Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hey, Go Google Yourself

(or, The Many Faces of Amy Cates)

If you've never Googled yourself, you should. You can learn a lot about your alter egos, scattered about in various parts of the world and using your name as if it were theirs.

Be warned. This is not for the thin-skinned. Google is to paranoia what Lortab is to a recovering addict. Very dangerous. I work where? When did I write that? Why are these people saying these things about me? When did I get a Facebook account?

Among the things I've apparently done and not known about:

* Amy Cates was called as the Associate Minister of First Christian Church in the spring of 2007 (Tullahoma, TN)

* Amy Cates, John Nowlin Elementary, Assignment: Third Grade (As a student? A teacher?)

* Amy Cates is a dentist specializing in General Dentistry in the city of DACULA, Georgia

* Amy Cates is a 1999 graduate of Transylvania University. (Is this near DACULA, Georgia?)

* Amy Cates says, "Man who fears suffering is already suffering what he fears most." Amy Cates is friends with Chrissie Bennett. (Sounds like Chrissie Bennett needs to find some new friends.)

* Amy Cates was thanked for masterfully compiling the data into a very readable format. (This may really be me. I am known for my masterful compilations.)

* To obtain a copy of 'Mathematics Education in Rural Communities: An Essay on the Parameters of Respectful Research,' contact Amy Cates. (Please don't. Really, please don't. If I go back through my files and find that I really wrote something like this, I will be very sad.)

* Amy Cates will be preaching. (Some people I live with say that I actually do this.)

* In the recital hall, we were greeted by the soothing sound of Amy Cates playing 'We Are Walking in the Light of God' on the violin. (If I had been playing the violin, this might have signaled the end of the world.)

* A properly conducted competitive analysis will provide the feedback necessary to give you an edge in your market, by Amy Cates. (Wait -- I really did write this for MasterCard. Sounds pretty slick, doesn't it?)

In other Google searches, I found that I:
* ran a road race in the Cherokee Land Run
* work at the Texas Water Development Board
* majored in music education at Indiana State University
* once said that the adjacent beach depends on the jetty for its nourishment (I think I might have said that once. Because it's true. Those jetties are pretty vital.)

But the real paranoia was sparked when I read this excerpt: "Seems the writer's strike has affected more than those who write for sitcoms. Last month produced a dismal number of Christmas card letters..." And that's all I can find when I clicked from Google to the meevee.com website. The disturbing part is that I wrote (but never posted) an entire essay about the Christmas Card Letter Writers Strike in mid-January, but ultimately decided it was a little late and I was way past sick of Christmas by that point and already planning my spring break. I've cut and pasted my first few lines here, taken directly from my library of drafts:

"Seems the writers strike has affected more than those who write for sitcoms. Last month produced a dismal number of Christmas card letters. I feel victimized, really, as if there were a big party and I wasn't invited. I feel deprived of the annual updates and entertainment." This unposted blurb appears on the meevee site with a tiny prelude about how it was found when someone crawled Blogger, whatever that means.

Oh, this is a whole new level of paranoia for me. First the identity theft that has me preaching, running road races and practicing dentistry; now the crawling. I feel like Sandra Bullock in The Net. Thanks, Al Gore!

My best move may be to forget my worries, pull out my violin and play some soothing sounds, maybe run a road race later in the day, extract a few teeth.......