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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Recommendation

I've been reading "The Middle of Everywhere" by Mary Pipher for a discussion group I am in at school. It is about new refugee experiences in America. Pipher lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. In an effort to find out more about new refugee experiences she started working with them. I have only read the first four chapters, but it is full of amazing and sometimes terrible stories about people who have been forced to leave their homes and find themselves in a new and foreign place with few resources and fewer friends. I didn't know it, but Pipher has written several other books on different topics. I will probably have to explore them. I always have the best of intentions to read more interesting and thought-provoking non-fiction... although I tend to fall into the trashy fiction trap very easily. Lately I've been reading a lot of Charlaine Harris. I read her Southern Vampire books (which I loved) and then moved on to her other mysteries (which I also love).

I've been reading a lot lately. I think I'm getting in lots of reading now 'cause I know I won't have time for it after the baby is born. It's working out well for Mark, because I don't care if he spends the entire evening playing Gears of War on PS3 if I am reading. Thank goodness for the Hennepin County Library request function. It is doing a great job of keeping me in reading material. I'm very excited because the latest Kathy Reichs book finally came for me this week. I've had to wait for, like, three months to get that one in! There was a big list of requests for that one. I guess I know what I'll be doing Friday night!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Am Tired

I am tired. I want a nap. I cannot have a nap. From this moment onward, I am living this day for bedtime.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Writing My Memoirs

Not really. I'm not writing my memoirs, although I think it would sound cool if I told people I were. Honestly, I'm a little skeptical about regular people memoirs. Yes, I would consider myself to be just a regular person. I have had important and amazing moments in my life, but no more so than the next person. These moments of mine are amazing to me because they are mine, grounded in my past, my perceptions, my goals... I do not assume that others will find the same joy or inspiration in my life.

Two reasons why I am thinking of memoirs today. First, I thought it was really cool that Michelle Obama presented Laura Bush with a leather bound book and pen for her to start her memoirs. Laura Bush has had some interesting and amazing experiences. I would be interested in reading her memoirs. Second, I just got a promotional email from advertising the memoirs of an author. They book was describes as "funny, and frank" and focused on the transition between need parents and becoming a parent. Now, I haven't read the book... I would probably enjoy it... but I don't know how appealing that is as a memoir. Maybe I'm just being overly-critical, but I've never been THAT interested in nonfiction. For me to get hooked, it has to be pretty spectacularly interesting nonfiction. Anyway, those are my thoughts on memoirs. Feel free to contradict me if you like.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Inauguration (duh)

The duh is because of course I'm going to blog about Obama's Inauguration. I have had several thoughts and emotions (as I'm sure many of us have) about today.

First, it seems unbelievable to me that this day is finally here! I've been anxious for it ever since campaigning began so long ago. Yes, at that time we did not know who would be sworn in on this Inauguration Day, but my cynical and disillusioned self thought that anyone would be better that George W. Bush.

Second, I think it is truly remarkable to see all the enthusiasm for this day! One of the news commentators this morning mentioned the feeling of celebrity that Obama has inspired. McCain tried to spin this idea of "celebrity" as a bad thing. My take on this issue of celebrity is that it is good to be in love with your President. Why should enthusiasm and excitement be a bad thing? In the past, we have lived in a largely politically apathetic country. Yes, we experienced a spike in patriotism after 9/11, but, in general, our recent history of involvement (as evidenced by voter turn-out) has been less than inspiring. The excitement, enthusiasm, and commitment to this inauguration by so many people is wonderful and I hope this engagement with our political process will continue as Obama's Presidency unfolds.

Third, I feel hopeful for our future. It is easy to get bogged down in what is currently wrong/bad/sad/unfair in this world. While we still have to see what this new administration is capable of, I can't help but feeling that this country is finally in good hands.

Fourth, even though I am really glad to see him go, I can't help but feel a little bad for outgoing President Bush. It has to be difficult to watch a country celebrating the end of your Presidential career.

So, those are just a few reflections that I have on this Inauguration Day. Let's all celebrate today and hope that tomorrow is the beginning of something new and great for our country.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And I Actually Feel Better!

Hurray! I actually feel better today than I did yesterday or Monday. Yesterday morning was rough. I was VERY crabby when I got to school. First, I've had this cold for over a week. I kept expecting to wake up feeling better any day... but yesterday I actually felt worse. Ok, Ok, it could be a little bit my fault as I was finishing up a book. I didn't go to sleep until 11:30 - I didn't realize how late it had gotten as I was reading the last chapters. So, not only was I feeling yucky, I was also tired. And let me tell you, being over six months pregnant and lack of sleep do NOT go well together.

