Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Walking Dead: Surviving a Zombie Apocolypse

I know it's not news, but I LOVE The Walking Dead. Seriously, like probably an unhealthy amount. It's one of my favorite shows! I love the cast and the part each character plays for the group, I love the dialogue, I love the social problems that arise and the psychology of the characters and the situations they're in. Really, it's an amazing show that's not really about zombies (or Walkers as they're referred to), but more so about the people, the relationships, etc. It's really well-written, beautifully shot, and actually quite hilarious. I just can't wait for October and the new season to start!! If you haven't started it yet, All of the available seasons are on Netflix!

[Note: If you're squeamish when it comes to blood, just know that in every episode, you will see some serious gore and you can just look away until it's gone. It's not over-the-top to me, and it's definitely not throughout the whole episode, but there are scenes in every one. Somehow I always find myself eating dinner while watching TWD, I don't really know]

We've been re-watching the series from the beginning and it got me thinking of the hypothetical 'zombie apocalypse', and as my sister stated with alarm, "our house is so not zombie-ready!" :) So I thought I'd blog about everything The Walking Dead has taught me about surviving through a zombie apocalypse. [Even though I DID already write a more comical (Valentine's) approach to it last February here]  

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

1. Get yourself a Daryl.

Hahaha if only. Unfortunately, there's only one Daryl. Saddest.sentence.ever. BUT, if you can find an excellent B.A. tracker/archer/fighter redneck who both pulls off a poncho and rides a motorcycle, get that on lock. And don't let him split up to go find his brother! 

Oops...Er, what was I saying? I got carried away...sorry about that. (You're welcome.)

2. Find yourself a functioning SMALL group.

You can't save everyone, unfortunately. Your best chance of survival is based on limiting your numbers to close friends/family you can trust. Also, make sure everyone has roles that they can fulfill within your group. Psychologically, it's good for everyone's mental health as well as the groups functionality. [i.e. the Ringleader, the Archer, the Samurai, the Doc, the Carol...etc] ;)

3. Stay inside as much as possible.
You are safest inside, as long as you have the Walker-business under control. You increase your vulnerability the minute you walk outside, so if you can, hold up indoors until you need to do a supply run. (see the next rule) Put your group first, keep each other safe, and DON'T SPLIT UP. 

[Note: Prison's work really, really well, since they are designed to keep people IN and others OUT.]

4. Supply Run Safety

Supply runs are necessary but should only be done using extreme caution. Only a couple people should go, some of your fastest and strongest fighters, as they are likely to encounter a Walker or two. Of course, you don't want to leave your camp without proper protection either, so make sure you have strong people staying behind to watch over the camp. Make sure you know the area first, and if you don't you should plan additional time/trip to scope out the area first so that you have proper exit plans. Remember that nothing ever goes like it should, so you better have more than 1 escape and multiple back up plans. And don't forget your knives/guns! ALWAYS BE PREPARED!!

Things you should ALWAYS grab if available:
-FOOD (esp. those canned goods!)
-WEAPONS: Guns, ammo, silencers, knives, crossbows, spears, axes, hammers, machetes, samurai swords... ;)
-GAS (this is where having a car to load up comes in handy. If you're walking, you're not gonna want to be carrying that all the way back!)
-FIRST AID KITS and RX's (especially antibiotics!)

Hahahahaha!! TRUE!!!


You will not survive without these. There should always be plenty of weapons in your arsenal. Guns are great but they attract a lot of attention and they require bullets. Knives or anything blunt are a good way to go because there is no reloading, however, it requires fighting in a close proximity, which is a little more dangerous. So save the guns and bullets for a time of crisis and make sure you can fight hand-to-hand combat as well as wield a sword or knife expertly.

6. Make sure you can USE your weapons.

This means training everyone in your party to be able to handle themselves with ALL the weapons. Your group is only as strong as it's weakest link.

Target Practice is always a good idea. But don't waste too many bullets!

7. Have someone who you trust to always have your back.

Rick and Daryl make an excellent team. I'd follow them anywhere, and not just because of Daryl's muscles in this picture. ;) Rick and Daryl trust each other, back each other up and are always willing to go to bat for each other with the group. I think that these two can survive on their own, but they definitely thrive as a duo and it always makes you feel better knowing you've got someone who has your back at all cost.

8. Hold Councils

Decisions should be made as a group (or group representatives)- everything runs more smoothly with a Democracy rather than a dictatorship. How many times have we learned that from history?? Well, it will still hold true during a zombie apocalypse. Hold a weekly council, talk to your people, make sure all concerns and questions are met and addressed sincerely and be proactive about fixing problems. And if something isn't sitting right with you, stand up and say something! REMEMBER: the safety of the entire group comes first.   

#carolscookies #therealcookiemonster
9. Don't be afraid to put others in their place.

