Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Very Curious

It's Heidi, I'm inside trying to warm up. We have been thrust into Fall, much cooler temperatures and thunderstorms. It's been so cold, windy and rainy on the roof I can't feel my gun anymore. The storm is making it very difficult to see properly. We can't tell what we're looking at half the time.

Something curious happened this afternoon. Roger, Corey, Greg and I were doing our shift on the roof, when Corey motioned for us to come over. He pointed at 3 zombies heading our way, but when the lightning started up they stopped moving. We couldn't figure out what was going on - they looked like statues. We don't know if the irregular light throws them off or if the lightning scares them. We ended up watching them for about half and hour while the storm was raging. It was decided that since they weren't going to be moving anytime soon we ought to take them out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heidi Get Your Gun

There is something very empowering about having a gun. (Well, duh!) You have to understand, I had never fired a real gun pre-zombie, so this is all new and exciting for me. When I was growing up in rural Wisconsin my Dad would hunt pheasant, duck and deer for food - it was a guy thing. (Yes, we were one of those houses you would drive by in the Fall and see a gutted deer hanging from the swing-set.) The only thing I had ever fired was a BB gun that one of the other kids had. We would throw an empty Hi-C can in the air and shoot at it. I was the only girl in the group and the boys would get really mad because I hit the can more than they did.

If it weren't for the zombies I never would have picked up a gun, but if I'm going to survive I have to step out of my comfort zone. Some people are still squeamish about shooting zombies. I just keep telling myself that they are already dead and I'm putting them out of their misery. It makes me feel like I'm providing a service - doing something good for them . . . . Oh, who am I kidding - zombies are out to get us and I will do whatever it takes to make them really dead!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Zombies Are Keeping Us Busy

Hey, it's Heidi. We have definitely noticed an increase in zombie activity. Matt and I have been on the roof a lot, he's been giving me shooting lessons. I'm getting pretty good at the accuracy with distance thing. Between the two of us we've taken out 7 today. I am happy to have real shooting experience, but I'm concerned about why we are seeing so many zombies after weeks of quiet. On the other hand, Matt is thrilled to have the chance to take out as many zombies as possible. He's been pretty vocal about moving on and staying in one place this long has been hard on him. It's been good to see him have an outlet for his frustration.

The 'do zombies eat other zombies' question has been answered today. Matt and I were taking shots at a couple zombies - Matt got his, I missed mine. As I was getting ready to take another shot Matt told me to hold on for a bit since Roger wanted to know what would happen if a moving zombie came upon a truly dead zombie. As we watched through our binoculars we saw the zombie go over to the immoblie zombie, stand over it for a few minutes and then move on. I guess he was making sure the other one had truly ceased to be. So it looks like even zombies won't eat rotten meat. Anyway, Matt gave me the go ahead to take him out and I did.

We have broken up the roof watch into 4 - 6 hour shifts, with 4 on a shift. Some of us are doing 12 hour shifts to cover shortages - Matt is doing 18 hour shifts. We are a bit concerned about his state of mind. Roger, Shawn and I are taking turns checking in with him. We figure as long as he is eating, sleeping and talking to us he should be okay.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Zombie I Almost Dated in High School

It was bound to happen I suppose. You live through a zombie apocalypse, I guess it stands to reason that sooner or later you're going to run across some long lost friend or acquaintance in zombie form. This was a girl I knew back in high school--I probably would have asked her out if I had been a normal sort of kid who actually asked girls out in high school. I'll not mention her name to protect the innocent. Besides, what if this message really is going back in time and she sees her name and learns that she's not going to survive?

