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Posts Tagged ‘zombie’

Friday Fun! (In Which I Become Part Cyborg)

November 19, 2010 6 comments

I have always been accident-prone.  It’s a running joke in my family, in fact.  I shattered more dinner dishes than I’d care to mention.  I was assured that walking into walls would go away with the end of my growth spurts.  It did not.  In fact, I’m currently sporting a bruise from walking into a wall last week.  I also managed to snap my leg in half on a swing-set when I was 11 years old.  Odd accidents are nothing new for me.  So it should come as no surprise that I managed to knock out one of my two front teeth this weekend.

The short version of the story is that it was Sunday afternoon/evening.  I had just mopped my kitchen floor.  I walk/jogged from the bedroom area of my apartment to the kitchen area in my bare feet, forgetting momentarily that I had just mopped.  And I managed to face-plant on the kitchen tiles.  Goodbye front tooth.

Now, when I was growing up the vast majority of the time we didn’t have health insurance.  Emergency care, therefore, is ingrained in my head as only for “real” emergencies.  Thus, in spite of multiple friends’ pleadings for me to go to the ER that night, I declined and said I would wait for the dentist’s office to open in the morning.  After friends helped me get cleaned up and tucked in, I popped some tylenols and went to sleep.

I probably should mention at this point in time that I had an exposed nerve.  Yet I was unconvinced this was an emergency.  I woke up Monday morning, waited until 8:30, which is when I believe doctor’s offices should open, and called my dentist.  The phone informed me he wasn’t opening until 10am.  Ok.  At this point I was in pretty bad pain, so I called the emergency number and left an incredibly apologetic voicemail explaining that I wasn’t certain if it was an emergency, but could he please call me back so we could discuss it.

My super-sweet dentist, who speaks with a lilting Arabic accent, called me back about 20 minutes later.  I lispingly told him one of my front teeth was gone, but the root was still intact so maybe it wasn’t an emergency.  I then started to half-laugh, half-cry at how much like a hillbilly I looked.  My dentist calmed me down and promised me he could fix my smile, this definitely was an emergency, and please come as soon as possible.

My wonderful friend Nina drove me to the dentist’s where I was greeted with shocked looks from everyone in the office.  To sum up all their comments, “Sweetheart, this is so bad!  You must be in so much pain!”  To which I responded, “Well, I’m a tough broad.”  The first thing they did was to numb my mouth, part of which included putting novocaine directly into the exposed nerve.  That is the only point at which during any of these procedures I cried.  They then drilled around, did things to the infection, and put a temporary tooth on.  They explained to me that the infection needed to go away before they could do the next step, so I walked out with prescriptions for codeine and antibiotics.  Let me tell you, that codeine has come in handy.

The next step was on Wednesday, and for the entire procedure I felt like I was suddenly in a scifi movie.  They popped off the temporary tooth and drilled around some more.  Then they informed me that today they were putting in the post and the cap, taking the molds for the new tooth, and then putting on another temporary tooth.  Post? I thought.  What the heck is a post? The next thing I know, the dentist is shoving a metal rod into my jaw.  He pauses for a moment, and the rod is literally extending from my upper jaw all the way down to my lower lip.  My immediate thought?  Haha, Ah’m a vahmpiiiire! Then they pulled it back out, put another one in, and it was suddenly miraculously tooth-length.  Then suddenly I hear the dentist asking the hygeniest  for the torch.  Say what now?! Yup, she had a torch that glowed blue flame, and he placed the tip of one of his tools into it and proceeded to burn part of my gum/teeth.  I was truly horrified/terrified and wide awake.  Also the smell of your own skin burning off at high temperatures is one I doubt I will ever forget.  At around this point in time they took the mold for my new tooth.  The gunk in the mold reminded me remarkably of what I’ve always imagined biting into flesh would taste like.  Haha, now I’m a zombie. Braiiiins I thought.  Then the dentist got this thing that looked like a glue gun, but actually shot out tooth-colored putty.  He applied this to my tooth area, and then the hygeniest used a laser–ya, a motherfucking LASER–to solidify it into my new temporary tooth.  Then the dentist checked the color of my teeth against a chart for the color of my new tooth.  He sweetly informed me that it’s going to be very awesome and ready in 2.5 to 3 weeks.

All I could think while I was walking out of the office was that my mouth now has a metal rod in it, and lasers were used on me, and when my new tooth comes in, I’m totally gonna be part cyborg.

