Zombies Attack 

Friday, July 29, 2005

In Montreal thousands of hippies assemble on Mont Royal for this drum circle called the Tam Tams. These guys with cardboard-and-duct-tape medieval weapons act out their mock battles alongside the hippies. It happens every Sunday.

One recent Sunday, a swarm of zombies emerged from the woods to attack. The medieval warriors did a double take. Then they immediately went into battle formation and fought back. Of course, it's pretty hard to kill a zombie. They just keep on reanimating.

I shoulda been there. I've been reading up on zombie-ness and preparing counter-strategies against zombie-hunters. Plus, I have an in with the legion of salsa-eating zombies (he's the zombie in the middle).

(I was in Montreal but I didn't miss the zombie attack for the reasons I initially thought. Turns out the zombies attacked a full two weeks before I arrived.)


According to Mr. Scamming the Cats, Zombiewalk 2005 takes place in Vancouver:
Usually held in Toronto, this shambling, stumbling, flailing good time will be held in Vancouver this year! Yay us! So if you have a mild obsession with Zombies (as many of my friends do), or you simply love to get rotten and yell "Braaaaiiins" at random people, then mark this one on your calendar:

Saturday, August 27 - starts 4pm from the VAG and 5pm from 15th and Sophia (near Main St).

(a month away, so you have plenty of time to plan to be there!)

The walk will start in two-stages as follows:

1. All non-lazy zombies (or "super zombies") are invited to gather on or around the big steps at the Vancouver Art Gallery no later than 4pm. From the VAG the horde will be skytrain bound. After a stumble through the mall and a short jaunt on Vancouver's fine public transit system we will de-train at Main St. station and stumble on up to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church - 320 East 15th - two blocks east of Main. Once there, we will take a short pause to collect ourselves, gnaw on brains, and meet up with...

2. The lazy zombies. A second group of zombies will gather in front of the above mentioned church (Bethlehem Lutheran, 320 East 15th, at Sophia and E 15th) at or around 5pm. Remember - zombies tend to move slowly and occasionally have problems with limbs falling off, body stiffness and possibly skytrain security officers. If you do not see any of your brethren exactly at 5pm, be patient. Mill about and look scary.

Once all zombie factions have massed at the church it will be time to head onward and uphill to Mountainview Cemetery at Fraser and 31st. For reference, the walk will proceed along Main Street to 31st should any zombie stragglers be left behind and/or spontaneous zombies wish to join the braaiiins procession.

Once at the cemetery, please be on good zombie behaviour - respect your brethren.

We will linger a short while in the cemetery before moving onwards to nearby Queen Elizabeth Park for some games, brains, fun, prizes, brains and a pinata or two.

Yes, you do have to dress like a zombie. Those who do not do so are welcome, but risk having their brains eaten by confused zombies. You have to admit - they're not all that smart, but they know a good living brain when they smell it.

Potentially useful things to keep in mind:

Causes of zombie-ness:

As everyone knows - or should know - zombies are usually
attributable to one or more of the following:

1. voodoo
2. science gone astray - chemical or biological accidents, experiments, viruses and the like
3. the apocalypse

Of course, there are many more possibilties. Be creative. Corpses in all stages of decay are encouraged.

For the low-budget zombie:

1. Oatmeal and liquid latex works wonders.
2. Food colouring and corn syrup makes convincing blood, but sticky. However, also tasty.
3. Value Village - but I'm sure it's hardly necessary to mention that.

Finally: As mentioned previously - zombies are only really effective when travelling together in large groups. Bring your friends, foes, family and other loved ones.

Nothing says you love someone quite like caking yourself in make-up, limping down the street together and eating them in the park!

Pass this info on to anyone who might be interested - it has a bit of a 'viral' feel to it, but see zombie cause number 2. It all makes perfect sense.
Luckily for those of you who don't live in Vancouver, you can live the zombie life vicariously through Zombie Eat Brains (via Bluewyvern).

Still Roaming the Hinterlands 

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I am still far away from home. Some of you may have already guessed where I've been and where I am.

I have finally had the chance to meet two of the people behind the blogs I check every day: Mr. Gravity Zero and Ms. Blue Wyvern. I will write more about them once I am home and have more time.

