The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Monday, March 31, 2008

364 Days and Counting

My 29th birthday was on Saturday. My golden birthday. I turned 29 on the 29th. Which means I'm only 364 days from 30 years old. I guess I'm not terribly concerned about being in my 29th year. I've always been a person for celebrating my birthday. I wonder if that will change as I get (even) older. I know there are alot of people out there that dread their upcoming birthdays, but I believe (at least right now) that age is a state of mind. Evidence my grampa. He's over 80 (I think) yet frequently acts like an annoying and unreasonable child. But the fact that I will be turning 30 may give me some perspective on life. Perhaps this will be the year that Mark and I finally manage to go on one of the trips we are always talking about... Perhaps overseas? I don't know, but I like the sense of milestones and achievements. Remember the episode of "Friends" where Phoebe finds out she's actually a year older than she thought? And she's really depressed because she had a list of things she wanted to accomplish before she turned 30?

Moving away from philosophy and sensing mortality... My party was excellent. Mark tried really hard to throw me a party that I would really like, and I think he succeeded admirably. We had quite a few people show up, which was really awesome. It was even a nice day weather-wise!

In the morning, Annie and I went to Ikea... very fun. Ikea is generally fun all on your own, but it's even more fun with my sister-in-law. She has a very childlike sense of wonder. It's fun to see her get really excited over a chair or bookcase. After Ikea, we met Mark and Jared, Dave and Barb, and Charley and Eileen at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Mark and I shared the four cheese pasta and a piece of dulce de leche caramel cheesecake. It was ridiculously good. After lunch we went back to the house where Ang and Isabelle were waiting. I was SO glad that Ang came up. Isabelle was just getting over a bought with stomach flu, so wasn't the usual happy baby we are used to, but she was still adorable. She's SO close to walking and she likes to scoot around the floor like a gorilla. No crawling for this baby! On Sunday Ang dressed her in a little purple onsie with a whale on the front that I bought her from Target.

For my party, we had everyone over to the new house. Most people had not seen it before and it was fun to give tours to everyone and point out the things we had done/improved. The we ate and played games and talked and I finally rolled into bed at 2 a.m. after my last guest left.

Today marks the beginning of the end of the semester. Only four weeks of class left, finals week, then commencement on May 3rd. Amazing. Where did the semester go? I hope these last four weeks fly just as quickly. I have to admit I'm looking forward to May and a little break before summer classes start up.

Well, that's it for today. As I only have four weeks of class left, I better get some actual work done!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Laughter is Fun

First, I'd just like to say that I can't believe no one commented on my blog about Mpls and penis envy. I mean, COME ON, that was a funny blog.

Next, I'd like to share a few of my favorite Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy. Does anyone else remember the Deep Thoughts? They used to be on Saturday Night Live a long, long time ago and they are hilarious. Here are some good ones:

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."

"For mad scientists who keep brains in jars, here's a tip: why not add a slice of lemon to each jar, for freshness?"

"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis."

"Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Does Mpls have penis envy?

So, yesterday I was eating dinner at Panchero's (delicious veggie quesadilla) when I read an opinion column about which was taller, the IDS or the Capella building. While the column was informative on this topic (apparently the IDS is taller, despite Capella's claims to the contrary) the author then went on to claim that Mpls really needs to catch up to all the other cities because even Indianapolis (gasp!) has taller skyscrapers than we do! Oh the HORROR!! Oh the SHAME!! How is it that we as a city have not kept up with the ridiculous need to pile steel, glass and mortar into taller and taller edifices in order to assert our superiority and dominance over other cities with smaller, more pathetic erections? I mean, if this columnist is to be believed, our lack of appropriately high skyscraper puts us behind Chicago, Houston, Austin, Indianapolis (double gasp!) and Seattle and that is just here in the Midwest! There are buildings being erected in other countries that put our poor child-like IDS Tower to shame.

I must admit, after I read that column I felt the almost overwhelming urge to look around for a towel. I mean, was I suddenly in a locker room? What was going on?

How sad that our worth as a city might be tied into the size of our skyline. I guess we'll all just have to start driving bigger, faster cars.