I'm surprised I recognized her, actually. I guess it was the sunken eyes. She always wore way too much eyeliner in high school, so she had kind of an undead look to begin with (I thought it was really sexy at the time). We had a few classes together and I always kind of liked her, although I can't for the life of me remember why. I hadn't thought of her in more than a decade though, so it's kind of surprising that I recognized her--I saw her in the home depot when I went to get some more solder in case I need to do more work on the solar panels. She'd gained a few pounds, which I guess we all had before the zombie apocalypse hit. She looked older, too, and a bit decayed. She also had a big chunk missing from her neck and some big old blood splotches all over her clothes. I was stunned. Shawn wasn't. He pretty much liquefied her with the 12 gauge before I even had time to remember when I had seen her last. He always had a way with women.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Power Outage

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile (in case anyone is reading); we had our first "solar incident" a few days ago. One of our solar panels came down in a thunderstorm and ripped out a bunch of wiring. Everybody looked at me because I had been bragging about having studied electrical engineering in college. I tried to explain that when you leave engineering school after the 2nd year, all you've really learned is raw math and science--nothing practical. Nevertheless, when the storm rolled out, I found myself putting on some thick rubber gloves and going up on the roof to try to patch things together. I wish some other facets of the internet had survived the zombie apocalypse, since I'm sure I saw a few articles on how to build and repair solar panels at one time or another online.

There were a few panels that were cracked beyond repair, but I got the rest patched and soldered (yes, I have a soldering iron in my tool box--doesn't everyone?). I was pretty scared when I made that last connection, but I'm still here. I couldn't help but notice Matt standing close by with his hand on his .45--I guess he had thought it through that if I got electrocuted, they would have zombie to deal with in the middle of our compound. Anyway, I'm not sure what effect the cracked panels are having on our total load capacity--it's not like we're running a lot here to begin with. I imagine we might see a problem if we get a few overcast days in a row.

Matt popped two more zombies on his watch last night. I think that's five this week. At least he's hitting them far enough away that they're not attracting more attention to our compound. He said it looked lke one of them might have been getting ready to eat another one that he shot, but he hit it before it had the chance. I wish he had let it go for a minute or two--I'm really curious about that. When we shoot a zombie, does it just become "meat" to other zombies? How do they know not to eat each other before we shoot them? Things to ponder during the zombie apocalypse.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

September 11th. It's weird, that day was so important, so significant before the zombie apocalypse. Now it's faded away with the rest of civilization. But yet when the date arrives, I still get that welling of emotions. Maybe it's because it's a tangible point in history--a day when everything changed. The zombie apocalypse is not nearly so condensed. It started on a day nobody is quite sure of and it's still going on now. It ends...When? When the last human dies? When the last zombie decays to nothingness?

I remember September 11th, 2001. The day started strangely. I was sitting at home, checking my email and preparing to go to work when my dog (my stepdog, really) came up and put his head on my knee. He looked at me with such sad eyes, as if to say "Bad things are going on out there, you better stay home." It was strange because he had never really shown any particular affection for me before; we were kind of like college roommates--polite, respectful, cordial, but not really close, at least not at that time. He must have known something, somehow. I wish he was still around when the zombie apocalypse hit--he could have warned us.

Anyway, the first plane hit while I was driving to work, listening to Mancow Muller, a local radio talk show host. I don't know why--I hated talk radio and wasn't very fond of him particularly. I thought it was a joke when he said the plane hit the World Trade Center (he was the sort of radio talker who would follow up serious political discussion by calling some random person and making farting noises in the phone--real high brow entertainment. I wonder if he's a zombie yet?). By the time I made it to work, the second plane had hit, I had checked other stations and it had become clear that we were at war.

Now we have a different kind of war. No terrorists, no airstrikes, no speeches--just waves and waves of former humanity out there somewhere waiting to feast on us. Zombies or terrorists, I'm not sure which is worse.

What Heidi Misses

Every once in a while we get on the topic of what we miss. I know, it's sort of like rubbing salt in a wound, but misery loves company. Of course there are the ones who miss their family, friends, pizza, long walks on the beach - Allan misses his job. He was pulling in upper six figures and divided his "work" between talking on his Blackberry and playing golf, so we ignored him.

What I miss are books. I was a reader. Never went anywhere without a book. So, yeah, I have a book with me, but after re-reading it a hundred times in the last 9 months I've lost interest in it. Janie has a book with her, but it's one of those trashy romances and no matter how desperate I get I won't read it, I have principles.

Shortly after the apocalypse began we noticed fires burning. They were scattered around and rather large. What we discovered when we were on food runs was that people had been emptying bookstores and libraries thinking that the fires would scare the zombies away. Once again, like the flashlight, the fires acted like a zombie dinner bell - this time with hot food.

