Blog Searches

I haven’t done this for a while, so a new collection of funny searches that have brought people to this blog has accumulated. here are the best ones:

what is poverty like – Good for you that you have to ask. I can just imagine that sheltered lifestyle.

I kept my husband last name when he divorce me now he is collecting some my social security if i change my name can i stop him from collecting my money. – I have no idea. Can anybody help? To me, it sounds like if somebody is stealing your money, the best way to go is to contact the police. This cannot possibly have anything to do with the shared last name, can it?

is vulva nice – Yes, it is. If only they were all so easy.

gaystyle enterprises cock whistle – I’m clueless. Anybody?

how to understand men – Start by understanding that all men are different and there is no algorithm that you can follow to interact successfully with all of them.

why are russians so different – From what? I hope the question is why they are all so different from each other. The answer is: because they are human.

why women worked in the 70s – Just note how many searches are based on mindless generalizations. Is it not obvious that the reasons why women worked in any decade would be influenced by their social class, financial status, family situation, etc.?

how to enjoy giving oral sex to a woman – You want instruction on how to enjoy something? Enjoyment is not a learned skill, buddy. If you have to seek instructions on how to enjoy a certain sexual activity, that probably means this activity is not for you.

has the good men project become anti feminist – Yes, it has. Its founder is heavily into tired old gender stereotypes that he delivers with the glee of a 3-year-old who has just learned to turn on an iPad.

childfree why do people care – They don’t. Until the child-free start descending on their blogs in droves throwing infantile tantrums.

do you like san francisco – Love it. But only for the purposes of tourism. I wouldn;t want to live in a city where housing prices are so inflated. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

greatest achievement of civilisation – You are online and you have to ask?

anti gender stereotype blog – And you, my friend, are in the right place. We do this a lot  around here.

klubnikis technology site – “Klubnikis” is a name I invented for my little niece. And no, you can’t have it for your technology site or whatever.

kindle+fire+useless – And you, Kindle-hater, should stay away from my blog. You will find no sympathy here.

murakami 1q84 feminism – There is no feminism in this novel. However, it is the first book by Murakami that I have read that is not actively anti-feminist.

“david bellamy” atheist – If this is about the David Bellamy we all know and love on this blog, he isn’t an atheist.

how often do teachers think about sex with students – Teachers don’t. Quacks who went into teaching in spite of being signally unsuited to it do.

why do men like to chase – And this is somebody whose personal life is hopeless.

oral sex feminism – Oral sex and feminism are not related. Just like oral sex and pizza. Or feminism and pizza.

clarissa’s blog not autistic – Very true. Clarissa’s Blog is not autistic. Clarissa is.

professor montreal spanish peninsular literature clarissa – Yes. All true.

Dictating to Bloggers

So many people are eager to tell bloggers what our “responsibilities” are. Take this statement, for example:

I believe that blog owners do have a responsibility: to edit things out that they don’t want appearing. It’s part of the job of keeping a blog.

Excuse me, but who exactly are you to tell complete strangers what their responsibilities are? And since when is blogging a “job”? Of course, there are bloggers who are on payroll somewhere. For the majority of us, however, blogging is a hobby. It’s something we do in our free time because it entertains us.

The only responsibilities that I recognize as a blogger are the ones I choose for myself. If I feel like censoring, I will censor. If I don’t feel like it, I won’t. And I’ll be damned if I allow some stranger  to explain to me that the way I choose to spend my free time should follow some weird rules she dreamt up in her free time.

The funny things is that blogging is the only hobby I’m aware of that attracts so many censors and rule-setters. Can you imagine a skier or a stamp-collector being approached by officious do-gooders, telling her how to do her “job” of skiing or collecting stamps?

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Mainstream journalists hate us, bloggers, because they realize that we are the future of journalism. Many people rely on their favorite blogs for information, entertainment, company, opportunities to vent, make friends, ask for advice, share experiences, and do many other crucial things. A Douthat-like reporter who only knows how to disgorge a column filled with same old banalities once a week for a huge salary cannot really compete with a dedicated blogger who shares her or his multi-faceted reality with people every day and for free. This is why I really like the idea of the Versatile Blogger Award that recognizes bloggers who approach a variety of topics in a variety of ways.

I’ve been nominated for this award by Rachel A. Hanson who had the following to say about my blog:

An insightful blog talking about a variety of topics.  Definitely very versatile.  Sometimes Clarissa makes me laugh, sometimes she makes me think.  But always she  makes me want to be a better person.

Thank you, Rachel! This makes me very happy and also gives me a chance to promote some really cool bloggers.

Here are the conditions of the award:
1) Nominate 15 fellow bloggers

2) Inform the Bloggers of their nomination

3) Share 7 random things about yourself

4) Thank the blogger who nominated you

5) Post the award badge.

So here are the bloggers I would like to nominate. I don’t think I can get all the way to 15 because I want to nominate only the folks who are really and truly versatile:

Northern Gaijin is a Canadian blogger who is a veritable fount of useful information on a variety of issues. If you run out of blogging ideas, visit his blog and you are bound to found something curious and new. Besides, he posts amazing travel photos and beautiful restaurant reviews.

