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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.

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You Should Never Leave Scientists with Nothing to Do

My antidepressant does not work in Houston or its suburbs.  I would like to know why the commercial for it did not warn me of this unfortunate side-effect.  “Can cause weight gain and completely lose its effectiveness if you are anywhere in the vicinity of the 4th biggest city in the United States.”  That’s what they should say.

Don’t ask me why it would work in the rest of Texas, but not in Houston.  All I know is that it was working fine when I left San Antonio last Friday, but as soon as we hit the Houston metropolitan area I was wondering why I hadn’t drowned myself in the toilet at the Cracker Barrel where we stopped for lunch.

I’m sure this had nothing to do with the fact that my husband questioned any and all navigation suggestions that I offered for three hours straight.

And it seems highly doubtful that the stress of my daughter’s synchronized swimming tournament would make me want to stick a bobby pin through my eye.

There was nothing remotely depressing about being accused of breaking our zillion dollar camera, “but not on purpose”, by my husband, either.  Because that made me want to stick a bobby pin in his eye – and that doesn’t really count as depression, does it?

I’m absolutely convinced that there is some kind of GPS embedded in my pills that launches a self-destruct sequence as soon as I get within 30 miles of NASA.

Wait a second.  What exactly are those guys at NASA doing right now since we no longer have a space program?

Messing with my pills, that’s what.

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The Science-is-not Fair

Whoever named the annual gathering of project boards advertising uninspired experiments a Science “Fair” must not have gotten out much. There is absolutely nothing festive about getting together a Science Fair project – particularly when you are the parent, not the student. This is definitely one of those homework assignments that can rip families apart. Before I taught Gifted and Talented students, I was a 5th grade Science teacher.  After 3 years of Science Fairs, I realized that the only people who seemed to learn anything from these events were the parents – and the primary topic they learned was the number of cuss words that are applicable to lengthy mandatory projects assigned to students to complete at home.

Of course, it is only karma that, years later, my own daughter should bring home a Science Fair packet accompanied by her own surly attitude.  I did my best to disguise my loathing for such projects, but her eye-rolling ensued before we could even start brainstorming possible topics.  I tried my “go to” teacherly advice, which is to find a way to make it relevant, and suggested that she somehow incorporate her love of all products Bath and Bodyworks into her experiment.  This resulted in more eye-rolling, but I allowed it to percolate for a few days.  When the deadline for a topic loomed, Dimples finally decided that my idea was, indeed, usable, if not an excellent one.  She chose to investigate the use of hand sanitizer in the prevention of bread mold.

Every other day, Dimples diligently (with my nagging) took pictures of her three pieces of bread – one in a ziploc bag, one exposed and treated with hand sanitizer, and one control.  After two weeks, the only thing that had happened was the two outside the plastic had gotten hard as a rock.  Since then – and it has been 36 days – there has been absolutely no change, including zero mold growth.

My conclusion from this experiment is that, from now on, upon purchasing a new bag of bread, I will immediately remove it from its manufacturer’s bag (which apparently promotes mold growth at the record speed of three days) and dispense the pieces of bread throughout the household to be collected whenever it is time to make a sandwich.  They might collect a bit of dust, but at least they will be mold-free.  And, although I like my bread to smell nice, I will probably not be adding drops of hand sanitizer to each slice because I think that mustard might taste a tad better.

If I had to do my own project board on this whole experience, here is how it would look:

Topic:  What is the Fastest Way to Drive a Parent Crazy?

Hypothesis:  If a teacher assigns my daughter a Science Fair Project and I attempt to help her complete it because she has no idea what to do, then I will end up in a rubber room within 24 hours of her having completed the project.

Materials:  A mandatory Science Fair project, a 9 year old daughter, a frenzied mother who once taught science, a supportive but inexperienced father

Procedure: 1.  Teacher assigns project.  2.  Daughter says she does not understand what to do.  3.  Mother tries to help with project.  4.  Daughter says mother does not know what the heck she is doing.  5.  Mother says, “Fine.  Do it yourself.”  6.  Daughter wails.  7.  Mother caves, and helps, attempting to be cheerful while sullen daughter deftly pushes mother to the brink of insanity.

Results:  Project gets completed, and mother is checked into an institution.

Conclusion:  My hypothesis was correct, as supported by the data, and the fact that I am currently typing this on a rubber keyboard at the Home for Mothers Driven Insane by Their Children.

Probably the most unexciting Science Fair project results EVER.

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