Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Anxiety of the Red Witch

1. Fear that you are a tedious person.

2. Fear that other people know exactly what you are going to say before you say it.

3. Fear that you will never find and eradicate the place in your brain where all your coherent thoughts perish before reaching your mouth.

4. Fear that you have already told this anecdote to the person you are talking to and are now repeating it to their annoyance and disinterest.

5. Fear that you will begin breathing very heavily while doing a simple task such as walking up the stairs. Fear that no one will understand that you're not ridiculously out of shape...you just have asthma.

6. Fear of laughing loudly and without discernible cause in a public place.

7. Fear of being called on the general and stupid statements you make due to nervousness.

8. Fear of being backed into a conversational corner.

9. Fear that people will think you are an odd, rude and aloof bitch just because anxiety prevents you from getting phrases like 'Hi, how are you?' or 'God Bless You' or 'Fine, thank you' out of your mouth no matter how hard you try to say to them.

10. Fear that a relative, friend or associate will ask you a jovial question about your social life. You don't have one.

11. Fear that a bird is going to fly into your head.

Now a notation outside the numbered pattern: This weekend the Film Forum is showing 'The Shootist' as part of its Don Siegel marathon and being a diehard John Wayne fan, I had planned to go see it. Now this is causing me a great deal of anxiety because I fear a repeat of the horrifyingly unstoppable sobbing that accompanied my previous viewing of the film and the embarassing consequences of doing this in a public place. There is a possibility I won't cry because I am generally not a film crier, but then again this film falls into my four 'Definite Possibility of Tears, Slight Chance of Breakdown' categories i.e. heartfelt ending to a John Wayne film (True Grit, Sands of Iwo Jima, Red River, The Shootist), haunting Civil War music (Young Mr. Lincoln, They Died With Thier Boots On), Musical Overwhelm (Once Upon a Time in the West, The Searchers, The Good, The Bad & the Ugly) or Quality Overwhelm (Gentleman Jim, From Here to Eternity).
So, shall I risk public humiliation by going and possibly crying so loudly I will be forced to run out of the theater choking on my tears or stay safe by sitting in my room like a sad inactive excuse for a human being? Decisions, Decisions!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Anxiety of a Bengal Lancer

1. Fear of waving stupidly to someone who is not waving at you.

2. Fear that you are bleeding profusely from some part of your head and don't know it. Fear that others do and are horrified.

3. Fear that you are seconds away from painful and lifelasting humiliation.

4. Fear that a teacher is about to publicly address something stupid you wrote in an assignment.

5. Fear of being 'put on the spot'.

6. Fear that people remember all of the inane things you say and think of them everytime you open your mouth to speak.

7. Fear of being a 'figure of fun'. Fear that using the phrase 'figure of fun' makes you one.

8. Fear that people actually take you seriously. They shouldn't.

9. Fear that people realize you are lying to them. Fear that they also realize that you aren't doing it for any specific purpose aside from the thrill of being dishonest.

10. Fear that you will be thinking about something embarassing and accidently verbalize it when someone addresses you suddenly.

11. Fear that a darkening sky automatically signifies a coming tornado, a fact that will become clearer when you are either
A) swept away in a howling tunnel of wind and debris or B) accosted by someone frantically shouting 'Twister! Head for the root cellar!'

12. Fear that there isn't a root cellar.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Anxiety

I am currently experiencing anxiety caused by the possibility of humiliating myself at an office spelling bee. Some of my opponents in the bee are such that, had I participated in any other spelling competitions in my lifetime, I would be fully in a position to tell someone that “this time it's personal.” My history, however, is a total blank, free of any previous, non-personal spelling bees. Even so, it's personal, and I don't have a chance.

And yes, I also suffer from a sadly non-paralyzing fear that discussing the place where I work makes me a boring person. However, if I am bowed down by the terrors induced by my inability to spell even the word “toboggan” to the extent that I'm forgetting to recheck the locks on the doors, then clearly the very foundations of this record are crumbling, and that's semi-noteworthy.

45. Fear that by the time you re-lock the locks, they’re already in the house.

46. Fear experienced while eating a peanut butter sandwich in a public place, accompanied by a desire to announce your intention before unwrapping any peanut product.

47. Fear that if you take a break from a book that you’ve read at work and then resume it a week later people will think you are a slow reader.

