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.

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.