Spanish prof’s blog – When the blog was first started, it was defined as a blog for people who teach Spanish. It’s author, however, has so many things to say about politics, traveling, movies, makeup, money, etc. that the blog soonj became truly versatile and great fun to read.

The Anachronistic Aardvark not only discusses a variety of subjects on his blog. He also writes really well. This is one of those really good blogs that definitely deserve a wider readership.

Nominatissima is a blogger we all know and love. She is also a person who talks about a variety of subjects on her blog. Autism, student life, LGBTQ activism, foodie adventures, love, romance, politics – what a great blog, people! And she posts a lot, which is something I really like.

Dan Miller is a blogger whose research is always meticulous and whose posts on a wide variety of subjects are always very informative.

Danny of Danny’s Corner  is a blogger I really like and respect because he is very honest, he writes very well, and he always has a very unexpected approach to things. I never fail to feel enlightened after visiting his blog.

So these are the truly versatile bloggers I know and want to nominate.

And now 7 random facts about me:

1. The very first thing I do after getting out of bed in the morning is turn on my computer.

2. I always read, eat or watch videos in the bath-tub.

3. I spend at least 15 minutes every day staring at the sky.

4. I don’t like dessert. Unless the dessert is a piece of sausage.

5. I know a recipe called “hairy sausage” and will share it on this blog soon.

6. When I laugh at a joke, it’s usually just to be polite. Normally, I get the joke two days later and then have a real laugh.

7. You can figure out what my mood is every day by observing what kind of cup I drink my morning coffee from.

A New Page: An Announcement and a Question

I just created a new About page for the blog. I have noticed that whenever I alight on a new blog, the first thing I do is read the About page. And it’s kind of weird that I have no About page of my own. So I created it and you can take a look right here:

About Page.


I also have a question for those who are not experiencing an autistic fugue right now. Do you know what I need to do to move the pages around on a WordPress blog? Right now the About page is the last one, and I want to make it the first one. So how do I rearrange my pages? I’ve been trying to figure it out for 15 minutes but my mind is a complete blank.

Don’t Mess With Soviet Women!

What people don’t get is that they can’t just come to a person’s blog, skim a few posts, insult their professionalism, abuse the people they work with, and expect to be treated nicely in response. It is especially ludicrous to attack a Soviet woman and to expect not to be attacked in return.

We, the women who were born in the Soviet Union, are very powerful and aggressive. You try to bully us, and we will bully you right back in ways you are not likely to forget any time soon. Don’t expect a Soviet woman to crawl into a corner and feel all sad after she is insulted. If anybody is likely to sit there and cry in this situation, it’s the offender.

So if you want to offend people with impunity, you alighted on the wrong blog. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


Why AdSense Sucks

Reader oyiabrown asks:

Any chance you could expand on what are the grave limitations of AdSense by Google (mentioned above) – to a raw WordPress beginner, when you have a moment?

I’ve been waiting for somebody to ask me about this and now that this reader has, I’m happy to explain how Google AdSense works.

AdSense is a program that places ads on your blog and then gives you money whenever anybody clicks on them. It might work quite well for smaller blogs with very modest readerships. You might get your $30 every 6 months or so and have no major issues.

However, when a blog’s popularity grows and it starts making more money for the blogger, problems begin. AdSense uses every opportunity to shut down your account and keep the money you have accumulated in it. As soon as your AdSense account gets a few hundred dollars in it, be prepared for the AdSense to manufacture some pretext to close the account and keep the money.

What can those pretexts be? Well, anything that can be qualified as “suspicious clicking activity” (this is an official term used by AdSense). If the company decides that a certain reader has clicked too often or too much, this is grounds for termination. If you clicked on an ad on your own blog just once either from curiosity, to see how it works, or simply by mistake, your account will be terminated and you will never be able to start a new one even if you open a completely different blog 3 years later.

Also, if your blog is popular, it might start attracting trolls. A troll can maliciously get your account terminated by clicking on ads many times in rapid succession.

In many cases, accounts get terminated and AdSense keeps all the money in them for no discernible reason whatsoever. I’ve read dozens of complaints about it on the Blogger discussion forum, and the main problem is that there is no appealing such decisions. The account gets closed and there is nothing you can do.

P.S. I don’t use AdSense and the annoying ad that started appearing after the first post on the Home Page is something that I have neither requested nor have any control over. This is something that WordPress is doing to generate revenues for itself. I think it’s fair, albeit annoying to me, because the folks at WordPress provide really fantastic support to their bloggers.

A Freebie for Trolls

Dear trolls,

you keep leaving comments that are aimed at hurting my feelings. The problem is that you go about it in such a plodding, unimaginative way that you never achieve anything. I’m in a very good mood today, which is why I will share with you why your strategy is not working and how you could change it to be more productive in your labor.

