Posts Tagged ‘Once Upon A Thought’


Someone get me a Daryl-Pony

March 29, 2014

Since it’s still amusing me, and I was asked, here’s my

Quick Guide To Living In the Post-Zombie Apocalypse:

I wrote it in response to a discussion about how the PZA survivors on the show aren’t doing *anything* that lends itself towards re-building a functioning human society.  (Yes, I know that’s not the *point* of the show.  I’m just talking about their actions within the story.  And of *course* I know I’m not the first person to point this out.)

Having been a Walking Dead watcher for all of three weeks now, I still can’t get away from the fact that zombies really aren’t much more dangerous than the natural predators that early American settlers faced—wolves and bears are a lot smarter and harder to escape from, and snakes are harder to avoid.  I will grant that the survivors need some time to re-orient to a post-society society . . . but then life should be able to establish some variety of near normal.

It wouldn’t be all that different from frontier living, actually. A series of small, well-fortified towns (well, stockades, probably, for years 0-10), and killing every zombie you can with a long, long pole . . . and establishing new health & hygiene standards (no sleeping without firmly closed doors, for example—what if Grandpappy has a heart attack at 3am?).

Exception:  Australia

Australia Pretty much everything can kill you - Australia Pretty much everything can kill you  Deadly Australia

Zombie survivors in Australia are F*CKED.


Now, it has been pointed out to me that 2-3 zombies may be easier to deal with than a bear or a wolf, but tens/hundreds/thousands of zombies are a lot harder to deal with.  Zombies also have opposable thumbs, hide in houses, and require a specific strike to the brain.  I’m not saying that they’re not a major threat to humans, and yes, a new reality of life in the PZA is that every year, hundreds WILL die from surprise zombie encounters.


This is the face of a woman who would travel escape with her own publicity materials.


But I also think that they’re not *quite* the apex predators TWD seems to want them to be, and survivors can pretty quickly adopt strategies that mediate these risks.

Scenario 1. Meeting a Zombie In The Woods

I grew up in *very* rural North Georgia, and as a PZA survivor I’d follow the same tricks my canny ole mountain granny taught me to use to avoid snakes (namely:  cover up any easy-to-reach chompable bits with long pants and boots). If I’m out on a “wilderness” supply run to the local TJ Maxx, you can betcher beehive I’m wearing long sleeves (reinforced at vulnerable areas), and damn sure buttoning my neck flap all the way up (Queen Elizabeth would be jealous). Any survivor worth his humanity needs to grab a decent outfit and a roll of tape and make themselves a zombie-proof suit.

Also, craft weaponry that’d work at close and medium quarters. Bayonettes were devastating on the battlefield for a good long time (ohhh, were they devastating).  Let’s bring them back! Grab a pole, a pointy thing, and your leftover tape, and you’ve got yourself a homemade arms-length Zombie Beatin’ Stick (patent pending).

Your goal here, obviously, is to survive any surprise or come-from-behind attacks when you’re Staring Aimlessly Into The Distance, Experiencing A Moment of Emotional Conflict, or Have Your Ankle Stuck In Something.  Fending off the initial bite (or having it not penetrate because of duct tape) allows you to apply the pointy part to any opportune squishy parts and get away human.


Scenario 2. Zombie Herd Onna Farm

When we weren’t beset by snakes in Georgia, we were being hounded by tornadoes, and that’s what’s going to get us through the next scenario. If you choose to farm away from the safety of the stockades, you’ll mostly be growing crops (I do not advise trying to keep a large herd of livestock in the immediate PZA, unless you’re bloody stupid).  This will mean long hours in the field, your trusty Beatin’ Stick (patent pending) close to hand.  You’re likely to be pretty far from the family homestead when those walkers break through the treeline, rampaging through the farm like a wildebeest stampede.  No need to panic, though–you’ll have spent a few days building strategically placed zombie cellars. Keep ’em stocked with emergency food and water, and take cover at the first hint of Ye Olde Herde of Hundreds. The herd will move on, and you’ll come up like Dorothy Outta Oz to check out how your prize rutabagas fared.


Scenario 3. Zombie Herd Onna Road

Has been done on the show with some semblence of competency. Hide from them, run from them, and for goodness sake–carry some sort of projectile flash-bang to draw them away from your position.  Roman candles would be ideal, if you come across them when you’re at TJ Maxx. To deal with any stragglers, see Scenario 1.

Scenario 4. Zombie Herd Attacks The Town

Moats and drawbridges.

Granted, a big enough zombie herd will keep coming through a moat, but that’s why you station pikesmen on the city side of the moat. Get the swimmers when they’re trying to come slithering up the steep walls of the moat.  If you’re really overwhelmed, assign pikesmen in pairs:  One to do the long strikes, and one with a short blade to dispatch the ankle-biters.  During lulls in the action, assign nicknames to everyone.  Write action comedies about pikesmen units and the zany antics wingmen get up to in the Stockade Tavern, singing old Righteous Brothers songs to unfamiliar ladies.  Try to fill the void left in your life by a world without fighter pilots.


