Monday, February 27, 2006

Anxiety of the Barbary Coast

1. Fear that the food you are eating has had something nasty done to it. Fear that everyone else is aware of this and are secretly disgusted with you for consuming it.
2. Fear that you stepped on something nasty while walking and and it is now all over your room spreading disease and filth.
3. Fear that one day there will BE solid proof that karma does exist and you will have to ponder the horrendous deed one of your ancestors must have committed to bring this down upon your house.
4. Fear that the continous hilarity you find in the presence of babies in silent films indicates your complete inability to ever mature. Fear that your failure to take anything from these films besides asinine personal amusement at said babies will lead to problems in your film course.
5. Fear that you will get oral cancer.
6. Fear that when you lick your chapped lips people will mistakenly believe you to be making misguided sexual overtures at them.
7. Fear that many things are actually sexual references that you are unaware of. Fear that you will say one of these things in public and be mocked for naivety.
8. Fear that when you walk you accidently sway your hips too much and people will make fun of you for trying to hard.
9. Fear that people will see you carrying one your Netflix movies and mock you for having absolutely no life whatsoever.
10. Fear that people will see you eating fatty foods, then proceed to look you up and down and say "Well that seems about right."
11. Fear that other people have actually witnessed you do that stupid skipping thing you do when you're inexplicably happy.
12. Fear that you are too considerate and have become that dreaded doormat person.
13. Fear that when you buy the smallish more expensive box of cereal instead of the economy size everyone around you is passing judgement on your lack of foresight and wastefulness.
14. Fear that people will see you chewing Whitening gum and hate you for presumed vanity.
15. Fear that you have been growing dumber and dumber with every passing year.
16. Fear that one day you may actually go through with one your plans for the future (i.e. joining the merchant marines/the marines/the air force, starting a ranch in Wyoming, becoming a hobo, fisherman, truck driver or international spy) Fear that these goals do not reflect your situation or connect to any of the skill sets you currently have.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Anxiety

26. Fear of jokes. Specifically, fear that someone will tell a joke that is offensive and that you will then despise them. You despise too many people already.

27. Fear of having accidentally typed a false declaration of love into an e-mail.

28. Fear of saying something terrible and out of character to an answering machine.

29. Fear of swearing while on the radio.

30. Fear of having made a promise that you can’t keep, a fear that is quickly allayed when you see girl scouts selling cookies in the train station.

31. Fear of making sweeping generalizations about your habits that are later disproved—fear that, having told someone that you write only in blue pen, you will be seen writing in black.

32. Fear of someone reading over your shoulder and sneering at what you are writing in a notebook.

- Caitlin

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rancho Anxiety

17. Fear that a stranger will hide a dead body in the trunk of your car.

18. Fear that you have run someone over with your car even though it was just a pebble.

19. Fear that your policy that, when at work, it is best to use a plastic knife for buttering is wasteful.

20. Fear that your frequent use of slang will be wrongly traced to your habit of reading the slang dictionary, even though they are not related.

21. Fear that the girl who asked for a copy of your speech seven years ago was making fun of you.

22. Fear of having frequently humiliated yourself as a child by being loud and boastful and appalling.

23. Fear that in October, when you stopped suddenly to avoid hitting a deer and your bag fell on the floor of the car, it was contaminated by mouse droppings from the previous winter.

24. Fear that something tiny but important has fallen on the floor.

25. Fear that children find you condescending and transparently desperate to please.

- Caitlin

Friday, February 17, 2006

Tale #11 & #12

Northanger Anxiety

10. Fear that people will look for your blog and find the wrong one, and that they will read it in secret and mistakenly think that you are foolish. Fear that people will, in fact, accept substitutes.

11. Fear that when you are friendly, it does not seem as natural as you imagine--fear that jocundity does not actually suit you, and that, while you are sometimes aggressively nice to certain people in order to overcompensate for disliking them, your behavior leads them to believe that you are secretly in love with them.

12. Fear that people in general think, rightly or wrongly, that you are secretly in love with them.

13. Fear that someone has bought clothes, committed a murder or other unspeakable act while wearing them, and then returned them to the store. These are the clothes that you buy.

14. Fear of nearly stepping into a puddle on a cold day, muttering a shocking but recognizable oath, and then seeing a kindly old man before you offering his hand across the puddle.

