One of the great, abiding pleasures of blogging is that you know when someone is searching for you. It shows up right there in your stats: Kevin Neilson. This was oddly reassuring, I confess, when I was actively looking for work and interviewing with companies. I’m happy to report that not a single prospect guffawed at my readerly (and wannabe writerly) pursuits. Presumably reading the best stuff that’s ever been written and trying one’s damnedest to say something cogent about it isn’t frowned upon among captains of commerce and barons of the bottom line. That’s a great reassurance. Anyhow, there’s a closely related pleasure to watching your name percolate up among one’s stats — and that’s enjoying the freakishly bizarre search terms that wash up on the shore of your blog. Good lord, how odd they are! How strange and awesomely entertaining they can be! Some make sense and remind me of a post completed long ago, “schopenhauer and the clouds,” which calls me back to some of the first blogs I ever posted on D. Mitchell. Same with “pictures of the lord in the clouds” and “millennium falcon blueprint,” and even “a flock of seagulls dreams come.” These all come from my engagement, a mixture of pleasure and disappointment, with the preeminently polite Englishman. Ah, here’s another one, “looking for businesses on first floor,” which must have landed some poor sucker on my Mezzanine post. Of course, no blogger’s stats would be complete without the perfectly random and at times highly puzzling search terms that pertain to sex and all of its glorious sexinastication. Some smack of voyeurism, “plump women in public + candid,” while others are more straightforward, almost like a plea or a question mark, “girls stimuli,” and some waft of sexual perversion, “b.ed merth up,” which probably has something to do with my post about a bed scene in The House of Mirth, written in 2010 during my Wharton spree. Some search terms are gifts and wise reminders, “true contentment depends not upon what we have; a tub was large enough for diogenes” or “nature-of-reality nature-of-reality nature-of-reality nature-of-reality nature-of-reality.” I’m just guessing here, but I’m pretty sure this last search term has something to do with the nature of reality. But my favorite search terms of all, the ones that make me scratch my head in complete and utter astonishment or give me a good belly laugh, are the search terms where my name shows up in unlikely places, “kevin neilson of majic 100+sickness,” or where the search terms don’t make any sense whatsoever, “freckles skinned from russia in 1850s.” This last one is in a class by itself and deserves an award or a nice frame of some sort, something to set off its grandeur from all the rest: “how to build a fire by robert louis stevenson.” It never fails to cheer me up. Ever.