You’re Either Part of the Problem or All of the Problem or You Could Be the Solution. Or a Chemical Mixture. I Never Really Understood Science. Or Math.
So, it’s finally come to this – a bittersweet day on which I have decided to make a confession of a deep, dark secret that I’ve been hiding for months.
I decided to “come out” finally as a service to my readers who may be experiencing this same issue. It helps to know that you’re not alone. At least, it helps if you’re selfish like me and are comforted by the fact that others are suffering along with you. And if there are no readers experiencing this same issue, then I guess I am alone. And that kind of bites, but oh well. I’m sure you have your own ways of suffering.
So, here’s the thing. I now have over 1000 subscribers. Woohoo. I mean, awesome, right?
But less people read my blog per day now than they did a month after I started. Two years ago. A lot less.
Basically, let’s say I used to have 30 or 40 daily readers out of every 50 subscribers.
Now I still have about 30 or 40 readers.
Okay, so, somehow I managed to miss having to take Statistics in college, but I’m pretty sure that a graph of my numbers would look equivalent to one reflecting the success of Lindsay Lohan’s career over the last decade.
And I have way more fun and talent than Lindsay Lohan, so that hardly seems like a fair comparison.
Upon reflection, I’ve decided that the reason for this preposterous report of my readership could have one of the following causes:
Uno.) 99% of my blog subscribers are spammers who don’t actually read anyone’s blog, but apparently make tons of money off of pretending they do.
B.) Jon Stewart is screwing up my blog stats on purpose so I will spend less time blogging and more time
stalking writing love letters to him.
III.) WordPress hates me.
Four.) People read one post, and think that I am fabulous, then realize that my writing sucks and stop reading. But they are too lazy to unsubscribe.
Quintuplets.) The only people who are able to stumble across my blog are the ones who search for it by typing in, “my pants won the spelling bee?” And, let’s face it, usually the shoes win the spelling bee, not the pants.
Obviously it’s B.
Now I have to think of a solution. Certainly, I cannot allow Jon Stewart to completely change my life – unless there is some kind of financial profit involved on my part. In the meantime, I must keep blogging, if only to prove that I can persevere through these difficult and trying times of unsatisfactory blog statistics.
If Jon Stewart is deliberately tanking your statistics, too, then I suggest you look to me as a role model and follow my lead in this. Don’t stop blogging. And don’t devote any more time than usual to
stalking sending him communications of an admiring yet somewhat admonishing-him-for-not-paying-any-attention-to-you nature. Trust me; it doesn’t work.
As Dory from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep blogging and stop looking at your stupid blog stats because either Jon Stewart, the NSA, or terrorists are screwing them up.”
Or something like that.
I blame it all on Jon Stewart. I mean, the man leaves for a 3 month vacation, and of course my newish anti-depressant, which was working just fine for three weeks, abandons me at the same exact time. This can not be a coincidence.
I’m sure my abysmal attitude has nothing to do with my Groundhog Day week of chauffeuring my daughter back and forth from synchronized swimming practice as she prepares to compete at Nationals.
Or with the fact that my hair stylist, who told me in no uncertain terms 5 years ago that he would not give me bangs, inexplicably and with no warning, suddenly gave me a Frankenstein cut yesterday.
My less-than-positive reaction to both of those incidents is a symptom of the problem – not the cause.
No, it’s definitely Jon Stewart’s absence. And even though John Oliver is a worthy replacement, he is not Jon. I mean, for crying out loud, he has an “h” in his first name.
And I’m not the only one effected. The Bloggess is also missing him. Though she didn’t say it in so many words. Actually she didn’t say it in any words. But she’s depressed, too, and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason.
I saw this video on an education blog today, of all places, and because the world revolves around me, I realized the song writer was actually speaking to me when he wrote it, although it appears it was written at least 4 years ago so that would be an amazing example of prescience that should probably be investigated by scientists, or at least by Anderson Cooper.
As I am a generous person, I thought I would share it with those of you who might also be dealing with the gaping hole that Jon Stewart’s dereliction of duty may have left in your life.
So Many Ways To Die
so many ways to die
so many ways to stay alive
but if you wouldn’t mind to wait a while
you could give another day a try
you tell me all that you cherished is through
well that’s not true it isn’t true
it isn’t true
i read it in the news it is but really isn’t you
you are exactly who you choose
you’re only lying to you
so many ways to think
how differently we interpret the brink
between the side of life worth living
and the point at which you’re better off to sink
so many ways to laugh
chortle chuckle giggle cachinnate guffaw like william howard taft
science has proven it’s correlated
with the number of days your life will pass
so many ways to die
so many different ways to lie
should a community allow
or should society continue to deny
what could i say where do you go
what could i do what could i know
so many different lives
so many different ways to hide
but if you open your shutters
you might find the joy that only lives outside
so many ways to dance
so many different meanings for glance
but you only get a few if you keep staring at your shoes
you will miss every single chance
three thousand different ways
they could’ve rearranged your dna
but I believe just for today that
you can conquer your affliction of the brain
Jon Stewart has been flirting with me, and I’m not really sure how to handle the whole situation.
I mean, I love him, but, you know, not that way.
I mean I could love him that way under the right circumstances, like if my husband told me he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, and it turned out he was really shacking up with Jon Stewart’s wife in Argentina.
But that would never happen. Probably. I’m pretty sure. Because my husband would rather walk a golf course than hike a trail, and I would be kind of suspicious if he said he was playing golf and he didn’t come back for a few days. Mostly because he can’t last more than 3 hours on a course without deciding that he completely despises the game and should never play again.
But back to the Stewart thing, you are probably wondering how I know about his not-so-secret crush. My answer is, “Well, women just know these things.” And that is true. We are amazingly attuned to men who are attracted to us. I totally knew, for example, when my dry-cleaner had a crush on me, even though it took him 18 months to inform me of this. And with him, there were really only two clues: 1.) he always had my form filled out before I even walked in the door, and Dos.) he kept giving me random discounts when no one else was there.
It was so obvious.
My two clues with Jon Stewart are: 1.) his recent hysterical interview with David Sedaris, who just happens to be my favorite author, and whose book I had just ordered on Amazon the same exact day he appeared on the Daily Show, and Dos.) his completely random attack on my sworn enemy, Donald Trump, who would completely justify someone’s use of “toupee-dar“.
I mean, for those two events to happen on his show within the span of one week is just way too much of a coincidence.
And then he announced that John Oliver will begin guest hosting on June 10th, and that just makes everything as clear as the unflavored Knox gelatin mixed with warm water that I paint on my daughter’s hair when she has to do a synchronized swimming performance.
Because June 10th is exactly when my vacation starts. And if Jon Stewart is not going to be hosting his show, just where exactly do you think he is going to be?
It’s been almost 24 hours, and I am still mad at JLo. You will probably argue that I should not be upset with her. But then I’ll just be mad at you, too.
It all started with a “project.” * I am seriously beginning to hate that word. It is an obvious euphemism for “homework assignment that will cause family turmoil and erode the already tenuous bond between a parent and her 10-year-old daughter because the father would much rather stay out of the whole thing.”
My daughter was assigned a landform, archipelago. She informed me a couple of weeks ago that she needed to make her landform out of salt dough on cardboard and paint it. I will not get into the ins and outs of why this “project” did not get done until the night before it was due. I’ll grant JLo this; it wasn’t her fault that my daughter started it late.
So, last night my daughter started painting her archipelago before synchronized swimming practice, then pulled out a paper that detailed the other part of the project about which she had neglected to inform me.
At 8:40 PM, after synchro practice and dropping off our carpooler, my daughter finally started Part II. This included researching, folding, decorating, labeling, and finding the square root of Pi. She is now the world’s Greatest Expert on Archipelagoes. We will be putting that on her college application, I am sure.
