Batten down the hatches, Dorothy! It’s the zombie apocalypse!

Sorry, Dot. Auntie Em ain’t gon’ save you from no zombies.  I know, I know: life’s not fair. But you shouldn’t have been fraternizing with odd witch doctors with wagons, now should you have? No, of course not. That’s how the whole zombie plague begins: with quack medicine and a wagon. Read a book sometime. 
So apparently the Apocalypse tried to happen last night. Or something like that. I was sleeping soundly, dreaming about scuba diving with Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama and Diane Keaton when my phone literally tried to kill me.

Okay, fine. My phone figurativelytried to kill me. It has this weird siren thing that alerts me to severe weather/potential harm in my area.

ME: Carter! Wake up. It’s a tornado warning.


ME: So, it’s a tornado warning!

CARTER: It’s fine.

ME: Can we at least watch the weather?


Let me take a moment here to have a little aside with y’all. I grew up in Tornado Alley. I’m used to them. We were in the hallway for tornado warning AT LEAST once a week during the spring and fall. Ok. You had to know that, or none of the following events would seem as wondrous. 
METEOROLOGIST: I’m going to take a moment to tell everyone in our control room to stop what they’re doing and head for the safe zone. And the same goes for you at home, folks. This is not a drill.

ME: Carter?

CARTER: Do you want to go down to the basement?

ME: Well, it goes against everything I’ve ever been taught to do NOT to go down to the basement.

CARTER: OK, hang on. Let me find some pants.

Meanwhile, I have found the flashlight that my grandmother bought for us for Christmas. (It has batteries, but also has a crank and includes not only the flashlight, but an AM/FM radio, and USB plugs for your phone charger so that you can use the manual crank to charge your phone in case of an emergency.) I’m super excited that disaster has struck because I’ve been wanting to open it. We don’t have batteries…

Ok, and as I was typing this I just dropped a roasted chickpea down my top. Relevant? No. Bloggable. Totally
We don’t have batteries, so I start to turn the crank to make sure it works. For like 45 seconds. And then I got tired. Actually, I got bored. But tired sounds better, since it was 3 am and “bored” makes it seem like natural disasters happen to me all the time. Which makes me sound pretentious. 

ME: Ugh.

CARTER: You’ve been cranking that thing for less than a minute and you’re done already?

ME: I’m not made for this kind of Apocalypse, babe.

CARTER: Right.

ME: OK, well we need to go.

CARTER: I don’t have shoes on.

ME: What the hell have you been doing with your life for the last minute?! Rule number one of Apocalyptic Survival: sturdy shoes that can be run in.

CARTER: Why would I need to run?

ME: In case this tornado is followed by zombies or evil lobster or something.

CARTER: You’re ridiculous.

ME: I’m not ridiculous. I’m prepared. I didn’t suffer through 8 years of Girl Scouts for nothing.

CARTER: You hated Girl Scouts

ME: That’s beside the point.

CARTER: So are we going?

ME: Do you have sturdy shoes in which you could run? 
CARTER: [Glare]

ME: Then yes, we are going. But I hope if there are zombies that you get eaten first.

So we go down 16 flights of stairs to our basement.

ME: The power better not go out while we are in this stairwell.

CARTER: Or what?

ME: Or I will freak the f*ck out, that’s what. I’ve seen zombie movies. Bad things happen in stairwells. Plus, it will literally be pitch black in here.

CARTER: You got it right that time. It would literally be pitch black in here. Nice.

ME: Just hurry.

There are all of 8 people in the basement, out of a building with at least 100 residents. Two of them were a lovely married couple from our floor who are on student visas from China. As a matter of fact, 60% of our building is inhabited by graduate students from China and Japan. I can only assume that there may have been a communication issue and that tornado sirens do not mean the same thing in China that they do in the United States. Or something like that. Again, I’m really not sure. I was sitting on a cold tile floor leaning against cold metal mailboxes and wondering how much Carter would hate me if I asked him to go back to the top floor (where we live) to get me a sweatshirt. I decided that the answer was “infinitely,” as in, Carter would hate me infinitely if I asked him to go get me a sweatshirt after I’d given him so much shit about preparedness in emergencies. So I got on Pinterest instead.