So, it's been awhile since I last blogged... I have a somewhat good excuse and that is that the internet at my house is temperamental. There is nothing more frustrating that being in the middle of a wonderful and creative thought (like all my blogs contain) only to have the internet quit working. Also, I was on spring break last week and didn't particularly want to spend much time on the computer. Instead, I spent my time reading books, playing Wii, and watching TV. Much to chagrin, I rather enjoyed watching Martha Stewart. It was also nice to watch Rachel Ray again. I very much enjoy her show, although I haven't been watching it as much since I decided to become a vegetarian almost a year ago. She has lots of great recipes, but they are only rarely vegetarian. I should email her... Maybe she'd do one show a week that featured vegetarian recipes... or would come out with a vegetarian cookbook. As it is, I usually just modify the recipes in the Rachel Ray cookbook I have. In fact, I am making "Green and While Lightening Chicken Chili" tonight for supper. Of course, I am removing the chicken and adding another can of beans. Who says you can't get protein without eating meat?!?

We went to Fargo for Easter last weekend and I got to play Smash Bros Brawl for the first time. It is an excellently fun game. I'm partial to playing as Pikachu and Wario. Few people were more surprised than me when I wound up winning half of the brawls. I was even ahead of my brother in number of KOs for quite awhile, which is a huge accomplishment.

In other exciting news, Mark and I are preparing for my upcoming birthday celebration! My birthday is on Saturday and we are going to have a party at our new house. I'm really hoping Mark can be done with the tiling in the downstairs bath by then. He got a row put in last night, but now he has to cut the tiles to the right size, which means things will take a little longer. I need to get the guest bedroom painted. It is a sort of weird, sickly yellow right now and I can't like it. However, it will be lovely when I am done with it.

We only have five weeks of class left, and it is amazing to me that my first academic year here is almost over. When I think back to where we were last year at this time and all the changes we've made, it's hard to believe. Things feel even more official now that we both have Mpls phone numbers and new driver's licenses. There's no going back!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


As in, Mark has to wear funny goggles for the rest of the night. Even when he sleeps. He actually has to wear the goggles while sleeping for the next week so that he doesn't accidentally hit himself in the eye or something.

The Lasik surgery seems to have went well. The doctors were very positive. No one said "Whoops" during the procedure, so we think that is a good sign. He's been trying to sleep, but is having a little discomfort with his left eye. All in all, we were there for just under an hour an a half - most of that time was actually spent prepping Mark for surgery. Apparently, the Lasik itself took a very short amount of time. I wouldn't know, because they didn't call me to come and watch. I was sort of expecting that they would, because Barb got to watch when Dave had his surgery, but, oh well.

I really should be cleaning my house right now. I THINK Dan and Ang are coming to visit tomorrow night... But I haven't heard from Ang so I have no idea what the actual plan is. I'm struggling with the impulse to call her right now. To call or not to call...

I should clean in any case - guests or no. We will be having people over for a very small open house on Sunday, so the house should look nice. I don't want my colleagues to find out what true slobs Mark and I are ;)

I get to leave in about an hour to get my hair cut!! Woo hoo!! There are few things in this world I enjoy as much as a haircut. Of course, I have no idea what I want this haircut to look like and I've never been to this stylist before, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Well, I suppose I could at least get up and do the dishes. Then I'd feel like I accomplished something. OK. Here I go.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I said, Woo Hoo.

I have caught up on grading blogs for BOTH my classes!! Hurray to me. Now, all I have left to grade are papers that my interpersonal class turned in almost two weeks ago. Pretty shameful on my part, but I have been seriously buried under grading for the past two weeks. My plan is to take the papers with me tomorrow when Mark has his surgery. He has to be there two hours early for some reason, so I think I'll have plenty of time to sit and grade.

Tomorrow is Thursday and I can't believe it. Only two classes away from spring break. Fortunately, tomorrow in Interpersonal I am continuing to discuss one of my MOST favorite comm topics (next to enviro comm and rhetoric): nonverbal comm.

