Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Before there were vampires...

About a year ago I started having these weird Zombie dreams that puzzled me and (quite frankly) freaked me out more than just a little bit.  In a world inundated by vampires I kept asking myself, what's the deal with zombies who seemed to synchronistically be lurking around every corner in my cosmos.  After writing about it, talking about and just letting the dream simmer a little while, I decided to confront whatever subconscious issues I may or may not have with Zombies.  As a result I'm on a quest to view as many Zombie movies as I can stomach and chronicle them here:

The movie that started it all was Zombieland.
And I have to admit, it will probably always be my favorite.  I don't know if it was the stream of consciousness likeability of all the characters nicknamed by their hometowns, the holy grail quest for fresh twinkies or the truly useful 30 rules of survival, but sometimes during an apocalypse the only thing you CAN do is laugh when all the tears are gone.  That's universal, and probably list worthy.  Add the element of abandoned amusement park spelunking (zombie clown appearance notwithstanding) and you've got the odd elements of more nightmare fodder and sheer freakish delight.  Rating: 9/10 digits. (sorry I couldn't resist)

Zombieland was followed by a string of zombie don'ts including but not limited to:  AAAH! Zombies!  (supposedly told from the pov of zombies who incidentally do NOT have brains--enough said, not digit worthy at all!) Then there was The Crazies (the remake I was not crazy about) and several other "so bad they're supposed to be good" B zombie movies that were really ....just....bad that I was truly about to despair.

Then I met Abraham Lincoln versus Zombies.  Now this was *supposed* to be the summer of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, but really aren't we all tired of vampires?  Do we really have to hunt more? Can't Bella and Edward and their vampire spawn just fade into our collective consciousness? I think they can and Abe convinced me of that!  The Lincoln plagued by Zombies is a direct to dvd mockbuster made by my good friends at The Asylum.  I'm actually kindof an Asylum fan because they excel at B movies making them almost an art form.  I'll tell you truly, this movie makes you wonder about sitings of "modern day" zombies jacked up on bath salts.  The movie has a plot, twists history, has decent acting and most of all the zombie makeup is fantastic.  It's another well deserved 9/10.

Coming soon....a zombie love story, oh my!  My review of Warm Bodies...

While we are waiting for Warm Bodies, I'm also in the midst of watching what may be the most interesting twist on epic I've ever watched: The Walking Dead. This series is inspiring me to read the graphic novels also, so look for upcoming reviews of both here as well.

The space  above will be reserved for additions to my zombie movie collection. (Yes the Romero ones will be among them.)  Until then the following links are for the non-believers out there:

Modern Day Zombies:

The CDC has a Zombies 101 preparedness page.  My advice? Check out Columbus' 30 rules as well.

CDC's "official" reassurance there is no *known* virus causing people to be zombies.

Bath Salts? Really?  hmmmmmmmm

Zombies in History: (I'll resist posting a list of past presidents, rulers and the like here)

The top three zombie outbreaks in history.

Zombies, A Living History from The History Channel.

Zombies in Nature:

There's a fungus among us

Zombie Ants, yep they're real

Oh, and before I forget.....sweet dreams!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Death on a Pale Horse

ryder on a storm

death on a pale horse
whistled through my line of vision
a ryder on a stormy mission seeking
a slowly ripening image
of a numinous gathering storm
as I leafed beyond pages not well worn…

falling back to the middle I pondered…where are the other
three in apocalyptic allegories -- persuasion perverted?
am I missing some veiled trinity: grim gated, worried
in this prison on this palette?

And then I see the clockwise motion of the time suggested,
backwards in illusion where all the details
reek of realities obscured ~ seems
everything in this world's barren or inverted?

And so I search the darkened
varnished painted words suggested by
the suicide? The candlegrease and alcohol
all fat over the lean, reap the wanderer who
calls upon us all whether fair or mean?

Where is the justice in that?
are we all perverted lean layered over fat?
foolhardy temptation of a life half-lived
in desperation of a peace that’s never quite realized?

never lived?

Albert Pinkham Ryder "Death on a Pale Horse"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sand Bucket List

Some people have ants in their pants, well I think I have sand... and always will. No matter how far "north" I've ventured in living I have sand in my shoes, in the bottom of my suitcase...and if I don't have it I'm thinking of it, like a little grain of sand always rolling back home towards my Gulf.  Sometimes, I'll be honest that makes me a little frustrated because there's so much sand in the world I'd like to wiggle my toes in.  So, as this pirate looks at her mid 40's approaching with a disturbing gallop, perhaps it's time to compile another list....a Sand Bucket list.  It's kindof like the leap list, but nitty grittier...

Tulum is one of my first sandy buckets.  I visited there several years ago while on a Mexican Cruise and felt instant de ja vous.... more eeriness...more delicious why?  The Mayan ruins there are amazing, but even moreso is view of the Gulf from the cliffs of this once thriving port.  Looking out to sea from the cliffs, I remembered being 11, reading any and everything and finding fascination in an old National Geographic that featured Tulum.  I couldn't wait to get back to the library and connect the dots, and sure enough it was there.  I want to revisit Tulum sometime, knowing what I know and feel 11 again...

Another sandy place calling me is the Southern part of England with what I've romantically envisioned in rows of welcoming beach huts and mystical fossil coasts  to explore.  The thing I love about England is its coastal diversity and being able to slip back in time for a moment imagining Victorian promenades and a gentler time than what we have now.  It's a place I love for many reasons and a home.

