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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The REF’s are BACK!

My wife lucked out that I am not one of these guys that is obsessed with sports, sports trivia, who follows every sport, knows the stats of all the players, and goes into withdrawal if there isn’t something with sports on the radio or television.
I do not enjoy going to the CHIEFS games at Arrowhead Stadium as I have a much better and cheaper seat at home in my living room.  If you never have experienced a game at Arrowhead Stadium it is something to behold at least once in your life.  Kansas City is famous for tail gating and Barbeque, so the magnificent array of food and barbeque you could encounter in the parking lot before the game will blow you away.  The Chiefs may have their ups and down but Kansas City Fans Love their Football.  They have to be some of the most friendliest and loyal fans from all across the NFL.
The Sea of RED!
Arrowhead Stadium is an open Stadium and still it is recorded every year as being one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, largely because of the fanatical fans and all the noise they make.
One thing they do at Arrowhead I have always disagreed with but it is Representative of the Fanaticism of Chiefs Fans.  At the end of the National Anthem where the words to the song would be “Home of the brave,” the Crowd will say in a DEEP TONE “CHIEFS” instead of brave!  I had never heard people intentionally mess with the national anthem at a sporting event before going to Arrowhead Stadium.  For those that visit and have never experienced it and are not expecting it, it is quite daunting to say the least.  I really don’t think the people of Kansas City are doing it to be blatantly disrespectful to our country as it is a statement that given the choice of government or national symbols or football, they would choose football!
Back to Football!  I don’t know the names of all the positions, I don’t keep track of the names of all the players, and I sure as hell don’t know all the rules.  I couldn’t begin to even figure out how to make a Fantasy Football league because of my extreme ignorance in the area.  My Love of Football comes from something else entirely.  As anyone who watches football knows anything can and will happen eventually during a football game.
As a student of history, warfare, management, being an Operations Manager of a very fast moving and dynamic company, I love the multitude of elements that have to come together at the right time and place all in sequence in order for a team to play well and win together.
Where else except in companies or the military do you have the different divisions and teams with personnel that move between the divisions?  Offense, Defense and Special Teams.
You have levels and varieties of coaches, just as companies and armies have multitudes of managers and commanders to instruct, train and lead the divisions that make up the teams.
The players, of every type imaginable with varying personalities, talents, and skills they each bring their own unique stuff to the battle.  Obviously to win your players must play well, execute, and make stuff happen when it needs to happen.  Individual talent and skill is just as important as all of them working in concert together and playing as a team.
The Strategy – or the plays of the game, clock management, endurance of the team, or sometimes just good old fashioned dumb luck.
The Fans – Who get to participate, and watch the carnage which is football play out for more than just our entertainment.  It goes so far beyond that for the fans.  The players become role models, idols, and our champions.
Every part of Football directly correlates to a company or an army fighting a war!  It all has to come together seamlessly, in concert, all together for it to work the way it is supposed to.  That is what I see when I am watching a football game.  So I watch my Kansas City Chiefs, and other games if I get the chance.  I love watching the elements and aspects of the mix play out through the various battles that are waged each week by the teams of the NFL.
The Referees are the watchdogs of the players on the field, the rules, the penalties, and the clock!
As we all saw in the first few weeks of the football season this year, it isn’t as easy as it looks.  Granted even the professional Ref’s make mistakes and questionable calls from time to time but it isn’t anything like what we witnessed without them.  I personally and glad they are back!
Just as the world comes together with the Olympics every two years, I would love to see the Universal NFL in my lifetime.  Where continents have divisions that play during the regular football season, the winners of the continental teams play a tournament through February to May to determine the world champions at football.  I understand the biggest hang-up to this is football to the rest of the world is what we American’s call soccer!
If the idea of nationality and patriotism versus football could be spread around the world it could very well lead to World Peace, more cheerleaders, and more FOOTBALL!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don’t Bullshit A Fiction Writer

I should have known in High School when I convinced a kid, that a guy in my neighborhood had Reindeer that he kept in his backyard because he trained them to fly for Santa Claus that I would someday end up as a writer.  I never had a clue!  My BS meter has always been stuck in overdrive as being able to spot it and never missing an opportunity to mess with somebody with some wild tall tale.

