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How much does a polar bear weigh and other pressing questions

It’s a whole new year, ladies and gentlemen. This means resolutions, trying new things, being better people, etc, etc. I ended 2014 in great fashion.

Now, when I say great fashion, I do mean great fashion.

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But the biggest fashion statement I made was not worn most of the evening. This was a hooded furry bear which once upon my person was somehow called: a coat.

Faux fur is very in right now, which means that there is a very specific list of people wearing fur: people that brought about the faux fur rage, people that always wore faux fur, or people that are jumping on the faux fur train.

I personally bought my fur coat from Forever 21 for 12.90 on clearance, because I planned on using it for a halloween costume that never came to fruition. Which means that I really don’t fall in any of those categories. Thus, I present to you:

The Stages of L.A. on New Year’s in her faux fur coat

1. The self conscious L.A.

I put the fur coat on after staring at all my coats, deciding I couldn’t wear a North Face out on NYE, and remembering we had plans to walk to our destination. Then GoldDust sent me the following:

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So, knowing that I wouldn’t be the only one in fur, I put the furry on, hoping I could pull it off.

2. The grateful L.A.

The walk in the cold and windy and snowy weather suddenly made me thrilled that I had put on the fur. Michigan is really cold, guys. Like freezing.

3. The fashionable L.A.

The point at which I felt confident, tipsy, and like I could rule the world in my fur coat. You guys. I looked good.

IMG_0022 copy 

4. The Nesting L.A.

In which all I know is how soft the furry is and how warm the furry is and YOU GUYS, feel my arm.

And finally, stage 5.

Image via Wikipedia.

Guys, I’m a polar bear.

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Artsy, Fartsy

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

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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!

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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??!

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Boo’s Art Prize 2k14 exhibit.

Vote on, Grand Rapids.

 

Chicken: it’s what’s for dinner.

Poof and I have this tendency to go out on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It’s our default. I’ll put on nice shoes. We’ll take photos for her blog. We usually head to our favorite local coffee shop, MADCAP COFFEE

…because it’s local, it’s delicious, and they do that thing where they make my Mocha look like a heart, and it’s nice to feel loved.

Same heart, same drink, same place. #Tuesday #MadCap #grandrapids

A post shared by Laura Anne (@la_thegirl) on

Well, since this is the rule, here is the exception:

L.A.: Coffee?

Poof: Not in the mood.

L.A.: Mall?

Poof: Sure. I want a root beer float.

L.A.: …

L.A: …

L.A.: …pregnant?

Poof had this thing when she was pregnant with LittlePoof where she always craved root beer floats. It was her food. My weakness when I was pregnant?

The good kind, not like the awkwardly shaped nuggets.

Cue to eating lunch yesterday.

Me: I’ll have the chicken tenders basket, please.

Mom: Didn’t you just get chicken tenders the other day?

Me: Yes.

Mom: And you want it again?

Me: I like chicken.

Boo: I like chicken too!

Mom: *Forceful Gaze*

Me: I’m not.

Mom: *Cynical Squinting*

Me: No, but really.

Mom: *James Marsden’s Character in X-Men*

Me: BUT FOR SERIOUS.

Mom: *Jedi Mind Trick*

Me: I HAVE ONE ALREADY.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “Why I have added giving up Chicken Fingers to my lenten promise.”

Jack and Jill went up the hill and then slid down it on the other side on a board and were given a gold medal for their efforts.

*Note from the blogger — prior to publishing this post, a similar post of similar occurances was posted over at Waste Of Heels, a fabulous blog written by the incomparable-even-though-she’s-cheering-for-Canada-today-Lady B. This basically means that she’s me, but in Canada, and you should be reading her post too.

If you live in Michigan, you’re supposed to do winter-y things. Depending on your level of skill, this means sledding, or tubing, or snowman building, or if you’re truly talented, properly cleaning off your car so as to not be that douchebag that drives down the road with it flying off the roof at other motorists.

From the hilarious blogography.com. If you haven’t read that blog, you’ve got issues.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t have winter activity skills…I’ve successfully built a number of snowmen in my time, and gone sledding and tubing while growing up, and there was this one time when my Girl Scout troop decided it would be an awesome idea to go cross country skiing, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t fall then.

Here am I. In a tube. Getting pulled up a mountain.

Here am I. In a tube. Getting pulled up a mountain.

…but if you haven’t noticed, sometimes I am occasionally…accident prone.

I saw my friend TomSelleck recently, and our conversation went like so:

Him: So do you have any new bruises?

(The answer is no.)

