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Little lessons

July 20, 2010

It’s been over four months now. Four months since the shit hit the fan and my life went all wacked out.

Where am I at?

I’ve realized who I am, who I can be and who I want to be. I have lost friends and discovered who I really can count on. I’ve realized that I cannot trust my own emotions and what it’s like to be lonely. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve cussed, screamed and thrown a fit; I’ve taken things from people I shouldn’t have, I’ve been walked over and grown a backbone. I’ve learned to stand up for myself, I’ve lost that shy little girl and somehow become an adult. I’ve started dating a guy, stopped dating a guy and now don’t know what the hell I’m doing with said guy.

I’m emotionally still all torn to hell, but it is getting better. I’m not in love with Chris but there is still some bitterness there. Some hurt and resentment. I despise that he is unable to spend a moment without ‘her’. I despise that my children do not get to spend time with just daddy and I despise that he still lies to me. I hate that my daughters are in the middle of things that I do not want them to be in.

But I am happy. I’m secure. I know I can stand on my own two feet. I don’t dread getting up in the morning, I don’t fall asleep crying or wondering where my husband actually spent the night. My nightmares and insomnia have stopped. My hands don’t shake anymore.  I have a job, I don’t love my job, but I don’t hate it either. I do love the people I work with though.🙂

So all in all, I’m balanced. I’ve found a center, I’ve found some peace. And at the end of the day, it’s all okay.

Sometimes people are blinded about how bad things really are until they are out of a situation. I think, wait no, I know that was my case.

So my questions to you are these – How do you ever learn to trust your own emotions? How do you learn to trust a man again after divorce? And will it ever get easier?

Wow this post was a weeeee bit whiny. Sorry for that.

Who seems to be the question

June 1, 2010

Many of you know I am going through a divorce. I’m bitter, I’m angry and hurt.  I’m sad, I cry, I scream and throw things, I wade in self-pity and doubt who I am, but I’m also changing. I’m growing, I’m finding who I am, I’m enjoying my daughters and the life I can build. I enjoy the quiet, the lack of stress from a husband who wasn’t invested in us. Yet it still hurts.

It hurts to find a golf ball behind the couch, a pair of his shorts in my laundry. I hate when I catch the random whiff of his cologne or forget that he’s not here, he’s not mine when I’m cooking dinner for us all.

It’s been over a month since he physically left. Emotionally Chris bailed out a year or more ago. I overlooked things, I decided to ignore the fact he was calling and receiving calls from a woman at his work, I accepted when he stayed out all night, I didn’t question that fact that we did not have sex for months because deep down, I knew.

I knew we were done. I knew I had given everything I could, I knew that he had taken what he wanted and we were over.

There is/was another girl involved. That has been hard. It was hard to hear it even though I did know, it was hard to have women they worked with tell me about it and it was really damn hard to have the girls meet her, but I’ll get over it.

As hard as it is to admit, I don’t hate him. I don’t hate her. I hate the situation, I hate the hurt and the anger, but I believe that’s normal. Chris did what I never could have done, he left. I loved him, a part of me will always love him, but we were not happy. I would have worked on it, I would have done what I could to fix it but sometimes you can’t fix a relationship, especially when one person doesn’t want to. I want him to be happy. Even with all the pain and all the bs, I feel he deserves to be happy. We had something special and we lost it, we squandered it and sometimes stuff like that happens.

So here I am, a little broken, a whole hell of a lotta banged up and starting over. Some days I wonder how I can do this. I wonder how freaking long will I hurt. I wonder if I’m strong enough.

I know I am. I will do this, I will make this work and I will be happy.

And somewhere along the way, I will figure out who I am.

It was wrong of you to lock me up. I had to hurt myself to get out. And I know you’re in here, because I can smell your brains.

March 30, 2010

Title quote is from The Return of the Living Dead

This picture amuses me.

You finally escaped suburbia, found a group of merry travelers and have supplies, lots of supplies. You found the perfect place, get there and guess what? Others thought it was the perfect place. Not only did they think it was the perfect place but if you try to come any closer they are going to put a bullet in your brains.