I remember being told all the time to pay attention and quit day dreaming, and I am so glad I never listened to them or stopped fantasizing about crazy what if scenarios.  Looking back I am sure I was paying attention, probably more so than most people.  I think that is one of the premier traits of a writer and storyteller, is paying attention to those little details which are not noticed by most.  It is our hyper curiosity and attention to detail that makes us ask questions.
The answers to those questions lies at the heart of the plots we twist, motivations for our characters and the attention to detail allows us to tie it all together in a way the reader or listener to our tale didn’t see coming.  The result is the magical moment when it all comes together, or that the writer steps past reality and makes the unbelievable possible and tickles the reader’s imagination and wonder in the process.
Fiction Writers turn bullshit into reality every day.  It’s our job.  We have to be the most open minded flexible thinkers on the planet.  We routinely research facets of all kinds of silly stuff to avoid coming off as maroons to our following of readers.  Most fiction writers read as much if not more than our reading fans.  We spend way too much time checking the tiny little details about products, events, train time schedules, maps, travel guides, and millions of other tidbits of useless information.  If other fiction writers are like I am in many cases we take notes on all this stuff so we can refer back to our notes while we are writing.  We know tidbits about useless crap that Wikipedia and Google would have to look up!  Again, it’s our job!  So don’t try and BS a Fiction Writer.  Most of our friends already know that nobody plays trivia games with us for the very same reason.  You will lose!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Literary Stephen King History Tidbit

In 1996, on September 24, author Stephen King, released two new novels at once.  The first, “Desperation,” was released under Mr. King’s name, while the second one, “The Regulators,” was published under his pseudonym, or pen name, Richard Bachman.

King’s first book “Carrie” was sold to Doubleday for $2,500 and the paperback rights a few months later earned $420,000.  He has been a prolific writer from the start with six novels being credited to and published under the name Richard Bachman.

Mr. King’s books have sold more than three hundred million copies!

Red Flashlight Lens Covers and Laser Blips

When you bore sight the main gun of a tank it dialing in the actual direction the main gun tube is aiming and the targeting lasers that the tank uses.  To do this you use a laser which literally gets mounted into the gun tube of the tank, so the gunner can adjust his gun sights to the spot on a giant white target created by the laser in the gun.  What the gunner sees all day while doing this exercise is a red dot on a white back ground when they hit the button on the targeting laser.

One tiny part of tank training is teaching young officers how to bore sight their tank and adjust the gun sights accordingly.
It just so happened that our unit had ordered that nobody use the red flash light lens covers on their flashlights anymore and to ensure this didn’t happen several of us privates were ordered to go around to the different company headquarters and collect these, green linin bags filled with the red plastic flashlight lens covers.  We had bags of them.  We were ordered to collect them, what they neglected to tell us, is where to take them or what to do them once we had collected them.

PFC Houlk, who is probably still in the service, and probably still a PFC, Private First Class.  There is a particular type of soldier which will attain this rank and never get past that point their entire time in the service due to continuous minor infractions of assorted sorts.
Anybody who was ever in the service will remember these troublesome but hilarious people, because they are the comic relief for a way too serious Army, or whatever branch of service you happened to be in.  PFC Houlk, had managed without being noticed to not only get these many bags of flashlight lens covers out to the gun range, but had ran around the target area emptying the contents of the bags before we started bore sighting with a new group of lieutenants.

As Privates are the bottom rung of the NCO staff in the service, Lieutenants are the lowest rung on the officer staff in the service.  So right out of college, through Officer Candidate School, OCS, and you’re what is known as a 90 day wonder, a new super commander Officer looking to take over the world.  Second Lieutenant’s Rank is a Single Gold Bar on the shoulder or collar.  To be an Officer is to be in command and they must be saluted by the NCO’s, which is Non-commissioned Officers, or everybody else under them.
What some officers never figure out is that not all Privates are dumb asses and even though we never made it through college before being dumb enough to join the service we might have a few tricks up our sleeves also.  Again let me point out that these are college graduates!  But they did graduate college and then decide to join the service which should be an indication of needing some mental or career counseling!

