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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Source of Stress

I was watching GMA this morning while eating my Cascasian Farms organic granola, and I caught a segment on a book called The Source: Unleash your Natural Energy, Power up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger by Woodson Merrell. First, I had to be intrigued by the length and seeming integrity of the title. Second, being that I am constantly plagued by ridiculous exhaustion, I thought that unleashing my natural energy would be a good idea. The segment had a variety of interesting advice, including that we should eat more cinnamon because it helps regulate our blood sugar and keeps us from having the spikes and dips in energy that sugar snacks can cause. I also learned that tumeric is an amazing natural anti-inflammatory. According to Merrell, it was almost as successful in tests as cortizone. But, according to the segment, stress is our number one energy zapper. He suggested two things that could be done on a daily basis to help relieve stress. First, he said that deep breathing a few times every hour is a good way to reduce stress. Second, he said that keeping track of the things that make you stressed or tired throughout the day is a way to find out what triggers stress. It occurred to me after hearing this that my blog might be a nice place to keep track of what my stress triggers are. So, here is what is making me stressed and tired today:

1) My 3:10 class. No, it isn't my students or the content of the class that is stressful and exhausting. It is, in fact, the hour of the day. I spend the entire day dreading teaching at 3 p.m. It is by far my worst time of day. See, I'm yawning right now just thinking about it.

2) NCA. I have not yet registered for the conference, nor have I purchased my plane tickets. This is hanging over my head in true guillotine fashion. Yet, every time I think about resolving this problem, something miraculously comes up.

3) Laundry. For whatever reason, I seem incapable of finishing laundry in one day. I get everything done except two loads and by the end it seems like too much effort to put away the clothes I have folded. So, there is still folded laundry sitting on the arms of my couch and loveseat in the living room. I really need to get that done.

Well, this first exercise in stress-journaling has illustrated that some measure of stress is a result of procrastinating. Does this mean that if I procrastinated less, I would have more energy? Hmm, interesting thought. In theory, I should be able to actively pursue checking things off my To Do list, hence being less of a procrastinator, resulting in reduced stress and increased energy. Notice I said "in theory." I've been fighting my procrastinate-y impulses since I started graduate school in 2001. I will attempt to be better at getting things done and will let you know how my stress is responding.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can't Give Up on Politics

Good political news this morning on Good Morning America. Barack is now leading McCain in current polls by 9 points. The news gets even better when you start breaking polling data down to look specifically at the economy. According to GMA, Barack leads McCain by up to 14 points on issues dealing with the economy. People polled think that Barack will be better able to deal with the country's economic problems AND that Barack has a better idea of what the average American is going through in an economic sense. Of course, this makes perfect sense. Who is going to have a better idea of what the average American is going through: a man who spent time working with communities, or a man who doesn't even know how many houses he has?

In other good news: Sarah Palin's approval numbers fell from 58 to 52 percent. It is unfortunate that ANYONE out there thinks she is a qualified VP candidate, but falling numbers are a good sign. I'm going to optimistically say that she can't fool the majority of the American people for too long. All you have to do is watch her being interviewed to know she's in way over her head here.

George Stephanopolus (I have no idea if I spelled that right and do not care to check) said this morning that it is EXTREMELY rare for a candidate with the lead that Barack has in late September to loose an election. Let's hope he's right!!! GO BARACK!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just When You Thought it Wasn't Safe to Like Alaska...

Be still my beating heart. Thanks to all the anti-Palin rally goers. I think the "Bush in a Skirt" sign is my favorite.

Poptarts and Facebook

I was just in the process of writing a dumb blog about poptarts and Facebook. However, it was really bad, so I erased it and have elected to begin anew. (Although I cannot stress enough the fact that Smores Poptarts are awesome).

And now I'm out of time. I have to teach class in 14 minutes. Today we are discussing rhetoric. A favorite topic of mine. Sorry about this short and pointless blog. I will try to do better next time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Empty Rhetoric

As a rhetorician with a PhD, I normally despise the phrase "empty rhetoric." However, because I have spent the last 10 years studying communication, I think I am highly qualified to spot "empty rhetoric" when it is being employed. Sadly, I have heard more empty rhetoric out of the Republican Party this convention season than I have ever heard before.

I did not want to blog about the ridiculous Sarah Palin again. Unfortunately, I just watched a segment of her television interview with Charles Gibson. She tried her damndest to avoid answering ANY of the questions that she was asked. At one point, Charles Gibson even commented that he wasn't sure what she was saying through a "tornado of words." But despite all that empty rhetoric, she did say a few important things. First, she said that if Israel decided to bomb a nuclear plant in Iran, that America should support Israel. Granted, she didn't say it that succictly... She didn't say anything clearly at all. Friendship with Israel, and with other countries, is certainly important. But the stubborn refusal to see or admit that this "friendship" which seems to have no limitations, might possibly be one of the reasons that America is disliked in the Middle East, is a distressing indication of Gov. Palin's lack of global intelligence. Second, she declared that there was nothing wrong with America going into a country like Pakistan in the hunt for suspected terrorists. Once again, she didn't really say this. Charles Gibson asked her the question three times and she blew smoke up his ass with each answer. And not even creative smoke. She just repeated herself. For a second I actually thought they were just replying her first answer. How can Palin state that we had to protect the sovereignty of Georgia and other countries while in the next breath claiming that the sovereignty of other countries is subservient to the will of the United States? I think that these two comments clearly illustrate that she would be one of the WORST possible people to be in charge of anything remotely related to national security.

The willingness to say that the will of America supercedes the will of any other country, combined with the unwillingness to engage in diplomacy shows that Palin is not only lacking in experience, but that she is also lacking in empathy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Be Gone Zombie!!

Well, I just finished reading the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I was a zombie for the past three days because all I wanted to do, when I wasn't working (or even when I WAS working) was read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. Is it a little lame that I got THAT engrossed in a series about vampires written for young adults? Yes. Probably. But I couldn't help myself. The good news is that I finished the book last night and do not have to be a zombie any longer!

Speaking of things that are pushing me towards catatonia... Wow am I sick of Sarah Palin. Seriously, this woman is major threat to our country. The fact that she has a chance of getting into the White House terrifies me on so many levels. Not only is she on a serious power trip (does she try to arbitrarily fire people in every gov't job she has?) but she doesn't believe in evolution, doesn't believe in abortion (even to save the mother's life), and (as I learned this morning) is pro-censorship in public libraries!!! This is absolutely horrifying. Also, if I hear one more person talking about how the Dems are attacking her gender, I WILL SCREAM. I was at the RNC to hear her speech on the Wednesday of the convention. I'll admit, she did DELIVER a good speech. However, if anyone was actually listening to the CONTENT of her message... I'm hoping they were as horrified as I was. I know that both John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have pointed this out already, but can anyone actually believe that she and the rest of the speakers on that night belittled community service?!?!? If those comments didn't clearly illustrate that the McCain/Palin ticket is really only looking out for the rich and the white, then I don't know what does.

Whooo!! Ok. Gotta stop talking politics as my breathing is getting heavy and my heart rate is increasing.

Today is my best-friend-growing-up's birthday. Should be fun, although she is traumatized by the fact she is turning 29. I think I'll save the trauma for when I'm turn 40. 30s don't seem so bad.

Anyhoo, tonight I'll be moving on to read the Pillars of the Earth, which was recommended to me by a friend with excellent taste in books. Hopefully it will be very good, but will not take over my life. TTFN.