Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Alien Abduction


is for alien abduction.

I was a child of the eighties. I grew up with neon bike shorts and My Little Ponies and Madonna and rubik's cubes (which I solved by peeling off the stickers). My sister and I rode bikes with little plastic beads on the spokes and we played with our Popples and Barbies and Cabbage Patch Dolls. I grew up singing True Blue and eating jawbreakers.

I also grew up during the height of alien abduction hysteria.

I don't know when I first learned about alien abduction. I think that it might have been while watching an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. I'm pretty sure that I wasn't even allowed to watch that show. All I know is that this was burned into my brain:


I was scared of a lot of things - ghosts, monsters, Bad Guys - but they were all dwarfed by my fear of alien abduction. It got to the point where I was sure that I would be abducted. I had no idea what would happen after being abducted, but that wasn't what I was worried about. I was worried about the abduction itself: the spaceship and floating through the air and not being able to move. And the aliens.

My biggest fear was that I would "lose time". Losing time was the alien-y phenomenon of suddenly losing hours or minutes, which meant - of course - that you had been abducted during the lost time. I remember laying in bed next to my clock radio, checking the time every few minutes when I couldn't fall asleep.




* please note: I reused the 4-year-old clay me, but I was older at the time of this story - probably about nine or ten. But my Dad loved me in mushroom cuts, so my hair was pretty similar. To this day, he sometimes asks me why I don't get a mushroom cut.

Suddenly, laying in bed, I would find myself wondering if I'd just lost time. My heart would jump into my throat and I would lay there with my eyes squeezed shut, trying to convince myself that it was still only 9:10, that I hadn't lost time, that I wouldn't open my eyes to find that it was 10:01 or 12:14 or 3:00 (which, for some reason, seemed like it was the scariest time of all).




It would get to the point where I wasn't sure which would be scarier: opening my eyes and seeing that it was later then I thought, or keeping them closed and never knowing. Eventually, I'd give in and open one eye - just a crack - to look at the clock.


The relief would wash over me. And this time, I'd tell myself, I would keep my eyes shut.

Maybe.

I'm a grown-up now. I'm older and braver and more able to differentiate between fantasy and reality. And so earlier this year, I tried to watch the X-Files again. I would watch it from the start, I decided. It would be easy for me to watch it this time around!

I made it all the way to season 2, episode 5, but then I had to stop.

Because it turns out that this:


is still too scary for me.


Gah. Shudder. Go away.

This is installment one of the Clay Baboons Alphablog: 26 Things That Annoy Me, Confuse Me, Creep Me Out, or Otherwise Make My Life More Difficult.

96 comments:

  1. Love, love, LOVE this, Stephanie! Cute and clever and sweet and so damned creative! You really brought a smile to my day--thanks! :D

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! (But really...it's not cute. It's SCARY. Scary, I tell you.)

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  2. Hhahahaha awww....sorry you're still freaked out by it! I can't watch criminal minds, because the serial killers freak me out too much. Sigh.

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    1. I have to be careful about that show if JP is away and I'm alone in the house. But...Shemar Moore? Sigh. What a beautiful man.

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  3. I don't have any memory of anything before 1990 and yet I remember all of those things. I was alien obsessed. And I too solved rubiks cubes by peeling the stickers.

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    1. Well, I think that aliens might actually have been even bigger in the 90s, what with The X-Files.

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  4. I love your clay stories! Looking forward to reading more from you this month!

    You are actually my inspiration for the A to Z Challenge! I found you through Sophia Chang's Day in the Life of series, and I've been following you secretly ever since :)

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    1. Thanks for saying hello, nita! I love getting to know my readers, and I'm so happy that you're enjoying my blog.

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    1. I like them too! I'm a sucker for science fiction. I'm only scared by the big-headed gray aliens with pointy black eyes who abduct people.

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  6. A few episodes of The X-Files scared me a bunch. Aliens are quite freaky, especially the ones in that show.

    On a side note: I can solve a Rubik's cube in 2 minutes... without pulling off the stickers!

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    1. I think you should post a video of that.

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  7. I loved everything alien, but they didn't scare me. Had I actually seen one, I probably would have approached it out of curiosity. Then it would have eaten me.

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    1. I'm pretty sure those little gray/green aliens don't have any teeth.

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  8. Ahaha. I had the same sort of fears when I was little, except it was more about demon-type things. I would just have to open my eyes to make sure that I was alone, rather than to check the time.

    Also, 3:00-4:00 am is known as the witching hour (or the hour of the devil) and is the darkest part of night. 3:00-4:00 pm is basically God's hour (I forget the actual name of it), because it's the exact opposite (and ironically enough, when most schools let out).

