Saturday, July 27, 2013

Look out, Martha!

CornerstoneWe’ve got a fun night planned, starting with dinner and then heading over to the historic Martha’s Midway Tavern to hear the band my buddy Jim plays guitar in, Cornerstone Blues Band. We’ve got a good group of family and friends going, and I know it will be a good time!

These guys are really talented. Jim tells me that they’ve been working on lots of new songs and about half of their setlist is new stuff. Sweet! He also told me that they were working on a Stones song (after I berated and shamed him...haha), but it won’t be on tonight’s setlist. That’s me a great excuse to go see them the next time they play, too!

I met Jim about...gee, I guess it was about 15 years ago! He started working in the lab maybe a year after I started, and I was training him on the molecular testing for Chlamydia and gonorrhea that we were doing at the time. LCR, Ligase Chain Reaction...what a clusterfuck THOSE instruments turned out to be. Thanks, Obama! Because of a mutual love of music and sports, we hit it off immediately, and we’ve been good friends ever since. We don’t see each other as often as when I was still working in the lab, but when we manage to get together, we always have a great time talking and we crack each other up. I’m looking forward to seeing him tonight, as well as hearing him and the rest of the guys play. They’re really talented, too...not just Jim!

Sounds like a few lab pals will be coming out to hear them, too, so it will be fun to see them. It’s been a while!

It’s going to be a rather cool evening, so my initial plan for a skirt and fishnets got the kibosh. Maybe in August for Dropkick Murphys...surely it will be more summery in late August! And don’t call me Shirley.

I hope to have some tales of debauchery for you tomorrow!

Rock on, Citizens!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beth’s Books: World War Z

Beth's BooksYes, I’m late to the game on this one. Shame on me!

I was grabbed by this one immediately, and it is an instant personal favorite. I’ve always had a thing for zombies, whether it was the granddaddy of them all, “Night of the Living Dead,” the technicolor horror of “Dawn of the Dead,” or the laugh-out-loud camp of “Return of the Living Dead.” Now zombies have invaded our television broadcasts, and some of you may have heard that I kind of like that show “The Walking Dead.” (Just a little bit!)

One of the things I love about TWD is that it seriously considers what would happen to society and to human interaction in such an apocalyptic event. World War Z goes into depth on this aspect of it. If you take the time to think about it, it would be devastating to our society and to our social mores. This book addresses topics such as the breakdown of government, conditional ethics, mental health, and cannibalism.

It also addresses the logistics of killing zombies, the changing tactics of a military combating them, and one of the creepiest things for me, underwater zombies. Gahhh!

I loved the documentary style of the book, with the narrator interviewing people all over the world and getting their perspective on the plague and subsequent war. Soldiers, survivors, politicians, religious figures...all have their own experiences and thoughts.

I should probably point out here (although my fellow zombie aficionados already know this) that the zombie apocalypse is a metaphor for what might happen in some other sort of global apocalypse. Perhaps a nuclear war, or a lethal global pandemic. When it comes to apocalyptic events, a zombie infestation is pretty low on the probability scale.

Devastating climate change, a massive asteroid, a pandemic virus that kills lots of people without reanimating them...all more realistic than a zombie virus. But it serves to address our darkest fears of such an event. We are able to focus on fictitious threats easier than we are able to focus on realistic ones.

But deep-down, we know that we really are afraid of a devastating event. Our preoccupation with a zombie apocalypse is simply whistling past the graveyard as we make our way towards oblivion and maybe even obsolescence as a species.

On that uplifting note, here is an equally uplifting song from the Walking Dead soundtrack. This is a seriously cool and menacing song called “You Are The Wilderness” by Voxhaul Broadcast. There’s a wolf in my heart for you....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Barbie Beach, it's really neat!

As Ken and I were driving from Newnan to Senoia for our first Woodbury afternoon, we passed a strange display on Highway 16. I noticed it as we were coming up to was obvious that there was some sort of display in someone’s yard, so I made sure to look to see if I could figure out what it was.

When we got close to it and I got a good look, I started laughing. “It says it’s Barbie Beach!” There seemed to be some sort of large diorama going on with a sandy patch and many Barbie dolls. We resolved to take a closer look on the way back, as well as get pictures.

As luck would have it, that was one of the roads we took on our Walking Dead locations tour, and our guide, Dan, mentioned it as we got close. He said that this woman has been doing Barbie Beach for about 15 years now, and she changes the theme every so often. When we were there, the theme was “Barbie Beach Airshow,” with Barbies and Kens sitting on bleachers watching toy planes strung on wires, and I think there might even have been a couple of Barbies in a hot air balloon basket.

