Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Walking Dead (contains spoilers)

On my Netflix, I'm watching the second episode of the TV series The Walking Dead.

So far, I'd give it two Beretta 9mm (with full clips), two shotguns, and a hand grenade. In zombie warrior rating terms, that is the equivalent of 5 stars.

I am a mass of contradictions when it comes to horror in any medium. I don't particularly care for the books (Not even Stephen King. Sorry, Kate), because I find the contents of an average daily newspaper much weirder and scarier than any work of horror fiction. Since I'm blessed with an overactive imagination and a twitchy trigger finger, in the interest of public safety I don't watch horror movies -- no slashers, no gorefests, and no monsters.

Except for zombies.

I'd analyze the crap out of that, but I don't have the extensive time necessary to excavate all the dark places in my psyche properly. I got other sh*t to do. 'Nuff to say, that when it comes to the undead, living dead, jiang shi, walkers, geeks, ghouls, the old-stump-and-drags-dressed-in-blood-and-rags, I find the subject of the zombie apocalypse fascinating.

This series is well-done and not without its humorous moments, which are of a distinctively gallows variety.

Our small gang of the living and breathing have figured out a way to slip through enemy zombie lines and get out of the city (Atlanta) where they have become trapped by the hordes of flesh-eating undead shuffling about in the streets. With much gagging and puking, they hack up a dead (headshot) zombie with a fire axe and rub zombie goo and guts all over their trenchcoats to disguise their "living" smell. Then two of our smaller brained, stainless steel nutted heroes open the door and shuffle out among the dead and attempt to blend their way past them to a getaway vehicle.

The vehicle is in sight, a mere hundred yards away just beyond a chainlink fence. "It's working. We're going to make it," one of them mumbles. The other one grins in agreement.

Then it starts to rain.


I prefer my zombies old-school, slow and stupid, not fast and able to use rocks as tools or scale a chain link fence.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Going (H)ooooooommmm...

Whew! Another Vipassana meditation retreat completed. Props to all my Vipassana peeps this year. You guys rock. Figuratively.
I'm in the airport in Dallas waiting for a flight home and having my first cup of coffee in eleven days. Needless to say, as I cradle the warm cup in my hands and sip the dark nectar, I'm having a hard time maintaining my equanimity. In fact, I'm having a hard time not reinacting the infamous "When Harry Met Sally" orgasmic scene, but I'm afraid the TSA would take it the wrong way.
Ten days. Ten days of Noble Silence (no talking, writing, eye contact or communication of any sort with the other meditators), vegetarian meals, meditation sessions or instruction from 4:30 am to 9:00 pm, no sex, cell phones, tv, or books. It's incredibly liberating, and extremely challenging; the most physically and mentally challenging thing I've ever done.
Given my martial arts background, that's saying something.
Every year my experience has been completely different. This year was deeper than last year, not as intense as the first (hard to top a new student's experience in intensity). Each time I attend I'm able to get rid of more misery, more suffering, improve my awareness and equanimity, tally up some good parma, and come back to the real world with more compassion and luuuuurve for my fellow human beings.
It is a bit of a shock though to come from the Vipassna environment to the deluge of chaos at the airport. The bombardment is almost painful.