After the apocalypse I get all the Oreos I want!


I hated them, and began, last and worst degradation, to hate myself. I clung to my ferocious habits, yet half despised them; I continued my war against civilization, and yet entertained a wish to belong to it.” from “The Last Man” by Mary Shelley.
Triple Double Stuff Oreos are proof that vegan food can be totally unhealthy; it is this non-food food that have, with the demise of the Hostess Twinkie, become my first choice for post-apocalyptic binges. Yup, I think about those things even while eating cookies and tea. I have been sort of obsessed with apocalypse and isolation since childhood. Anybody else remember “On the Beach” the Kramer movie that saps up and dumbs down the Shute’s book of the same name (with still pretty spectacular results I must add but as usual, the book is better.) I do. I was much too young to understand all the relational nuances I got watching it as an adult, but I got it, and it stuck with me the same way Hitchcock’s “The Birds” did.
Apocalypse and isolation, people living outside the structures of civilization, oh and dystopia; these are always my favorite stories even today, but as a child and adolescent, even more so. From Robinson Crusoe to Swiss Family Robinson, the tails of Captain Nemo, “My Side of the Mountain,” or the truly apocalyptic ones like “The Scarlet Plague” by Jack London, “Earth Abides” by George Stewart, or “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, “Alas, Babylon,” “Shadow on the Hearth” or in its own way “Planet of the Apes.” these and the fantasy stories were the works I could not get enough of, weedling the librarian to get me copies to check out (not available in the children’s section my card was valid in) or reading them behind the paperback shelves in the 5 and Dime. (They never kicked me out, although I rarely bought more than my 10 cent weekly milk money worth of candy; in return, I never stole a book from them, or anything else for that matter.)

When I was still pretty young and on a car trip to My Grandma Clegg’s; my little brother was on the way because we kept having to stop for Mommy to pee and Roxanne always got to hold the baby who couldn’t quite stand, so I’d say maybe 5; I told my family that when I grew up I wanted to go live on an “uninhibited” island, I meant uninhabited but my vocabulary often got ahead of my pronunciation. I didn’t realize why they were all laughing so loudly, until my oldest sister felt compelled to explain the difference in the most shaming way possible, however I did understand that they were illustrating why I wished to live away from everyone and why I have always been certain the apocalypse would come.

I still don’t get meanness; I still believe in love, compassion and kindness. In fact one of my loves of classics like Verne’s tales of Nemo and Shelley’s “Last Man” stems from their humanist faith that love can change and redeem a hard and angry heart, however both authors having moved past their era’s romanticism know that a rescued heart can still cease to beat inside an old or battered body and the delineation of good/bad/right/wrong is not as simple as birth, power, money or spiritual affiliation. In their books science is both friend and foe, the problem and the answer; just like many of my favorite modern novels.

They say “Last Man” is the first post-apocalyptic novel, but I posit it is far from the first apocalypse story. I suggest Gilgamesh and Noah are both stories of apocalypse, and any well read geek will realize I have also skipped over the writer’s we all read in school like Vonnegut and Bradbury, or any of the external act ends of the world, or the “cozy” ends of the world. Pandemic or nuclear holocaust or environmental destruction/infrastructure failure are my obsession. Man ends through his own inattention and acts of unkindness; and begins anew if any beginning is allowed (not all books allow our species to survive) because of the heroine/hero’s ability to see possibility and practice compassion.

And always, always the story is accompanied by the Cerdd Dant harp of isolation.

If you are one of the many modern readers who are a bit obsessed with zombies and plagues and isolation and the end of the world, go read “Last Man,” you will thank me later. Also if you are unfamiliar with any other titles here I can thoroughly recommend them.

What is your favorite post-apocalyptic novel? I always can use another good book!

By the way, if we both survive the apocalypse, I still get all the Oreos I want, but since there will be many Oreos and only us left, no worries, there will be some for you as well!

Panelists needed……feel free to suggest someone or volunteer!

Today My energy IS Focused

Yea, I am trying to put together a panel for May’s Phoenix Comicon, with this title and description,

“GMO’s: The Key to Ending World Hunger or a Profit Driven End to Personal Well Being?”
“The future of Genetically Modified Organisms, specifically as they effect American food sources, is the latest war of words between big business and the social watchdogs. Open-source GMO’s versus secrecy surrounding patents; and legally mandated labeling are the battlegrounds. Both sides claim sustainability as their ideal, and both sides are using all the emotional tools our media soaked society have available. So what is the truth? So come learn the science behind the hype as panelists look at the question of what a GMO actually is, what their ramifications are, the question of secrecy as a necessary tool or hindrance to science, and what labeling or its lack means to the consumers.”

Also putting together a less factual, but potentially more fun(?) panel that will postulate which current science research might be most useful in beginning the ever popular Zombie Apocalypse.

All I can say at this moment is finding speakers is a challenge and especially since I could spend every moment I’m awake reading articles at Science 2.0. instead of cold calling prospects.

I hope this year’s  science track panels will help awaken the nascent science interest (beyond the horror and the fiction) in at least a few adolescent or adult geeks.

The third panel I will actually be on and for which I am also seeking more panelists, like maybe a nutritionist and  a chef or two, is entitled “Molecular Gastronomy: The Science of 5 Star Cooking.”

Thriving 2.0 and a tasty vegan recipe

I made a goal to not use my vehicle one day a week, as part of my commitment to saving my favorite bears and being more green.

Achievement unlocked!