15. Fear of wearing slippers that were bought as a present for someone who was, at the time, sick with the flu.

16. Fear that elderly women don't find you as charming as you think they do.

- Caitlin

Tales #7, #8, #9 & #10

Myfi's Post of Zen

In the face of all this overwhelming anxiety, I would like to identify four spaces in which anxiety is non-existent and completely irrelevant.

1st scenario:
Eating saltines
Drinking Sparkling White Grape Juice
Listening to Bob and Ray
Maybe doodling if you wish to be completely at peace

2nd scenario
Eating plain rhubarb out of a tub
Watching a John Wayne movie

3rd Scenario
Eating Honey Nut Cheerios
Drinking a large bottle of ice cold water
Watching episodes of 'The Wild Wild West'

4th Scenario
Eating a grapefruit

Prepare yourself for ultimate zen.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Very Topical!

Not to enter the realms of the grotesquely personal, but I think I'm getting sick. This is a kind of anxiety that I particularly hate; I mean, okay:

9. Fear of bus seats that are too low. Fear that the person behind you is going to stab you in the back of the head.

That I can deal with. But this sort of tired indisposed feeling isn't even list-worthy. Perhaps if I made a list of how I could have gotten sick, in order of probability . . .

a) Money. Having been forced to rummage through change earlier in the week.
b) Dead mouse (rat?) on the street.
c) The ninety thousand people at work who are sick.
d) Mysterious deposit found on bumper of car. I carelessly referred to this as "salt" earlier in the day, but need I say that I suspect something more ominous?
e) Karma. Having alluded disparaging to the "contagion" that one of the ninety thousand carries about with him.

- Caitlin

Tales #4, #5 & #6

Anxiety Specific Only to Me

1. Fear that a previous threat against your boss will affect your chances of being rehired this summer.

2. Fear that showing up for work an hour late every Wednesday will eventually lead to you being fired.

3. Fear that carrying a large box full of cement up to the fifth floor will lead to back problems later in life.

4. Fear that your French teacher is actually a Satanic warlord ensconsed in human form for the strict purpose of sucking out your soul, mutilating it and then feeding it back to you, a worthless shell of what it once was.

5. Fear that the people around you are not human but actually skillfully designed robots.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tale #2 & #3, Book 1, Pg. 1

Tale #1, Book 1, Pg.1

More Common Anxiety

1. Fear that people who wear hunting jackets in the middle of the city are not just misguided but actually there to hunt people.
2. Fear that one day you will do all of the things you've ever imagined yourself doing. This is accompanied by the fear that there will be severe legal consequences for these actions.
3. Fear of tripping and falling in the middle of a busy street, therefore spending your last moments before being smushed by a truck in horrifying embarrassment.
4. Fear that eating chocolate doesn't actually solve all your problems and may, in fact, make many of them worse.
5. Fear that everyone around you can read your thoughts and is making fun of the stupid and humiliating things you are thinking about.
6. Fear that there is nothing you can do about the fact that people find you odd and alienating.
7. Fear that there actually is a God and that everything you've been saying will eventually get you into trouble.
8. Fear that the moment for that trouble is now and you are about to be struck down by pestilence, plague and/or pulsating boils.
9. Fear that you will wake up one morning in a room swarming with butterflies.
10. Fear that your complete inability to convey any of your intelligence or higher brain functioning to others will lead to you becoming just as stupid as you come across in conversation.
11. Fear that the two peanut butter sandwiches and box of cookies you just ate will make you fat.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Flashback . . . to Anxiety

When I was in elementary school and gave all my classmates Valentines, I suffered from a paralyzing anxiety about what to call some of the boys to whom I was sending cards. I was convinced that addressing someone as, say, "Matt" instead of "Matthew" seemed forward and would lead ultimately to humiliation.

Also in elementary school, I had a sweatshirt that spelled out "You are the key to my heart" in a rebus. I hid this sweatshirt, which had been handed down to me by my cousins, because I found its message troublingly suggestive.

Today on Valentine's Day I had to step over a dead mouse on the sidewalk after work.

Also, the candy hearts that I chose from the office bag of holiday candy were poorly printed and in some cases illegible.