And then I had the fear that the power would go out and my phone would die.

ME: Um…babe?


ME: Did you bring the flashlight?

CARTER: No, why?

ME: What if the power goes out?

CARTER: You have your phone.

ME: What if my phone dies?

CARTER: Then all of these other people’s phones will have to do.

ME: What if their phones all die?

CARTER: Then we’ll wait for dawn.

ME: That sounds absolutely terrifying.


I go back to pinning all the things. You know, to distract myself. 

ME: It sucks that my work has a backup generator. Even if this entire area loses power, I’ll still have to go to work.

CARTER: What if the tornado destroyed your building?

ME: It isn’t. They would have sent a memo.


ME: Yea, as the building was being destroyed, someone would have sent us a memo. And then we would have received another memo instructing us to report the next morning for work at some distant parking garage where we would then be told that our new jobs are to collect trash.

CARTER: That’s rough.

ME: That’s where I work. I don’t want to collect trash, though.

CARTER: But you don’t collect trash. That’s just a weird hypothetical.

ME: Your sincerity knows no bounds.

CARTER: You told me that you hoped I got eaten by zombies!

ME: No. I told you that if there were zombies, that I hope you got eaten first.

CARTER: How is that any different?!

ME: Well, I figure that if I’m going to have to be eaten by a zombie, I’d at least want it to be you because you’d probably be somewhat gentle with my brain.

CARTER: That is the weirdest thing you’ve ever said to me.

ME: No. That’s love.

He probably shouldn’t have said that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever said to him because when the apocalypse didn’t happen after all and we climbed the 16 flights of stairs back to our apartment and got back into bed, I, in my sleep-deprived delirium, apparently talked about the following:

          Starting a line of erotic Sorting Hats ( a la Harry Potter) that would shout things at you like “You’re going to be Hufflepuffing all night!” and “Go on, lad, try to Slytherin there!” (I was delirious. Just remember that.)

          Asking if men really named their peepers and, if so, what would Gandalf’s be called. I apparently settled on Treebeard. (If you’re not a huge LOTR nerd, pretend I never typed this. If you are a huge LOTR nerd, pretend I never typed this. But don’t you dare judge me.)

          Telling the story about my college acquaintance who gave himself his own peeper piercing and was later told by a doctor that if he had pierced a millimeter further, he’d never have been able to get it up again. Carter then asked the obvious question: “How does a man do that to himself?!?!” To which I replied, “Tequila. And maybe some clove cigarettes.”

So we learned a few things last night:

1.       Carter thinks that I am an alarmist. This is not the case, actually. I do swimmingly under pressure and would probably survive quite well in a dystopian world. Unless there were zombies. Then all bets are off.

2.       When I have been yanked from my REM sleep cycle, I basically become almost identical to a really, really drunk person who happens to be fascinated by the subject of phalluses and their many application. Only I refer to them as “peepers.” Because I’m a lady.

3.       Carter is very cranky when woken abruptly by sirens, a shrieking iPhone, and a wife who is calmly   stoically  bat-crap-crazily looking for her most “apocalypse appropriate” shoes. As I sat in the basement, I realized that I’d chosen poorly. I’ll not make this mistake next time.

4.       When one devotes 3 hours of one’s day to reading about the book and movie, Warm Bodies, to see if one could handle it without urinating (i.e. it’s not too scary… if you didn’t get that from the “urinating” bit), one tends to fixate on zombies and turn humdrum American weather events like a tornado warning into a sign of the end times, thereby rationalizing appropriate footwear for outrunning zombies. Like I said, yesterday was bananas.