So as we prepare for our travels looking for survivors I will be looking for books. I'd like to think that Clive Barker, Jim Butcher, Stephen King and Dean Koontz would know how to survive a zombie attack and that they are out there right know kicking zombie ass!

PS It just occured to me what today is . . . I do remember.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My 49th Year

Hi, it's Heidi and yes, today is my birthday. We have tried to create some pre-zombie normalcy by celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays as best we can. It's helpful having these diversions from the day to day grind of surviving. These events turn into treat day - we make coffee over a fire (camp stove now), break out the Hostess snacks and get buzzed on caffeine and sugar. This one is kind of sad because it's the last one we will have as a group. Despite the challenges of the last 9 months we have become a family of sorts - all be it a dysfunctional one.

Roger, Matt and Shawn presented me with this ammo/utility belt that they created from pieces that were picked up during the Cabela's trip. It holds a 1911 pistol, machete, flashlight and ammo. Since I had my first kill they figured it was time to take the training wheels off. (see, some guys do know what a girl wants.)

It's been a really great day . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pizza Night

So last night was Tuesday. I usually don't keep track of that anymore, but it was kind of significant this time. You see, back before the zombie apocalypse, Tuesday night was my pizza night. I would go out with the same two guys I'd gone out with every Tuesday since 1989 and we'd get a pizza and some ridiculously unhealthy appetizer (the bacon cheddar fries were my personal favorite) and we'd shoot the breeze and complain about life and why everyone else was stupider than we were and if people would just listen to us the world would be such a great place...You know the routine. Anyway, a lot of us here have pizza high on our list of things we miss, and since it appears our group isn't going to be together much longer, I thought it would be cool to have a pizza night for my new group of friends.

So to make this miracle happen, I have been secretly squirreling away supplies when we've gone on foraging runs. The crust was easy--we've got plenty of flour, salt, oil, and even yeast (we've been experimenting with baking bread). Over the last few weeks, I've picked up a few cans of pizza sauce and lots and lots of parmesan and romano cheese (the only cheese I can find that doesn't seem to need refrigeration and lasts more than a few months). Yesterday was the day I put it all together, using the expertise I learned during my early days as a master pizza chef. Okay, I was a line cook for Pizza Hut, but at least I knew the basics. I took it all out back and grilled it and we gathered to have our first (and possibly last) pizza night as a group.

It sucked. Without a doubt the worst pizza I've ever had in my life. I don't know if the ingredients had gone bad if if you just can't make pizza with those cheeses, but UGH. So in case this blog is really being received in 2011, I need somebody to buy like 100 frozen pizzas, preferably from Villa D' Carlo in Kenosha, Wisconsin or Quonset Pizza in Waukegan, Illinois, pack them in ice, put them in some sort of solar powered freezer, and leave them where I am sure to find them after the zombie apocalypse hits. If I can find an old newspaper maybe I'll post some winning lottery numbers or something so you can afford to do it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

They Say You Always Remember Your First Time

I always figured my first kill would be a male zombie - killing a female was kind of disturbing. My first response afterwards was relief, I got her before she got me. Then I wigged out about who she was. Was she a teacher, cafeteria lady, custodian, a student's mom? It's probably because she was a "new" zombie and didn't look any different than me. That of course sent everyone moving, since if she was fresh that meant zombies were in the immediate area. Roger left Paul with me while the rest searched.

The thing that bothers me is that killing a zombie didn't really bother me that much. I guess that means the last vestiges of my old self are gone now. We've been training and talking through scenarios for so long it was a relief to finally get put to the test. I even feel more confident about moving on now.

Once Matt was told about the incident he and I were able to have a conversation about my experience. (Matt has some military training and I think he was checking on my mental state.) Since it was my first time he wasn't too upset about the wasted ammo. He said some people get so freaked out they will fire off every round in their gun, reload and keep shooting. He was really glad I didn't freeze up with fear, he said it showed I had strong survival instincts. Matt also warned me about being overconfident, as that is just as dangerous as being afraid.

All I know is I really want to kill some more zombies.