Searching so long

I’ve been searchin’
So long
To find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning

(I’ve Been) Searching So Long – Chicago

I gotta laugh at some of the search terms that ultimately draw people to this blog.  There’s some interesting coincidences, there’s some oddball ones, and then there’s the ones that really get me worrying about who’s out there and what exactly they’re searching for.

One of those interesting coincidences is first up.  There’s be exactly the same number of searches for Tobin Elliott as there has been for throwing up. For anyone that’s counting, the number is 157 searches.  That could be an unplanned commentary on the quality of my blog posts. Either way, you can learn more about me, and maybe throw up here.

There’s a lot of Whitney Houston search terms that bring people to my most popular, and most controversial blog, in which I ask that we don’t canonize the late singer for an early death due to drugs. But the thing that fascinates me is that 106 searches for whitney addict house we have a problem tobin bring people here.

I like that 35 people have found my little blog by searching plox, the sound a turd makes as it hits the water. That’s kinda fun. 29 more have found me by looking for a turd burgler. Hopefully he doesn’t get the evil turd. Same for the dog eating shit. Wanna read more about plox? Or evil turds? Start here.turd

And that’s just one more than those that have landed her while searching for cat throwing up.

Then there’s those that have looked for something to do with a pee dance, which seems somewhat connected to the slightly less popular how do men urinate. I will admit to writing about the Pee Pee Dance, but I’ve never attempted to explain anything about how dudes pee.

I’m going to stick these next three together, because, well, it just seems fitting. Why? Because those searching shit faced may well have been, because why else would you also search bad out of hell. Not bat. Bad. And you know what that is? The last search term…bullshit. But you can read about my encounter with a…well, something that resembled a bat out of hell here.

I’m not sure why you’d want to search women with no eyeball and I’m also not sure why it would bring you here, but maybe it has something to do with the big tit search term. Notice it’s not tits, plural.  And here I thought they usually came in pairs. Apparently not from the one tit girls searches. Silly me.

boob

Though there’s also those looking for titanic tits. Not sure if they’re looking for large breasts on the ship, or breasts that sank due to a collision with an iceberg.

I find it interesting that people land here looking for both cat throwing up and man throwing up but there’s no searches for dogs or women throwing up. I guess they just want the no-eyeball women.

Yet, in a remarkable coincidence, three terms line up nicely to create an almost hidden message: life is…, all work and no play, nude celebrities. There’s a second one as well… work from home is how a door knob works. How about those funny boy and girl conversationsin your pants. Finally the cat that gets flushed in the toilet is likely going nuts. Perhaps because of the other cat flushing toilet.

cat-in-toilet

I’m guessing it’s only idiots who search for idoits. Then again, so is anyone looking for george bush badass. Though the ones looking for bacon strips in underwear and shoulder sniffing worry me a touch. As do the ones looking for a picture of a brain throwing up. I mean, can that even happen? But for a perfect brain, look here.

Scarecrow

The person who searched i like when lady gaga smells my underwear deserves a special place with padded walls. Or a special place in hell. I haven’t decided which yet.

Let’s go get shitfaced. Kidding…that’s a search term, not an end goal. Perhaps the end goal should be to not use foul language. Yeah, probably not gonna happen. Not while cock out of underwear and jerking off anime boys somehow gets you here. Could it be when I jerked someone off…my car? Yeah, check it out here.

Ah well, the most heartening search term, and the one that has brought the most hits to my blog–almost 13000, compared to the next highest at 3600–and the name of my second most popular blog, life is beautiful.

life-is-beautiful

It is, isn’t it? I hope you find what you’re searching for.

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Life is hard

A few months back, I wrote a blog called Life is beautiful, where I talk a lot about the shitty things life can throw at you, but how you can also rise above them.

I know that life’s hard.  Believe me, I’ve been through a lot of it myself.  I’ve survived an alcoholic father, a drug-abusing brother, my parents divorcing when I was five, another ugly divorce when I was seventeen, a heartbreaking child abuse case where I and my wife seriously considered adopting my nephew and many, many other things.  Any one of those is enough for one lifetime.  Yet, still they came and, I’m sure, more will yet.

