Saturday, February 18, 2006

Google, eBay, Girls and Paris Hilton



The things people search for!

The current Top 30 Keywords are remarkably consistent, which must be wonderfully reassuring and validating to both Google(#1 and #30) and eBay (#2). Yahoo (#3) shouldn't feel too badly, either.

But I want to know...what keeps Paris Hilton in the top 5?

I wonder, are people actually searching for the Hilton in Paris? As it happens, that does end up on the first page when you google.

Maybe she's getting bonus hits from travelers. It's all inadvertant.

She's certainly good marketing---her name I mean. I saw that Paris + Hilton hotel result and instantly felt a desire to check out Expedia to see what fares to France were running right now.

It appears Pamela Anderson has kept her popularity. Amazing. I haven't heard anything about her at all recently. I feel okay about that. And to tell the truth, I just copied the link out of the search result page, didn't even go to her site.

A lot of people also want lyrics (#6 and #23) and girls (#7).

Dogs (#14) strikes me as very generic...what do people want to know about dogs? I'd say Westminster bumped this rating but I think it is typically in the top 20 (as far as I have tracked). I'm surprised "colored bull terrier" wasn't up there. Could you picture Rufus, the Best in Show?

Valentine's of course bumped up flowers (#29). Trust me, to my dismay, this term is not searched frequently enough. And even now, they are looking for something cut---in a vase with a bow, and something to guarantee satisfaction or at least a get out of jail free card---I am pretty sure.

Despite it actually being an ongoing world event, the Olympics (#20) are well below Carmen Electra, Jenna Jameson, Jessica Simpson, and something called 50 cent.

Aside from a coin or money amount, I had no idea what this was so I had to search. Now I know. And I am disturbed. Hence why I avoided searching to find out what grillz (#27) was. Not a misspelling for something you use to cook food outdoors, I figure.

Well at least a large number of people search for a dictionary. Maybe they are trying to figure out how to spell anime (#21).

I've had deep thoughts recently, just can't catch any of them right now...so I wrote about my wordtracker research.

By Julie Pippert
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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Double-edged sword



The Pygmalion Lesson is to never fall in love with your own creation.

But I have to admit, I really like the above image. I named it, "Double-edged Sword." I don't usually create fanciful titles for my work, ironically. I usually name them something like "red flower 1" and "yellow flower 2." Still, just look at the edges...nature carved that.

It really makes me think about how we humans think of ourselves as the top of the food chain, if you take my meaning.

Or maybe I was there already due to the corn.

(The corn, as it happens, is done now. The shriveling stalks are left there. I don't know what to do with them. I can't bear to cut them down, yet. But I know I should. I'm sure my husband will take care of it with the next lawn mow. He's not as sentimental about it as I am. As is evidenced by the way he so cavalierly threw away the corn husks. I mean, this is the man I nag daily about not tossing things on the counter or floor, "There's a trash can you know!" "There's aAnd he picks up my carefully laid out corn husks---that I was drying to make a doll for my daughter---and throws them out. Whatever posessed him? And why hasn't such an urge struck him since? LOL)

So back to Pygmalion.

Not to get too deep or introspective---although I do and probably will---but isn't it all sort of our own creation? And won't some of us even kill to protect what we have created? It's a fierce defensive urge, this keeping within what we know, believe and create. It ranges from a comfort zone to our reason for being.

And isn't it amazing how wildly it varies from person to person?

Maybe you think the photo above is utter crap, whilst I am fascinted and ruminate on it.

I grew up the black sheep in my family so it seems easy to me to understand that we can all come and go with really different perspectives and someone doesn't have to be wrong.

I also understand not everything is a fit.

So it's okay...love the photo or not. I enjoy it.

By Julie Pippert
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Monday, February 13, 2006

What is love



Love used to be romance: roses and chocolates, candles and cards, Judith McNaught and Johanna Lindsey novels, dashing heroes, dinner at restaurants with no prices on the menus, lingering glances over single flame flicker...time enough together to feel in love, time enough together to be apart and not regret it because there was all the time we needed.

Love has since morphed in something more like patriotism, joy in tribe. Counting on one another, being together in thick and a whole lot of thin, thinking more as we than me.

We marvel, "Look at this family we have created."

We despair, "Look at this family we have created."

