All posts tagged Zombies

Zombies and Unicorns and Zebras (Oh my implied)

Published April 8, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It is no secret that much of information comes from satire news sources and frequent glances at CNN and/or the Huffington Post. It is also no secret that my brain functions like a windsock, whipping around to catch ideas and notions.

Most people have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to this kind of thing, such as hearing hoofbeats and thinking “horses” not “zebras”  (I would also accept bored actors doing a Monty Python bit.)   I have also heard that lawyers refer to innocent clients as Unicorns as in they only exist in myth, or in the bedrooms of pre-teen girls (not creepy, they are innocent remember?)

In World War Z, when Brad Pitt was in Israel backtracking an email (I’m a bit sketchy the details because I was a bit dozy during most of the movie, but really, why take the only person who can figure out the epidemic into the danger zone and let him flail around with a weapon, and seriously? Why did Brad Pitt have his satellite phone ringer on? And what kind of needy bitch has to call her husband when she knows he’s doing something really important like trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse? I’m aggressively codependent and I don’t expect BatBeard to answer the phone on a four show day.)

Pitt talks to a man whose sole job it is to believe the impossible, or as he puts it “sometimes zombies means zombies”

Now it isn’t my actual job, but I, too, always believe in the zombie unicorn zebra because my actual world is so bizarre that a zombie riding a unicorn chasing a zebra wouldn’t even cause me to blink.   And it’s not just the 95% fatality rate stroke survivor thing or the fact that the Mom had a tumor the size of an egg inside of one of the chambers of her heart, had open heart surgery and was able to do the reading at my grandparents 50th anniversary mass before her stitches were fully healed, or the fact that my father had a brief bout of cancer (you heard that right, his cancer was treated and gone faster than the walking pneumonia I had two years ago), my day to day life is just odd.

I ran across this news story Missing CDC doctor found. Now the story is slanted to point out that he was passed up for a promotion, possibly prompting his drowning the death. My initial interest was based on the whole missing person angle, after all I am an avid follower of the unknown. ( I did indeed mean to say that) but then the Zombie Unicorn Zebra whispered in my ear, “What did he do at the CDC?” So glad you asked, ZUZ, he was a  highly respected epidemiologist. Then my brain said, “What is that?” So google told me that epidemiology is the branch of medicine dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease of large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics of infectious disease.” Then the ZUZ said, “EEEEEEEE”

I concur, ZUZ, I concur.  Most people wouldn’t see this as alarming but what if there is a looming epidemic and this man just opted out before the madness begins?

I did promise my students cupcakes if there’s an apocalypse. So if you see the ZUZ, let me know.


Published July 25, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This is the time of the year when I catch up on, well, everything.  I’m falling behind on my housekeeping, mostly because I don’t give a teeny tiny little rats behind, but I can still see the floor and find the cats fairly easily, so I’m ok.

I had breakfast with my dad (to celebrate my birthday, which was a month ago but the time, it do fly.) Our conversation drifted to the current state of affairs. (In the country, not in my life, and now that I mention it, why the hell is every third person so damn interested in my ability to trap Batman?)   We discussed the incredibly stream of stupid that exploded when I simply shared an article about the mania that is Trump’s America.   This lead us to the discussion that as a whole, we (society, not me, my dad and Batman-World’s Worst YA novel.) are missing the damn point of dystopia TV.

As the wise rabbi in World War Z says, most of the time, Zombies, doesn’t mean Zombies. (He also went on to say that sometimes it actually does mean Zombies, but that doesn’t serve my point. You see how quotes can be manipulated? Hmm?)  The point I was making with to my dad is that the point of The Walking Dead, at least by my extrapolation, is that in the face pandemic disaster, our politics are going to matter very little. If human kind is to survive we have to stop arguing about the collective stupidity that makes up current bi partisan politics.  Life is far too short to fight amongst ourselves, especially since it looks like the problem is going to be bigger than  Zombies.

To pursue that rabbit down another hole,  (What’s a metaphor? Sheep!)   I recall yet another episode of  The Walking Dead, (Let’s agree that I watch entirely too much television.) One of the denizens of one of the more advanced sub-societies of the post-Apocalyptic future/alternate universe, remarked that he listened to some music when he gets bored. One of the our protagonist group replies, “I can’t remember the last time I felt safe enough to be bored”

I know it seems a long way to go to get the point, but it’s all a matter of perspective.  Perspective is a word that gets bandied about a lot these days, as is mindfulness.   Mindfulness means fine tuning your perspective so that you are hyper aware of the moment to moment-ness of you life. Kind of like when your world is full of Zombies.

And we’re back.


I have had the weapons all weekend and haven’t killed a single zombie!

Published January 5, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I buy myself gifts for Christmas and my birthday. This year I bought myself “Rise of Nightmares” an interactive game for my Xbox Kinect. (The Xbox itself was a birthday present to me the last big check I got from teaching and directing. I  remember thinking that it was probably going to be the last time I would be able to do that. I was right. Sometimes a rambling fool will show you the way. Wow, that was a long parenthetical.)

In the game you punch and kick Zombies and other monsters. I am really looking forward to this. I just haven’t had the time and its already about to be shut down time.  I still have enthusiasm for the week and the upcoming madness, because I have the plan.

The plan only works if we stick to the time management schedule. (This is a hypothetical schedule because I’m waiting for my dayplanner refill to come in. I think it’s in, I just have to go fetch it from the UPS office. I’m really going to vexed if it’s not here.  Oh well, the UPS office should be an adventure. Why, yes, it does take years of practice to keep up with my conversation,just ask my Amanda-Friend, she’s been following the story for over two decades.)

And now, my something interesting and brainy for today, brought to you once again by the good people at the Daily Spark:

Ernest Hemingway once remarked that All American Literature since The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn owed a great debt to that novel.  Imagine that you are a famous writer about to publish the Great American Novel. Which aspects of Twain’s book might you play with or emulate in your own book. 

First of all, Ernest Hemingway was a big ol’ drunk.  I’m sure he said a lot of things, so why are we not looking to some of those other things to pry apart literature?  Considering the amount of time he spent in Key West and Cuba, I’m sure he had many clever ways to request more ice.  I know that I find it easier to write with a big soda with lots of ice.

Second of all, even if you are a famous writer, how do you know you’re writing the Great American Novel? What constitutes fame? Stephanie Meyer is famous as is E. L. James and I don’t think either of them will crank out (dirty) anything akin to great. Maybe American as in the Twilight series and the 50 shades series are both the processed cheese food of the literary world.

Unfortunately at this stage of my writing career, such as it is, I would have to focus more on themes that are trending, which might not survive the ages but be popular enough to sustain my living expenses without my having to work three jobs, and with that in mind, I would take Finn’s exploration on the Mississippi to an alternate, futuristic plane of existence where Huck and his pal, Gym  (a robot who is his physical trainer) shoot back and forth from place to place in a pneumatic tube.

As always, if anyone thinks this is a good idea, I call dibbs.


CatNoWriMo: or submit to Meankitty, puny human!

Published November 8, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My sister-in-law, the wondrous and amazing author Jody Wallace (www.JodyWallace.com)  is also a the typist for Meankitty. (www.meankitty.c0m)  She is also a great mom and a fine Purrveyor  of snark. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the pun.)

November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWirMo. There is an official website and organization set up to help writers challenge themselves to write enough every day so that they will have an entire novel written by the end of the month.

This probably helps a lot of people. It makes me a little balky.

My sis-in-law set up a different kind of challenge CatNoWriMo

The structure is a little more fluid and will be judged and evaluated solely at the discretion of Meankitty.

To appease Meankitty, the stories must be written about cats and cats should be presented in a favorable light.

This is the beginnings of my offering

A-Purr-calypse Meow or Oh, Rat’s Zombies


Part One: In which Fluffers senses danger afoot while enjoying a sun spot


Fluffers licked a paw and washed her face. She wished The Girl Thing wouldn’t use that sticky stuff that made the floor shine. Fluffers had tried to show her displeasure by covering it with a number of other liquids, but The Girl Thing only made the loud noise and put more of the sticky down. It was a huge waste of valuable nap time to dwell on it. It wasn’t so bad. The floor situation and the unfortunate name were the only real problems she had. The Girl Thing said her name was Fluffer Nutter. That was much worse. The Boy Thing said that it was insulting to call any creature by that stupid name. Fluffers was surprised. The Boy Thing wasn’t usually that smart. He did not at all appreciate the token of her esteem.  Fluffers decided she would keep all future heads of vole for those who might appreciate them.

The sticky paw situation was just the beginning. Fluffers stretched in the sun spot and arranged herself so she could reach maximum warmth. The Dog Thing galloped towards her and she extended one paw in his direction. He turned and went the other way. They had an understanding, sometimes they huddled together for warmth or treats. This was not one of those times.  She enjoyed the sun and the sparkle it made in the air. As she watched the sparkle, she noticed a small creature lurking in the pile of leaves nearest the house. She would have to do something about that. She thudded a paw on the window. The rat didn’t even turn its head, just marched importantly away. She pounded the window again, loud enough so the Girl Thing called from the other room.

“Fluffers, is there something outside?”

Fluffers hoped she wouldn’t come in here; if she did Fluffers would have to get up and pretend to be excited and then she might not get her nap time.  By the time the Girl Thing got in the room and Fluffers arched her back and made a perfunctory hiss, the rat was gone.

There was something wrong with the situation. Even the chin skritches and good kitty cooing did nothing to assuage the uneasiness Fluffers felt.  She thought about this as she rubbed her face in the reward nip. It was soothing and helped her think.

She had nothing against rats, that is, not as long as they were willing to work within the system. For the most part, they were willing to negotiate. Most of the cats in the neighborhood worked out a deal, if the rats remained out of site they were permitted to co-exist and to get the occasional treat tossed out in the garage (always in a pre-determined space so as not to get  the Boy Things and The Girl Things riled up.) If a rat showed himself to a human and if there was shrieking involved, the rat must then leave or face the consequences.  A rat that strayed too close to a house would at least meet the eye of the cat of record and hurry away. This one didn’t even saunter defiantly or scurry in fright.  This one simply went about its business as if it were completely unaware of its surroundings. It was almost as if it were bewitched.

Fluffers felt her whiskers tingle. This was a clear sign of danger ahead. She rubbed her head against the nip and tried not to think about it.


The Problem

Published October 10, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

 A few years ago I had a student whose mother was doing some redecorating in their home. The redecorating was taking a very long time and every day my student had something new to report. After about a week or so I asked her to explain the process to me. She looked at me and said, “Oh, I see. You want this to make sense.” 

I think that’s why I’m having so much trouble in this little slice of time like the present. I want things to make sense. 

It seems like such a small thing to ask. But clearly, it’s far too much.   My own world is growing increasingly narrow as I focus on getting stories finished for deadline. This is creating a ripple in my space/time continuum because I know this batch of stories will more than likely be the last for this type of contract.

When these stories are finished, I will have to throw myself feet first back into the realm of public education as a sub. (I’m still hoping that the white knight of a full-time job will rescue me at the last minute. More on that later.) 

The time has come. When the last story is written, edited, and uploaded, I will continue to write, but with a different pace and focus.

It’s crazy, because I don’t really like writing formula romances. It dents my soul a little bit. I’m not sure why.  Writing these stories takes me out of my world for a while and then I get yanked back in by reality like the cat pooping in the plants and creating an odor so vile that it drags me from my office.

Reality makes me very aware that I can’t afford to rely solely on money I make writing cheesy romances.  

It leaves me wanting to make sense of things.

Things do not make sense right now.

I have a whole list of news stories that cite specific ways the shutdown is affecting the people. This would be the everyday people, not the congress or the folk that are creating the mess.

It seems redundant to relay that information here. 

That particular madness does help me understand a phenomenon that I did really grasp before.

I now know why we are summoning zombies. (In pop culture, that is. I haven’t quite jumped off of the sanity train yet. If I do, you will be the first to know.) I have been taking advantage of the fluid nature of my work day to catch up on some of the shows that my peer group has been nudging me toward. There is a pattern. Zombies, Dystopia, Revenge, Scandal, Extreme Crime.  It’s as if we’re trying to trump our own disasters. (Make your own pun here.)

So today while I wait to hear about the JOB( which is a grant funded position and it has occurred to me that this may be held up by the current situation. ) I will be writing the last three short stories and wagging the zombies (World’s worst Oingo Boingo tribute band) to distract myself.