 In what very well might be the BEST scene in the series, Carol is NOT afraid to put this kid in his place, and neither should you. You'll never survive appeasing everyone, and if someone/something needs to be made right, then do it. 

10. Know the problem areas and stay away.

Pretty self explanatory... but do other survivors a favor and mark when you trap a whole heard of Walkers in a room, okay?! It's only being polite. 

So jealous right now.

11. Don't forget to still have fun...

Sure, it may be the end of the world and there's no help in sight, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself every once in a while... ;) Plus, it's good for your physical/mental/emotional health!! 

My *favorites* #Lindus #Rickyl

Well, that's about it. Stay strong and don't give up! Remember to ALWAYS BE PREPARED, take a knife and gun with you wherever you go. Stay as a group and don't go into any dark areas by yourself! Safety in (small) numbers!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Camping Life: 10 BEST Books to Bring with You

I love camping. Some of my most beloved memories are camping with my family; my grandparents, immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins…there was always so many of us and so many wonderful memories made! Camping has always held a special spot in my heart, I think because of my Grandma and Grandpa. They are the most fun and loving people, they created such a wonderful close-knit family (they have 4 kids w/ 4 married in spouses, 28 grandkids w/ 22 married in, 68 great-grand kids, and 1 great-great grand kid!). And they are most of my favorite people!! I remember being young and looking forward to our yearly trips, going to Yosemite (my favorite campground), playing capture the flag with all the cousins or playing Chicken Foot/Phase 10/Monopoly all day long, swimming in the lakes/rivers, going on “bear hunts” at nights with a flashlight (we never found one that way, but several have found US rather unsuspectingly!), or telling ghost stories by the fire making ‘Smores and scaring each other half to death. I have treasure troves of wonderful camping memories. As I got older, activities stayed relatively the same, be it swimming/playing games/etc but I started bringing books with me and always looked forward to choosing that ONE book, maybe to fill the void of those campfire tales or perhaps pass the time between Phase 10 and Spoons.

Still, one of my favorite things to do before I go camping is to search for a new book. Of course, because I’m me, I never just bring one book, but usually there’s a couple new ones and a couple old ones, because you never know when you get there what mood you’ll be in! Or, of course, how the new books will turn out!

I LOVE reading scary books while camping, there's just something that feels so RIGHT about it! Like it would be weird to read anything else that doesn't scare the crap out of you...I'm not sure why that is exactly, or what it says about me, but I do love it. It probably started with the fact that my favorite tv show growing up was Nickelodeon's "Are You Afraid of the Dark?". I was (AM) a proud member of The Midnight Society. I loved how the kids met up in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night and told scary stories. I wish that were real! I'd join in a heart beat!!

[If you have never seen this sow (Shame on you!) rectify this immediately and watch them FREE on Amazon Prime Instant Video!! Or really, even if you did, watch it anyways! I have!!]

Anyways, I've always loved the horror genre, both in books and in movies. I've seen about every scary movie there is and have read a whole lot of horror books. For this year's camping trip, after much deliberation, I'm reading Peter Straub's Ghost Story, because apparently it's a crime I haven't read it as a horror lover. [Ghost stories are my *favorite* and they also freak me out the most. Good thing I'll have my pup and be sharing a tent!]

So, thinking that I might not be the only one camping (or traveling or staying inside to read this summer), I’ve compiled a list of some of the BEST books to take camping (or wherever you may be going). 

***Don't worry, they aren't ALL scary, because there's gotta be some people out there not as crazy as I am!

10 BEST Books to Bring with You Camping

1. 4 Past Midnight, by Stephen King. Really, ANYTHING by Stephen King and you’re set. I like 4 past midnight because it’s a collection of scary short stories, which is nice to sort of pick up and read in between activities without being in it for the long haul, you know what I mean?! It also features one of my favorite Steven King stories, Secret Window, Secret Garden. I LOVE a good scare, especially when you’re in the middle of the woods with only a flimsy tent to keep you safe. ;) Also of note, Mr. Mercedes or The Shining.

2. Jurassic Park or Congo, by Michael Crichton. Again, ANYTHING by Michael Crichton is amazing. These are just two of my favorites. Suspense, thrillers, action, adventure, creatures… these have it all!!

3. Harry Potter and …., by J.K. Rowling. Pick your favorite and bring it along! I love adventure books in the summer, maybe because a lot of times you’re stuck in the same place for long intervals, so it’s a great escape!

4. 1st to die, by James Patterson. I *love* James Patterson. If murder mysteries are your thing, he’s your guy. I looove murder mysteries, it’s my favorite genre. I haven’t read anything of his that I haven’t liked, and I’ve read most of his books. But the “Women's Murder Club” series is by far his best series. I know, I know. Those who are Alex Cross diehards are going to strongly disagree with me, but hey, you can’t please everyone! This first book is probably THE BEST in the series, because it’s sharp, riveting, enthralling and will have you gasping in surprise/horror/shock.

