Tag Archives: Monday Musings

What Will You Hoard?

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zombies, survial gear, Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo by fekaylius


Ah yes, the End Times have come, zombies shuffle down the street dropping bits of skin as they go, you’ve already killed the top five on your “Who I Will Kill off Pretending They Are Zombies” list. So now what?

The first rush of rioters have cleaned out the alcohol, Oreos, and big screen TV’s. Most of this first rush are hiding in the closets, crying, or already dead. You chuckle remembering the big Apocalypse party they held across the street. The people were so drunk that when the zombies ate them, they couldn’t walk. If America’s Funniest Home Videos comes back you have a winner for sure.

Good Times.

Well, now it’s your turn. The first-run idiots took stuff to get them through the day, but you are planning on surviving and leading humanity into its glorious return!!

What Will It Be?

What will you go out and pillage? What supplies will make your top ten list? I’ll even make it easy and say you have some mode of transportation, car, horse drawn cart, steam engine, or dirigible. Whatever you want, the point it weight and space don’t have to be an option.

My top ten items to hoard:

Dental floss. There are plenty of recipes for simple toothpaste, but I bet it will take a while before someone is making enough thread that we can use it for dental floss and not just to sew clothes.

How To Books. This covers a lot, but I want books on how to make and do everything. Canning, blacksmithing, tanning, farming, carpentry, knitting, sewing, animal care. The list is endless, but I will gather as many as possible. I will probably go with used bookstores first as the older the book, the less technology it will use.

Solar. Anything and everything solar I can get my grubby little hands on. Unless something happens to wipe out all electricity permanently, solar should work to run places independently. And, people, I’m going to want my Kindle up and running.

solar oven, zombie apocalypse, Alica McKenna Johnson

Photo by EBKauai

Yarn and fabric. Yep, I will be raiding yarn and fabric stores. Finally I will have that beautiful hand dyed silk yarn from Japan!!! The clothes we are wearing will only last so long, then we will need new ones.

Shoes, I don’t know how to make shoes and while hubby can make moccasins, I will be pillaging stores for shoes, especially hiking boots. Having a good pair of shoes can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation.

Photo by Bods

Photo by Bods

Baking soda. This is used in many types of cleaners from toothpastes to mixes to scrub pots. I’m not sure how to get baking soda outside of a grocery store, so until I learn how to make it, I want to have a good supply.

Condoms. Hello! People are going to want to have sex, and STD’s aren’t just going to vanish. Yes, controlling whether you get pregnant or not is important, but not nearly as important as avoiding an STD that can kill you.

Organic seeds.I specify organic because some companies are adding things into their seeds which can prevent the plants from reproducing on their own. So I shall be gathering up as many organic seeds as I can.

Cast Iron. Nothing beats cast iron. It will hold up to a lot, you can cook with it on an open fire, and it makes a very handy weapon.

Water purifiers.Bad water can kill, and while many of the portable ones make the water taste like crap, we won’t always have time to sit and boil water. Clean water is vital, and I want to make sure I have access to it until we get a permanent settlement established. Which we will call ‘This Land,’ and if you don’t get the reference, you can’t come in. LOL!

So what have I missed? What are some of the things on your top ten things to hoard list? Don’t forget to go over your top ten lists with your teams; you want to have as much variety as possible.

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Where will You Go?

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Cole Vassiliou, native hut,  apocaplyse

Photo by Cole Vassiliou

There are a few of us who live far enough away for others that our current homes will be a safe choice for the End Times. However most of us need to get the heck out of where ever we live to a safe place. Cities will be overrun with mobs, dead bodies, and backed up sewers. Places with water pumped in, like where I live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, have only a few days of water before people start dropping like flies.

So where will you go?

Sure you want to look at water tables, chemical and nuclear facilities, and weather. But, come on, what’s really important is what kind of food can you grow there?

Who knows how many years it could take before trade starts up again, so what can’t you live without?

