Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Love My Blog Tracking Software, Part I've Lost Count.

As I've said before, I got the blog tracker to keep an eye on my psycho ex-boyfriend, who is smart enough to figure out how to read me anonymously, so that was kind of a fail. Except when he logs in from his grad school email or Comcast downtown, which thankfully, isn't often at all.

Then it came in handy when the gang at my old job were completely cyberstalking my blog and spending endless hours' worth of the doctors' money reading my daily musings from the office, which I captured all on my computer as pictures as proof, should the need have ever arisen. They were all looking for gossip fodder about me and one of the doctors who fired me, who is still my friend, and sadly, there was no dirt to be found, other than we were still friends and hang out once in a while. Since I threatened to send all of the screen captures to the head doctor of the practice, the former supervisor said she'd like to see the proof. I had to laugh. Why, on God's green Earth, would I send the proof of at-work cyberstalking to one of the chiefly accused perpetrators and not her boss? Let's say I did. She'd look at it, then stick it in the locked shredding box immediately. I am many things. Naive and stupid are not two of them.

My suggestion, to be polite, to offer the statistics to the head doctor must have scared the shit out of my former co-workers en masse. Mysteriously, they stopped reading my blog at work. I don't know if the other co-workers, who the former supervisor said were all reading my blog and NOT her (though she was the only one with private access to a computer in her own office) are still reading my blog, because I don't know their IP addresses or necessary locations. If they still are, mazel tov! If any of them are still looking up the words "balderdash" and "verities" in the dictionary, shame on them.

It's also a shame that they're courting, or so I've heard, vendors that will help them switch to paperless charting. Given the quantity and thickness of all the charts, OMG, what a nightmare. An expensive nightmare that the head doctor will poo poo, as he's sort of techno challenged and old school, though I love him and hugged him without abandon as I left the office for the last time, wishing him the best as he did me, before I demanded he go get my doctor friend to walk me out because I was about to utterly fall apart. I even told him as he walked away to take it easy, and called him by his first name for the first time, EVER. (The shock wore off and the relief settled in pretty quickly.) Anyway, it's a shame they fired the most technologically advanced staff member with the worst data entry skills but, if given the opportunity, would've been their smartest computer boon. Too late now, wing dings!

My former supervisor had even been absent from the blog for a short time, only to reappear over the weekend to check in on All Things Annie. She probably just wanted to see if I lived to see my 40th birthday, which mercifully, I did. Silly former supervisor. She used to Google my name to get to my blog, either too dumb to remember what the URL was called, too dumb to bookmark it or save it to "favorites," or just isn't terribly internet savvy.  She switcherooed and started using a new web search engine to get to the blog. Nice try, but her IP address and location were still the same and can't change. (If she logs in on her phone, which she insists she doesn't, it will show a different carrier, so that's tricky. But I've heard complaints that my blog is really hard to read on a phone, mostly because of the old background. Not that the Lennon "Andrea Rocks" background makes things any easier, but I like it anyway.

Then we have the Anxiety-Ridden Church Member whom my comments and diatribes made so uneasy that, to torture herself further, read 13 blog entries over 2 days last month. Nothing attracts readers  and spells out "friend" like an insatiable inquisition to know more about a writer's mindset and belief system, especially when it grains against that of your church denomination, and half the church, minus the Pastor, but including some people who were closer to me than this woman, think I'm bound for hell for speaking my mind, confiding in people who gossip behind my back about who I choose as friends and loved ones and my alcohol problem. That's totally cool to an anti-authoritarian, peace-loving anarchist who doesn't let society OR the church denomination dictate my mannerisms. As the old adage goes, "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one."

I actually opened myself up to yet more internet scrutiny by allowing readers to see my Twitpic photos at the bottom of the blog page. Previously, those photos were reserved for the 105 people who privately follow me on Twitter, all hand-approved by me and I'm very selective. But I post some silly pictures on there and I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about them, so what the fuck ever. If I can post a picture of myself pre-surgery in a paper hat and a gown, making a dumb face, what modicum of vanity do I have left?

But what's the most fun about the blog tracking software? The utterly insane, crazy ass shit that people Google or web search and wind up on my blog and I have NO IDEA WHY. I really should compile a "Best of" list sometime. I do enjoy all the readership under the guise of "hidemyass.com." That just cracks me up. Internet proxies are actually quite easy to trace.

Best Google searches that happened today of people who wound up visiting The Offbeat Drummer?

1. Wells Fargo Bank, Inc, who looked up the satisfaction of FDIC Section 19, from a blog that mentioned it 4 years ago. You're the fucking BANK. The FDIC oversees you. Shouldn't you be more aware of what their regulations might be? Just sayin'.

