Fundraising for the new ICoS real-life survival bunker

Hi everyone! It’s Char (remember me?). Apologies for my long absence (if you haven’t noticed I’ve been gone, I will throw you to the zombies, see if I don’t), but I’ve been away working on a super seekrit project for ICoS. I know none of you have even heard of this project, but that’s kinda the point of it being super and seekrit. What have I been doing? I’ve been wandering around Canada looking for the perfect place for the brand new, real-life ICoS underground bunker. (Holy hell you guys, this search took FOREVER. My family is sick of the inside of Canada. It looks much better on the wall map.)
Okay, the ICoS bunker. At first I thought maybe the bunker should be near water so we can have a constant post-apoc water supply (because we all know how important water is). So I trekked over to the east coast. I wasn’t quite happy with that (too much Stephen Harper and Marine Land, really) so I went over to Saskatoba the Prairies to see what I could find. After all, what better place to build a bunker than a place that has swaths and swaths of flat land? With farms! Which could come in handy post-apocalypse (just sayin’.)
But dude, Saskatoba. The rolling plains of wheat almost buried me alive (I’m short, you know). So I kept going west. And then I thought, “Mountains!” Natural fortification, right? Also, they’re tall and cold in the winter, so maybe the zombies will die long before they get to the bunker’s elevation.
After much hiking, camping, and running away from bears, I found the perfect ICoS mountain getaway location for the underground bunker. I could’ve kept going west, but Vancouver gets too much rain and I was sick of seeing the inside of my minivan. (Canada’s a big place, y’all. How long have I been absent from ICoS?)
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Don't be Fat… Or Do.

This isn’t about how I saw some obese person in the mall and thought to myself, “I’d never want a fat person in my apocalypse party because they’ll ruin everything.
No, this is about me being a chunk monster and realizing that I’m at a huge disadvantage and might want to either do something about it or look it in the eye and acknowledge it while planning my survival.
Jamie, Anninyn and Char have talked about getting fit for the apocalypse by running, walking and learning to fight. I talk about social manipulation and staying pretty…
It’s not that I don’t value physical fitness; it’s that I’m really bad at it.
That’s the saying after all: Write what you know.
I know about being chubby and weird and kind of good looking if I put some work in.
The problem is being fat, unlike being Black or a woman or Gay or ugly, is a very real disadvantage in an apocalypse. Not only because you’ll be less physically fit than your fellow survivors but also because everything about survival becomes infinitely harder.

A few things I know I’ll have to consider as a fat girl in the post apocalypse: Continue reading “Don't be Fat… Or Do.”

5 Apocalyptic Lessons to Learn From TV

Art imitates life or Life imitates art depending on how you choose to live. No living person has been able to explore the depths of apocalyptic life the way television has– and we could learn a few lessons.
From the human on human violence of 28 Days Later to the choices made in The Walking Dead, we could learn a thing or two about some of the choices we might have to make in a post-apocalyptic world.

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What's the first thing you wash in the shower?

One of the many frivolous things I wonder about when I’m wondering about post-apocalyptic life is hygiene. I’ve gone on at length about my lady parts, their mechanics, and how I plan to keep them baby free and satisfied. But recently I’ve been thinking about cleanliness.
Well, recently is a lie. I think about cleanliness daily and lady-specific cleanliness almost every time I see women surviving the end of the world alongside men. The Monthly Mess is one thing and The Daily Funk is another.
“The daily what now?” you may wonder. The running and sweating and wearing the same clothes day in and day out and not having toilet paper all add up to The Daily Funk.
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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.

Hunger.

Let’s talk about hunger. You probably think you know what it is to be hungry, right? Your stomach growls, and you get more and more obsessed with food the longer you are unable to eat. But chances are (if our stats are correct) that you’re a person from a western, industrialised country who has never really expereinced proper hunger. You may have eaten crap for a day or two, or a week or two, or a month or two. You lived on beans while in university. You only have one or two proper meals a day while you’re on the dole. These all suck and leave you hungry.
But the thing is, that’s not proper hunger. Thats ‘wealthy, powerful country’ hunger. That’s not the hunger of having NO meals for the last week, of being forced into eating rubbish or rats or weeds from the garden. You’d turn your nose up at those, because even though you may be poor, there is still food available for you that isn’t that awful.
There won’t be when the end happens. Finding food will become more unlikely and fraught. Fussyness will not happen. Thee’ll come a point where you kill a rat and eat it – maybe even raw, because your hunger is now so intense that something that foul doesn’t matter to you.
I don’t say these things to scold or scare you, but to prepare you. Start letting go of your rich-country food prejudices. I’d still say avoid eating dogs and cats, because they’re invaluable for killing vermin and protecting you, but if feral dogs attack you, don’t waste the meat. Most things are edible, even if they taste bad, just remember that. Don’t let hunger drive you to it, accept it early on and it’ll be more easy to deal with.
See, the problem with not knowing what is actually edible and what isn’t, and allowing squeamishness to make your food decisions for you, is that in desperate situations you are then completely ignorant as to waht you can eat or not. Hunger my then drive you to poisonous berries and mushrooms, because you don’t know that dandelion leaves are perfectly fine (if bitter). It might drive you to eat your shoe leather because you can’t let go of the idea that, psot-apocalypse, your pet bunny is better as a source of meat than as something to cuddle.
Hunger. Don’t let it win.

