Monday, July 21, 2014

Weird Things That Did/Still Scare Me

I, like many people, have a strange imagination. That imagination, although great in some areas, can do some crazy things to my brain. As a kid I would make up the strangest things and believe in even stranger things. Like octopuses living in Arizona lakes or pianos being played by puppets in the night. To this day these things still pop up in my head and give me a pretty good scare, so I decided to make a little list (in no particular order) of those things that use to/ still scare me.

Pool Vacuums

Something about how these things move under water just gives me the heebie jeebies. They never had a set course and would turn on a dime when you got next to them...for some reason. It's like they wanted to eat me.

Open Water

This applies to any open body of water. The ocean is the worst, but I haven't had too many experiences with it. The lake was a common place in my childhood and I would never let my feet stand still in the water for too long. I KNEW there had to be some octopus or giant squid at the bottom of Saguaro Lake because I always felt this slimy hand grab me when I went knee boarding. Oh, and I got really good at that knee boarding stuff because I knew if I fell off, I would get pulled under.

All of E.T.

This movie made absolutely NO SENSE to me as a kid and I think that's what scared me the most. Why did Elliot leave E.T. in his room? He's an ALIEN! What the heck would E.T. do with a telephone? Is everyone around Elliot that stupid that dressing E.T. up would distract them from seeing that he's hideous and looks nothing like a person...or a doll. Why is everyone afraid of the people in white suits? Seriously though. And that scene when Elliot, plant and E.T. start dying will never leave my brain. Dead E.T. is nightmare E.T.

Temple Guards

These fellers were on a great show called Legends of the Hidden Temple. It was a fantasy of mine that I would get picked to go on this show and finally make it all the way to the end of the obstacle course. BUT!! There were these temple guard guys that would randomly jump out at you in the course and if they caught you, your run ended. What made them scary was that they had these creepy masks that made them look lifeless, which would result in poop stains on my underwear.

Tiki Masks

Speaking of masks, my grandma had a mask very similar to the one in this picture that my uncle would wear to scare the little ones. I was one of those little ones and I was definitely scared of it. I would try to play it off like it was just a mask, but it held this weird poop stain/lifeless fear just like the temple guards had. This picture doesn't do the creepiness justice either. Imagine some eyes moving in those two holes at the top and you've got a sleepless night ahead of you.

Basements/Going up Stairs at Night

I think Home Alone ruined my idea of basements. Now there were a lot of kids that I knew that thought basements were a little freaky, so it's not uncommon...but I still hate them. The worst thing about them though is going up the stairs to the main floor. Running up them was the only way I wasn't going to get snatched by someone lurking in the shadows.

Dense Forests at Dusk

Right before the sun decides to go to sleep, something awakens within the imagination. It really just goes nuts in forests at this time of day. I don't know what it is, but I start seeing some crazy stuff. It must be the shadows or the sudden lack of light that messes with my logical side. Also, the slightest crunch of a leaf will send me into a coma.

Water Levels in Video Games 

Pinnacle Rock Eels from The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask
Clanker from Banjo Kazooie
Eel from Super Mario 64
When these levels came up, I skipped them and handed the controller over to a brother. I couldn't take it! It goes along with my fear of open water. I just hate not knowing what's going on in the water and not being able to move as fast. I feel trapped, hindered, caught by some force that I have no control over. Oh, and it doesn't help that water animals creep me out too. THOSE EYES!!!


Since I mentioned eyes, mannequin eyes have to be the creepiest. Actually, mannequins in general are the worst. Whoever decided that making something that looks almost human was a heck of a psycho. Fred on I Am Legend only made it worse...

Slappy from Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy

So this guy kind of goes along with my fear of mannequins. Things that look like people, but are far from looking like any person I know of, is nightmare heaven. The uncanny valley can be a crapper... I've always tried to make Slappy some sort of joke in my head, but it never works. You could never get rid of him in the movies either! It's horrible. His voice, his eyes (I have a thing for strange eyes), the way he's already giving me Goosebumps.

and finally

Taking a Shower in an Empty Night

I think we can all agree that this applies to everyone...not just grown men like me.

