Oct 30, 2009


I have a zombie phobia. It's odd considering my husband adores zombie movies, games & literature, one of my best pals owns Zombie Logic Press, and I've been known to illustrate zombie cartoons. I'm not sure when it started. Sometime in the 90s I started having these nightmares about the slow lumbering kind. The relentless ones who have all the time in the world to chase you down and get you and no matter how fast you were running or how far away you went or how much the dream changed into a lovely cotton candied, carousel riding bit of happiness, still the gnawing feeling that the zombies were on their way tainted any dreaming that came after no matter how good for the rest of the night.

This lead to my inability to be able to be around anyone even pretending to be a zombie without getting a serious case of the slap-fight panics (Where you swing your arms like mad squeal and then run.) I took the quiz and would only last 2 minutes after the zombie apocalypse. Dan and I stumbled into a live action roll playing zombie game last year during Gen Con (game convention) and it was all I could do not to pick Ella up with my sweaty palms and run while the teenagers lolled about in heavy white and red makeup and torn up clothes. When we lived in IL, if I got home from skate practice late and some drunken guy was walking home from the bar up Main St. weebling and wobbling along the way I would get the heebie-jeebies and panic trying to get into the door before the dark shambly form could get close enough to chomp my brains.

Still I've watched in incredible number of movies and continue to be fascinated. My pal at Zombie Logic Press had the good fun to participate in a zombie film a few weeks back. He was part of the undead hoard and had an absolute blast doing it. Though I was jealous and wished I could have participated too, the fact is I may have shown up, got in full make up and then panicked, hyperventilated and then passed before the camera even turned on. So it's probably good I didn't. Anyway the film is short and it's for a larger project that is brilliant called Nation Undead.

"The objective of the filmmakers is to build and submit stories that fit within the larger Nation Undead back story. Because Nation Undead is truly a collaborative effort, musicians, screen writers and graphic artists are all encouraged to contribute to this deeply woven universe with their own perspective talents."

This is exciting to me on many levels. First of all I want to see the finished product no matter how scary. Secondly, I know some people that are submitting. Thirdly, the story line is really scary - it has to do with the flu and a flu vaccine and how the flu mutates. Germ warfare and mutating viruses are the new radioactivity in horror movies.

It's topical. My niece is just today pondering aloud on Facebook if she should take her son to get the H1N1 vaccine or not. Most of the people that responded said "Don't get it, it's too new, I don't trust the vaccine." I responded to her with an article about how perfectly healthy and robust children and adults are dying from it in Houston and if I could get it (if it even were available to us) I would - especially for the kiddo. It's a horror fest soup happening in real life. We no longer trust our government, the pharmaceutical industry, news media outlets and sometimes even our own judgment. We live in an age where one can find a plethora of studies and truths on both sides of an argument and frankly we are too tired from trying to live to do weeks of scientific reading to reach our own conclusions. Bombarded from every side with conflicting information, we turn to anecdotal evidence form our friends and families and instead amble along and follow the hoard.

This morning I was thinking perhaps my zombie phobia is really about the crowd mentality, the fear of one's own ability to think independently and break away from the frenzy that we can whip each other into while traveling down a dangerous road of misinformation. The way that we can create a monster that craves the horde's attention and approval so much he'd lie about his son being swept away in a balloon or the way the hoard can be convinced that standing idly by while a 15 year old gets gang raped at a school dance, are the real life horrors that stalk us daily. The inability for us to trust the information that is available to us and the value of our own judgment is dangerous. While we find strength in the hoard it's also where we loose ourselves and let our consciousness and autonomy die a little.

Or perhaps I am just afraid of inevitable death.

Photo stolen from Tim Stotz and the upcoming movie "Kept" by Travis Legge who also did "Jimmy's Basement" available November 2009.

Oct 26, 2009

Blonds vs Brunettes at Dairy Ashford Roller Rink

We played two 20 minute periods last night with everyone split into two teams. The rookies all made it out mostly unscathed. I jammed twice and it turned into 3 times on accident as I ended up in penalty in the second period and had to skate back into the next jam when penalty was over. This was when I was pretty sure I was going to die from exhaustion and when I didn't I considered it a win on the side of improved endurance. The pink team (my team) won and after we all went over to Big John's where I had a bowl of green beans and a beer. I am addicted to these green beans, for serious. They are garden fresh and drowned in butter with sprinkles of garlic, salt, and rainbow - unicorn - happiness.

Yes, I am wearing my Diva shirt, it was ok, it the right color pink for the team and it had my name and number already on it (I represented a little. Holla - Viva la Divas!)

Oct 25, 2009


This is what I'll be doing tonight. It'll be blonds vs brunettes aka pink vs black. I am on the pink/blond team tonight. Send us some good juju so that we all play hard and all (both teams) make it out in one piece. There will be a bake sale and hopefully we'll pack the house and make gobs of money for our travel team to get to Nationals. (I'll call you after wards and let you know I'm ok mom.)