Now love is kissing hair and smelling something funny, then realizing your precious progeny has dumped your expensive new hand lotion over her head.

Love is a lap, yours, that offers safety and shelter to your adventurous new toddler in those not-so-adventurous moments.

It's my breast, that piece of anatomy I finally stopped thinking about, which now, once again, consumes my mind---and that of my baby---practically 24/7. It's the magic number, the answer to the question, the pill that cures all ills.

Love is watching a one year old discover and knowing yes, your heart is walking out and about in the world.

It's understanding garbled words from a little new talker, when nobody else hears anything recognizable.

It's laying in bed listening to a four year old tell a story about a Care Bear birthday party...15 times, one for each Care Bear.

It's making a toaster waffle only to learn that they are DISS-GUSS-TING! And only yogurt oatmeal will do.

Love is being able to take that punch in the gut, "I hate you!" and keeping calm until you figure out what the real problem is...and trying to console yourself that hey, this is a shining mommy moment, she trusts me enough to let it all loose.

Love is our bedtime poem:

How do I love you?
No matter what.
How much do I love you?
To the moon and back.
And on days like today...
When I...
I love you twice as much.
I love you when you're happy.
I love you when you're sad.
I love you when you're good.
I love you when you're bad.
I love you when you're up.
I love you when you're down.
I love you when you smile.
I love you when you frown.
I love you when you're serious.
I love you when you're a nut.
I love you...
No matter what.

Yeah, this post drips sap...eh, but I like sap. It's romantic. It's love.

Have a great Valentine's Day! (I also like Hallmark Holidays.)

See lots o' love at mommybloggers.com

By Julie Pippert
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© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Do you miss summer?

I don't. I don't get the chance to, here in the subtropics, because the verdant green blooming season never ends.

I would never miss summer here, anyway, because summer is oppressive and I retreat indoors more than I ever did even in cold winters, like when it stayed in the low teens for a month.

Today was actually a gorgeous day: little windy with plenty of direct sun, and highs in the mid-60s.

After a birthday party at the gymnastics place, we decided to go to the 5th St. Cafe and Wine Bar. It was so nice, we ate outdoors, where my daughter learned two new words: pinot grigio (Gabbiano) and alfresco.

While waiting for my food at the cafe, I took some photos.

Here is what winter looks like for me today:





My daughter's two new vocabulary words worked in her favor because they loosened up my husband and I enough to agree to a quick stop at the Boardwalk for a little playtime.

Her favorite street performer---the burning chair man---was there, but not performing. She loitered and stared hard and meaningfully at him, but he just kept chatting on his cell phone, oblivious to her mental orders.

Eventually she gave up and we moved on to the playground. I sat with the sleeping baby while my husband and daughter ran and played.

Also there were four teens; they were about fourteen at a guess. They were completely out of control of themselves, and I don't per se mean how they behaved. Their bodies were foreign to them, as were the thoughts and feelings coursing through them. The girls were so excited to be out with boys I could see the near frantic shimmer of it under their skin. They could barely keep their feet on the ground, and they had little to no mastery of movement or speech. They boys were in a state of numbness, due to overstimulation I imagine. They sat a bit like bumps on a log, seemingly processing, with occasional unexpected leaps or shouts. The quartet was discordant, allegro molto...yet almost fractal-like in their chaos.

However, their performance impressed us little and we left shortly thereafter.

By Julie Pippert
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© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Heaven, she said



"I like Heaven," she said, "because I love Kiki, and she's in Heaven." She looked sad for a moment, and in classic four, switched to say, "I like Care Bear snacks too." Then she blew a raspberry.

"Did you know," she said around her candy-masquerading-as-nutritious snack, "Did you know that tadpoles turn into frogs?"

She stared at me intently.

"Yes," I said, "I did know that. What do you think about that?"

"Well," she dug in her cellophane packet for a moment, "Look look Funshine Bear!" She popped it in her mouth and chewed with verve. "They turn into something else. They know what they are going to be. Do we turn into something else? Do we know what we're going to be?"

Sometimes, I don't know whether she means something literally, or if she really is grappling with a metaphysical issue.

Before I can decide in this case, she's off on another tack. She slants her "hairy eyeball" look at me, and stares at me intently, "I like frogs, but I like rats and snakes better." She raises her eyebrows, a look she's been practicing in the mirror recently.

