Zombie Book Club

Survival Against All Odds: Escaping Blizzards, Abuse, and Near-Death Experiences - Survival Stories #2| Zombie Book Club Podcast Ep 42

April 28, 2024 Zombie Book Club Season 2 Episode 42
Survival Against All Odds: Escaping Blizzards, Abuse, and Near-Death Experiences - Survival Stories #2| Zombie Book Club Podcast Ep 42
Zombie Book Club
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Zombie Book Club
Survival Against All Odds: Escaping Blizzards, Abuse, and Near-Death Experiences - Survival Stories #2| Zombie Book Club Podcast Ep 42
Apr 28, 2024 Season 2 Episode 42
Zombie Book Club

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Welcome to the "Zombie Book Club," the podcast where Dan and Leah meet in their zombie bunker to discuss zombies, spreadsheets, and survival stories. In this episode, Dan shares his progress on writing about resilient people surviving a zombie outbreak. Meanwhile, Leah talks about her book club spreadsheets, detailing representation and demographics in the books we have read here on Zombie Book Club, including a breakdown by race and gender. Leah also explores other aspects of her life, like her passion for drawing chickens and her growing concerns over social issues such as U.S.-backed genocides in Palestine and the Congo.

The episode's topic is survival, featuring Chris's harrowing story of growing up in Valparaiso, Indiana, and experiencing severe blizzards. The account describes how these blizzards led to dangerous conditions, with authorities enforcing safety by ramming vehicles off the road during a state of emergency. Chris’s story unfolds with gripping detail, describing the extreme weather's impact on daily life and the perils faced by those seeking shelter. Leah contributes her personal survival stories, recounting instances of near-drowning, fleeing from abuse, and escaping dangerous situations, illustrating the various ways people can survive against the odds. The podcast provides a unique blend of dark humor, real-life challenges, and the unpredictability of survival.


OllieEatsBrains original spreadsheet with movies, books and games:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ETOZrqeeJSIzyL5dBo3hne8i7q60D8PB6TjDFfrvGvk/edit#gid=0


Spreadsheet of Books:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uICiOEVObx_b9iBjDe-aEoSKsIu7rujiRKhXVrVAaZQ/edit#gid=0



Follow our linktree for social media links, and links to all the places you can find our podcast!
https://linktr.ee/zombiebookclub

ZBC Discord Server
https://discord.com/invite/8hCSb4eg

Zombie Book Club Voicemail
(614) 699-0006‬

Zombie Book Club Email
ZombieBookClubPodcast@gmail.com

Our Secret Website That Isn't Finished
https://zombiebookclub.io

Our Merchandise Store (Where you can find our Evil Magic Chicken Zombie Shirts)
https://zombie-book-club.myspreadshop.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to the "Zombie Book Club," the podcast where Dan and Leah meet in their zombie bunker to discuss zombies, spreadsheets, and survival stories. In this episode, Dan shares his progress on writing about resilient people surviving a zombie outbreak. Meanwhile, Leah talks about her book club spreadsheets, detailing representation and demographics in the books we have read here on Zombie Book Club, including a breakdown by race and gender. Leah also explores other aspects of her life, like her passion for drawing chickens and her growing concerns over social issues such as U.S.-backed genocides in Palestine and the Congo.

The episode's topic is survival, featuring Chris's harrowing story of growing up in Valparaiso, Indiana, and experiencing severe blizzards. The account describes how these blizzards led to dangerous conditions, with authorities enforcing safety by ramming vehicles off the road during a state of emergency. Chris’s story unfolds with gripping detail, describing the extreme weather's impact on daily life and the perils faced by those seeking shelter. Leah contributes her personal survival stories, recounting instances of near-drowning, fleeing from abuse, and escaping dangerous situations, illustrating the various ways people can survive against the odds. The podcast provides a unique blend of dark humor, real-life challenges, and the unpredictability of survival.


