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So, my name is Maryhope Howland (well actually now my last name is Rutherford, but not for sciencey publications, so that’s just confusing. . . perhaps writing this blog will aid in the sorting out of my name), and I’m a PhD student in social psychology at the University of Minnesota.

First thing you should know about me is that I’m an ex-New Yorker, or more accurately Brooklyn-er. I grew up in Providence, RI, moved to NYC when I was 18 for college, and left when I was 27 for graduate school. I currently live in Minneapolis, the most awesome midwestern city around (one word: Prince!), but my heart aches for Brooklyn, and, along with Rhode Island, it still feels like home. I live with my wonderful newly-minted husband, Ethan, and our two cats in a little house in South Minneapolis.

A word about our cats. I’m a dog person. But the thing is one of our cats, Tuxedo, has no teeth and is a super svelt gentleman, who I’m pretty sure would be the keyboard player in an awesome band, if he could. Our other cat, One Eye, has one eye and super human strength and smarts (at the Vet they have to put him in the dog rooms because he can open all the doors in the cat rooms). One Eye’s favorite things are spooning and birds. So, I mean, even though I’m a dog person, how could I not love those cats?

So Ethan and I met in New York–it was one of those ridiculous serendipity like things where it turns out that we knew like 6 people in common, all of whom could have introduced us. For me it was love at first sight. For Ethan it was love after his current girlfriend. Eh, you take what you can get. But he left NYC in 2007 for graduate school out here, so we had one year of video-chatting and visits. (Note to future video chatters: if you use your video camera instead of a computer camera, and for some weird reason you can only get it to work when it is in actual recording mode, and it will only record with a tape in it, then for the love of god burn those tapes. There is nothing worse than seeing one sided conversations with someone with whom you are flirting and trying to convince to come visit you). The miracle of all miracles, I got into graduate school (which I had been putting off until I had another good reason to leave home), at the same place, which also happened to be a great program. Clearly in some past life I had endured some academic tragedy, because this occurrence felt like academic karmic bliss.

ANYWAY, a year later we bought a little house in Minneapolis, which I am chronically trying to make more beautiful, and Ethan patiently endures me trying to make it more beautiful. And a couple years after that we got married! Our cats sleep on the heating vents, we bought Arctic-level slippers and professional snow shoveling gear, and we’re working our way through the winters until yours truly graduates.

I love: restaurants, US Magazine, really good croissants, bacon, traveling, things that remind me of home, my family, Project Runway, the Sunday Times, and England.

Things I do NOT love: movies about submarines, when I lose my glasses (even if I find them), football, when snow turns to slush, olives and cottage cheese.

One last thing that’s probably important: I often make what Ethan calls my “Get out here and dance!” face. I’ll see if I can find a picture.

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