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About Me, The Director’s Cut

I’m just a normal person. I live in the country, and I have a cat.  I love to read and to watch movies. Basically, I love any story. It’s a blessing…and a curse (I love Monk, too). In high school, my friend Cybille and I would have “Bad Movie Night”. It didn’t matter how horrible the movie was; once we got started, we needed to know how it ended. We could talk through most of it if we wanted, but we had to finish the story. Now I’m a Wikipedia junkie because it just saves time. I can be pretty sure that somebody will have synopsized it all up for me, so I can get the story without having to suffer through the movie. Which kind of leads me to the curse side of my story-itis…

There are only two weird things about me (that I will admit), and they are my fears. I am only truly afraid of two things, both of them ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m afraid that my house will burn down, that my dog will get carried away by an owl, that something bad will happen to a loved one – all those normal kinds of fears that regular people have. But I’m talking about truly  afraid. It’s the closest I come to having an irrational phobia, like being afraid you’ll fall off the earth. The fear is real, but is that really going to happen? Probably not.

Number one is I’m deathly afraid of sharks. Not little baby sharks you can touch at the aquarium. I can do that. But I wouldn’t get in a tank with one. I will go up to my knees in the ocean, but ankle-deep is even better. I suppose I could go in up to my thighs, if one of the kids was drowning. When I go too far, I get a panicky, frantic kind of feeling that I imagine is what happens to people who have true phobias. For me, it feels like there’s a a shark right behind me. You know how you get a strange feeling when someone walks up behind you? You don’t have to turn around to know that person is there – your whole body responds physically to that possible danger. That’s how I feel. Basically, I feel like at any moment I’m going to be eaten.

I can be brave in the face of my fear. For example, there was this one time (actually, this is the only  example) when I was a teenager, and I was on vacation with my friend Margaret and her family in Chincoteague, Virginia. There had been hurricanes the week before, and these huge conch shells had been rolled up from the ocean. All the others were out on the sandbar pulling up these beautiful shells, and man, I wanted me a conch shell. So I went out to that sandbar, and I felt around with my feet, and I dived down, and I got my share of shells.

And the whole time I just wanted to curl up into a ball so the sharks wouldn’t eat my feet off.

To this day, I am at the same time immensely proud of myself for getting those shells and completely aware of the ridiculousness of my fear. It is highly unlikely – particularly since I won’t go into the ocean – that I will ever get eaten by a shark. It does happen, but it’s not likely to happen to me.

On the other hand, I also can’t help thinking that right on the other side of that sandbar is where all the sharks were probably swimming that day. When you see the aerial photography, that’s where they always are, between the first and second sandbars. I know this because, right after a shark has eaten someone, they show a lot of aerial shots of all the sharks swimming where you do. If you swim in the ocean.

Ok, so what does my irrational fear of sharks have to do with the “story-itis curse”? JAWS, that’s what! That damn Jaws movie. I couldn’t go in the swimming pool after I saw that movie! Thank goodness it was the end of the summer. Crazy, I know…the pool, for goodness sake. But fear is what it is. I could see there were no sharks. I knew there would never, ever be a shark in that pool. Probably. But my mind was still screaming at me to “get the hell outta there, dummy!”

Number two is even worse.

Number two is the zombies. Thank you again, Wikipedia, because I just can’t seem to stay away from the stories. I HAVE to know what happens. I have already seen way too many zombie movies for someone who is terrified of the zombies in the zombie movies. I can’t say the word irrational  enough – I want you to understand that I  understand the complete insanity of Zombie Fear. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the ocean thing. There are no out-of-bounds places or anything like that. I’m not afraid I’ll ever run into or be in any real danger from a zombie. I don’t think. Probably not.