The Officers would use our tanks for training and each one would take his turn adjusting the sights, firing the lasers and all they would see on the targets all day long were little red dots on a white background.  At the end of the day, PFC Houlk and a few co-conspirators passed out the green linin bags and sent the unwitting Officers who were more than eager to please to walk around the target area and pick up the laser blips so we could reload the lasers for the next day’s bunch of officers.  It was like watching children on an Easter Egg hunt.
“I got one.”
“Me too.”
“There’re everywhere.”
The men called out to each other as they filled their bags with laser blips (red plastic flash light lens covers), and returned them to us so we could reload the lasers.
When the First Sergeant, showed up and inquired as to the unusual behavior of the group of officers down range at the target area, it was explained as straight faced as ever what the men were doing.
The First Sergeant said, “If that wasn’t just the funniest thing I have seen all day I would have somebodies ass for that!  Driver, Drive on.  Obviously these men have everything well at hand here.”
How he kept a straight a face about it, I’ll never know.
PFC Houlk, lucked out that time, but he had many such exploits from sending officers for tools which didn’t exist, getting groups of officers to try and jump in unison on the back of an M1 Abrams, to test the shock absorbers.  That one was like watching an old Abbott and Costello movie play out in front of you.  He would inevitably point out which officers were not jumping with the rest and start his count down again.  Nobody seemed to notice we were watching the officers try to jump together and nobody was watching to see if they managed to move the tank up or down.
The Laser Blips was always one of my favorites.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Elements of the Greatest Stories

Your book, your story, your baby, is as much about how you tell (Write) the story as it is about the elements of the story itself.  Let me explain.

First and foremost is the story elements – But Rarely do you come across that tremendous story that must be told and almost everybody would enjoy some aspect of hearing (Reading) it.
Secondly, since most stories are not tremendous masterpieces in themselves, it is just as important in how you tell a story as to how interesting it comes across.  There are many good stories which could easily be slid over to the great category just in revising how it is presented, written or told.
Readers know when they are reading a good story.  It will grab them, hook them, suck them into it and hold their attention and play with their minds in the times between actually reading the story and their lives.  It makes them desire to get back to the story to find out what happens next.
The truly great story is one that is so intense, so disturbing and upsetting that you have to put the book down and stop reading, but the only way to find out what happens next or how it ends is to pick it back up and continue reading.
Elements of the Great Story
1. Incredible Plot – good planning and execution from beginning to end with all loose ends tied up by the ending.
2. Mini climaxes timed to coincide with the breaks in the story, right at the end of chapters so you don't want to stop at the end of the chapter but have to keep reading until it settles down. 
3. Do not over explain it, over describe it, or lay it in the readers lap.  The Readers are not idiots; they are intelligent and can figure things out on their own.  Give them just enough information as needed and roll on.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs and let them find their own way through your story. 
4. Generally the stories that leave the greatest impact on me are the ones that sneak something in on you.  Either a surprise ending, an understanding of a puzzling development that as you read the end of the story allows all the dominoes to fall and pieces to fit together.  It reveals the picture of the puzzle you have been endeavoring to solve.  There should be little discoveries throughout the book but the end piece should make you go WOW.
5. Books that take me somewhere I have never been before, show some new piece of technology, some new vehicle, some foreign country, exotic place, or something entirely new.
One of my favorite authors once said you should go to a book store and then write the book that you can't find sitting on the shelf.  Write about the things you cannot find there.
The following are books this author feels fall into the Great category.  Obviously just like with music, there are so many titles to choice from in so many different Genres that you could do top 100 to top 500 in many different lists and go on forever.  These are just randomly off the top of my head as favorite great reads by very talented authors who know how to tell a story properly.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Catching Fire (Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
Flight of Eagles by Jack Higgins
Sandstorm by James Rollins
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
I am not including any of my work as I only have two of my four books published and the second one of those in the middle of the third or fourth major editing and to be re-released soon.  I am purposely saving my best stories for a while until I honed my skills more and get them to the level the stories deserve so that my later books will make many of the top ten lists.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Luscious Life, Fantasy and Escapism

Life is Tantamount to Marvelous, Tumultuous, Sumptuous, Wonderful, and Magical.

Your daily life, your day, Today, is what you make it.  It is what you accept it to be.

You are exactly where you should be based off your life decisions, education, training, environment, and the daily choices that collectively make up who you are.
If you don’t think rich people have problems you’re delusional.

They may be dressed nicer and have more serene surroundings but they have problems, even money problems, except theirs have more zeros involved.  Money doesn’t fix anything!  You can’t buy happiness, so if you’re miserable now you will still be miserable if you were rich.
Everybody has problems with money, relationships, family problems, car trouble, legal difficulties, work challenges, and trying to make the right decisions.  Everybody!
The day will start, the day will end, and if you’re alive reading this you should celebrate!  Life is too short to spend it upset, pissed off, holding grudges, or miserably wishing for something else.  I have found in most cases wanting something, imagining having something, the anticipation of getting something is ten times sweeter to our mind and soul then once we actually get the something!  Think about that seriously.
Why do we enjoy crazy dangerous action fiction books, stories, shows or movies?
Why do we like erotic novels and scenes?
Why do we read fantasy fiction?
Because it is Fantasy!  It isn’t real!  I can’t be, never will, won’t happen – except in our minds as we live vicariously through characters living and experiencing something somebody made up!
Escapism is defined as the tendency to escape from daily reality or routine by indulging in day dreaming, fantasy, or entertainment.  Is it any wonder that between the many facets of entertainment, books, shows, movies, and television that so much time, money, and effort is spent to provide new and stimulating entertainment.
As humans we need it.  We crave it.
Our lives are filled with the routine of the things we are expected to do on a regular basis.  The living, working out, mowing grass, fixing meals, cleaning up messes, washing clothes, going to work is all so repetitive.  The WORK!  The dull, safe, unexciting, tasteless, mindless, uncreative jobs we do for a living.
Most people are not working at what they would love to do!  To reach the state of consciousness where you know truly what you love, what you would do for free because you absolutely love it is the greatest state of existence.
To get to do what you love is living in love and working on a higher plane of existence!
We have to escape, day dream, read books, watch sports or television shows, watch movies, listen to music, to stay sane in this overly safe but not so safe world.  To do the things we must to survive and get along in our chosen ruts of the world we exist in, we need escapes.  Your feelings about your chosen path, decisions, where you are and what you’re doing is up to you!
If you don’t like your situation do one thing, no matter how small each day to take a step towards what you love to do.  If you don’t know what you love to do, explore a little bit every day, try new things until you find your passion.  Each day do something to move closer to your passion, your dream to do what you love to do.
In the meantime, between now and then, that is the journey, your success story, be happy, enjoy your life, be friendly and enjoy the others in your life.  Leave sweet and loving comments, sticky notes, and great reviews of escapes you enjoyed.  Let the rest of the world wonder what in the hell you are so freaking happy about.
If someone else is upset it is their problem, don’t take it on as well.  See something that you didn’t enjoy, you don’t agree with, you think is trash, forget it and go on!  Life is too short.  Don’t be one of those petty people that think blowing out others candles makes theirs brighter.
Find your passion, your dream and then do one little step towards it every day!  Success is the journey to your goal, not a destination.  Make every moment of every day special, magical, and meaningful for you will never get that moment back again.
May you never reach your destination!  (That is actually one hell of a nice blessing when you think about it.)
By the way my passion is writing fiction novels, Sci-Fi, Action Adventure - It is my ultimate escape from my boring life.  I LOVE IT!  If it entertains me enough to be an escape others will like it also.
Thanks for reading and sharing this moment with me!  Thomas

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You might be a Writer

I have written about many aspects of writing through the various posts on this blog.  I have also mentioned these blog posts are my warm up for writing for the day.  It’s kind of a mental stretching exercise.

Today the history calendar on my desk is about how the Washington Post published a thirty-five thousand word manifesto by the Unibomber on this day in History, Sept. 19, 1995.
It goes on to explain about his extended reign of terror that started in the late seventies and continued until April of 1996 when he was apprehended at his remote home in Lincoln, Montana.  He is serving out his four life sentences without the possibility of parole in the supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado.
When I read the last line about the Prison my curious imagination thought about what would happen if they went to his cell and he was gone.  If he could manage to escape the supermax federal prison, what would he do?  Where would he go?  If you have read either of my two e-books that are published, you would know I dabble a bit with the idea of travel through time and space with made up technology.  With this type of specialized equipment a person like Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, could get out of prison, but somebody would have to use it to spring him from prison.
Who would benefit from springing criminals from prison?  Why would you want to?  My suspicious mind jumped to our own wonderful government which has repeatedly made bad judgment calls regarding technology and doing things they maybe should not have.  So I thought what if a black ops arm of our government played around with changing different time lines of history or the future by using convicted criminals as their time traveling agents which are expendable and might jump at the chance of getting out of prison to do the illegal stuff they do even if it was in another time and place.
Possible story idea!  Changing paths of history by releasing Ted Kaczynski into Nazi Germany in around 1937 – 1938 with the mission to use his skills to send bombs to Hitler and the closets high ranking members of the Nazi party with the idea in mind of averting World War II by changing history.
My point is, that I got all this from a few moments after reading a tidbit from a history desk calendar.  By the way I don’t think I am getting one of those for 2013, because the world is going to end in December.  No, just kidding.  I wouldn’t be working so hard on future books to be published if I thought the world was going to end.  No, it is just that most of the history tidbits from day to day have been focused around people or things like the Unibomber.  I strive to live a positive life, keep my spirits up, and leave the gloom and doom suspense for the evening news and aspects of the stories in my books.  There is plenty of good things, positive things, achievements, new technology unveiled from different days in history without glorifying the worst of humanity from day to day.
If your mind jumps to crazy story ideas from little things you see all around you, you might be a writer.
If you’re criminally insane but haven’t committed any crimes because you don’t talk about your evil thoughts, dirty day dreams, outlandish plans for master crimes, or murders you want to commit, you might be a writer.
If you day dream about scenes with characters and have to tell them to slow down so you can get everything written down and they are speaking too fast, you might be a writer.
If you read books, watch television or movies and think you would have ended that differently, or they could have done this as an added twist, instead of being surprised by the ending, you might be a writer.
Ok, warmed up, ready to uncover some modern day true to life hypocrisy or save the Earth from being attacked by humanoid Gators that are controlled by mind controlling Dragons, I haven’t decided which book I am working on today as of yet.
Catch ya’ll later!
If you have discovered reading this that any of it sounds like you and you might be a writer, and you haven’t started your first book yet.  Sit down to a word processor, a type writer, or grab a legal pad and pen and get started today!  You’re not getting any younger.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Conversations and Cleaning the Bikes