Colds and Flus and The Apocalypse, Oh My.

I’m sick. I have a cold. It’s loud and uncomfortable and I’m full of medicine.
How am I supposed to deal with a cold during the apocalypse? I can’t pile up pillows and alternate guzzling night and day medicine.
I should try some hippy apothecary shit while I have the chance but I really just want to sleep peacefully, breath without coughing, and not be in constant minor pain.
And speaking of noise, there is no way to hide someone coughing the way I’m coughing. There is almost no suppression for sale that can tame this noise.
Seriously, fuck this noise.
I’m the worst thing in the office and I’m sleeping on the couch to be polite.
One thing that has worked for me a bit that will be around post-apocalypse: honey. I put it in water or drink it straight from the bottle.
Most of the articles I’ve read discount the use of Zinc or echinacea to boost the immune system or combat colds, they also seem to agree that vitamin c can be helpful but is not a remedy or preventative. Boo. I guess I need a wizard and a spell book.
WebMD offers 8 Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the ‘Natural’ Way, a list that includes gargling with salt water and keeping the right fluids in and out of your body.
Do you know any solutions? Solutions to have handy in case of apocalypse.

STUFF redux

So, I have successfully moved house. I now live in a place that with only a small amount of work can become a reasonable fortress. I can even extend said fortressing to the whole neighbourhood. Awesome, I’m done.
But I started thinking about stuff. As suggested by my last few posts, I have a metric fuck-ton of STUFF. This isn’t even including the practical STUFF that most humans tend to collect over their life-time. I just have… STUFF. Random stuff. Pointless stuff. Stuff that apparently, I cared about enough to fill my house with. I’m a collector. In a chest, I found some schoolwork from when I was seven. Seven! In another box I found stones. Actual stones, because apparently I like to pick up interesting stones and then keep them forever and ever. I understand keeping the whale bone, but did I really need sixteen seperate stones with holes in? I know they’re supposed to be useful for seeing through fairy glamours, but even I think a fairy apocalypse is unlikely. Ah well, this is all silly. Of course I’m not going to get rid of them.
This packrat tendency made moving house horrible, but it will make becoming a nomadic family post-apocalypse FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. I will have no way of transporting seven van loads of crap through the badger-infested wastes and I know from experience that my hoarding tendencies get worse under stress or when I have any kind of excuse. “Oh, I can’t get rid of these six bags of pen lids, we might need the plastic!”
Now, I’m a big believer in being able to turn ANY personality flaw or psychological abnormality into a plus point in a post-apocalyptic world, but even I’m struggling with this one. Sure, collecting things is a part of the human psyche and presumably exists for a good evolutionary reason, but I honestly have no idea how a drive to collect rubber ducks will help me. All I can hope is that the apocalypse is a cosy catastrophe, allowing me to stay in my own home, with my stuff. Perhaps I can throw some of the heavier things at raiders. And the soft toys might keep me warm at night.
And on a plus side, I can always use those 20-odd boxes of books to restart society along the lines of my personal tastes.

Friends, frenemies, and neighbors

Sorry for the late post, you guys. I had a busy weekend and while I’ve been online via my phone, I haven’t been able to sit down at my computer. Which meant I wasn’t able to write my post. And my post had me thinking quite a bit, which is…unusual.
So, a bit of background: this past weekend, my bestest friend EVAH came down for a visit. There was much squeeing and much acting like high schoolers, since we haven’t actually seen each other in roughly two years (since right before I moved to Texas).
On the flip side of this, the mother of my daughter’s best friend now refuses to have anything do with us, because…I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with my “day” job? (I’m a local rep for a company that sells what I like to call “adult relationship aids” when I’m being PC about it.) For the record, she knew the nature of the job when I was still considering starting my business–and she didn’t have any issues then. So I have no idea what changed.
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The post-apocalyptic legal system

First, I apologize for not posting last week; I was on holidays and was so discombobulated when I got back (I’m not used to taking holidays, heh), I forgot all sorts of stuff. It got pretty ugly, actually. But now I’m back, with my head partially screwed on straight. (It’s only slightly askew.)
Anyway. Right before I left for holidays, I got a jury duty summons letter. Believe it or not, I actually want to serve on a jury (and have wanted to ever since I taught a high school legal studies class and got to go on a field trip to the courthouse with my students). So I was kinda a lot excited about my letter from the provincial government. Until Hubby reminded me that as a stay-at-home-mom, I now have two tiny-human, round-the-clock bosses, and where the hell would we put the kids if I got picked for a jury? So, sadly, I had to apply for an exemption. And my application was approved, which means I am now excused from jury duty. Which makes me a sad Char, indeed.
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