Fun By the Numbers: 716 views, 19 followers, 22 posts, and 52 countries since January 29, 2012

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Stop the presses!  I hit over 700 views yesterday!  I am so excited and somewhat amazed.  I remember when I had dry spells where there were days with no views or just 1 view of my WordPress blog, and I have observed that several times I have had 19 views this past week. Yay!  Another item of note which I just realized is that tomorrow July 29 is my 6 month blogging anniversary on WordPress.  I am really glad that I joined WordPress.  My fellow bloggers are fantastic, and everyday I can be inspired, as well as learn new things.

So, my Sociological background corresponds with an interest in society and human nature, thus I want to do a fun by the numbers post.  In addition, I want to say that I am GRATEFUL for every follower that I have, every viewer that takes a moment to view my blog, every like, every comment (well, the non-spam ones), and all the countries represented by the views of my blog.  Thank you for reading and for the joy that comes through my WordPress blog.  The internet really does make the world a smaller, more unified place, and that is really beautiful.

Let’s get to it.

Views: 716 (as of 11:03 am)

Followers: 19 (only one of which is a good friend of mine since when we attended college together; I appreciate that there are so many people I have never met following my blog.  I know some people have over a thousand followers, but I am super happy with 19 followers).

Posts: 22

Time blog began: January 29, 2012

Busiest day: June 5, 2012 (23 views!)

Most popular topic categories viewed in the last week:

#1= Personal (44 views)

#2= Life (27 views)

#3= Random Thoughts (24 views)

Most popular topic tags viewed in the last week:

#1= Mother Teresa (28 views- a nice surprise)

#2= Bible (27 views)

#3= Love (21 views)

No-spam 

Real Comments= Not very many (shameless plug for non-spam comments)

Spam Comments= 552 (and 12 more sitting in the spam que)

Author’s random note: Spam is annoying.

Countries where people have viewed my blog = 52 countries since WordPress began tracking on February 25, 2012

Note:  This is one of my favorite categories.  I love how the internet unites people around the world.  I am a fan of culture and travel, but I just wish that I could travel more.  There are so many incredible countries in the world.

Here is the link to the map of the 52 countries where people have viewed my blog.  I tried several ways to copy and paste it, but it seems that I need to take a class on how to do this successfully.  I will take this class with 5 year olds. 🙂  If anyone knows the secret to this, please offer collaborate assistance.  I can copy and paste to a Word document, but only the link shows up here when uploading.

Map of Country Views since February 25, 2012

Just for fun, here are the top ten countries where people have viewed my blog.  (If you are reading this, then I will say again that I appreciate you!)

#1= United States of America (350 views)

#2= India (48 views)

#3= Philippines (45 views)

#4= Canada (24 views) (Tie)

#5= United Kingdon (24 views) (Tie)

#6= Singapore (19 views)

#7= Malaysia (16 views)

#8= Australia (12 views)

#9= South Africa (9 views) (Tie)

#10= Uganda (9 views) (Tie)

Extra note: I find it cool when there are countries which I have never heard of where someone views my blog.

Example= Seychelles

Shares= 3 (Facebook, etcetera)

*Feel free to ask if there are any stats that you are curious about.

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Love Quotes (Take Two)

I must confess that I started to look up some love quotes for this post, and I meant to type www.brainyquote.com, but instead I typed www.brainyquote.quote.  YEAH.  I am really weary and my eyes are feeling very tired, but still I had to laugh at the irony of that mistake.  Sometimes all you can do is laugh at yourself, you know?

So, here are more love quotes gleaned from www.brainyquote.com

1. “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

~ Mother Teresa

2.”The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love.”

~ Henry Miller

3. “The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love.”

~ Jean Racine

Au

Au (Photo credit: JohnGoode)

*** I must comment that I find this quote highly thought-provoking.  If you do not feel love, then you are indifferent and do not desire to quarrel.  You can disagree and quarrel when you are upset or hurt or frustrated in a love situation.  However, a desire for harmony versus strife may lead to less quarreling and more embracing of love in all forms.

4. “The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.”

~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

5. “There are never enough I Love You’s.”

~ Lenny Bruce

6. “There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: It is God’s finger on man’s shoulder.”

~ Charles Morgan

7. “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”

~ James A. Baldwin

8. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”

~  Thomas Aquinas

9. “Love is a friendship set to music.”

