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, December 15, 2010

A Slyther-what?

So, Ali and I were just talking Harry Potter. Specifically, we were discussing house colors and knitting. Apparently, there is a Harry Potter Knit Projects book that contains many thing Ali wants to learn to make... like Slytherin leg warmers. Ali loves Slytherin and believes she would be in Slytherin House. I think I'd be in Ravenclaw.

"If you learn to knit, would you knit me Ravenclaw leg warmers for my birthday? What are Ravenclaw colors anyway? Blue and..."

"Bronze," says Ali. "Some people may be confused and think it is silver, but silver is Slytherin's color."

"What is Hufflepuff?"

"Black and yellow."

"Wait," says I, "Gryffindor gets gold, Slytherin gets silver, bronze for Ravenclaw, but Hufflepuff gets... black?... and yellow...? They kinda got screwed."

"Yeaaaaa... If I wasn't Slytherin, I'd be Hufflepuff..."

Ali does a pirouette in my office doorway.

"I'd be a... SlytherPuff!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Love My Students

I gave an application final in my public speaking class. One of the questions asked them to write a complete, 5-part introduction for a speech topic of their choice. Here is my favorite entry:

This speech is given in Florida with an Australian accent

Attention catcher: Close your eyes and imagine this. It is a hot day outside and you want to cool down. You decide that the best way to do this would be to jump in the pool. You put on your swim suit and run to the pool, just before heading in you realize that there is a large crocodile lurking in your waters!

Listener Relevance: This sort of thing happens to 8 out of 10 families living in Florida who have a pool.

Credibility: I know just how often it happens because I'm the one they call when they want that croc out of their pool.

Thesis: Today, I'm going to let you how you can protect yourself during these hot days of summer.

Preview: In order to do this I will tell you about how to prevent crocodiles from coming into your pool, what to do when they do come into your pool, and I will teach you how to properly wrestle a monster croc!

Never in all my years teaching have I heard the words "properly wrestle a monster croc".

Moments like these assure me that I have chosen the right career!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O. M. G.

Good grief.

Here's the story. My beloved Ali Rapp is graduating in the spring. Besides being a friend of mine, she is also the person who (wo)mans the front desk of the comm studies department and she is also the tutor for the Speaker's Lab. The fact that she is graduating means that we need to hire new people (or a new person) for these positions. In order to make this happen, I have been filling out forms and have been communicating with our human resources department so that we can get the jobs posted and then filled. First of all, let me just say that working with bureaucracy is not my favorite thing on the best of days, but this whole HR fiasco has just been ridiculous.

Anyway, back to the job postings... I have a student, Susie, who I think should apply for the positions. The only problem is that she is studying abroad in Africa next semester when the jobs are supposed to be officially posted. SO, I tell her to go to HR and ask about applying early. She comes back and tells me that I have to tell HR that it is ok for her to apply early. Ok, says I, I will send them an email.

So, I send them an email.

I get CCed on a message sent to someone else in HR asking this other someone to help me out.

I hear nothing more for two weeks.

Susie says to me, "The job posting still isn't up."

I say "I'll email again."

So I do. I'm paraphrasing, but here what happens in the ensuing email exchange.

Me: Please send applications to my student Susie for the two positions.

HR: What positions? You need to fill out forms.

Me: I did fill out forms. I sent them to you in October.

HR: Really? Weird. No forms. Can you send them again?

Me: Here are the forms. Again.

HR: Hey, thanks for the forms. We'll get these positions posted after Christmas.

Me (in my office, to myself): W. T. F.??!!!!!???? Is there a real person on the other end of this email or is this just some kind of a joke? Am I being punked right now?

Me (email to HR): Can you PLEASE send the application forms early to my student, Susie, who is studying abroad next semester and wants to apply. (Does this sound familiar? Like, oh, the first THREE emails I send to HR about this problem? It probably does, because it is EXACTLY like those first three emails.)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Couple Challenge: History and Context

Happy Couple Challenge: History and Context: "This morning on the way to daycare we heard a story about whether or not it was wise for people to blog about their personal relationships...."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Ang Howard is my BFF and has been since I was a junior in college. We have a special mind-to-mind connection that allows us to communicate practically telepathically. You know you are BFFs with someone when you can read what they have typed to you and hear it in their own voice. Anyway, yesterday I was giving Ang grief because she was responding to my emails in three words instead of giving me something long and interesting to read (so that I could procrastinate grading). She apologized but said she didn't have anything funny to say.

This morning, however, was a different story. I opened my email at 11:00 and found this wonderful story from Ang.

I have a funny story. I dreamt of you last night. We were going to run together for a race and we decided to have matching hair styles. So I went into the salon to get my hair cut. I texted you to see how much I should take off and you wrote, "I'm shaving my whole head - you have to too!!" So of course, not doubting your logic at all, I had her shave my head. It wasn't to the skin shaved, it was buzzed, but she made a design on the back of my head that was an eye and left a long rat tail. So - I get to your house, and see you through the window. You did not shave your head. I am very mad. I went in and said, "what the hell!" and you laughed and said, "oh my god - I was totally joking"

Then I woke up.


This story made me laugh and laugh. Thanks Ang!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Grief

This is a crime against humanity. Now, many people know that I am anti-princess culture. However, I have mostly resigned myself to the fact that Harper will be exposed to it. But this princess sipper with strategically placed straw is going TOO FAR. As my brother would say... Hate mail to Disney (or whoever thought up this atrocity).
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mark is Good WIth Names

Mark is not good with names. He once introduced me as "his girlfriend... uh... KRISTEN!" Another time he forgot the name of his cousin and I had to remind him, even though I'd never met her. On one memorable occasion he answered the phone "Spectrum, Mike, uh, Mark speaking."

Sitting with him at his brother's wedding was an interesting experience. We'd been dating for about 4 months. As people went through the receiving line he would tell me where they lived, how many kids they had, how long they had either know Barb and Dave or his parents, what their jobs were, how long they had been at said job... but NO NAMES! Earlier that day I had gotten on his case for never introducing me to anyone. He response was that he would have, but he couldn't remember their names. Do you see a pattern emerging?

Anyway, this morning Mark was about to pull up in front of my building so I could get out an go to my office. A woman was walking on the sidewalk. Mark said:

"It's Diane Guilbeault-Jeans." (Sounds like the Girbaud Jeans brand).

