Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of the Year Stats, Favorites and the Gifts that Suck and Blow

Howdy y'all.

1. Just to clarify from Monday's post, I would never use "Death by comfy chair" as the way out of this world. Thank you for all of your virtual hugs.

In case you missed it in the comments, here is the link I provided to atone for the depressing post: (Viewer Discretion Advised)

2. Christmas Gifts that Suck and Blow

My sister got Kid C a rock tumbler. It turns ordinary rocks into precious gems. Cool, right?

I thought it would be a fun afternoon activity. So, Kid C and I put it together, throw the rocks in the barrel, and plug it in the wall.

Let me tell you, the tumbler, when it's on, is not a quiet thing. It does not purr. Imagine rocks inside a hard plastic barrel being tossed about. Cuz that's what it is.

Kid C asks me how long before we have jewels. He has to yell. I check the instructions.

"Step 2: Wait for at least 48 hours, with tumbler running. Maybe it will be ready. Maybe not."

48 Frakkin hours? Yeah, thanks, Erin.

My mom's been known to come up with edible gifts that are fairly inedible. This year it was a bag of roasted Edamame with a smattering of Wasabi.

I put one on my tongue, and it burned a hole. Sam ate one, and promptly grew a second hair on his chest.

It's okay, my mom doesn't read my blog.

3. Since I missed a lot of people for my Christmas Card, here is a virtual copy:

4. End of the Year Stats

I thought it would be fun to take a look at the numbers of 2009 for me.

Total blog hits: 20,000
Average hits per month for Jan - Jun: 1,000
Average hits per month for Jun - Dec: 2,000

Followers on Jan. 1st: 12
Followers as of Dec. 30th: 105

Hits came from 91 Countries

Interesting Search Words that led to people actually reading my blog:
"Brodi Ashton Nitrous Dentist"
"Saggy Bladder"
"How to Look Like Farrah Fawcett"
"Brain Masala"

Number of blog posts: About 150

Non-Blog stats:
Number of times I quit Diet Coke: 3
Number of Diet Cokes I've had this morning: 3

Number of Children: 2
Number of Children potty-trained: 1.5

Number of Words Written for New Book: 65,000

Favorite Television shows of 2009:
Modern Family
True Blood

Favorite Movies:
District 9
Star Trek

Days I've played tennis: 125

Times I ate at Melting Pot: 5

Favorite Books:
Catching Fire
The Dark Divine
If I Stay

Favorite pieces of Writing Advice:
Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.
Make sure your Main Character has a Concrete Object of Desire.
If you want to learn about description, ask Kim.

So, what are some of your end of the year stats? Favorites? Sucks and Blows?

Happy New Year, y'all. Thanks for making my blog fun. We really are going to take over the world in 2010.


  1. You are swo funny! My daughter loves her rock tumbler. We put in the garage and she carries them around now in little baggies. Wating four days for them? Good luck with that. We have four children total pottie trained=2.5 At what point do I get to stop washing our bedding every night???

  2. Just a minor correction--I actually grew a second chest hair a few days before I ate one of those wasabi edamamamamaemema. After I ate one of those, it promptly burned off both of my chest hairs.

    Congrats on people being able to find you with the key words 'saggy bladder.' So many people talk about that, it is impressive people found you among the millions of search results.

    Happy New Year to us! Lets go do nothing and have a good cry.

  3. Wow. A good year for you!! 91 countries? That's awesome!

  4. Ha! I love, love, love the picture of Kid B and your Christmas card. It's hilarious! But, so are you. :)

    48 hours? That's like turning on an ice cream maker and not getting any ice cream for a month! That sucks and blows!

    My most impressive stat this year is how many books I've read. I read 31. I know that's not a lot compared to some, but it's a new record for me and I exceeded my old record by 3 books! :)

  5. This was so funny!

    P.S. Wasabi Peas ruined my taste buds. I can no longer enjoy my food.

  6. Heather- Maybe I need to stick the tumbler in our garage and give it another chance. I'll talk to it. It's still currently in a time out.

    Sam- Sorry about the confusion. It's hard to keep up with the comings and goings of your two chest hairs. Especially since they are now blond and harder to spot.

    L.T.- Thanks!

    Jenni- love the ice cream maker analogy! And 31 books? That rocks. That's a ton more than me.