~ Joseph Campbell

10. “Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”

~ Barbara de Angelis

11. “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”

~ James A. Baldwin

12. “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

~ Robert Frost

Also,  I always appreciate the example of Jesus Christ and His view on love.  He was mistreated and spoken poorly about, yet he talked of turning the other cheek and offering forgiveness.  That view is often not shared in this world of offense and unkind words.  I am inspired by the life Jesus led, and I find Biblical verses on love and forgiveness to be helpful in trying to live life the way that I should.

Women, Cooking, and Body Image: A Slippery Slope

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn (Photo credit: baysmom3)

Tonight I started pondering about women and body image after I looked up “how to cook sweet corn” on ehow, and then a bit after that I queried to find out how many calories a cob of corn had.  My patience was waning, and I quickly gave up on my caloric question when one promising website slowed me down by mentioning about  giving me a free subscription when all I wanted was to answer one simple question and get on to my cooking.  However, as I looked through my pots and pans repeatedly, it dawned on my that I did not have the big cooking pot that ehow said that I would need to cook sweet corn.  Quite disappointing, and since I just cook for one, perhaps that is the reason I never noticed my lack of a big pot before.  All was not lost, however, because I wondered super important questions such as, “why do I need THREE Pyrex casserole dishes?”, and I also found a hidden plastic bag for steaming vegetables in the microwave.  However, the microwave felt like cheating when I was actually planning to cook ON THE STOVE the sweet corn that I purchased recently for 25 cents an ear.

I wish I could honestly say that I am a cook like Rachel Ray, but the honest truth is that when I was young my mom would try to get me to help cook dinner, but I often had my nose stuck in a book and was disinterested in doing the whole cooking thing.   Fast forward to today, and while I can go through spurts with cooking, more often than not I find it tedious when cooking solo, and often I cannot afford the staple ingredients that cooking requires.  Food prices have skyrocketed, and I find myself substituting convenience for healthy.  Honestly, I wish my budget was not as tight as it is, but with student loan bills that seem like I will be paying off until I am 70 (yes, of course I am being melodramatic), I can wish for more income to purchase fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods with low sodium.

Avril Lavigne + Rachel Ray

Society should not pigeon-hole women into having to be a “good cook” in order to be a “good female” or a “good wife.”  The old saying goes “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, but if that is true then I don’t really want to ponder about that.  Even in our progressive times, men are often seldom expected to cook for their wives (unless a grill is involved), but my step-dad cooks more often than my mom.  My mom is a decent to fair cook, but I have always thought it is great how her and my step-dad cook together or how sometimes he just cooks for her.  I like the idea of cooking together with a boyfriend or spouse.  It makes the whole cooking thing much more fun and is more egalitarian.

As far as body image goes, I must say that it completely FRUSTRATES me that the media and society tell women that they have to be stick thin in order to be considered attractive and beautiful.  That is one of the prime reasons that so many women struggle with eating disorders.  In the past week, I kept stumbling upon media that was harping on celebrity women who recently had a baby.  The articles were all centered around the women and their pregnancy weight that they have not lost, post-delivery.  The resulting message from the media seems to be that these women need to bounce right back to their previous lower weights, and they are viewed harshly if this is not the case.  I think that this is completely unfair.  Both society and the media in the United States unfairly thrust harmful expectations on women in terms of their weight and body image.  There is only one message that is heard loud and clear: to be beautiful means to be thin.  There are no exceptions.  These harsh expectations often cause women to struggle with low self-esteem and thoughts of only being valued for being thin or how they look in a bikini.

Finally, I want to end on a personal note.  Currently I am the heaviest weight that I have ever been, and it is a frustration for me.  I never struggled with my weight when I was younger nor did the whole diet thing.  Most of the women in my family (especially later in life) struggle with being overweight, and I have unhappily observed how I presently have a much harder time with my metabolism and losing weight than I did in my teens and twenties.  I have tried to make some lifestyle changes, but I know I need to do more.  Also, there are some sacrifices that I am not quite yet willing to make (i.e. giving up my soda- I seriously think that I could be addicted to the sugar and caffeine).  Regardless of society’s view of women’s body images and the resulting horrible pressure to be thin, I want to be happy with myself regardless of my weight while I work to be more fit and healthy.  Being healthy really is better than being thin, when you think about it.