"What?" I didn't know what he was talking about.

"That's how we remember her name in our office. Her name is Nancy Guilbeault. So we call her Guilbeault-Jeans."

"You just said her name was Diane."


"Right. I call her Diane so that I remember her name is Nancy."

"Right." Laughing, I exit the car and head to my office where I immediately blog this story.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Will Inflicting

Sometimes Mark likes to pretend that he has Jedi mind powers while we are driving. He'll point his finger out at some other driver and then gesture them into the other lane... kinda like he's dragging the car over with the power of his mind. Sometimes this move is accompanied by swearing. Sometimes not. Swearing or no, this move rarely ever works.

On the way home earlier this week he pulled out the Jedi finger and used it to move the car in front of us into the next lane. Miracle of miracles, it actually worked. Mark made a triumphant sound and gesture.

"You realize that's an anomaly right? That doesn't really work."

"Yes it does," says Mark. "I inFLICT my will upon people." (emphasis original)

"Indeed," I reply. Because, really, what more is there to say?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark's Drawers

Our kitchen is 30 years old. It has the sorts of problems you might imagine in a kitchen that is original to the house. One of the things that REALLY bugs me is a broken drawer next to the oven. Over the past few weeks Mark has attempted to "do something" about the drawer. Usually, he attempts to "do something" after I have screaming fit because I can't get the drawer to function properly. Tonight was one of those time (minus the screaming fit, however. I was too tired to through fits tonight).

So, we are sitting in the living room, a gaping hole where the drawer should be...

Mark is looking at the computer.

"I'm thinking about going to Menards."

"Need something for the big install tomorrow?" I ask. (Mark has to install some cork boards or something tomorrow morning. He's told me before, but I must admit that I didn't pay much attention).

"No. For the drawer."

He pauses. I look at him.

"I may have... done... something..."

This makes me laugh. Alot.

Several moments later.

"Oh?" I say.

"Ummm, I sort of... took it apart."

This is so funny I know I must blog about it immediately.

"Give me my computer," I say.

A few minutes later (while I am writing this blog) Mark says, "I shouldn't go. Make me stop."

I laugh some more. "Why? What?"

"Should I go? Get a replacement drawer?"

"Because you took the other one apart."

"Yeah. I thought I could fix it." Mark gives me a significant look. I think I may have looked skeptical. "It was BROKEN."

Mark sighs, then puts his shoes on. As I'm typing this, the garage door opens and he backs the car down the driveway.

Madden on... driving?

Sometimes Mark does things while driving that I do not approve of: tailgating, rolling through stop signs, ignore the stoplights that are supposed to control when you merge onto the interstate during rush hour, things like that...

This morning he wanted to move to the lane to the right. We were at a confluence of confusion when he decided to move over. Mark wanted to move into the lane at the same time that traffic was merging into it from Hwy 55. In order to make this maneuver work we were at one point surrounded on three sides by cars that could hit us. He almost rear-ended the car in front of us in order to speed up enough to get ahead of the car in the lane he wanted to be in. At the same time, a black Honda was merging into the lane. Luckily the black Honda backed off and we were able to exit 94 unscathed. After he pulled ahead of the Honda I said:

"No. That was bad. I cannot approve of what you just did."

"Whatever," said Mark. "I was driving defensively."

"No," I shook my head. "That was driving offensively."

"Well," said Mark, "the best defense is a good offense."

"Wrong," I said. "That is the wrong use of the word offense."

"It's driving according to John Madden," said Mark. "You know I always like to follow Madden's advice."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Stalker

Every time I've come into the office lately Carly, one of the film TAs, has been there. Understandably, this has led to a few comments about her stalking me. Today, Carly helped me carry a few things out to my car.

Me: "You won't be able to stalk me this weekend. I'm going on vacation."

Carly: "Oh, I'll be there. This is great. I've been needing a vacation." Pause. "Where are we going?"

Me: "Duluth. We're going to Split Rock on Saturday. You'll love it."

Carly: "Great! See you this weekend!"

I like Carly.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Enjoying the Scenery

So, Mark has this somewhat annoying and disturbing habit. When we are driving if at any point he sees a scantily-dressed, overweight, and hairy individual he will exclaim "Oh Look!" like he has just beheld something truly amazing. He always makes it sound so good and interesting. But really he's just pointing out things that I have no desire to see.

It turns out that he got this habit from his mother. I know, I know, I was a little surprised as well. One day we were driving through Hopkins when his mom declared there was some "scenery" coming up on the left. It was a huge man in tiny shorts. Every one in the car groaned. I thought to myself "AHA! That is where Mark got it!"

Anyway, fast-forward in time to this past weekend. Mark, Jared, Annie and I (and Harper) were on our way to Gastof's for a delicious German dinner. We were celebrating Jared's birthday. On the way out of our neighborhood Mark pulled the "Oh Look!" I did not look. I am slowly learning my lesson. Jared and Annie looked.

I made some comment to the effect of: "I never look because it is always some fat guy with his butt-crack hanging out."

Annie replied, "Oh, when I want to see that I just look at Jared in his sweatpants."


Jared says "HEY!" all indignant.

"No!" Annie says, slightly horrified. "I didn't mean the fat part."

Mark and I are laughing really hard.

"I mean your sweatpants! Your sweatpants are too big! You know..."

Oh, still laughing...

"I didn't mean you were fat..." Annie kind of trails off...

And then I had a little internal argument with myself.

This is funny, I should blog about it. (Evil Kristen)
No, I can't do that. The topic is a little... well... butt-cracks... (Good Kristen)
But I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. (Evil Kristen)
But, poor Jared... (Good Kristen)
Ah, screw it, I'm totally going to blog about it.

And Evil Kristen wins again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Digging Through the Past

So, yesterday my brother-in-law dropped off two rubbermaids full of stuff from Mark's childhood. I think that Mark's parents kept EVERY SINGLE THING that either Mark or Dave touched as they were growing up. Seriously, we've been going through stuff for years. The amazing thing is that somehow, even though we've already gone through what seems like an endless supply of rubbermaids, new ones keep appearing... It's actually kind of spooky when you think about it.