OllieEatsBrains original spreadsheet with movies, books and games:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ETOZrqeeJSIzyL5dBo3hne8i7q60D8PB6TjDFfrvGvk/edit#gid=0


Spreadsheet of Books:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uICiOEVObx_b9iBjDe-aEoSKsIu7rujiRKhXVrVAaZQ/edit#gid=0



Follow our linktree for social media links, and links to all the places you can find our podcast!
https://linktr.ee/zombiebookclub

ZBC Discord Server
https://discord.com/invite/8hCSb4eg

Zombie Book Club Voicemail
(614) 699-0006‬

Zombie Book Club Email
ZombieBookClubPodcast@gmail.com

Our Secret Website That Isn't Finished
https://zombiebookclub.io

Our Merchandise Store (Where you can find our Evil Magic Chicken Zombie Shirts)
https://zombie-book-club.myspreadshop.com

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Zombie Book Club, the only book club where the book is Leah and I staring at each other across the table in our zombie bunker pondering over our existential dread. I'm Dan, and when I'm not, screaming into the void and hoping it doesn't scream back, I'm writing a book about the resilience of everyday people surviving a zombie outbreak.

Speaker 2:

Leah, and when I am not staying up literally all night for weeks on end reading about the United States-backed genocides in Palestine and the Congo and so many other places in the world because we are an imperial force, and thinking about what, if any little tiny things, I can do next to support the movement against I don't know killing people. I'm drawing chickens. Yeah, draw some chickens. Yeah, I've moved on from cats to chickens.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're working on your second chicken aren't you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I just finished my second chicken. His name is Barn Roo. He's not a zombie, no, he's a happy Barn Roo chicken and I love him. Today, we are talking about Spreadsheets.

Speaker 1:

What are we talking about? We're talking about spreadsheets.

Speaker 2:

Oh, and survival stories, yeah, and groans from the. What are we talking about? We're talking about spreadsheets. Oh, and survival stories, yeah, and groans from the horde and whatever else we want to yeah because we're keeping it casual. We just finished talking to laurie cockatera, the path of the pale rider, which is actually coming up in your future but it's in our past that we just recorded it episodes two episodes.

Speaker 2:

This is episode 42. So yeah, three episodes. Episode 45 is the epic lauriecaterra. She's awesome, we had fun. It means you have time. If you have not gotten any of uh path of the pale rider issues yet, it's time go get them. Yeah, she has some. Yeah, you can buy them. They're really good, do that get all four and get the uh, choose your own adventure book. Highly recommend the hot sauce, if you can. If you can, yeah. If you're in Texas, you can get the hot sauce, yeah.

Speaker 1:

We release episodes every Sunday, so subscribe.

Speaker 2:

You know, I actually tried to fix this. It's spelled wrong and it was spelled subscribe last time and then I was like, oh, I'm going to fix it, not subscribe.

Speaker 1:

So I think I'm diagnosing us both with dyslexia as well as adhd, because yeah we cannot seem to spell this I love how spell check not only underlined it red, but also underlined it like purple or blue I don't have any spell check online.

Speaker 2:

What's that about my spell check?

Speaker 1:

this is a word it's like, it's like it, it's like.

Speaker 2:

Not only is this misspelled, but it's bad grammar so, dan, how's your life been since we last did a casual date? It's been a little while.

Speaker 1:

It's been awful. Yeah well, kind of, I've been back to work, which is awful.

Speaker 2:

I don't recommend work. I don't recommend work either.

Speaker 1:

Some people are like work is my life, define myself by how good of a worker I am and how much of my own life, energy and resources and health I put into my job and I say fuck that Fuck that shit.

Speaker 2:

Have you ever felt that way?

Speaker 1:

I mean, I've always put 1000% of myself into a job, but there's like it comes with burnout and I have been burned out for four years.

Speaker 2:

You have been.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, probably five years, but yeah, I was.

