More Zombies

Pulsify magazine wanted to interview me about self-publishing, but then found out I liked zombies or something and asked me to do Walking Dead recaps for them.

Done and done. Here’s my first official recap. I’m still fooling around with how I’m going to format things and what I should focus on. I could probably write five thousand words per episode, but…there’s a word limit. 🙂 I suspect I went over it anyway this first time.

Hope everyone is getting in lots of NaNo time!

The Walking Dumb

I got together with a group of friends on Wednesday night, and as usual, conversation turned to zombies.

(We’re an easy group to please.)

We ended up discussing the opener of The Walking Dead and how it compared to last season. This was a nice change from the WDS (Walking Dead Shindig) crowd; that group watches the show because it’s fun and enjoyable and hey, zombies.

This crowd is a little more discerning.

For starters, a lot of their frustration with last season is geared toward the characters doing stupid things. Not because the storyline seemingly stalled out at the farm (that was my main complaint), but because they “were not handling the zombies appropriately.”

I love that I live in a world where we can say things like appropriate zombie handling.

I admit to feeling a slight twinge of annoyance with the characters during the second season. They did okay in the first season, survival-wise (the whole zombie attack on their camp aside), but during season two the whole bunch of them, Daryl aside, seemed to suffer from a collective case of The Stupid.

It did bug me, until I realized that this is a show that is praised for its realism, and frankly, when shit hits the fan…people do stupid things. Hell, people do stupid things when life is going swimmingly. Of course they’re going to do dumb shit when the living dead start wandering around.

Frankly, I like the action/horror movies where everyone is doing things the right way (Tallahassee in Zombieland won my heart immediately). I can’t speak for everyone else, but my reasoning is this: Real life is hard enough as it is. I make tons of mistakes, I stumble, I do stupid things. I don’t want to watch people doing the same thing in the face of crazy obstacles unless it’s for comedic value.

So yeah, I get what the guys were saying about Walking Dead. Some days I even agree with them. But that’s why I was so pleased with the time jump–it finally showed them acting as a team, doing what they should be doing after months of surviving. No more silly blunders like not checking the dead guy on the floor and then letting him bite you…

Oh, wait. Oops.

Better find that leg armor. Frankly, I’m worried about Maggie and her tank tops. Get some leather on those arms, girl. The dead love wings.

Addendum: One thing we all agreed on is that the folks in the WD-verse have never seen a zombie movie. It’s easy for you and me to complain about them not knowing what to do; George Romero has been educating us for decades. These poor saps have nothing.

The Walking Dead Premiere…

Oh, Walking Dead, how I love thee. Even if I do think The Daryl and Glenn Show would be a most excellent spinoff.

(What could go wrong? Everyone’s favorite redneck badass and his street-smart, wisecracking sidekick take on zombies across America. Someone please make this happen.)

I’m not doing a full-on review for the blog, but some of the discussion that went on during my WD premiere party (yes, I had one; we ate Panda Express and had a jolly good time):

“So…they won’t arm the women, but they’ll let the 8-year-old join the raiding party?” (note: it was later pointed out to us that Carl is about 13. We were way off…but the point stands.)

“Carol got a gun…”

“Either gestation speeds up for the insanely stupid, or some time has passed.”
“I would say time has passed, but Carol’s hair is exactly the same.”

“I don’t know how I feel about a zombie on a leash.”

“You know what would make this better? Lightsabers.”

“Slap his ass, slap his ass…wow, I really thought she’d slap his ass.”

“When did Carol get so sassy? Must’ve been a big winter.”


“Is it just me, or is Hershel’s new look really working for him?”
“Dude, he’s like…seventy.”
“I’m serious. The hair, the gun, the badass attitude. That is one awesome old man. Like…if he was in charge of the Titanic, it wouldn’t have hit the iceberg.”

[after Hershel gets chewed on.] “Titanic wouldn’t have hit the iceberg, huh?”

“Of course he’s bleeding out, you just cut off his damn leg! Cauterize that shit!”
“See, this is why they need lightsabers.”

All in all, the group of us were PDP (pretty damn pleased) with the new season. Frankly, I think the leap in time helped the show — yes, it’s good to watch characters develop (I especially would have liked to see Carol growing into that new, sassy ‘tude), but the show is much more exciting with them functioning as a team and sort-of knowing what they’re doing.

I hope Hershel sticks around. Despite his zombie hoarding problem, he’s one of my favorite characters on the show, and frankly, I felt a lot of sympathy for him. He was all set to wait out the apocalypse (again, zombie hoarding aside) and then Rick and his dysfunctional crew showed up and everything went to hell.

Anyway, I’m loving it. Next Sunday will be another WD shindig, probably with something equally unhealthy and meaty to devour…maybe cheeseburgers…mmm…

Revolution & Tech

So, anyone else digging Revolution?

I’ve only seen the first episode, but generally I enjoyed it. It actually reminds me quite a bit of that S.M. Stirling series…I don’t remember the title, just the first book (Dies the Fire), where physics go wonky and nothing electrical works.

Revolution has its share of militias, warlords, and Folks With Agendas, plus the requisite post-apocalyptic landscape. Naturally I got a kick out of it, even if the lead is kind of dry.

One thing I’ve never quite understood is the sheer number of folks who think the world would be better off if we completely lost all of our technology. I watched Revolution with a couple of friends, both of whom started talking about How Awesome Things Would Be if our tech just stopped working.

Now, I’ll give them some credit and assume they were only thinking small: no need to face a morning commute or a growling boss, and we’d probably all be a lot fitter because we’d be hunter-gatherers. Yes, it’s fun to think about galloping down overgrown highways on a horse (I wouldn’t miss LA traffic) and how clear the air would be and how ~beautiful and natural~ the world would seem…except it would kind of suck.

Just off the top of my head – the basic necessities we’d lose: Microwaves, cars (no long-distance travel – and suddenly that five-mile jaunt to the grocery store is long distance), no way to get to work or anywhere else, severe curtailing of water heating/general temperature control…

No fun stuff: iPods, computers, televisions, radios, phones, Starbucks (NO, NOT STARBUCKS!), e-readers…

Important stuff: Access to medicine and medical professionals would be severely curtailed. If your meds need refrigeration…well, better hope you’ve got an icebox. How the hell is the average person supposed to track down family and friends when we’re all so spread out? Food will run out quick. Can you grow corn?

And so on and so forth.

I voiced some of my thoughts aloud and got a blank stare from one of them. “You are totally overthinking things, dude. We’d get bows and arrows and shit.”

“Wait,” I said. “Have you ever taken an archery class?”

There was a pause. “No.”

“So how are you going to learn?”

“On the go. You know, I’ll learn things. By hunting. And being in danger.”

I’m not sure it’s best to learn how to use a bow and arrow when the bear is charging you, but whatever works. I’m sure the ratio of people who figure it out successfully will be roughly equivalent to those who become proficient in firearms during the zombie apocalypse.

I’m toast.


Extreme Couponing: “Stockpiling Supermom” or Closeted Hoarder?

I should probably preface this by saying I have no problem with people trying to save money. I’m a freelancer; I need to make my dollars stretch, too. I use coupons when I can find them – when they’re applicable, anyway.

There’s saving money, and then there’s Extreme Couponing.

In the episode I just watched, the blonde protagonist, dubbed by the narrator as a “stockpiling supermom,” stood proudly in front of her racks of bottled water, soups, paper towels and stuff, telling the camera crew how seeing all these nice products “made her happy.” I’ve seen another television show where the lead stands in front of piles of things she doesn’t necessarily need, explaining that she needs them because they make her feel good.

It’s called Hoarders.

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