Anyway, so there were two new tubs to address last night. I was in bed reading. Harper had already gone to sleep, so Mark was left to dig through his past.

He kept bringing things in to show me.

First, it was a Lego boat.

Then, a box full of baseball cards.

After that, a creepy, unopened Lucky Charms doll.

A copy of his high school newspaper. Three really terrible visual aids from a presentation he did from a history fair (seriously, they were bad). More Legos.

Then, the pièce de ré·sis·tance. I couldn't figure out what it was. It was made of wood... mostly. It looked kind of like an ax, except the part you would chop with was made of wood like the handle and it stuck off at a greater-than-90 degree angle. It was sort of shaped like the tail of a swallow. But, the weirdest part, was that there was a naked blade sticking out the other side. Just, you know, a knife blade... sticking out of the thing.

According to Mark, the weird thing was some kind of war club.

"And your parents just, ummm, let you play with that thing?" I ask.

Mark was laughing. Seriously, the club was the most bizarre thing I have EVER seen. It didn't even look like a very effective weapon.

"I can't believe this was in there," he says.

"Look, if we're going to keep that thing, you have to put it somewhere... up high... so that it can't be reached by children."

Mark looks at me, pretty surprised. "I didn't think you'd let me keep it."

"Well," I say, "I never know what of your weird Boy Scout stuff is, you know, nostalgic or whatever." We have a shield made of a turtle shell somewhere in our cold storage. And an ax. I'm not kidding.

Mark is brandishing the club over his head. He laughs.

"I could keep it under the bed," he says, "You know, in case we need to defend ourselves against a robber in the night."

I laugh.

"Gotta fight the crazy with crazy," says Mark thoughtfully.

He turns and leaves the bedroom.

A few minutes later he returns holding a bowling pin. A real bowling pin.

"I think I got this from bowling league," he says.

"Maybe we could use THAT to attack robbers," I say.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Couple of Posts About Murder


Mark and I are heading toward the Lowry tunnel when Mark gets cut off by a pretty crappy Ford van. It's a utility-type van, not a Ford Windstar. It looks like a Ford Econoline, but that's not what it was. I tried to note the make so that I could accurately represent it here, but I can't remember. Anyway, the van was old and pretty beat up. Through the back windows you could something that looked like cleaning products or whatnot stacked against the doors.

"Oh look," I said, "a serial killer van."

Now, I know it's not funny to make fun of serial killers or their vans. But I do it anyway.

Just then, ANOTHER van, this one a Ford Econoline, pulls up beside the other van. This one is even more beat up.

Mark says, "If possible, that van is even more crappy than the one in front of us."

"Yes," I say, agreeing. "But, it is a better serial killer van because it doesn't have windows in the back."

Mark peruses the van as we head through the tunnel. "Yes," he responds, "and it has a ladder on top so that the serial killer can climb in the second story."

It's quiet for a moment. Believe it or not, I'm actually thinking that I should quit making fun of serial killer vans. I KNOW it's not that funny.

"I'm coming to kill your cereal!" Mark says suddenly.

I start laughing.

"Imagine, you come downstairs into your kitchen to find your cereal box all shredded up and bits of cereal all over the floor..."

Mark picks up the narrative. "And milk splashed all over... Cereal... lying in puddles of WARM MILK!" Mark sounds horrified.

Hilarity ensues.


My friend Ryan declares that I should "bitch slap" someone.

"Yeah," I reply, "because I want to get arrested. And lose my job."

Ali and Ryan and I all laugh.

"That would be just what I need, to get arrested for manslaughter," I say.

"Whoa!" says Ali, "Manslaughter?! That sure escalated fast! Bitch-slapping is quite a bit different than manslaughter."

I laughed so hard I had to bend over the counter.

"I know!" I say, "I meant to say battery, but I didn't say the right word!"

"Or assault," says Ali.

"Assault and battery," says Ryan.

Still quite a bit different from manslaughter.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

80/20 Rears Its Ugly Head

So, the 80/20 ratio reared it's ugly head again this morning on our commute to school, this time, in regards to Mark's music. (For a more in depth explanation on the 80/20 ratio, see my previous blog "20 Percent" published in February).

Mark loves music. He is a collector of music... all kinds of music. This morning I was treated to his Purchased Music file from his computer at work. He had synced his ipod and it was playing in the car.

I couldn't figure out what the hell we were listening to.

We started out with several songs by Joshua Radin. Now, I have nothing against Josh Radin, I agreed with Mark when he said that many of his songs sound the same. So, Mark skipped through some of the Joshua Radin. Then, a Christmas song starts playing. I look at Mark.

"What is this?"

"Umm, I just synced my ipod to the purchased music folder on my computer."

He skipped past the Christmas song, I believe it was by Charlotte Church, and another Christmas song started playing. He skipped that one, too. I didn't comment.

For the next several minutes we skipped through some Christmas music, some weird music, and heard some good music.

Then, a song started that had a musical introduction that sounded distinctly like... porn music.

Mark laughed. "It's porn music," he said.

I laughed. It was, in fact, very funny.

We skipped through the porn music to find more Christmas music.

Finally, I could contain myself no longer. "This is a lesson," I say, laughing, "that you need to think before you sync."

Mark laughed. "Also," he says, "You should not sync and drink."

"Or, more appropriately," I say in response, "You should not drink, then sync."

"Yeah," we are both laughing.

More Christmas music.

We drop off Harper at daycare and head toward downtown on 55.

More porn music, segueing into Christmas carols. Christmas music by Toby Keith. Geez.

"It's Christmas porn!" declares Mark.

That is disturbing.

"You know, like, we could awake Christmas porn?!" A clever play on awaking Christmas morn.

I shake my head at him and look at the ipod display. There are 103 songs on his ipod. We are on song 80-something.

"So," I say to him, "out of 103 songs on your ipod, 97 of them are either Christmas songs or porn music?"

Mark shakes his head sadly. "It's the 80/20 rule all over again," he says sadly.

Sigh. Yes it is. That damn 80/20 rule.

"You need to take this ipod into work today and re-sync it," I say.

"Yeah," he said, "I can't take it anymore," and he switches to the radio. Sarah McLaughlin is playing on Cities 97.

"Listen," says Mark, relieved, "It's neither Christmas nor porn music."