What to do, what to do.

Oh, you need to stop him. Don’t ask me who, him. The idiot running full tilt towards the people with guns. Oh. This isn’t going to end well…..

bang

Toldcha

Now that he’s dead lets try to think of a plan that doesn’t end with everyone dead. Now back up slowly. Find the best speaker, cleanest, most appealing one and send them to speak for the group, or better yet, send yourself. Hell you’ve made it this far right? Unless they look trigger happy. If they look trigger happy send someone annoying.

Approach slowly. Hands out showing you have no weapons. Be clear with what you want. Say, I just want to talk with you. Make deliberate motions, make eye contact and be calm. If they threaten to shoot, stop.

No matter how well spoken you are, you need to realize you may not be able to pull this off.  Depending on what they have been through, there may be no getting inside this town, but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.

Three things you want to keep in mind while speaking.

  • Make yourself sound necessary. Speak of supplies you have, skill sets the people with you have. Make sure they know you will not drag them down. That you will  not rely on them to live.
  • Make sure they know you are not sick. If someone is sick, be straight forward about it. (If they are sick with a zombie/infected issue why the hell are they still with you?)
  • Try to relate to them, make yourself into a person not just another survivor.

If the group seem wacked out of their minds, leave. There is always going to be another place. If they seem normal and have a few normal seeming requirements before you can get in, ponder it. I can see them asking you to be looked over for illness before integrating into their group. I can see them asking to take your weapons, that doesn’t mean you have to do it, but it does mean that it’s a rational request.

Lets say they let you in and everything is fine.

Then well done. You’ve survived the hardest part of the zombie outbreak. Use common sense and the skills you have learned here and you will make it.

Lets say now they didn’t. What do you do? You move on. Doing the same things you have done up to this point until you find a town that you can get into.

Up to this point I’ve discussed fleeing, but what if you can’t? What if you are stuck in a city where for whatever reason there is no escape?

Have hope little zombie killer, there is a chance.

It’s way to late to be writing this…. so until tomorrow. Tomorrow is filled with how to survive in a city and finally, why this is really important.

We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn’t going to solve anything.

March 29, 2010

Quote is from the Original Night of the Living Dead

So you have a band of merry little followers. Admit it, you want to shank at least one.

That’s human nature for you. We often don’t like each other. We may be able to tolerate one another, but rarely do you find someone you truly like. At least, someone you like enough to spend the rest of your life with.

But this is the end of the world and beggars can’t be choosers.

Your choices are simple. Either go at this alone or go with people. If you go alone you’ll more than likely die or go mad and die. If you go with people, you’ll more than likely hate at least one person in the group and hate them with a passion.

Before you smash their face in screaming, “she’s bit” remember it’s the end of the world and every person will bring a skill set to the table that is unique to them. If not a skill set, an idea or a way of thinking. Still want to shank her don’t ya?

Moving on cause I have a headache and kinda wanna beat my head into the table right now.

Okay, so we left off with a new group of people and you’re still held up in your house. Today’s moving day boys and girls! yay!

You should have been observing the zombies on a daily basis. You know their peak times out and know when they are sleeping or whatever they do.  (We’re running on the assumption that the answer here is they sleep during the day.)

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Know where you are going, know what you are taking, have backup routes to get here and backup places to go incase something goes wrong.

So all of your supplies are packed. You’ve gathered three vehicles for your 8 team mates (2 trucks and an suv),  made a run to a local gas station and have many, I repeat many, containers of gasoline and have made sure the vehicles are in good running order. And you know how to drive it. No stick if you can’t handle one. You also have spare tires, oil and such right? Good job.

Two words on vehicle choice. 1. The vehicle you choose needs to handle rough terrain if needed. No wimpy sports cars here.  2. The vehicle needs to be able to carry passengers and equipment/supplies.

Okay. Load the trucks/cars whatever the night before. Check then check again to make sure you have what you need. Also make sure you have an easy to handle bag that is full of immediate supplies if needed.