2. (This person is clearly more insane than I am.) This reader simply wound up on my home page, the blog about Brian Eno and Craig both being deemed douchebags last night, but read it anyway, after Googling this entire paragraph (you can't make this shit up):

"letters when my black friends came to watch a ball game and smoke pot, i didn't realize my white was ovulating when i talked her into using pot by half my wife ask my 2 black friends to fuck one had a 10" cock the cock was only 3" thick and 14" long both fucked and cun in her over 20 times about a month later the doctor said my wife was pregnant"
Excuse me, but what the fuckety fuck does THAT all mean? Not only is it poorly written, racist and utterly distasteful (trust me, if I find it distasteful, it's distasteful), it makes absolutely no logical sense. Have I written about smoking pot? Yes. Have I written about my pregnancy? Yes. Have I ever uttered the word "cock" on my blog? No. That was as close as I could get to deciphering this utter nonsense. But I had to laugh at it's randomocity. 


(For definition purposes, Arlene and friends, not that I employ Christopher language often, but a "non-sequitur" is a "fancy word" for a random, non-linear strand of thinking that does not correlate from idea to idea. It's Latin. I use it when I'm blogging about topics that aren't related to one another in the same blog. Get it? Got it? Good.)

Driving home from therapy today, a filthy Rolls Royce pulled out in front of me, with Kentucky license plates. I was like, "If you're rich enough to afford a Rolls, keep it clean, people!" They eventually pulled up beside me, and I was fascinated to find the driver a man of 60+ years driving, donning a ponytail, a long, scraggly beard and wearing a tank top. His companion was a prematurely aging, wrinkled broad who looked like she was recovering from a crystal meth problem. I attributed the driver and his uber-luxury vehicle to living off of his royalties earned while he was a member of the Marshall Tucker Band. Sometimes the people you encounter are stranger than the people who Google your blog.

Awakened at 5:30 am today and felt incredibly drowsy by 6:30 and couldn't focus my eyes on my computer. I didn't have to be at therapy in the city until 11am. Decided to shower and head to my one major errand of the day: grocery shopping. There's a Starbucks in my local Dominicks (the more upscale Park Ridge store than the Jewel I patronize nearby in Chicago), so to counteract my drowsiness, I ordered a half Pike Place Roast with 3 shots of espresso and steamed soy milk. Stirred in 2 packets of Equal and stuck my cup in the cart's cup holder. Whizzed around the store like a fucking maniac on crack, simply giddy that coffee no longer makes me throw up, among other things.

Arrived at therapy and my counselor asked me if I was manic. I said no. She asked me if I was elated (an expressly elevated mood is a symptom of hypomania, so she had to ask), and I said no, but that I was mostly happy. I attributed my alertness and jibba jabba to the espresso and proceeded to tell her about my upcoming birthday party, and the stress and tension I was feeling surrounding it: from my mom and from some of the guests on the invite list. She explained, and I understood, that my mom wanting the house to be perfect and wanting to wash the doors and windows downstairs as a reflection of my mom's home on my friends, and her desire to leave a good impression, taking pride in her home. I just thought she was being overly neurotic and that my friends, in all likelihood, could give a crap about how clean my house is, but my counselor said if she's willing to go to the effort of cleaning, and making brownies and little weenies in sauce as an appetizer, I should be damn grateful and look upon it as a gesture of love. Re-framing my thoughts worked. Just as Kate re-framing my hostility towards the friend who forgot my birthday centered me and led way to mindfulness and introspection, hence my in-kind respond to his apology text and a pleasant phone conversation on Saturday.

(My counselor also said that I'm so transparent that she can gauge my mood the second I walk into our session. Surprised, I wondered if SHE can see right through me, what must my friends and loved ones think? OMGOODNESS.)

I just want to have a fun party where nobody bickers, or assassinates anyone else's character, or pries my friends about their lives. Nobody's coming to have their lives dissected. They're coming to celebrate that I survived to age 40. Regardless of what opinions anyone might have about any of my friends, there needs to be respect FOR my friends and their families and I want my guests to feel comfortable and at ease in my home. Simple as that. For everybody. The invite list is a veritable motley crew of unique personalities and backgrounds, and I love them all. I'm deeply grateful to those who've offered to help out with things, and hope it goes well. I'm a hapless party host incapable of multi-multi-multi-tasking. My game idea: Everyone paints a quick painting on the aforementioned gift I received of a Buddha Board, I take a picture of their drawing/painting, and make an online album of it as a keepsake. It doesn't matter if you can draw or paint--it's a zen thing of whatever enters your consciousness first and moves you to create something, even if it's stick figures. Lord knows I can't draw or paint. I got it to easily learn how in a practical, simple way. And it's certainly more appropriate than the Hip Flip Swinging Couples game I got at the church yard sale...

Sri Christ, Sri Krishna and always beware of maya...

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