"It's a Christmas miracle," I say.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ice Tea Baby?

It is Saturday morning. My parents are here to celebrate my birthday and Easter. We have begun the getting-ready-for-the-day rituals when Mark, who hasn't yet showered, emerges from the bathroom (where, presumably, he had the chance to behold his appearance in the mirror).

"Vanilla ice tea," he says.

My mom and I kinda look at each other. We're not sure what that means.

"What?" I say.

"Vanilla... ice... tea..." Mark now looks unsure. "Ah, ice tea..."

Still not quite sure what he is referring to, but suddenly craving tea, I ask again: "Huh?"

Mark gestures to his hair, which formed into a fairly impressive flat-top during the night.

"I look like..."

"Vanilla Ice?" I supply helpfully.

Most of the time I can read Mark's mind which is a good thing. If I couldn't, we'd never be able to communicate effectively. In this particular instance, however, it took me a little longer to get his drift. Oh, I had my suspicions, but I KNOW that he knows that Vanilla Ice and Ice T are two different people. He even had Ice T's first album. I've heard him talk about Ice T and that album before. So, when he combined to very disparate rappers, I was understandably confused and the mind-reading took a bit longer than normal.

"Yes," says Mark. "Vanilla Ice." Thank god we got that figured out.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hearing the Auditory

"Hey," I ask Mark as we merge onto 100 southbound, "Is driving with headphones in illegal?"

"Yeah," he says. "Yeah, I think so. Maybe you can only do it with a permit."

What? I laugh.

"You know," he continues, "It's like being deaf. I think you need a permit to drive if you are deaf because you can't, you know, hear things like sirens and stuff. You can't hear auditory signals."

"That's redundant. Hearing auditory signals."


"You don't need to say both hearing and auditory," we approach the carpool lane. "Of course I would hear auditory signals."

"Well," Mark says as we round the corner, "I was just being ridiculous."

"No," I say, thinking about how much I like our little debates, "you often DO say things just to be ridiculous, but I don't think this was one of those times."

A pause.

"Well," says Mark archly, "That's your opinion."

Shit. I got nothing.

P.S. If I would have really been on my game, I would have pointed out that EVERYONE needs a permit for driving. It's called drivers license. But, at the time I was distracted with pondering the fact that I drove with my ipod earbuds in yesterday - hence the legal question.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Hole of What?

So, I'm sitting in my office today waiting for my lunch to finish cooking in the microwave when Ali pops around the corner.

"So," Ali says, "I went to the ortho today." Ali means the orthodontist. We are in a similar orthodontic situation in that both of our mothers told us that they would pay for braces if we got them now. We decided that we could get our braces at the same time thereby lessening the stigma of having adult braces. Ali had an appointment with the ortho today. I have yet to schedule one.

Ali launched into an explanation of her visit. Apparently her ortho work may require three years of braces and jaw surgery. And she has four baby teeth with no adult teeth underneath them.

"So," Ali says in summary, "my mouth is just a... hole of... fun."

Of course, I started laughing IMMEDIATELY. I don't think Ali got what was so funny for a moment. Then she covered her hole of fun with one hand and bent over laughing.

I knew, even as I was fighting off tears, that I would have to blog about it. Hee hee.


So, after I posted the above blog I sat in my office waiting to hear Ali start giggling. I always post my blogs on Facebook and I knew she had her computer open out in the office. Sure enough, after about 12 minutes I heard her start laughing. Then I heard her footsteps coming toward my office door.

"Yes," she said as she popped her head around the corner, "I'm laughing at the blog."

"I know," I said.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No One Blogs Like Gaston

Yes, I realize that many of my blogs have a car-conversation theme. This one is no different.

Last night Jared, Annie, Mark and I were on our way back to Goodyear, AZ after seeing the play "The Light in the Piazza" at Phoenix Theatre. As we were exiting the 10 Jared sees the sign that directs travelers to the town of Surprise, AZ. Jared says, "I wonder if anyone ever is confused when asking people from Surprise where they are from? You know:

'Where are you from?'


'No, where are you from?'



(Kinda like the whole "Who's on First bit").

Then Mark says: "I wonder if there is a town out there called Guess Where. Like, Guess Where, Idaho. I should Google it."

Jared says: "You'd probably crash the interent."

I laugh, "Like, the entire internet?"

"Yeah," Jared says, laughing. "Then, Al Gore would pop up on your computer screen and scold you."

Mark, still on the funny-town-name kick, says: "Or Wouldn't You Like To Know."

"So," I say, "Someone asks where you're from and you say Wouldn't You Like To Know"?

"Yeah," Mark says, "Like Wouldn't You Like To Know, Virginia."

"Don't call me Virginia," says Jared. We are ALL laughing.


A little while later (I'm not sure how this happened) Annie and I were singing "Bonjour" from Beauty and the Beast. Earlier, at the theater, Jared saw a picture of the cast of Les Mis in the program and said it was from Beauty and the Beast. Annie said, no, it's from Les Mis. Later, Annie and I proved conclusively that it was, in fact, from Les Mis. Anyway, we were singing a song from Beauty and the Beast when Jared breaks into the "Noooonnnnneeeeee fights like Gaston..."

"Or," Jared says, "Like Mark said earlier: 'No one blogs like Gaston. No one tweets like Gaston..."

I start laughing REALLY hard. "When did Mark say that?"

Jared says, "When we were standing outside the theater. After I saw the picture of what I thought was Beauty and the Beast."

"So Mark said 'No one blogs like Gaston'?"

"Yeah," says Jared. "And 'No one tweets like Gaston'."

I thought this was HILARIOUS. I said that I was going to blog about this whole conversation. Jared said "Yeah, you can call it No One Blogs Like Gaston." And so I have.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


For those of you who do not know this, my mom was an English teacher. My mom was MY English teacher in high school. Growing up, I was never allowed to say things like "ain't" or "orientated" or to end sentences with prepositions. My upbringing has made it very difficult for me to ignore any misuse of the English language. Oh, also because I read a lot (A LOT) I have a pretty extensive vocabulary.

We were on 100 southbound about to hit the carpool lane when Mark used the word "intrepidatious" in a sentence. I don't remember what he was talking about, that's not important. What is important (and funny) is the fact he used the word at all and the conversation that followed.