So, when my friend Arrington texted me that he wanted to go snowboarding for his birthday, I was all…

Laura Thought Bubble

I’ve been snowboarding exactly three four times in my life (now including the recent birthday festivities).

The last time I went, while attempting to figure out this “tow rope,” I fell.

That’s right.

Not coming down the mountain, but attempting to go up the damn thing. I fall within the first seconds of holding on to this rope, and since we had decided to try snowboarding on Christmas Eve, the place was basically deserted. No one was around to give me advice or maybe tell me,

DO NOT CONTINUE TO HOLD ONTO THE TOW ROPE.

Which means that I made it up the mountain. Hanging on for dear life to this rope. On my ass.

I showed up to Cannonsburg thinking we’d have a nice klatch of the high school crew, CoSi and FunSized to maybe be as skillful as I am and chuckle the whole way [potentially on my backside] down  the mountain.

It turned out to be Arrington, his girlfriend (who brought her own skis), and me.

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Arrington attempted to walk me through the basics of everything so I wouldn’t make a complete ass out of myself, and I actually made it down various hills of various sizes without too much bodily harm or embarrassment.

The Typical “Run” of L.A. down a Mountain on a Board

Start at top of hill. Congratulate self on making it up the mountain on the murderous rope of towing without falling. Strap foot in.

Arrington tells me to make sure that some foot that does something is either in front or in back because that’s the foot I can use for like steering or bracing myself or something like that. There is silent acknowledgement that I do not know how to steer.

Point snowboard down mountain because that seems like a pretty reasonable choice. Began sliding down mountain. Realize that I’m standing and not falling and try to keep my gleeful “sqee” noises to a minimum. I figure a deadpan face will make it look like I know what I’m doing.

The "I'm probably going to hurt myself and laugh about it when the bruises go away" face

The “I’m probably going to hurt myself and laugh about it when the bruises go away” face

Do a sort of turn to keep heading down mountain. Realize that snow seems to help with steering in the fact that it is making me go ways that I don’t think I was choosing to go. Pray that people know to get out of my way. Arrington tells me to use my back leg as a rudder to steer. I think rudders steer boats. This makes sense until another turn makes my back leg my front leg and I realize that I might not have full control of all my limbs and debate what I can blame this on when I inevitably crash.

Probably a spider bite. Paralyzed left leg. Have no control over it.

Realize I’m going incredibly fast. Arrington basically walks up to me because his normal speed is my fast and tells me ways to lean to slow down.

I lean. I slow down. It’s extremely effective. I remind myself to not forget the slowing down part.

Still going fast. Kind of freaking out. Realize that slowing down does not mean stopping and that the end of the mountain is getting close.

Lean. Lean. Lean. Lean. LEAN. LEANING.

Sit down on mountain. Stop. Am reminded of roller blading around my neighborhood as a youth, when I just jumped in the grass and hugged a tree to stop.

Did that on purpose, guys. I’m at the bottom of the mountain, guys. I didn’t even really fall, guys.

this was from the time that I went up the mountain on my ass, because I did not take a photo this time of me on a board because all my limbs were busy trying to keep myself from falling.

this was from the time that I went up the mountain on my ass, because I did not take a photo this time of me on a board because all my limbs were busy trying to keep myself from falling.

[stereo]typically, i might be a stereotype.

Yesterday, during mornings with Poof:

Poof: We’re here so much, I feel like we should know their (the barista people) names.

Me: Are we here that much?

Poof: Basically. We’re probably almost hipsters.

Poof: (to the guy making coffee): Would it creep you out if we told you we like the way you brew?

Poof and I were at our regular seats at our latest favorite place.

MadCap Mocha in all it's glory.

MadCap Mocha in all it’s glory.

We normally head to MadCap on my mornings off, sit in the window seats, people watch, and instagram our coffee. I guess it’s kind of hipster, depending which filter you use on instagram.

Me: You are basically wearing Beatle boots. That seems kind of hipster.

Poof: Says the girl wearing combat boots and skinny jeans.

Me: …touche.

I debated the situation as the day continued.

I mean, sure I was rocking combat boots, but I’d been wearing combat boots since the 90’s.

I had a pair of these from GUESS that I basically wore straight through junior high. I also had a sleeveless white cotton shirt with a hood that I wore with the boots for whatever reason. WALK, WALK, JUNIOR HIGH FASHION, BABY.

MAYBE I WAS A HIPSTER 12 YEAR OLD.

I get to work and ask CW to document my outfit, for blogging purposes.

Me: Am I a hipster?

CW: [Takes photo.] You kind of look like a hipster.

Me: But the question is if it actually makes me a hipster.