Still, I came through them all and I’m stronger, wiser and, I hope, a lot more humble for it.

But right now, as of today, I’m finding myself worrying about a few friends and family going through a lot of pain.

One man I know is desperately trying to hold on to his marriage.  He’s gone through a lot in his life and I think he’s going through something I went through a while ago.  He thought he had many of the rough elements of his earlier life under control, only to find out they’ve just gone underground, but still exert their influence on him, just more subtly.

Then there’s another friend who lost his daughter in a horrific car accident five years ago today.  She was only trying to get a couple of friends home safely, but instead she paid a terrible price for her caring deed.  That man has turned to talking to groups about impaired driving and what it can do.

My mother has, in the last year, broken her arm up near the shoulder where it couldn’t be cast, and in the past few months, has had first one, then a second, then three more discs collapse in her spine, leaving her in pain for months.

And finally, there’s a brave little boy in Clarkston, MI who’s been battling brain cancer since he was four.  He defied the odds and celebrated his tenth birthday this past Thursday.  After seven surgeries and several chemo and radiation treatments, he decided the toll they took on his body was too much and refused further treatment for the tumors that showed up late last year.  He decided to take on the rest of his life on his own terms.  An unbelievably adult decision for a nine-year-old boy to make and an equally hard one to honour for the parents.

MELISSA MOORADIAN PHOTOGRAPHY

That little boy died a few hours ago.

I’ve seen so many heroic people fighting for what’s important to them.  Happiness,  accountability for past sins, love, teaching others, grappling with age, dignity.

In that previous post, I said

Sometimes we just feel like giving up, packing it all in. How can it get worse that it already is, right? And that’s when we can see how much more hurt can be piled on. There’s always more. But you know what? It’s never more than we can handle. We can think that we’re done, that we can’t handle it. But we can. And then something will happen–something really bad, something really good, something really earthshaking, or something small–but something, and you’ll feel alive again.

And you’ll open your eyes like it was the first time.

Don’t ever give up. Life is beautiful.

I still believe what I said.  It’s a little harder tonight, knowing there’s one less bright spark on the planet with that little boy’s passing.  It’s hard to understand why this can even happen.

We see people like Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston and hundreds of others who are given every opportunity in the world and they piss it away and wind up face down in a tub.  All that talent, all that potential, gone.

But what did a little four-year-old boy do to deserve five years of hell?  What did a 21-year-old woman at the start of her life do to deserve what happened to her?  What about their potential?  What about their talent?  Why were they not allowed to explore them?

I wonder sometimes at the cruelty of this life.  I wonder that life can be this hard.

And yet, I see a man turning the tragedy around.  Doing what he can to ensure her short life made a difference in the lives of others.  I see a little boy who ultimately brought a community together.  He spawned a worldwide cancer awareness campaign on Twitter.

We’ll never know why these things happen, but at least we can point to what came after and know there’s hope.  There’s always hope.

And we can realize, when we look at our own family members, our friends and those loved by us, that, even at least for today, we have them with us.  We can look at them and smile.  We can tell them we love them and that we’re happy they’re in our lives.

We can tell them that, because of them, these people who may not have done anything particularly special other than just be who they are, because of them, life is beautiful.  That they are our heroes.

Go tell someone you love them.  Right now.

The perfect storm

259 days ago, I wrote a rather charmingly naive blog about becoming hooked on my blog stats.  You can link over and read it, or I can summarize it below.

I was excited because I’d just passed 1500 hits in a titch over a month.

I was excited because twice–TWICE! –I’d achieved over 100 hits in a single day.

So let’s fast forward to now, where I’ll endeavour to write another blog that 259 days from now on Oct 27th I’ll likely consider charmingly naive as well.

So let’s go back to the last day of 2011 for just a second.  Back in June, I’d been excited over those 1500 total hits to this blog.  On the last day of the year, watching with morbid fascination, I was terribly excited to watch that count tick over from 9999 to 10000 hits.

