Friday, October 25, 2013


**Readers, send in those crock pot recipes!

The shed has sat unfinished for another week.  The floor is still not sealed, the singular job that stands between me and Saturday morning yoga with my girlfriends.  An unsealed floor has NOT kept away a brigade of teenaged boys who show up every night with bats and gloves to practice baseball.  I am now convinced of the necessity of installing more parking spaces.  They're full every night.

I'm on the home stretch with my YA novel and facing the dilemma of what to do next.  Traditional publishing has become so difficult that I'm tempted to do it independently.  But marketing!  The question of marketing looms like Mordor.  It clenches my gut with fear.

Speaking of fear, what's the scariest movie you ever saw?  Team Testosterone has asked us and I still say Scream is the scariest.  That whole opening scene where Drew Barrymore is alone in the house--with all those windows--and the phone rings.  I'm freaked out just thinking about it in broad daylight ... alone in my house ... in front of a window ...  I don't care for slasher/gore movies, there's nothing scary about gross and it certainly does not substitute for suspense, but most filmmakers fail to appreciate that.  The Birds would be the second scariest because mass amounts of anything is just WRONG. 

And speaking of fear, I used to be afraid of spiders.  Irrational and silly, but it's true.  Anything with eight legs, no matter how miniscule, would send me shrieking out of a room. 

Once upon a time when I was a freshman in college I lived in a dorm.  Our dorm rooms had keypad locks on the doors, which were a joke because everyone had access to everyone else's room as the combinations were about as private as Miley Cyrus's nipples.  I worked third shift at this restaurant about a mile off campus (which in itself was a nightmare I never want to experience again).  One night I walked home at the end of my shift--alone, clutching my rape whistle in my right hand, nervously walking FAST past the soccer field at four in the morning.  That walk home always made me tense.

Upon reaching my dorm, I let myself in the side entrance, climbed the stairs to the second floor, and headed to the communal bathroom in the middle of the hallway.  (Yes, kids, back in Olden Times college kids used one big communal shower per floor and the toilets were housed in metal stalls like you still find in restaurants and airports.  Privacy was not extended to us in terms of space, like single rooms or apartment-style living.  Perhaps as a response to limited privacy, college coeds managed to keep themselves fully clothed while out in public, buttocks and cleavage concealed from the general population.)

I reached that bathroom and entered a toilet stall.  On the seat and crawling across the floor were SPIDERS!  OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!  AIYEEEEEE!  My screams echoed through the second floor of Sims Hall and panic flooded through my veins.  I plastered myself against the cold metal wall of the stall and cringed in terror.  It took me a minute to realize the spiders were fake.  Plastic.  Oh.  ha ha ha.

I kicked the plastic spiders aside, relieved my bladder and returned to my dorm room for my shower supplies (because the restaurant job coated skin, hair and clothes with a pungent layer of grease).  Plastic bucket in hand, stripped naked beneath my bathrobe, towel draped over my arm, I entered the communal shower. 

Clustered around the drain were SPIDERS!  OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!  AIYEEEEEE!  Naked, I jumped around and shrieked in fear.  It took me a minute to realize the spiders were fake.  Plastic.  Oh.  ha ha ha.

Embarrassed now because someone's prank had made an ass of me TWICE, I showered and quietly returned to my room.  After drying off and pulling on jammies, I turned back the sheets on my bed.  There, on my pillow and fitted sheet were more SPIDERS!  OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!  AIYEEEEEE!  I backed away from my bed, terrified and slapping at the covers to make them GO AWAY.  It took me a minute to realize the spiders were fake.  Plastic.  Oh.  ha ha ha.

My roommate and our pal, Mel, now stood behind me doubled over with laughter.  Funny, funny girls.  They'd staged the whole thing while I was at work--hilarious to watch me scared out of my head.  I went to sleep pissed off at both of them.

The next morning I opened our mini fridge to get a carton of yogurt.  Oh yeah, you can bet what I found. 

And that, reader, is what cured me of my irrational fear of spiders.  The shame of being such an easy target for merry pranksters like Mel and Kelly outweighed any terror of tiny legs scrambling over my skin and tiny fangs sinking through my flesh.  I'm not saying I'd pick up a spider and make friends with it, but I've never screamed or run away from a spider since that night at college.

Spill it, reader.  Your most irrational fear.