"Intrepidatious is not a word," I said. "Intrepid is a word. Trepidatious is a word. Intrepidatious is not a word."

Mark laughed. "Did I offend your English sensibilities?"

"Yes," I said. "You offended my English sensibilities."

Mark laughed some more. "I am a murderer," he said, "of the English language."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I may have just accidentally eaten an entire carton of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream. DON'T JUDGE ME!!!

In my defense, my freezer was not keeping it frozen. It was melty, on it's way to being warm, dairy soup.

Because it was so melty, I was 3/4 through the carton before I even realized it. At that point it seemed foolish not to finish it off. I WILL be going to the gym tonight... for about five hours...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Liberating Ziggy

Ziggy is our cat. Mark named him after the David Bowie song Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy is hilarious for many reasons. He's a worrier, for one. You can always see the worried expression on his face... like he's constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop... onto his tail...

Anyway, last night I was laying in bed reading. Mark had already gone to sleep. I had the bedside lamp on, otherwise the room was dark. Quinn was sleeping at the foot of the bed. I could hear Ziggy walking around on the floor. His nails make little click-click sounds on the hardwood. Then, I heard Ziggy go into my closet. There are two closets in our bedroom. Mine is on the left. I always leave the doors open (actually, I always leave most doors of most things open, much to Mark's continued dismay). I heard Ziggy doing... something... in my closet. It sounded like he was attacking something. There were sounds as he tried to balance himself on my shoes. I heard his claws scritching on the wall of the closet. I tried to look down to see, but it was too dark. Ziggy is a dark gray cat and he blends well with shadows.

I go back to reading. More sounds from the closet. It sounds like a rhino is in there, not a small cat. I sit up in bed, trying to figure out what is going on. All of a sudden, Ziggy flops out of my closet onto his back. His right paw is stretched up above his head, one claw snagged on a garment hanging in my closet. He wriggles. Think fish on a hook. His back legs and butt flop from side to side, but he remains stuck to the garment. He turns his head to look at me and lets out a seriously piteous meow.

I start laughing. I can't help it. I get out of bed and go liberate Ziggy from the closet trap. I pick him up and transfer him to bed while laughing. Ziggy is indignant. He meows. He seems to be saying "Quit laughing at me." But I don't. I can't. Ziggy tries so hard to be a distinguished gentleman, then gets stuck in the closet.

Of course, Mark woke up because I was laughing so hard. He looks at me. Mark gets this look on his face when I'm laughing hysterically at something that he thinks is only mildly amusing. That's the look I get as I explain what happened.

"I had to liberate Ziggy," I said. "He got stuck in the closet."

Mark sort of grunts at me.

"It was really funny."

He rolls over.

"He was stuck in the closet," I say. One last attempt to get him to understand the hilarity.

I don't think he fully grasped the humor of the situation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

20 Percent

So, I thought it was time - past time, perhaps - for me to post another commute story.

Back story first:

Mark is usually funny, but occasionally he is tear-inducing, can't-catch-your-breath funny. Several years ago, Mark figured his funniness into a ratio. I was talking about how sometimes, with Mark, you have to suffer through a bunch of comments that maybe aren't so funny until you get to that one real gem. I said that the wait was always worth it, because he's come up with some real winners. Mark declared that it was a 80/20 ratio. Eighty percent of the time his comments were poor to average. Twenty percent of the time they were almost-pee-your-pants funny. Mark has pulled out the 80/20 ratio explanation several times. On instance had him explaining the ratio to our friend Jon Auel. I wasn't there, but I guess Mark was particularly "on" at the time. Our friend Jon declared that Mark was 20 percent 100 percent of the time.

Back to this morning:

We were just crossing over Winnetka on our way to daycare. Mark had his hand fisted inside is glove so that all the fingers were empty. He was driving, so don't ask me what exactly he was supposed to be accomplishing with his hand like that. Anyway, he shook his fist at me so that all the fingers waved around.

"Look," he said. "Chicken hand!"

I laughed. It didn't make any sense, but I laughed anyway. I think the delivery was funnier than the actual comment. Also, those flapping fingers were funny.

"It's white meat," said Mark.

I laughed some more. Then I stopped.

"I'm not sure why I'm laughing. That didn't really make any sense. And it's not that funny."

"Yeah," said Mark. "I think it accidentally slipped into the 20 percent. That happens."


Later that same commute:

We were on Hwy 55 driving behind a short bus. I mean, the bus was shorter in length than what you consider to be a "normal" bus. Yes, everyone knows what a short bus is, but I wanted to explain that in this story, it was the literal meaning, not the connotative meaning.

As we followed the short bus around the corner Mark said, "I wonder if anyone drag races short buses?"

"I don't know, honey."

"I bet you could google it."

"You google it. I don't want to google your stupid stuff. I have my own stupid stuff to do."

"But, honey," said Mark. "Our marriage is based on our doing stupid stuff for each other."


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tee Hee

Today I am wearing a new orange sweater I bought in Iowa city last weekend. I'm wearing it with my Levi 515 jeans and my orange moccasins from Land's End that my mom bought me in April when we were waiting for Harper to be born.

This morning I was leaning over the bathroom vanity putting pomade in my hair. Mark was next to me finishing brushing his teeth. He looks over at me.

"You look nice today."

I beamed at him. Usually he only says this when prompted.

"Thanks, Honey!!"

What a great way to start the day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Potty Dance?

Ali just danced into my office. Ali has a lot of energy. Anyway, she danced in holding her laptop bag. She proceeded to dance from foot to foot.

"Are you going to be here for awhile?" Ali asked, almost breathless.

"I'm going to be here ALLLLLLL afternoon," I replied.

"Ok," exclaimed Ali. "Can I leave my laptop in here while I'm in class?" (Yes, exclaimed. Ali never really just says anything.

"No," I said, deadpan. Then, "Of course you can."

"Great!" enthused Ali. She pranced over and deposited her bag. She continued to dance.

"Do you have to go to the bathroom?" I asked, watching her.

"NO!" Ali proclaimed. "I just went!"

I spent the next two minutes laughing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Parenting is Hard

I realize that many of my blog posts relate conversations or funny things that happen when Mark and I are either on our way to daycare, home or work. This morning is no exception.