Think meds you need, food, change of clothes, weapon and WATER. If shit hits the fan and you need to make a mad dash, this bag may save your life.

Here’s a checklist so far.

vehicles

supplies loaded up

people know the plan

gas, tires, tools and funnel

maps

Okay where are we going?

I have a few criteria personally, you may have others. I want a place that’s off the beaten path, that has a natural water supply, can grow crops easily and is within an hour or two max of a town. Note I didn’t say a large town, just of a town. There will be supplies needed that regardless you will not have on hand. Best if there is a place you can get these easily.

Totally where I want to go

So you found the place. It’s a rural community, it meets the criteria, and you have your routes to get there. You’ve also chosen an alternate place and planned on how to get there. Now it’s time to hit the road.

While traveling you are going to meet several obstacles. Main roads will be packed with cars from people trying to flee. There will be cities burning or destroyed. You’ll find some roads impassible. You will (hopefully) meet other survivors and possibly change, alter or include them in your plans. The key here is to stay calm, open and be willing to change your plans. Flexibility will keep you alive.

As you pass towns, you will be tempted to stop. Stop only when necessary or when you see something that could significantly change your life/existence for the better.  For example. You see a massive gun shop. No zombies, you have your trusty band with you, it’s daylight, the doors are still locked… more than likely, you’re going to go for it. (Beware of gun shop owners shooting your ass though k? I suggest knocking first… and if there is any sign of blood…. run)

Where to sleep is a question I’ve debated for a while. I personally say find a safe place to park your car/truck/tank whatever and sleep in it, better yet, sleep in shifts and stay moving.

I don’t know if this will kill you or not, but something I’ve always wondered is why you couldn’t add gas to your tank while moving? have gas in the truck bed as well as a hose and funnel. Slow, open the tank, insert hose, put funnel in top of hose and add gas. (You really may die doing this. I make no claims about cars/trucks. )

You are drawing close, within a two-day drive of the town you are heading to and pass a farm supply. What do you do?

Stop. loot. be happy.

Take seeds, fertilizers, chicken feed, horse feed, cow feed. Take shovels, take farm equipment, take boots and work gloves, take books that teach you what to do. They have baby chicks, half-starved in a tub? Take ’em and the ducks also (This will only be available a few months of the year in select places, but total heads up.🙂, take fencing, take everything. Hell take a truck from the parking lot if you can. Load it up.

Why? So you can start over. Food keeps you alive. Living off the land will not only keep you alive, it will keep you healthy. It will keep you sane, it will give you a purpose and a stability. There will be less reasons to run to town and try to find something to eat in an already looted place.

You’ve added fourteen people to your group, you have lost one due to a zombie fight gone horribly wrong several hundred miles back, you have supplies, farming stuff and hope. So what happens when this town you have picked is fortified to the teeth and won’t let you in?

Find out tomorrow.

The world according to my daughters movie collection

March 28, 2010

According to my daughters movies, the world is a strange place. I didn’t realize how strange until I sat and thought about it. Here’s a little rundown, something I like to call, The World According to Childhood Movies. (I’m only using movies my daughters have. )

Dinosaurs loved tree stars.😦 And your dead mother will come in the clouds and give you advice. And dude, when dino’s moms die, a part of your soul dies too.

In the beginning there were evil witches. These witches flew on broomsticks, had hordes of evil flying monkeys to do their bidding and despised all pretty girls. There were also a whole hell of a lot of evil stepmothers and fairy godmothers.

Tornadoes are scary but at the same time they bring you to a magical land where color exists and you’ll get to meet the Lolly-pop guild.

Mermaids lived under the sea. They collected human artifacts, wanted legs more than anything else and wore coconut bras.

Peter Pan is strange. That’s all I gotta say about that.

In the olden days it was always a good idea to go into strange houses and clean. Your trusty woodland critter friends would help clean and never ever poop in the floor or leave that strange ass wildlife smell behind. When you were done, it was a great idea to go upstairs and curl into one of seven tiny sized beds. Ya know, cause that’s what all smart young ladies do.