- Caitlin

Monday, February 13, 2006

Common Sources of Anxiety

1. Fear that someone has used the end of the toilet paper without ripping it off and then wound it back on the roll.

2. Fear of lending someone a used book, only to have that person find a poem tucked between the pages, an insipid poem not written by you, but never having a chance to explain this.

3. Fear that taking time over one’s appearance will inspire only pity in those who know you, for your efforts are in vain.

4. Fear that wearing trendy clothing featuring logos or phrases that you don’t understand will falsely identify you as a member of a neo-Nazi group.

5. Fear of having food on your face. Fear that you will be seen using a small mirror to check for this and be thought of as vain.

6. Fear that someone superficially similar to you will write to a widely syndicated advice column and that everyone will think the letter is from you.

7. Fear that you have gradually become hideous, but so gradually that those you see daily don’t notice, and that a chance encounter with a former schoolmate will reveal this to you.

8. Fear that the money you are handling has played an instrumental role in an international drug-smuggling conspiracy, i.e., that it has been planted in and later extracted from a dead body.

- Caitlin

Anxiety over Why Everything I Do Is Stupid and Everything You Do Is Awe-some

Okay, so did I not say that I had added a special Valentine's Day movie to the top of my Netflix queue? And was this announcement not met with complete apathy? My Valentine's Day movie is Now, Voyager, a Bette Davis probable weeper (let's call this a BDPW, because I'm pretty sure there are a lot of them) about an unstable young person who probably suffers from a great deal of anxiety herself although why in that case she would be on a boat I don't know. Anyways, this is the movie equivalent of plucking the petals off a tiny baby blossom and saying "he loves me, he loves me not," since I'm not sure if Bette Davis ends up with her fellow in the end or if this is thinly veiled prequel to Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. I've also, as I mentioned, filled the car up with the Magnetic Fields and determined to listen to all the 69 Love Songs in order (even Experimental Musical Love), even though, as I mentioned, I really don't care about Valentine's Day. It just seems like the done thing.

- Caitlin

Today Is the Day...Before Valentine's Day

So yeah, it's the day before Valentine's Day, which is only a real holiday to people in relationships or obnoxiously chipper ones. I am neither. I also don't like chocolate. I do however like the color red and therefore plan on wearing it tomorrow. Now to that about Valentine's Day which is causing me anxiety: I don't think the special Valentine's Day movie I placed at the top of my Netflix's queue will arrive in time. I also don't think that's how you spell queue. Anyway, I had envisioned myself watching 'A Lady Takes a Chance' and eating cookies but instead I'll probably just be eating cookies. Chocolate chip for your information. I mean, it's totally perfect, it's the John Wayne version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Jean Arthur (uuhh yeah she didn't get typecast) meets a naive, not really that smart, yet immposibly honest and adorable, really tall, skinny and attractive dude and falls in love with him. If that doesn't scream Valentine, then I dunno what does. Well maybe a talking card or some other thing.
Okay so other things that made me anxious today
1) In my French class, our teacher asked what people's favorite holidays are and the answers went as such: Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving...Guy Fawkes Day. Umm, Come again? I know the kid is British but Guy Fawkes Day?!?
2) I was standing in front of one of my bosses' office and she was yelling into the phone "LISA'S NOT MY LOVA, SHE'S MY SISTER! THERE ARE JUST SOME THINGS YOU DON'T DO, GIRL!" Uhh, yeah cue anxiety. Partly caused by the fact that she said lova... I mean, there are just no words.
3) All day long I felt really anxious about the fact that I wear my rings on my right hand and if I ever were to punch someone I would need to use said right hand, therefore causing pain to me and maybe cutting someone's face. I may want to punch someone but I don't really know if I'm at the cutting stage. I have yet to solve this dilemma.


Congratulations Fink!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Yeah, Sorry

Okay, so I really feel terrible about not staying on topic in my last message; let me say explicitly this time that this is causing me a great deal of anxiety, anxiety on a level equal to that experienced when I did not know what you were talking about. Now I realize . . . now I realize that my ignorance is even more widespread than I thought and goes beyond innuendoes involving referring to one's legs as "fences." Right, okay, so Michael Powell is the former chairman of the FFC. Son of Colin Powell. And, shockingly, the famed director who died in 1990!

- Caitlin


I don't understand the Michael Powell reference. Are you saying that you're a peeping Tom? Because as I recall you insisted fairly vehemently that barely a peep was necessary to spot the naked BREAST featured in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. I don't think you need to feel like a perv--it was RIGHT THERE (or so you claim).