*This will be a growing list as time goes on and as I start remembering old scares.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Note to My Wife

Well, it's that time of year again. I thought it had passed with Christmas, Valentines Day and the Anniversary ...NOPE! Mother's Day is just a day or two away (depending on when I finish this) and I have yet to do something like I did with the other holidays. So, part of this holiday will be to make a lovey-dovey message to my wife about her being the best mom and wife ever.

This message is long overdue, mainly because I am a procrastinator and also because I can't express my feelings in the spoken word...I'm worthless when it comes to the sweet-talk. So I have come to the conclusion that this will be not only something for Mother's Day, but for many days to come. Something for my wife to know that I dearly love her, more than video games (crazy, I know), more than music, more than my brothers (probably crazier) and more than my parents. All of which are the things I love most in my life, but they don't come close to what I feel for her.

It's weird...
Love is a strange concept. I don't get it. Especially when it's directed to only one person. I mean you go through life being influenced by so many different people, movies, TV shows, games, books, etc. and they all say exactly how it's supposed to be, but what they don't inform you on is how your experience with love will be completely different than all of those.

Before going into a relationship with a significant other, I always thought you just needed to wait until something happened between the two of you. Like all of a sudden a magical fairy would tap us on our heads and we would know that we were destined for each other. BAM! Just like that! In love, married and already having babies out the wazoo because of our intense love for all things lovey!

Not Realistic

...and I'm glad

I am seriously blessed to know that love isn't as it was in my mind. It's much more than just a little magic. It definitely comes out of nowhere...but there's something that builds gradually. A common attraction between the two, and a wanting for qualities in what the other has and the other lacks, is something that started to grow within me.

Being outgoing is not my thing. Being spontaneous is not my thing. Loving someone is not my thing. Those were things that I wanted, though. I longed to find someone who could fill in my gaps. I wanted someone who could not only deal with my strangeness, but who would embrace it and wanted to know about all of my oddities because trust me...there's a lot.

I mean, there's some normal to me...

and I'm somewhat interesting...

Ha, who am I kidding! I'm like Mr. Darcy!
And it has plagued me for as long as I can remember
I always thought these things would inhibit me from ever meeting someone that would get me. It frightened me because I just didn't like doing things like everyone else, and that kept me from being truly happy.

I remember sitting at the piano bench after every institute class and playing a couple of songs because I didn't want to talk to anyone just in case someone needed to hear some sweet tunes. Never once did I think it would lure a potential victim into the "Weird and Often Dull Life of Spencer Hon".

Well it did and it ended up being my wife.

Being a complete noob to the whole relationship thing, I kind of just went with the flow. She was a pro though and wanted to move things along...I didn't get the hint.

Did I like her? Of course! I couldn't go one second without finding a way to be around her! But taking that next step was so foreign to me. Had I done it once before? Ya. This was different though. Chelsey was a pro, but I couldn't just let her work her sweetness on other peeps.

I could see it in the other guys' eyes that they wanted to be around her too. I mean, who wouldn't?! She's outgoing, spontaneous and loved people unconditionally, something most guy's lacked and I was definitely one of them. So I had to work my way into her life. I had to be everywhere she was, I had to get to know her family, her friends, her wants and desires. I didn't just want to come into her life and then throw that friendship away like I've done so many times with other people. Once I started to do those things, all of a sudden I felt different...I was in love.

Holy crap! Where did that come from!?? I mean I gave her cookies at institute and I got really mad when other people wanted them (THEY WERE ALL HERS PEOPLE!!!) I dressed up as an old guy for Halloween with her... and then she ended up breaking my cane I used, (with said costume) while trying to keep my CTR ring away from me (meanie). I played Super Smash Bros. with her bros and wanted to destroy them every time! We belted Backstreet Boys and N'SYNC in the car after we picked up some Lil' Caesers. We went to the Temple religiously (get it...cause it's a religious thing to do! I crack my self up.) And we went on a road trip and sat RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER FOR A TOTAL OF 24 HOURS! All of this happened before we even started dating. Maybe that's where this love thing came from. By the time we started dating, I couldn't separate myself from her. My love was all hers.