Adding to my irritation was the fact that the commute yesterday was RIDICULOUS!!!! Now, I'm not one to get made when stuck in traffic. It's one of those things you can't do anything about and I always keep an audiobook in my car for such emergencies as sitting in a standstill on 394 waiting to get through Spaghetti Junction. What really ticked me off yesterday is that the horrid weather we have been having covered all the roads with black ice and there were many stupid commuters out there who refused to drive prudently. Of course, these idiots got into spectacular accidents that basically shut down ALL the major thoroughfares in the city. So, these couple of idiots made everyone driving suffer. I can't like them.

So, long story continuing to get longer... I was in a bad mood when I got to school. I really really really really wanted coffee. But I'm really trying to curtail my caffeine consumption (I say as I sit typing and drinking a mocha - but it's the only caffeinated beverage I've had this week and it will be my last one until next week. Also, it's a small one, not the bigger size I usually get). After writing a cranky, venting email to my mom I started getting ready for the first day of interpersonal communication. The good news is that after interpersonal communication I felt MUCH better. Teaching does that for me. I often leave class happier than when I went in. Students can be great mood boosters!

After lunch I made a very important discovery... If I prop up my feet on my other chair and roll my purple fleece blanket behind my head I can actually sleep in my office chair! I do not consider these little power naps to be slacking. Indeed, these 20 - 30 minute naps are not only helpful for my pregnant self, but they make me more productive in the long run. I would say this time is better spent sleeping than, say, 30 minutes playing Scrabble on Facebook (which I also do in my office... shhhhh...)

Finally, I'd like to mention a post I read in my friend and colleague The Contentious Introvert's blog earlier this week. He was talking about being on the cutting edge of the trend of slow blogging. This was very exciting for him, as he claims he has never been on the edge of any trend, unless you count his clothes as being trendy in the 1980s (to which I would reply sadly, No, Contentious Introvert, just because your clothes were made in the 1980s does not make them trendy - stick to the slow-blogging, it's what you're good at). Anyway, I think the idea of slow blogging is a good one so I'd like to end with a little bit of broader commentary in the spirit of slow blogging.

I believe it is very important for college-age students today to begin understanding that they are the creators of their own destiny. In the real world, there are very few checks and balances... No one is going to tell you to go to class, or to go to work, or to balance your checkbook. It is very easy to live in the present and leave the future for another day (and I speak from experience here, especially when it comes to credit cards - boo). But taking responsibility for yourself and your actions now should be one of the lessons that college teaches people. If you don't master this early (or ever) you may wind up in your thirties with a house-sized debt to pay off (I mean, literally, you may have a debt the size of a home mortgage) and little idea of how to go changing your circumstances. This is something that my husband and I continue to struggle with as we pay off debt, pay a mortgage, and get ready for a new baby (child care is REALLY expensive - but it's hard to begrudge money you spend on having people take care of and teach your child). So, that's my bit of slow blogging for the day. See, in this blog you get two speeds, fast and slow! Thank you Contentious Introvert for pointing out this important trend!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Break is Over.

I'm 95% glad Christmas break is over. My break was nice, but pretty busy with the exception of the last week. Mark and I went to Fargo... twice. There was much packing of cars and unpacking of cars. A lot of trying to figure out where to put Christmas and Shower gifts, and alot of time spent with family (all good). We were in Fargo (the first time) for almost a week. We left home the night before we originally planned because of (of course) weather. Somehow, we managed to run around and be busy the entire time we were there. Jared just got a new game for Xmas, Settlers of Catan. We played Catan quite a bit. It is a very fun game. Dave, Mark's brother, also got the game for Xmas so we were able to continue playing it even after we came back from Fargo.

I also entered my third trimester over break. This is it, the last stretch. The fact that I have fewer than 3 months to go was brought home this morning in my 11:00 a.m. class when I announced that April 2nd would be my last day here for the semester. But I told my class not to fear, as I have set up the last weeks of class to run without me. They will have presentations and workdays that I can have video-taped and then can grade from home. I am fluctuating between times of exhaustion and lethargy and times of nesting and organizing energy. Unfortunately, the exhaustion times are a little more frequent than the energy times (this is evidenced by the amount of laundry I didn't get done yesterday).

My voicemail light is blinking at me. I'm scared of it. I don't want to check my voicemail. I have no idea how many messages I have... I haven't checked them since last semester. I hate voicemail messages. I wish people would just email me. If they leave call back numbers I am never able to write down the entire number before the message is over. Then I have to listen to the whole thing again. It's really a giant pain.

I think I am going to make myself some more hot cocoa to soothe my throat. I coughed so much in my class this morning (I have a cold) that now it hurts when I swallow. Stupid cold. I've had it for a week but haven't had any problems with coughing or speaking until today. But, that is life.