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    1. Yeah, demon-type things can definitely be scary. That's interesting about the times! I always thought midnight was the witching hour. But 3:00 makes more sense...because it really is dark and quiet.

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  9. Hee hee, wonderful post. Could so easily be talking about my childhood here.

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    1. I have a feeling there are a whole bunch of us closet alien-phobes running around, pretending to lead normal lives.

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  10. I actually watched the sky for ufos. I think I first learned about aliens by watching "In Search Of..." with Leonard Nimoy. Then I saw an actual exhibit about aliens on the top floor of skyscraper.

    And I also peeled the stickers off my Rubik's cube. But Pa figured it out and called me out on it. Party pooper.

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    1. You just reminded me of seeing lights in the sky as a teenager. They ended up being some promotional spotlights from a car dealership, but at the time I was SURE that it was aliens. I was alone at home, and my heart was pounding so fast that I thought I might pass out.

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  11. I still don't remember the 60's and part of the 70's, but then It was the 60's and 70's. Apparently the little jerks brought me back just in time for the disco era. Man they are really evil.
    I can't watch any scary shows. I wonder if it's because of submerged memories? Thanks for the nice comment. I love your blog. I miss Mr. Bill and Gumby.

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    1. I usually like scary shows and movies, but my imagination can be a bit out of control. I can't watch them when I'm alone.

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  12. OMG, I was this way about Dracula! Garlic everywhere! But, girl, you have a lovely writing voice and know how to tell a story. New Follower here. Nice to meet you.

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    1. Dracula? Bahahaha! Errr...not to laugh at your fears or anything. 'Cause I'm sure there are people out there laughing at my alien fears. But the idea of you putting garlic everywhere is cracking me up.

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  13. He he he - love the eyeballing of the clock.

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    1. I didn't know how to show - in clay - how sloooooowly I opened my eyes.

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  14. OMG me too! I once got up in the night to take some Aleve when I was a young-ish teen and started thinking about how aliens would find my lava lamp really fascinating, so when I got back in bed and realized that the pills didn't wash all the way down, I was too scared to get back up and drink more water. The Aleve burned a hole in my esophagus but at least I didn't have to see any aliens.

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    1. Oh, I feel aaaaaall of your pain. The "need Aleve" pain (which - and I might be completely wrong here - I'm assuming was really bad menstrual cramps), and then the alien fear pain, and then the pills pain. Miserable.

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  15. Neat blog I love your clay creation pictures! The things from your childhood I remember too and the aliens! Look forward to reading more posts

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    1. Thanks Mike! Glad you stopped by! (And also glad I'm not the only one who was scared of aliens.)

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  16. First, this made me totally nostalgic for the 80s. Second, your clay creations are an awesome idea and creative avenue. Totally jealous, and totally hooked :-)

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    1. I was an 80s child and a 90s teen. But I think the 80s were more fun. Glad you stopped by!

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  17. The 80's is the best decade ... for many reasons... which I can't go into here...
    Your alien reference made me think of the series "V" (I think that was the title...), which was the first alien TV series I can remember...
    Love your clay people!

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    1. I never watched the original V, but I did (try to) watch the remake. I didn't really like it, though.

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  18. Your first paragraph....I'm just saying "ME TOO!" to the whole thing! In fact, I found my popple in my mom's attic just a couple days ago...

    I watched x-files once before bed, when I lived alone....and I was so scared I couldn't sleep and I've never made that mistake since!

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    1. I loved our popple! It was actually my sister's toy. We used to play Operation Popple, which involved hauling it up and down the stairs on yarn. It was a very long and involved game.

      JP isn't interested in X-Files, which is why I had to stop. I just can't watch it alone, even though I'd really like to finish the series.

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  19. For me it was the probing. Still now when I wake up with aches and pains in the morning I blame it on alien abduction and probing. Loved the X-Files though.

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    1. Yeah, I don't even think I knew what probing was at the time. And I don't really know how to appropriately respond to a comment about probing beyond that. Ha!

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  20. Alien abduction might've been the only thing I didn't fear. Now I am afraid it should have!

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    1. Oh dear...I hope I haven't created a new phobia for you. Ha!

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  21. Thanks for stopping by! Look forward to the rest of your posts.

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  22. I really enjoyed this post. I'm glad I wasn't the only one like this! ;-)

    New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Sylvia! Welcome! And I think there are a lot more alien-abductions-phobes out there than we realize.