Prettiest Poet and Big Booty: Best and Worst Search Terms

google_logo

google_logo (Photo credit: keso)

For awhile now I have been itching to write a blog post on the search terms that people use to find my blog. I think everyone, their brother, and their dog use Google as a search term engine, so as you might imagine, Google is a search engine that is often used when people stumble onto my blog. The sociological side of me is completely interested and fascinated by the various search terms that people have utilized to find me and my writing. Many search terms I totally see, some have left me scratching my head, others have made me smile, one made me cry, some are thought- provoking, and overall I find all of them just plain interesting. I could not rank them into a favorite order if I tried, and some great search terms will not even make this blog post, but I want to highlight some of the best and some of the worst search terms (in my subjective opinion, of course).

Best search terms:

1. “Complicated male female friendships“- Yes, who among us has not been there? I could perhaps write a book, but in no way will I ever claim to be an expert.

2. “desiring you quotes“- Sweet.

3. “cartoon hearts of burning love“- Graphic design meets a heart meets flaming passion, perhaps? Innovative and cool.

4.”how does god relate to puppies“- That one made me smile, and relates to my post about the Poky little puppy (a little Golden Book) and a spiritual devotion that I wrote.

5. “Quotes on love hearts“- many people have bounced onto my blog through looking up various search terms using “quotes” as a keyword. I did a post on “Love Quotes” that was one of my most popular posts, which this search term may relate to.

6. “famous poems on rejection“- I think that I like this one because it makes me feel like I am famous. LOL. Seriously, though, many people have ended up on my blog due to variations of the keyword “rejection”. I believe that religion, politics, and controversial topics often divide people, but rejection seems to be a unifying force and something that we have all faced in multiple areas, especially romantic relationships.

7. “poems on how much i miss you can’t live without you“- that one is one of my favorite search terms. I like the romance of it, the beauty, and the real and genuine emotion….it’s kind of like wearing your heart on your sleeve, so to speak. Although, in reality, I think that if the person whom you loved passed away, then you should still be able to carry on. Also, break-ups should not be the end of the world. Our hearts can ache for those we care about or love, and we miss them with great intensity when break-ups occur (or also in cases of unrequited love). I have always appreciated that wise saying that is oft-repeated (sorry, I don’t know who said it in order to credit them)- essentially paraphrased it goes something like, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back to you, it is meant to be. If not, then they were never really your’s to begin with.”

8. “Starbucks cookie crumble frappuccino semi healthy? This is a person after my own heart. I WISH that I could say it was semi healthy, you know with the cookies, and whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle….but who am I kidding? Gotta love chocolate though, and I am a fan of Starbucks. (Author’s note: actually, I realized after I posted this that chocolate drizzle is NOT actually on this frappuccino…..so maybe it really DOES qualify as “semi” healthy!)

* Note: “Starbucks promotion”, “Starbucks promotion 2012”, and similar terms were the SECOND most popular category of search terms leading people to my blog. A quick quantitative perusal shows that over 24 search terms involved some variation of the keyword Starbucks. I have wondered if other countries are doing Starbucks promotions right now, because that is one of my more popular search terms lately, and the U.S. promotion for 1/2 priced Starbucks frappuccinos ended a few months ago, so the prevalence of this search term constantly of late has me wondering why.

9. “mysterious makes me think“- one of my absolute favorites.

10. “cartoon network show family lived in space“- this one I like because it never mentions The Jetsons by name.

11. “love quotes for Jesus” and “bible quotes about strength and love“- I like the spiritual piece.

12. “Avengers starbucks“- This one made me wonder if the Avengers were signing autographs at Starbucks….who needs Comic Con? (Just kidding….and I am not sure if I got that title 100% right….but as a newer fan of X-Men/the Avengers/the Fantastic Four/other superheroes, I think that Comic Con would be pretty cool. Honestly, why did ONLY BOYS get the cool stuff when we were all younger?….I got to read about Archie trying to choose between Betty and Veronica romantically,while boys got to read about cool superheroes like Spiderman. I could easily digress at this point and delve into the topic of socialization and gender roles, but I will stay on track for the theme of this blog post.

13. “things people are thankful for“- this is always good to remember.

14. “Can man and woman be just friends?“- Society and all of us may always debate this one. Reminds me of #1 above.

15. “Staying faithful relationship quotes” and “Christian quotes about standing next to someone“- Faithfulness and relational support in good times and in bad is of utmost importance.

16. “hopeful quotes” and “beautiful quotes of sunshine“- I like flowery search terms.