At 9:40 PM, our golden retriever came indoors with poop all over one foot, and managed to smear it all around our living room archipelago of furniture before my husband realized it. He cleaned up the concrete floor. I got the job of getting the poop off her foot.
At 10 PM, our daughter informed me that the printer would not print out the non-mandatory picture that she had decided to add to her masterpiece.
At 10 PM and 5 seconds, I said, “If it’s not on the instructions, you don’t need it.” Thus, completely reinforcing her notion that she should never have to do more work than the actual minimum required. I will be contradicting this notion the next time I ask her to clean her room. “I am not fixing the printer right now. Go to bed.”
At 10:20 PM, I was watching Jon Stewart, who was interviewing JLo.
“You have twins, don’t you? How old are they now?” he asked.
“They’re about to turn 5,” JLo said, proudly.
AND THE AUDIENCE CLAPPED AND HOOTED ENTHUSIASTICALLY.
For JLo. Because she has kids. And they are about to turn 5.
Yeah, JLo. You rock. What a great mom you are. For keeping your kids alive to the age of 5.
Have you had to work a long day, come home, fix dinner, ride herd on your child to finish her project (even though you agree with her that it is a complete waste of time), drive carpool, ride herd some more, clean a poopy dog foot, and shove your bulldog to one side just so you can fall into an armchair to rest at 10:05 as your daughter glares at you for not fixing a printer or reading to her before she goes to bed?
I think not. And, I don’t think you ever will.
That is why I am mad at JLo.
Because it’s completely pointless to be mad at the half-witted audience who applauded her just for being a pop star with two almost-5-year-olds.
Or an archaic school system that feels it is necessary to pit parents against children on a regular basis in the name of “education.”
Plus, she was a little bit too flirty with Jon Stewart.
You can only push me so far.
*(If you are interested in more of my commentary on school projects, you might want to read “The Science-is-Not-Fair”, a titillating expose of the negative impact of science fairs on unsuspecting families. And, yes, I know expose is supposed to have an accent mark, but I am so blindly angry at JLo that I cannot remember how to add one.)
So, I was thinking about John Mayer today. Not because he is the Center of the Universe – although reports from many people seem to substantiate that he does indeed believe the world revolves around him. Only because I heard his name on the car radio. Something about a musician named “Shooter” who tweetered (yes, I know that’s not a word – yet) a comment that did not extol his virtues. And I thought, “Hmm. It would be really cool to see what would happen if John Mayer was stuck in an elevator when Hurricane Sandy rocked New York. If I were writing a sitcom, who else would I plop into this potentially explosive situation ? Oh, yes. Donald Trump. And that collision of egos would probably result in a nuclear reaction that would either decimate the entire state of New York, or generate enough electricity to keep New York going for the next century.”
And then I thought, “Would even Hurricane Sandy have had enough force to blow off Donald Trump’s hair? More importantly, is there any way in the world to destroy that ghastly coif? And, if not, what would it take to convince Donald Trump to actually volunteer to shave his scalp?”
This led me to the next disturbing cogitation,”Why am I so obsessed with Donald Trump’s hair? I’m pretty sure I have blogged about it more than a couple of times now. This is not the kind of legacy I want to leave. When I die, and I finally become famous, I do not want people to look back at my blog archives and speculate about my interest in Donald Trump’s hair.”
And then I arrived at my Early Voting Location, and the line was 50 people out the door in the hot sun and there was clearly no parking available, so I just continued driving.
So, now, people will say that I was an irresponsible, non-voting citizen consumed by thoughts of Donald’s Trump’s ridiculous mop of a mane.
And Jon Stewart. Let’s make that clear. If you are looking for trends in my posts, I mention Jon Stewart a heckuva lot more than Trump.