Oct 23, 2009

Courage when your heart is out and running around the neighborhood

When Ella was first learning how to eat grown up food she once choked on a piece of watermelon and I had to grab her up out of the highchair and flip her over and smack her on the back. The piece of watermelon came flying out of her mouth and she laughed. I was so mad at her for laughing. I was genuinely scared that she would turn blue. For months after I had to make the effort to have strength when she ate. Sometimes she'd gag a little and have to re-chew whatever it was I had given her. I'd have to resist the urge to flip her over and smack her on the back again so that she could figure it out on her own while I just stood by in case of emergency. This was an excruciating exercise in parental courage.

I practiced this courage again while watching her learn to swing, climb a ladder, go down a slide, and swim. Each time it got a little easier to bare. This week it's all fresh worry again, just like that first time I thought she was in danger of being killed by a bite of watermelon. Ella just wants to play with her pals.

They knocked and said "Can Ella come over to play?" She's gone out the door, to her friend's house for an hour. The three girls walk two buildings down on their own. I feel immediate panic. I think "Why didn't I make them play here?" I think about the million reasons I should walk down there, knock on the door and see if she's ok. I pace. My stomach hurts with worry. I repeat the words "Courage Mom" to myself. I stand at my window and watch for her running up the sidewalk towards home knowing she isn't due back for another twenty-five minutes.

I recognize this feeling and think about all the times I'll do this. When she rides her bike to the library, when she takes drivers ed, when she goes to college, when she moves out and so on. Every risk she takes will make me pace and whisper the words "Courage Mom" to myself. I clean a little and distractedly check my e-mail again when I hear the door open behind me. Ella comes in smelling like wind and kid sweat I give her the tightest hug. She says she had fun but is glad to be home and she'd like a snack. I say "Good." but I dare not say anymore as I happily get her a bowl of corn chips.

Oct 20, 2009

Fall Goodness

Last Thursday was Ella's school music program, it was absolutely adorable (video to come.) Then on Sat. we went with pals to the Renaissance Fair for Fairy Day and total fun. Sunday and Monday roller derby and Tuesday and Wednesday too (yay!) Ella's made some friends in the neighborhood and today ran outside after school yelling over her shoulder "I'm going out to play!" We are looking forward to picture day, Cirque de something-or-other in the park for free on Friday, the balloon rally at NASA on Saturday, a derby bout on Sunday (yes, I'm skating,) then next week Halloween, and the air show. I'm hoping to add in there finishing this painting, blogging, pumpkins, a field trip to the bayou, a resale shop trade and a few trips to the library or half priced books. Now you are all caught up on what is good. (Hi Mom! - Love you.)

Oct 15, 2009


Pop Tart in the car

After my third attempt to rouse sleepy kid for school

"I'm up already! It's just my eye is watery and my body is heavy Mom!"

Oct 13, 2009

Late night thoeries & glimpses of a kid's day

"Do you know what it was like a long time ago, before the future? This was a dinosaur planet, but they don't exist anymore, only toy dinosaurs exist now."


After talking about Picasso's Blue Period "I understand, you know I think am in a pink period!"


"Aiden kept looking at my bracelet like he was going to eat it, then he chased me."

Oct 11, 2009

Sunday Tea

After taking a sip of her father's cup of honey laden tea:

"That wasn't soo bad, and the caffeine didn't make me jump off any walls - phew"

Oct 7, 2009

Breaking News in Australia

Sometimes I have to click on the BBC news to see what's happening in the world without being subjected to dancing with the stars or David Letterman's crotch. It turns out there is a fair amount of good news in Africa, tense news in Asia, boring news in Europe and Sad news in South America.

Australia's top story is this: Australian fans face booze limit. Australian police are gearing up for an annual crackdown on motor-racing fans - limiting race-goers to 24 cans of beer a day.

I say, if that is your top story Australia, I want to live there.

"...The "one-slab" limit was first imposed in 2007, with police insisting drunken hooligans were tarnishing the reputation of the race and causing disruption in town..."

Oct 6, 2009

How to Smooth Frizzy Locks Part II

You go to the hair cuttery across the street from my apartment because they advertise $5.00 hair cuts, then you let the nice Korean lady yell at you for 10 minutes about how if only you'd use the leave in cream rinse you'd have "good hair" while she snips an inch further than you asked just like you suspected, validating your suspicions that you should always say you'd like it longer than you'd actually like it. Then you buy the expensive salon leave in cream rinse that you'll likely use when trying to comb your kids hair after the pool and use on your own head should you remember and on a the rare occasion when you are leaving the apartment but not planning to wear a roller derby helmet. Then you smile and leave a tip.

Oct 5, 2009

She Took a Wrong Turn at Albuquerque or in the Hallway

Me: How was school?

Ella: Good, I didn't even get mixed into the wrong line today.

Me: That happened to you?

Ella: No, not today.

Me: When did that happen?

Ella: I think it was October or Wednesday.

Me: How did it happen?

Ella: I was in line in the hallway, then I stopped and did a u-turn on accident and then I wasn't in my classroom, so I peeked out the door and saw J. and found the right classroom. It made me a little upset.

Oct 3, 2009

New Link

Guess what kiddo and I worked on today at her request. Ok, don't guess, I'll just show you: