Resting is the biggest hurdle when working hard

Coming off a Thanksgiving long weekend is a bit like punishment. Most people have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. And most people spend that time eating too much and then just sitting in the haze of football (American) and good conversation. Then come the deserts.
The rest of the weekend is typically spend eating left overs and sitting some more. Then Monday morning we reset our alarms, get back on the highways and subways and post up in out cubicles like it was all just a dream.
It hurts worse than no vacation at all sometimes. It’s similar to running every day without fail then taking a break for a few days. That new day of running is like a gut-punch from a school-yard bully. How did you not see it coming? It’s always coming!
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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a tradition celebrated by many cultures around the world. The third Thursday in November is the one I’m most accustomed to here in America.
We thank the pilgrims and the settlers for braving the ocean and slaughtering the Native Americans so we could eventually build the shopping malls we camp out in front of the morning after so we can get the best sale prices.
We also thank the Native Americans for being so easily to betray and murder so we could feel bad enough about it to force our children to act out plays reminding us of that time we[1. By “we” I mean white people who go back generations. My people haven’t oppressed, enslaved, or exterminated anyone.] shouldn’t have done that thing.
In the post apocalypse, I propose we hold fast to the tradition of a big, important holiday focused around being thankful for what we have.
Imagine the laundry list of things you’d be thankful for in the post apocalypse if you had the chance to stop and be thankful. Life for instance. Food to sustain that life. Shelter to protect that life. People who are also alive to share that food, shelter, and safety with.
But an annual Thanksgiving won’t cut it in the post apocalypse. An entire YEAR on the run from zombies or poachers or robots?! That’s when you’re truly thankful I’m sure. That’s when you start to think, “Shit, this is really possible!”
Personally, I think every post apocalypse party or team needs an eternal optimist. I have a set of cousins-in-law who are like this. They celebrate everything. They look forward to everything. They’re the smiley-est, most pleased, positive thinkers I’ve ever met.
I sounds insufferable to some– it sounds insufferable to me– but unless you can match their optimism in pessimism it’s infectious and before you know it you’re happy too. Unlike them, you might not know what you’re happy about but you just feel better.
This is the kind of infection you want running rampant in the apocalypse. You’ll want someone who’ll stop everyone in their tracks and say, “Hey! We just crossed  a border let’s make up a border dance and thank everyone on Team Awesome for getting us here!”
Maybe weekly or on a per-milestone basis, in the post apocalypse, we need to ensure to give thanks as freely as we run for our lives.

Book review: The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse

The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse by Nina Post

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Amazon blurb:

As Pothole City races to rebuild, a bounty hunter-turned-building manager must find a missing Cluck Snack executive, settle a bitter dispute between warring donut shops, and foil yet another plot that threatens to eradicate the single-purpose angels.
After narrowly preventing the last apocalypse, Kelly Driscoll finds herself with an unlikely day job. She’s the interim manager of Amenity Tower, one of the few buildings still left standing in the rubble of Pothole City. But after answering a mysterious phone call, she signs up for a new mission that’s a perfect match for her skills: locating the missing president of the famed Cluck Snack brand.
As Kelly quickly learns, the missing executive is only the beginning of Pothole City’s problems. The city’s leading donut shops — run by two very different Gorgon monster siblings — are engaged in a bitter territorial dispute. Plus, the residents of Kelly’s building have hatched a new plot to kill the beloved single-purpose angels and set the stage for another apocalypse.
Teaming up again with her allies from the first book — including Af the Angel of Destruction, Stringfellow the ferret, and Tubiel and the other single-purpose angels — Kelly is up for the challenge. But can she rescue the missing president and restore peace between the donut shops before Pothole City is destroyed yet again?

