Sunday, January 27, 2008

North Dakota, fur sure, you betcha

All right, you've guessed it, I'm not in Aruba anymore. I am in Mandan, North Dakota. Oh for nice.

I flew from Aruba to Venezuela to Chicago. I was so excited to return to the States I got a little too tipsy on little red wines with the 60-year-old Venezuelan woman sitting next to me. She was celebrating Chavez's defeat in elections the day before, the Venezuelan people actually voted down his socialist constitutional changes, WOW! It was peaceful, no riots, and the president took it well. Though they say he is planning new elections.

It snowed in Chicago, and even more in Milwaukee. Then it snowed more in Milwaukee. And then a couple more times in Milwaukee. I was the only person in the state who was happy about this, it was wonderful to see all the family and be able to shovel snow together.

As soon as I returned to my hometown my boyfriend "Ravioli" came for a visit. It was his first time in the United States of America and the poor thing comes to Bismarck, North Dakota. People are nice, oh yeah, for sure. You betcha. The difficult thing was explaining HIM, he looks Japanese, speaks Spanish...but he smiled a lot and got along just fine.

As per American tradition, we tried to fatten Ravioli up as much as physically possible on cookies, snacks, Christmas food, Taco Bell, all-you-can-eat buffets, and of course my favorite A&B Pizza. We took him to all three A&B locations so he could decide for himself which one made the best taco pizza. He loved the visit, hopefully because he got to see me and not as much because of the food. He didn't gain too much weight; I did.

After Christmas we drove to Montana for snowboarding and Yellowstone. On his last night Sister Sam and her hubbie and friends took us to a real cowboy bar, the Lonesome Dove, with a real cowboy band. They said it would be a crazy experience but I kind of thought it was like all the other bars in the area. We had fun watching Sam try to teach Ravioli the two-step. The day I took him to the airport to say goodbye (sniffle) we found out his flight had been cancelled and he couldn't leave until the next day. I swear we were the only happy people in line.

Ravioli has since left and I have dedicated my time to composing heart-warming compositions for graduate school applications and entertaining Mom's farting bulldog, Irma. The plan is to visit Seattle in Feb., travel a few months this year, visit Japan for a few months, and then hopefully start school in August. Fingers crossed!


Moe: said...

See? I told you you are exciting even in Mandan, ND! That taco pizza looks yummy. It might be 6:30 in the morning here but I must admit I could go for one right about now.

What schools are you considering for graduate school? And what are you going to study?

Shannen said...


Thanks for the encouragement, I mustered as much excitement as I possibly could. Do they do taco pizza in CA? Or is it a midwest thing? Or a North Dakota thing? I've never really seen it anywhere else.

I'll get my MA in Japanese language, maybe become a Japanese teacher.

I can't believe you are already at work at 6:30am, to maintain my sane image of my cousin I can only rationalize that you never switched your clock from WI time (8:30am).

Moe: said...

I can't say I've seen taco pizza in CA but I definitely have seen it back in WI. I wouldn't go as far to call it a Midwestern thing...but it just may be. ;-)

Actually to be precise, I'm at work by 6 AM, which means I have to get up for work at 4:30 AM as I have to allow time for Kevin to shower after me. There are huge benefits to the pain of getting up so getting off of work at 3PM! The post office is still open!

A Japanese teacher? Would you teach in Japan or here or somewhere else?

Shannen said...

4:30am, that's just plain ol' crazy. But I understand the benefits. You must be on Eastern Standard Time, then.

I'd probably teach somewhere in the States :) Would you come visit me if I go to school in Hawaii? You could try valium for the flight over...

Marilyn said...

Hola Shannen! I've been having a lot of fun reading about your adventures and looking at your pictures!

When Jeff and I went out to central MN to visit his family in December they had taco pizza at the pizza buffet at the Pizza Ranch restaurant. So I'm thinking it is a midwest thing!

Good luck with all of your grad school stuff!

Shannen said...


Yippee, thanks for reading my blog! It was great to hear from you again, I'm packing to go to Seattle tomorrow but will write as soon as I'm settled in!

I loved your Trash the Dress (was that the name?) photos, so cute and looked like fun!

lachness said...

So where are you applying to??

Shannen said...

*Hi Cousin Lachness*

I'm applying to the Univ. of Hawaii for now, we'll see what happens!

Ravioli said...

Hehehe...I thought that my favorite pizza was "Ebi Pizza" (Shrimps Pizza Japanese style) but...I change my opinion: Taco Pizza is better!!! Thanks Shannen; I love A&B Pizza!!! I see my A&B Pizza T-shirt and I feel hungry hehehe. I liked so much Mandan and Bismarck, and I cant believe: after eat all traditional meals I dont to get fat! Thats lucky!