We had just dropped Harper off and were on our way out of the daycare parking lot. Our car is a stick shift. Mark was driving. As he's pulling away from our parking space he starts singing:

"Put it into first. Then put it into second. Then put it into third," we are both kinda laughing at this point. "Then put it into... fourth..."

We are both totally laughing.

"It's a song," says Mark. "It teaches..."

I'm still laughing.

"It's a song that teaches how to drive the car."

"Yeah," I said, "Because going from gears 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 isn't intuitive enough without a song."

Mark pulls to a stop at the stoplight. He says, "Ok, lets punch in our coordinates." Then he makes a flurry of button-pushing gestures at the dashboard of our car. There may have been a "doot, doot, deet" in there.

Mark is funny. I am still laughing. He occasionally thinks it's funny to pretend we are driving a spaceship.

As we are sitting at the light, a big RC Cola semi goes through the intersection. Mark says, "RC Cola is going to eff me in the bee."

"You know," I say, "We really need to start watching our language. Harper is going to start picking up this stuff."

"That's going to be hard," says Mark.

"I know, but we need to try."

Mark says, "Yeah, what if Harper started saying "eff me in the bee" at daycare."

We are laughing. Of course, the idea of Harper ACTUALLY saying something like that at daycare, then stating that it's OK because her Daddy says it all the time may haunt me.

As we pull up to the next light, I say, "Sometimes you are like a child."

"I know," Mark says. "It's going to make parenting difficult." He looks at me. "For you."

Monday, February 8, 2010


I'm never quite sure what to expect when Mark dresses Harper on his own. It's not that he comes up with terribly mismatched outfits. I mean, he dresses himself on a day-to-day basis. I have some confidence in his ability to put together clothing that matches. However, from time to time, after Mark has dressed her, Harper has emerged from the nursery in an outfit that looks... somehow... not quite right?

For example, Mark once dressed Harper in a green and white striped onsie with green pants. But the greens weren't the same. One was a sea-foam green and one was more grassy. In addition, the green pants and fleece jacket that went with it were lined with stripes. But, yellow stripes. So, there were multiple stripes and multiple colors of green. At first glance you might think, "oh, that works." But really... no. Mark wouldn't find anything wrong with putter Harper in a red onsie and red pants. The reds might not match. And Harper would be exceedingly red. Or, he might dress her in two shades of pink that weren't complimentary, but seemed ok because they were both pink. You know, as I write this, I can't help but thinking this weird matching is a little odd. I mean, he has training in design. Usually, he's really good with color...

Anyway, when he went into the nursery to dress Harper this Saturday I was interested to see what the result would be. Mark brought her out and I said, "Well, what have we got on today?"

Turns out, Mark had dressed Harper in the green striped onsie from the above description which has brown writing on the front. It says "Mommy's Little Monster" and there is a brown monster on it. In addition, he had put on these cute brown cargo-type pants. You know, the kind with little buttons and loops on them. The pants were exactly the same color as the writing and the monster.

"Oh," I said. "Good job! You love those pants!" It's true. Mark has tried to dress her in these pants several times with limited success (which means that I have not let those outfits persist).

"Yeah," Mark said, as he leaned to to put Harper on the floor. "They are her weekend dungarees!"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Be Still My Heart

I had an epiphany last night. It began while watching a commercial for the iphone. The main point of the commercial was that you can surf the net while talking on the phone. In the commercial, the guy with the phone was talking to his wife who says "I can't believe our anniversary is next week!" The guy agrees that it is amazing while using his phone to look at flower arrangements. It occurred to me at that point that I really liked flowers and hadn't received any from my loving husband in quite a while. I decided that since next week was Valentine's Day, I would like to get some flowers.

Now, here's where the behavior change begins. In the past, I would have dropped subtle hints to Mark about how I'd like flowers. Mark, being Mark, probably would have missed the subtle hints because I would have tried dropping them while he was otherwise engaged with television, or Call of Duty, or the computer. Valentine's Day would have come and gone and I wouldn't have gotten any flowers. Then, I would have been mad at Mark and sad and thinking that he did not love me or ever think of me (this is ridiculous, but true). I would have taken out my anger on Mark. It would probably be catalyzed by something not even related to the actual reason I was upset. For example, I may have just started crying that he didn't love me after he didn't rinse out his cereal bowl (that is my brand of crazy). Eventually, I would admit that I was upset he didn't buy me flowers for Valentine's Day. He would console me (because that is his brand of awesome) and I would have apologized and admitted that I overreacted.

Back to the epiphany... I realized last night that if I ASKED him to get me flowers, then he would. I would be happy because I got flowers. Mark would be happy because he made me happy and also because he would have avoided the inevitable crazy. WE BOTH WIN!! I decided right then and there that from now on, when I needed a little romance in my life, instead of just wishing that Mark would spontaneously read my mind, I would come out and ask for it. So, I asked for flowers. I don't know what kind I will get, roses, lilies, daisies, whatever... and that is surprise enough.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Ride Home

Wednesday night Mark was in a pretty good mood when he picked me up for the drive home. He starts off by declaring happily that we are going to drive home with the fuel light on... again.

We merge onto I94 and were dealing with lighter-than-usual traffic. We chat about our day. Then, in a lull in the conversation, Mark suddenly breaks into song. He sings a few notes, no words. Then stops. While make a hand gesture to indicate the reading of Marquee sign he says,

"It could be the theme song from 'Mark: The Musical!'"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Happenin' Place

During lunch today in the cafeteria there was a cooking demonstration. There was a cooking station shaped like a U set up in front of a black curtain and there was a big video camera pointed at it. The demonstration didn't begin until about half-way through our lunch. To fully understand the situation, I need to give the cast of characters:

1. Deb - our department chair, been at Augsburg many many years, highly involved in the film program
2. David - on the comm faculty, also been at Augsburg many many years, teaches many many classes
3. Wes - the "film guy," knows lots about film and television production
4. Charlie - from computer science, occasionally puts up with us at lunch
5. Me

So, we're all sitting around the table finishing lunch when the demonstration begins. For a few moments there is some conversation about what is happening an why.

Finally, a little disgusted, Deb says, "You can't go anywhere on this campus where something isn't happening."

David says, "You could come to my classes."

We start laughing.