    Melissa- It totally ruins taste buds, doesn't it? I placed a bean on my tongue and it actually made an audible sizzle.

  7. Awesome post. I laughed untill tears leaked.

  8. You gotta admit that the package the Rock Tumbler came in was pretty dang cool! As far as the actual gems...what the heck?! No kid is going to wait 48 hours to see their precious gems! I just went to the Red Balloon and bought a couple of their rocks and put them in the tumbler just so the we could turn off the dang thing. Good luck!

    BTW, the wasabi stuff burns through your nose hair too, but it sure makes for a great white elephant gift!

  9. Leisha- thanks for reading!

    Erin- Oooh, I need to go to Red Balloon and buy some of those gems. That is a great idea!

    And do you think mom noticed when her wasabi Edamame showed up in the white elephant pile last night?

  10. A Concrete Object of Desire? Does someone else's fictional character and Diet Pepsi count? I'm screwed ;)

    Congrats on all the progress this year. When you are a big star, don't forget the little people who stayed with you through saggy bladders, caffeine withdrawls, and HCG :)

  11. Love your Christmas card with the headlines. And my dad keeps a rock tumbler in his garage, too. Of course, he doesn't actually keep cars in there, though. Just more tools and scraps than you've ever seen. The rock tumbler is right at home there. Good luck!

  12. I have a close second for gifts that suck and blow. My daughter was given a Crystal Maker. (no, not the meth variety. Pull your head out!) We now have two tubs of colored water sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for those crystals to form. I will give them until my birthday in January before I throw the whole thing out!

  13. I love wasabi, but I've only tried it with sushi, so maybe it's different with dried edamame?
    Number of blogs started - 1
    Number of books read since sometime in July when I started keeping track - 90 (maybe I read too much, I shouldn't have counted)
    Number of weeds pulled - approximately 10
    Number of weeds in my yard - about 5,000 (maybe I read too much)

  14. Bro, thanks for the feedback on my story, and thanks for letting me be a hanger-on! It's essential to know at least one famous person in life and all of my celebrity contacts are dying off, so it's about time I knew someone young and famous! ;)

  15. Oh, AND, since you mentioned stats, I have to say that by far the most hits I get on my blog have come from (a) the crocheted afghan photo I posted and (b) a photo I used from Gladiator. Hundreds of people who aren't coming to read my blog at all. Sort of depressing. But I guess if it makes the stats look good, so be it.

  16. My most impressive stat is my number of books I've read: 171 (and counting...). Cherie--I'm SURE I read too much. I average 164 pages per day (I have a lovely Excel spreadsheet...), with a full-time job and three kids.

    My goal for this next year is to spend more time writing than I do reading. Or at least half as much....

  17. Oh my goodness! My children have the genetic abnormality of NO HIPS too.

    No matter what I do (those kids pants that you can tighten, belts, too small pants) they have their little butt cracks hanging out.

    Glad to know they aren't alone. Maybe they can start a support group?

  18. Cam- ha ha. I'd never forget you. Especially if I could actually meet you.

    Nikki- You mean regular people own real rock tumblers? I thought they were just toys. Good to know! Because as toys...

    Nicole- so funny. Tell her they don't grow unless you're watching them.

    Cherie- Reading should always come before weeds. Always. And 90 since July? That is insane. And cool.

    Sal- Oops. Did I give you the impression I was famous? I'm gonna have to go back and edit that post. :)

    Robin- W.O.W. That is a buttload of books. I think that's a great way to spend a year- curled up with a book! And to keep a spreadsheet? I can't even keep receipts. So, do you have a list from most favorite to least favorite?

    Olivia- I know. They're crazy. You'd think, coming from me, they'd have plenty of hips to go around.

  19. My dad has a rock tumbler in the garage too. I don't know if he counts as normal though.

    Did you really go to Pakistan?

  20. My brother C had a rock tumbler growing up. I loved that thing--it did take days! I still have some of those shiny rocks--unless my mom bought them at a store too.

  21. Serious, I've got plenty of hips to spare! My kids can borrow some.

    And I loved District 9 too. Love, love, loved it. Haven't yet seen Zombieland but have heard it's sort of like Sean of the Dead- which I loved. Zombies & dark humor. What isn't there to like?