Then things just started happening after that, like this...
It was a lot slower than this, like snail slow, or molasses,
or waiting for a snowbird to pull out of a parking spot type of slow.
...while watching this
Ya, we're not weird.
And then this!...
So romantic!
...after eating this.
So good tho!
And finally, I did this!...
So classy!
...after hiking a mountain and feeling like this.
So sweaty!
It all just happened pretty quick. I didn't plan it that way, it just sorta happened. Soon enough we were married and life hasn't stopped being crazy since.

Chelsey will probably never hear me say things like this because frankly, I can't talk. I don't know how to say stuff when it needs to be said, and if I do end up saying it, she already has fallen asleep. I freeze up and try to act cool by saying things like "You're funny!" or "You're awesome!". Those get tiring pretty fast. So this is my love note to you mi esposita. 

I hope you understand my love for you, not only as my wife, but as the mother to Brynlee. You're the best thing she has. After not seeing her for a while, she always gets the biggest smile on her face and it lets me know how much you mean to her. I know you would do anything for her and I'm grateful that you have learned how to be such a loving parent from your own parents.

There's nothing that could stop me from loving you and I couldn't be complete without you. Even though I don't tell you nice things all the time, get you stuff normal guys get their wives (flowers, jewelry and the such), take you to fancy restaurants or pay attention to everything you say (hey, I'm an airhead), I will always love you more than you could ever know. I won't show it by doing the fake stuff. I'll always be studying you (creepy right?), thinking of ways to help and serve you. I'll still be quiet, standing in the background, wanting to say the right things at the right times... In the end, I'll still be like Mr. Darcy.

I love you Chelsey Hon
You're the best Mother and Wife anyone could ever ask for.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Music Fascination

For as long as I can remember, I've always had this fascination with music. Really, sounds in general. I don't know what goes on in my brain, but when I hear a good beat, tone, lyric, riff, whistle, clap, or even a scream...something happens. There's this voice in my brain that says, "Keep listening." I'm just going to throw this idea out there that it has something to do with my upbringing and a few musically defining moments.

Music has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my brothers and I had this sweet radio that could play both AM/FM, sound off an alarm to wake up for school AND tell the time! Revolutionary stuff, right? The actual cool thing about it though was that we never turned it off. It would play music all day, every day. My first memories of listening to the radio was Disney Radio. I know....kiddy stuff, but it was actually not that bad back in the late 90's. Now they only had like 5 songs they would play....and I bet I can even name them off: Eiffel 65 - I'm Blue, Hampton the Hamster - The Hampsterdance, Kenny Loggins - Christopher Robin, Baha Men - Who Let the Dogs Out, and my favorite VENGA BOYS - WE LIKE TO PARTY. Man, I loved that song. I would come home from school and wait in my room until that song would play and then proceed to dance around like a professional break dancer.
Untouchable skills
I was awesome. ANYWAY, that's what started it off. From there I remember a lot of other music that my parents would listen to. My mom likes Country and 80's pop and my dad likes Smooth Jazz, Classical, 60's/70's pop, some 80's Rock and Michael a lot of Michael Jackson (my sister says Michael Jackson is my dads "Favorite Boy!", rich). My ears got the full treatment! I would listen to my moms stuff in the summer as we drove around to our various activities and I would listen my dads stuff in his computer room and when he drove us to soccer practice. It was really a good mix of musical cement that helped to set a foundation for my fascination of music.

I just kind of thought this was the best.

