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I’m Sorry Google Dissed You, Bill Fagerbakke

It’s been a crazy week.  Which is probably good because the craziness took my mind off my birthday for the most part.  And I know I’m supposed to be glad I managed to live another year.  But I would be gladder if it had been my 29th year of living instead of my 40-something-ish.  And if forty-something wasn’t so close to 50.  And if I could read the small print on my 50 different medication bottles.

I usually keep my birthday kind of on the DL, but I got foiled by Google this year.

I logged in to Google at work, and saw a lovely Google birthday logo.

“Wow!  Susan Sarandon is so famous, even Google is wishing her a happy birthday!  Or, maybe, this special design is for Bill Fagerbakke, the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, who also happens to share this special day with me.  Oh, silly me, it’s probably in honor of Jon Secada, famous singer of ‘Just Another Day’ that reached #5 on the pop charts in the US in 1992.”

I rolled over the logo to see if there would be an informative pop-up revealing the celebrity’s name.

And almost fell out of my chair when Google wished me, personally, a Happy Birthday.

My work set up our Google accounts.  Apparently they don’t subscribe to my “give a fake birthday for all your online accounts” philosophy.

Of course, this just means that I am going to receive Birthday Wishes about 6 times a year now, since I have 5 other Google accounts that are not work-related.  And I kind of fudged a bit on those birthdays.

I sure hope Jon Secada checked out his logo last Friday.  Nothing beats the special feeling you get when you find out that Google gives you a message that says, “Good job on not dying yet and, by the way, we know everything about you.

It sure does make that day special.

googlebirthdayfirepants

I Might as Well Violate the Law of Italics While I’m At It

So, now that the Pope has officially endorsed my Harry Potter Nativity scene, I feel like I can finally stop walking around with a rosary in my pocket in the hopes of warding off any lightning strikes.

Yes, I am perfectly aware that the above sentence pretty much guarantees that even a rosary can’t protect me now.

But the Pope did admit that things probably didn’t happen the way we’ve been lead to believe for the last thousand years.  No angels singing, no animals gathered around the manger.  No Little Drummer Boy pa-rum-pum-pum-pumming.  So, I think it’s safe to conclude that we don’t know that Hagrid and Dumbledore weren’t standing around during the Holy Parturition (learned a new word today – look at me, using my online thesaurus in a fruitful manner!).  It’s possible.

Speaking of this admittedly unlikely, but not completely impossible, rendition of the epitome of Blessed Events, I committed another Googling sin yesterday, and was surprised (as I always am) by the results.

I don’t know if you do this, too, but I like to Google some of my former blog topics that I think were completely, astoundingly unique – just so I can see my post title at the top of the Google results page.  For some reason, that gives me a sense of satisfaction – knowing that pretty much no one else in the world ever thought about writing about this particular topic.  Of course, that also usually means that no one is particularly interested in that topic, so it doesn’t really increase my blog stats to be number one on the Google search results.  I tend to ignore that depressing fact, though.

So, I Googled “Harry Potter Nativity”, and was predictably gratified to discover that I was still at the top.  But then, I noticed in the image results that the picture from my post was not #1. And then I noticed that there was an actual image of a “Harry Potter Nativity”!  What the heck?  Someone else had this idea?

Now, I’m depressed.

harrypotternativity

This is quite blasphemous. Someone needs to tell the artist that, according to the Pope, there were no animals in the scene.

Unfortunately, despite my Super Duper Holmesian Google Detective skills, I am unable to actually figure out who had this idea.  I’ve narrowed it down to someone on this site:  http://www.craftster.org, but I apparently do not have Super Duper Holmesian Craftster.org Detective skills, because my searches either turn up nothing (Harry Potter Nativity – no results) or too much (Harry Potter – 67 pages of results).

So, I would like to tip my hat to the clever crafter who reduced my ego to ashes (don’t worry; like Fawkes the Phoenix, my ego will rise again), but I will, instead, be spending the rest of my evening Googling “spells to ward off vengeful lighting strikes” and “Cap’n Firepants and Wonderbutt” in doomed-to-fail attempts to avoid an argument with my insurance company over the exact meaning of “acts of God” and to revive my very damaged self-esteem.

 

You Have Heard of Google, Right?

photo credit: id-iom via photopin cc

So, the other day I meet this guy for the first time.  During our conversation, he finds out what college I attended, and, hey, what a coincidence, he went there, too.

Okay.

Then he proceeds to tell me an outlandish story about an 8-year-old genius that attended this college when he was there (at least 15 years before I happened on the scene), and how the frats would have keg parties specifically planned for this kid, in which the kegs would be full of root beer.