The truth is, I don’t like any movie where the danger can’t be eradicated, where you can’t kill the bad guy. That’s  the thought that’s so terrifying to me, that there’s this thing coming to get you that you have no hopes of destroying. In that respect, zombies aren’t really as bad as Jason, Freddie Krueger or Michael Myers*. At least you can shoot a zombie in the head. But I just hate it when the guy falls off the building and he’s impaled on the really spiky post of a wrought iron fence that’s oddly close to the house and then they look over the side – and he’s gone! How horrifying is that ? (And even at the end of the movie, you know he’s coming back in the next movie. There’s always a next movie. Even if it’s 10 years later, there is a next movie.) I can’t watch those at all, but zombie movies are almost as bad. I mean, it’s a reanimated corpse! How do you kill (re-kill?) a corpse?

Logically, I know there’s nothing that will reanimate dead tissue and make it walk around and want to eat your brains.

Doesn’t make it less scary.

And the movie industry is getting closer and closer to convincing me of the possibility (calm down, I didn’t say likelihood) of a zombie apocalypse. Some of the newest movies have really gotten more into the scenarios that could be true. Well…they’re based on things that border on the possibility of truth. In those cases, the zombies aren’t always “the un-dead”; now, it’s sometimes a kind of disease. In Zombieland, it was a mutation of mad cow disease. 28 Days Later was based on this crazy monkey disease that turned you into a homicidal brain-fried maniac. At least when the body died in that movie, that was it. I can deal with that; if you know there’s a chance these things will eventually die off from thirst (and starvation if you’re lucky), you can someday be safe again.

And yes, I did see both of those movies, which were pretty good. I really liked Zombieland a lot, and every now and then I have the urge to see it again. Even to buy it so I can see it whenever I want. Oh my gosh, you guys, do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? Do you get it? It’s a curse, people. Oh, the humanity. Oh, the un-dead humanity. But I won’t allow myself to buy it, because…well, to be honest, I almost feel that just having it in the house would be like inviting a vampire in. Once you ask it in, it can get you!

As far as the new TV show, The Walking Dead, I can’t find any episodes synopsis anywhere on the internet.** As I’ve searched around for this information, my inner voice is crying out, “Why!?! Why, storyline, why must you be so compelling?” I saw one of those next episode previews where they showed a guy running down the stairs saying, “Don’t leave me, don’t leave me.” He was kind of wheezing the words out, and he seemed so frightened and desperate. I just had to know what happened to that guy – I was so worried that maybe they left him.

They didn’t, but apparently they left some other dude, who was maybe not so nice, tied up on the roof or something. I don’t know what happened after that, because my zombie dealer – I mean my source – I mean the guy who told me what happened each week – anyway, he moved. I actually considered buying the first season on dvd. Can you believe  that? I had to talk myself out of it, because, well, that would be CRAZY!***

And that’s the thing. What’s so compelling about the ones that really get it right is the human story. It’s the survival aspect, and it’s characters that you really want to see make it in the apocalyptic aftermath. What would people do, how would they act? How would they survive not only the monster that’s trying to kill them, but each other? It’s almost like real life.

Actually, it’s Survivor…but with zombies trying to eat you. Outwit, Outplay, Outlast – and don’t get eaten.

So that’s me. You start with “I’m a regular person” and somehow end up on Survivor, Zombie Island. Welcome to my blog!


*Michael Myers of the Halloween movies; not to be confused with Mike Myers, the actor;  I am not in the least afraid of Mike Myers, the actor.

**I wrote this in April of 2011, and now all of the episodes are nicely summarized on Wikipedia.  And I have read every single one of them.  *sigh*

***Okay, so now I own seasons 1-4 on dvd. Mostly I’m fine, except if I watch more than 1 at a time, I start feeling like there will be zombies in my front yard when I open the door, and I hesitate before I let Louis out at night. One step at a time, right? Anyway, keep it moving people…nothing more to see here.

Oh yeah, I bought Zombieland. And Shaun of the Dead. And Warm Bodies. And World War Z. I actually saw that one in the theater. Twice. Big screen zombies, y’all! I’m just a wild woman.