Did I mention thriving for me means being kind to ALL others, including Mother Earth and her flora and fauna?

I have a goal of eating whole, live foods.

Achievement also unlocked

Today I made a tasty pot of  Herbed Lemon  Pottage to use up the last of my last Bountiful Basket herbs.

Wash 4-5 organic carrots and 4-5 large stalks of celery, chop into bite size pieces. Dice 1/2 an onion or a few mushrooms if desired (I had neither, so I didn’t) Toss all this and 1 T  Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a heavy saucepan or skillet, stir around a bit while the oil heats. Chop leftover bundle of limp herbs such as dill, cilantro, or parsley. ( I had dill) Saute for another 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to soften vegetables and blend flavors. Add 1/2 cup organic sprouted bean trio, or faro, or barley (I use truRoots bean trio the most!) Cook another 5-10 minutes until protein source is softened and water mostly absorbed. Squeeze half a small lemon over it (or 1 T from bottle, I use fresh) and serve. YUM!!!!

No tortillas today so I am making little Romain lettuce wraps but is also good just in a bowl.

Weeds attended to and half the Christmas stickers are off the front window, as well as all the regular daily stuff like dishes, laundry, patient paperwork printed for visits tomorrow and MGA reports sent in; so Good Day! I thrived!



So I can honestly say that “thriving” is not the first word that came to mind when I put blogging on my list of things I choose to do today, but “Thrive” is my “word of 2013”.  My first word was actually “overwhelmed.” “Overwhelmed” was also my first conscious thought upon waking,  I almost rolled back over, snuggled with my dogs and went back to sleep; running back into my less than restful dreams, running away from the miasma of sadness, pain and responsibilities looming within that cloudy word. Key word is “almost”; instead I got up and put on my running clothes. If I was gonna run, it was going to be toward something, two somethings actually. I cut two carrots with one knife when I run in the morning. My dogs get some much needed exercise and attention, and I get healthier heart and lungs (as well as firmer thighs, so OK 2.5.)

I made my list of things to do today in my head as I started to walk. Like tangled yarn, I pulled the unusable pieces of my life apart and neatly wound tasks back up on themselves looking for the thread that would begin this day in a pattern with which I could live.  Organizing and prioritizing kept me from focusing on the pain in my hips and feet.  I know this pain, and know it is the kind I have to run through (as opposed to the kind I get in my knee or lungs that say walk awhile). I set my Endomondo goal as 3 miles (5K) and started to trot  with Cozi. By half a mile I was in my zone, no longer hurting or planning but just loving the sound and smell of the infant day.  “I can do this easy,” I though, but Cozi had other ideas.

I have been neglecting my four legged children as seriously as I have been neglecting myself and everything else, and his old dog body had had enough at 1 mile and Cozi began sitting down and staring at me about every half block. Cozi is one hundred and seven pounds of very adorable, very stubborn giant golden retriever  so I called it good and took him home. I then put Yeager on leash. Where neglect makes Cozi drag, neglect makes Yeager lunge. He and I spent 20 minutes walking circles (if you have ever leash trained a labrador retriever to heel, you can relate to this) and almost making it to the end of the block.  I fell short of my 5K, but I did my morning run. Achievement unlocked. Next it was time to physically write my list.

My list does two things, it helps me remember and it helps me focus.  I start the list with my word of the year. That is my focus. Focus is what makes plans and goals form from that miasma of “overwhelmed” into a restful sleep of I am achieving. I struggle each day to remember to not trade what I want most, for what I want in the moment, hence my word, “Thrive” at the top of the list.  Then I write everything I think I need to do, or want to do today. Also to help with focus, if something comes to mind as I am doing something else I add it to the list and go back to what I was doing until it is completed.

So “Thrive!,” I write. What that word means to me would be a whole blog in itself and today’s writing time is almost over so I can’t go into it now, just suffice it to say that for me thriving encompasses a particular picture of health, my religion of kindness, a commitment to building connection, a new commitment to integrity and to intellectual growth.  Blogging is my brief ode to connection today, as today is my first day home without any outside obligation in more than two months and I plan to recharge my seriously depleted introvert battery by not going anywhere or talking to anyone if  I can help it.  I need time alone as much as I need social connection to thrive, once again, two carrots with one knife

Anyway, Back to thriving, having a word for the year is something I borrowed/learned from one of my favorite genre writers, Debbie Maccomber. A romance writer of that kind of  book I generally refer to as a bag of verbal potato chips, where the vocabulary requires no dictionary. A reader can always spot genre fiction because the plot is interspersed every third page with sucking wounds or sucking face.  Like potato chips, genre fiction is addictive, I keep reading just five more pages until the whole book is devoured in one sitting. It amuses my slightly snobbish mind that Ms. Maccomber’s mental snack food has also been the source of two of my more useful self-help skills, that of the 20 Wishes Book and the Word of the Year. Maybe snacks of the right quality, consumed in moderation do have a place in my diet.


I could digress here into a hundred things that have been weeds in my garden of thrive, and why I am here a week into April, finally writing about it, but that would not help you or me, or anyone really. What we give energy to grows stronger, so instead I will talk about thriving.


My timer has gone off and another thing “thriving” around here is a mess of weeds in the front yard so I am off to pull them. Will check back later with my crock-pot recipe and any updates on this SOFT (Slow Old Fat Try-athlete) training achievements today. And FTR, I have been to the gym Monday and Wednesday and lifted weights!