Uh-huh.

And then, how this kid was consulted by the student body when the college found a way to keep them from “sudsing” the fountain by putting a chemical in the water.  And the brilliant boy genius figured out, not only how to counteract the university’s evil plan, but also how to add his own chemical that would make the suds ten times worse.

Yep.

My new acquaintance then says, “Gee, I wonder what ever happened to that kid.”

And I say, “Why don’t you Google him?”

And he says, “I don’t remember his name.”

Seriously?  You can tell me how the football team used to run on the field carrying this kid on his shoulder, how he tested out of every college subject, how the professors wanted him to do the teaching, and you can’t remember his name?

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but I am a Google Genius.  And I can tell you, even without knowing this kid’s name, that you made this whole thing up.

I wish I’d had this power when I was in college, when the guy I was dating called to cancel our date, and told me he was at the hospital with a friend “who is having stomach problems” – and it turned out to be his girlfriend miscarrying his child.

Or when my mother told me that she was a medical doctor, with a specialization in Psychiatry.  Even though she never went to medical school.

Pathological Liars – A Dying Breed.

Except in politics.

Thanks, Google.

Hypochondriacs Should Not Have Access to the Internet

There is something wrong with me.  No one knows what it is.  The CIA refuses to believe that terrorists are poisoning my food.  And the doctors refuse to believe that I am not crazy.  But has anyone bothered to test me for cat litter disease?  I think not.

I thought toxoplaswhatever was just a great excuse for getting out of changing the litter box for the nine months I was pregnant.  But, it turns out that pregnant women are not the only victims.  In fact, 1/3 of the world’s population is walking around with this infection RIGHT NOW!

A test of a bunch of Danish women showed that the ones with the infection had a higher risk of suicide attempts than those without the infection.  According to the scientists, it is not necessarily causally related.

But, I’m not fooled.  Notice that this study consisted entirely of women.  The scientists are just trying to cover up the fact that these poor women all married husbands who force them to change the litter box.

Of course, I have not attempted suicide.  (Unless you count the time, last week, when I drove on the highway at night without turning my car headlights on.  But, that was kind of not really deliberate, so I don’t think that counts.  And, let’s not mention that minor incident to Cap’n Firepants, okay?)  And, I am not Danish.  So, I guess that is why no doctor has recommended this test for me.

Oh, and we don’t have a cat.  We used to have a cat, though.  Who committed suicide.  Okay, not really.  But, I am pretty sure that I did get toxoplaswhatchamacallit, and I am, right this moment, suffering from other problems that it causes which the sexist Danish scientists have not yet discovered – such as an inefficient colon and a tendency to acquire mattresses that need immediate disposal.

My point is that I am quite frustrated with the inability, or the complete lack of curiosity, on my doctors’ parts to figure out what is wrong with me.  Doesn’t anyone know how to Google besides me?

You should really thank me for not including any of the other pics I got when I did a search for  “kitty litter”.
photo credit: Rescue Rabbit via photo pin cc

Sometimes It’s Better Not to Know

I thought it was stress-inducing when I saw the signs for Construction Zone Awareness Week a couple of months ago; it nearly did me in to be so hyper vigilant about construction zones for seven days.  Thank goodness I don’t have to do that anymore, I thought, once that week was over.  Now I can go  back to barreling into men riding bulldozers on the side of the road whenever I want for the next 51 weeks.

But then, Mental Health Awareness Month rolled in.  A WHOLE MONTH!  Do these people realize how exhausting it is to be aware of your own mental health for 31 days straight?  If they were going to make it an entire month couldn’t they have chosen a shorter month – like February?  That’s always a low month for me anyway, what with still being cold and gloomy and the inevitable disappointments brought by both Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day.  I’m pretty much guaranteed to be questioning my mental health that whole month anyway, so I move that we change it to February.

I am thankful that June is not Mental Health Awareness Month.  As a teacher, I have entirely too much time on my hands during the summer months.  I would spend the entire time obsessing about the status of my psychological well-being, which would probably not be very conducive to improving my mental health, I imagine.  As it is, my mental health is already poised at the top of a snow-covered precipice, prepared to plummet with the slightest nudge.  I’m pretty sure preoccupation with it 24/7 would add enough weight to initiate the slide downward at which point I might just hop on, figuring that, at the very least, I could just enjoy the ride.