So, allow me to spell it out for you, Future Biographer of Mrs. Cap’n Firepants: I loved Jon Stewart, hated Donald Trump’s hair, was somewhat doubtful about John Mayer as a person (but liked his music), and made a half-hearted attempt to vote even though she suspected her husband’s vote was going to cancel hers out. (The last item may change to “she braved Heck and High Water to make an ill-fated stand” if I find a way to vote on the actual Election Day.) Oh, and I never heard of this musician named “Shooter”.
See? There’s nothing to analyze here. No secrets or hidden agendas. I’m just plain ole Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, who just happens to have random thoughts about Donald Trump’s hair on a semi-regular basis.
On most nights, the routine goes like this: read to Dimples, check a few e-mails, then travel down the long hall to the living room for my daily dose of The Daily Show.
As soon as I cross over from the Forbidden Section, Wonderbutt (who is usually forlornly sprawled as close to the border as possible) perks up and follows me to the living room. I settle myself into our big old leather chair, and Wonderbutt places himself on the floor directly in front of me, and whimpers a couple of times. When he first started this, I thought he was angling for an invitation to join me on the chair. (Which is silly, because it’s the one piece of furniture on which he has always been allowed.) Under this erroneous assumption, I would pat the space beside me several times. Eventually, he would leap up, and make himself comfortable, sometimes resting his head in my lap, but oftentimes stretching out on his stomach and kicking me squarely in the crotch. Fortunately, I am female, so crotch kicks are not quite detrimental to my health. Also, fortunately, like Wonderbutt, the chair is oversized. With a little manipulation, we both fit on it quite well. In a matter of minutes, I am turning up the television so I can hear Jon Stewart over Wonderbutt’s snores.
One day, I realized that he only demands an invitation when I am on the side of the chair closest to the end table. (Wonderbutt, not Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart is invited to share the chair any time he chooses.) If I am on the other side of the chair, the dog hops right up with no hesitation. I tested out this theory and, sure enough, right side – whimper, left side – immediate leap. So, it seemed that the whimper was not a “Please, may I sit with you?” request, but a “Get the Heck off my side of the chair” rebuke.
Being the troublemaker that I am, I decided that, from now on, I would always sit on the right side. I needed to prove who is boss, after all.
Last night, I finished reading to Dimples and wandered out to the living room, fully prepared to engage in the nightly ritual of “allowing” Wonderbutt to settle on the less desirable side of the chair.
And, there was Wonderbutt, already fully esconced on the chair. Pretty much taking up the entire space, but quite obviously occupying the right side, his declared favorite, with no room for me. His head leaning on the arm rest, and his tongue sticking out in what I’m pretty sure was an “F you” expression when combined with the look in his eyes.
Wonderbutt has no doubt about who’s the boss. It appears that I underestimated my opponent. Again.
My 365th post is just around the corner, and I am starting to analyze how much I’ve accomplished. I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit disappointed. I haven’t achieved one single item on my bucket list in the last year. I have not:
- gotten one billion subscribers
- gotten invited to spend a week with the writers of The Daily Show
- gotten a million dollar advance on my book
- lost 5 pounds
In fact, I’ve gained 10 pounds, which is somewhat distressing.
It’s not for lack of effort, I must point out. I mean, I did a three day pledge drive – which resulted in the least number of new subscribers daily that I’ve ever received. I mention Jon Stewart every moment I can, barely avoiding being labeled a stalker. And I think I would have gotten the million dollar advance if The Bloggess had not beaten me to a publishing contract by a couple of years.
I can’t really explain the 10 pounds, but I’m just going to blame it on my “inefficient colon”. Obviously, everything I eat is being immediately converted to fat instead of, uh, doing what it’s supposed to do.
Now, I always tell my students that the most important part of achieving their dreams is perseverance, so I would be a hypocrite if I gave up on everything now. That is what normal, easily discouraged people, would do. So, I am going to stick to my mantra, which is, “Do what you want to do or prove that it can’t be done by killing
everyone in your way yourself trying to do it.” You are welcome to borrow that quote if you like.