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  23. My issue is the dark. I *hate* being in the dark! I still sleep with the lamp on my bedside table on sometimes (usually when I stay up reading).

    As for abductions, there were quite a number of child abductions in New Jersey back in the late 80s; no need for aliens to steal kids when humans seem to do a good enough job of it. That may have been one reason as to why my family fled to Miami. :P

    -Barb the French Bean

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    1. I'm actually ok with the dark. When it comes to sleeping, the darker the better. It helps to have a big dog, though...having a big dog sleeping by the side of the bed makes it easier to sleep!

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  24. Ha!!

    I never worried about aliens. Monsters, though. And zombies. Which are really just monsters anyway, I guess? I still run and jump into bed sometimes when I'm alone in the house (with just the kids) at night. Is that totally weird? Yeah, I guess it is. And I think: "am *I* supposed to be the protector? Yikes ... we are in DEEP trouble." ;)

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    1. Yeah, I do have a love-hate relationship with zombies. And if you're weird, then so am I.

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  25. I was the kid defending aliens' existence at the lunch table. I've always found them fascinating! The ones you modeled are the creepy ones..

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    1. I just hope that when they do come, they're nice.

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  26. Aliens would never bother with you. If you check the reports, they're only messing with the really crazy people. I don't think you qualify. Sleep easy, my friend.

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    1. Well...thank you. Believe it or not I DO feel better now.

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  27. Awesome!! I think maybe we are the same age. I had the bike spokes, the ponies, the neon, the everything you mentioned :) I didn't have the fear of aliens but maybe it was... oh Idk... because of ALIENS and ALIEN and ET and so on... Gah. I think the obsession is coming back too.

    I love your clay tissue bed. You're kind of amazing.

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    1. OK...but wait... are you saying that you weren't afraid of aliens BECAUSE of Alien? Because that movie was crazy scary...

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  28. X Files is much creepier than it is given credit for. I totally feel you on this. A couple of years ago we decided to watch a marathon of X Files and apart from a being a little scary nothing scarred me for life quite like Mrs Peacock. She was the limbless mother of a family of inbreeds (X files is all kinds of funked up)and she lives UNDER THE BED. So that was it, each night the boyf would have to check under the bed to make sure she wasn't there. I was 24. I can't think about her too much or I will NEVER sleep...

    Love Elle xo

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    1. I watched the later shows when I was in university, but it turns out that the earliest ones were the scariest. I don't think I ever saw Mrs Peacock. Which is probably a good thing.

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    2. I am sorry to do this to you... but http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/128708_1224072537001_full.jpg

      I know you will click it... I am a bitch... but I NEED you to understand!!! Don't be scared of aliens when there's this lady hanging out under your bed. ALSO I have this real irrational fear of amputees... not very PC I know... but I can't help it... I just had a breakthrough THIS is why. DAMN YOU MRS PEACOCK!!!! Love Ello xo

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    3. Oh. Yeah. Creepy. Now I want to watch that episode.

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  29. awesome blog post to kick off the a-z challenge, stephanie! love the clay incorporations!! (ie the clock radio. and you with your mushroom haircut).
    child of the 80's - my great fear was nuclear war. i was sure we were going to get blown up at any moment. better memories: taking apart a rubik's cube to get the colours in order, leg warmers...madonna was my teenage era!
    your alien fear is shared - no tv shows of that nature for me. too scary, even today!
    i look forward to reading your a-z challenges!! yippee!

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    1. I was sometimes afraid of nuclear war...but aliens were really the scariest thing for me. This will be a good month...we'll get to read each other's blogs 26 times! Ha!

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  30. So funny, aliens weren't on my radar (a 70s child though). Agree with Cathy, I had the nuclear war fear and fear of being kidnapped (atlanta child murders) and fear of cyanide in halloween candy. Good times.

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    1. Haha @ the Halloween candy. Funny to think back on what we're scared of. Not funny at the time, though!

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  31. Stephanie, this is great as always. I would be doing better if I had started to think about the A to Z challenge when you first mentioned it. You were born to do this!!

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    1. I'm not so sure about that! Well, I WAS born to procrastinate. And blogging is one of the world's best procrastination tools.

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  32. I was both fascinated and scared of aliens. And a lot of other things. I remember being paralyzed under my bed covers after watching Friday the 13th for the first time. :(

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    1. That one actually didn't scare me all that much...which is shocking, considering the fact that I was scared of pretty much everything else.

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  33. Stephanie,

    Oh, aliens. Come on! Who is scared of THEM? They don't exist!