It’s not about going back to life as it was, of course. If you figure major population centers are going to have pretty close to a 100% conversion rate at TZA-Day Zero, you’ve got a solid couple years where you’re going to have to just be killing as many as humanly possible. That new conversion rate is going to drop off VERY sharply, though, as the survivors get better at not getting killed. Then you can start taking out the herds. Let’s say that takes 5 years, for the most part. So, at TZA+5, you’re at a place where your biggest conversion points are easily containable: accidents and natural deaths. Even if a whole +5 or +10 town comes down with . . . [insert nasty decimating virus here] . . . neighboring towns put on their zombie suits and send a cleanup squadron out.


Finally, I found this online today, and now I want a Daryl-Pony.





Title Schmitel

March 13, 2013

I was not particularly popular in high school.

I was not particularly UN-popular . . . I was super-involved and very committed, but never quite seemed to be in sync (Ha!  90s joke!) with most of the people I was in school with*.


This has led to an interesting phenomenon.  The rise of Facebook means that I, like approximately EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD, am friends with at least 67% of the humans who also endured the humiliation of shouting TROJAN PRIDE! at our hometown football games.**

And now, having caught, killed, dismembered, distributed, and buried any semblence of a lede, because YAY, WRITING SKILLZ!, I shall get to the point.***

I have reached a point where I am likely to post utterly random, semi-stream-of-consciousness, amusing-myself inanity on Facebook when I’m bored or avoiding work or disinclined to be productive (aren’t those things synonymous?).

I use Facebook because Twitter still scares me a little (Edit myself to 140 characters while still appearing clever?  NOOOO!!!) and because most of the people in my Twitter feed are professional industry contacts that I respect and hope to earn respect from.****

Most of the people in my Facebook feed, on the other hand, have firsthand knowledge of my lifelong ambivalence towards pants#, so they bear the brunt of my un-edited cogitational downstream.
Generally, I know who will like certain things.  Once in a while, persons unknown-except-as-yearbook-names pop up with an LOL, and the effect is . . . a little ridiculous.

Like, put on a curtain-as-a-cape-and-fly-around-the-house-‘cuz-clearly-I’m-now-awesome ridiculous.  Like, please-ye-gods-don’t-give-Ali-that-much-validation ridiculous.

Like, seriously-Ali-you-don’t-need-to-write-an-actual-blog-post ridiculous.

‘Cause I did.




*I also suspect this is true for anyone maintaining a body temperature of 98 degrees in high school.  (Too labored?  Yeah, probably too labored.  Great. . . now I gotta get back street cred.)

**Generally, we were losing.  It got kind of hard to take.  (OMG, these puns are NOT getting better.  Please, someone stop me . . . )

*** What point?  POINT BREAK!  Boom!  ANOTHER 90s joke! Because all things lead to Point Break!  (Seriously, can we get a doctor?  Nurse?  Night watchman?  Compassionate bystander transfixed with horror at the impossibly unnecessary carnage?  Anyone?)

****This shall not, however, prevent me from cross-posting this blog on Twitter because Consistency. (Any professional-type Twitter link-clickers, please go ahead and ignore absolutely all of the terrible, terrible jokes I’ve made thus far, and shall continue to make for the remainder of the piece.)

# Also chairs, elephants, the state of Montana, and low-frequency sounds.  (This . . . actually, this is entirely true.)


Monstrously Dorkish

October 25, 2012


FRANKENSTORM looms in the distance, menacing grey and blue clouds stretching evil fingers over the cowering city.

ALI steps into the night, wearing a white lab coat, goggles, and sensible rain boots.

Lightning flares.

ALI: (cackles)

The collective world *facepalms*.


Outsmarting Myself

October 16, 2012

According to WordPress, on May 11 I saved a draft called, “I could TOTALLY be MacGyver.”


Now, every so often a girl needs to know exactly how that would work, so of course I had to see what bit of awesomeness and ingenuity I’d accomplished last May.


Probably, I figured, I’d saved a planeload of people using a breakfast cookie and the cravat from the passenger in 7C.  Or disarmed a nuclear warhead with quick logarithmic computations, an etch-a-sketch, and 6 milliliters of embalming fluid.


Oooh!  Maybe I kept a sourcerer from taking over the world using just a sock and a half-brick.  (somehow, that one seemed familiar . . . . )


Clearly, whatever it was would dazzle, boggle, goggle, transfix, and plain old hornswoggle the mind. Fully prepared to be awed and amazed, I clicked the link.


The post was blank.


*blink blink*


That’s right, folks.  I’m so awesome I can’t even tell *MYSELF*.


(Now why on earth do I have the sudden urge to listen to Kenny Rogers?  Strange, that.)