5.       Our Chinese neighbors reacted to the tornado about like I imagine I would react to hearing about a typhoon or tsunami warning: by calmly playing Angry Birds with the sound on. Oh. Wait. They acted nothing at all like I imagine I would react to either of those things. If I were in Asia and there was a typhoon or tsunami warning, I would… well, come to think of it, I would probably do the exact same thing I did here: find appropriate Apocalypse footwear, completely forget my sweatshirt and cranky flashlight, and Pin all the things.

6.       Tornadoes can happen in January. I did not know this. I don’t think the rest of America knew this either. And this is coming from a girl who, as I said, grew up in Tornado Alley. “What? It’s your birthday, Katie? Here! Have a tornado!” Every f*cking year. On the plus side of that, birthday cake and ice cream in a basement laundry room is somewhat magical. And by magical I mean that the power has gone out and so your mom lets you eat the entire pint even though you’re only 9 because a) she feels bad that you always have to celebrate your birthday in a basement laundry room; and b)because the power is out and the ice cream is already out of the freezer and it’s gonna melt anyways because we’re not opening the freezer unless there’s a huge emergency because Lord only knows when the power’s going to come back.

It’s a glamorous life I’ve lived… lead. Whatever.

Anyways, we survived. And I’ve not forgotten about yesterday’s Choose Your Own Adventure. I’ll do it tomorrow. …and maybe do the runner-up on Friday. If you haven’t voted, tell me what you want. (I am keeping track.) And, barring another near Apocalyptic encounter, I’ll for sure do it tomorrow. Promise.


Happy Wednesday, y’all! 

P.S. You may have noticed Nested’s little facelift! Thank you, a million times over, to the fabulously talented AshleyRose. I adore her as a friend and an artist and you should hire her because she’s kick-ass. Do it. Do it now. 

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  1. I love that you used proper English with which to ask about Carter’s shoe preparedness.

    I also love love love your new header with a thousand tiny hearts with wings.

    What’s Choose Your Own Adventure?

    I spend last night in the basement dodging tornadoes with two kids, a grumpy husband, & a giant frightened dog . . . all on our old futon. I feel fuckin’ awesome today!

    • Sorry about the futon, but I’m glad you’re safe, Amy!

    • As my dad would say, “It’s only our language. Why not use it properly?” You know how some people say they have moments where they think, “OMG, I’m becoming my mother!”?

      I’m becoming my dad.

      Choose Your Own Adventure was a book series (look it up!) that was the rage when I was in elementary school. You’d be reading about a group of kids stranded on an island when the ground starts to rumble. Then, at the bottom of the page, you’d be given two choices: “To try to figure out where the rumbling is coming from, skip to page 46.” and “To run and try to find a safe place, skip to page 35.” Kind of cool. And I’m totally thieving it….sort of.

      I feel f*cking awful today. AWFUL. And the 5 cups of coffee I drank to “help” have made things worse. I just want to go home to my snuggie. I’m glad that you and the fam are no worse for wear, though. Poor Lucy! How did Charlie handle the storm?

  2. Did you find your roasted chickpea? (Curious about its fate now that I know you’re safe and no zombies have surfaced…yet.)

    • I did. I not-so-discreetly dug it out at my desk. I’m lucky no one came upon me in the act of doing that. Although, one of my bosses nearly walked in on me peeing yesterday, so it would be par for the course.

      Safe! And no zombies! But I’m keeping a sharp eye on the lookout.

  3. Your blog looks great!

    Tornadoes sound exciting. We don’t have tornadoes here. Nor earthquakes. Just dikes breaking every now and then but the last time that happened was… decades ago.

    Oh wait, we did have an earthquake. 5 on the scale of Richter. They called it a “very heavy earthquake”. Lol. I’d like to hear what the Haitians have to say about that. And anyway, the earthquake was our own fault. Caused by drilling too much gas. So, yeah, I don’t think that counts.

    But your story sounds pretty exciting. Call me crazy but sometimes I’d love to experience sitting in a basement with a couple of strangers, waiting for the tornado to pass. But only if nothing really disastrous happened, of course. Because that would take the fun right out of it.