Maybe we will get lucky and Olivia Pope, Emily Thorne and Daenerys Targaryen will join forces to harness the power of Zombie and force everyone in this plane of existence to get their heads back in the game.

That would make sense. 

Rage: Now available in choke sized bites

Published September 23, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I recently had a conversation with a friend from high school. We were catching up on the events of the last twenty-five years and he remarked, “You sure want to punch a lot of people in the face.”

It’s true.

It’s also frightening to think that I am now medicated so there are actually fewer folk who  I actively want to pound.  Pre-Head Explosion I was considerably less calm. (In fact, I once got so mad so fast I actually passed out.)

I have not exercised my ability to rage in a very long time.  A recent situation has made me come of rage retirement.

I won’t overylinky you with the myriad of news stories, but the House has passed the move by the GOP to cut $40 billion dollars for food stamps. When I read this, I had another of those can’t-move-can-only-stare-straight-ahead-because-I-think-this-might-actually-be-the-worst-thing-ever moments.

Folks, almost fifty percent of those who benefit from food stamps are children. You know those things that are our future whose major concerns should be what  Halloween costume to wear, those creatures who are not tiny adults but are developing organisms who deserve actual nutrition to help them turn into productive members of society?

According to information acquired by Beth Hoffman for  Forbes magazine, 22 million children IN THE UNITED STATES are in need of food assistance. I think this is insane in a country where we throw food away. There are places in the world who children go hungry because there is NO food. We have food here, but apparently we don’t want to share it.

I know today is not my day to rant about inequity. Today is actually my day to rant about education. But like everything else, one thing impacts another.

One of my teacher friends was telling me that most of the kids in his school attend after school programs. They attend these programs because they serve dinner.

Did anyone have a school lunch experience that was so wonderful that they would choose to eat all of their meals there? Kids don’t have much of a choice.

Several organizations hold food drives around this time of the year. People gather up canned and boxed foods to donate to food banks.  When this drive hits your neighborhood, take a minute to select something that someone might actually want to eat and that might have nutrition in it.  (I can only think of one person who likes canned beets and he doesn’t live here anymore. I would say something about it but I suspect that it’s confrontational to call someone and scream, “Would you get your damn expired beets out of my house?!!”)

I am stunned by all of it.

It makes me want to watch Apocalypse movies and root for the Zombies.

Expectant extant

Published December 20, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been pondering today.  Today could be the last day, (But then again, couldn’t any?) I know a lot of people will be going bat poop crazy, so just in case the Zombies, the Mayans or the cast of Supernatural (mmm, Jared Padalecki)decides to pull the plug on the whole grid tomorrow, these are some things I have been thinking about.

Carl Sagan, who is way smarter than me sums it up pretty well.

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

I don’t think Zombies are going to ooze forth from the Earth’s crust tonight at Midnight, but I do think people are going to be stupid, no matter what.   Some schools are closing tomorrow (Michigan) because they are afraid that something is going to happen because of threats that have been made on Twitter.  (I could not make this up.)

But last week wasn’t the purported end of days, and someone committed a heinous stupidity. (I can’t even think about that because it makes my brain shut down. (Which may pop me under the Zombie radar, come to think, or not think about it.)  I, for one, want to hear my kid’s voice sometime this evening, not because of the whole End o’ the World thing, but because he’s flying out of NYC tomorrow, and stupid crap happens to him on a regular  basis.

No matter what happens, all we have left is the words we spoke and the thoughts we shared.  Every choice we made during our time on the Pale Blue Dot.

Today was fun. I have a roof over my head and enough income to afford me a tasty coffee beverage. I have the bandwith to view a video of my 16 month old niece dart around and decide that she no longer required her shirt, then pat her stomach when she succeeded in stripping.  I am lucky that my other nieces live in a place where they could go to school and make it home safely.   I got to spend time with each of parents this week. I hugged my husband recently (I was asleep when he got home last night and when he left this morning.) I got to sleep with my head resting on a freshly laundered bunny.

There’s enough cat food in the house to feed the stray that hangs out in our driveway.

All things considered, it’s been a good day.

Ideally I will be around to post tomorrow.

If not, try and outrun the Zombies, or at least be faster than the next guy!