It suddenly occurred to me as I was typing that I have no idea what I’m supposed to be aware of this month, so I thought I better Google that – against my better judgement.  Thank goodness I did, because I discovered that I have missed the first three days of Goat Trauma Awareness Month.  Apparently, this is designated in order to make people more aware of trauma caused by goats – not trauma inflicted upon the goats.  Which seems a bit unfair.  But, having experienced a goat trauma myself when I was younger (I reached my finger in through a fence and he bit me), I fully support this interpretation of goat trauma.  I almost considered buying a t-shirt.

Until I took a look at the t-shirt.  That is one, scary looking piece of apparel.  I’m pretty certain that I would be inflicting more trauma on the thousands of current anguished goat victims if I paraded around in that terrifying top.

However, perusing the Goat Trauma Awareness site did lead me to the realization that the one topic about which people really need to become more enlightened is their Google Searches.  Because those can really inflict deep, psychological wounds if you aren’t careful.   Therefore, by the power vested in me, I am hereby proclaiming July to be Google Search Trauma Awareness Month.  If you have any t-shirt suggestions, please submit them in the comments below.

Your Search is Over the Top

Photo Credit: Fabio Has

This is one of those obligatory posts about searches that lead to my blog.  I have been gratified in the last couple of weeks to see that several people – or the same person several times – have reached my blog by Googling “sexiest woman.”

Although I found this flattering, I could not leave well enough alone.  In order to try to get into the mind of the person or persons who have followed this unusual path to my portal, I tried Googling that term myself.

I had to go through 8 pages of results before I finally found one that linked to my blog.  That was a couple of days ago.  Today I tried it, so I could add a picture of the search results to this post, and I gave up after looking through ten pages.  Which really makes me wonder what exactly these searchers are seeking.

Are they skipping all of the nude images and videos and articles about Jennifer Aniston, and actually determining that Please Send Congratulations in the Form of Donations to the Wonderbutt Disaster Relief Fund is the answer to their sexy woman prayers?  Or, are they clicking on every link, page by page, hour by hour, day by day – reading my blog dutifully – and then starting the whole process again?

This is what I spend my days pondering – the psyche of my readers, both accidental and purposeful, who are my invisible audience.

Conversely, the top searched term leading to my blog of all time is “porta potty.”  Considering that my post on this topic was about an obituary of a woman who held “a great appreciation for porta-potties”, and my great desire to never be known for this particular attribute, I find it to be the ultimate irony that this is how most people chance upon my blog.  And now, of course, I’ve made this even more likely by mentioning it in yet another post.

If I thought it would be productive, I would seed this post with a plethora of more productive search terms, like “Hunger Games” or “porn.”  But I don’t need a bunch of hate comments from disappointed internet surfers who tried to catch the wrong wave.  And I don’t think people doing those types of searches are apt to offer me a publishing contract, much less a movie contract.  (At least not for the type of movies in which I feel comfortable appearing.)

My next stat investigation will involve trying to figure out why I suddenly have so many readers in Malawi (shout out Malawi!!!!!) – second only to my U.S. followers.    Maybe you Malawians have been the sexiest woman seekers stumbling upon my blog.  If so, I hope you haven’t been too disappointed to find out that the Wonderbutt featured so prominently in my blog is a fat, toxic gas emitting bulldog, and not an actual female body part.

Things You Should Never Google

After my nauseating results from doing an image search for “big toe” the other day, I realize that I really should be a little less quick to hit the magnifying glass on search engines.  I have had a few times that my results have been more than eye-opening, and I really should know better by now.

Undesirable consequences of searches have plagued me practically since the infancy of internet search engines.  About 20 years ago, apparently when things were a little more willy-nilly on the World Wide Web, I was trying to find some lesson plans for Louisa May Alcott’s book, Little Women.

That was my first indication that there are some truly sick people out there with photo uploading skills.

And, yet, decades later, I still enter impulsive terms into that little search window, assuming that my own narrow and naive interpretation of the phrase is the only possibility that will be considered by the wide nets being cast by the likes of Yahoo and Google.

One time, after hearing the phrase on T.V., I looked up “camel toe”, innocently believing that it had to do with some kind of footwear faux pas.  Yeah, uh, no.  Interestingly enough, 3 people have reached my blog by searching for “sally field camel toe.”  And now that I’ve typed that, there may be more.

The camel's toe is probably the last body part I would have suspected of contributing to my search anxiety. How about the "hump?"

When I first started this blog, and assigned our bulldog the pseudonym of Wonderbutt, I one day became curious about how that Google search might turn out.

Yes, I am that stupid.

In my post that referenced roller-skating, I got a completely astonishing list of sites when I typed in “couples skate” looking for an image.  I really could have done without that sexual revelation for the remainder of my life – which will probably be much shorter due to the complete shock to my heart induced by those results.

