Searching for the Unknown

The 16th assignment of Writing 101 tasked us with finding inspiration from our stats page, looking for any trends or anomalies to structure a post around.

My stats are fairly boring, mainly thanks to my sporadic posting schedule. The most recent posts have the most views and most of my readers are from the US, UK and Australia. Alright. Great. The most common referrers to my site are Google and the WordPress Dashboard. Nothing groundbreaking there. Nobody ever really clicks on any links. That’s not too surprising either. When I read an article or blog post, I usually don’t click on a link unless it leads me to something that’ll lend more context to the article in question. The most common search terms that lead people to my site are ‘unknown search terms’.

Hmmmm…

Unknown search terms. That’s intriguing. What are people searching for that’s bringing them here? Presumably, they’re searching for a fun, quirky and exceedingly well-written blog created by a charismatic, intelligent and devilishly handsome young man whose scattered gray hairs are a sign of refinement and not premature aging. But that seems a tad wordy for a search engine. So, after conducting some thorough search engine research (which primarily consisted of sitting slack-jawed in front of my computer and daydreaming), I have come up with the top 10 search terms, presented in no particular order, that may have brought people here.

  1. How to woo a vampire
  2. Do minotaurs lay eggs?
  3. Cheating death, chess, checkers, cards
  4. Making the perfect souffle
  5. 15 secrets to flawless skin
  6. Mastering golf, time & space
  7. Marilyn Monroe wendigo
  8. What is human existence really worth as we go through our brief lives on this tiny rock careening through a vast universe whose furthest corners are unknown to man?
  9. Batman
  10. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

Bear in mind, these are just my best guesses based on rigorous analysis. What are people really searching for as they stumble onto this humble little blog? I am afraid the real answer shall remain…unknown.

Conversations With A Strange Mind: Slowing Down

“Welp, looks like we missed another post.”

“Sigh…yeah, looks like we did.”

“And you can’t blame your cold for this one!”

“I could have, before you said anything.”

“I – oh…”

“We’re running out of material.”

“I didn’t even know we were making a dress.”

“Comedic material! Jokes Gags!”

“Ohhh…of course that’s what you meant. Haha, silly me. I was wondering when you became a tailor…”

“Never mind that! We don’t have enough material to do our bits every week.”

“Tell me about it. Trying to think up all this comedy is making my…well…me, hurt.”

“Yeah, headaches are definitely no fun. We’ll need to do something about that.”

“Maybe you should write about depressing stuff instead. War and famine and the futility of human existence and how insignificant we are in this vast universe. Stuff like that.”

“What?! That’s terrible! Nobody wants to read that! Now you’ve got me all depressed…”

“Err…ok…maybe that was a little too heavy. But it’s fine! You can just put some sort of philosophical spin on it, like…umm…the universe is a vast and uncaring place, but one cannot deny the allure of ice cream.”

“That’s a ridiculous philosophy.”

“I will hear nothing against ice cream, heretic!”

“Getting this horribly derailed train back on track, we can’t keep going week after week.”

“Then why not make it a monthly thing?”

“That’s…not a bad idea, actually.”

“Yeah, make it more of a monthly thing and, since Sunday ends up being a busy day, maybe move it to Monday.”

“Perfect. From now on, Conversations With A Strange Mind will be a monthly feature, and will shift to Mondays.”

“I just said that. Why are you explaining it to me?”

“Not you! I’m talking to the readers.”

“I’m pretty sure you were just talking to me.”

“I am so glad this is going to be only once a month now.”

“Hey! That’s not cool! Brains have feelings too, you know!”

“Well you can save your feelings for next month, buddy. We’re outta here.”

“Oh, alright. See you in a month then!”

“Well, you’ll be seeing me every day.”

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Touché.”

Conversations With A Strange Mind: Summer Sniffles

“Urgh…I hade dis stupid cold…by head feels all achey..”

“Yeah, it’s not really a fun ride for me either. Nice Stallone impression, by the way.”

“Shuddup.”

“Ouch. Guess I got the…cold shoulder!”

“Oh do…”

“Hee hee hee…I crack myself up.”

“I think you bay have beed cracked up doo bady tibes…”

“You might wanna lay off the wordplay for a while, Rocky.”

“Ughh…this is awful!”

“It sure is. How’d you go around catching a cold in summer, anyway?”

“I dot dow…stupid weather.”

“Hmm..s’pose so. But hey, look on the bright side!”

“Ad what’s dat?”

“I don’t know….I asked you to look.”

“…I’b godda go to bed.”

“Alright, but we’ve still got a – aaaand he’s gone.”

“ZzzzZZZzZZzzZZkkrrhhhh….”

“Sigh…stupid weather.”

