T-Shirt Size: Awesome
A well versed and opinionated column on Grand Rapids, Mi and its underlying minutia.

  • Bullshit! Eateries that operate within the designated square downstairs qualify as food court, anything operating outside the said designated square
    square is considered an autonomous unit for mid-mall snacking.

    Sorry I had to finish that quote. That quote rules. Brodie rules.

    So very quickly I'm going to tell you the thing I learned about spending one hot, hot, summer being unemployed: it's FUCKING RAD. Ok. In lieu of telling you all the endless adventures we've been having, I'm just going to paraphrase with a short list of places I or we have broken the law in the last 3 months:

    Detroit, Fox Theater, MGMT...
    Blake's boat
    Sharon's boat
    Patrick's boat
    Frankfort (and subsidiaries, up there they get "towns" confused with "neighborhoods")
    Illinois, Chicago, thank you Eugene Hutz!!
    DTE Energy music theater (fucking MAIDEN)
    Good old GR

    But what now, ladies? I know the weather is creeping up on ?indoors? pretty quick, but seriously we want blood. So I'm going to give you some blood right now, with an ode to the man that made it look good. I know it was a month or two ago that this fallen maniac took his throne in Valhallah, but somebody asked me who Bob Probert was last week, and now I feel it's my civic duty to explain it. And to the idiot who asked me: I hope your teeth never grow back in, bitch. He will haunt your dreams.

    Bob Probert was a Detroit Red Wing from '85-'94 and was the first serial killer to be completely state-backed and legit since Sir Francis Drake made a human shield of clerics in the 1500's. Bob Probert reinvented the ass-whooping. Bob Probert's mother was actually an Iron Maiden (the torture device, not the band), and his father was a Cannibal Corpse (like the zombie, not the band). Bob Probert carved Onterio out of a glacier with his bare hands and a beaver that he caught with the same bare hands and cranked his tail around real fast until the beaver's teeth started to chatter and not only was Ontario formed, but he invented the chainsaw. He later married that beaver and had a few little beaver/power tool babies. She also became a lesbian on her 60th birthday, but that's beside the point. Bob Probert once beat up a grizzly bear using a wolverine for a weapon. It was during this fight that he invented the over-the-head-jersey-punch, which was later gifted to Daren McCarty at a secret santa Christmas party. It was the greatest gift ever given. Bob Probert once beat the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Northview High School's Varsity line, and Real Madrid in a football game. By himself. While he was drunk. And watching BJ and the Bear on TV. Yeah. That's who Bob Probert is, bitch.

    There was a time before strikes and GAP ads (yeah I'm calling you out, Avery, you used to be tough), and pink panty-waist meltdowns, when a hockey player could skate back into the locker room at period break, and sit there for the whole time picking teeth out of his gloves and banging the visiting team's wives. Bob Probert was from that time. There was a time at the Joe where just hearing his name reverberating loudly down the concourse would send a stream of piss immediately flowing down every opponent's leg. There was a time when, if you just happened to have a game that night against the Red Wings, you had the choice between facing off against Kocur and Probie, or to bite a 45lb free weight in half. Many people chose that option, because they lost less teeth (on average) that way. That's who Bob Probert is, bitch.

    RIP big guy.

  • She torched his Neil Diamond albums last night...she torched Neil...you're right she is a monster (both start playing guitar in Spanish outfits)
    "Thursday, August 24, 1972. A hot, sultry summer night, in California they call it earthquake weather, with the air hanging heavy over the open, glistening shell of the Greek Theater, over 4500 people comfortable in their broad seats, over the countless others, the "tree people", clamoring up the mountain and into the surrounding trees, casting eerie shadows against the walls, anything to have a glimpse of the stage and the man who will fill it. Hot August night, and many of the people had been there on Tuesday and Wednesday and will be there again on Friday and the nights after that because, after all, Neil Diamond has come back to the Greek.

    Then, softly, the music begins, the lights dim. Slowly, the heavy fire doors roll back; the music rises, the stage is a smoky, opalescent jewel in the darkness. But one light shines brighter than the others, a white pool in the brilliance, and, for an instant, sound hangs suspended, only the air breathing.

    Then he's there, the crowd exploding, Neil Diamond as casual as if it's the most natural thing in the world, those 5,000 people demanding his soul. And, for the next 107 minutes, he gives it to them, a spontaneous exhausting display of energy and sensuality. And the people are right there with him, screaming and cheering and applauding and beseeching, knowing all the words to all the songs but hearing them as for the first time, because that's what Neal Diamond gives them, singing as though he, too, were just discovering the heart and soul of the music, every number unique and exhilarating.