And then there are the searches that I knowingly make in the interest of research, fully aware that I am treading on dangerous ground.  Yesterday’s post made me curious about octopus testicles, which was a frustrating quest, to say the least.  Apparently, the creatures do have some, but there seems to be an ongoing internet war as to whether they are located in the head or the mantle or if those happen to be the same thing.  After a few minutes trying to weed through this catalogue of conflicting information, I realized I really didn’t care, and got sidetracked by several videos posted about a poor weatherman who apparently said that Paul the Octopus had testicles.

I don’t believe in censorship, but I’m beginning to think I need a filter to protect me from myself.  Being a teacher, I never thought I’d say this – but there are times when a little more education can be way too much.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/seyerce/2213283734/”>Ernie Reyes</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Don’t Hate Me Because I Don’t Like You

Let me clarify.  The absence of me liking you does not necessarily mean that I dislike you.

And now you are probably beginning to understand the title of my blog.  I have a slight communication problem.  Usually it sorts itself out when I am typing, as opposed to when I am speaking.  I seem to be having technical difficulties today.

O.K.  So, let’s begin again.  I do not do Facebook.  Why, you may ask, am I the one forty something year old woman on God’s green Earth who does not participate in this massive social network?  Am I so technologically inept that I can’t even build a Wall and upload Photos?

Of course I could do these things; I just choose not to do them on Facebook.  Let me tell you, people, I am so tech savvy, I probably knew about Facebook before you were even born.  I considered opening an account way before people ever thought tweeting about going to the bathroom would be a fun way to spend the day.  But I didn’t.  Because I figured Facebook was a non-starter, and I didn’t have the time to waste reporting my life story as it happened.

Yeah.  I know.  Ironic, huh?  I thought maxi dresses were never going to take off, either.

Anyway, I fill my time with other things, so now I can’t be bothered with such trivial details as playing Farmville.

First of all, I must check my stats.  Secondly, I must visit every blog I can find and comment so that the authors will be amazed by my wittiness and feel the need to visit my own site.  Then, I must try to compose my next new latest and greatest blog post.  In addition, I have to download app updates on my iDevices, restock my store in Fashion Story, and check to see if there are any new Glee songs that I want to sing and record.  I have to make my moves on:  Words with Friends, Hangin’ with Friends, and Chess with Friends.  By that time, it’s time to check my stats again.

You see my dilemma.

So, I want you to know that when you “Like” me, I really appreciate it.  And I would love to return the favor.  In most cases, I visit your blog and try to write a clever comment on your most recent post.  As soon as I figure out what the heck I’m doing with my Google Plus account, I will even +1 you.  What I mean to say is, “Please don’t be offended if I don’t like you back.”

It’s not you.  It’s me.  Really.

What Stevie Wonder and Stephen Colbert have in Common

I got scooped by Stephen Colbert.

Pondering my recent blog post regarding terrorists poisoning our food so that we would lose our memory, I thought I should try to come up with at least one other alternative explanation.

In the meantime, our bulldog was channelling Stevie Wonder

which made me wonder (no pun intended) if the famous singer was still alive.  I honestly can’t keep track of the lives of celebrities, much less their deaths, so I decided to Google it.  And then it hit me – our brains are shrinking because of Google.  (BTW, in case you are worried and haven’t left this post already to satisfy your own curiosity, Stevie Wonder is apparently still alive, according to Wikipedia.)

“Of course!” I thought, “Our brains have stopped retaining information because they know that all we need to do is hit a few keystrokes, and there it is.”  This led me to wonder (there’s that word again!) if, in the near future, our brains will have search boxes inside – a perfectly Darwinian result of our technological evolution.

All prepared to blog about this great discovery and what I thought to be a quite astute prediction, I settled down to watch an episode of The Colbert Report on The Comedy Channel (the only place I like to get my news), and there was Stephen doing “The Word”.  It was “Head in the Cloud” (more than one word, but so what?).  And he proceeded to cite research that supported my hypothesis of memory loss due to Google.  Furthermore, he surmised that all of our memory, including personal, will eventually be stored in that virtual cloud that we hear so much about.  He then showed how beneficial this would be to all of us – as long as we have wi-fi access, that is.  I highly recommend you watch it.  It’s quite realistically horrifying when you think about it.

So, within the span of a few moments, I was able to connect my bulldog, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Colbert, and Darwin. Memory, Schmemory.  Who needs it?  Like a Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, I can pretty much find a connection between anything and anyone (as long as I have wi-fi or 3G). And, here’s the kicker:  I Googled “Stevie Wonder and Stephen Colbert” so I could try to find a nice little way to tie this whole post together.

They have the same birthday.

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