5. Bossypants, by Tina Fey or Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling. If Comedy is more your thing, and you’re laying out by the lake in the afternoon sunshine, and you love hilariously honest autobiographies, these are GEMS. Seriously, laugh-out-loud funny!

6. Can you Keep a Secret, by Sophie Kinsella. Again, sometimes you need lighter books or something to take away the nightmares Steven King just gave you, and if that’s the case, Sophie Kinsella’s your homegirl. Mostly known for her Shopaholic series (also great), this Brit is witty, sassy, and hilariously relatable. CYKAS is my favorite of hers. She’s like Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones...but with significantly less swearing and smoking. ;)

7. The Partner or The Last Juror, John Grisham. If legal dramas/thrillers are more your cup of tea, these books are exceptional! I know most people think of A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, The Firm or even Runaway Jury when they think of Grisham, but these are even better!

8. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson. If you're more into the Classics, this is your novel. This 1959 classic has been scaring readers for 50+ years and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If ghosts and haunted houses are your thing, or you know, just excellent story-telling that will frighten up your life, give this one a whirl!

9. The Perks of Beings a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky. One of my favorite modern works, this story is a beautiful coming of age novel about growing up, about coming into your own and being who you are. (Not at all scary) The main character Charlie has to be one of the most likable characters, ever. He's a wallflower; shy, introverted, socially awkward, but extremely kind and intelligent. And also broken. I can't say enough about how much I love this book! (And the movie adaptation is wonderful too! They did a great casting job!!) ALSO, the 80's music references are TO DIE FOR!

10. Sharp Objects or Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn. Flynn, of Gone Girl fame, is an excellent story teller. I really love her thrillers and how dark and gritty and messed up her characters/stories are. So in fair warning, if that is not your thing, don't bother. If it is, you will love the twisted, crazy, creepy, sometimes despicable and other times shockingly screwed up her characters are. I'd start with her first novel Sharp Objects before going on to the 2nd, but that's just me. 

***Also, if you like this type of genre and you still haven't read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, do. That's a 3 book series that you'll love because Lisbeth is a total B.A. 

Honorable Mentions: Anything by Preston & Child (Relic for starters!), Harlan Coban (Tell No One), Dean Koontz (The Good Guy or Watchers). 

Well, I hope you have a wonderful time by the campfire!! Enjoy a great book and don't forget about the 'Smores!! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

22 Reasons why Kimmy Schmidt is SUPER AMAZING

If you haven't watched the 1st season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you are missing out. For realsies. This is unfortunately a Netflix only show, but who doesn't have Netflix these days, amrite?! ;) 

Kimmy Schmidt is co-written from the beautifully hilarious Tina Fey, so YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD.  Seriously, this show is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!! I'm not even over-exaggerating here. Honest to goodness, this is the BEST new comedy in recent history. 

The premise of the story is that Kimmy (Ellie Kemper, Bridesmaids), and a small group of women ("mole-women"), get rescued from a doomsday cult, where they had been held captive in an underground bunker for the last 15 years. She decides to start over with her life and move to New York, where she makes friends with her hilarious roommate Titus and goes to work as a Nanny for a millionaire wife (Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock), all while trying to adjust to life in this "new world". 

Hopefully that was enough to spark an interest, but really, all I should've have to say was that Tina Fey is the showrunner...did I mention she guest stars in a couple episodes?! Quick trivia about the show...the character Kimmy Schmidt was written for Ellie Kemper, which is why it just feels so natural and PERFECT. And Jacqueline was written with Jane Krakowski in mind! But anyway, let's get to the good stuff. 

22 Reasons why Kimmy Schmidt is SUPER AMAZING:

1. Kimmying. 

I love this line. This practically sums it all up, but there is SO MUCH MORE GOOD STUFF, I'll continue. One of the great things about Kimmy is her ability to be positive and upbeat and optimistic, regardless of the circumstances. I mean, she was locked in a bunker for 15 years without ever going outside or having privacy and she STILL is happy and lively! She's so awesome!

2. Her comebacks. 

Haters gonna hate and Kimmy Schmidt doesn't care about them one bit! She's never malicious or mean, but she does stand up for herself. 

3. She's a fighter and I love that about her. 

Preach girl, preach!! See what I mean?! Kimmy is tenacious, resilient, and A FIGHTER. Like, no one's gonna hold her down. She is a #bosswitch and provokes an all-around fist-pumping-girl-power attitude that I can't live without. 