David says, "Ba Dum Bum." (the drum beats for a bad joke)



It all started Saturday night. Harper did not sleep well. She kept waking up and we couldn't really figure out why she was so unhappy. The unhappiness continued on Sunday. It was a preview of things to come (I, too, was unhappy by the time the Vikings/Saints game concluded that night). We thought that perhaps she was teething. She wasn't interested in her bottle, she was rubbing her face and ears, she wasn't napping well, and, of course, general fussiness. Harper didn't sleep well Sunday night either. She was up every two hours, which means, of course, that I was up every two hours. I was starting to feel a little paranoid. She had a bit of a temperature when we changed her diaper at o-dark-thirty and it was reminiscent of her Christmas ear infection. As we were getting back into bed, I said to Mark:

"I'm thinking about staying home with her tomorrow. I could take her to the walk-in clinic. They could check if it was an ear infection."

Mark replied, "Let's wait until morning and see."

In the morning Harper was still pretty unhappy. I decided to stay home from work. I emailed instructions to my workstudy. I fed Harper and got her dressed. We left for the clinic. Harper fell asleep on the way there, which was just a sign of how poorly she had slept the night before.

Fortunately, the clinic was practically empty. I had just un-buntinged (a word I made up just now to refer to taking Harper's bunting off) Harper when we were called back. The doctor looked in her ears and didn't see any sign of infection. He thought she was teething. Relieved, Harper and I went to the pharmacy to pick up some baby motrin and we were on our way home.

I should have know that it's never that easy.

Monday night, Harper didn't sleep well again. And she still wasn't drinking her bottle very well. We took her to daycare on Tuesday with the motrin and instructions on dosage. I was (and still am) of the belief that she is teething. When I went to pick up Harper from daycare she had JUST fallen asleep for her second nap of the day. I had to wake her up to bunt her (no, not hit her with a bat, put her in her bunting). She was M A D. And she cried. Sigh. Got her home. Fed her. We were getting her ready for her bath when she got really made. She was laying on her changing table and crying and the tears coming out of her right eye were PINK! I freaked and called the ask-a-nurse. I explained what had been going on with Harper and also mentioned that she seemed to be a little gooey in the right eye, along with the pink tears. After several phone calls and information relays between the nurse and the on-call physician, I was told that it might be pink eye and that I could go to the pharmacy to pick up some medicated eye drops.

I left the house at 7:30 p.m. and went to Walgreens. I returned home with the medicine at 8:30. Harper was asleep (hallelujah). I was really hoping for a good night's sleep. But I didn't get it (even though I went to bed at 9:15). I had to re-nuk Harper at 11 p.m. She had flung away her nuk and needed it back. At 1:15 we gave her a bottle and more motrin. She woke up fussing a few more times after that. Even though I didn't get up, she still woke me up.

So, now I am a zombie. Next month I am going to visit my friend Angela in Iowa for a weekend. It will be the first time I've been away from Harper over night. This morning while I was getting ready, all I could do was think about how awesome it was going to be to be able to sleep for an entire night without interruption. I can't wait.

In the meantime, I guess we'll continue to deal with Harper's teething/cold/pink eye? I already have my teeth, but the other two are contagious... maybe she'll be much better by the time we pick her up from daycare today?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hug A What?

So, I'm in my office, being all kinds of productive (drinking Diet Pepsi while watching last night's Colbert Report on when I click over to Augsburg's webpage so I can access my Moodle account. I glance over to the calendar bar on the right side of the page and I see the following:


National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Hug a squirrel today :)

Wow. I had no idea. Intrigued, I decided to (reluctantly) put off some speech grading to find out more about this fascinating and important holiday. At I learned that Squirrel Appreciation Day always falls on January 21. In addition, the website helpfully gave the following information:

"Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels. It's held in mid-winter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife. Sure, squirrels spent all fall gathering and "squirreling " away food. But, their supplies may not be enough. And, the variety of food is limited. So, give them an extra special treat today to supplement their winter diets.

Not everyone likes squirrels. While they are fun to watch skirting around the yard and trees, they are aggressive at bird feeders. Squirrels tip almost any bird feeder and spill the seeds in search of the particular seeds they want. In the fall, they attack pumpkins on front porches in search of the seeds inside. For gardeners they dig up and steal flower bulbs, and may eat some of the veggies in your garden.

When you think about it, mid winter is the best time to appreciate squirrels. In the winter they provide a little entertainment. During other times of the year, you may look at them as a pest in the flower and vegetable gardens.

According to Christy Hargrove, the founder, 'Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group -- anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.'"

This has given me a whole new perspective on these bushy-tailed and beady-eyed bundles of scary yellow teeth. Nevermind that a gray squirrel jumped out of a garbage can and almost killed David Lapakko yesterday as we were walking to lunch. I can now see that these little, misunderstood scavengers are really... wait, what does holiday insights say... oh yes, tree-climbing, nut-gathering neighborhood scavengers, err, squirrels. Except that I actually used correct punctuation when writing the compound adjectives, hence the lack of quotation marks. Actually, the holiday insights information doesn't really even say anything nice about squirrels. In fact, the post isn't complimentary in the least. Underneath the post there are two links to more "squirrely" fact. There is a link to a wildlife rehabilitation site apparently maintained by Christy Hargrove, the found of this glorious holiday, and link on how to control squirrels in your garden.

Now, despite a few run-ins with squirrels as they pop scarily out of campus garbage cans and an incident where Mark had an altercation with a squirrel in Loring Park (the squirrel came up to his bicycle as he stopped to take photographs and actually PUSHED his bike tire. He has pictures of the squirrel. You can really see the insanity in its eyes) I actually think squirrels are pretty cute. I think I'll take the advice of the Augsburg Calendar post and go out to hug a squirrel right now. Then, I will probably go get a tetanus shot.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm tired today... tired this week. Maybe I'm tired of winter, maybe I need a little sunshine. I'm not sure. I'm feeling a little like I'm getting buried. For me, this is unfortunate. The more buried I feel, the less inclined I feel to dig myself out. Part of my problem is that I've been feeling a low-grade sense of yuck for about a week now. I'm not sick... at least, I don't think I am... I just don't feel completely normal. When I feel like this, I have more of a tendency to want to read trashy novels on my couch. Reading trashy novels on the couch rarely solves anything (notice I said rarely, sometimes a couch and trashy novel is all one really needs).