If you weren’t cleaning a strangers houses, you were locked into a tower/bedroom by an evil stepmother. Again, the local wildlife (or mice) will help with all the crappy chores (aka child labor) you must do.

Don’t eat apples. Ever.

If you are a man, you’re either a prince (who rides a huge horse and saves the day) or a street bum (Who finds a magic lamp and saves the day).

The men totally have the easier job.

Cats talk in funny accents and are highly annoying. Oh and doggies like spaghetti and kissing under the moonlight… (That’s right boys and girls spay and nuter your pets!)

Alright.  Lets move into the present day. Summary of life in the last 100 years.

Hunters suck. They kill bambi’s mom and this is just wrong.

Your toys are alive. They run around your room when you are gone or sleeping. They may be plotting your downfall… not sure though, Toy Story 3 isn’t out yet.

Some fish have 3 second attention spans and are highly annoying.

Even if you are not a true super dog, if you believe it you can run into a building that is on fire and save the girl.

Hamsters are the shit. (Is rhino a hamster or gerbil? I can’t remember)

Again with the dead parents in the clouds. This time we have a lion father coming and giving his son advice, help… whatever you want to call it. Apparently if your loved one dies you need to spend lots of time staring at the sky.

Willy Wonka had a love affair with acid.

There will be an Iron Giant. He will rock and save the day, but only if the stupid military doesn’t pull out guns. Guns make Iron Giant VERY angry.  You don’t wanna see Irony ANGRY.

It can rain food. When it does, people will get VERY fat, cause we’ll apparently eat and eat and eat and eat….

Santa is a little scary.

There are monsters in your closet. Most are awesome, but some are very scary and need to be beat up.

SOME BABIES CATCH ON FIRE!!!!

The future— Let’s all ooooh and ahhhh here.

My kids have very limited movies on the future. Honestly without sneaking into their room to be sure I can only think of one. Wall-e.

Wall-e is the shit. Really. I have to admit it’s probably my favorite kid movie to date.

So the future according to cartoons is quite simple.

We destroy the earth.

(Shocker huh?)

We create robots to do our dirty work. We flee the planet, get SUPER fat and lazy on a spaceship and leave the robots to clean up the mess. The robots die, all except for Wall-e. He works and works, making cubes of trash and saves the day. (Not spoiling this movie. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s awesome!)

So that’s the world according to cartoons. At least for now….

(zombie post is coming up this week. I promise. Stop emailing me asking for it… k? okkkkkk. Fine then. No one emailed me asking for more. I’m just stroking my own ego…)

OK, I have an idea. We draw straws and the loser runs across the lot with a ham sandwich.

March 14, 2010

Title quote is from “Dawn of the Dead” (2004 version)

Days have passed since the first news reports of things falling apart in the city and you are running low on supplies. What do you do?

First thing you do is pat yourself on the back, you’ve made it further than most! Yay you!!

What you’re going to want to keep an eye out for.

Camping gear

  • small easy to carry tent. (We have a pop up tent)
  • flashlights and extra batteries
  • lantern
  • dehydrated food
  • crank-able radio

Food (Shut up, I know you just said “Well duh!” )

  • Eat foods that expire quickly. Fruits, fresh vegetables and the like
  • Check expiration dates and store canned/boxed goods where the first to expire is the first you will eat. The one that will last the longest needs to be the last you’ll eat. (It’s the first in, first out system Thanks high school job at Mickey D’s!)
  • Water. WATER, WATER!!
  • Go easy on junk foods. Yes they are a comfort item, something that can make you feel better after watching Nana gnaw on your brothers girlfriend, but it’s also going to cause you to crash. Sugary treats are great for a pickup but if you rely on them your body is literally running on crap and it’s going to perform crappily.