- Caitlin

Karl Marx

This next tale of anxiety involves the discovery that Karl Marx uses the word highfalutin in The Communist Manifesto. Well Gosh all Hemlock, Stalin! Workers of the world unite!



Please note that I am signing my entries enter-hyphen-space-Caitlin. That is the formula.

- Caitlin

Quick Work Smacky

Now I was placed in anxiety by the extreme quickness of your response and by my inability to spell the word extreme. It's probably because of those X-tteeerreeeeme things they are always advertising making me think it has more letters. Next thing you know there will be Xtteeerreeeeme lint or talcum baby powder. Anyway, I will not comment on 'The Getaway' debacle, as I was too distracted by Steve Mcqueen's illuminating dialogue (Sheeeyit, Punch it baby!) to actually notice the plot. Though there was anxiety that his cry of Sheeyitt might prompt an ass-nekkid Mifune to run hollering across screen. Alas, no. Marilyn Monroe and her fences posess the only loincloth of the day. Maybe it's me who has the mind of a censor, Getaway notwithstanding, though the 'It's a BOOB!' debate concerning 'I am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang' was partly due to my obession with repeating the word BOOB! Now I'm anxious that I just posted that on the internet. I swear its not pornography, Michael Powell! I swear! Please don't hit me with the rubber hose! Don't hit me with the rubber hose! Ach, you hit me with the rubber hose!


Postscript: Though I disagree with calling this a postcript, I will follow your misguided lead and state that I am signing with two stars rather than a boring, grammatically correct hyphen. Why? Because I'm a fairy princess!

Mmm . . . Mush

Okay, so here's my anecdote. I watched the trailer for River of No Return yesterday, and while it didn't necessarily keep me in anxiety, it did cause me anxiety. About my own ignorance--note that this was highlighted by your reaction to this, which was basically to confirm how incredibly stupid I am, which is a laugh considering the whole Getaway debacle. River of No Return, apparently, features NOT ONLY my second favorite Marilyn Monroe-sung song, but also my favorite. Early in the trailer she appears dressed up in the costume of a Western barroom girl like Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again, with the addition of a sort of long loincloth. Anyways, the point is that when she sings that she's got the title to something vital that she can throw her FENCES around, she waves the loincloth in the air all like "I'm talking about my LEGS!" I had no idea. I NEVER thought of that as being a double entendre. I guess I should have known from the way she sings "Ooo-ooo-ooh . . . lookin' for nuggets?" My alarm was the emotional peak of the trailer--the rest of it pretty much features fairly questionable-looking Adventure, but still, WE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE, despite my very serious qualms. The excitement of the Marilyn Monroe/Robert Mitchum pairing is highlighted by an announcement superimposed on what looks like him raping her in the woods. Then, I think, they get married and go down the river of no return, which is an actual river, and while they're on it (or in front of it, as they in no way seem to be anywhere near an actual river), he claims that she'll soon find out why they call it "the river of no return." Cut to a band of Indians sort of halfheartedly tossing a rock off a cliff and near the raft. I was pleased to discover that I felt no anxiety at all during this scene. However, from the fact that in the song she claims that she lost her love to the river, the river of no return, I don't have high hopes for Robert Mitchum's survival.

Postscript: at the end I was shocked to see that this movie was directed by Otto Preminger.

- Caitlin

Curse of the Cat People

This next amazing story involves the watching of the film "The Curse of the Cat People" and the anxiety inducing discovery that it featured neither a Curse nor any Cat People. Twas a bitter pill to swallow, that one, may I tell you!

Oh my gosh, I just realized: writing in the blog causes me Anxiety!

That should make things much easier. I also should point out that your "amazing story" was not so much "the next" as "the first." My story has not yet been WRITTEN--it's just a fond memory for you. However, I will add it soon. It should also be pointed out, though, that this past week was kind of a landmark for being the first and last week in which I watched Veronica Mars AND Arrested Development AND Battlestar. I just think that's important. See--I'm developing the blogging mentality already! And right now I'm eating graham crackers and applesauce, which (relevance!) is causing me anxiety about whether the cinnamon grahams that I'm dipping are masking the flavor of applesauce that has gone off.

- Caitlin