If you love seafood you’ll need to be near the ocean. What kind? If it’s lobster, up north you go. Shrimp, you need to head south.

sea food, lobsters, apocalypse

Photo by cellar_door_films

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries all need cold dormant time. So do all stone fruits such as peaches. This means snowy areas. However if you want oranges and avocados you need heat.

apples, apple trees, apocalypse

Photo by L E Carmichael

Oh, yes, you are going to have to choose. And if chocolate is what you can’t live without., then you best start finding a way to travel down to South America.

So, where will you go? What foods will you be willing to give up and what can’t you imagine your life without?

Who Is On Your Team?

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Lynn Kelley, Zombie Apocalypse, Apocalypse

Photo by Lynn Kelley Author

The Apocalypse is here! Yes, grab your guns and lets start killing . . . um I mean grab your survival gear and let’s work together so the human race doesn’t go extinct.

So today’s questions is : Who Is On Your Team?

Team 1: I am an Army of One! I have my bags packed and ready in my closet, guns oiled and fully loaded, and several caches of supplies and ammo in various secret locations. My goal is to survive and have fun doing it. I have behaved well long enough. When this shit goes down, I am grabbing my list and killing me some morons, and the guy who cut my off in traffic yesterday! Waving a white flag won’t save you from my wrath (please say with a British accent it sounds cooler) however waving chocolate might buy you an hour’s head start.

Team 2: It’s all about survival, people. I have chosen a group of survival and weapons experts. We will dominate and secure our ideal area. Once that has happened will begin to allow civilians inside the compound. People will need to prove their worth, and we are taking applications so leave your name and skill set in the comments, those deemed worthy will be contacted by our head of HR and light weapons expert, Peggy.

Team 3 My team has been more carefully chosen then the disciples of Christ. Survival is black and white, you do or you die. I have put together the best survival experts, weapons experts, and communications experts (together they speak 10 languages including sign, know Morse code, smoke signals, and light signaling). This well-trained group will insure the survival and continued protection of the group of experts who will insure our continued survival.

blacksmith, zombie apocalypse

Photo by macswriter

Those skilled in traditional arts: blacksmiths, natural farmers, master carpenters, weavers, knitters, cobblers, tanners, canners, dyers, water and solar engineers, millers, butchers, bakers, and candle stick makers.

We also have a veterinarian, dentist, doctor, herbalist, and midwife. They all have experience working in third-world countries, with their spouses and children, who we have to bring along to insure our experts would come.
Everyone is training physically and mentally each week and gathering tools, supplies, and personal items for when the Event happens. While we aren’t taking applications at this time if you have a skill not mentioned about please put it in the comments and our surveillance team will do a thorough check on you before kidnapping you for the initial interview.

Team 4: I am going to wait out the crazy. I have enough food and supplies for four people to survive for ten years in the bunker under my house. I am taking applications for sex slaves, friends to hang out with. Ideal skills include: massage, cooking, gaming talent, and flexibility—both mental and physical. No druggies, must be able to pass physical health screening, must love Spam.

Team 5: I have always known I am Royalty, and now is my time to be one. I have carefully stored items that will be valuable and impossible to get within a year or two after the Event. Those on my team are my masseuse, chief, manicurist, and hairstylist. I have a place stocked and ready to go. Once this violence is settled, I will emerge in all my glory and ready to trade the items I have wisely stored. Just think how much food I can get for a package of condoms and some flavored lube. I am still in need of a security team, please comment below with your qualifications and willingness to wear a kilt.

kilt, zombie apocalypse

Photo by Noodles and Beef

Team 6: I hate people,. I am fully stocked and ready to survive alone for ten or more years. My place is so isolated and remote that few will ever find me and those who do will be taken care of by my booby traps and pack of wolves. Don’t bother leaving comments, I need no one. I have solar cells hooked up and have downloaded from Amazon every book, movie, and show. The thought of being alone for years makes my heart flutter.

