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Sunday
Mar212004

Shameless attempt to get traffic

I recently discovered that the people who host my web site give me a way to see not only how many people visit my site, but how they get there. The vast majority of people just know the address and type it in. (I think most of those hits are because Miss Hoppy really, really likes to look at pictures of herself on my site every day. Good thing her grandfather is patient enough to sit with her and allow her to give herself kisses on the monitor all the time.)

But there are a few people out there who find it on search engines, particularly Ask Jeeves. Surprisingly enough, the most common way people randomly find my site is by typing "exorcism pictures" into a search engine. I went to Ask Jeeves and searched for exorcism pictures myself, just to see how high up on the list I am, and I'm the 15th result. Huh. That's interesting.

So. There are a few people out there who are apparently very curious about what an exorcism looks like, and once in awhile, someone ends up on my exorcism page and sees a chapter in the lives of Jorge and Bella. What must they think? I can't tell you how pleased Rob is to know that across the United States, approximately 10 strangers have seen that picture of him pretending to throw up.

Other words people use to find Jackadillo Princess are "cutest baby ever." So Princess Hoppy is apparently getting a little attention herself.

Anyway, I was thinking I should write a blog entry here that includes a bunch of words people are likely to search for, just to get more traffic. So here goes.

A list of celebrities I don't like: Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Seacrest, Incubus, Tom Cruise, Jon Lovitz, Colin Quinn, Backstreet Boys, Denise Richards, Gilbert Godfrey, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Tim Allen.

A list of celebrities I do like: Jon Stewart, Nicole Kidman, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Aniston, Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Kevin Smith, Claire Daines, Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Toby Maguire, Liv Tyler, Michael J. Fox, Ben Stiller, Kevin Spacey, Drew Barrymore, Carey Elwes, Christopher Guest.

My top 5 scary movies of all time, in no particular order:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Poltergeist
The Ring
Dawn of the Dead (the new one -- haven't seen the old one)
The Others

Ok, I'm done now. :)
Sunday
Jan112004

Finally, some updates...

I've put up some new photos on the Princess Hoppy page, along with some new captions. So now my family can finally stop bugging me to update that part of the site. :) Now I just have to update the whole rest of the site...
Sunday
Jan112004

Please do not stare at the gimp.

The other day I learned something about myself: I don't know how to walk. Fortunately, I think this is a defect most people don't really notice about me, since no one points at me and laughs at the grocery store or anything. Then again, maybe everyone's just being nice to the poor gimpy girl.

One of my coworkers, Lisa, got a pedometer for Christmas so she can count the number of steps she takes every day and figure out whether she's moving enough to consider herself healthy. According to her, you should take 10,000 steps per day. She said that the first day she wore it, she took a little less than 4,000 steps, which made her feel very lazy. Since then, though, she's passed the 10,000 mark several times.

This made me wonder about my own health. Rob went to a seminar for Blue Cross Blue Shield just before Christmas, and among the free gifts he got was a little pedometer, which we never opened. After my conversation with Lisa, I decided to use the pedometer to determine whether I'm as much of a lazy-ass as I think I am.

So when I came home from work a few days ago, I clipped the pedometer to my jeans and took a few test laps around the apartment, counting my steps myself to check the pedometer's accuracy. On a typical trip across a room, the pedometer counted fewer than half of my steps. Figuring there was something wrong with the pedometer, I checked the tiny little instruction paper that came with it. According to that, the pedometer wasn't the problem -- I was. Apparently I have an improper walking technique. The instruction sheet didn't bother to explain how to walk correctly, just that my walking style must be wrong, wrong, wrong.

That left me to try to figure out how to walk correctly. There's a little lever dealy inside the pedometer that bounces when you walk, and each bounce counts as a step, which means that my typical non-bouncy steps don't usually register.

The only way I could get the pedometer to work was to walk with exaggeratedly bouncy steps and swaying hips that reminded me of how I used to walk when I was a kid playing dress-up, prancing around the house in my mom's best dress, walking the way I believed all adult women did.

I kept the pedometer on while I took some stuff down to the car, to see how many steps it took and whether the gadget would register them all. The pedometer counted 107 steps from my dining room to the car and back again, which means I'd have to make about 100 of those trips a day, bouncing and swaying like an idiot, in order to consider myself healthy.

I've decided it's not worth it. I mean, don't we all know skinny, bouncy people who just make us want to commit murder? I'd rather keep my graceful glide -- that's how I'm gonna refer to my incorrect walking method -- and be non-annoying and get fat.

