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Surviving Christmas and the Zombie Apocalypse December 7, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Entertainment, Worth Knowing.
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Shaun of the Dead t-shirt available on Amazon.

As I watched the movie Rec 2 the other night I found myself making a mental list of  “must have” items to fend off the undead.  I hinted to my husband that Santa might want to leave a Swiss Army knife in my stocking. As the movie unfolded, I ticked off other items.  I added a cross as you never know when someone has a drop of vampire in them.

I got a Swiss Army knife one Christmas when I was in college. I opened it and the blade promptly snapped shut and sliced my finger. I’m confident now though that I could use it to disembowel a zombie. This comes from religiously watching Dexter and teaching Third Grade for five years. Nothing grosses me out anymore. Today school ended at 1:30. At precisely 1:29 one of my students stood up and began vomiting a lake about the size of Lake Erie. I know how to calculate area, so this is no exaggeration. I’m afraid the only tool I had was a plastic bag. Too little too late. I wiped the spittle of his face and then handed him a piece of cherry-flavored hard candy to freshen his breath. Where were my night vision goggles when I needed them?

I’m not sure where my new-found interest in survival comes from. I could have cared less when there was all that hoopla about Y2K. I believe it’s possibly a variation of, “We’re not prepared for the Big One.” I had a flashlight hanging next to the bed. The key word is “had.” I’ve taken to putting on pajamas in the middle of the night for fear that if I run out of the house butt naked, I’ll scare my sons. I’d also be cold.

I had to laugh when my friend Cathy’s son-in-law Ryan published a link on Facebook to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse. Who knew there were entire lists of items recommended to buy on Amazon?  I’m still wondering about that duct tape that’s available new or used. Another “must have” item is an iPod. I guess if you’re in “End of the World” mode you’d want a little theme music. What was funny was that people who commented were concerned about how long their batteries would last.  My husband has assured me that there is now a solar battery that you can use to recharge you iPod.  Whew!

I’m not sure what this obsession with zombies is all about.  How scared can you be of creatures you can outrun?  But I noticed in Dead Set the zombies move a lot faster and seem to be caffeinated.  That’s not a good combination.

There’s a few items that aren’t on the list that should be. If you’re going to be doing battle with the undead, you’re definitely going to need some caffeine so you can outrun them. So add an espresso machine to that list. Personally, I’s also need some Coke Classic to keep me in zombie-killing mode. If you have had the pleasure of surviving the movie The Road, you know how good the Real Thing can be. Finally, a little chocolate to boost the serotonin levels when the Prozac runs out would keep my spirits up. Fighting the undead looks to be hard work – kinda like teaching 28 third graders.

Last night we ventured off the couch to see 127 Hours. Whoa!  That Swiss Army knife is definitely at the top of my list.  If no zombies appear or I don’t have to cut off my arm, I can at least open a bottle of red wine. Cheers!

Keep Calm and Carry On December 28, 2009

Posted by alwaysjan in Food for Thought.
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When I saw this sign at our friends’ house, I thought it was the perfect sign for the times. Let’s face it, 2009 has been a lousy year for so many, and 2010 seems to be shaping up as more of the same. I had no idea that Keep Calm and Carry On was designed in 1939 by the British government’s Ministry of Information at the beginning of WW II.

“Keep Calm and Carry On”  has since become part of public domain and can be found in various incarnations (posters, mugs, t-shirts) on Amazon and etsy. Our friends’ copy  featured light blue printing on a black board which was propped on their mantle. There’s even a parody urging people to “Panic and Run Away.”

The original poster was intended as a “last case scenario” to be used only should the Nazis succeed in invading Great Britain, in order to stiffen resolve.” according to my uber source for all information – Wikipedia.

Now even Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, is grubbing for donations which doesn’t bode well. In my neck of the woods, there’s talk of cutting another 82 teachers and increasing class sizes yet again. Here I am half-way through my masters program, and they’re considering freezing column increases, which would put the kabbash on that pay increase I’m working toward. None of it’s good. I’m afraid after seeing The Road and Rec in the same day, a last case scenario seems closer than I’d like to think. But in the meantime – Keep Calm and Carry On.