  22. Eden- Brother C had one? How come we didn't know this? Twenty bucks says your mom bought shiny rocks. Just kidding. Your mom would never do that. Unlike some moms I know. Just kidding Erin.

    Olivia- I'm sure I've told you this, but Shaun of the Dead is one of my all time favorites. Maybe we'll watch it this weekend. It's been a while.

  23. Brod! Doug's parents gave some wasabi nuts as a white elephant gift. 'Nuf said. Those must have been killer! The rock tumbler - hilarious! As for toys that suck and blow - we have a pile of things that need gluing. They accumulated the day after Christmas! What's up with making junk these days?? One cowgirl doll's arm popped off, two bridles broke while I was trying to put them on the horses, as well as a saddle. Lame!

    As for your stats - I have to say - pretty dang awesome!! 12-105!? You're cookin' lades! Keep it up!

  24. Congrats on a great year! Those are some fabulous statistics, but 2010 is going to be an even better year for all of us . . . I can feel it.

  25. Cath- I know! I still have some of the toys I played with as a kid. Those will last forever, but the toys now leave something to be desired.

    Val-I agree. I feel it too.

  26. i can't seem to move past the rock tumbler...i may need to buy one for my MIL to keep at her house....

    let's call it revenge for all the noisy toys she has purchased MY kids over the years.

    erin, where did you say you found that?

    i am keeping track of all the books i read next year. lost count after 200 + this year!

    happy new years brodi!

  27. Thanks for the shout out! You are my blogging hero. Maybe in 2010 you can write my blog posts for me too.

  28. Brodi--I have a writer friend who talked me into logging my books in 2008. In 2009, I started logging the number of pages... which led to the realization that I could calculate the average number of pages per day. (I lurve spreadsheets!!) I have a spreadsheet for the books I read (by date finished) and another one to keep track of all the series I've reached the end of--so I can be sure to remember to read the next book when it comes out! (There are about 40 series on this sheet.) I haven't organized them by favorite-nor do I think I could. I loved most of them. :)

    Recently, I made a spreadsheet to log the pages I write each day. It calculates the pages I've written already, compares them to my goal of 50,000 words by the end of April (writer's conference--yeah!), and tells me how many pages I have to write each day to meet it. Have I mentioned I lurve spreadsheets?? :)

  29. Dorien- That is a lot of books. As for the rock tumbler, I have one I'll sell you cheap.

    Kim- I'll blog for you if you go through my book and add description. Think about it.

    Robin- That is seriously very cool. I wonder if I would get more writing done if I knew how to make a spreadsheet.

    I lurrve Diet Coke.
    I lurrve chocolate.
    I don't lurrve spreadsheets.

    Which writing conferences are you hitting this year?

  30. I loved this blog post. Besides, you liked Star Trek, and that movie was so good I moved into the theater to watch it repeatedly. I survived on discarded popcorn and other unmentionables. I am not proud.

    Now I have Star Trek on DVD and never watch it. There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

  31. My very first writer's conference is this April 23-24 in Provo, Utah: LDS Storytellers. :) My college roommate, Susan (of, suggested it and is coming up from AZ to attend with me. Yeah!! It has the advantages of proximity (for me, anyway--only a few hours away), cost-efficiency (I can stay with relatives), and provides a lovely, very-do-able deadline. Very important. :)

    Which conferences are you attending?

  32. I should also mention that I lurve spreadsheets so much I'm more than happy to make one for you.... :)

  33. Douglas- Star Trek rocks. I think I saw it three times in theaters. Maybe more.

    Robin- Bree will be teaching at LDS Storymakers (did I already mention this?) so keep an eye out for her! And I would love a spreadsheet. Maybe one dealing with diet coke consumption.

  34. I still need to read The Dark Divine, but I've read the first chapter and am properly prepared to grovel at Bree's feet as she shares her secrets. SO excited. She's amazing.

    So, you want to be able to just log the amount you drink each day or do you have a goal for how much of the brown stuff you want to consume this year? LOL--yeah, I can spreadsheet that. ;)

  35. Happy New Year Brodi. Always fun to read your blogs (even though one or two of them were my Maybe you will write about them again...who Wishing you all the best for 2010. Kenny

  36. It is true that we are collecting the best and worst memories from whole year. It is of the interest we are gathering all stats, favourite and gifts in this post of last year...

    r4 dsi