Conversations With A Strange Mind: Oh Jelly Bean, Oh Jelly Bean, How I Do Love Thee

“Hey! Weren’t we supposed to have a thing yesterday?”

“You mean a post?”

“Yeah, that. What happened?”

“Well, things got a bit busy yesterday.”

“Lazy. Things got a bit lazy.”

“No! I was busy with…stuff…and things…”

“Oh, right. Of course you were. Because lying to your own brain is a totally solid plan.”

“I..uhh…”

“I’m the one that does the lying around here, pal. I could have you dress up in a tutu and run around your office singing sonnets about jelly beans, then have you forget the whole thing. It’d all be repressed by your psyche. And you know she’d happily do it too.”

“That’s…an awfully specific idea. You haven’t…?”

“Not as far as you know.”

“Well, surely that would have come up during a performance review.”

“Oh, I just used the office as an example. Doesn’t mean that’s where it happened.”

“What?!”

“So what’s on the agenda for today?”

“Wait…the tutu thing…it’s not true, is it?”

“Hahaha. Now, what have we got going on?”

“I…well..nothing. It’s a bit late now. Guess we’ll have to skip this week.”

“Oh…alright. Guess we get a little break then.”

“Yeah, yeah…a break. So about that whole tutu thing?”

“Yep, a break. That’s just what we need.”

“No, but…”

“Let’s take a walk. It’ll help you clear your head. Maybe you can hum that jelly bean song. How did it go again?”

“meep…”

Conversations With A Strange Mind: Death to Groundhogs

“What a week!”

“I know, right? All that stuff happened, and then we did those things…talk about a wild ride!”

“Yeah, totally.”

“How long do you think before people catch on that we’re just making things up?”

“Well, now that you’ve explicitly spelled it out? I think they’ve caught on.”

“Oh…right…”

“Man, it’s hard to believe another week’s flown by already. I mean, what did we even do?”

“Well, let’s see…work, play video games, eat, sleep, work, watch TV, make blog posts, work, eat, sleep..”

“Yeah, alright, I get it. But it’s just all so…I dunno..”

“Boring? Tedious? Mindlessly mundane?”

“I was going to go with ‘routine’, but thanks for the morale boost.”

“Sorry. Guess you are kind of a drag, huh?”

“Not helping.”

“Well, what do you have lined up for the coming week? Must be some pretty exciting stuff going on!”

“Oh yeah, sure! I’ve got some articles to finish for work, gonna continue my games, push out a few blog…pos…hmm…that sounds just like last week..”

“You’re right, it does. The same thing all over a – holy time loops! You’re stuck in a time loop!”

“Say what now?”

“You’re stuck in a time loop! How else do you explain each week feeling just like the last? It’s because it’s all the same week, playing on repeat!”

“Well, it’s not exactly the same week. I mean, some things are different.”

“Of course they are! Each time you re-enter the loop, you perform your actions a little differently, maybe carrying over some lessons you learned in the previous iteration. So you might say that history…*mimes putting on sunglasses*…doesn’t repeat itself.”

“I don’t even…did you just say ‘mimes putting on sunglasses’?”

“Yeah, you know, for dramatic effect.”

“Why not just say ‘puts on sunglasses’? You’re miming a pretend action?”

“Well, you know, umm…we have to kill a groundhog!”

“What?!”

“It’s like the movie Groundhog Day. You’re stuck in a time loop until you kill a groundhog!”

“I don’t think that’s how Groundhog Day ends.”

“Have you watched it?”

“Well, no..”

“Then that could be how it ends, as far as you know.”

“What? No. I’m pretty sure I would have heard about that ending by now.”

“Perhaps you’re not as culturally savvy as you think. Did you know, for example, that The Lord of the Rings was originally about a telephone operator?”

“That…just isn’t true.”

“Alright. I’m still killing a groundhog though.”

“Ugh, fine.”

“Then off we go!”

“Go where, exactly? Groundhogs are native to North America.”

“Ah.”

“Yep.”

“Do you remember how this whole discussion started?”

“Yeah, I said, ‘What a week!'”

“I know, right? All that stu – “

“Stop that!”

“Curse you, groundhogs!”

Conversations With A Strange Mind: Dyslexia and Wordy Things

“I think we’re turning dyslexic.”

“I’m not sure it works that way. Kind of a ‘one or the other’ situation there.”

“Well, technically, that’s not true. You could become dyslexic after some kind of traumatic episode or head injury.”

“Ok, sure, but it’s not like being a werewolf. You can’t just turn dyslexic.”

“Seriously? All the actual medical conditions you could have picked and you went with werewolf?”

“I was illustrating a point!”

“Yeah, illustrating that maybe dyslexia isn’t our biggest concern.”

“So, have we had any head injuries lately?”