  1. Death. But is that so irrational? Bugs and clowns and stuff like that I can deal with.

  2. Snakes. Just seeing the word makes me shiver.

  3. Not that I'm laughing at your pain, but ... that spider story is really funny.

    I'm afraid of mice. You know, those cute, furry little creatures that I outweigh by, like, 700 pounds? Yeah.

  4. Dogs, snakes, attack rabbits, and vicious chipmunks. Some people say that my fear of heights is irrational, but it seems perfectly rational to me. I also think my fear of dogs is very reasonable. I know from experience that they have sharp teeth.

  5. Sssnnnnaaaakes. I cannot handle even looking a photo of one in a book. Nearly makes me faint... seriously.

  6. Watching medical procedures. I don't mind undergoing them, but I'd rather no one explained what was actually happening, and I certainly don't want to see it. It makes me faint.

  7. I want to come do yoga in your so-called shed...

    "Silence of the Lambs" was, by far, the scariest movie I ever saw.

    My most irrational fear? Possibly snakes.

  8. scary movie: I don't seek them out, but BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was pretty good, and irrational fears? HOW CAN I NAME JUST ONE????? when there are so many :)

  9. So many fears.....the biggest one is the dark. Anything can be in the dark, just waiting for you. Snakes ranks closely 2nd....knowing that they used ton enjoy your compost area makes me obviously hesitant to add to your compost. Scariest movie? The Much. Suspense.

  10. hmm, irrational fears, not really. I was cured of fear for spiders, snakes, mice and what not by little brothers and their friends by the time I was about 9. They leave you alone if they don't get a response that brings them glee.

    rational fears? now there are a few, farmguy getting caught in some machinery, outliving any of my children or grandchildren, ice on the roads..... there may be a few more.

  11. June bugs. I hate the way they dive at doorways and windows, the sound of their bodies hitting any hard surface, and if - God forbid - one lands on you, it's feet are sticky. I'm shuddering just thinking about them!

    I DO NOT do scary movies. At all. I can't even deal with the commercials. In fact, I just saw a Kmart commercial that had a way-too-scary clown face at the end. Bring on Thanksgiving!

  12. I don't do scary movies -- not even the farces.
    Also, I am with ChaCha on the issue of mice. I'm eyeing the ceiling fixtures as I type this.

  13. To this day, ( and I'm getting up there high enough for a nosebleed,) I cannot watch horror movies, not even in the light of way, no how, notta!!!!!!! I Ain't gonna do it.
    I don't particularly like the gnarling sight of an angry wolf...I'd soon shootum. and the scream of a bobcat...gads, sounds like a screaming baby in the middle of the swamp..geeez. But, (with great reservation at this moment)
    Life is Still Good

  14. Mice. It used to be mice, bats & snakes, but Pat's worked on me over the years and gotten it down to just mice.

    After seeing Blair Witch Project, I was terrified of walking to the car. No joke.

  15. Oh definitely spiders! No sign of being cured either - there was a giant hairy one outside our bedroom door on holiday last year, I got the kids to chase it outside only to find it back in the same spot the next night, it was stalking me!

  16. The fear that comes when one walks into a spider web....................what are we so scared of unless there is a deadly spider in the web nothing is going to happen to us except getting sticky yucky stuff over us and needing a shower to feel clean again.

  17. Being in a car that plummets off the side of a mountain. It's bad enough I take Xanax if I'm not driving. It was a recurring nightmare in my childhood.

    I love the idea of Saturday morning Yoga classes.

  18. My most irrational fear is that you'll stop writing stories like this one, where you fell for the joke again and again and again (and again?). Bahahahahaahahaha!

  19. Oh, I had forgotten about Silence of the Lambs. Scary! Children of the Corn made me give up scary movies. I was afraid of corn fields for years.
    I was wickedly afraid of dogs for most of my life. I had some nasty encounters with a few when young, and thus became paralyzed with fear any time a dog I didn't know came near me. Getting a large dog for the farm finally got me over it. Still not exactly a dog lover, but not paralyzed anymore.
    That prank your friends played on you...Awesome. Sorry, it's just plain funny that they put those spiders in so many places and got you with all of them.

  20. My most irrational fear? Sharks. I think of them when I am swimming in a lake or even in the pool at the YMCA. Even large fish freak me out. I'm crazy.

    Scariest movie? The Exorcist. I can never make it all the way through that movie in one sitting. So scary. Halloween too. And Scream. Oh, there are so many!


Spill it, reader.