I felt like I was in the hipster version of the You know you’re from Michigan when…jokes that Jeff Foxworthy does.

You might be a hipster if…

Hipster L.A.

So, then I’m heading to Harvest Health Foods, listening to The National and thinking that hell, if I am a hipster, then I guess maybe I’m kind of a hipster.

It is what it is.

I find what I need and head to the checkout. The cashier has multiple piercings in each ear. She’s wearing plaid and has a button on her apron that says “Hugs, not Bombs.” Her glasses are plastic, and when she steps out to bag my items, she’s wearing TOMS.

My inner monologue tells me that she might be a hipster, and so I smile at her, thinking that we might be kindred spirits if I’m a hipster and she’s a hipster.

Cashier: …that’s a nice jacket.

Me: Thanks.

Silence.

Silence.

Inner Monologue: I don’t think she actually thinks it’s a nice jacket.

Me: It’s pleather.

Her: Of course it is.

Run, L.A., Run! (Possibly walk at a brisk pace, L.A., walk at a brisk pace!)

*Update at the bottom*

The other day, I was over at CoSi and BoBo’s house for our I want it to be a weekly tradition type thing game night. It was a bunch of people catching up from high school, including, but not limited to, the afore mentioned Cosi and Bobo, FunSized, Arrington (and significant other), and HSM.

I don’t know what “high school reunion” means to you, but to me, it means that game night turns pretty quickly to high school story telling random conversation of everything we haven’t talked about in the past x amount of months catch up time.

train of thought

So, we’re the midst of the whole catching up, and somehow, the topic of Arrington and his constant running comes up. He ran like…track, and cross country, and those other running things…the ones where you run just to run.

Basically, this is how I see our trains of thought regarding the "fun" and "usefulness" of running.

Basically, this is how I see our trains of thought regarding the “fun” and “usefulness” of running.

Arrington is telling us about the next marathon he’s going to be running in, since he runs them all the time, since he’s capable, and doesn’t weeze and die while running like I do.

That’s when I’m thrown for a loop. “I’m going to run a 5k!” FunSized announces. “I’m training for it.”

“You should totally do it!” Arrington tells her.

“What’s that one that everyone is doing?” I ask. “The Color run?” I think to the pictures of people doused in various colors while running. Besides the running, it looks pretty exciting. “I added that to my bucket list.”

“That looks fun!” FunSized says. “Let’s do it!”

“Let’s all do it!” CoSi says.

“We can do the one in Lansing!” Arrington says. “We can even tail gate too, and cross two things off your bucket list”

It sounds exciting and fun and all sorts of friends that I love more than life itself, but it isn’t until later that I start to think more about it.

Conversations w Dad

I’m not a good runner. I remember being in high school, having to run three miles, and being completely winded.

Random conversation from a high school run.

Teammate: So, Boyfriend got me flowers to apologize for being a jerk.

Me: *Silence*

Teammate: I know you don’t like him.

Me: *Silence*

Teammate: L.A.! Seriously?!

Me: *wheeze* Yeah, flowers. *(inner monologue) if I say more words, I won’t be able to hate anyone because I’ll be lying dead on the street in downtown Grand Rapids.*

I ended up talking to VS about this running thing later, because while I did soccer in high school, she did track. She runs. She knows what’s up. Both with the running, and with me being a terrible runner.

Chat with Jade

So, VS sent me this link called like “Running for Dumbasses,” and I downloaded an app on the recommendation of FunSized which allows to walk (live) and run (die) in increments of pain and anguish. And hopefully between the two of those, I’ll manage to make it successfully through a 5k.

Have you ever done one of these marathon things? What do you do to prepare? Slash, how do you feel about following me with a rickshaw for when I get tired??

Tweet me or comment with any advice or words of encouragement. After all, if I die, whose blog will you read??

A big fat thank you and snuggle to everyone who’s been encouraging about this whole running thing. I downloaded that App (Couch to 5k, for those who has asked) at FunSized’s suggestion, and have learned that 60 seconds is really, really, really long when you’re running and that 90 seconds is incredibly short when you know you have to run some more at the end of it. But the whole point, I suppose, is that I’m running? Right?

Let me know if you’re signing up for the color run — I want to know what other people are doing for this training thing. Also, I saw pictures of people running in tutus. I’d like a tutu. Or a crown. Or a horse drawn carriage. Whichever.

Let's get colorful.

Let’s get colorful.

*Update*

I’m not doing everyday with the running. But I’m doing more.  Last week Sunday:

And then again this Sunday: 3.09 miles. It hurts so good.*

*Not really. It hurts so bad. But I’m sure it’ll be great when I’m all multi-colored**.

