What the heck are you guys searching?

I find this funny. You might too. (P.S. Thanks for not telling me about the random “y” that was dangling at the end of that sentence for like a month now! I LOATHE typos, so tell me about them immediately. Twenty lashes with a wet noodle for me, as my dreaded first grade teacher would say.) Even on a slow … “thought” day (Like today. I guess it can’t be called a slow news day on this kind of blog.) I’m surprised by the hits I sometimes get on my blog. WordPress has this awesome little feature that tells you what search terms your readers typed in to get to your blog. They never cease to amaze me. Here are a few:

  • “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” appears almost daily. Here are a few uber specific Gypsy search terms that make me laugh:
    Pictures of gypsy girls in short skirts looking for future husbands on TLC
    My big fat gypsy wedding show contact
    My big fat gypsy wedding kaitli — No typo.’
    The gypsies tent inn
    My big fat gypsy secrets
    I’m big fat gypsy wedding
  • Some variation of “cankles” is also a daily one
    Celebrities with cankles
    What are cankles
    Why have I got no ankles
    Cankle liposuction
    Cankles deutsch
    And, my personal favorite: Hottest cankles in town
  • A slew of North Dakota search terms
    North Dakota nice
    Show pictures of Williston ND in a snow storm
    Are there any fish in Spring Lake Park Williston ND
    North Dakota — it doesn’t exist (Ha ha.)
    Has Williston ND ever flooded?
    Williston city North Dakota oil June 2011 boom New York (What was this person looking for?!?)
    A child forced to grow up too fast North Dakota
    Is a Menards moving into Williston ND
  • Stuff I’m assuming got people to the iPad story
    iTunes license agreement kidney
    Human CentiPad agreement mouth
    Who wants to buy my kidney?
    What kind of saying is I’d sell my kidney?
  • These ones are in a category of their own: WTF?
    Mischa Barton obesa
    Lap dance
    Inappropriate pictures of Miley Cyrus (multiple times)
    My name is enough
    Gender neutral baby car seat
    Crab pole dance
    Mischa Barton cellulitis (Um, what? And why so much hate on Mischa??)
    A fat Mexican girl with big boobs
    No little brother  for kids can’t go in my room kids
    Dresses for fat teens

I’m not hating — However you got here, I’m glad you’re here and love you for reading. But you’ve got to admit, this search data is pretty entertaining. Hope you got a kick out of it, too.



I’ve said it for years. Since I was in elementary school I’ve hated my ankles. My legs are pretty much straight from the knee down. I’d post a picture, but I really don’t want to subject myself to that. For many years, most people I mentioned my self consciousness to were like, “Uh, nobody notices people’s ankles.”

I wonder when that ended. Suddenly, everyone’s obsessed with us “poor souls” who are plagued with “cankles.” And that’s fine. Cankles are funny. And popular.  People apparently really like reading about and looking at pictures of cankles. Don’t ask me why. Still, it’s getting a little out of hand. I can’t vouch for any statistical data behind this guy’s claim that cankles have been regarded as one of the most unattractive features since the early 20th century, but the fact that it’s on the Internet will only perpetuate his declaration.

A helpful illustration to show an example of a cankle. Sigh.

I first heard the term in the movie Shallow Hal, when the two main characters are discussing the weight of one of their love interests:

– Hey, all l’m saying is she’s got cankles, for God’s sake.
– What?
– Cankles! She’s got no ankles. lt’s like the calf merged with the foot, cut out the middleman.
– l know what cankles are. Rosemary doesn’t have ’em.

While this probably injected cankles into the mainstream, the term was known to exist before the movie was released in 2001. Even though I was complaining about my fat ankles before the term “cankle” went mainstream, I’ve started to believe that cankles — in some cases — are a myth.

Ok, that is undeniably a cankle. That is what my brother described as “a bologna stuffed into a shoe.” The thing that I — as a cankle-sufferer myself — think is a little ridiculous, is that now people are labeling celebrities as having cankles. Since there’s really nothing aside from cankle liposuction you can do to get rid of fat ankles, I was just learning to deal with it. Some days I’d even think, “Hey, I don’t know if I really have cankles after all.” But now that stars like Miley Cyrus, Mischa Barton, and others are being criticized for having cankles, how am I supposed to compete? I personally don’t see it in most of them, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Cheryl Cole, a British star, is cited as having cankles in this picture. I'd be ok with those ankles.