48. Fear of misspelling the word “public” in a letter.

48. Fear that your so-called “self-deprecating little asides” don’t even begin to cover it.

- Caitlin

Monday, March 13, 2006

Gunfight at the Anxiety Corral

1. Fear that you will approach a cash register with an armful of things to purchase only to realize that you do not have enough money. Fear that you will be forced to shamefully walk back down the aisle under the accusatory stares of the store to return a small item such as a candy bar that was just too much for you.

2. Fear that Shane really is dead.

3. Fear that when purchasing healthy foods the cashier secretly thinks "Uh...yeah that's not going to help."

4. Fear that this same thought goes through the heads of cashiers when you buy products like makeup or shampoo.

5. Fear that employees in more expensive clothing stores are disdainful of you and your appearance and are mocking your delusion that you could ever buy or successfully wear their clothes.

6. Fear that by sitting next to an unpleasant person you have become contaminated. Fear that other people think this about you.

7. Fear that having doctors continually ask you if you hear nonexistant voices signifies a problem with how you portray your mental stability to others.

8. Fear that this isn't the right line.

9. Fear that you are driving on the wrong side of the road.

10. Fear that everyone sees through your attempts to seem busy or purposeful when completely lost or bored.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lay Down Your Anxiety, Part Two

33. Fear that you are being transparent.

34. Fear that refusing cake at an office party will brand you as a dieter, and that people will roll their eyes at you.

35. Fear of being thought to call attention to your own idiosyncrasies in order to appear to be a more interesting person—fear of being thought to do various other things for which you condemn people.

36. Fear that the high, hysterical voice you use to quote The Bad Seed is indistinguishable from your regular voice. Fear that you have an annoying voice, and what's more, people will think that you hit him with your shoe.

37. Fear of having been amiss.

38. Fear of accidentally drifting into the wrong part of the store.

39. Fear that expressing fondness for morally ambiguous characters allies you with actors who enjoy playing villains because “we all have a little of the racist/psycho killer/‘curmudgeon’ in us.” We don’t.

40. Fear of sounding like someone who’s just pretending to be interested.

41. Fear of using the office kitchen sponge—reasonable. Fear of leaving your dishes to dry in the kitchen—justifiable. Fear of bringing your dishes into the kitchen at all—impending.

42. Fear that it’s cancer.

43. Fear that your cell phone is on and has dialed the number of the person you are gossiping about.

44. Fear that people will think that you compose sentences in your head before you say them out loud—this leads to the fear of giving any thought at all to the things it occurs to you to say, which leads to public foolishness.

- Caitlin

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Return of Anxiety

1. Fear that when going through a spinning door it will begin to go too fast and catch the back of your foot as you're leaving...and kill you.
2. Fear revolving around how attractive Tyrone Power was as Jesse James, compounded by fear over how badass Henry Fonda was as Frank James.
3. Fear that there actually is a reason people always apologize to you when they swear.
4. Fear that there are cameras everywhere and somewhere in Australia someone's having a good, hearty laugh at your expense.
5. Fear that when BSing a rough draft of a paper you will write something stupid and pretentious thus convincing the person who proofreads your gibberish, without being aware that you wrote it at 4 in the morning, that you are stupid and prententious.


Now after this anxiety...ZEN! ( and this Zen is for Daddy so Caitlin best make sure he read it! Sucka!)

Listen to these 30 songs and you will be at complete peace. Awesome!
1. Battle Hymn of the Republic
2. Ashokan Farewell
3. Thunder Road
4. Old Beat Guitar
5. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
6. The Weight
7. Train In Vain
8. Moon River
9. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
10. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
11. Wings of a Dove
12. My Rifle, My Pony & Me
13. Me & My Shadow
14. Theme from 'The Searchers'
15. The Massacre
16. Theme from 'East of Eden'
17. Out of the Blue
18. Science Fiction Double Feature
19. Theme from 'The Great Escape'
20. Paradise
21. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
22. The Impossible Dream
23. I Am I Don Quixote
24. Red River Valley
25. What I'm Looking For
26. Watching the Wheels
27. Settle Down/High Noon
28. Get Me Away From Here I'm Dyin'
29. 78 Stone Wobble
30. Frankenstein