    Too soon, almost before the moment is realized, it's over. The encore, the ovations, the bows-Neil Diamond has gone, in joy and triumph. And as the people begin to leave, reluctant, unwilling to relinquish the intimacy and the sensation, the silence again settles on the Greek, heavy and still until the next evening, when once again Neil Diamond will shatter the Hot, August Night....!"

    Blam bitches! That was VERBATIM out of the cover of Neil's 1972 (you guessed it, Hot August Night) explosive live album on vinyl. I did not write that. Just in case there's still one of you out there that still doubts Neil's Majesty, DOWN ON ONE KNEE!Those people climbed mountains to see him. And then when they got to the tops of the mountains, they climbed trees. And when they reached the treetops they climbed the monkeys that were on the trees. And then the bugs that were on the monkeys. And then the clouds above but those people fell down the bugs and trees and mountains, cause, you know, clouds are just gas. Stupid tree people...And then they made eerie shadows and Neil played the shit out of some songs, and everyone went home all pie-eyed and glossy. It's all right there folks, covered. They must, have, had, a sale on, commas, though that day, or maybe, the, writer was still, stuttering, from the Glory of NEIL. I bet that's it.

  • Where the hell have you been? Oh me? Just around...
    Don't ask...it's been crazy. Let's just say, our absence involved Dinosaurs, some chest hair and well, other things inappopriate for children's eyes.

    So it was Neil Diamond's half birthday a few days ago and I totally forgot to send you a card and fill your socks with Matzo ball soup in celebration. Hope you're not mad! Here's a little Neal to brighten your day anyway. This song makes me want to carry a torch barefoot into the night while the giant flag proudly waves overhead and the ocean covers the shore with huge foamy whitecaps and a majestic eagle soars and lets out a thunderous cry (CAAAAA!) and Neil's sparkly shirt guides all ships to safety and freedom. And liberty. And sandwiches that have chicken breasts instead of buns. God bless this country...

  • "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid
    Alright alright alright! We?re finally back. Who missed us? Who missed spontaneous and unnecessary curse words being directed at you for no reason, bitches? Who missed miles of long, rambling sentences, made-up words, and largely pointless, bulleted lists? Well we?re back for good and thanks very much to Justin Stover for telling us we really were funny, even though I?m still quite sure that through all that benevolence and heroic beard hair, it was probably just manners?that?s besides the point. So in lieu of our billions of awesome stories and emotional adventures, strengthening us both physically and mentally, shaping strong, fierce women in the face of every adversity (with the exception of race, gender, religious affiliation, education, upbringing, stereotyping, etc), I?m just going to paraphrase 2009 for you real quick:

    You know what? None of your business. But we all had a little dick on our chins at some point. So there.

    So 2009 is over, and six days in, 2010 already has a best film (according to the radio, its 9, whatever that is). Glad that?s out of the way. Now if I could just kick this existential life crisis we?ll really be cooking?but I wanted to kiss off 2k9 at least a little, because some of the shit that happened this year is really unbelievable. The Press acts like the biggest news story of the year is the divorce of Jon and Kate, sorry Obama! The Red Wings take a bone-broke single-season shame spiral, everybody almost gets to call in dead with the incurable death flu, Jack White plays the drums with his penis, and Stephtendo DS finally moves upstairs.

    Get ready to get a little shame on your shirts (unless you?re wearing a shame bib or have a shameWOW!), here is a little list of things that were embarrassingly awesome about 2009:

    ? The Lonely Island Incredibad. T Pain, Jack Black, and Julian Cassablancas (how we?ve missed you!) back up the lily-white punk thugs from SNL for an excellent satire album, complete with behind-the-scenes Padme and why the Space Olympics is the best idea ever. Spurting catch phrases all over the place like ?its all about the Hamiltons baby,? ?Like A Boss,? and of course ?I?m on a boat, bitch!? this album is everything Sandberg needed to cement a job when SNL stops trying to censor him. Check out ?Boombox? for life-lesson joy. Shortay!

    ? The ubiquitous touch screen cell phone. Everybody has that shit now. Thank god, finally a way to avoid talking to or making eye-contact with your friends that are near you, when the ones that aren?t are far more interesting! No, I don?t want to see your new app that makes you even more annoying when you try to show everybody your new app.

    ? Jacob. At least if this Twilight shit never goes away the rest of us girls who don?t read the books and prefer their men with a little color and tone and hair that doesn?t totally suck will have something all underage and ripply to oogle all creepy like while our eyes are glazed over and drool pools in our lower lip as the media continues it?s relentless assault. Vampires totally suck. Now somebody get that poor kid a towel! He?s always so wet!

    ? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This just really had to happen. Now that?s what I call a happy ending!

    ? The giant blue dong in the Watchmen. The movie was so-so, but we got there late on opening night and had to sit too close to the IMAX screen?to this day when I close my eyes I can still see it glowing?