My first motorcycle was a mint condition 1976 CB750 Four with the four cylinders straight across.
I was given the bike from a motorcycle shop I did the accounting books for around 1990 in lieu of payment for services rendered when the shop closed up.  Subsequently, the Honda was flipped into the grass later that same year and the top of the handle bars were smashed up and the rear fender and light.  I have kept it all these years in the hopes of rebuilding her and riding on it just one more time.  It’s way too tall for me as I only have a 29 inch inseam, meaning I have short legs for a person of five foot eight inches tall.
Since that time another 76 Honda CB750 Four was purchased by my daughter’s boyfriend with the idea that we would turn the two into one finished and running bike someday in the future.  These two bikes in various stages of disrepair and dilapidation sit in my garage awaiting further damage from my total lack of mechanical skills.
I can come up with brilliant ideas all day long but I can’t take something apart and fix it to save my life.  As any true blooded member of the male species this fact escapes me on a regular basis as evidence of the collection of crap not fixed in my garage including two large motorcycles.
I didn’t get my next bike until February second of 02’.  02/02/02 I’ll never forget when I got her because of the date.  It is a 02 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic in purple, my favorite color.
My boys, who are pictured in the Post, Turns in Time, from August of this year, were talking amongst themselves on the way to school the other day.  Having a conversation together.
Hayden, 4, was telling Garth, 2, that they were going bike riding later.  He explained how Daddy and Mommy would ride Daddy’s bike.  Kristy (my 21 year old daughter) and Darren (Kristy’s boyfriend) would ride Darren’s motorcycle.  Hayden went on to explain that they would just have to clean up the other two bikes and they each could ride one of them.
Obviously it never occurred to me that all they, the two Honda’s, needed was a little cleaning.  I love listening to the boys and their straight forward approach to the world.  I never occurred to me that to them the two bikes are fully put together motorcycles and ready to ride.  I pray one of them grows up with a mechanic gene intact and can help dear old Dad finish some projects and clean out my garage.
To those math wizards trying to figure out the age differences between the boys and my daughter, I started over again at forty something.  Families come in all shapes, sizes and ages.  The important thing is we are all together, we love and care for each other the way families should.
The link to the “Turns in Time” Post

