Monday, January 29, 2007


My mother would be so proud. This past Saturday, something happened to me that I had given up thought of ever happening, so much so that the possibility of it never even crossed my mind when I started opening the envelope with my name on it, the one with no return address.

I pulled out the greenish, rectangular paper, immediately let out a laugh and ran into the bedroom to show my wife—I needed corroboration that I was, in fact, looking at what I seemed to be looking at.

“You’re never going to guess what I just received in the U.S. Mail,” I said, barely believing it myself. “Okay, I’m never going to guess, so just tell me,” she replied, and rather too logically for the gush of emotion that had begun swelling in my chest, I thought.

I began dramatically. “I’m holding in my hand…”


“…a check…”

(Here’s where she thinks it’s going to be one of those $0.10 rebate checks from some PopTarts box-top mail-in offer or something. She thinks she’s ahead of me. Well…)

“Yes?” she repeated, a smidgen of impatience coloring her curiosity.

“…for $102.06…”

That got her attention! She put down the magazine she was holding, her ears suddenly all colored with curiosity as well.


“Yes?! Damn it, just spill!” Impatience just scribbled all over the coloring book in deep magenta.

“…from Google!” I was sporting a grin large enough to make Mr. Sardonicus weep with envy.

Yes, it’s true. Just a little over two years from the day I first put those Ads by Google on the sidebar of this blog, ads that some say sullied the appearance and/or integrity of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, ads that some thought were, and I’m surely paraphrasing here, “cool,” I finally got paid. In the very same way that whenever a bell rings an angel gets his wings, whenever an SLIFR reader clicks on one of those little ads on their way to and/or from another post or another link to another web site, a miniscule amount of currency gets registered on the SLIFR account. Some apparently do very well with this system—they’ll get a check from Google every month for services rendered and suckers delivered. But Google won’t cut a check unless you’ve made at least $100, and once that milestone has been reached another $100 has to be built up before another check gets sent. In the early days, I used to keep track of how much money I was making per day. It was never very much (“Hey, I racked up 18 cents today!”). One day I think I actually made close to a dollar. The amounts were always so infinitesimally small that I began to feel ridiculous looking in on them so frequently. Eventually I fell out of the habit of looking in altogether.

Two years later, I got a check.

For perversity’s sake, I decided I wanted to know just how much $102.06 worked out to be per post. Okay, well, according to my Blogger stats, the “Open Forum: Oscar Talk et al” was the 418th post I’ve recorded since I began this adventure. And now that I’m in the process of re-familiarizing myself with my elementary school gazintas, I was able to figure out that dividing 418 into 102.06 would provide me the answer I so desperately sought. So a-dividing I went:

418 = 0.24416267942583732057416267942584

For you laymen, that works out to be a shade under 25 cents per post.

I’d adjust that for 2007 dollars, but all that figurin’ has apparently already been done for me, so it is what it is. (If I wanted to turn heady frivolity into a plunge toward futility with lightning speed, I’d figure out how much $102.06 translated into per word.)

But you know what, it wasn’t hard to forget about the Google get-rich-quick plan, because getting paid was never what I expected when I got into all this. Now that I have been somewhat humbly rewarded, it’s nice, sure, but it’s not going to make me change my ways and suddenly get all evangelistic about people clicking my sidebar. (Whoops? Was that a double entendre? If so, I’m so proud. I don’t recall if I’ve ever purposely written one before! It must be that sudden influx of cash making me feel all flushed!)

The new year has so far found me with far less time to be able to devote to SLIFR than at any other time in the blog’s short history, and the awareness of that fact has been weighing on my mind. I’ve got plenty on tap that I want to write about, and good folks like Paul Clark (an upcoming year-end survey), Adam Ross (a new feature called “Friday Screen Tests”), Mike Phillips (the upcoming 1927 Blog-a-Thon) and Jim Emerson (the upcoming Contrarian Blog-a-Thon) have helped to make sure that I stay busy on this site and elsewhere. And, as silly as it sounds, that meager little check, which helped pay for my seeing Babel and The Last King of Scotland this past weekend, and will contribute to my catching up with The Good Shepherd and Volver this coming Saturday night, has served more as a kindly reminder that I’m not in this for the money, but instead for the love of movies, and for what they mean to me and the people around me.

That said, it is $102.06. Even at only 25 cents a pop, does this mean I’m a professional now?!


Burbanked said...

Your delight is so infectious I'm contemplating clicking on every money-making link in your sidebar until my fingers are sore, broken and mangled.

And satisfied. Sore, broken, mangled and satisfied.

Congrats on the windfall! Do you have plans to sell out now?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Cozzalio,

Congratulations on your recent windfall. We hope you enjoy your income earnings and use it wisely.

Best regards,
The Internal Revenue Service

The 'Stache said...

Wow, those ads do work. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Congrats. At .25 cents a post, you have found the get rich quick scheme! All you have to do is start posting constantly. If you can crank out... 40 posts an hour, 40 hours a week, you would have a solid 20K in supplimental income a year. Sounds like a solid business decision.

Mr Ponzi, Financial Advisor

P.S. It is always nice to get rewarded, no matter how small, for something you love to do.

Mr. Middlebrow said...

Just as I always suspected: You are a shameless, mercenary sellout. :^P

Seriously, that's a nice little ladle of gravy. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I always feel good about myself when I click on the ads in someone else's site, especially when I'm not even interested in the ad. Call me a philanthropist....

Cerb Chaos said...

Let me just say that after I read this post I clicked all three of the ads. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

I was so impressed by this, I went and clicked on all three ads--two of which alarmed me so much that I afterwards went and cleared my history, my cookies, my cache, and reset Safari (my browser--yes, I use a Mac). But hopefully it will still earn you .0002 cents. I have seen how much time and work it takes for you to compose just one of these postings, and I know it's worth many times more than .25 per article. Still, I'm happy to know that you're finally being paid, and yes, you're a professional--or at least you write as well as one...really better than most.

Congratulations! $102.06 buys a number of movie tickets, even in these times!


Dennis Cozzalio said...

Thanks, everybody.

Now, what was the name of that song Teyve sings near the beginning of Fiddler on the Roof?...

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