 

Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

August 17, 2010 12 comments

Brown book cover with blood spatter on it.Summary:
The world has survived the first zombie war, and the government sends out a young man to interview people in order to find statistics on the war.  When he returns, he finds out they only want the cold, hard facts.  This disappoints him, as he wants to show the world the human, emotional side of the war, so he prints the interviews, so we all can read and connect with them.  What follows is the harrowing tale of how a virus starting in the countryside of China spreads via refugees and a general human refusal to believe that bodies are reanimating.  All of this leads to the Great Panic, which brings humanity to the very brink of extinction.

Review:
Since I was a US History major in undergrad, I came at this book with a lot of experience wading through pages and pages of boring and irrelevant text in primary documents to find the hidden gems.  The gems made it all worth it.  I’ll never forget going through Samuel Sewall’s diary, which was largely a collection of his farming statistics, only to suddenly start seeing glimpses into the Salem Witch Trials.  It was awesome.  It is not, however, an experience that I think a fiction writer should attempt to replicate.  Reading World War Z felt far too much like reading through actual primary historical documents.  There was too much wading and not enough awesomeness.

The thing is, even though I’m suspending my disbelief enough to be in the future after a zombie war, I still know that I’m reading a fiction book, and I tend to get a bit irritated when the characters relating their experiences spend pages on useless dribble.  I don’t want to hear about how you miss your father; I want to hear about the zombies climbing all over your submarine on the bottom of the ocean!  Even in the fictional world of the book, there’s still an editor who collected these stories.  Why didn’t he edit the ramblings out?  Is that the human factor I was supposed to connect with?  Because I didn’t. 

However, when you get past the dull bits, there are some truly awesome scenes.  Scenes such as a woman standing on the roof of a car and taking out over 100 zombies by herself.  Or American soldiers reverting back to the Revolutionary-era tactic of two lines of soldiers facing the enemy with just rifles.  Or a nun protecting her Sunday school class from a horde of zombies with just a 6 foot silver candlestick.  These scenes, and many more, are fun to read because they are done so well.  Brooks displays an innate understanding of not only how zombies should work, but how humans would respond to their presence on an individual basis.   

Although I personally wouldn’t like a zombie war to be met with so much government and political power, the way Brooks lays it out, it actually is believable.  What is quite possibly the most scary about the zombie war future he proposes isn’t the zombies, but is the fact that most of the governments of the world survive and come out with more power over the people than before.  If freaking zombies can’t wrest the power from the government’s hands and give it back to the people, then I don’t know what could. 

Overall, I’m glad I read World War Z for the epic scenes and condensed picture of the war I now have in my head.  I’d recommend it to fans of zombies primarily, but also to people who enjoy analyzing global politics and military strategy.  Be warned that it’s not your typical fast-paced horror read.  You have to earn the scenes with zombies.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Harvard Book Store (used books basement)

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Movie Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

January 11, 2010 3 comments

Movie poster of a woman clawing her way out of the ground.Summary:
A group of five 20-somethings head for a long weekend in a cabin in the woods.  In the basement, they find an old tape recorded by the previous resident–a professor.  This professor reads passages from The Book of the Dead that he’s been studying.  Playing the tape accidentally raises demons, and the group are left fighting against possession and for survival throughout the night.

Review:
This low-budget B movie is the quintessential cabin in the woods horror movie.  Written and directed by Sam Raimi who went on to direct the Spider-man movies and more recently Drag Me To Hell, it pits these 20-somethings against an evil force that infects them as opposed to a serial killer.

You guys, I absolutely loved this movie.  I already have a weakness for low-budget horror movies, as I love a good chuckle with my jumps, but there is so much more awesome to this movie than the summaries out there tell you.  They tell you this is a zombie movie.  Zombie movie is so not the right definition.  This is an evil trees movie.

In the first half an hour, there is motherfucking tree porn.  What’s tree porn, you ask?  It’s tentacle porn, only with tree branches.  The girl who gets raped by the tree is now infected, and the infection gets spread via wood.  The infection makes them mindless attacking machines, but they do not eat flesh.  They just chant “JOIN US!”  Even more awesome is the fact that when their limbs etc… get cut off not only blood but tree semen comes out of them.

Adding to the awesomeness that is the tree venereal disease is the stop-motion special effects.  They give such a different vibe than cgi and are truly well-done.

There are also your typical B-movie, chuckle-worthy lines.  Plus if there’s nothing too horrifying going on on the screen, you can always watch Bruce Campbell’s chin.  I dubbed him “Cro-Magnon Man.”  His face is just that awesome.  Plus he has a faint unibrow.

If you want a creative twist on a typical horror set-up, definitely check out The Evil Dead.  I mean, you’ve at last gotta watch the first half hour for the tree porn.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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