Didn’t think it would get much cooler than that.

But January turned out to be a good month for me getting new readers on and I started averaging a fairly consistent 100 hits per day.  My record high day was an absolutely ridiculous, never to be duplicated 366 hits.  In a single day!  Wowzers, right?

And then a very strange combination of events happened almost two weeks ago.  Whitney Houston died.  And I blogged about it.

I won’t go into it much here, you can read all about it here, but let’s just say I wasn’t happy that another celebrity checked out with a chemistry kit in their veins and confused loved ones wondering why.

The next morning, I checked my blog for comments and hits and I was surprised to find, instead of the usual 20-30ish hits this early, I was already well over a hundred.  By the time I started work, it had creeped up a bit more.

I remember having a conversation with Pat (who’s blog deserves far more hits than mine does) around mid-morning and I told her then that I thought this blog had the potential to take me past that 366 high note.  “Might even crack 400 hits,” I said.

By noon, it was coming up to 500.  It was then that Pat gave me some wise advice about my blog on the evils of addiction.  She said, “stop checking it.  You’re addicted.” She told me not to check until a specific time.  I think it was 2 p.m.

To be honest, she scared the hell out of me.  And I stopped looking.

Somewhere toward the end of the work day, I was at around 1100 hits for the day.  I had one last conversation with Pat.  I said I could see it topping out at 1300.  Pat said she guessed more like 1500-1800.  We bet a coffee and a donut on it, I was so sure I was right.  And then I stopped looking at it.

The next morning, I came down and checked.  It’s not often I use this term, but it’s truly the only one that accurately describes my reaction.  I was well and truly gobsmacked.  The final tally for the day turned out to be well beyond either Pat’s guess or my own.  I hit 2939 hits.

Now, I know there’s quite a few of you out there that probably yawn at numbers like that and see them with some frequency, but remember, this was just shy of 3000 hits on a blog that sees that in an average month.  That next day?  2034 hits.  5000 hits in two days.

From a blog I figured a maximum of 100 people would read, some would commend me for having the balls to write it, others to slam me for.  Maybe, I don’t know, five or six commenters.

Let’s just cut to the chase now, shall we?  The post has now been up a total of 11 days and has garnered 8247 hits.  In fact, the only other thing that comes close to it is the total lifetime hits of my home page, which has exactly 49 more hits.  And I’ve had a home page a helluva lot longer than the Whitney post.  My total lifetime hits is well on its way to 25K.  And still, I’m left shaking my head.

One last thing.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, another post of mine from Jan 13 called Life is beautiful has found new legs and is getting a lot of views, just in the last couple of days.

Obviously, yes, I’m sure a lot of the 8200 hits to the Houston blog are not full readers, but for a blog that normally gets four to six comments, this one currently has 60.  My favourite is the one where I’m called a “fucking idoit”.  Actually, that’s a lie.  My favourites are from an ex-addict named Colin and a few others who have had to deal with addicts in their lives.  The “idoit” one is just plain good times.

So, now, as my hit numbers finally start to fall back to their normal pathetic counts, I’m left to wonder, what caused this perfect storm of viewers flocking to my little profanity-riddled, scatologically-obsessed blog?  Was it the tagging of “Whitney Houston”?  Or the one-two combo punches of “Whitney Houston” coupled with “drugs” or “addict”?

Is that why the Life is beautiful blog is picking up?  Is it the addiction-related tags again?  Is it the hopeful title?  I don’t think so, because it’s found more of an audience now than it did a month ago when it was published.

I don’t get it.  I’ve written some stuff on this blog that commenters have said is the funniest thing they’ve read.  Apparently I’ve been the cause of food being sprayed across the monitors of some computers.

On the other hand, I’ve also tried to be painfully honest and opened up about some deeply personal stuff that I’ve also been commended on.

And none of it has resonated anywhere near as much as me bitching about Whitney.  None of it has found the same audience.