This is a reminder that while her vivarium is interesting (a new favorite word)---with morphing froglets and all---what she really wanted was rats. Barring that, a snake. She hasn't gotten over her disappointment with Santa on this one. And since I was in charge of writing the letter to Santa, she's sure I bear some blame too. She happens to be 100% correct in that. Tadpoles/frogs were a stretch for me, and rats and snakes---things I pay professionals to keep out of my house---were beyond my comprehension as pets.

"I'm sorry," I say, lamely and mostly insincerely. "What else do you like?"

"Baby dolls."

"Of course."

"I'm going to go play with my doll house now. See what creatures can go there." She starts to gallop skip away, then pauses to pick up her current favorite lovey, a black rubber lizard with brown dots. She cares for that lizard like it is precious real. I imagine the lizard will rampage through the dollhouse and eat the little boy doll again. Boys need to get eaten by lizards, she believes.

Across the room I hear her exclaim, "DINOSAUR!" and I know lizard will have an accessory.

By Julie Pippert
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Friday, February 10, 2006

Tongue Tied



By Julie Pippert
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

I want to be Joss Stone when I grow up



Seriously!

Who wouldn't?

I want those long, flowing locks. I want to wear hippy chick clothing.

But more than anything, I want my inner Aretha---and trust me, really, she's there---to gush out in such a fantastic soulful and rockin' way.

My inner Aretha comes out more like drunken belting Karaoke and what can loosely be called dancing, somewhere between Bridget Jones and Ally McBeal. The best that can be said is that I do it with much gusto.

Maybe next life.

In the meantime, I buy her CDs and feel the funk flow through me...at least when I am alone in the car.

By Julie Pippert
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Friday, February 03, 2006

Poetry in motion: A Dancing Daughter



Checked white and red skirt swirling unevenly
With her unmeasured twirls.
The lace border no more than a white streak.
Her hands, lengthening but dimpled still
Brown
Round
Soft
Clapping with delighted rhythm.
Sometimes two feet, sometimes one, or maybe just a few toes
On the ground.
Hair bouncing
straight on top and curls below
mixing
as some locks leap up and others dive down.
"I'm not dizzy," she cries,
"No I'm not dizzy
Yet!"
Her spins gallantly include the entire uneven pine floor.
"Just two more," she cries spinning five, six times,
"Just two more and I'll be dizzy for a long weekend!"
My heart twirls around the floor with her
Emotion as butterflies winging, kissing the soft corners still there
Feeling remembered
Unbounded joy
Enjoying a silly song
Knowing nothing beyond a moment
Head empty save sought for dizziness
Mouth full of laughter as the body tumbles
From the weight of the dance
And nothing more.

By Julie Pippert
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© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

She must be hearing what I'm hearing



This, by the way, in case you can't tell---and I might not have been able to other than actually doing a deliberate search for her and running across this photo---is Kelly Clarkson. American Idol and movie soundtrack princess.

I'm watching the American Idol auditions. It's silly background noise (and I use the word noise deliberately since it means unpleasant to the ear) and let's be honest, entertainment. Something to amuse me while I do other unpleasant things like slowly shred the collection of credit card preapproval letters my husband collects (in lieu of a more interesting and less fire hazardous hobby).

My point is that I really, really wonder WHY.

No, not why I am watching. That's obvious. I already explained. I like rubber necking, reminding myself a million times over why I never wish to audition for anything ever again and recalling vividly that my one consistent life goal is to avoid fame.

For some reason, something (or someone?) propels these people to not only believe they can sing, but moreover, that they do it well and ought to pursue it professionally.

Simon Cowell
may have a reputation as an obnoxious man, but let's be honest, he is an expert on some level. And he is very often correct.

What possesses people---facing three judges and experts---to doubt unanimous opinion that really, they haven't got It plus the singing is simply dreadful? Is it real, or is it endeavoring to save face? I don't always agree with their assessment, but really, some cases, it is simply not subjective. It is fact.

The one notable exception was a very nervous girl from North Carolina who auditioned in Austin. She could hear how off she was. She seemed sweet and I suspect her voice is sweet enough, but nerves shot it right off pitch. She was the only one they showed who got that. I know, creative editing for dramatic effect and all that.