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

While doing research for my post yesterday about my irrational fear of Flying Monkeys, I was surprised by what I learned about the story of the “The Wizard of Oz.”
So today I am going to share some of the information I uncovered about the book, the story, and the movie.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow.  It was originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900.  This is a picture of the front cover of the book.
In a letter to his brother Harry, Baum wrote that the book's publisher, George M. Hill, predicted a sale of about 250,000 copies.  In spite of this favorable conjecture, Hill did not initially predict the book would be phenomenally successful.  They agreed to publish the book only when the manager of the Grand Opera House, Fred R. Hamlin, agreed to make the “The Wizard of Oz” into a play to help publicize the novel.  This is a picture of the back cover of the book.
Its first edition had a printing of 10,000 copies and was sold in advance of the publication date of September 1, 1900.  On May 17, 1900 the first copy of the book came off the press; Baum assembled it by hand and presented it to his sister, Mary Louise Baum Brewster.
The public saw the book for the first time at a book fair at the Palmer House in Chicago in July.  By October of 1900, the first edition had already sold out and 15,000 copies of the second edition were nearly depleted.  After Hill’s publishing company became bankrupt in 1901, Baum and Denslow agreed to have the Indianapolis based Bobbs-Merrill Company resume publishing the novel.  By 1938, over one million copies of the book had been printed.
In 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer brought “The Wizard of Oz” to the big screen, based off of Baum’s novel.  Over the years this story has become one of the best known stories and film of all time.  It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but it lost that one to “Gone with the Wind.”
Tough year for competition!  The movie did go on to win in two other categories.
By 1956, the sales of the novel had grown to over 3 million copies in print.  Wow!
Next year the story is coming back with a different twist as James Franco, plays Oscar Diggs, a small town circus magician from Kansas who faces epic problems and transforms himself into the Great and Powerful Oz.
There are many things to consider with this story from a Wicked Witch that can’t touch water and probably went her entire life without having a bath, to never having felt the wonder of a spring rain.  There has been much conjecture over the years about the possible political and social overtones the different characters may have represented through the story.  I know now that there were numerous sequels to the original book and the stories are much more involved than what the movies or plays have portrayed.  I will have to get a copy of these to experience the entire phenomenon for myself.
The Wicked Witch uses Wolves, Crows and Bess before using the Golden Cap to enslave the Flying Monkeys to go after our heroes.  In the books the magical slippers are silver, not ruby!  The Wicked Witch rules over Winkie Country and the Witches guards are made up of Winkies which she has enslaved and force to do her bidding.
In the books Oz is from Omaha and traveled to the Land of Oz long ago by way of a hot air balloon.  They also further explain the future destinies of the Tin Man, The Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion.  There is also a Giant Spider which the Lion kills.  For once I am glad Hollywood screwed the pouch and left so much out from the book, because I don’t think I could handle a Giant Spider and Flying Monkeys all together in one film.  I am definitely adding “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” to my books To Read List!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fear, Trauma and Flying Monkeys

When studying aspects of fear you will find it is classified into two categories the Rational and Irrational.  It can be classified into countless Phobias in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation.  Although I could not find a specific phobia for flying monkeys, I think they should add that to the list as I am sure from doing research for this post that I am not alone, as others share this irrational fear along with me.

I don’t have any fears that are to the level they are debilitating or hinder me from doing things.  I have a problem riding in closed up vehicles but it is subsiding as I get older.  I understand exactly where that comes from after spending several years everyday locked in a tank in what some people might call highly stressful situations.
I have a fear of spiders because the little bastards defy the laws of gravity and some stupid show I watched says everybody at least once in their life will experience a spider climbing into their mouth while sleeping.  I refuse to accept this notion, but who would know what happens when you’re sleeping.  If I woke up spitting a spider out of my mouth I know I would end up in therapy for the rest of my life and have to take pills to go to sleep forever after that.  I try and face my fears.  I have petted a tarantula and routinely I am the one called upon to deal with spiders in the house.  Aqua Net hair spray is the best weapon against spiders, one good blast and wait a few seconds and it isn’t going anywhere!  Somehow I don’t think Aqua Net will work on flying monkeys, except to keep their hair from fluffing up while they’re flying.
I don’t remember the first time I saw the movie “The Wizard Of Oz” or if I felt traumatized after seeing it.  I didn’t realize until years later when visiting a play at my daughters school and the Flying Monkeys came running down the aisles that the feelings I was experiencing was fear based.  It dawned on me that I hated the very thought of flying monkeys, somewhere deep inside I was afraid of them.
Upon deeper reflection of the situation I have concluded I would rather have a flight of Cobra helicopters or Apaches coming after me then see the skyline of the horizon filled with flying monkeys heading my way.  This is definitely an irrational fear.
My daughter thinks it absolutely hilarious that I have a phobia of flying simians.  Thankfully the subject doesn’t come up very often and they don’t really exist except for in children’s books and takes on the Wizard of Oz stories.  My daughter and I were at the theaters watching the new “Bourne Legacy” movie, when they showed the preview for the movie “Oz : The Great and Powerful,” which is scheduled to be released in 2013.
I exclaimed, “Oh Shit.”
She asked, “What?”
“Flying Monkeys!”  That’s when my daughter broke into a fit of laughter.
Funny or Irrational, if a person is afraid of something it isn’t polite to make light of the situation to their face.  Laughing about it is just plain rude.

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