I find that weird, to be honest.  Regardless, I’m just going to keep writing about the things I find funny, stupid and aggravating in this wacky world of ours.  It’s the only thing I can do.  You try and chase those hits, you’ll drive yourself crazy.

I joked to Pat that I should give up writing blogs about farts and shit and start name-dropping celebrities instead.  “Don’t do it,” she said.  And then she said something sobering.  “I’ve got one word for you: Snooki.”

And I decided, yeah, I’m happier writing about shit than the shit that these idoits (yes, misspelling on purpose) do.  Though I reserve the right to poke them in print whenever the hell I feel like it.

Life is beautiful

In the car today, I heard a song that made a big impression on me when I first heard it.  It’s from the band Sixx : A.M., which is a side project of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx.

The song comes from the band’s first album, The Heroin Diaries.  Sixx released a book of the same name that recounts a harrowing year in which he, for all intents and purposes, died.  This was after he’d pushed everyone away from him and had gone as low as you can imagine…then started digging.

And no, I’m not one of these guys that admire rockstars that sink to the bottom then claw their way back out.  Personally, I think if you’re fortunate enough to have the talent to get you somewhere and the luck to stumble upon the right sequences and people to get you there, then you sure as hell don’t piss it away by pumping yourself full of alcohol and drugs while steadfastly killing every relationship you spent a lifetime building just because you consider yourself special now.  No way in hell.

At the same time, I do have to admire the guy that went to hell and back and is now telling the tale and doing what he can to prevent others from taking that same road, which he is doing.

But that’s not the focus here.  The focus is on some of the lyrics to Life is Beautiful

You can’t quit until you try
You can’t live until you die
You can’t learn to tell the truth
Until you learn to lie

You can’t breathe until you choke
You gotta laugh when you’re the joke
There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive

I know some things that you don’t
I’ve done things that you won’t
There’s nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home

I was waiting for my hearse
What came next was so much worse
It took a funeral to make me feel alive

Just open your eyes
Just open your eyes
And see that life is beautiful.

Here’s the video, if you like it loud and proud.

Sixx : A.M. – Life is Beautiful

I originally have several paragraphs here on suicide, but really, when I got down to it, death isn’t what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about life.

Look again at these lyrics.

You can’t quit until you try
You can’t live until you die
You can’t learn to tell the truth
Until you learn to lie


I think what he’s saying is, you’ve got to experience it all, the bad and the good.  But when you see the bad, that’s when you learn to appreciate the good.  You can’t live until you die.

There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive

It’s kind of a sad thing, but I think that’s the forgotten part of a funeral.  The first part is to ease our minds that the person has gone on to a better place, that they’re no longer suffering.  We do what we can to ensure we don’t think their death is senseless or in vain.  But the other thing that we should take from that is that we’re still here.  Every day on the right side of the dirt is a good one.  We’ve still got more living to do.

I know some things that you don’t
I’ve done things that you won’t
There’s nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home

We each have our own experiences, our own reality.  Often, we choose to learn things the hard way.  God knows I do.  And sometimes we choose, either willingly or unwillingly, to hurt others.  Sometimes enough to leave a trail of blood.  Sometimes it’s better to just keep going and hope we’ve learned from our mistakes to minimize the spilling of more blood.  And sometimes we have to follow that trail back and correct our mistakes.  More often than not, I think I’ve found my way back home following a trail of blood.

I was waiting for my hearse
What came next was so much worse
It took a funeral to make me feel alive

Sometimes we just feel like giving up, packing it all in.  How can it get worse that it already is, right?  And that’s when we can see how much more hurt can be piled on.  There’s always more.  But you know what?  It’s never more than we can handle.  We can think that we’re done, that we can’t handle it.  But we we can.  And then something will happen–something really bad, something really good, something really earthshaking, or something small–but something, and you’ll feel alive again.

And you’ll open your eyes like it was the first time.

Just open your eyes
And see that life is beautiful.

Don’t ever give up.  Life is beautiful.