    ? Just Haven?t Met You Yet by Michael Buble. Besides the fact that I think he wrote that about me, this infectious little number is adorable and the video is adorable and Buble is adorable and just when you thought W-lite played xmas music all year?I warn you though?if you decide to YouTube this based on my recommendation, it will be plastered into your skull for the next three weeks minimum. It?s like the awesome Canadian version of Montezuma?s revenge. My last trip to Family Fare, all I got was an artichoke and a dirty look from a thousand year old lady for taking all her raisins or something like that?some bitches get everything. I don?t even like raisins?

    ? Good Little Friday. Day off, sunshine, bottle of El Toro, Bubba, KP, Stephtendo, the sprinkler, all-you-can-eat lake perch, Mad Libs, Busch Lite, karaoke, Little Feat, and Jake Busey. I don?t think I missed anything?but Bubba? (grabs boob, pushes up) I have some bad news?

    ? Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. Yes, it surprised me too. Picture this: 12:30 am New Years Day and the room is full of sweaty hammered hipsters wearing various levels of formal undress. They are dancing and blah blah blah, and the DJ plays this song. They went ape shit! Everybody was indeed throwing their hands up and bobbing their heads like yeah. Damn Miley! Your totally retarded party jam is actually awesome! Now how the hell does your cardigan make you a normal girl again?

    ? Star Trek the movie. Ha ha! You thought I was serious?nerd please.

    ? Sarah Palin. Man that bitch is rogue! I want to be rogue like her! She is so rogue and mavericky and stuff with her security and awesome five chapter manifesto about how magical it is to be rogue. Ready for her plan for world domination? A talk show. At least maybe the unwashed masses will be ready when the moose population of northern Alaska decide to annex Wasilla?just try it: Next time you sit down to a lovely plate of nachos or Hot Pockets or pigs-in-a-blankets, don?t just eat them, go rogue on that shit! Don?t just talk to the people at the bank, go rogue! Keep your cash in a coffee can under the floorboards of your trailer. The only way for America to move forward is to regress to the golden age of pioneering mountain men.

    ? Heavy Metal. I know it isn?t new, but you simply can?t beat watching your two dearest friends emerge from the pit SOAKED in blood and thirsty for more. GWAR ?08 was nothing compared to GWAR ?09. More blood, and more space jizz than you can see through. While, Cannibal Corpse is just like watching Dethklok live, and the etiquette within the pit is surprisingly civil. KP screams ?Just Hit Me! AAAHHHH!? and these sweaty, tattooed crazy people are all like ?sorry, sweetheart?. The balloon animals were just plain nice.

    ? Neil Diamond. He just is. And January 24 is his 69th (yeah!! fist pump!) birthday so we better see you all Diamond-And-Dashing and frolicking all over the West Side spreading the Gift of Neil to anyplace with a karaoke machine. Don?t forget your chest wig! More to come on this one?

    ? Scareyoke. I know we talked about this before so there is no excuse why we shouldn?t see you there. Just say the grossest thing you can possibly think of to your friendly server and there will either be a drink special or harassment case in it for you!

    ? ArtPrize.

    ? Our new kitty. His name is Soren and he is just an adorable little guy. We got him at Lollapalooza (thanks, Jesse!) and he?s blonde and wonderful. If you would like to send him a check, please contact us and we?ll hook you up with an address but we are in charge of making soup and knit goods for him, so please restrict your gifts to monetary items only. Thank you.

    If you?ve made it all the way to the end of this list, you?ll be able to see why we needed TShirtSize:Awesome back?times is tough! Slim pickins! Well we?re going to try our best to recover some of the face that we lost in ?09 and make ?10 a little less super-lame. I have a list of nerds to pound that is 10 miles long. If you want to help me, jump on our little wagon and help de-lame this town! See you soon!

  • ?Your highness, when I said that you are like a stream of bat's piss, I only mean that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around it is dark"
    Hear ye! Hear ye! Good morrow strapping gentlemen! Stef and KP straighten their nerd caps, lace up thine olde (and stinking!) tights, and make haste for the annual Reniassance Festival in odious Holly Michigan. And it was Armed Forces day. And Biker day...didn?t see one soldier. Or biker.

    Hath ye lain eyes on this creepy nerd shit? I didn?t even feel comfortable laughing because they were so for real. I choked down more giggles than the cast of High School Musical chokes down?nevermind. I?m just really glad we brought beer.