Victoria Beckham has cankles now? Psh, well then I must be considered obese.

Mischa Barton's cankles? I'm not seeing it.

Hilary Duff's supposed cankles

Miley Cyrus just has a "my legs are so stick thin I don't have room for an ankle" thing going on.

As I Googled “celebrity cankles,” it seemed almost every major celebrity has been accused of having cankles. I know, it’s ridiculous to agonize about cankles when there are so many more important things going on in the world. Believe me, I spent (and admittedly still spend) too much time worrying about it already. But that’s my point exactly. We now have things like Cankle Awareness Month (which is coming up in July, by the way, so get your awareness ribbons ready). Major news sources are covering cankles in more and more stories; the Wall Street Journal even did an article about cankles, often cited by cankle haters everywhere (who can really make some mean personal attacks, by the way — Hey, don’t be offended, it’s not our faults we have cankles).

All in all, I’m ready to let the cankle thing go, and that’s a big step for a lifelong ankle hater. But, like scrutinizing celebrity beach bodies and uncovering which celebs have cellulite, I doubt the critical public eye will let it go soon. Hopefully the rest of us can.

Stoop kid’s afraid to leave his stoop. Maybe Jamie Lynn should have tried that.

Stoop Kid: A Hey Arnold! classic

Ah, yes. Nothing can soothe the savage college student like a little piece of nostalgia. Chances are, if your interest was piqued by that sentence, you’re a 90s kid, or the parent of one. And you know it came from an episode of Hey Arnold! You grew up on Nickelodeon at its prime. Who can forget shows like Doug, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Rocko’s Modern Life (my personal favorite — I own every episode ever made on DVD), and the ultimate classic, Rugrats (which — OMG — still has a maintained webpage on Nickelodeon’s site). Netflix one of these shows in a room full of 18-20somethings and we’re mesmerized in front of the boob tube with our mouths open, likely regressing to the same position we took while watching TV as kids.

The cartoon case of Doug

After engaging in the aforementioned activity not long ago, I couldn’t help but think about the striking difference between the episode of the always-wholesome Hey Arnold! I’d just watched and the shows my little sister, who’s 10, watches on a daily basis. Hey Arnold! and similar shows almost always incorporated some sort of life lesson into its silliness. Looking back, these messages held through into my adult years — In fact, everyday events sometimes still prompt me to reminisce about some TV show I used to watch as a kid. Whether it’s Rocko’s Modern Life’s satirical commentary on, well, modern life, or CatDog’s message of universal acceptance of those who are different.

I’ll admit, I’m a cartoon-lover. So, every time I visit home and am sharing the living room with my sister, I can’t help but get sucked in to whatever show she’s watching. Only, they’re hardly ever cartoons anymore. She went through a Zoey 101 phase a few years ago, until her favorite show was cancelled due to the star, Jamie Lynn Spears’s, teenage pregnancy. What a great role model for a then-5 year-old.

Don't make it sound too good, Jamie Lynn.

Then, she was addicted to Hannah Montana.

Hannah Montana was apparently the wholesome alter-ego.

Yeah, my point exactly.

Aside from most of these shows being mind-numbingly vomit-inducing, the demographics they appeal to are completely inappropriate. Shows like Hannah Montana and Zoey 101 deal with pre-teen issues, like shopping and makeup and dating boys. But the main age group these shows appeal to is 8-10 year-olds, and it definitely shows. My sister comes home from school with stories about her friends putting on makeup to go to movies with boys. They’re fourth-graders.

As if it isn’t bad enough that my little sister is singing along to the radio about “boys trying to touch her junk,” she’s got her role models, who are only 6-8 years older than her, getting knocked up and dancing on poles.

I’ve tried to turn my sister on to the cartoons I grew up with but, alas, she finds them boring. So much for that mode of sisterly bonding. I find she tries to have more things in common with me than I would ever expect of my 10 year-old sister. At age 10, I was still playing with Barbies and stuffed animals. While it’s fun to have a sister to talk with about painting nails and clothes shopping, it makes me a little sad that she’s growing up so much faster than I ever expected.