Just to prove it:

Click here to see more sea shell pictures (because I can’t help myself – I love pictures!)

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michelle, I love your blog. Your exuberance, good humor, and curiosity flow out of everything you write! Thank you for adding my blog to your “Places I Like” section. I will add you to mine; I’ve just been slow to tend to such things 🙂 I will return often to read your writing!

    May 1, 2011
    • skippingstones #

      Don’t feel obligated! I loved reading your blog and I definitely feel it’s worth sharing with others. I’m just getting started here and no one even knows I’ve got it. Like I said before, you’ve already got a fan base going, people are responding to what you have to share, so please keep up what you’re doing over there. I’ll be keeping up with your adventures, too!

      May 2, 2011
  2. I think Jaws did so much damage to us all! I couldn’t even swim in a swimming pool after seeing that movie. Of course the ocean will never be the same again. Did you see Open Water? It’s based on a true story,and will totally freak you out. Thanks for checking out my site. I loved “Some Things Just Defy Logic.” I will be visiting again!

    May 30, 2011
    • skippingstones #

      Heck no! I admit I was curious, and horrified at the idea of something like that happening. But that’s one I can’t see. Of course, that’s what wikipedia is for. So now I have to go look that up and get the story.

      Thanks for returning the visit! I’ve found quite a few interesting people through atomsofthought! I hope your first summer as a newly “freed” woman goes well and the garden thrives!

      May 30, 2011
  3. Just in case:

    The CDC has accepted the fact that there could be a zombie apocalypse so we should all be prepared.
    : )
    Excellent blog!

    July 5, 2011
    • Haha! Thanks! That was actually the first zombie thing I encountered in blogland, on someone else’s post. Ever since then, I’ve seen them popping their putrified little faces up everywhere. Maybe it’s just one of those things, like when I bought my Saturn. All of a sudden there were all these other Saturns all over the place. Maybe the zombies are already amongst us, and I’m just finally figuring it out.

      In any case, it never hurts to be more careful. So I think I’d better go ahead and print this so I can have it handy for the inevitable zombie apocolypse.

      Thank you for subscribing!

      July 5, 2011
  4. You know what did damage to me besides the movie “Jaws”–it was the movie, “IT” by Stephen King…let’s just say I don’t know how I will react if I am close to a clown. I wouldn’t have a clown for my kids birthday party–they ask for one every year, and I state…”I’ll give you anything you want, but one thing I will not give you is a clown–they scare the “beehevejeeves” out of me”. Good Post!

    August 1, 2011
    • I can’t watch those kinds of movies at all! I think I would be creeped out by a clown, though. There is just something about hiding of the face. If you mask the face, it seems like you are masking the whole person – it can feel sinister somehow.

      August 1, 2011
  5. I suppose you aren’t eagerly anticipating the upcoming release of the movie “Sharktopus” then? I totally sympathise with your fear of sharks, but I still swim in the ocean. I love it. I’m a big believer in “If it’s your time, there’s nothing you can do about it” and try to make the most of things.

    Great blog, I’m looking forward to reading much more of your writing. 🙂

    August 22, 2011
    • Thank you, you’re very kind!

      Is that a real movie? Okay, I just looked it up and no, I won’t be seeing that. Although the snappy music makes it seem not so scary. I liked in the trailer when he bit the bungie jumper right off the cord. That’s classic movie material. They should have had her attached to a giant hook.

      Well, I do think you’re right about the timing thing. When it’s my time to go, I won’t be able to stop it. My dad says that all fears root back to the fear of death (I did a fear Query, which started this big conversation). But I told him that I don’t get that far in my fear of sharks. I don’t think past the shark. My sister said well, you fear what the shark will do to you, therefore he’s right and the root of the fear is death. No, I said, I don’t get that far. I don’t think about teeth or gnashing of said teeth. I don’t think of the blood darkened water, I don’t think at all. I simply fear. But maybe they’re right and the original fear was rooted in shark-induced death, but now I’ve allowed it to grow into a grand thing.