17. “the jetsons shoes” and “the jetsons dog” (similar to search term #10). I loved the Jetsons cartoon when I was young, so I appreciate these search terms. I have thought recently about how Astro would be a great name for a dog that I would be happy to adopt in the future, especially if one day I am blessed with a family of my own.

18. “touch of love quotes“- I am a fan of love, but really just seem to crash and burn at it.

Extras (added 7/16/12)

19. “staying in love quotes“- A beautiful topic.

20. “tender heart“- I have always had a tender heart, so I appreciate this search term. Compassion is a quality that is of high value and is greatly needed in the world. Also, this search term makes me thing of the Tender Heart Carebear (yes, I am showing my age, and yes, if you have read this blog for long, then you likely have deduced that I am a kid at heart. And, finally, yes, I really am a nostalgia girl, and I love things from my childhood).

21. “love and devotion quotes” and “quotes of healing and strength“- Definitely cool.

A few more Extras (added 7/29/12)

22. “morning Bible quotes” 🙂

23. “blossoming love quotes“- This makes me think of when love is first beginning and it comes alive like a blossoming flower.

24. “strength quotes for women”- It is always good to have strength and encouragement, especially in challenging times.

25. “prettiest poet“- This one made me smile, even though most likely it was not meant for me.

26. “sometimes the brightest light comes from the darkest place quote“- This makes sense.

Worst search terms:

* Please note that many of these are just really sad search terms, so that is how they ended up categorized as “worst.” Technically though, very few of them are “worst”, but since I am a sensitive and emotional person, search terms that were really depressing and sad I chose to categorize as “worst.”

1. “being rejected by a girl i love quotationsThat is super sad. I feel for him. (I know how painful rejection is).

2. “living without desire quotes“- Interesting. Hmmm. I don’t think that is possible.

3. “deception quotes from the bible“- This one actually kind of bothered me that someone found my blog using this search term, and I don’t think I have written about deception quotes.

4. “big booty facebook” and “big booty“- I still remember the day that I saw this search term pop up in my Stats list. It made me go “What?!” I am sure that this person was disappointed when they linked to my post (“A Picture is Worth a A Thousand Words…or is it?”) and ended up reading about how my sister was concerned when I told her that I decided to get back on MySpace again.  My sister had commented that MySpace is now just one big booty call, so of course she knows I am not that kind of girl.  My blog post was a sociological piece about my recent experiences on MySpace.  It was also an observation about what happened when I changed my MySpace picture to a family friendly picture with my nephew.  Also, my post was not about Facebook, but I briefly mentioned how some of my friends had left MySpace for Facebook several years ago, but I still enjoyed MySpace.  I am sure that my post was not what the person was searching for when they typed in “big booty.”

*I must say that I NEVER would have thought of someone finding my blog with the search term “big booty”!!! Definitely got me to shake my head a bit.

5. “poems on male rejection“- Sad.

6. “emotional intimacy led to friendship“- While friendship is a beautiful gift to be treasured, I couldn’t help thinking that usually when people are emotionally intimate, it often leads to dating and romance. So, in the case of the person who wrote the search term, friendship may end up seeming like the booby prize.

7. “on being hurt by someone quotes“- Painful.

8. “Heartbreaking love poems“- I distinctly remember that this one was either my first or second search term ever for my blog which I started in January 2012. This one made me cry a tear (yes, if you know me, then you know I am a tender heart, and I cry sometimes). My first post has always been one of my most popular posts. It was about love, rejection, and poetry. I included a poem that I had written which was highly personal and vulnerable. To see a search term related to heartbreak was actually hard for me to see because that poem was so transparent and real, and that poem was a healing poem.

Extras (added 7/15/12):

9. “thanks for the love rejection

10. “happy hour girl

11.”quotes arrogance man

A few more extras (added 7/29/12). I will end my additions to this list with these last few search terms, because I don’t think that anyone wants to read a never-ending story type of list.

12. “racy quotes

13. “quotes about falling out of love

14. “you don’t deserve my tears love quotes

15. “emotional and touchy quotes

16. “girls that mistreat man quotes

P.S. I am not putting this last group in the best or worst category. My quantitative biggest category is “unknown search terms” or “other search terms“, which sometimes also comes up as “encrypted search terms.” Currently unknown search terms total 50, and they surpass runners-up Starbucks search terms and rejection topics search terms. I am curious what all the unknown search terms are, but since they are unknown then it is a mystery.