Home > Uncategorized > My Last Two Weeks of Googling

My Last Two Weeks of Googling

I have a tendency towards serial obsessions – that is, I’ll become intensely interested in an idea or topic, search out everything I can find about it, and then at some point supplant it with the next obsession. Some of them last for years or forever in the background; some of them pass in a matter of days or weeks.

In some ways, it’s a curse, this wanting to know everything there is to know about everything. I think one of the hardest lessons of growing older – for me, anyway – has been this narrowing of possibilities and options. One person simply cannot know everything there is to know – or even more than a tiny sliver of it. For better or worse, each of us typically ends up on a path that we follow with only minor deviations, becoming experts in medicine, art, construction, whatever – but not experts in all.

I’ve learned over the years to rein myself in when I find myself becoming too enraptured with subject matter that’s either impractical or too expensive to pursue. For example, I read The Orchid Thief 8 or 9 years ago and found myself getting unhealthily interested in orchids. This probably was intensified by my background obsession with plants in general – when I started gardening, I not only learned about all the different types of plants – I actually learned their Latin names. Not due to a need. It just kind of happened through osmosis from doing so much reading and looking. But orchids are expensive – I can’t afford an obsession with orchids. So I contented myself with just looking at pictures of them and spending way too much time in the orchid house at the Atlanta Botanic Garden (with Lyta – who by that time had also read the book and was also battling orchid obsession).

So the internets are a mixed blessing and curse for me. Blessing, because finally I can answer to myself hundreds of little questions that plague me every day of my life; curse because…I spend a lot of time learning about things I have no need to know about, and at the end of it, I still won’t know everything. Take someone who’s bipolar with regard to their areas of interest, and give them a magic box which can provide access to information about everything there is, and you can imagine the outcome.

Or maybe you can’t. So I give you a sampling of my google searches for the past two weeks. I’m not even going to try to explain what prompted an interest in any of these topics significant enough that I actually went to the magic box and looked them up, nor the often twisted stream of thought that led to them – you can sort that out for yourself as you marvel at just how effing weird some people can be.

So without further ado, here’s a sampling of my last two weeks on google:

Susan Alamo

Mamah Cheney

Juanita’s Candy Kitchen

Asperger’s test

Piss shivers

Wet ear wax (did you know there are two kinds, genetically determined?)

Azawakhs

Feline asthma

Chocolate cobbler

Monty Python toys

Raynaud’s Syndrome

Red-bellied woodpecker

Three Weird Sisters speech

Meth sores

Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute

That’s just over the last two weeks, and it’s by no means an exhaustive list of everything I googled.  I think I’ll make this a recurring feature here. I’ll obsess, so you don’t have to. Or, I’ll give you some examples of things you can obsess about, and you can pick the ones that suit you.

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  1. eataTREE
    February 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Sounds like a word-for-word description of how my mind works. (My last obsession was medieval blazonry.) I always assumed that my serial obsessions were another symptom of my Asperger’s syndrome, so I try to enjoy the process of amassing new knowledge while keeping a sense of perspective about the obsession du jour’s relative importance to my true goals and priorities.

    I have no freaking clue what I did before the Internet. I think I fidgeted a lot…

  2. February 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    It’s like you’ve been reading my mail. Which is extremely creepy. I get into these serial obsessions myself, from writing research — need for a quick piece of local color will lead to a six-month fascination with Moroccan architecture or the construction of Mongolian gers. A simple question about method acting has led me to rethink an entire novel because Stanislavski is so damned interesting, and now I’m reading about actors on Shakespeare. Next it will be rat taxonomy or growing marijuana.

    Sometimes it’s a one-day wonder, but I’ve had interests simmering for decades in the back of my head.

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