Once I started liking girls, (it took me a while, I blame Pokemon) I felt the need to listen to whatever they were listening to. That meant A LOT of Backstreet Boys and 'N SYNC. They would have posters of Justin and JC taped on the side of their desks. Pictures galore of Nick Carter and Brian Littrell plastered all over their notebooks. I NEEDED TO LISTEN TO THESE GUYS!!! Sadly, my first album wasn't of a cool rock band (my second one was, but still), it was of 'N SYNC's debut album that I got as an Easter gift. I would listen to that Every.Single.Day. It was that good. I sound like a complete girl, but I wanted to know what made these guys so special! My brother got the Backstreet Boys debut album as an Easter gift as well and we would take turns putting our CD's into the chinsy boom box we had that needed something on top of it to keep the CD from popping out. To this day I still know the lyrics to most of the songs from both albums. I'm a little rusty, but hey, it's been like 15 years.

From there I built on my musical library with Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory for Christmas of that same year. Now Linkin Park is completely different from anything that I had heard up until that point in my life. I asked my parents for it because my friends were listening to it at the time, but I didn't really know what to expect...and I don't think my parents knew either. When I got it, along with a sweet new CD player, I was hooked. I think I broke my CD player because I listened to it too much and brought it with me everywhere I went. Linkin Park became my favorite band and Meteora, which was also from Linkin Park, became my favorite album of all time. I still stand by that, even though it's hard to fight for. Linkin Park has grown into something completely different than in their early years and I just don't even care for them at all. The sweet mix between Metal and Rap was SO beautiful in its beginnings. Some of their songs are very radio friendly/cheesy, especially their singles, but most of it is actually amazing.

Even Brent Rambo approves of Meteora! (whoever that kid is)
This musical period in my life would soon end though since Linkin Park became super mainstream...and who likes mainstream stuff? Apparently not me. So I moved on to other things and found a gold mine in the "70's, 80's and Today!", a.k.a. 98.7 The Peak. 98.7 was an amazing radio station in the Phoenix area that played everything I loved about music. Something about the 70's and 80's music just made sense. From the time I entered High School and until I graduated, 98.7 became the new Disney Radio. All day, 'Er day. I was in love with bands that my parents grew up with and found it hard to understand why anyone would ditch the synth. The freakin' SYNTH! Ya, I just don't get it.

Feel it baby!
Music back then just had a different feel. It actually made you feel things that most music nowadays doesn't. I can't listen to a Justin Beiber song and think, "Hey, "Never Say Never" would have been awesome at the end of a Back to the Future movie." My brain just gags itself and says, "Sorry, that does not compute." Or what if we swapped "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from The Breakfast Club with a Miley Cyrus song. Gross. I can't take it. There's just no feels in this new stuff. Sometimes I feel like a huge hipster when I shoot down some of this new stuff coming out, but I actually love a lot of new bands and songs. I just don't like a lot of what most people that hipsterish? Does it have something to do with most songs being lyrically emotionless? Probably. Lack of synth? Mos Def (cool guy). Is it the heart? Maybe. I can't really explain what it is about most songs on the radio these days, but it just doesn't sit well with me. There are definitely exceptions (songs in Just Dance are my weakness), but I find it hard to sit through an entire mainstream Taylor Swift song without cringing.

What I want to know is what happened to this stuff on the radio?

Instead we get stuff like this.

WHAT HAPPENED!!!????? Really? My ears just can't take it anymore. It's hard to find people that have the same music interests as me now because this (I'm looking at you One Direction) has happened. I've heard that they are this generations "'N SYNC" just like 'N SYNC was my generations "New Kids on the Block". You just can't compare them though. I like both New Kids on the Block and 'N SYNC, but the bands now just don't care any more. Maybe they do and I'm a horrible person for thinking that. I'm telling you though, something happened between the 70's and today and I don't like it.

I digress, what has happened has happened. I hope kids today go through a process that I went through. Being exposed to as much music as I was has made me who I am today. Those songs that I remember have influenced the music I listen to today because, weirdly enough, there's that same kind of vibe being given off. I can hear it in bands like Bombay Bicycle Club and M83. I can hear it in the soft Rogue Wave songs. I don't know if mainstream will ever become what it once was, but man do I want it fascination with music needs it.