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Apocalypse by Dean Crawford

A private Learjet filled with scientists travels across the ocean toward Miami. As it passes through the Bermuda Triangle, strange effects disturb the instruments and violent weather envelops the aircraft until it plummets out of control and vanishes without trace.
In Miami, Sheriff Kyle Sears arrives at a murder scene. A woman and her daughter have both been shot through the head. But while Sears is still on the scene he receives a phone call from the woman’s husband. With uncanny accuracy, he predicts the immediate future just as it unfolds around Sears, before revealing that he, too, will be murdered within 24 hours. The man gives him the name of someone he must contact. Ethan Warner.
As Ethan Warner and his partner Nicola Lopez race to investigate, they are thrown into the centre of a mind-boggling plot to blow a hole in the space-time continuum.
I’m not normally that ‘in’ to thrillers, even science based ones where the consequences of failure could mean the end of the world. But I got into this one.
I can’t really give you an intelligent review. I can’t tell you what I liked and what I didn;t and why, because instead of reading this thing critically (like I usually do for reviews) I just devoured it. It was pure enjoyment for me – hight staked with interesting characters and some damn good science in the background.
A flaw my intensely feminist upbringing wouldn’t allow me NOT to spot was the constant use of male gaze on all the female characters, but I understand that this is a common device in thrillers. I’m just not sure why it’s important that an incredibly competent, driven woman with a well-defined personality is constantly referred to in terms of how ‘hot’ she is.
A flaw my literature-orientated mind wouldn’t allow me to ignore was the way the prose sometimes wandered off the path of ‘competent but nothing special’ and into the thorny brambles of ‘lolwhut?’. But it didn’t do this often enough to ruin my fun, and it’s a pretty chunky book, so no big.
The thing is, that normally these two flaws, especially together, would normally be enough to get my patented ‘really?’ reaction, where I get pulled out of the world of the story and -worst case scenario – start to mock the book. Something similar happened with ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ when my final review was one dismissive sentence. But nope, not here. The critical part of me (Huge) was overwhelmed by the part of me that just likes to be entertained by a damn good story.
Four out of five, kiddies. Read this book.
Also, stay tuned for an interview with Dean later today.

Book review: The Facebook Diet by Gemini Adams


The Facebook Diet by Gemini Adams
Release date: January 30, 2013
Publisher: Living Consciously Publishing
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for this review.
Also note that this review is being posted on both Apocalypse Mama and In Case of Survival.
Blurb:

There are now 1 billion people on Facebook. That’s 1 in every 7 people on the planet. And 34% of all users check their account before brushing their teeth or hair in the mornings!  
Everyone can confess to an addictive Facebook habit, whether it’s stalking an ex, faking bathroom breaks to read news, checking-in wherever they go, or art-directing photo’s for the perfect profile pic.
The Facebook Diet (the first in The Unplug Series) takes a tongue-in-cheek look at this love for social media, featuring 50 hilarious cartoons that pinpoint the more idiotic, embarrassing and cringe-worthy behaviors of this modern approach to communication.   It’s the ideal gift for Facebook junkies everywhere. Helping them find light-relief and the ability to laugh at this tech-takeover, which may inspire them to occasionally unplug with a tech-detox.

 
What I liked:

  • The humorous look at the Facebook addiction
  • The illustrations

What I didn’t like:

  • The length (it was awfully short)
  • While it was funny, I have to admit there were parts I didn’t enjoy as much

The review:
So this is a cute little book. It’s a humorous take on people’s addiction to Facebook (which some people doubtless have). There are illustrations for each of the points the author makes; in my opinion, the illustrations are the best part of the book. And really, this book could be about anyone with a tech addiction, be it online gaming, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or whatever else is out there on the Interwebs.
From my understanding, the point the author is trying to make is not that we’re all addicted and at the mercy of Mark Zuckerberg (that may just be a side effect). Rather, Gemini Adams’ point is that we should all take the time every now and again to just unplug. Turn off the computer. Put the phone down. Go see a movie, watch TV, read a book. Or heck, go talk to that other adult living in your house. You know, the one standing next to you in that picture on your wall — that picture, the big one, the one people say is of you on your wedding day.
I laughed at many of the points because it describes me on a lot of days, albeit with Twitter, not Facebook. (Not gonna lie, Twitter is my mind-crack. Sorry, Mr. Zuckerberg.) However, that being said, some of the humor just didn’t resonate with me. Humor is a very subjective thing, though; while I didn’t find much of the book funny, you might.
In any case, anyone who’s ever used Facebook should give this one a flip-through. The illustrations are great.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Fight the Bite, Part 3: The second class

The first part of this post series, my interview with The Forge instructor and Fight the Bite organizer Tim, was published on Monday. Part 2, about the first class of the workshop, was published on Wednesday. This post is the last of the three-part series.
Note: this is a sponsored post. While In Case of Survival was not paid for this series of posts, I did receive a significant discount on the class because of it.
Also note: this post is long. Go grab a coffee. I’ll wait. Back? Good. Let’s begin.
In the first class, we learned basic defensive skills, how to properly punch someone in the face, how to fall properly, and how to avoid getting eaten by the boss-level pet zombies. Congrats! You’re on your way to surviving the zombie apocalypse.
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