Since the pedometer obviously wasn't going to work out for me, I tried hooking it to Bella's collar to count her steps. After 15 minutes of running, playing and wrestling with Kody, she had only registered 79 steps. I hooked it to Kody, too, and he only registered 71 steps in the same amount of time. Looks like my dogs are going to be fat with me. At least I'll have company.
Wednesday
Dec242003

Blowing my cover

Note: This blog entry was actually written yesterday, on Dec. 23. Not that it matters, but in the interest of being honest, I thought I'd tell you that.

A couple of days ago, the federal government raised the U.S. Terror alerting system or whatever it's called to orange -- the second highest rating. Apparently the government has some intelligence that indicates the nation is under severe threat from evil terrorists, and this newest attack could rival what we saw on Sept. 11.

What this means to me is that a stranger got to rifle through my bras today at the airport. Rob's parents bought us plane tickets to Dallas for Christmas, so we flew down this evening after a short day at work for me. At the baggage check, a guy with blue latex gloves opened my suitcase and ran a doily over everything inside, looking for explosive materials. At the security checkpoint, they made us take off our shoes and take our laptops out of the bags. We went through unscathed, but the guy in line in front of us was almost tackled and arrested when the security guy mistook the word "fortunately" for "unfortunately" during casual conversation.

After all that fuss, it was almost anticlimactic that the most traumatizing event of the whole flight was that I found a little piece of napkin floating in my complimentary Pepsi.

When we landed in Dallas, Rob's parents took us out to eat at a steak place, where we stuffed ourselves stupid on buffalo chicken strips and slabs of cow. It was definitely a good welcome to Texas.

On the way out of the restaurant, I found myself distracted by a tray of plasticky looking desserts that had been sitting there the whole time we were eating dinner. Thinking they were just plastic, I reached out and touched the ice cream part of a sundae. Ok, imagine ice cream that's room temperature, but hasn't melted and has kept its shape. Squishy, right? So I wound up with this weird substance on my finger that may or may not have been food. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure that the temperature and the plasticky look to the dessert safely indicates that it wasn't real, but my first reaction was, "Oh my God, I just stuck my hand in someone's food!"

How do you react to that? Do you hunt down a waitress and tell her, "Um, I just stuck my finger in that person's dessert . . . You might want to serve them another one." Or do you just pretend nothing happened and hope no one noticed?

Rob's parents were right behind me walking out of the restaurant, and I didn't know if they'd seen what I did. Because I'm continually trying to fool them into thinking that I'm not an idiot, I decided that the best course of action would be to pretend I hadn't stuck my hand into squishy pretend ice cream and that I didn't now have that fake ice cream all over my finger. After keeping my hand in a fist for a while, I eventually managed to discreetly wipe it on my pants, all the while still panicking a little because I thought some unsuspecting diner was about to be served my cooties.

As far as I know, Rob's parents never suspected a thing. Of course, if I ever decide to post this on my blog, my cover will be totally blown. Rob's parents are two of the three people who do occasionally read my ramblings.
Sunday
Dec142003

How TLC is going to get me fired

Here it is, 11 p.m. on Sunday night, and I have to go to work tomorrow, hopefully with an article ready to hand in to my boss. See, the article was due Dec. 5, and it's still not written. So I brought it home to work on, hoping I could get most if not all of it written before work tomorrow.

To complicate things, I feel like crap. I had been hoping I could call in sick to work tomorrow, but I would feel pretty guilty skipping out on work if I hadn't gotten my article done. My plan was this: I'll finish my article tonight and e-mail it to my boss. Then I can call in sick guilt-free.

Then I made the mistake of turning on the TV. They were showing "Trading Spaces" on TLC, and I thought, "I can just watch this and get started on my story after it's over. Ten o'clock isn't so late."

If I were a smart person, I would have turned off the TV at exactly 10 p.m., before I even knew what the next show was going to be. Unfortunately, I got out my laptop but neglected to turn the TV off. The next show was "Junkyard Megawars," and they're building airplanes. It turns out that my desire to see whether or not the contestants are going to kill themselves in their thrown-together airplanes is actually quite a bit stronger than my desire to keep my job. And so I sit, still watching TLC. Now that an hour has gone by on this show, I just realized that it's TWO hours long.

... That's ok. Midnight isn't really THAT late to be starting an article.