Ladies and gentlemen, I am an idiot.
Don't try to dissuade me, my mind is made up. I am a complete and utter idiot. It is 5am. Do you know what I've been doing for the past ... well, I'm not going to admit to how many hours, but do you know what I've been doing?
I've been updating my "Hoping to adopt" link list. For the past ∏ hours (that's pi, in case it doesn't show up properly). Although strictly speaking, pi is 3.14159265359 hours, and it was more than that. What's another mathematical symbol I could use? Come on, Microsoft Word, help me out here ... ℓ? ∞? ∑? ∂? Ω? Hmm ... well, let's settle for our old buddy i, the imaginary number. I updated for i hours.
I wanted to list blogs by state, first off. So I had to go through the blogs that didn't have a two-letter state designation next to them on my list.
I did that. I went through all the state-less blogs and added states where I could find them.
It looked messy; I didn't like it. I decided to list each state followed by the blogs that once had the state's abbreviation next to them. This took some time, but I was happy with how it looked. I felt that it was a bit neater, even if Utah was grossly overrepresented.
I looked at my list. There didn't seem to be many couples from Arizona listed. That bothered me. So I went to It's About Love and searched couples by state. Well, then, that was better. I checked each profile to see if the couple had a blog. I found a number of blogs for Arizona and updated my list. I was rather pleased with myself.
And then it occurred to me that a number of other states weren't well-represented on my list, either. So I searched by state again, first for California, then for a few Southern states. As with Arizona, I checked each profile for a blog listing. This took some time, but I finally felt I'd evened things out a bit and I was satisfied.
But then, I noticed a number of states I could search for that weren't represented on my list at all. Well, I had to do something about that, didn't I? Again, I searched profiles.
After an hour or two I gave up my pretense of looking for certain states, and began searching every state alphabetically. I skipped a few initially. Idaho had 100 couples listed, and I didn't feel like going though them. Utah had over 400 listed, and I wasn't even going to go there, as the saying goes.
I skipped 5 or 6 states because they had a lot of couples listed, and made a note of which ones I'd skipped, so I could go back to them later. My blog list grew, and I was terribly proud of myself for listing so many wonderful couples. Satisfied, I decided to get a snack.
Six Reese's Miniatures later, I started to think. That's always a dangerous thing, let me tell you. I still had the LDSFS tab up in my browser. Well, I thought to myself, Washington only had 35 couples. I could handle that.
Handle it I did, and I listed several more blogs. I turned again to the list of states I'd skipped. It hardly felt right not to look at Nevada, since it's right next to Arizona. And if I could handle 35 in Washington, I could handle 27 in Nevada. Again I skimmed profiles for blog listings. Again I added to my list. I was even more proud of myself, and treated myself to two more Reese's.
Now I only had three states on my skipped list. I can't ignore Texas, I thought. There were only 35 couples there, and besides, my dad used to live in Texas, and he'd always liked it there.
Idaho and Utah remained on my list. "I'll check them later," I told myself. The Discovery channel was repeating the "Mammals" episode of their miniseries "Life," and I wanted to see the elephant shrew again. The fact that it was nearing 2am didn't register as a reason to turn my computer off. I hadn't checked Facebook in nearly five hours, after all.
The tiny elephant shrew outran a lizard, and I cheered. I had a stick of string cheese and contemplated my productive night of blog-tweaking. I looked over my blog list again.
Oh, what the heck, I thought. I clicked on Idaho. 100 couples was only 10 pages of profiles. I could handle that! And handle it I did, checking each and every profile for a blog mention. I added several more blogs to my list while a baby elephant got stuck in the mud.
Finally, triumphantly, I finished Idaho. My blog list looked fantastic. And Utah was, after all, still the biggest list I had, so I didn't need to check profiles for links.
"The Deadliest Catch" came on. I got bored. A logical person would have gone to bed at this point. Well, actually, a logical person would have gone to bed hours ago, but I digress. I wasn't tired.
Wouldn't it be something, I thought, if I went through Utah as well? That would be a monumental achievement. I wondered if anyone had ever gone through the whole of LDSFS's couple profiles before, all 943 of them. Well, I thought, I'm more than halfway there already. And so, fueled by an unholy amount of refined sugar, I clicked. And clicked, and clicked. Utah had 428 couples listed. I did some quick math in my head - no small feat, considering that quick math is not a forte of mine with pen and paper. That was 43 pages.
No, no, I thought. This was madness. I needed to get to bed already. I was getting tired, and there wasn't anything good to watch on TV. But I'd already started. Okay, I thought. A few more pages. I'll do half.
I did half. I added link after link after link. My fingers flew over the keyboard and I half expected the letters to wear off on A, H, R, E, F, :, /, and ". Because, you see, I decided a number of years ago that I could remain morally superior to the latecomers to the blogging world (I started my first in 1997) by continuing to write my own HTML - ALL of my own HTML.
I repeat: I am an idiot.
It got to the point where I almost wept when a couple listed a blog. What IS it with you Utahns and your blogs? Will LDSFS in Utah not approve you to adopt unless you start a blog?
I was getting crabby and bitter, so around 4am I decided to take a shower. Dell laptops do not cool themselves well and my lap was getting sweaty. The break didn't do me the good I'd have hoped. I saw blogs when I closed my eyes. The phrase "We're a fun couple!" echoed in my ears.
Less sweaty and a bit more relaxed, I returned to my computer. I added link upon link. The English language started to look funny to me. Quotation marks turned into Sanskrit. I spent five minutes pondering the shape of a lower-case letter A.
And then, the inevitable happened. I'd finished profiles number 381-390. The end was near! I clicked on "next" and waited for a list to appear. I was puzzled when I saw the page that loaded. I hit F5. Same thing. Disbelieving, I looked at the page before me.
40 couples from the end, my search had timed out.
I laughed the laugh of the damned. I wept. I pounded on my keyboard. I had another stick of string cheese.
I may not have broken any records. To paraphrase Elaine Benes: They say no one's ever made it to the end of the list before. But gentlemen, I tell you now, I have come as close as anyone has ever gotten.
I clicked through 900 profiles.
And now I'm going to bed.