The amusement park junkie in me also has Coney Island on her list.  But it's not just that part of Coney I crave, it's the quirky nostalgia.  I'll be honest, I could google "best beaches" in any search engine and would find pristine beauty.  I don't want that...I KNOW that. I want the energy these places have.  I think Coney Island would be most fun during their annual Mermaid Parade, because I am a mermaid afterall, and these people make Mardi Gras seem boring!

My next beach is really a set of beaches AND I have plans to visit them in 2018.  It's Hawaii.  I grew up listening to my dad tell me of his adventures in Oahu when he ran away to join the Navy at 15.  I always loved his Hula Girl tattoo on his arm and imagine I may get a tattoo while there myself? I think that would be an amazing celebration of his energy and spirit that I'm so thankful is still going strong at 83.

My dad's tattoo is true Sailor Jerry old school style.  A funny story my dad tells about getting his tattoo is that since Sailor Jerry was booked, he opted for Gentle Tom...after telling this he always pauses and says, "he lied" with a smile on his face.  There's alot of that sand that comes from my dad.

Another thing my dad did once is buy an old camper, fix it up and park it on his old homeplace in the middle of 40 acres of planted pine. I've always loved camping and have many good memories of that camper and going camping with my aunt and uncle in their motorhome. Now that I have my  Beetle, I want a glamper to pull behind it!  Something like this:


So there's the glamper style of camping calling to me, but I'm also intrigued with roughing it? Could I do that? One of my favorite library directors is a very nice, quiet man whom I respect a lot.  His way of unplugging was hiking, and we spoke often about his adventures on the Appalachian Trail. I really want to hike some in Arizona, the Pacific Northwest, etc, so why not start in my own backyard in what used to be home:  North Georgia. It's where Jon hiked and I think I could do it too! So a huge leap will be trying this with my now 11-year-old.  I want to do a non-strenuous-moderate hike starting at Amicalola Falls hiking to the Len Foote Hike Inn and then hiking to Springer Mountain and back from the Inn. That's 19 miles in a weekend, but I think we could do it! It's not even officially the Appalachian Trail, but it's a start!

I've also always wondered what it would be like to see earth from space? Why not some spacedust to add to my sandbucket? Normally the price for private space touring is jaw-dropping, but this recently caught my eye as something to shoot for (kindof like the moon ;) )  Why not, dream big or go home...


While I'm dreaming big I recently stumbled upon National Geographic Expeditions. These small eco tours go to some amazing places and offer once in a lifetime educational possibilities. I found the site while researching an Alaskan cruise for my cousin's family, but I think the Around the World by Private Jet would be more my cuppa? If I ever win the lottery, I'm so doing this!

Honestly, I plan on putting allkinds of sand in my sandbucket, from Outerbanks sand, to Welsh coasts with ruins much like my beloved Tulum keeping a watchful eye.  There's familiarity on a beach, no matter where in the world you go.  We all number as grains of sand on a beach, rolling together becoming less and more at the same time.  I look forward to every grain I collect, and who I collect with.

My Sandbucket List: (updated 02/10/15)

Tulum, Mexico
Southern England
More Northern England and Wales
Mardi Gras in New Orleans the weekend before Fat Tuesday to include Krewe of Isis, Krewe of Tucks for their awesome throws,  Endymion, Krewe of Thoth and Bacchus--thinking weekend before February 28, 2017 or February 13, 2018 or March 5, 2019.
Another Master's degree from Magdalen College, Oxford in Medieval Studies
Manhattan and Coney Island with Savannah (Christmas 2015 or Springbreak 2016)
Hawaiian Islands (early summer 2018)
Alaskan Cruise with Seattle, Vancouver Canada and possibly Oregon coast (summer 2016)
Mediterranean Cruise with land based Italy (summer 2019-20)
Puerto Rico (will probably do this as part of a Southern Caribbean cruise)
Northern California Coast / Pacific Coast Highway / Pacific Northwest including hikes : Hole in the Wall, Cape Falcon Trail, Angel's Rest (Mount Hood), Lava Canyon (Mount St. Helen's), Hoh Rainforest.  Maybe do this in tandem with seeing Dave @ The Gorge. 
Vegas with Grand Canyon, Utah and Disneyland (early summer 2015)
Burning Man (when Savannah is in college) http://blog.burningman.com/category/building-brc/
A Grand Canyon Guided Hike like this : http://www.wildlandtrekking.com/grand_canyon_tours.htm
or Savvy might prefer something like this http://www.wildlandtrekking.com/adventurehikes/grandcanyonlodgetour.html
Len Foote Hike Inn (Fall 2015?)

Lapland / Finland to view the Aurora from a glass igloo http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/en/accommodation/#glass-igloos

Nepal Trek, something like this : http://www.nychoagies.com/events/82831502/?eventId=82831502&action=detail

Balloon Near Space Ride  : http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/22/239869844/company-to-offer-75-000-balloon-rides-to-near-space

Around the world by private jet via National Geographic Expeditions http://www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com/expeditions/around-the-world-jet-tour/detail

Visit all the Disney Parks, also stay extended in Orlando at WDW and do some behind the scenes tours, etc. like the Marceline Tour