Emotions always have an internal locus of control, which is why the source of every hurt and pain is always inside oneself. I know this is too complicated for you, trolls, so I will translate it for you. You can only hurt a person’s feelings by calling them a certain thing if that person has actively chosen to see that thing as hurtful. I understand that when you are dealing with a complete stranger, you project your own terrors onto him or her. But this is always a mistake because you are bound to meet somebody who is simply indifferent to all of the things that make you suffer.

This is why telling me that I’m:

a) ugly;

b) fat;

c) a Jew;

d) an autistic;

e) a typical academic;

f) old;

g) childless;

h) have bad hair;

i) an immigrant;

j) have no friends

serves no useful purpose for you. I don’t choose to invest these qualifiers with a negative meaning, which is why they cannot hurt my feelings. If you really want to hit me where it hurts, I have a freebie suggestion for you: remind me that I had an article rejected for publication in October. I still haven’t found a way to avoid feeling hurt by such things and I consider it a huge personal failing of mine that I feel this way about a normal part of an academic’s life.

Good luck in your trolling endeavors!

What Blogging Has Done for Me

1. Allowed me to improve my writing skills in English.

2. Got me to forget about the horror of a blank page. Before I started blogging, it took me forever to begin writing a new piece. Now I just sit down and write. Writing has become second nature.

3. Introduced me to many extremely intelligent, cool, and fun people. Every time I read the new comments to my posts, my faith in humanity is restored.

4. Allowed me to meet fantastic colleagues in my field and other academic fields. I now feel a lot less isolated professionally and intellectually.

5. Helped me to reduce my blood pressure dramatically.

6. Provided company and a great support network. Now wherever I go, I always have my readers and fellow bloggers accompanying me. It’s like always having a group of friends in your pocket. (I mostly read and answer comments on my BlackBerry.)

7. Taught me that sharing my experiences with people can be very liberating.

8. Gave me a new identity as a blogger. And it’s now one of my favorite identities.

9. Banished boredom from my life for good.

10. Helped me generate many important insights. You never know where you will arrive when you start thinking or arguing about any topic.

And what has blogging (either your own or that of others) done for you?

A Short Illustrated History of Clarissa’s Blog, Part III

Beware of the disillusioned colleague, a type of colleague who can become a scourge for a young professional.

This is a post where I expressed my profound disappointment with the political convictions of my students.

I feel really annoyed by a random person who recently wrote that I can’t possibly have anything of value to say about autism because I enjoy Ayn Rand’s novels. So here you go, random person, my post about Ayn Rand.

And this is a very touching (to me) post because I wrote it on the day I got married. This a a post I published two minutes before getting married. Yes, I am a very dedicated blogger.

Preparing to get married involves all kinds of humiliations for a woman. Here and here are two examples.

Right after I published this post, I got an email from Google AdSense informing them that their advertisers found my content to be offensive and they were closing down my account. (And keeping the $132 I had earned with them.) I wonder who the client that complained about me might be. Hmmm. . . Actually, I got several visits from that company to my blog.

I described the culture shock I experienced when perusing our local newspaper. I make really funny jokes when I get angry, so I highly recommend this post. My computer also had a funny Estonian accent at that time, and I decided not to correct it because it’s a nice memory.

This is why Wall Street banksters should be pitied rather than begged for compassion.

Why we need to believe that men are inept. It’s a great post and I’m very proud of it but it didn’t get a single comment when it was published. Maybe somebody would like to rescue it from commentless loneliness today?

I made a fool out of myself in front of a student. I’m still kind of embarrassed about that.

A response to a comment from A Real American Woman. Oh, this was fun.

My students try to figure out what machismo is.

(To be continued. . .)

A Short Illustrated History of Clarissa’s Blog, Part II

Since we’ve been talking about mothers-in-law recently, I thought people might enjoy this old post about the phenomenon of the obsessive mother-in-law.

Talking about mothers, this is a hilarious true story that happened to me.

This is the first post I ever wrote about the mail-order-bride business, and irate consumers of mail-order brides persecuted me for a long time for it.

This stupid book almost ruined my personal life, and when I wrote a post criticizing it, its author had the gall of coming to my blog to defend it. That jerk.

And this post angered organizers of a certain conference so much that they offered to pay for me to travel to their event and see for myself that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Of course, I didn’t take them up on the offer.

And this is my very first post on the silliness inherent in the word “privilege.” Since then, I have had to elaborate on this topic dozens of time because people don’t want to give up on their favorite pastime of privilege-scratching.

I try not to discriminate against groups of people. This, however, is one group that I dislike vehemently and profoundly. Oh, I can’t wait for my Fire to arrive. 🙂

Horrible events at Yale University prompted me to write the truth about the place.

This was a very popular and controversial early post where I ridiculed a column on a famous feminist blog that dispensed really idiotic advice about sex. I still love this post. This is the kind of post that makes me feel sorry that I have already written it and can’t write it again.

Hilarious stories from my first semester of teaching at my current school.

This post on mothers and weddings includes a funny story about my mother and my own wedding (the first one.)

An example of how an angry exchange between bloggers can lead to something great. It also demonstrates that even if I go off at you aggressively the first time I discover your existence, we can get to like each other eventually.

(To be continued. . . )