There was also a section called Mort’s Bar, where it looked like all the Barbies and Kens were having a good time, some sort of lagoon with a mermaid Barbie, and I’m not sure what Ken and Ken are doing in the one picture, but they sure look happy! It looks like anything goes on Barbie Beach, because clothing seems to be optional.

I have no idea why this woman started doing this, but I thank her, and she is a woman after my own heart. (I also saw peace signs posted in the yard, so I’m guessing she’s sort of “Bohemian,” hanging out in the Georgia countryside. Believe it or not, there is a pretty vibrant art community in rural areas of Georgia!) It is this sort of random and bizarre thing that you find along the way that makes life more fun, in my book. And it’s another good reason to do road trips, because you never know what you are going to come across.

I’m a big fan of random, installation-type art, and this is how I view this. Yes, this is art to me. It is creative, and fun, and I’ve been grinning about it since we first saw it this past Sunday. Ms. Barbie Beach, whoever you are, thank you for bringing a smile to my face.

Of course, it made me think of this fun Go-Go’s song!

Home and wiped out

MinionThis won’t be a long entry, because I am rather mentally exhausted. It was a long day on the road, since we were leaving from south of Atlanta, and I’m that weird and annoying mixture of exhausted and wired. I wanted to write a bit, though, because I’ve missed a couple of days and I miss writing!

We made fairly good time today, with slowdowns in only a couple of places, and we got through those without too much frustration. I can’t say the same for the poor people heading southbound on I-75 south of Lexington. We saw police and emergency vehicles blocking all the lanes, and the line of cars backed up was a good couple of miles. You could tell they had been there for a while, because a lot of people were out of their vehicles and meandering around. (Naturally, it made me think of the Zombie Apocalypse! haha) We heard later on the Lexington NPR station that southbound I-75 was expected to be closed for most of the afternoon. How awful would that have been? I think I’d be breakin’ that bottle of vodka out of the trunk!

But we had better luck than those unfortunates going south. I hope they were able to clear it sooner than expected!

We didn’t have any major problems like was just a long ways to travel in one day. We are both very happy to be home, and I can tell you that Sheeba is a very happy kitty! Uncle Shane and Uncle Matt took good care of their nephew, but he’s always happy when we get home and he follows us around for a while. It might even be cool enough that he decides to sleep with us tonight!

Speaking of cool, what a nice break to feel the cooler weather up here after the humidity of the south! I hear that wasn’t the case here last week, but the worst of it broke Friday. Sheeba survived it, and Shane wrote that he seemed fine when they were over, he was active, and he was drinking plenty of water. He knows to hang out in the basement when it gets that warm! He’s a good kitty!

I had to laugh when we walked in, because atop several packages on the table, Shane and Matt had left me a present: my very own Minion! It’s a bit of a joke between some of us, because someone has said that I have “minions” who follow me like I’m some kind of “guru.” I have my own word for them. Friends. But hey, tomato, tomahto, right? Anyway, it made me laugh and was a nice welcome home, along with a purring Sheeba. My nephew Rey informed me that his son, my great-nephew Liam, says this minion’s name is Phil. I like Phil the Minion!

Now I think it’s time for this alleged guru to haul her butt off to bed and read a little more in World War Z (which I am absolutely loving) before heading off to Snoozeville. I’m looking forward to our very own hard bed and my very own squishy feather pillow!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Welcome to Woodbury

I have a lot to write about this visit—and we’re going back tomorrow—but I wanted to get a short entry up tonight. Suffice it to say that Fangirl is tickled pink and still quite beside herself!

Above is the town of Senoia, Georgia, which was the fictional town of Woodbury in “The Walking Dead.” Any fan of the show will recognize the layout! (Click on pics to embiggenate.)

Me by one of the town signs.

The “zombie arena” in Woodbury, where Daryl and Merle were supposed to fight to the death.

The campsite at the end of Season 2, after they fled Hershel’s overrun farm.

Lots more to come, but I’m a little worn out and melty. I’d forgotten how brutal a Georgia town can be in mid-summer. I was a hot mess! But I got my Georgia zombie-hunting permit, and Ken found a SUPER COOL artifact that I’ll write about soon. (Our Facebook friends already know what it is!)

I was seriously thrilled with today, and I’m looking forward to a little more tomorrow—and a picture of Barbie Beach! Totally unrelated to “The Walking Dead,” but also totally cool!

More soon!