He was at another bar with some of his friends when we met him.

“So,” asks Friend One. “How do you guys know each other?” He mentions to me and Photog.

Cue awkward glance. Cue L.A.’s awkward words.

“Well,” I head into a mangled explanation of words and phrases involving following various people on twitter which eventually had me following Photog, then DMing when we randomly both ended up at a graduation where I was watching LittleBro graduate and Photog was graduating.

How Photog and L.A. became friends.

Hashtag: Random.

“Oh,” says Friend One. “So you’re friends with [twitter person]?”

“Friends…twitter friends…” I’m drunk by now. I think I said something to that extent. I must sound like a chatch.

A shot comes and Friend Two asks what we should toast to.

“To Twitter!” proclaims Friend One.

Cue to the next morning.

For some reason, I can’t get the twitter talk out of my head. I mean, five years ago, how was I making friends?

We “officially” met when BabyDaddy told me he was taking me out to a movie and had neglected to tell me that he had also asked Mystique. He had told her the same thing, in reverse. AWK.COM.

Granted, five years ago, things were still random, but everything connected through people. It’s five years later, and I’m basically making friends completely through technology.

Thus, I posted to the twitter.

There are a number of people on twitter I probably have more regular contact with than some of my real life friends. Weird. I honestly wonder about the divide between where someone is your friend specifically through social networks — to where someone is your friend that beyond that — hanging out, actually seeing each other, sharing a drink, etc.

Especially with my consternation in place, the response was a little ridiculous. It seems like everyone has managed to connect with a friend who made the transition from twitter friend to real life friend.

It’s funny if you think about it then, that twitter seems to create new friendships, while facebook seems to weaken existing ones. Ever heard of the defriend button, after all? If you’ve ever been defriended or done the defriending, do you still at all consider that person to be a friend? Or once the internet disconnects you, do you try to keep the connection in real life?

Twitter seems to do just the opposite and constantly be creating those connections, which…according to everyone, could eventually lead to real life friendship.

Take Photog, for example. His tweets might not be as amusing as mine (He’s admitted that), but we did end up connecting through twitter. And meeting. And becoming friends.

Back to last night…

“What should we toast to?” asks Friend Two.

“To Twitter!” says Friend One.

…well. Alright.

To twitter!

This small world keeps on getting smaller.

Update at the bottom!

I made a goal right before I started typing this post. I’m going to use a term 9 times in the course of this blog. Why 9? I’ll never tell. Actually, I will, at the end of this blog. Hopefully you manage to figure it out before you get there.

Last night, my phone buzzed. I half-woke and checked it, out of habit. You never know what’s going on late at night, after all. But when I looked, I saw it was a facebook message, assumed it was something random that I wouldn’t care about, and then proceeded to fall back asleep.


I’ve just dropped Boo off to school, and watched BabyDaddy read Strega Nona aloud to the class of three year olds. I’m settling down to eat some Toaster Strudel when I check facebook and see the message icon at the top. I’d forgotten all about it. But at this point, I’m awake, and I figure I might as well check it out.

This only counts as 1.

Hm. I think to myself. I do not think I have a friend named Francis Pare on facebook. However, I think there is a hockey player by that name. I believe I met him once upon a six degrees.

I read the message. It’s a reply to a picture from way, way, way back when in September, that I had sent him on facebook. He showed up on my facebook (People you may or may not know) because I’m friends with two someones who had previously worked down at the arena. I creeped his profile, added him as a friend on a whim (assuming I’d be wong’d, another story for another time), then sent him the picture for the hell of it. Poof and I both looked cute that night after all.

Hey! Everybody! Come and see how good we look!

So, I shot a reply to Francis Pare, which is actually the snippet of the message you can see there. And I wondered to myself…why on earth would he respond now?

…Then I went onto the blog…

I was all set to write an angry post about some goings on here in the life of L.A. Halfway through the blog, I realized it was too much for me to post, too much for me to share, or deal with, at least for right now. I might post it later on in life, but for now…moving on. Instead, I looked for a generic post I could write to keep our readers reading and the loving for us at a high.

Hockey post? Just did that.

Facebook rant? Been there, done that.

Amusing anecdote about winning? I have a big head.

Search term fun? …that could work…

This counts as 1 too.

I’m looking over the search terms for ridiculousness when I see it. Francis Pare. There he is again. How random. I head to Google. Seriously. The guy is a hockey player for the feeder team of [in my opinion] the best franchise in the NHL (Hi, Red Wings), and Google is sending searches to the triple threat blog? I mean, I think we’re fabulous, but this is a little weird.

