Naked On A Strange Planet

Sights, Sounds & Reflections on Life


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The Total Loser

“She was lookin’ kinda dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an “L” on her forehead…” – Smash Mouth

Hi. I am The Total Loser.

At least that’s what my daughter calls me.

The other day I was doing the whole “L on the forehead thing”, but then decided that my “Loser Script” was just keeping me down, so I decided to form my fingers in the shape of a “W” for “Winner” and place them on my forehead instead.

In order to achieve the “W” shape, I had to hook my pinky and my thumb together and then spread out the remaining three fingers into a makeshift “W”.

Success!!

Until…

Once placed onto my forehead, palm down, my precariously positioned thumb & pinky combo failed to hold.

My thumb slipped off of my pinky and sent it “thwack!” (that’s the actual sound it made!) – right into my eye.

I think the “L” on the forehead definitely suits me best (and is much safer, at any rate!)

-M

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Out of a Stephen King Story

One night, several years ago, I was sitting up late at night on my front porch reading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.

Let me set the mood for you:

I lived out in the middle of the country in an old farmhouse far removed from civilization. My porch was connected to the front of my house and provided very little in the way of protection between me and the dark night outside. There was a funky old beat up screen door and a bunch of old jalousie windows with old screens behind them separating me from whatever roamed the night out in the middle of nowhere. Okay?

Just in case you’ve never read it, I’ll give a brief synopsis of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” so as to further set the mood. It is a scary book about a family that moves up to a small New England town. Somewhere in the woods behind their house is an old pet cemetery where people have buried their pets for generations. Somewhere further back in the woods is another pet cemetery. What gets buried in this cemetery comes back. But what comes back is an evil and murderous version of what you put in the ground. To put it simply: It’s a very scary book and involves animals. Okay?

So there I am. It’s about 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s very dark and very quiet out in the middle of the dark nowhere. I am sitting in my wicker arm chair on the porch with the light on (of course), smoking cigarettes and reading the scary animal book.

Suddenly I hear a low growl somewhere Out There in The Dark. Shivers run down my spine and the hair stands up on my arms. I stop breathing for an instant of terror.

I quickly regain my composure, however, and decide that it’s just a small animal of some kind…maybe a little fox or something making its way through my yard. “I’m an adult human being,” I reason to myself “there’s no reason to panic.” So I bravely walk over to one of the jalousie windows and shout, in a deep voice, “hey, get out of here!”

It had been my previous experience that animals will run in fear from a firm human voice. I sat back down, content that my little visitor had run off at the sound of my voice. I began reading again. Then I heard another growl. Right under my window!

This animal had not run away at the sound of my voice, oh no, quite the contrary. It had COME CLOSER and growled again, brazenly challenging me. This was no ordinary little animal wandering through my yard!

I was filled with terror, imagining some beast walking around as evil incarnate.

I dropped to the floor on all fours – knowing that IT could see ME in the bright light of the porch, while I could NOT see IT. Quick thinking on my part! You don’t want these things knowing what YOU are doing, especially when you don’t know what THEY are doing.

I then crawled on the porch floor until I reached the door going into the interior of the house. I reached up, grabbed the doorknob and crawled into the house. I slammed the door, quickly locked all of the locks and latched all of the latches and then ran upstairs as fast as I could, waking up my poor tired partner who was fast asleep.

To this day, I still have no idea what kind of vicious evil I “bravely” saved myself and my family from that night!

-m


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Mixed-Up Motivations

Not only am I a Total Loser, but I am also overweight and out of shape. I am also very disorganized. In order to actually get things done and try to keep up with my responsibilities, I will occasionally resort to the use of “To-Do Lists”. On these “To-Do Lists” I write down all of the vitally important stuff that really needs to be taken care of, and having the list and checking stuff off of the list once I’ve completed the job really helps to motivate me and keep me focused on what’s REALLY important.

Featured prominently on my “To-Do List” this week: “Cancel Gym Membership.”

Like most other things on my “To-Do List”, this item has been copied from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, etc., as the week slides on by with me not doing anything on the list and putting it all off for the next day, and the next day…But there it remains at the top of the list.

I need to keep on top of this. It’s VERY important. I am working at motivating myself to carry out this task.

What’s wrong with this picture? Remember, I said that I am overweight and out of shape. I should be writing “GO TO THE GYM” on the very top of my “To-Do List”! I should be working hard at motivating myself to GO TO THE GYM!! But, instead, I concentrate on “CANCEL GYM MEMBERSHIP.” Why? Because it’s expensive and I don’t go. Times are tough and it’s becoming harder and harder to afford life’s necessities. In other words, I can’t really afford to go to the gym AND buy cigarettes. One of them has got to go.

I wonder if I continue putting off “Cancel Gym Membership” the same way I have put off going to the gym if I will eventually GIVE UP on canceling my membership the way I so quickly and easily gave up on using my membership.

Time will tell.

-m


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Orion’s Belt Airlines

I have always been really terrified of airplanes. I’m not talking about a fear of flying “in” an airplane (which I also suffer from), but an actual fear of them flying…up there. A million tons of steel magically floating above my head and ready to fall on me at any second.

Really, this fear started when I was a very little girl watching a WWII movie involving airplanes dropping bombs on people’s homes. One minute a little boy was outside playing and the next…Kaboom…his family and his home were gone.

I used to have nightmares about these bombers and would become filled with terror and anxiety any time I heard an airplane overhead. My loving mother tried her best to cure me of this phobia, though, and would yell, “oh my God, it’s the bombers, it’s the bombers!!” whenever an airplane would fly over our house.

Needless to say, the fear followed me into adulthood.

So, anyway…One night, a few years ago, I was out in my backyard stargazing. I looked out onto the horizon and I saw Orion’s Belt. You know, the constellation with the predominant row of 3 stars forming the belt. I turned away for a moment, and when I glanced back, I saw that Orion’s Belt seemed to be getting closer and closer. Suddenly, I realized that it was NOT Orion’s Belt at all, but was instead the lights of a really big airplane heading towards me.

Knowing that the plane was destined to crash into my house (it was REALLY LOW), the terror set in. My daughter and my partner were sound asleep in the house, totally oblivious to the impending disaster. What should I do?! Should I try to run into the house and warn them? There was no time for that, I decided. I must survive so that I could have a chance to save them after the crash.

I ran and hid behind my car that was parked in the yard as the airplane roared overhead. I could see the lights in the windows of the plane and was deafened by the roar of the engines. As the airplane continued safely on its way, I was struck by my tremendous feat of bravery and quick-thinking in my plan to “save” my family. Of course they didn’t see it that way at all when I told them of the event the next morning.

After the terror finally wore off, all I could do was imagine what the people in the airplane must have thought when they saw me (it REALLY was THAT CLOSE, I swear!) running in terror and hiding behind my car (as though that would have really saved me). I wonder if they tell a story of this event to their friends and loved ones too – about some crazy lady they saw from an airplane one night.

-M

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