Meds

  • Band-aids. Big ones, little ones, latex and latex free. If you see ’em, grab ’em
  • peroxide, alcohol, iodine
  • vitamins
  • Tylenol and aspirin
  • ANTIBIOTICS. No joke. In a world minus a basic infrastructure, a small cut could kill you.
  • pick up a few ace bandages, gauze and sterile tape.
  • Any prescriptions you may need to live

MISC

  • extra clothes.
  • socks
  • one of those plastic fold-able raincoat things
  • candles
  • lighters and matches
  • maps
  • a silver thermal blanket thing. (They’re sold in camping stores or near the checkout at Wal-Mart
  • This is a little awkward, but if you have a drinking, drugging, addictive compulsion you’re going to want to get some of whatever it is you are addicted to. The last thing you want to go through is DT’s while battling zombies. (And while you are at, ween yourself off of whatever it is you’re addicted to. k?)
  • And needless to say, if you see guns, ammo and the likes take it.

Did I forget anything? If I did, drop me a note and tell me what!

Now where are we going to get all of this stuff??

Let’s take a little poll.

If you think we should go to Wal-Mart or a store like it please raise your hand.

7 people

If you think we should go to a mall, raise your hand.

9 people.

If you think we should go to a hospital, raise your hand.

4 people

Okay, so what has this proven? That a lot of you are still idiots.

We only go to Wal-Mart at the very first sign of shit going nuts. Same with other mass retailers and malls. Hospitals? I avoid them as is, I mean damn those places are SCARY!

“Well, where should we go?”

Very good question! Thanks for asking.

When everything went crazy, you remember seeing all those people flocking to mass retailers and fighting and carrying on for a twinkie? You do? Perfect. So you also remember those same people carrying those things in their house with a bite on their arm and a smile on their lips, trying to rub it in the face of the neighbors who came home empty-handed, right? Cool.

Okay, so you know how Mrs. Jones went nut ass crazy in her curlers and bathrobe the other day? And wasn’t she the very same person who won the battle at Wal-Mart? Yep.
So go over to her house.

She’s walking dead, she’s not going to care and she surely isn’t going to need any of this. Now take what you need, but first, check the house from top to bottom for zombies. Kill any you find and move to the next room. No lingering and don’t be all nosy, there’s no time for that.

Repeat as necessary to get what you need. (Word of caution, knock first. You don’t want to bust into other survivors homes and get rewarded with a shot to the head)

As for meds, one good raid on a drug store and you should be set.

In your pillaging if you stumble across a camping/outdoors type store raid like hell. There’s good stuff in there and you need it.😀

While raiding you stumble across another band of survivors. They are tired, less prepared than you and barely holding it together. What do you do?

First, check to see if they are infected. It’s an obvious thing but humans have hope. Hope can cause us to do some stupid things, like covering for a brother who was bitten earlier today, saying he just has a cold. If one is infected, how pissed are they going to be if you shoot said person? If it’s a stray they picked up, not to pissed, if it’s someone’s husband, brother or son… back away slowly.
If they all seem fine it’s up to you if you bring them home. There are big pro’s and big con’s either way.

Pro’s

  • You got someone to watch your back
  • Clearing out a house is going to take SO much less time
  • Being the last person alive is not going to be fun
  • Loneliness is a bitch
  • They can give you an entire new perspective, which is invaluable.

Con’s

  • You are going to form emotional bonds. How are you going to handle one of their deaths?
  • Supplies will not last as long
  • There will be an entire new level of responsibility

You’re back in your house, with all your new friends. You are all happy about the things you have found and are trying to settle in when zombies slam into the wood covering your front door. They slam in again, and again and again. It’s holding, but barely. A couple shots to the head from an upstairs window, with your trusty bow and they are dead, but it’s only a matter of time before more come.

It’s time to move on, time to get out of your middle class neighborhood and to a place where the population is a bit lower.

“If we hole up I want to be somewhere familiar, I want to know where the exits are, and I want to be allowed to smoke.”

March 13, 2010

Zombies, originally uploaded by – Mark Lobo –.

Title is a kick ass quote from Shawn of the Dead.

So the shit has hit the fan. Zombies/infected are running the world and you’re scared.

The last post gave a brief overview of what would happen and steps you should take at each point. It was a general overview of the zombie apocalypse. Today we’re going to cover weapons, finding a safe place to hunker down and how to fortify said place.