    • Thank you! My friend is a pretty amazing artist.

      Tornadoes are exciting sometimes. My dad knew some storm chasers back in Illinois – super dangerous but amazingly fun footage to watch. It would be exciting, in theory, to be in a basement with a couple of strangers if it weren’t 3 AM and you shared a common language. Alas.

      One time my friends and I had an impromptu fondue party in the basement during a tornado – not the smartest idea, but loads of fun nonetheless.

  4. By the way! I answered your question on my blog. I replied in the comments.

  5. Wow….new bloggy layout! I love it! How awesome! (At first I thought I was at the wrong place and had a mild panic…then settled down when I saw the header with bunny and penguin!).

    Oh….what is Choose your own adventure? What’ve I missed?

    • New bloggy layout, indeed! And thanks! You were in the right place! The bunny and penguin are kind of the guiding light, I think. 🙂

      Choose Your Own Adventure was a book series (look it up!) that was the rage when I was in elementary school. You’d be reading about a group of kids stranded on an island when the ground starts to rumble. Then, at the bottom of the page, you’d be given two choices: “To try to figure out where the rumbling is coming from, skip to page 46.” and “To run and try to find a safe place, skip to page 35.” Kind of cool. And I’m totally thieving it….sort of.

      I’m cheating a lot and just letting people pick the topic, rather than the outcome. I’m sure those books are like 99 cents on amazon now, it’s been so long ago!

  6. Apocalypses and zombies….you had me worried there! Seriously though with my fear of ‘the end’ one would think the appropriate shoes would have crossed my mind. I guess I’m not a reparation kind of girl, I and a stick my head in the sand kind of girl!

    Aside from the drama that was one hilarious post!!

  7. It is a good thing you weren’t blown back to start considering you didn’t have the right shoes. You are hilarious and between the zombies and all I think you would be the life of the party at an end of the world event.


  8. so glad you’re safe and sound. we have a had a blizzard for the last 2 days. close to 15 ins of snow and -25. sadly one of the cows did last night, its eyes went red – which made us thing of demon possession. stay on the ground.

    • Thank you, Bev! We are safe and sound. Tornadoes the other night and then snow tonight – our weather is drunk. I’m sorry about your cow. I’ve always wondered how they survive outside in such cold! Do they huddle like penguins? Or do you have barns? I’m so curious!

  9. I LOVE the new banner! Just had to get that outta the way.
    Also, we’re such dead sleepers around here, no one even woke up when their phones went off. We woke up to the little alert thing, mumbled, “Huh. The warning was until half an hour ago, so I guess we survived alright…” Yep, Indiana, Tornado alley…I TOTALLY understand that!

    • Thanks, lady! I like it, too!

      No one I work with woke up either! But we live on the top floor of a tall building, so if a tornado ever did hit, I would not want to be in my bed! Yikes! Glad y’all made it safely thought!

  10. I love the new blog! Also, I loved the line “Can we at least watch the weather?” because, being the midwesterner I am, I immediately pictured everyone in the front yard trying desperately to see the tornado that we have been told is assuredly on it’s way. But then I realized you meant the Weather Channel which revealed how shaped I am by my youth.
    And what did we do during natural disasters before cell phones (and by cell phones I really mean internet access that allows us to check Pinterest)?
    I’m really thankful you survived the great Tornado/Zombie Apocalypse of 2013. Life would not have been the same.

    • Thank you! I grew up in the Midwest and we used to sit out on the deck and watch the sky turn green before a tornado. Fun stuff. But as we are landlocked by tall buildings and have no yard, “Watch the weather” means watch the tv. It’s just not the same.

      But I have no idea. I guess we had to read. Or be alone with our thoughts. I’m thankful we survived as well, however! Thank you for theoretically missing me.

  11. Love the makeover!

    And I love this post. It’s pretty much the funniest thing I’ve read in days. I’m glad you survived and that the Apocalypse didn’t happen yet.

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