    I feel like I should clarify a minute, we had an experienced escort. We didn?t just up and decide to go do this, and while KP might be a nerd, she isn?t even CLOSE to this magnitude. We knew a guy who could get us in. After a long night of no way!?s and nuh-uh?s in response to Austin telling me what actually goes on in one of these things, it was decided that in the spirit of adventure we make a day of it. Austin at 10am: we?re bringing beer. Driving up to the entrance of the fair, Austin had to comment to all in the backseat "Act like you belong here and don't laugh" which was promptly followed by me and Trotter giggling uncontrollably at the guy dressed like Merlin walking around the parking lot. We drag our sorry asses out of the car and head straight to the fair, we walk in and KP immediately goes "I need a beer right now".

    And how glad I was that we did. Here?s the deal with the Holly Renaissance Festival: over four acres of permanent structures including a complete castle and fort, a children?s dell, bars, food venues, stages for all the various shows, and about 100 shops for craftsmen to sell everything from leather goods to battle axes to honey sticks. It has been operating for 30something years. It?s fancy. I was picturing a bunch of tents and booths with portable fairground food and chubby weirdos skipping around in corsets and tights. This was MUCH BIGGER, and oddly more real. These people went to the 9?s for this getup. There were about 1000 adults there (grown-ups, mind you) all dressed right to the hilt in these incredibly labor intensive costumes. Strange enough, I was expecting far more ?tourists? like myself walking around and gawking at the freakshow. But there were a TON of people dressed to look the part. Maybe more than half. Now is time for a sip of beer. Try not to swallow funny when lord Grimmiere or something accosts you with a hand puppet of Queen Elizabeth and a 100% RIDICULOUS accent that he kept slipping in an out of. He?s serious when he says ?good morrow!?, so you have to keep a straight face. Pbphhhhhhthh.

    The shows were something in and of themselves. They pick the more convincing dorks to recruit viewers for Spanish dancers, comedy routines, sword fighting routines, sword fighting comedy routines, gypsy dancers, belly dancers, music?you get the drift. Poor Trotter (or Veronica, as he shall be referred to from now on) got dragged on stage by the popular Washing Well Wenches and had the dorks positively eating out of his hands. He was great. So between sips of beer and stifled laughs you meander over to ye olde giant turkey leg stand and have yourself a giant turkey leg (every bit as hilarious as it sounds. Delicious too!) and check out some of the wild life, maybe witness some horrible actors performing horrible comedy, or sword fighting, or sword fighting comedy or whatever that kid dressed in leather told us to watch. It?s damn hard for me to explain how real this all is. Then, when you?ve wiped the gristle from your chin and washed it all down with a few blessedly sedating meads, it?s time for the full-contact jousting.

    Surprisingly, while it?s the biggest draw (where were all the bikers, Austin???) for the fair, the jousting was pretty lame, and very obvious about the staging. The knights were all in full mail (which was cool) but watching them take a foam-rubber staff to the chest going half-speed in front of some kind of princess in a tower (cause, you know, they had one built) could have been SO MUCH cooler than it actually was. Come on sir Auric, I want to hear some insults being tossed around! Gimme a little of thine medieval trash talking. Shut that swine-born strumpet up! Call him a lily-livered breath of dog! Call his mother a goat-mouthed whore! Don?t pick some little kid out of the audience to be your girlfriend (eew) and then proceed to get your ass fake-kicked in a poorly executed display of D-grade stunts. The jousting was kind of a bust.

    And there was actually a queen, and a court, and witches and pirates, and an old white samurai, and barbarians and Mongols and shit. Okay. I am all for escapism. I like fiction and sweet action movies about dinosaurs and debating conspiracy theories and Jimmy Buffet and all that stuff, but this went a bit far. Why in the hell would you want to live in the middle ages anyway? there were no matches, mirrors, deodorant, Gameboy DS, helicopters, can coolers, weapons made out of bike chains, Crystal Pepsi, muscle cars, cutoff jeans, PEZ dispensers, temporary tattoos, record player/CD player combos, cheesy gordita crunches, snap bracelets, and Reebok Pump sneakers. They were savages. Sure, the kindly folk of medieval times lived in a land where magic was real and full of grandiose heroes and chivalry, mythical creatures roamed free and granted wishes to lonely travelers, virginity was still a virtue, and, oh yeah, more than 2/3rds of the population of England and eastern Europe was wiped out by the plague.

    Alright. So I can?t completely wrap my mouth around the fair completely (yeah, I know?), I will say that we ended up having tons of fun. A pleasurable time was had by all, and while I?ll never go back, the company was top shelf and we ended up having a blast. Friends go see that shit, friends don?t allow each other to get involved (though they?ll probably send Mike an invitation by traveling minstrel, and the show shall forthwith be called the Washing Well Wenches and Veronica show). If you?re really into gross tits and primitive weapons, the Holly Renaissance Fair is for you. If you think the people who like gross tits and primitive weapons are funny, than the Holly Renaissance Fair is for you too. Just don?t laugh in their faces. And bring beer. Thank you, Austin, for making that day rule.