So, last week I got one of those "getting to know your friends surveys" through the email. I kinda like these. They give you an opportunity to learn things about your friends that you didn't necessarily know, and also, sometimes the answers are really funny. For example, my brother answered the question: What do you always carry with you? with "My wallet and a sai." This is funny on several levels. A) He leaves his wallet places all the time. Once he left it at a game store in the mall in Minot, ND. But he does take it more places that he does his cell phone. And let's not EVEN get me started on that topic. I will be enraged. B) The thought of Jared carrying a sai cracks me up. Only he would come up with something like that. For those of you that DON'T know my brother... He does NOT carry weapons. He wouldn't even know what to do with a sai. In fact, I was astonished that he knew how to spell it. He also answered the question: Have you ever dyed your hair? with "No, I'm not a loser." THIS was funny because he wife quickly pointed out via email that he DID in fact dye his hair one year for Halloween (he was Wolverine) and so, by his definition, was, in fact, a loser. Ha.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Caught In a Lie of Omission

So, Ali totally caught me in a lie of omission last Friday. I let it slip that I was going to have coffee with David that afternoon. Unfortunately, Ali knew that I had already had a coffee that week and I am only supposed to have one per week. Of course, I realized that I would be exceeding my coffee limit, but I DIDN'T TELL Ali on purpose. Is this sort of deceptive and evil? Yes. I suppose so. But I REALLY wanted coffee and I knew Ali would give me all sorts of grief. My plan would have been perfect, except I accidentally let it slip in conversation that I was planning to cheat. Blast Ali's good memory... She caught me in the lie and then I had to look sheepish. But I still had that cheaty coffee. HA!

Friday night Mark and I watched Meet the Robinson's, which I have wanted to watch since it came out into the theater. It was very funny. The villain was MUCH funnier that I thought he would be, and the T-Rex was appropriately funny with the "Big head, little arms" line. It was so fun to sit on the couch and know I didn't have to be anywhere or do anything the next morning.

Oh, I must go back in time to earlier Friday: after I cheated on coffee and before Meet the Robinson's. I attended a portion of the Women's Studies Conference. The first panel was excellent. There were some really interesting student papers presented. It made me want to work on a student research project with someone. Smart students are awesome. While the first panel was awesome, the second one left a little to be desired and so I ducked out a little early. The panel was entitled Activism, but really just consisted of six women from the different colleges talking about their women's groups. It could have been more interesting if any of the women would have been willing to open up a little more. As it was, I felt like the moderator was pulling teeth every time she asked a new question.

Saturday was lovely (yes, David, lovely). I didn't do anything work related. I read The Other Boleyn Girl (awesome) and played Mario Galaxy (awesome). Then, Mark and I went to Dave and Barb's for dinner and more Wii playing (Karoake Rev and Mario Party). Barb and I played tag team against Mark and Dave and beat them twice! It was excellent. The first game was pretty close, but we totally kicked butt on the second one! We got all the bonus stars - even the mini-game star! This is a huge accomplishment for me because I'm not very good at mini-games. I have to credit my recent hours logged on Mario Galaxy for giving me that extra skill.

Sunday Mark and I ran errands and worked on house stuff. The shower floor is now installed, but we still need to repair the tile wall. I'm not sure if it will be done in time for Dan and Ang's visit. If not, they can still use the bathroom for everything except showering and it will be just fine. Speaking of Dan and Ang, I am so excited to see them and Isabelle on Friday! Apparently, Isabelle scoots around like a gorilla! This seems incredibly funny to me. I can't believe she's almost a year old!

Well, it's almost time to go. I was trying to get my power point for Interpersonal done... It might not happen. Fortunately, it's a topic that I know and love - nonverbal comm. This week should have some excellent discussion.

And I'm off...

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Niggle - verb: to criticize, esp. constantly or repeatedly, in a peevish or petty way; carp

I played this word in Scrabulous today against Aleisha. First, I was surprised and delighted that it WAS a word. I had no idea. Then, because I can leave no word un-defined, I looked up niggle on (a fabulous resource for all your word-defining needs). I was even more pleased when it had such a fun and useful meaning. So, expect to hear the word niggle from my lips. I am officially adding it to my vocabulary.

Scrabble (and it's online Facebook version, Scrabulous) and other word games really offer up the opportunity to learn all kinds of new words. Take my brother for example:

WARNING: The following content is slightly colorful in nature.