Team 7: I live in a third-world country. My life won’t change much, except there won’t be annoying tourists popping up.

So which team are you a part of? Or do you need to start one? Have I forgotten an option? If so please let me know how you plan to survive the Apocalypse.

What Would You Eat?

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docguy, apocalypse, ice cream

Photo by docguy

The apocalypse is coming, you have a week before it gets here. So, what would you eat?

I know you don’t have to get ready. I mean, come on, you’ve already packed your bug-out bag and carefully marked caches of food and supplies in route to the perfect place to hole up and survive the End Times haven’t you? The only real worry you should have is whether the Event kills the people already living there, or are you going to have to do the job? And if they die on the carpet, how will you get it clean if there is no electricity?

Please don’t die on the carpet!

apocalypse, mango, magoes,

Photo by Tatters:)

Anyway while planning and plotting you’ll need to eat. Will you eat healthy so you can be at your peak physical ability? Or will you desperately gorge on foods that you love with all your heart?

There are foods out there you might not see again for a long time, if ever. So what will you eat? Which restaurants will you go to? What foods will you savor as bitter tears of sadness roll down your cheeks?

apoclypse, avacadoes, avacado

Photo by ercskiff

On my list: ice cream, avocado enchiladas, pad Thai, mangoes, shrimp, and egg rolls until my eyes roll back into my head.

The Hand Clap of Death

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zumba, Alica Mckenna-Johnson

Photo by ilovememphis

So my friends, or supposed friends who I work out with, wanted to try Zumba at our gym. It’s fun; I enjoy the music; the teacher has enough perky energy to run Disneyland, and in my head I look magnificent. Of course in my head I also still look 16.

So there I am bouncing around following the steps. I’m sure I looked like a drunk elephant, but in my head I’m graceful. Since I am totally willing to live in my own reality, everything was just fine. Until the teacher added a clap to the steps. In my head it didn’t seem like a big deal; however, in the cruel florescent light of reality, my brain stopped working when I tried to clap.

zumba, Alica Mckenna-Johnson

Photo by Cimm

I froze.

My feet twisted into some warped version of a salsa move with my arms flailing around my head. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t figure out how to do the steps. My poor brain was overtaxed with trying to convince me I really was looking like my sixteen-year-old self rocking the Zumba. All short circuited because of a single clap.

I laughed, what else was there to do? I shook my arms and legs, laughed again and began to do whatever weird concoction of moves the teacher put together, but I didn’t try to clap again.

Are you good at choreography-style workouts? Can you clap in the middle of a set of steps without frying your brain?

Please State Your Subject Before You Speak

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Alica Mckenna Johnson

My poor abused hubby, I think he’s ignoring me.

So, conversations with me can be a multidimensional event.

I’ll start a conversation, one line, in my head, in an email, and then start talking out loud, frequently to my husband, who for some reason hasn’t yet mastered the art of reading my mind an therefore has no idea what I’m talking about.

Here is an example:

Me (looking up from my computer): Logan, the book definitely has homosexual themes.

Logan (my 18 year old son): Okay.

Me (frustrated sigh): The book you are reading for school.

Logan (laughing): Oh okay. I wasn’t sure if you meant the book you wrote, or the one you’re writing, or some new plot you’re working on, or a book you read, or a fanfiction.

Rod (hubby bows and spreads his arms): Welcome to my world.

I glare at them all, just because the conversation started in an email with a friend didn’t mean they shouldn’t have known exactly what I’m talking about!

So how do I adjust to fit the lack or unwillingness of my family to maintain a psychic connection with them at all times in case I need to speak to them?

I announce the subject before I start speaking.

Example

Me (walking into a room): Phoenix Child, book one.

Hubby (sighs and continues folding laundry): Okay, go.

Me (ignoring the sigh): So what do think Sara would drink after being attacked by a walk-in while recovering at a trendy San Francisco café?

Hubby: Water?

