The Fear Blog

By Cathy Thurber

The other night my husband and I were relaxing on the couch when all of a sudden it sounded like a herd of elephants were stampeding upstairs.  It got quiet then the booming of running feet happened two more times.  We heard our daughter adamantly talking to….someone?  Before we could get up and check it out, down the stairs she comes and dramatically exclaims, “Sorry about the noise, guys!  I was almost just killed by a spider – but I got him!”  My daughter has a definite case of arachnophobia.  Here is an idea of how she reacts to spiders:


Fear of spiders is definitely a common phobia.  I have what I call the “3 S-Fears”: Snakes, Spiders, and Sharks.  I’m not alone, though, as spiders and snakes are two of the top biggest fears.  According to, they are the #1 and #2 phobias in the world.  There’s also fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of small spaces (claustrophobia), and fear of open or crowded spaces (agoraphobia).  But, what about those not so common fears?  Fears that we rarely hear about?  Try these on for size:

  • The fear of balloons: globophobia
  • The fear of love: philophobia
  • The fear of buttons: koumpounophobia
  • The fear of bananas: bananaphobia
  • The fear of cotton balls: sidonglobophobia
  • The fear of snow: chionophobia
  • The fear of opinions: allodoxaphobia
  • The fear of beautiful women: venustraphobia
  • The fear of work: ergophobia
  • The fear of belly buttons: omphalophobia
  • The fear of chickens: alektorophobia
  • The fear of knees: genuphobia
  • The fear of losing cell phone contact: nomophobia
  • The fear of people in traditional Dutch costumes: dutchphobia
  • The fear of zombies: kinemortophobia


Did any of your fears end up on that list?  I hope not!  Although I wonder if anyone will try calling off sick because of ergophobia….

cathyCathy Thurber has over 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry and likes to think she’s learned a few things along the way, one of which being to not take herself too seriously.  She would love to say she has as many cool expertise’s as her fellow blogger, Ken Kukral, but she’s just not as old as him.  Cathy is a voracious reader and a total word nerd.  Most importantly, she’s been married to her favorite person for almost twenty years and has two kids that she actually likes.  However, the dog is her favorite child and she’s been wheedling for a cat for years.  Perhaps this is the lucky year?


Valentine’s Day… A Day for Lovers or Just Another Day?

Valentine’s Day is a hot topic for people in love and singles alike… some, treat it like it’s the Super Bowl of holidays, and others despise the mention of the day itself. It is no surprise that some consider it a commercialized holiday, when many of the expectations for celebrating include but are not limited to: chocolates, flowers, fancy dinner reservations, jewelry gifts etc. On the other hand, a lot of people just love a reason to celebrate love.  I decided to poll everyone at our office, to find out their thoughts on the holiday. I got quite the mix of answers:

These gals (and guy) LOVE to celebrate LOVE:

steph “I LOVE Valentines Day .. it’s a perfect reminder to be romantic! I get so mad when people say it’s a Hallmark Holiday .. check your facts people! Google is an awesome thing and you’ll find history behind the day. “ -Stephanie


“Valentine’s Day – A legitimate holiday!  I see it as a day to reconnect with your “significant other” and let them know how you feel about them.  We don’t do this often enough and this holiday is a good opportunity to do that. Best way to celebrate?  Time together,  Sweetest Day is the greeting card holiday!” – Ken

michelle“Very romantic! The holiday is what you make it, doesn’t have to be a hallmark holiday. It is just a day set aside to show the people you love how much you love and appreciate them. Whether it is with a card, gift or just a heartfelt kiss and an “I love you””  -Michelle

linda“We celebrate all kinds of things these days…. National Beer Day, National Chocolate Day, why not have a day to celebrate Love…..Valentine’s Day  We like to celebrate by going out to a wonderful restaurant and spending time together.” -Linda

cathy“According to my husband, Valentines’ Day is just a holiday the card companies made up to make money.  I, on the other hand, love Valentine’s Day and think it’s a sweet holiday for a couple.  I also really, really love chocolate-covered strawberries, which are a staple for Valentine’s Day.  And I really, really hope my husband reads this blog and buys me some.  Hint, hint.” -Cathy

maggie“I enjoy Valentine’s Day. I’d like to spend the night in making dinner together and watching movies with wine rather than going out!” -Maggie

amber“My hubby always worked on Valentine’s Day as a server so we always celebrated on our own another day.  I think it’s fun if you take the pressure off and do something silly! Flowers and reservations are overplayed, you got to switch it up and do something that makes the day more memorable!” -Amber