4. She's WEIRD and she OWNS IT.

I love her little self-deprecating moments because I relate to them A LOT. She is who she is, she owns it, she doesn't care what people have to say or think about her. It's okay to be weird, in fact, I think WE'RE ALL WEIRD, and if you think you're normal, you're just kidding yourself. Embrace who you are because you are awesome.

5. Disney References are a part of everyday they should be.

If you're not a Disney fan, I cannot be friends or even talk to you. Just kidding, but let me tell you that I do severely judge "non-Disney" people. Where are you from, another planet?! It's totally okay to be a grown-up and still pop out a Disney quote or reference in your daily life. Because Disney is the BEST

6. Her awful (but wonderful) flirting style.

Aren't we ALL Kimmy before a date, trying to figure out what we're going to say and how to say it so that we don't end up looking like the crazy people we actually are?! I love her dorky flirting style, which isn't really flirting at all, and maybe that's what I love about her?! She's hilarious and I want to be her BFF IRL.

7. Her inability to take a selfie.

This scene is seriously SO HILARIOUS. I still die laughing at it. Another part of her awkwardness that I totally love. 

8. She is always trying to help people.

Even though they NEVER appreciate it. This is also one of my *favorite* lines!! All she was trying to do was help some little kid out and he yells at her  (while running away) "Stranger Danger!" and her response is the BEST!! #strangerdangerranger

9. She's clueless about technology.  

I feel like Kimmy in A LOT of ways because I am never in on all the techie stuff or anything "cool" the kids are saying. Most of the time I sound like I'm stuck in the 90's, because I'm a 90's kid through and through. Watching her struggle to understand and use [correctly] current lingo is comic gold.

 10. As an adult who is a grown up... 

Also one of my favorite lines. I'm going to start using this line on my nephews. ;)

11. She always has such great advice.

Kimmy is the ultimate friend. I feel like she'd always be there NO MATTER WHAT to support you, make you feel better, empower you and give great advice. She'd always have a silver lining to give you if you needed it but also would just listen and let you vent. HOLD THE PHONE...I THINK KIMMY SCHMIDT IS A HUFFLEPUFF!!! This makes me ridiculously happy. Welcome to the club Kimmy! #everydayimhufflin 

12. She's always there to cheer you up.

I can't watch UKS and be in a bad mood. She's just sunshine and rainbows and baby kittens all wrapped up into one bubbly happy personality. 

13. YOLO.

She makes a good point here. You never know what life entails so you have to live life to the fullest EVERYDAY. Tomorrow is not a guarantee for anyone. Don't wait to be daring or be happy or do what brings you joy...eventually time will run out and you don't want to look back on our life with regrets. 

14. Sometimes she's a firecracker

Sometimes you've got to call people out on their B.S. She doesn't do it often, but she WILL stand up for herself and she WILL call you out when needs be. 

15. She trusts her intuition.

This is really important advice. You have to listen to your gut instincts! Kimmy sticks to her guns and encourages others to do what they feel is right, not what other people tell them is right. At the end of the day, you've gotta live with who you are

16. She understands the joys of being an adult.

Sometimes we get bogged down with all our responsibilities that we forget to live a little and have fun! Kimmy knows that those little joys are 100% worth it and we should do them often. 
BEST facial expression EVER.

We're adults, we get to do what we want! No judgments on candy for dinner. Haven't we all been there. (Or ice cream in my case)

17. No one's going to bring her down.

I know I said that line earlier but it fits here too. You can try to insult her all you want, but Kimmy knows that what people say about her is more a reflection of who they are than who she is. That's a lesson we ALL can learn!! #hatersgonnahate

  18. She has a go-to Coping Mechanism when times get rough.

Fake it 'till you make it. I love that she has this coping mechanism that helps her get through tough things. You do you boo. 

19. She understands how life can really be & she's honest.

Life can really really suck and she knows that. Sometimes being an adult IS really terrible. Sometimes you need a beat to just 'be', whatever it is in that moment, be it sad, angry, frustrated, etc. You can't always put a smile on and pretend everything is okay, though that's her go-to. Sometimes you really do need to just let yourself feel those feelings so that you can be ready to move on when the time is right. 

20. She's got amazing references from the 80's

Sure, that's because that was the last time she was involved in Pop Culture, but whatever. She always has the best 80's references that I genuinely respect.

21. Just take it 10 seconds at a time.

You can survive anything for 10 seconds. Everything will be okay. I love this!! I will start using this is every day when the school semester starts up again. 

22. She dares the world to bring it on!

She's ferocious when she puts her mind to something. Get it girl!

Oh Kimmy Schmidt, if we could only be friends IRL. Life would always be a party and I'm pretty sure we'd be BFFs. Keep being your wonderful self and I'll keep wishing I could pull off that hair color and that bold pink and yellow combo you're always wearing. Xoxo!