Monday, September 22, 2008

COLUMN: Blog Stats, The Sequel

Over the years, I've come to terms with the fact that I can be a little weird.

I wear socks to bed religiously. I keep my apartment at 67 degrees year round. I'm incapable of keeping shoes tied. I never learned how to snap my fingers. When I concentrate on something, instead of doodling, I absent-mindedly sign my name hundreds of times over on scrap paper. I routinely chew my pens until they explode in my mouth. I'm definitely a little strange.

Yet no matter how weird I may be, it's comforting to know that you can always find someone weirder on the internet.

This is my favorite column to write every year. As you may know, I keep an archive of my weekly columns online (the address can be found at the bottom of this column.) When I first set up my blog, I also installed a stat tracker on it, just to make sure it attracted more than cobwebs. After having my stat program for a few months, though, I learned that it tracked something far more interesting than webpage hits: keyword searches.

Let's say you're looking something up on the net using a popular search engine like Yahoo or Google. If you type in a particular phrase that somehow pulls up MY blog as a result, my site keeps track of what you searched for -- and it proves that, when compared to the rest of cyberspace, I'm Joe Normal.

These are actual keyword phrases and questions that folks have searched for online over the past 12 months, leading them to my blog:

WHERE TO BUY LIVE BUMBLEBEE NESTS - Folks, nothing on Earth scares me more than bees. If you're looking to ME for provide answers on that one, sorry -- though I might be able to answer "How To Run Away From Live Bumblebee Nests Like A Screaming Ninny."

I LIKE TO PUT NOODLES DOWN MY PANTS - Good to know, thanks for sharing. Also glad to know that my combination of the words "noodles" and "pants" within a column or two of one another has turned my blog into a wayward home for creepy noodle perverts. The scary thing is, there's probably a website or chatroom out there devoted to erotic noodle placement.

WHAT DO I DO WITH MY SPICY TREASURE? - I'm not exactly sure. My advice? Talk to the noodle guy, I bet he's got some brilliant ideas.

INGESTING RUBBER - I suggest not.

CAN CHIPS AHOY CAUSE INTESTINAL LUMPS? - As a certified Chips Ahoy fan, I certainly hope not -- though perhaps it could explain my rotund mid-section.

HOW DID ALICIA KEYS GET A BIG BUTT? - If I had to wager a guess, I'd say Chips Ahoy.

WHAT DO DREAMS OF A PLATYPUS MEAN? - That you found something to do with your spicy treasure too soon before bed, I'd reckon.

WHAT IS MORE PATHETIC THAN GOING TO HOOTERS BY YOURSELF - I dunno. Perhaps coming home and doing an internet search for it?

AUNT FRITZI NUDE - I've been fascinated by the comic strip "Nancy" for some time, mostly because I find it creepily drawn and astoundingly unfunny. That said, Nancy's Aunt Fritzi is, I've gotta admit, a cartoon mega-hottie. Sadly, though, in all my years of reading, I've yet to see her cross the line into PG-13 territory. Besides, if she was naked, the world would be deprived of the bizarre country music T-shirts they like to put her in.

• While I'm thinking about it, we need to touch on "__________ NUDE." If the name of someone famous has ever come up in one of my columns, there's an internet weirdo who's done a search for them sans clothing, as if celebrities have nothing better to do with their time than strip down to their skivvies and apparantly give any resulting candid photos to me. KATIE HOLMES NUDE (82 hits) I can kinda understand, and if you find any, send 'em my way. TAYLOR SWIFT NUDE (108 hits)? Well, she's 18 now, so it's doesn't make you a criminal, just a skeevy perv. But, and I'm not kidding here, in the past year I've received hits for ED ASNER NUDE, AL ROKER NUDE, and my favorite, TERRY SWAILS NUDE (Tonight's forecast? A 20% chance of hot meteorological action!)

MITCHUM DEODORANT HAS TURNED BROWN IS IT STILL GOOD? - I'm no scientist here, but if I could offer some unsolicited, unqualified advice on this one -- NO. Eww. Throw your icky brown deodorant away, you internet freakshow.

COOL DJ NICKNAME ADVICE - Umm... DJ Fritzi? DJ Noodlepants? DJ Spicy Treasure? I'm out of ideas, and I'm afraid DJ Shane Brown is taken (on both mainlands, I'm afraid, as I met a British DJ Shane Brown thanks to my blog.)

GUITAR HERO CARPAL TUNNEL - Perhaps the most embarassing column I've ever written was when I 'fessed up that I was wearing a wrist brace and thought I'd done permanent damage to myself from too much Guitar Hero. I thought I was such a loser. And hey, I still might be -- but I'll have good company, as exactly 666 people have come to my blog this year with the same dilemma. And that's The Number of the Beast, which is a wicked Iron Maiden song that I've yet to five star on expert level, so I must be off.

P.S. Bea Arthur Nude. Ostrich Dreams. Salad Down My Pants With Ranch Dressing. (Hey, I'm just getting a headstart on next year's column.)

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