Me (snorting): No, it’s cold. It needs to be something hot.

Hubby: Tea?

Me: she’s not British. (rest of conversation completed in head). Oh, great perfect, and the shot of caramel really shows her hidden girly side. Thanks honey.

Hubby shakes his head in awe of my awesomeness and continues to fold the clothes.

Are you a multidimensional conversationalist? How do you start conversations with your family that started in your head?

Do writers make good cult members?

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Kevin Bacon, Alica McKenna-Johnson

Kevin Bacon by Sagindie


I watched The Following with hubby, okay I peeked at it while doing other things like hiding behind pillows, and hubby. This is a seriously scary show, very good, but I’m thinking too scary for me.

Anyway one of the followers gets a text saying “do it now.” She strips revealing words written all over her body then stabs herself in the eye with an ice pick.

While wondering how the serial killer could control other people so easily via the internet, the answer came to me.

They are all writers! The killer is a Lit Professor, he has obviously promised to help them craft the perfect novel.

Kristen Lamb, Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo by Kristen Lamb, an author pushed to the limit?

The woman, poor, poor creature, obviously went insane after being told to revise her book for the fourth time. The text was telling her to get to work, the words on her body her finest, most beautiful, and poetic lines which he has told her to remove from her novel, and the ice pick to the eye? Well hasn’t every writer felt like that when they’ve been told to revise?

Yes, this graphic, violent, bloody, scary show is all about the writer’s process, and our willingness to ‘kill our darlings’ or possibly other people to get a book deal.

20 ?’s and Geek Girls

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Yesterday hubby and I took our daughter and two of her friends to the Matsuri Festival up in Phoenix. This is a Japanese spring festival with lots of cosplay and anime. The girls were super excited and spent most of the time stalking um finding people dressed in their favorite costumes and taking their pictures.

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Hubby and I also had fun looking at the booths, and I ate the yummiest thing! Fried mochi! As someone who can’t eat gluten one of the things I miss are crunchy, greasy, fried foods. But a lovely food vendor fixed that. Mochi is a sweet rice paste and inside was gooey and yummy but the outside was crunchy and sweet and greasy. I should have taken a picture but I ate them too fast!

Anyway, the point of this post on the way home the girls started playing 20 Questions. Nothing unusual about that, except these are Geek Girls, so the questions go like this.

Is it a movie?
Yes
Live action or cartoon?
Cartoon
Regular cartoon or anime?
Regular, but isn’t anime just a cartoon.
NO! Anime is special it is different it’s not just a cartoon!

Are you looking for the name of an actor?
Yes
Are they American
No
Are they English?
Yes
Is it Benedict Cumberbatch?
No
Martin Freeman?
No
David Tennant?
No, and he’s Scottish.
Matt Smith?
No
Crap, who else is there?

And my personal favorite.

Is it a movie?
Yes
Live action?
Yes
Did Joss Whedon direct it?

And this is what we call a parenting win!

Did you do anything fun this weekend??

Juggling Explosives

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Photo by mbtphoto. Doesn't he make juggling look easy?

Photo by mbtphoto. Doesn’t he make juggling look easy?

Last night I had a minor melt down. I managed to hold off until the kids were in bed then the ugly thoughts and tears began. Now my overly emotional state might have been caused by the email saying I hadn’t placed in a writing competition I’d entered, the fact that I had gone almost a week without thyroid medication, or that I worked straight through the weekend and got the see my husband for only a few minutes each day (I’m rather high maintenance).
No matter the reason, I was in a bad place.

And while I was sorting my clothes- the nice ones to give away and the sweat pants which would fit once I abandoned my diet and stopped exercise, because why does the crazy night clerk at Circle K need to look good. I mean surely Circle K would hire a failed writer, mother, wife, human being right???