      I can walk out into the ocean about so far and then it becomes a kind of paralyzing hum in my skin and muscles. I could make myself go further, and have. But the fear gets a grip on my body and there’s definitely a physical aspect to it. Fear is weird. Anyway, I’ll be headed to Florida for vacation soon. Mostly at Disney, but at least some of it will be spent up to about my knees in the ocean. Thighs if I can see my feet. Wish me luck! If it’s my time to go, please feel free to peruse my backlog of posts. Maybe take a shot of Grand Marnier in honor of my memory. It’s my favorite.

      August 22, 2011
  6. LOL. First, I love that you have a director’s cut “about me”. And I, too, have irrational fears about sharks and zombies. But I do go swimming (sort of) in the ocean… and I do watch zombie movies. I am fascinated by them for some reason. I like your blog!

    October 26, 2011
    • Thanks, I’m glad someone else, other than me, finds that amusing. That used to be my only “about me”, but it was so long that I cut it off.

      I’m like that too with the zombie movies. If they appear to be any good at all, I just can’t seem to stop myself from watching. That tv show is so tempting, but I’m scared to watch. I’ve seen one or two episodes, and that was the biggest mistake. Whenever I see an ad for it, I just really want to know what’s happening. It’s terrible.

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you found some things here you like. I’ll return the visit soon!

      October 27, 2011
  7. LOL I love this director’s cut version of your “about me”. Zombieland is one of my favourite zombie movies and I totally get what you mean about wanting to rewatch it. I bought the blu-ray! Another great zombie movie is “Shaun of the Dead’ – also totally rewatchable! 🙂

    November 23, 2011
    • Thanks! I did see Shawn of the Dead, a long time ago, and I thought it was pretty funny. I sometimes have an urge to see that one again, too. I read a few blogs written by zombie fanatics, and it’s starting to rub off on me. I still am scared, scared, scared, but I may have to allow some of those movies into my house before too long. Just the funny/scary ones like these two. Not the gory/scary ones. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have those in the house with me.

      November 23, 2011
  8. stevesw #

    “ Number two is the Zombies” So, I guess you did not participate in the November Fredericksburg Zombies Parade.

    March 28, 2012
    • No, but I meant to – honest. I wanted to take pictures and write a post about it. Wanting to write about something is a motivator to do all sorts of things I wouldn’t normally do. But I got my dates mixed up, and missed it.

      March 28, 2012
  9. Michelle! You are freaking hilarious! How did I miss this before? 😉 Sharks and zombies! I’m deathly afraid of getting head lice! It’s ridiculous what I do if I even HEAR that someone has had them. I can NEVER go in their home. EVER. 😉

    July 23, 2012
    • I have almost as many pages as I do posts, so don’t feel bad! Sometimes I think I need to cut some of them back, because it’s just too much. But then I remember that the blog should represent who I am, and that’s definitely who I am – I am a lots of pages kind of gal!

      I can understand the lice fear, cause you have all that gorgeous curly hair! But it’s funny how we get these ideas in our heads and they really can control some of our actions. I won’t go in the ocean, and you won’t go in a (former) lice house. But the upside is we’ll both be safe!

      July 23, 2012
  10. Loved reading this, Michelle. I thought I was the only one who went to Wikipedia and read the plots for movies I am too chicken to watch. Kindred. Spirit. Enjoying getting to know you through your posts.

    July 14, 2013
    • I am a Wikipedia junkie for sure! And Google. That’s why I love my smartphone so much is that easy and quick access to what I want to know. But definitely I want to know what happens in the scary movie, but don’t want to see it happen, haha!

      I’ve been loving you on Twitter!! But I just recently realized you blog (I can be pretty oblivious to what’s in front of my face sometimes). I’m going to go check you out. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

      July 16, 2013

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