Help me make the country a whole lot greener

Posted: December 14th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Blogging, Friends and Strangers, Husbandry, Misc Neuroses | 2 Comments »

Several years ago Mark prohibited me from ever using Evite again.

Back then we were in our stupidly fabulous Noe Valley flat (which we took no credit for the chic-ness of, it was all the gay owners), and we were throwing a party for some reason or other. And bucking old school tradition and everything I was ever raised to know, we used an online invitation.

It was a new age, and I was trying to embrace this whole internet craze.

My painstaking efforts to ensure the invitation was as witty and clever as possible and that I’d selected the cutest of all the design templates, turned instantly into an obsession over checking the status of responses once I hit Send and the invitation went out.

The thing is, it’s amazing how much time you can spend sitting in front of your computer hitting Refresh to see who all has responded. Or, as I was looking at it, seeing who your real friends were. These Evite things even tell you the date people first look at the invitation–all great information for building your case against your perspective guests.

“This is insane!” I’d call to Mark where he was lying under the car changing the oil. “Kevin saw the invitation four days ago and still hasn’t RSVPed. What’s he doing? Waiting for a better offer?!”

And through the shower curtain I reported, “The Vaheys are a “yes with bells on,” the Surhs regret that they’ll be in Tahoe, and Ellen, Heather, and Tim and Kara still haven’t even seen it. Do you think I should call them to make sure they got it?”

Mark, pulling back the curtain to reveal a shampoo-foam covered head says, “Kristen, you have Got. To. Stop.”

Well, here I am today, a recovering Evite sender thanks to quitting cold turkey at Mark’s ultimatum-like urging, and he–my very own “sponsor” as it were–has unwittingly provided me with yet another outlet for obsessive monitoring. What’s that you ask?

Google Analytics.

This brilliant web-based tool–available to me at all hours of day and night–informs me of nearly everything I want to know about the people–you, as it were–who come to this very blog. I can see how many people visit, how long they stay, how they got here, and even what state they live in. The only information I’m lacking is my readers’ favorite type of tea, and rabid Decaf Earl Grey lover that I am, I don’t discount this as non-critical information.

But the where readers live thing. It’s that which brings me to my most recent little hobby, perusing the map graphic to see if I’m filling in the states–flushing out the map with readers in every port, as it were. How the map works is the concentration of readers is expressed by the darkness of the color green. So, my great state of Cali, where my largest readership hails, is the darkest forest green. Vermont, on the other hand, where motherload mania hasn’t kicked in quite yet, is but a pale chartreuse. Godforsaken reader-free states like Louisiana are a pale piss yellow.

Late at night when I’m having my everyone’s-asleep-and-I-should-be-too Me Time, is when I do my most fervid blog reading, blog posting, and crazy lady blog analytics reviewing. Wielding the mighty power of the information Google so enchantingly provides me makes me feel at times like part of CNN’s crack political team. You know how over the past year they were always interacting with some overly hi-tech absurd map to illustrate something like how Clinton was faring against Obama (I know. So old school to think of that now!)? It’s like I’m a not-as-smart-as but I’d boldly venture to say cuter version of Candy Crowley.

Wielding the data, yo.

Knowing all this state stuff has also allowed me to determine that the almighty bloggess Dooce, who I wittily emailed several weeks ago to entreat her to glance at my lowly mortal blog, has not in fact dropped by. Her home state of Utah is still that maddening, taunting, yellow.

I should point out that it’s not even like I’m hell-bent on building a motherload empire or anything. In fact, when this whole blog thang started a few years ago, more than anything it was an outlet for this suddenly-staying-home mama to use my Big Girl voice (and words). And aside from the nursing and diaper changing and constant cell-phone use, it was simply something to do. I didn’t expect for a minute that there’d be any readers other than Mark, my father, and my friend Julie, all of whom I was paying at the time.

But now years later, being handed the god-like power to assess who stops by unpaid, my Achiever self kicked in in that empty place where my workaholic corporate self used to reside, and I suddenly wanted nothing more than to see all those states lit up bright green like a, well, Christmas tree. In this year of economic-slump low-budg Christmas gifting, what better token could be bestowed upon me? Aside from a black (and a brown) pair of boots, tickets to some first-class child-free Caribbean resort, and personalized Crane’s stationery, I can think of no better present.

In all, there are eleven states I’m lacking. Though I’ve already gotten friends working on Indiana and Maine. (Thanks, Julie and Mary!)

So then, if you’d like to get swept up in the unbridled joy of this Very Special Christmas Project, here’s how you can help. Reach out to your former college roommate who’s now living in Iowa, and ask her to check this blog out. Or that cousin in West Virginia who you secretly, naughtily always harbored a crush on. Or what about that old friend from the summer camp with the long Indian name that you went to year after year and eventually was a counselor at? The woman you recently got back in touch with on Facebook. Isn’t she living in Delaware now? And if someone knows somebody in Wyoming–though I can’t imagine how anyone could–just think how their cold dark winter days would be brightened by a little dose of motherload!

I’ve also got Montana, Vermont, and Tennessee up for the taking. What folks in those states need more than ever is, no doubt, this very blog.

And hey, have your friend post an identifying comment like, “Hoosiers in the house, yo!”, to receive extra credit points and my eternal adoration.

For a quick review, here are the eleven states (in no particular order) that I need readers in:

  1. Montana
  2. Wyoming
  3. Utah
  4. Iowa
  5. Indiana
  6. Tennessee
  7. Louisiana
  8. West Virginia
  9. Delaware
  10. Vermont
  11. Maine

Just imagine the happy scene on Christmas morning when the McCluskys are gathered under the Christmas tree with Paige clapping with glee on her first Noel, Kate tearing through her stocking, Mark capturing it all in pictures, and me, laptop balanced on crossed legs, checking the daily Google Analytics report to discover that it’s all green green green! No better gift could be given, not only to me, but to my neglected husband and children.

I’d love to see it at least once before Mark dismantles the program in a New Year’s effort to preserve both his sanity and mine.


2 Comments on “Help me make the country a whole lot greener”

  1. 1 jack bibbo said at 5:31 pm on December 14th, 2008:

    “Kristen, you have Got. To. Stop.”

    p.s. Numi Gunpowder Green

    p.s.s Great blog.

    p.s.s.s East Oakland is lit up green.

  2. 2 Drea said at 11:25 am on December 17th, 2008:

    Yeah, my analytics for the last month showed readers in the US, Romania (I think Nadia Comaneci is heavily addicted to my blog!) and somewhere called “Not set.” I assume that means I have readers in outer space, maybe on Mars or on the moon or something.

    And bummer that Beth Duffy (Elizabeth Makin these days) just moved to the NY area from Baton Rouge. She coulda knocked Louisiana off your list.

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