“Thee found my journal HOW?”


I installed web-stats-package Mint two days ago, apparently in a bid to destroy my productivity. Mint is a bloggers’-eye-view of your web stats: that is, it doesn’t focus on what users are doing on your site so much as how they found you in the first place. Mint uses javascript to record data in real time, so you can refresh obsessively and find out, for example, that:

  • Everything and everyone you mention by name will get googled, without exception. Mention the fried-mozzarella truck at the San Genarro festival by its brand name of “Mozzarepa”, and the inventor of Mozzarepa will read your post. The inventor of Mozzarepa will read this post about that post, too. It all gets read.
  • This will happen all the time. Posts that you, the blogger, think of as old and buried in the mysterious past, will come up every day in targeted searches. Just 16 minutes ago, a post I wrote in 2001 about the magnificently surreal Paso Doble Ballroom in Levittown, PA pulled a reader. Dear God, I hope that reader isn’t the owner of the Paso Doble, or I’m going to wake up in an ice-packed bathtub missing a kidney, or something.
  • My Great-Grandmother’s Grand Tour diary pulls way more traffic than I expected for the very reason that she mentions a lot of places and people by name. Unfortunately, the transcriber used “XXX” to indicate “illegible”, though, so that diary also pulls searches for “XXX Donkey.”
“Thee found my journal HOW?”

Back from blog hiatus

Okay, back from blog hiatus. The events of late summer kind of built to a crescendo, so I’ll just wade in with the stuff:

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  1. Kate, Lydia, and I just got back from Albuquerque, where I married my brother. That is to say, I officiated at the ceremony, which my seminary degree and some internet paperwork makes me legal in New Mexico.

  2. I made a ceremony loosely based on the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer version (the 1979 “Dearly Beloved” version, not the eighteenth-century “marriage is designed for the prevention of fornication” version.) We then de-God-ulated it, and ended up with a nice secular ceremony that still had some nice, rolling, rhythym to the words. I managed to pull it off without messing up my lines or dropping a cue, which was a HUGE RELIEF, and in retrospect I can see how much psychic energy was going into worrying about it.
  3. I had never been in a social situation where I’m playing the role of a reverend before. During the first part of college (when I was evangelizing,) I thought it would be fun. It’s kind of not. Folks who think you’re a revererend are polite and respectful, but they’re also reserved and you definitely get the feeling that they wish you’d go away so they can get back to doing what they were doing before there was a reverend looking at them and stuff. I’m glad that I’m in no way a minister, and continue to be happy with the decisions I came to in seminary (that is, that religion is something people do, and that I don’t believe in the existence of an extra-material spiritual reality that is separate from our “ordinary” existence.)
  4. My step-brother’s maternal family has ridiculously patrician nicknames. The more blue-blood the family, the more goofy and scatological the nicknames get, I suppose. If that’s the case, they should all be having oil portraits taken and dropping dead of hemophilia. I say this with love, cousin ca-ca.
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  5. My sister Bridget, her husband Tony, Lydia’s cousin Lucca, Kate and I went to the New Mexico State fair, which was THE RAWK. Within a hundred feet of the ticket gate, we had seen two tall indian princesses doing a stand-up routine (“so the ojibway woman says, ‘you’re cold? How about just for tonight, we pretend we’re married!’ and the chippewa man says ‘great!’ and the ojibway woman says ‘okay then, get your own damn blanket!”), and a high-diving show where a guy in a speedo jumps eighty feet off of a guyed antenna platform into a ten-foot pool, and we’d eaten fry-bread, and we saw an animal show where a goat comes out and pulls down the sign that announces showtime and a brightly colored bird flies out into the audience and picks up a rolled dollar bill off a volunteer’s hand. It was GREAT.
  6. The next day, we all went to the Albuquerque Aquarium and Botanical Garden which was also THE RAWK, with floor-to-ceiling acrylic windows into a saltwater aquarium filled with colorful fish and coral and sharks. Lydia and Lucca started flapping their arms like the rays and making fish faces. We also went to a butterfly pavilion and saw butterflies struggling out of their chrysalises.
  7. We went to Santa Fe and visited our Thomas cousins, who told stories about growing up at the “blue hole”, which was a quarry about a mile through the woods from the house where I grew up, and how when they were kids they would dig real tiger traps with real punji stakes and how they shot croquet balls out of drainage pipes and across the quarry using M-80s. I swear, it was all Swallows and Amazons plus dynamite and tigers in Whitford for the generation before me. I’m really jealous.
  8. The sticker book Kate bought for Lydia to use on the plane was the best toddler activity ever, much better than the three Teletubbies episodes I transcoded to the PSP.
  9. I’m managing to keep the weight off, though haven’t made much new progress. And I submitted the story to MAKE.
  10. Congratulations, Sam and Catron! We had a great time!

some pictures

Back from blog hiatus