Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer of Fear: Spider crab, Spider crab

THIS IS A REAL LIVING THING. Spider crabs are the physical embodiment of every nightmare in the history of the world. It is a real live monster. When I see it sitting there, up against the glass at the aquarium, I can sense it fantasizing about eating my head. And I'll bet it would make that fake hissy movie spider noise when it attacks, too. WHAT KIND OF WORLD WOULD ALLOW SUCH A THING TO EXIST.

Worst. Creature. Ever.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer of Fear: Chucky

One thing I love about the long history of horror films is how each decade his its own unique type of horror film that's a product of new generations of filmmakers, new technology, culture, politics, media, and so on. They each have something special to offer. The 50's were a fantastic time for creature features, the 60's for psychological, suspenseful scares, the 70's got a lot bloodier and gruesome, really running with the serial killer trend. Then there were the 80's.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer of Fear: Heights (...and Falling From Them)

Earlier this month I went on a little mini-vacation for a weekend-long, outdoors workshop for women. If this already sounds interesting to you, they have these "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" workshops all over the country, and I absolutely loved mine. You spend a lot of time in a natural setting, you learn all sorts of new things from awesome instructors, and it's a great opportunity to meet new friends. True story, I met three other librarians without even trying. We sort of gravitate to each other that way, it's a beautiful thing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer of Fear Not Scared! Edition: Triskaidekaphobia

When I was young, I once read a book all about superstition. The only topic from it that stuck with me was about why we say "Bless you" after someone sneezes. The author said it had come from a superstition that our souls could escape or could otherwise be vulnerable to evil forces. Looking back on this now, it appears the author was not necessarily right. Good ol' Snopes.

Either way, it had a tremendous impact on me. Being a curious child who was taught to think critically about the information I received, I reacted appropriately. "That's ridiculous," I thought. "I don't believe that, so I'm going to stop saying 'Bless you.'" And I did-- from that day on, I never again uttered those words after a sneeze. Even if that isn't the real origin, I still see no reason to bless anybody because of a sneeze. I'm not religious, blessing things has no significance to me. And we don't feel compelled to bless anybody after they cough or vomit or anything. Why the sneeze? Sorry Snopes, but your explanation just isn't good enough to get me to start it up again. Doing something just because we've always done it is a poor reason to continue any irrational practice.

While this superstition is pervasive, it doesn't have an intense psychological effect on anyone, as far as I know. I've never had anyone sneeze, panic, grab me and scream "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BLESS ME OR WE'RE BOTH GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL."

There are others that can create serious phobias, with the most well-known being triskaidekaphobia.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer of Fear: Stage Fright

One fear that I think almost every single human being has in common is that of stage fright. Even experienced performers and speakers regularly admit to feeling anxiety before they do whatever it is they do in front of an audience: sing, dance, speak, tell jokes... juggle man-eating poodles while riding a unicycle? Not sure about that last one.

Being usually human, I too suffer from this condition. I'm neither a novice who craves the anonymity of the audience, nor an experienced pro. I'm somewhere in the no-man's land between. I've danced a little, I've done music, I teach classes at the library I work at, and I've even experienced the enviable opportunity to be an zombie extra on a small local stage for a musical "Night of the Living Dead." (Thanks Ali!)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer of Fear: Spiders

Let’s start with something easy and funny to talk about. Something universal. Arachnophobia is a very common fear, and I've suffered from it for as long as I can remember. Spiders are everywhere, both in real life and the media we consume. And they are horrid. I don’t even understand our need to create imaginary monsters, because we have them: nature gave them to us, free of charge.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Summer of Fear

Numbers. Let’s talk numbers from the past year. I’m getting bad vibes from the number two. I’ve been through: two cars, two human deaths, two back injuries. On my second car, I’ve been through two semi-expensive repairs. What does it all mean? It means after also having to put my 18 year old cat to sleep last month, I feel like I’ve got another death hanging over my head, just waiting to happen.

So going through all of that is, oddly, not conducive to writing. You’re supposed to use emotional things like this to fuel your art, right?