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, February 24, 2009

I'll Tell You a Secret

I'm going to tell you a secret right now.

Here it is: Pregnant women don't want to hear your comments about how huge they are and how you can't believe that they still have x amount of days or weeks before they are due. I don't care if the woman has gained 70 lbs and has to be rolled around on the floor because she is so huge. I don't care if it looks like she has a fully inflated beach ball down the front of her shirt. I don't care if she has walk around with both hands under her stomach to support the weight of the baby. No pregnant woman wants to hear "Oh, you look like you are ready to pop at any moment!" Particularly if said pregnant woman has just disclosed that she has more than a month (or two or three) to go before her projected delivery date. If you are shocked when she says she has 8 week, SHUT UP. Keep your face neutral and stick to these stock responses:

How wonderful
You look beautiful
How exciting

Variations on these responses will work, but don't get too crazy. You can also combine any of these options if you feel the need to say more. For example, "Congratulations, you look beautiful" or "That is very exciting, congratulations. And, by the way, you look beautiful." Under NO circumstances should you say "Good luck with that" or "I'll be praying for you." As for the last comment, I'm certain many pregnant women appreciate the sentiment that you will be praying for her and her baby, but, put into this context, the comment is too easy to interpret as "I'll be praying for you, you are so huge with your giant mutant child that you are going to need it."

Down with Florida

I think I shocked a few of my interpersonal communication students this morning when I declared in class that I thought that everyone who lived in Florida should move inland and just abandon the entire state. I feel that Florida should be allowed to return to its natural, swampy condition. My students were a little surprised and confused. "But why?" they asked. I held up hurricanes as my first piece of evidence. Florida has been hit by so many hurricanes, the people who live there should just take the hint. In addition, it would be much better for the global environment, I argued, if Florida were just left alone - unbothered by human habitation. This is an excellent example of how I mis-use my classroom power for underhanded purposes. My students were so surprised by my statement that none of them even tried to argue. I'm hoping that because my argument comes from a position of power and seemed (on the surface) to be backed up by reasonable and logical evidence that many of my students will go out and spread my Florida propaganda. Unethical? Maybe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ang Loves Donut Holes

I have been a bad blogger. So, this morning while chatting with my BFF Ang, I asked her what a good blog topic would be for today. She told me I should blog about donut holes because she loves donut holes and was, in fact, eating a donut hole at that very moment. So, I decided to write about how much Ang loves donut holes. First, however, a photographic illustration of Ang's love of donut holes...

Ang about to enjoy a delicious donut hole

Ang enjoying said yummy goodness

Ang highly satisfied by her tasty treat

Ang was kind enough to send me those pictures from her classroom in Iowa City where she teaches choir. She is an excellent choir teacher and I have often wished that we would somehow wind up in geographically similar locations when my children are of choir age so that she could teach them.

Writing about Ang tempts me to make a few comments on the value friendship. Ang and I became friends through NDSU's concert choir. She was a first-year student during my second year. While we didn't really become close friends during that academic year, that spring we drove together up to Grand Forks for an outdoor, all-day concert and our BFF-ness was born. I won't relate too much about that day, but it did result in really dirty feet, ridiculously uneven sunburns (one half of the face burned with white lines where our sunglasses sat, the other half barely tanned), and a friendship that is still going strong almost 10 years later (Holy Cow, Ang, we are OLD!).

These past 10 years have had great ups and downs. We were both bridesmaids for each other at our respective weddings. We have both been there for each other during health scares involving family members. We've vented to each other about spouses and families. We've taken trips. We've grieved the loss of a wonderful friend. Sometimes we go for days or even weeks without actually speaking to each other. But one of the best things about a friendship like the one we share is that even if it has been a month since we talked on the phone, we can always pick up right where we left off and enjoy that same sense of love, acceptance, and belonging that you can really only get with your closest friends.

On Good Morning America the other day they were doing a story on whether or not your partner/spouse should be your best friend. While I love my husband beyond what is rationale and we have lots of fun together, I would not say that he is my best friend, nor would I want him to be. Best friendships bear a burden of selfless support. I need my best friend to listen without judging or problem solving, to tell me I'm right when I'm being totally ridiculous and to confirm my worth on my most worthless days. I need my best friend to listen to all the self-doubts I would never dream of telling my husband. I need my best friend to be willing to send me silly pictures of herself so that the 4 hours of car travel between us, or the 4 months between visits, won't seem as great or insurmountable.

And that is why I hope everyone has best friends. Because who else could be convinced to pose for donut-hole-eating-pictures to be posted on your blog for the world (or my four active blog-readers) to see.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ali Rapp Broke My Browser

One of my favorite things to do with killing time is to check on my friend Ali Rapp's blog: No I Am A Cat. Well, she has recently changed her blog so that it only shows one post at a time. This means that in order for me to see if she has posted anything else that I haven't read (if, say, I haven't been able to check in on her blog for a few days) I have to scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN to her blog archive and activate that link to view past blogs. ANYHOO, as irritating as this is, being the fan that I am, I endeavored to check her past postings not 5 minutes ago. Lo and behold, trying to access her January blogs actually froze up my browser and I had to shut down Firefox and re-open it, necessitating a complicated series of keyed short cuts and re-logging into my email. In other quasi-related news, Ali has finally seen the light and bought a Mac laptop. Woo Hoo Ali! Welcome to the land of computer intelligent!

As for the Super Bowl yesterday, I was cheering for the Cardinals. It is actually the first time in several years that I have been invested in a team that played in the Super Bowl. I was understandably disappointed when they lost it at the very end (grrr) but have to grudgingly admit that the winning TD catch was one amazing display of athleticism. The receiver did an amazing job of not only catching the ball over the top of two defenders, but also keeping the presence of mind to keep both of his feet pointed so that he made sure his toes dragged through the end zone. Good work Steelers.

Other than festivities surrounding the big game, Mark and I did not do too much of note on the weekend. We did greatly enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. We had originally discussed painting the crib this weekend, but Mark was really tired on Saturday and didn't want to do anything other than lay around. This is a rare condition for him and I like to encourage his laziness because he works really hard and I am perpetually afflicted with laziness so I like it when other people are also lazy.

So, tonight I am going to earn my three hours of couch-potato-ing (new episodes of Chuck, Heroes, and Medium!) by cleaning up my kitchen and throwing in my last load of laundry right when I get home. Hurray for earned laziness!!