Hello Mew Yoreal 

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm off. Will be back. Not sure when. Don't wait up for me.

The Latest in Phobias 

Monday, July 11, 2005

*Spoiler ahead: turn back now.*

Thanks to that new War of the Worlds movie, I have a dozen new fears to add to my personal inventory of irrational phobias.

Nobody told me that movie was actually scary. I was laughing along when suddenly, about halfway through, the aliens attacking mankind no longer had me rooting for them. They started vampirizing poor living humans and spraying their blood over the vein-plant gardens they had sown.

Now I don't mind deathrays. I aspire to as quick and relatively painless death as depicted in the first few minutes of the movie.

It's when you get stabbed in the back and you're still twitching while some tentacle thing sucks your blood that forbidden lines have been crossed.

Or when aliens stuff you in a cage with assymetrical bars, and a big red nipple periodically emits a tentacle to pull you in for a snackdown - the wait for that nipple to get hungry is unbearable. Weren't anal probes enough for them?

These sorts of deaths are all too...biological. Eating human flesh and drinking human blood - and when you watch a horror movie, the implication is that it could be your flesh and blood - is just too much.

At the part where the screamy little girl was in the basement with the creepy pedophile, I kept thinking, run, Tom, run - and take your daughter with you!.

Of course, the next scene of what was happening outside the basement was the vampire incident. Why the aliens began munching down on humans when they started off with deathrays, I never understood. It made it clear, though, that leaving the pedophile's shelter was worse.

Then there was the problem of the sky.

After the movie, the sky hadn't darkened yet. The clouds clenched together like grey sludge, kind of like the evil thunder clouds at the beginning of the movie. I drove home thinking that grandma was on my way if I was to save anyone from man-eating vampire aliens (and that her fridge always has better food than mine). I also swore to myself that I would start wearing sensible shoes. If the aliens strike, how am I supposed to run in high heels? During the whole drive home, I expected the clouds to attack at any moment.

That's four new phobias. One, aliens who drink blood; two, strange biological appendages on alien vehicles; three, weird clouds that spit out aforementioned aliens; and four, pedophiles who take advantage of alien armageddon.

Life was so much simpler when aliens did just one thing and did it well.

Why'd they have to go and get all talented at multitasking?

Zip Code Rebellion 

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Matt of Onomatopoeia says you need a zip code to pump gas into your car in the US.

In Canada we have postal codes. Our postal codes are a combination of three letters and three numbers, usually with a space dividing them down the middle. Canadian postal codes look something like this: V8N 2X3.

Zip codes are all numbers, five of them in a row with no spaces. 78854 could be a zip code, as could 52843. See? No letters.

So what's a Canadian buying gas in the US to do?

Matt, as an American defector and double agent, uncovered the solution: use 90210 as the zip code.

The effect of these Canadian saboteurs, as Matt points out, will lead to some skewed marketing discoveries in "some research firm somewhere."

"Sir, our new fuel consumer research statistics indicate that the Beverly Hills area has a remarkable saturation of residents using Canadian credit cards."

"Recent immigrants perhaps?"

"That's all I can figure. Or theft. But none have been rejected as lost or stolen. Why Southern California, though? And not Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo, and so on? And their travel patterns don't reflect the residence patterns. They're still only driving around near the 49th parallel, even if they do live in Southern Cal."

"Well, any clues in the census data? What do the numbers show?"

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Maybe it's too recent. It's as if last week these people suddenly...um...all packed up and just...well...moved to Beverly."
Matt adds: "An irritating set of carefully-planned marketing research data-gathering techniques totally sabotaged by the intersection of a bunch of enterprising Canadians and a bad early-90s melodramatic teen prime-time drama. Life is rich."

Baby Biting Frenzy 

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

From Sky News, via the Morbid Fact Du Jour:

A one-year-old boy has been bitten 30 times by a group of more than a dozen other babies at a nursery in Croatia. Frane Simic was covered in a series of deep bite wounds all over his body, including his face. He was attacked after the class nanny stepped out of the room to change another baby's nappy. Dr Sime Vuckov, head of the hospital in Rijeka which treated the boy, said: "Biting between young children is not uncommon. But I have never seen anything like this." Police have launched an inquiry into the biting frenzy but admit they are clueless as to the babies' reasons for attacking. Dr Vuckov warned that while the wounds were expected to heal, the trauma suffered by Frane may leave permanent mental scars on the boy and his parents. He said: "Our psychologist has evaluated the boy and we will continue to monitor him and provide any type of assistance so that he can overcome the trauma as soon as possible." Frane's father said he is considering suing the nanny in charge of the class.
Why I am I so terribly delighted at the idea of ravenous cannibal babies? I've been in such a good mood since reading this. I will have to add this to my novel about ravenous cannibal zombie/vampire babies.

