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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.

 

the sunday currently

Friday night, I headed to this…eclectic bar called the Log Cabin with FunSized and a few of her friends. There was a band playing there that I met through FunSized – always a good time. The bar was hosting a theme night

Cabin Fever

Clever, right? This meant that there were tiki heads and grass skirts and bamboo decorations and bad jokes everywhere.

Case in point? Dancing with FunSized, up by the band?

Yes. I got lei’d.

It’s time for the Sunday Currently.

C U R R E N T L Y . . .

READING… The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’ve read it before, but there’s a movie floating around that I’m determined to eventually see.

WRITING… a lot of journal-y stuff lately. Problem is, I keep misplacing whichever blank book I’m supposed to be finishing, so I have snippets of everything in at least three different notebooks. Chronology is a bitch, folks.

LISTENING… to the new song from Nashville because holy crap, this show is addicting. And musical. And dramatic. And awesome. And Jonathan Jackson. Tuck Everlasting has a guitar and can sing, people. I don’t know if you knew that, but you’re welcome.

THINKING…that the song in that link above really ought to be released on iTunes because I’m in love with it. It’s so good. I hate country and it’s so good. The night ain’t long enough, I ain’t leavin’ without your love.

SMELLING…spring in the air. I’m not at all, actually. But it’s March now, so I’m hoping.

HOPING…see the smelling, currently.

WEARING…UGGS. All day, everyday. They’re so warm and fluffy in  winter. I’m so ready to put them away.

LOVING…the new hat that I should not have bought if I’m hoping winter will end soon. But it’s courtesy of themittenstate.com, and it’s excellent and warm and fluffy.

WANTING…to get a sweatshirt off of MichiganAwesome.com. Because it says:

Cold Hands

Warm Heart

And that’s wonderful. It almost warms my cold, black, Michigander heart.

FEELING…Cold. I know. You’re surprised.

Look, back when I was warm-blooded.

Look, back when I was warm-blooded.

.Link up to the Sunday, Currently.

[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.

Deer: it’s what’s for Edward Cullen’s dinner.

It’s deer hunting time here in Michigan. Also, Twilight Part XXILV: Vampires have children who sparkle and grow came out. Which means that last night, my facebook feed looked something like this.

Hunter: I shot this f*cking deer, sparkly.
Robby: I could have caught him with my sparkly teeth, asshat.

Of course, I’ve made plans to go see Twilight, and made arrangements with numerous people that are venturing out in the woods in their camo attire to bring me back some damn jerky. Namely, because I hate the deer. But also, because I love the jerky. I really have no excuses for seeing Twilight.

Conversation from choir on Deer Season/Twilight Opening night:

Alto: You’re seriously going to see Twilight?

Me: Yes. I’ve seen all the movies. I’ve been sucked in.

Alto: I don’t get it though. It’s just vampires that sparkle.

Me: Not even that. They’re good hearted vampires. They don’t eat people. They’re vegetarian.

Alto: Don’t they drink blood?

Me: Well, yes, but not human blood. They kill like…lions. And bears. And deer.

Alto: That doesn’t even make sense.

Me: BUT IT DOES. Not only that. But today is opening day for Deer hunting. It’s like they called KPatz and were like, these deer are a big fucking problem.


Alto: Your point being?

Me: Deer cause all sorts of accidents in Michigan. They’re like crime fighting against all the deer. Working together for a common good.

Alto: …let’s not hang out anymore.

Only YOU, America, can celebrate by blowing things up.

I absolutely LOVE July 4th. I love fireworks. I love spending time at the park with a bunch of friends. I love the weather. There is no downside to this holiday.

Oh, except this one time when I was six years old and I ended up putting a sparkler to my face. Was it lit? Possibly. You know what that means? I put a fire stick on my face. Do you know why they call them fireworks? Because they are fiery, and they burn.

My July 4 Battlewound. I know, I’m super cool.

Despite this scar of July 4th’s past, I love the holiday. And yes, I still love sparklers. So much, in fact, that GoldDust and I headed out in search of them for the holiday BBQ. Nothing says 4th of July like firing up the grill, sitting around the bonfire, and MOTHER EFFING SPARKLERS. I can’t believe still that we were having a BBQ and NO ONE THOUGHT OF THE SPARKLERS.

 

(Created with Gifboom)

I mean, who, as a small child, did not play with sparklers for the holiday? Who didn’t attempt to write their name in cursive in the sky thinking it might stay there, or after Harry Potter hit the bookshelves, magic the shit out of everybody??!! I was one of those kids who ran around with the sparkler shouting Avada Kedavra at strangers. Like I said. I was super cool.

I rule you, America!! Angry Magical Sparkler Chick card available now in our Zazzle store! http://www.zazzle.com/chicksinthemitt

Stop one was CVS. We debated picking up some Red Bull to make it through the night, but after scouring the store and not finding sparklers, or fireworks in general, we left in an irate fashion. Middle fingers up, debating WHY THE HELL DOESN”T CVS HAVE FIREWORKS and WHERE IS YOUR PATRIOTISM and ENTHUSIASM FOR BLOWING SHIT UP?! We left the Red Bull behind too. Any store that doesn’t support fireworks doesn’t get our business.

Stop two was at Kroeger. If you follow either myself or GoldDust on Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed the tweet/instagram — We up in here at Kroeger. I’m pretty sure this is one of those Michigan stores, so equate it to your local grocer and begin saying that phrase in earnest. We up in here at your favorite local grocer. However, you know what wasn’t up in here at Kroeger? Sparklers. They at least had fireworks, and we bought some imitation fireworks called Morning Glorys. But still. No sparklers up in here at Kroeger.

Stop three was at our local dollar store. We found poppers there, which are always fun. But still…no sparklers. While checking out, I finally asked someone about the lack of sparklers.

“We haven’t been able to find sparklers anywhere. Do you have them?” I asked.

“Well,” said the man behind the counter. “Ever since that news piece ran about sparklers burning at over 800 degrees, all the stores have been pulling them off their shelves. You can try one of the [super shady] tents on every corner. They’ll probably have [the apparently now illegal and dangerous] sparklers.”

“Dangerous?!” I exclaim. “They’re sparklers! It’s fourth of July! I got burned in the face by a sparkler but I still want them. Shouldn’t it be up to us if we use them or not?!”

The guy shrugs.

GoldDust and I head out into the heat with our poppers, ice cream, and still no sparklers*.

“You know,” she tells me. “That’s probably not the best story to use while trying to get someone to sell you sparklers.”

Well said, my little GoldDust.

See How They Shine!

Hope ya’ll had a safe, face burning free, 4th of July. BY THE WAY. I think San Diego won for best fireworks ever.

*Obviously, sparklers were found. After driving for a half hour and coming up with lame imitation sparklers, an ice cream bar, a diet coke, a kit kat, and a bunch of poppers, the boys found sparklers at the booze store down the street.

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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/griffinshockey/

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…