Speaker 2:

I think I was fully in the like, even though I intellectually did not believe in the pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. I've been on the socialist side of things for a long time now. I, uh, I somehow still felt like my life purpose was to work. Yeah, and it's really only probably. I think it started to hit me at around 37 38, where I was like wait a second, this is sucking up every ounce of my life and soul.

Speaker 1:

I don't like this and also this retirement fund that I've been pumping money into might not even ever be worth anything?

Speaker 2:

No, because it's increasing at the same rate as inflation lately.

Speaker 1:

So you know what there is a good thing about my return to work, which is that I've been able to continue writing. I've been talking about this on threads a little bit, but I have been using dictation. I use Otter to record my voice, which then transcripts my voice.

Speaker 2:

Otter sponsor us Give us a sponsor code Come on, otter, give me money, otterai. I've used it for work. It's actually very helpful. You don't have to take meeting notes, because it just makes them for you. It does make really bad typos sometimes.

Speaker 1:

Have you found any funny typos? There's so many. The good thing, though, is that the more you talk to it, the better it understands you.

Speaker 1:

But, Otter's probably one of the best out there. There's also Dragon Dictation. A lot of people have been using Google voice typing Not Google transcription, but it's called Google voice typing and it's built into, like Google docs and the Google keyboard on mobile, um, which is fine, but like for what I needed it for? Like I needed to be able to not talk for a long time and not have it like end the session. I needed to just record.

Speaker 1:

And that's what otter does, yeah and actually it also works, if you like. If you start recording and you lose signal and you have no data, like it's, it's just recording an audio file so you?

Speaker 2:

so, even if you don't have wi-fi like you're driving around in the hills of vermont, and you can still record and get audio dictation, then it'll um transcribe it after you get back to civilization. That's awesome, because that's a real issue here. There were many things I was excited about with moving to Vermont, but one of the things that I did not fully grok was the fact that my Grok yeah.

Speaker 1:

Never heard that word in my life.

Speaker 2:

You've groked it. No, it's a science fiction. Oh my God, it rocked it. No, it's a science fiction, oh my god it's from um, of course, now I'm not gonna remember because my brain sucks. Is it from? I should talk nicer to my brain. No, it's uh, the brave new world by heinlein.

Speaker 1:

I feel like I need to look that's on the shelf yeah, I'm pretty sure I haven't read it uh, grokking to grok.

Speaker 2:

Grokking sounds familiar. Let's, I'll leave you. Uh, what? Why does grokking occur? Grokking refers to the surprising phenomenon of delayed generalization, where neural no this is way too serious. I'm. Grokking was a grokking means, like I comprehend but okay, well, let's just accept that.

Speaker 1:

It says that it's.

Speaker 2:

I comprehend anyways, no I have to look this up dictation.

Speaker 1:

I'm getting back to dictation okay, I will.

Speaker 2:

I will get back to grokking on my personal life update. You can talk about dictation now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, um, so I haven't been able to like do a lot of it because it requires me to be like on some like really repetitive task to do this at work.

Speaker 2:

I'm doing it at work. Yeah, you're driving and talking.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I, I'm using my trucking headset, I'm talking to my phone while driving, so it's a process. There's a lot of distractions involved, but so far I've really liked it and I'm not bad at writing a lot of words like at like writing a lot of words. You know when I do like a writing session with my fingers. Usually I'll get between 1,500 and 3,000 words in an afternoon. Pretty good, you know three or four hours. You know about 1,500 words. Usually I try to go for 1,000 minimum. So this week I recorded two sessions that were each about an hour long. So I've got about two hours of actual voice time dictating, and this week's total is 7,474 words.

Speaker 2:

That's a lot of words.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Are there any words that show up the the most like does zombie show up a lot in those words no, I actually don't say zombie very often, because in my book they're infected oh, what's like a word, do you think that like shows up a lot in your story is this recording.

Speaker 1:

Yes, no, that's what shows up a lot oh is this recording test test.

Speaker 2:

Oh shit, yeah, that's true also, um, you were telling me about this guy that talks all day on the cb radio because you have to. Can you just explain for a minute like why you have to have a cb radio in the?