Being Jabez Dawes

October 15, 2012

Okay, I’ll be honest about this:

In real life, my badass quotient runs somewhere akin to a cross between Ned Flanders and your average eighth-grade hall monitor.

(You know the one–that girl with no verifiable sense of humor yet possessing an ironically humorous overbite.  Not that I’m channeling any old middle school enemies or anything.)

Hell, I don’t even walk through doors marked “No Admittance”.

And, sadly, it’s not because my moral compass is actually calibrated in a permanent northwardly-pointing orientation.

Doing bad things just makes me feel . . . well . .. guilty.  Getting caught feels like hellfire and boiled turnips for lunch.  And if you *really* want to destroy me, you let people know I was caught being bad.

Yeah. Your psychological indexing utility read that right.  I’m not an evil genius because I there’s no way I could handle the press coverage.

Sad, isn’t it?  I was preemptively brung low by the PR department.  That’s like being out-dorked by the high school varsity cheerleading squad.

That being said, I have a dangling-sleeve-to-gas-burning-stove fascination with spies, thieves, confidence men, and rogues of every stripe.

(Especially red stripes on a grey x-wing base, y’know what I’m sayin’?  Go Rogue!  Go Star Wars!  Up with the Geeks! Down with the Jeedai!  Pilots Save The Wo  . . . Ahem.)

And it’s LifeHacker’s Evil Week, and I’m trying to figure out a why for adding “lock pick set” to my Christmas list.

You have to admit. . . I would be the most unlikely spy in the world.

Hey!  Hold on a second!  I DO brush my teeth side-to-side!

Yeah . . . . that’s right.  An outlaw, forever isolated from society.  Existing on the fringes.  Getting nicknames like “Razor” or “Mad Dog”.

Hide your chi’ren and alert the lawman. Here comes trouble.

Yeah . . . .


A Quick Psychology Lesson . . .

June 15, 2012

First thing you should know–I have a pet peeve about badly characterized fan fiction.  If you want to play with the known boundaries of a character, by all means explore the ways that psych ping A will lead to reaction B.  That’s where most of the fun is . . . but you *must* *must* *must* sell me on the grounding of the premise. 

Second thing you should know–I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Gray, and I only made it through the first two books of Twilight.  So, a lot of my skepticism about both stories comes from an admitedly uninformed position.  However, I deem it highly unlikely that the author would have been able to sell me (no matter how amazing the discount) on the concept of the Edward/Bella characters evolving into the premise. 

It’s not like I’m a die-hard cynic.   Liz and I used to play the game all the time–“would you buy the characterization if I did *this*???  What about at *this* price?”

“Oh, you’ll love this fic . . . just suspend your disbelief from the nearest tree before you read it.”

Sometimes you have a bridge too far.  Sometimes you have a nifty thought experiment.

Which leads me to my Friday afternoon activities.  When I get bored, I sometimes have BAD ideas.  Other times, I feel compelled to undertake ridiculous dares. 

See below.

Reading CNN articles about Fifty Shades of Gray:

Reading the comments in CNN articles about Fifty Shades of Gray:

Reading the below comment in CNN articles about Fifty Shades of Gray:

Sorry, but the popularity of the book is messed up for many reasons. First of all, the whole idea that it is Twilight fan fiction is dumb. I mean you take a story, take out the vampire part, change all the personalities and names, and somehow that is related. Heck, it’s like Star Wars fan fiction about some guys living in New York.



If I Were In Charge

May 18, 2012

Just saw another trailer for season 2 of Falling Skies.

I thought the first season was entertaining and watchable, but not exactly ground-breaking on screen (they have a great transmedia push happening online, though, which is definitely a step in the right direction).

S1 ended with a few revelations. . . the skittery aliens were “harnessed”, too, and there appeared to be tall & skinnies acting as the spider overlords.

And then there was the part where Noah Wylie left with the aliens to have a little powwow.

Okay, fine, whatever.

According to the trailer, NW is going to come back and have to deal with lack of trust, what are the aliens’ *real* plans, etc, etc, etc.


Now, I think they have a great opportunity here to do something a little bit more interesting.  I’m hoping that they’ve already considered this and I’m just reading their cues (in which case I will waste no time claiming victory over All The Things, of course).


History is a major theme of the show.  NW is a history prof, the humans couch their efforts in terms of a new revolution, small determined band of freedom fighters, and so forth.

I would love for the humans to become a metaphorical equivalent of the Native Americans, with the aliens becoming the chaotic neutral of the European colonists.  Some good motivations, some bad motivations, but either way–here to stay.

Maybe the skitters are under Slender Men control, and season 2 will see them forging alliances with the humans to throw off the yoke (hyuk hyuk), and all the usual blah blah blah, but wouldn’t a season 3 where society –a human/alien society–starts to integrate and rebuild itself be just absolutely *yummy*???