Weapons.

You wanna chop some heads correct? You’re first instinct is going to be guns, which are great and everything but lets be honest here, guns need bullets. Unless you have endless supply of bullets you are going to want some backups.

Anything can be a weapon if used properly. Having said that, you do want to keep in mind how up close and personal you will have to get to a zombie to use the weapon you have chosen.

For example, a chainsaw will kill a zombie. It will also have a hell of a blood spray. Have you ever tried to swing a chainsaw? The bitch is heavy. It’s also like deathly sharp and that whole thing about forward momentum…. yeah you’re going to end up cutting yourself, or throwing blood spatter into eyes, mouths and any cuts/nicks you have on your body.

This illness is more than likely transmitted by blood. You’re going to want to stay away from blood.

You still want to be all badass and have a chainsaw don’t you? I can’t talk you out of it, but if you’re going to be an idiot go ahead and give a copy of this to everyone else in your group, that way maybe they can survive.

In the good ole US of A there is a surplus of guns. In other countries with stricter gun laws you may have to be more creative on how to get a gun. Think of hunting clubs, shooting ranges, police stations, jails and armories/military bases. If you keep your stuff together during the first wave of chaos you’ll be able to loot for weapons later on. In the meantime think of molotovs, knifes, baseball bats and anything else you can use. Hell a cast iron frying pan will cause some damage if need be.

I debated telling how to make a molotov cocktail here but the information can be found elsewhere. I don’t see the need in telling such dangerous info here. People are stupid and I don’t want to be responsible for someone burning down their house.

If you are using a chopping/stabbing instrument tie it to a pole. Really. Use it as a spear so you’re not all close to snapping teeth. K? Thanks.

Another choice is a bow and arrow. It’ll work. Aim for the head.

So we have a basic overview of weapons. Use your head here and try to keep some distance between yourself and the zombies. Aim for the head and make sure they are dead before you turn your back on them.

Where are we going to hole up?

You’re first instinct is going to be your own home. Not too bad for a short time but it could be very dangerous in the long run. You’re goal at this point is just to survive the next several days. Worry about long time survival later, just take it one day at a time.

Block all windows and doors with layers of protective material. Boards, sheet metal and the likes will work. Fencing may work if it has to. Just make sure you do the outside and inside and it needs to be thick. Do the same to doors. You are also going to need to make sure you have a way to get out if need be. A rope ladder you can drop from a higher floor, a ladder to reach to another roof (If you’re in a city and the houses are close enough) maybe a drop down door that opens under your house’s crawl space.

If you are in a city and in a tall building (Such as apartments) block the ground level. Block it well. No joke. Then from the bottom floor up clear out the building. Check to make sure none of your neighbors are zombies hiding in a closet ready to fuck up your life later on. Make sure you have no infected people who are not yet zombies lingering. If you do find some, kill em. If you can’t, quarantine them until they are all foamy mouthed, blood craving, nutbags, then you’ll be able to do it without guilt. (I’ll talk more about city survival in a later post)

So you’re fortified. Each day check your home (or where you picked) for weaknesses. This will more than likely not be your permanent place, this is a place to stay until you can get somewhere better.

We’re talking days 1-10 or so here. The zombies have spread, there is chaos in the streets and cities are falling. At this point you need to have weapons. You need to have food (Enough to get you through several weeks, we’ll talk more about looting later on), and water. Fill everything you can while you have power. Don’t drink stagnated water, it’s just going to make you sick. Also week water for flushing you’re toilet and hygiene reasons away from drinking water. You do not want contamination. Battery powered flashlights, candles and radios are other things that would be nice, but you will not die from not having them.

While you are hunkered down, watch the zombies/infected. Observe their patterns. When do they come out? Where do they go? Do they flock together or tend to be more antisocial? Do you see other survivors? Make contact and note where they are. It’s up to you if you introduce new people into your space. I suggest you do. There is safety in numbers and you have someone to watch your back.

Tomorrow’s post is about introducing new people into your group, looting checklists and where to look and picking a better place to stay.