“How should I know? That’s exactly the kind of stuff that would be repressed by your psyche. Oh, that psyche. She can be a real b-“

“Then you’re not sure about it?”

“Nope, we could have had a head injury last week and forgotten about it. Maybe we’ve been having head injuries for the past year!”

“I think at some point, we’d notice.”

“Would we? What if I told you that you’ve just had a head injury right now?”

“Then you’d be lying.”

“But how can you be sure?”

“Because my head doesn’t hurt.”

“Does it not hurt, or has the sensation of pain merely been removed from your memory? Perhaps it’s been locked away in the deep recesses of your subconscious. Possibly by psyche. That b-“

“Ok, now my head hurts.”

“Aha! I knew it! Nice try, psyche!”

“That’s, wow…Why is it that you think we have dyslexia? Because of the typos?”

“Because of the increase in typos! How many times in the past few months have you found yourself going back to correct a word because the letters were all jumbled up?”

“Well, I have been typing more extensively of late, since I’ve been doing more writing. More writing means more chance of mistakes.”

“And that can only mean – dyslexia! Dun dun duuunnn!”

“Or it means that I just need to type a bit slower. Or maybe you need to think a bit slower.”

“You would like me to be slow?”

“Yes. I mean no. I mean, not slow as in ‘duhhh’, but slow as in, uhhh…hmm..word….stuff…”

“Slow enough for you?”

“Duhhh…you know…not….meaning….thingy…stop…brain…”

“There, now isn’t that better?”

“Gahh, you know that’s not what I meant! Boy, being stupid feels weird.”

“Shouldn’t it feel stupid?”

You feel stupid.”

“Yes, I’d say I’m thinking slow enough now.”

Conversations With A Strange Mind: Hellos, How-Are-Yous, And Things Like That

“It’s Sunday!”

“Yep, sure is.”

“You know what that means!”

“It’s the last day of the weekend for most folks and the first day of the week here.”

“Well, yeah, and…”

“And it’s actually cloudy today, so there’s some solid irony going on.”

“What? Oh, yes, so there is…aaaannnnd…”

“And…I wonder what’s for lunch?”

“Sigh. And it’s when we introduce our new weekly bit!”

“Oh, you mean Conversations With A Strange Mind?”

“Yes, that’s the one.”

“Ah, right. Welcome to Conversations With A Strange Mind, where – ”

“You’re welcoming me?”

“No, not you. The readers. I’m welcoming them by…talking…to you. Well that can’t be right. How do we introduce our bit if we’re only going to be talking to each other?”

“Through the use of natural dialogue, maybe? Like, ‘Hey, is it Sunday already? Boy, looks like we’ll be having Conversations With A Strange Mind today. The weekly bit where we post random thoughts in the form of a dialogue between you and me, aka your brain!'”

“That over-explained word salad is your idea of natural dialogue?”

“You’d prefer talking to an imaginary audience?”

“They’re not imaginary! They’re right…there, somewhere. I don’t know. We can figure that out later, I guess. First, let’s decide what we’re gonna talk about. What ideas do you have floating around in the ol’ brain juice?”

“Well, first of all, gross. Secondly, I dunno. Been kind of a regular week, hasn’t it? Just all so week-like.”

“Week-like seems like an apt but pointless description of a week.”

“Your face is pointless!”

“That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Neither does your face.”

“…”

“Hah! Looks like your sarcasm blew up in your nonsensical face, didn’t it?”

“We really should stop sniping at each like this, you know. It just doesn’t look right, a man fighting with his own mind. Think of the deep existential and psychological despair it conveys, the madness that must gnaw away deep in the core of a man’s head for him to be in constant battle with his very thoughts.”

“You’re saying it makes you look insane in the membrane.”

“If it helps you get the point.”

“Well, they say membranous insanity is the worst kind of insanity.”

“Nobody says that.”

“Or maybe they do and you just don’t notice because you’re busy going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

“I feel like you’re not taking this matter seriously.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. You’re right. We should work together, in harmony and junk. Just a couple of chums hanging out harmoniously. Let’s hug it out, man.”

“Uh..hug it out?”

“Yeah, lay it on me, dude. Just a big ol’ hug. It’s all good.”

“People are wondering why I’ve got one arm wrapped around my head.”

“That’s cause it’s weird. You gotta hug with both arms, man!”

“I feel like that would hinder my typing ability and also raise further questions about my state of mind.”

“Don’t be such a baby. C’mere and give your brain a hug.”

“Words I never thought I’d hear.”

“That’s why you leave the thinking to me, old chum. That’s why you leave the thinking to me.”

“Yeah, this is definitely going to affect my typghkfldkdjhitilto4t9dls.v.;r;pwo3i”