**I’m still lying. I’m still think I might die a multi-colored death.

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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!

You were always good at putting words together.

First off. I know I’ve said it already, but I want to give a big thank you and send lots of love to anyone and everyone who commented on my last post or sent DMs or tweets or texts or called. I appreciate the love and support so much more than I could ever say.

Back to the normal.

When I was just a wee freshman in college, there was a program called MyTunes. My first “cool college friend” Blackbird introduced me to it, and showed me just how easy “borrowing” my fellow dorm mates music could be. Seriously. This program would show you the libraries of anyone on the college network, and allow you to download their music in a matter of minutes. That was so fucking fast back then.

The best thing to come out of this program, besides the obscene amount of time I’d spend with Blackbird listening to Radiohead (always good) and Coldplay (when they were good), was the discovery of one Matt Nathanson.

202 (my college roommate) and I decided that since we could download so much music so quickly, that we might as well sample everything. We were like senior citizens at Old Country Buffet. And one day, we randomly stumbled upon the album Beneath These Fireworks.

The rest is history. The song Angel defined the rest of my college career. I sang it to Boo when he was born. I sang it with Matt Nathanson when he did a set in Grand Rapids one year.

I love Matt Nathanson.

Thus, when I found out he was coming back to GR this month…

Hi, tickets, plznthx. I coerced Goalie into going to the game with me, since I owe him for getting me Abdelkader’s autograph. I’m sure he’s a solid Matt fan by now. Also a solid Matt fan? Derby (@dweezlepip), my fabulous hockey friend from twitter. She was at the concert and we met up and formed a clique in the masses.

IN REVIEW:

The concert was at The Intersection, which has one of those big open standing room spaces. If you were there for the music, you found a table and got a drink. If you were there for the music AND the concert atmosphere, you crowded the stage and sang along with every song, including when he pulled out Amazing Again. Which is a great song. And a great album, if you don’t have it. If you came to see exactly howcloseyoucouldgettoMattNathanson then a) I hate you, b) you may have spilled on me, c) don’t go to a concert again until you have better etiquette.

Our view of Matt

Matt Nathanson has a great stage presence. I’ve seen him with an audience of twenty some odd people, and he has exactly the same interaction with his audience as when he’s in front of a huge crowd like he was last Friday. He talked for five minutes about a piece of gum…and I was somehow amused. If I could compare sex to scrabble and get laughs like that, I’d be thrilled with myself and retire.

He put together a really great show too, mixed songs from his last two albums, including an ALL MATT version of “Run,” which normally features the chick from Sugarland. Seriously, Matt. I can sing. I can harmonize. I will totally sing her part for you. 

Such a good performer.

This show was better in that aspect than the last few times I’ve seen him perform because this is the first time I’ve seen him where he’s pulled some older songs that not many people know. The last time I saw him perform was right after Some Mad Hope came out, and the whole show was songs for that album. Which is understandable, given the timing, but a little disappointing when you’ve liked an artist for so long.

He also, like most artists, had merchandise for sale in the back. Normally, I don’t get anything, unless there’s a CD I don’t have (And I have all of MN’s already), or something that just grabs me to the point where I cannot go home without it. And Matt Nathanson had one of those. His shirt had a line from Modern Love. Derby pointed out how well the shirt fit in with [ex]Red Wing Mike Commodore and his twitter motto “Stay Single.” I needed that shirt. Well played, Mr. Nathanson. Well played.

Me and Derby rocking it out in our new shirts. #StaySingle

PLUSES: The set list. The fact that he STILL performed Run, even without whats-her-face. The humor, despite being a little tongue in cheek due to minors. His beard. The new shirt I procured, namely for the fact that it fit so well with Mike Commodore’s life motto of Stay Single.

MINUSES: the opening act – bless her heart, but she tried way too hard (Notice this is all I mentioned of her and her strange white girl rapping and beat-boxing ways). The fact that all ages were welcome. If I were 18, I would’ve appreciated this, because I would have been able to get in. But I’m older and wiser, and didn’t like the cheerleader in front of me who kept getting in my personal space and screaming while he was singing.

ALL IN ALL: I still love Matt Nathanson. I would have wanted it to be a 21+ show, but the show was so good that I dealt. And maybe gently pushed a girl away form me at one point. I still want him to come back to GR though. And eventually, I will sing with him again.

Oh. By the way. Those awesome shirts Derby and I got? Guess what we did with them?

Dear Mike Commodore, Hope Tampa Bay is Nice. Love, L.A. P.S. Stay Single.

Yeah. We went there.