Maybe I need a list. I like listing. Lists make me feel productive, especially when I get to check something off of them. So, what are things I am trying to accomplish right now? Where am I? I need to:
Grade some stuff
Write some stuff (oh, the now ever-present pressure of academia)
Lose some weight
Run some more
Eat less of some stuff
Eat more of other stuff
Spend less money
Save more money
Spend more time with Harper
Cook more at home
Eat out less
Cook better food
Cook for Harper
Buy some Midol
Take some Midol
Have more energy
Get more sleep
Have more me time
Have more couple time

Nope... That list didn't help at all...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mediated Communication

So, I am stealing this topic a little bit from Ali, but it's a good topic and there is lots to be said about it.

A little bit ago, Ali came in all a-breathin' fire, talking about how frustrating it is that some people are so down on computer-mediated communication (CMC). CMC is something that I frequently discuss in class. I vividly remember the first time I brought it up with a group of students here at Augsburg. I asked the class how many of them email and what they think about it. I was floored when half the class said that they hate email and CMC in general. I really couldn't figure that out. I LOVE CMC. CMC makes my life so much easier. I love my cell phone, my IM software, and texting. Don't mistake me, I also realize that CMC is having some detrimental effects on our overall ability to communication. For example, this morning on NPR I heard a story about a new study that found that college students that frequently text message do worse on formal writing assignments but better on informal writing assignments. I have seen evidence of this many times in student papers. However, after having many discussing about CMC, and having spent much time pondering the problem, I have come to the following conclusion:

CMC isn't stupid, people are.

Ok. That's not EXACTLY what I mean... people are lazy...allow me to elaborate... I am a frequent user of CMC. I also have good writing skills. While I do allow myself the occasional lazy use of abbreviations or accidentally-incorrect grammar, for the most part I am very diligent about making sure that my text messages and IMs have correct spelling and punctuation. Yes, it is a small point of pride that even my brief CM messages are well-written. More than pride, however, is the influence of habit. I practice and have practiced good writing habits my entire life. When I make a typo or grammatical error, my finger automatically flies to the delete button, fixing the problem before I am even conscious that I made it in the first place.

To sum up, CMC is a tool, not an excuse. Any thinking person has the ability to tailor their communication to suit the situation. Be mindful, pay attention to the context of that communication. Don't email your professor or boss in the language of the LOL Cats (or, as one of my students called it last week, "That kitten speech." If you don't know what this is, check out While those funny sayings over pictures of cute kitties are hilarious, they aren't exactly professional. Use common sense. If you have friended your boss on Facebook, remember not to post comments about how much you hate your job. Yes, it's convenient to blame CMC for many of societies woes, just as Plato wanted to blame rhetoric for badness in ancient Greece. However, I'm with Aristotle on this one: CMC (like rhetoric) is a tool. That tool can be used for good or evil. Now, I have to go take all my drunken party pics off my profile.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Diet Pepsi

I love Diet Pepsi. I blame my BFF Ang for this love. Anyway, this morning, I stepped out to our front desk to chat with my friend and work study, Ali Rapp. I noticed there was this sad, lonely, forelorn Diet Pepsi just sitting there.

"People shouldn't just leave Diet Pepsis around like that," I said, tempted to grab it and run.

"I think it's Eric's," said Ali.

I stared at it for a bit. "I want to take it," I said. "If it's still there when I come back from my next class I am stealing it."

"No, you are not," said Ali. "It's not yours." Ali is my external conscience. She is often more strict than my internal conscience, much to my dismay.

I huffed. Sometimes, I am very child-like. No, wait. Not child-like... childish.

I went into my office and emailed Ang about this sad, lonely Diet Pepsi. Ang emailed me back in short-order.

And I quote: "Take it. For the love of mankind... TAKE IT!!!"

About this time, Mark showed up in my office. He had to run an errand over on my side of campus (yes, half of the campus is, technically, mine). He got here just in time to hear me start laughing at Ang's response. THEN, Ang sent me a picture of her urging me to take the Diet Pepsi. The panic in her eyes was obvious and compelling. I laughed even more.

Mark shook his head in sort-of-sad amazement. His face was funny, so I opened up my photobooth and took a picture of us: me laughing, him looking ashamed and mystified by my amusement. I sent the picture to Ang. Ang responded with a picture of HER drinking a Diet Pepsi. Talk about adding insult to injury. In the email she said that I should make Mark go get me a Diet Pepsi. Alas, by this time Mark was gone. So was the Diet Pepsi. I was alone and soda-less.

Well, time heals all wounds, as it is wont to do. By noon I had forgotten about the Diet Pepsi. I went to lunch off campus. I returned at 1:50. Carly, our other work study, had a wonderful message for me. There was a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi behind the front desk JUST FOR ME!! My wonderful husband had picked up the Diet Pepsi and had dropped it off while I was at lunch. He is probably the best husband, ever.

Ahhhhhh... and this Diet Pepsi is sweet indeed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Value of Dreams

Mark and I are on our way to Hopkins when The Doors' Riders on the Storm came on the radio. Mark says:

"I listened to a lot of Doors when I was in high school."

"Oh yea?" I reply. "Were you a disenchanted youth?"

Mark kinda smiles and shrugs. "I don't know. I guess."

"Well," I say, "You are a disenchanted adult, so I imagine you were a disenchanted youth."

He laughs.

"Yeah," he says after a moment, "Hopes and dreams are for suckers."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Not Quite Human

Last night Mark and I were discussing our Christmas presents on the way to a Wild game.

"You know you're going to have to read those books, because Jared is going to ask about them," I said to Mark. My brother got Mark World War Z and Zombie Apocalypse for Christmas. It was the Christmas of the zombie.

"Oh, God," said Mark. "I'll actually have to READ a BOOK." Mark can read books, he just doesn't very often. He was being sarcastic.

Continuing to give him grief, I said, "You know, I can read, like, three books in a day." This is actually true. I can, have, and do occasionally read three books a day.

"That's because you are not quite human," replied Mark.

I laughed. "Oh, really? Was that said with admiration or disgust?"

"There were elements of admiration."

That's my husband. He might not be able to read three books a day, but he is the master of the politically correct statement.