The Comtesse DeSpair, who sends out the Morbid Fact Du Jour, also added a baby joke to round off her daily email:

Q: What's the difference between a dead baby and a live baby?

A: Dead babies don't cry when you poke them with a pitchfork!

Bwa ha ha!

No wonder no man wants me as a bride and mother to his unborn children!

As long as I can still laugh at gross baby jokes, being a lonely old spinster isn't so bad after all. Sure beats being a stupid soccer mom who has to pretend to be shocked at a gross joke.

Bill & Coo 

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Dean Reisner, the screenwriter who put "Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?" and "Go ahead, make my day" into Clint Eastwood's mouth, also wrote the script for Bill and Coo.

The 1946 film's all-bird cast (along with a kitten impersonating a tiger and a guinea pig trying to pass off as a cowboy horse) won a Special Achievement Oscar in 1947 for their performance as the denizens of Chirpendale.

When the lovebirds of the title are kissing, they are actually regurgitating into each other's mouths. That's how lovebirds show affection.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

From the local paper:
Up to 7 roosters for sale, 7 weeks old. Problem? I can't tell the males from the females. If you can tell, you can buy the males for $1.00 each. Anne 555-555-5555.
Rurality, do you want me to mail you one of them?

Dawdling on the Trail of the Cockroach 

Monday, July 04, 2005

Instead of working on the cockroach article (due Wednesday!), I've been reading about arachnids. I am a thousand times less scared of arachnids than of cockroaches, so this topic is far less painful and a welcome respite from work.

The Handy Bug Answer Book
by Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer provides some facts that readers of Maktaaq might find as astonishing as I did:
  • Though I've heard of studies on the effects of spiders on mescaline (smaller webs, "abnormally variable angles between the radial lines of the web) and on caffeine ("their webs were.....no more than a tangle of threads that would catch no insects"), I've never heard of spiders on acid: "[LCD] induced spiders to waste extra time and energy on building abnormally neat and regular webs that would catch no more insects than the usual webs." I wonder if spiders know that usually they are doing a half-ass job and getting away with it.

  • Here's a fact that alleviates some of the tragedy of being female and not being able to go camping during "that time of the month": many black widow spider victims are men or boys going to the loo. "Black widows sometimes spin their web just beneath the hole in the [outhouse toilet] seat, often a good place to catch flies. If the unfortunate person's penis dangles in the web, the female spider rushes to attack; presumably in defense of her egg sacs, which are attached to the web."

  • "Daddy longlegs have stink glands, but you have to get close to smell them."

  • In some places in the Sudan, a scorpion bite remedy is to rub the bitten area with "the charred toenail of a baboon."

  • In scorpion foreplay, the male takes the female's pincers in his pincers and they dance, sometimes for up to an hour.

  • Some mites live only in moth ears and some of these moths in only one of the moth's ears: newcomer mites make sure they travel to the occupied ear when they join in the infection, instead of attacking the empty ear. Because these mites cause the moth to go deaf they avoid infecting both ears, otherwise the moth will fall prey to bats and shorten lives all around.

  • Seventy-five percent of people have mites living in their hair follicles and pores, especially in the eyelids, eyebrows and nose: "in rare cases they may cause an acne-like condition."
Time to go and bleach the whole house.

Yak Skiing 

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Yaks, a bucket of nuts and uphill skiing - you knew I couldn't pass up this story.
Mr Dorje's advice is: "Never shake the bucket of nuts before you're tied to the yak rope."
(A little too tired to write a post. July 1st was the happiest day of my life in three years - and among the happiest ever. Though I tell everyone I couldn't do it without them, I am secretly very proud of myself. I do count since I brought everyone together, right? Well, I'll post photos on me other blog as soon as I shake off this fatigue and then you can see for yourselves.)



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