Speaking of fact versus fiction...rewriting/revising history...and so forth...

I love the new Wikipedia rule that .gov and legislative/political locations are now barred from editing entries. Politicians were deleting unpleasant memories such as failed marriages and unfulfilled campaign promises.

We should all be so lucky and able.

But seriously, can Wikipedia still bill itself as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit?"

Sure, a little ISP block never stops the truly motivated; and politicians are clearly in the top five of the Truly Motivated.

While on the subject of Truly Motivated, let me go back once more to George Bush.

I wish I could make it funny, but other than that horrified laugh---you know, the one that bursts out of you nervously when someone cracks a joke about dead to a dying person---there is simply no humor left in me when it comes to discussing our government's duplicity.

I refer today, of course, to the news story that, to paraphrase and quote, tells of what smells like a conspiracy (at worst) or "better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" strategy (at best) between Blair and Bush:

A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme.


All manner of charm today.

By Julie Pippert
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Arenas of false heroics



It strikes me that televised news has become, more than ever, an arena for false heroics and melodrama.

Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

When this was written of course, there were no telephones, telegraphs, Internet, or the Almighty Television. News now is instantaneous. Nothing affects the state of this union without 2,342 news blips about it, continual and live, Podcast, broadcast and posted, over and over, every day until interest wanes or something like Lindsay Lohan breaks her foot in an defunct 80s rocker's shower.

These days, the President can't sneeze without everyone knowing about it (or the Republicans lock-step applauding it) (okay and to be fair, the Democrats lock-step critiquing it) (the only difference being who *I* think is right); so, to what end the State of the Union?

As best I can tell, under the Bush Doctrination, the purpose is to reiterate his foolish consistency and perpetuate the myth of his (false) heroics, not to mention fire back up the fear and remind us all that anyone who disagrees with him is unAmerican and will lose civil liberties as such. Shades more of King George...remember him? That mad, mad fellow who many men fought against for liberty, the liberty written up so eloquently in the Bill of Rights and Constituition?

The State of the Union, televised in simulcast and high-definition, is really nothing more than an arena of false heroics. Bush ought to have a Dramatic Chorus behind him singing praise, glory and amen after each major talking point.

Definitely read Oscars for Politics on Anderson Cooper's 360 Blog.

It's one of the funniest recaps of the show AHEM I mean State of the Union I've seen yet.

In case you don't have time to peruse the many comments, let me highlight some of my favorites:

Loved Rummy's two-finger point- while leaning backwards, as in "YOU DA MAN", to some guy... -Best Actor in a Comedy
Posted By Tina -Chicago, IL : 3:27 PM

I am not sure what award category it would be, but I believe Senator McCain deserves a nod for keeping it real. Maybe it would be the Politician Who Most Resembles a Human Being During a Superficial Event Award.
Posted By Christine, Canton, OH : 4:05 PM

Best set design: Karl Rove for designing "state of the art" smoke screens the past 6 years.
Posted By Trudi, St. Paul MN : 4:07 PM

Best Comedy? - George Bush...everything that comes out of his mouth is a joke.
Posted By Valerie, Montreal, QC : 4:10 PM

Worst Screenplay: Karl Rove and Dick Cheney
Posted By Ford Vox, Birmingham, AL : 4:16 PM

My award for best "crockunmentary" has to go to Carl "Marx" Rove. He makes you beleive the unreal.
Posted By Perry, Glendale, AZ : 4:20 PM

Maybe Karl Rove should get "Best Director".

I nominate myself for an award in choreography, since I'd place some "Robert Palmer Girls" while Bush sings "Addicted To Oil"...
Posted By Frank, Brooklyn NY : 4:27 PM

BEST FOREIGN FILM: The Iraqi People. 40 minutes on Iraq and the war on terrorism. 30 seconds on the plight of New Orleans.
Posted By Allan Burlington KS : 4:51 PM

***Note: And no word on the rest of the Katrina and Rita victims. Who is going to come harvest my hurricane-induced corn? Huh? Who?

The Million Not-So-Little Lies Award to Bush's speechwriters, whose blatant disregard for the truth puts James Frey to shame.
Posted By Leah Ife, Brooklyn, NY : 5:08 PM

**And you? Any awards to add?**

By Julie Pippert
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