Mark, Jared, Annie and I were play Upwords at my parent's house over Christmas. Jared is a fan of adding random letters to see if they make words. In a fit of inspiration, Jared made the word "buggery." This was hilarious, but not for the reasons you may think. First, Jared had no idea this was actually a word. When we started laughing, he thought it was because he just made up a funny word. He was surprised to discover it was an actual word. Then even more surprised to find out what that word meant. Of course, we had to share the humor with my mom, who responded with a very scandalized "Jared!" before starting to laugh, too. See. Word games ARE fun.

I love words and language. I think it all started when my mom bought me a word-a-day calendar when I was a kid. I can still remember some of the words I learned from that calendar, mellifluous and plethora were among my favorites. I also was (and am) a very avid reader. There were several times when I would say a word aloud that I had learned the meaning of through reading - but not know how to pronounce. The word, rendezvous, for example, is very tricky for a little kid. Later in life, words and their meanings still had significance for me. I knew I would marry Mark when he used the word pejorative correctly in casual conversation.

Today in Interpersonal we had an excellent conversation about language and prejudice. Things in my life have been oddly connected lately. This semester I have two groups, in different classes, that are researching and interested in LGBTQIA issues. Last night, Mark went on a 15 minute rant about the overuse of acronyms. Today, David got a postcard about a graduation celebration for the LGBTQIA community. WE started talking about acronyms. It's like all these pieces of my life are connected. Very deja vu.

And speaking of pieces, I played more Mario G last night. That game is really fun. Except, right before bed last night I was about ready to pull my hair out. I was stuck at one point in a galaxy an I didn't want to go back to the observatory because then I'd have to do the entire stupid world over. But, I persevered and was finally able to shut off Mario at 9:45. Then I went upstairs and read The Other Boleyn Girl for awhile before going to sleep. I highly recommend the book by the way. Not only is it deliciously scandalous, but it provides and interesting view into a history that seems very foreign and strange. I wonder what people will say about today's cultures in one hundred or two hundred years. They probably won't be able to figure out how George W. Bush ever got elected once, let along twice. Oh wait, I live in the here and now and can't figure that one out. Maybe future people will be baffled by our clothing or lack of oh-so-handy (pun not intended) ambidextrous third arm (because I believe everyone in the future will have an oh-so-handy ambidextrous third arm).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Am Wunderkind

I just bought a bottle of Diet Pepsi. Every time I go to this particular Pepsi machine, I remember the firs time I met my friend Emiliano. It was a very humid day in August, and I desperately wanted a Diet Pepsi. So, I scrounged up some change, and headed off to the pop machine. And my money got stuck. So, I returned to my office and borrowed a few more cents from my office neighbor, the fantastic Darcey. The borrowed money also got stuck. Then, as I was standing there thinking dark thoughts about this Pepsi machine, this wonderful Guatemalan man stopped to help me out. He had some folded paper in his hand, which we used in an attempt to dislodge my money. He even put in some of his own money. All to no avail. Finally, Emiliano shook the machine, which made all the money we had deposited slide down into the machine and I was rewarded with probably the most tasty Diet Pepsi ever. A few weeks later I found out that Emiliano was going to be one of my mentors for the semester. We had a lot of fun. Emiliano is great. He left Guatemala in the 1980s as a result of the political unrest and disappearances that were happening in his country. He was telling us (my mentor group) about his decision to come to the US. He said that he was at a university at the time, and people would just disappear. You would leave school at night, and the next morning, friends and teachers would be gone. Very scary. I can't imagine living in an environment like that. I often try to remind myself that, as hard as my life seems sometimes, or as tired as I am, I really can't imagine what real hardship looks or feels like.

Today at lunch Deb introduced me to another faculty member that I didn't know as "wunderkind." I love my department. I mean, I seriously hit the jackpot here. Yay me!

Yesterday was a really long day. Mark and I got to work at the normal time. I worked on class stuff in the morning. I was really happy yesterday. Not only did I wake up feel good/healthy, but the world was just brighter. I was excited to go to school and to get things done. Then, in the afternoon/evening, I went to the last TCFL tournament of the year. We had a lot of students there from Augsburg, thanks to David's persuasion class and, I have to say, it was much more fun with all those people there. So, even though it was a long day, it was a good day.