I had a thought. Yes, it hurt a lot a little bit, hush! I imagined myself as a juggler trying to keep all these balls in the air, work stuff, paperwork, work kids, personal kids, hubby, house, cooking, writing, sleep, social media, blogging, reading, working out, showering, crap that come along and fucks up my day. And there are all these balls and they are different size (based on importance) and some things like my family and work have more than one ball because, hello, there is a lot of shit to take care of.

Cold, heavy dread suffocated me as my eyes filled with tears. I shuffled to my computer and began filling out on line application to Circle K. I was never going to be able to do all of this, never. Needing a moment to figure out what my assets to the Circle K International team might be I scrounged up a hidden Snickers bar and while numbing my sorrow with chocolate and caramel, I began to imagine my life without writing.

I could still write a little bit, and of course pop in a social media and blogging enough to maintain what I had already created but I couldn’t keep trying to pretend I could do it all, when I was obviously failing at EVERYTHING!!!
So after moping about and finishing my Snickers bar, I decided to go to bed. I stumbled over the pile of clothes and as I brushed my teeth, not looking in the mirror because I didn’t need to see the evidence of five years of dieting failure at that particular moment, I had another less painful thought.

What if I gave each of the three main areas in my life one hour?

What if I gave one hour during my six ours off per day to my family? I could clean (we have a small apartment so I could get a lot done) I could prep food for dinner, or put together something, or put something in the crock pot. Sure my family isn’t home, but I can still support them and the space they live in by doing 1 hour a day. AND, because I am a multi-tasking fiend, I can listen to audio books while I’m doing so.

Okay this was sounding reasonable, which is not something I normally hear from the voices in my head so I paid close attention.

If I also gave 1 hour of focused time to work, one hour where I did something focused with the kids (preferably) or paperwork (an occasional necessity) I would feel better about how I’m doing my job. And I already read to them at bedtime, so 30min are already getting done, if I’m having a bad day and need to count it in.

This plan also gives me 1 hour to dedicate to writing every day. One hour where I will focus on my writing and nothing else.

Now I can still check Facebook and Twitter while the kids watch Sponge Bob, and I can read blogs while I eat lunch. Multi-tasking can still happen. But maybe, just maybe I will feel like less of a failure at life if I focus some time every day on the three areas I feel like I am always sucking at.

What do you think? How do you juggle your life?

Jury Duty: A Goldmine of Awesome!

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The old court house in Tucson, this was near the ugly modern building I went into.

The old court house in Tucson, this was near the ugly modern building I went into.


Most people groan when they get a summons to jury duty. I will no longer be one of those people. The last time I went to jury duty it was a fount of inspiration and study.

While in the room waiting to be called (which I never was, and I am taking that part personally) I people watched.
I learned that some people are a lot more attractive when they keep their mouth shut. I sat across from a tall handsome man, broad shoulders, nice suit, thick brown hair. I remember thinking how he would make a perfect romance hero then he opened his mouth and told his friend an offensive racist joke he just got in his email. I got up and moved. Eye candy should be silent.

People have a variety of odd tics and nervous habits; it was fun to watch, and I am sure they will turn up in future characters.

I saw the cutest man. He was sitting at the Thai place I went to lunch—one of those quick, greasy, yummy restaurants with lunch specials ready to go. He sat a few tables away from me. He was middle aged, plump, and wore tan slacks, white shirt, and blue tie. His legs were curled up under his butt and he leaned over onto his left arm which was propped up on the table holding a book. He ate one handed and he read. I wish I could have gotten a picture, or even seen the tittle of the book.

A lot of people read books to pass the time, but it was never easy to read the title. They would fold over the cover, set it down face down, or upside down. Why? At first I thought it was a coincidence, but then I noticed that almost everybody did it. Be nice and set your book down so the nosy people around you can see what you’re reading!

And the final thing that made jury duty fun: they showed Young Frankenstein—seriously—at the jury duty courthouse waiting room! I thought it was a good choice .

Photo by twm1340's

Photo by twm1340’s


Anyone else have fun at jury duty??