Plus, it’s a bucket list. Which, I am assuming means that I have until the point that I kick the bucket to finish it up. I have to check the official rules of bucket lists, but I think that, if you start going in the opposite direction of the items on your list, that means you hold off death a bit longer. But, you can’t make that your goal, because then you have really changed your bucket list, and you will just speed things up.
I do feel like it is time to revise my bucket list, though, so here is the new, improved list:
- get 2 billion subscribers who are not relatives, but could conceivably be bribed to type their email address into the little box on my right margin (oops, just realized it’s in my left margin – that explains a lot)
- spend 2 weeks with the writers of The Daily Show. In their writing room. Contributing to their writing. (I thought I should clarify this, because my last goal was a bit too vague, and could have been misconstrued.)
- write the book for which I will get my million dollar contract
- lose 1 pound
I know. That last one is a bit unrealistic. But I’m thinking of removing the inefficient colon, by force, if necessary, and surely it weighs at least a pound.
Oh, and I’m not calling it a bucket list anymore. There is pretty much not one thing that I find motivating about buckets, much less kicking the bucket. So, it is now my Nantucket List. As soon as I get it all done, I will give myself a relaxing trip to Nantucket.
And, what the heck, my heart is just as big as Oprah’s, I’ll take my 2 billion subscribers with me.
(P.S. For the BEST Bucket List EVER, click here. (Thanks, Guapolawesomest, for this reference. I’ll let you come to Nantucket, too. Unless that’s where you live. In which case, why haven’t you invited me, yet?)
This is my 84th post, and I still have not been invited to spend a week with the writers of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. I think I’ve figured out the problem, though. I haven’t really been hitting the politics too hard on this blog. Partly because I don’t want to offend any of my readers. And partly because I don’t really know anything. But I’m going to take a risk today, and pretend that really doesn’t matter.
All of the bipartisan bickering lately (for the last 8 years, interestingly enough – since that is how old my daughter is) is driving me crazy. So I would like to propose a new solution. This may involve a complete overhaul of one of the Schoolhouse Rock Videos, but I’m pretty sure you will agree that it’s worth it.
How a Bill Becomes a Law the Whatimeant2say Way:
- Use a random name generator, such as the Secret Agent or Lady Gaga ones, to give all of the politicians code names. Only the President will have a complete list, and it will be kept in the White House in a safe that requires two people to open it at the same time. I would suggest that the keys be given to Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, as they would cooperate with each other only under the direst of circumstances.
- Politicians will consult the Siri goddess on their iPhones, and then submit any proposals for law changes to a shared Google Doc, using their newly selected random names as their Gmail addresses. Their political parties will not be revealed.
- An objective citizen, such as Ryan Seacrest, will categorize the possible laws and blog about them anonymously, grouping similar but opposing views in the same posts – still without identifying the sponsoring political parties.
- Citizens and non-citizens will be invited to read and comment. Vile words and incomprehensible texting abbreviations will be thrown out by the moderator (Seacrest again). WTF will be allowed, as it is the only way to express complete astonishment at the idiocy of the Common Man.
- After an appropriate length of time for discussion on each topic, a survey from PollDaddy will be placed on the blog.
- Any politician who leaks their code name or a law they proposed will have to appear on a reality show produced by Mark Burnet and their proposal will immediately be disqualified and sold on eBay.
- The proposal with the most votes on Poll Daddy (with which no political party has been affiliated) will become a law.
- Simon Cowell (after he applies for, pays a lot of money for, and is granted U.S. citizenship) will be the tie-breaker judge.
- Charlie Sheen will announce the “winner” late at night on his webcam, and Ashton Kutcher will tweet it to everyone to make sure the maximum number of people know what the new law is.
- There is no number 10, but stopping at number nine looked wrong for some reason.
I know. I should run for President.