This counts as 2 more.

Well, what do you know? If you Google Image search for Francis Pare, the blog comes up! We are in the top twenty images of Francis Pare. Which leads to conclude…

He’s googling himself. From that, he saw the picture, and found the blog. Remembered me from the picture and the consequential facebook stalking. And sent the message.

Mystery Solved. I win, Mr. Pare. Or else this is just jumping to conclusions and I just managed to distract myself for an hour with the interwebs.

In which case, really, I still win.

Update! In the period of time it took me to write and post this blog, someone else searched for this hockey player and found the blog. REALLY. That was quick, mystery searcher.

Bobbles wobble, but they don’t fall down.

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:

The initial bargain.

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.

The next offer.

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.

The wheels are turning now.

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.

The SOCIAL MEDIA MAN got involved. All this time, I was sure I had been talking to Griff via Twitter.

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.

Mr. Bobble totally came through...

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.


Love x 2

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:

The Candy-Hockey-Bartering-System.

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.

Follow Mr. Bobble @jvh33 on the twatter. He's awesome. Trust me.

Big Rink. Slow Vehicle.

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.

So, there I was, trying desperately to get downtown in order to accomplish a bucket list item, and fucking SNOWMAGEDDON was coming down on me.Not even snowmageddon. More like two inches of snow and sleet in order to slow traffic to a crawl.

A sum up of the driving in snow thought process.

Granted, I know how Michigan driver’s are. Macy and I agreed, if it weren’t for my moment in the sun upon the ice polishing machine of the GODS, we would have never tried to deal with the roads. But the zamboni called. So off I went.

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.

The 21st Birthday Girl and the Blogger

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?!”

Once Again…BATTLE ROYALE! Courtesy of

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.

Note my driver in the background. Not Ronald McDonald.

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.

I’m on a Zamboni. I have a light saber. I have the best life ever.

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.

Oh. And on a final note…

When it snows in Michigan, buy a bigger car

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.

Can you imagine me driving this down the street?

Let me explain.

It happened yesterday. I happened to glance down at twitter, and saw this:

Hell yes, I want to ride a Zamboni.

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.

But then.

Holy Sweet Jesus. I won.

Follow us on the twatter for more engaging conversations involving light sabers, zambonis, and free stuff. For us, free for us, not for you.

L.A.: @LA_thegirl

Poof: @hey_itsjenna

And our always exciting schizophrenic mass group twatter: @thetriplestop 


Making plans is SO last year.

A week or two ago, I was granted with what I’ll be calling an early Christmas present. One of my best friends, who we will call NeighborGirl, temporarily moved back to her mom’s house, which means that she is exactly four and a half minutes away from my house. If I’m walking. It takes five minutes if  I choose to try and jump over a fence, seven if I actually walk around the block, or three if I sprint through various neighbor’s yards.

The shortest distance from point A to point B involves hopping a fence.


The other day, I asked NeighborGirl if she wanted to head to a hockey game with me. She agreed and we headed downtown, even though we’d been talking about how we feel like we’ve outgrown the bar life, or at least the blackout portion of it. But there are ALWAYS hockey games on Friday nights, so we were going to make a night of it. It’s pretty hard to turn down dollar beer and hot dog night.

NeighborGirl drives us and then walks slowly for me since I chose to wear heels. We eventually cover the two blocks to the arena.

“Where do we buy tickets?” She asks me.

“Just inside,” I tell her. But something is wrong. There are lines of people with tickets outside and that’s not how these hockey games work.

NeighborGirl asks someone taking tickets where to buy them.

“It’s a cash donation tonight,” the woman tells us. This is wrong. Who makes a cash donation to see hockey?

Then someone hands NeighborGirl a ticket.

“Cool,” she laughs. “I just got a free hockey ticket. Now we only need one more.”

Until we actually LOOK at the ticket.

Christian Bands do not play hockey.

There is no hockey. There is a Christian concert instead, which, despite getting a free ticket too, is really not what we planned on doing. NeighborGirl cracks up. I feel dumb for not checking the schedule.

There should ALWAYS be hockey on Fridays.

Then, NeighborGirl suggests we hit the comedy club across the street. I’ve never been, so I agree. We get put on the waiting list for the show, but eventually make it in to the club and listen to a few comedians tell us that the world is getting too politically correct.

It’s actually really funny, and I’m just thrilled that the night turned out okay. I tell NeighborGirl that someday, I aspire to be a comedian.

Because I’m funny, and when I’m not, funny things happen to me.

Like, a Christian concert taking over a hockey game. Exactly.

This man was amusing.