Some, take the middle ground on the holiday…

audra“I think I am in between  your two options.  I think it’s a romantic holiday because there is nothing wrong with having a reason to show your significant other you care.  On the other hand, we choose not really to celebrate.  We will do little things like cook a special dinner at home or give each other cards, but there is no reason to spend hundreds at a restaurant that is most likely understaffed and overpriced for the holidays. Or spends loads of money on flowers that will die in a week that cost you double what they will next week. ” -Audra

tricia“I think it all depends on where you are in your life.   If you are happy and in love, then yes, it’s a romantic holiday!  But if you are not with someone special, it is a lame Hallmark holiday. ” -Tricia

bryan“For me, Valentine’s day has become far too commercialized, just like Christmas, where the card companies have manipulated everyone to believe it is something it’s not.  The true reason behind Valentine’s Day has been long lost over time.  I go along with it lol         – Bryan

lisa“I’m sort of in the middle.  I think its definitely a Hallmark holiday however my hubby and I do get a gift for each other and cards etc.  For the most part though I think it’s a money making scheme.” -Lisa

amy“I’m a practical gift giver no matter what holiday it is.  Although I know Valentine’s day is supposed to be a romantic holiday my husband and son know to expect new socks or deodorant or something like that. ” -Amy

And some, prefer to celebrate love on other days…

diana“My husband and I feel that Valentine’s day is just another day. You should be showing your love and appreciation all year round to the people that you love, which is the success for any relationship no matter who that relationship is with. My children, my husband and my family know how I feel about them at all times not just one day a year” -Diana

bill“I used to think of Valentine’s day as a kid was exciting to be able to run around the neighborhood ringing doorbells leaving a cheap little card and running away without getting caught.  Then as I got older it was more about buying a gift for my girl and getting together for a date to exchange the gifts. Than as I got older again it became more about you “had” to buy not only a gift but gifts that were more expensive. Roses were priced at $75, chocolates were priced higher at that time of year. It seemed to me that it became a retailers and Hallmark’s way of getting money out of the Holiday. I think when you do love someone you do things for them that they don’t expect, even if you are married to someone that can never be surprised, and make them happy they met you and married you. I don’t think you need a “scheduled” day to show them you love them.” – Bill


“It’s just another day!” -Christine

jen“I don’t need a calendar day to celebrate being in love. I’d much prefer a thoughtful random gesture than receiving gifts on the 14th. I partially think I’ve grown up this way because my birthday is just a week before hand. In elementary school, I however LOVED making my own decorative mailboxes and handing out candy and valentine’s to my classmates! We should bring those traditions back as adults, I’d be all in!” -Jen

lisaj“I think Valentine’s Day is a retailers’ ploy to sell greeting cards, chocolates and roses at inflated prices.  A spontaneous gift of a bouquet of daisies that says “I’m thinking of you” is far more romantic than a gift dictated by a designated holiday. ” -Lisa

As you can see, everyone has their own take on the holiday, but in the end, everyone likes to show love one way or another, either by participating in a lover’s holiday, or with a simple gesture at random. Have a wonderful weekend, and share the love, however you prefer doing it!

jenJen Monroe serves as the International Excess Marketing Director (duties include but not limited to: Graphic Design, Web Design, Marketing and Social Media, as well as part time blogger). Jen has a love for all things art, Cleveland sports (Go Cavs!), New Kids on the Block, pugs (specifically her smiley pup, Joss) and fat cat, Delonte. Oh, and french fries– you gotta’ love french fries. 


We came across this fun list of “punographics” & thought we would share them! Enjoy!

When chemists die, they barium.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid.  He says he can stop any time.

How does Moses make his tea?  Hebrews it.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.  Then it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity.  I just can’t put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns.  It was a play on words.

They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type-O.

PMS jokes aren’t funny; period.

Why were the Indians here first?  They had reservations.

We are going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory.  I hope there’s no pop quiz.

I didn’t like my beard at first.  Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she

couldn’t control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection urine trouble.

Broken pencils are pointless.

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?   A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

All the toilets in London’s police stations have been stolen.  The police have

nothing to go on.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Velcro — what a rip off!

A cartoonist was found dead in his home.  Details are sketchy.