    Here's who you should really be afraid of: Big Foot. He lived under my bed when I was a small child. I never saw him, but I KNEW he was there waiting to kill me. I would peek under there if I was brave, but guess what-- he was clever and would hide somewhere else (not sure where).

    So, yeah, don't waste a second more of your life thinking about aliens, when obviously all real disasters/ murders/ trauma are caused by Big Foot.

    best,
    MOV

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    1. Big Foot FROM OUTER SPACE! Ha! No, seriously, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I don't know how I managed to survive for this long without knowing about this awful threat.

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  34. Oh my, what a great story. The words and feelings mixed in with the clay figures. I'm hooked!! Definitely will be back for more.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Donna! Thanks for stopping by! May your days be alien-free.

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  35. Awesome. I assume then that you have never read Communion? I highly encourage you to NEVER EVER read it EVER!! Parts of it supposedly took place about twenty miles from where I grew up. HOLY MOLY! I'm fairly certain I didn't sleep for a month afterwards!

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    1. I tried! I bought that book through Scholastic when I was in eighth grade. I never made it past that first bit with all of the aliens around the house. Gah.

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  36. I think I saw that same episode of Unsolved Mysteries. For the next year, anytime I saw something in the sky (usually an airplane) I was CONVINCED it was a UFO. Scary business, my friend. Scary business.

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    1. Seriously scary. I once found myself near tears over lights in the sky that ended up being promotional spotlights from a car dealership. Hmmmm...I think I'll need to blog that one someday.

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  37. Creepy, hilarious pics---and I'm in love with your blog voice. Great post.

    Look forward to your challenge posts...
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! I'm glad you stopped by. :)

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  38. Wow I love the clay figures! Great post!! :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  39. loved this! All great details and so much that era. ANd love the alien stuff. but where's your B???

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    1. B is up now! :) It's not as good as A, though. Oh well.

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  40. Mine was ghosts. Still believe in them, but I don't think they're always as scary as thought. Sometimes, though...

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    1. I was afraid of ghosts, too. Can't say I'm completely over that one.

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  41. Cool start to the A to Z Well done...... Glad I don't have this many comments to deal with PHEW

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    1. I love comments. My comment-to-reader ratio is pretty high (ie. I don't have anywhere near as many pageviews as people think I do), and I'm always happy and excited to read every one of them. But I'm not going to lie...responding to every one of them will be tough if I'm posting every day. I'll do my best!

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    1. Says the multi-talented artist. ;)

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  43. Yes, the '80s must have been big for alien abduction. My mom was also really fascinated with it, so I'm sure that fueled my fear (and fascination) a bit more. I also went through a big phase when E.T. was popular when I actually prayed for E.T. to come for a visit. It was at a point in my schooling when I was pretty sure an alien would be more interesting than my classmates.

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    1. E.T. was a cool alien. Very unscary. I like him much better than the alien abductors.

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  44. I love your little teddy bear :)

    I have never been afraid of aliens! I watched the X Files and of course knew about the possibility of aliens abducting me, but they never got to me. Movies about aliens were always the least scary to me. But GHOSTS. Ghosts are frickin' scary.
    I love that you are doing the A to Z challenge. I thought about it, but it's just too much for me right now. It's hard for me to even post a few times a week. Ho hum!

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    1. Oh, I was scared of ghosts too. I'm not really scared of ghosts anymore. Except that sometimes I am. It's hard for me to post, too. I needed a kick in the butt. Posting daily, though, means MUCH shorter posts for me. No long stories.

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  45. Ok, completely ignoring all of the alien stuff (for now)... OHMYGAWD! I miss my Popples. I even had a Popples sleeping bag.

    Ok, now back to the alien thing - I do remember the height of the alien scare. I just knew I was going to be visited by our galaxy neighbors. But I never was... That I know of.

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    1. It was my sister's popple. We LOVED that thing. And how can you be sure you were never visited? Ha!

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  46. I love your clay figures.I think Aliens scare us so much becuase although we don't believe in monsters and suchlike there might just be ailiens from another world ,many people have said they've saw them,surely they can't all be mad? Sleep well!

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    1. Thank you! :) I do sleep well. Usually. So long as I don't think too much.

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  47. Found you from MOV's blog. Your clay figures are just too cute.
    I understand about your aversion to aliens but what about ET? I mean he went home and the whole Reese's Pieces? ;)
    Great stuff. I will be back.
    ~Naila Moon

    http://yaknowstuff.blogspot.com/2012/04/e.html

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  48. I love your clay work and your stories. I just discovered Neil Degrasse Tyson's video about UFOs and alien abductions... thought you might like it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT5ifDt8G_M

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