This morning started off pretty well but went downhill rapidly. As I was sitting on the couch eating my bowl of cereal, the traffic report declared that the snow was causing a lot of problems for the morning commute, chief among these was the semi that tipped over on the interstate just east of where Mark and I exit to get to school. Mark also saw this report and expressed his dismay. "Yes," I said. "Maybe we should go through town today, instead of taking the interstate." Now, Mark is very wonderful and I love him alot, but sometimes he sort of pooh-poohs me when I make driving direction suggestions. I think that he likes to be the navigator, if you will, the expert on where to go and what routes to take. This was one of those times. He sort of scoffed at my idea, declaring that it would be just as busy going downtown and that he'd rather go farther south. This didn't fly with me because I HATE to backtrack. I mean, I really hate it. So, we wound up going the regular way which was a giant mistake. Our drive to school typically takes between 12 and 20 minutes. This morning, it took us ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES. During the drive (which Mark pointed out would have gotten us 1/3 of the way to Fargo) I tried to keep my spirits up, but I couldn't help thinking (and eventually saying aloud) that I had been right when I suggested taking Washington through downtown. Yeah, it would have taken longer than our usual drive -- but not 3 TIMES longer. We did eventually make it to school and my day has progressed pretty much according to schedule since.

Tonight, my first priority is going to the gym. This is going to be difficult, because I am very tired. But I am going to stick to my guns. Tonight should be a cardio night. If I can do half an hour, then I can come home and chill out the rest of the night. Maybe play Mario G... Maybe watch a movie. We should get Meet the Robinson's in the mail today. I've wanted to see it for a long time because of the part where the T-Rex declares that he can't grab the boy because has a big head and tiny arms. HA HA HA HA. That is very funny. I'm chuckling a little right now thinking about it.

And on that note... I'm out.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Day Lost, a Bug-Eating Plant, and a Star Snack

I had the flu on Friday. I was awake a grand total of 7 hours. It was miserable. And that is that.

On Sunday Barb and I went to the Home and Garden Show. It was huge. I was totally unprepared for the hugeness of it. I was also unprepared for the people. The people with babies and small children. And the beer kiosk. But, I suppose that all the husbands dragged to the show by their wives needed some beer. Especially if those husbands were also expected to look after the small children in that giant crowded space. Just thinking about it made me want to buy one. But, instead, Barb and I had twisty cones.

There were some fun things interspersed among all the different window vendors. Barb and I decided that we liked the vendors that had actual things to sell the best. We found some great deals on 400 thread count sheets. Barb also bought a really cute planter that looks like a watering can. I bought a bug-eating plant. It's really cute and I have decided to name it Hubert. It doesn't look anything like a venus flytrap. Instead, it has these really pretty leaves that apparently exude some sort of smell that is irresistible to little bugs - like the fruit flies that sometimes live on your bananas. The little bugs land on the leaves and get stuck there. Then the plant digests them. Kinda gross, but also very cool. Plus, I hate bugs. Ask my mom, she'll tell you. I had a traumatic grasshopper experience when I was little. It was during a very hot, dry summer and the kind with the bib black and yellow wings were EVERYWHERE! One landed on my nose. It has scarred me for life. While, being an adult, I try not to jump and shout whenever a grasshopper pops up unexpectedly, I will walk out of my way to avoid them. And I do usually jump and shout when one pops up unexpectedly. Yucky.

For the last part of my blog, I am going to channel "No, I Am A Cat" and talk about the video game I just started. I got Mario Galaxy for Christmas and I had been saving it until after we moved into the new house. So, feeling better and ensconced upon my brand new couch, I pulled out Mario Galaxy and popped it in the ol' Wii. I don't think I am overstating it at all to say that Mario Galaxy is SUPER fun! It took me a little while to get used to the controls, but after a few planets it's almost like holding a standard controller. I'm still getting used to using the nunchuk button for the ground-pound, though.

I am not sure what my evening will consist of tonight. I really should go to the gym. It's been over a week and I do feel better, albeit very tired. I am also looking forward to the two-hour season finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I have pleasant visions of me sitting and watching it while grading a few papers. And, of course, now that I've started talking about Mario Galaxy, I want to play that for awhile. Do I have enough time for all this fun and getting groceries, too?!?! I will answer that breathless question tomorrow.