Speaker 1:

job that you do, and then I will so, driving a dump truck, like right now I'm just hauling material, so I'm going from one place picking up dirt and bringing it back to a pit and then, when I go across the scales to weigh how much I've transported, I have to talk to the uh, the people in the control room so that they can log it all. Um, and there is this dude who, from the moment we started at like six o'clock in the morning until the second we left at like five o'clock at night uh, just wouldn't shut the fuck up. He was just like, just like, yeah, you know, I rode up to the white mountains on my road motorcycle and then, like, I tune out. And then, like an hour later, he's like and then I took the boat out onto the lake and you wouldn't believe who I saw out there. And then, like two, two and a half hours after that, he's like yeah, so, kyle, he's probably going to retire this year.

Speaker 1:

And it's like just what? Why are you? Who are you talking to? Why you? Why don't? Why don't you stop please? Just like, leave me alone. I have to listen to this and you were making me a captive audience literally a captive audience yeah, because I can't turn it off I need it.

Speaker 1:

So did Otter capture you telling this guy to go fuck himself when he was interrupting you yeah, and it's part of my story now, me being like shut the fuck up, just shut up. Oh, you're upsetting the dogs, and because he's keying his mic while I'm screaming at him, he can't hear me.

Speaker 2:

So ziggy, I just want you to know everything's okay. We're just talking to our podcast friends. Yeah, I know you can't see them, and neither can we. Are they imaginary, possibly?

Speaker 1:

They might be imaginary, but they live in very real places.

Speaker 2:

Yes, like Hilliard Ohio, that's right, it's the only way I remember. Remember off the top of my head.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm very excited about this and I think I this way of doing things because, like the way that I can now write, it comes at the speed of thought, so like as fast as I can think it, it can hit the paper, whereas like when I'm writing, it's like there's like a big delay, where I'm like, I'm like I have a thought, write the thought, now have another thought, write that thought, and it's a very slow process, but when you're dictating, very slow process, but when you're dictating it just comes right out, it just flows.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so there'll be lots of editing, but there always is a second draft. There's going to be so much editing, and how many words did you think you could do in a month based on this calculation?

Speaker 1:

You know, if I did, let's see, if I did one hour a day, five days a week, that would be about 28,000 words a week, wow.

Speaker 2:

So I would be able to do about 120,000 words in a month. And how many words are in a book, typically 80,000.

Speaker 1:

Wow, yeah, so I'd be able to have a rough draft in one month.

Speaker 2:

So what you're telling me is that this whole time that you were off, you should have been working.

Speaker 1:

I should have written four books.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you could have just been sitting in your cozy chair.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the editing process is going to take a very long time because, like when it all comes out, it's all one paragraph.

Speaker 2:

Are we recording? Yes, okay, we're recording this.

Speaker 1:

We're having a conversation.

Speaker 2:

I had a moment where I was like I feel like we were just talking and my brain's tired yeah.

Speaker 1:

We did the intro and everything.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we did, but then I was like wait.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, but uh, anyways, I'm just excited about that and I think it's gonna be great I think you're great I can't wait to read it yeah, one day time after talking to laurie I was just thinking about, like you know, she's done such a good job of promoting her work and she's also put a lot of time and hours into making bath, the pale rider and hot sauce and hot sauce and other kinds of creative surprises. If you back one of her kickstarters, I'm just just like this is really episode, by the way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you guys don't know what we're talking about right now, but episode 45 it's gonna be. It's gonna be hot sauce, that's it's gonna be hot yeah, that's the word that we're gonna use now, from now on.

Speaker 2:

And if you haven't listened to zombie wing game, show you better, because otherwise nothing will make sense. That's episode 21, that's when we we met Lori.

Speaker 1:

We didn't know her before that episode she just showed up. Yeah, brandon Starocki. He was going to be on episode 21 as our third member of Zombie Ween, but he called out at the last second. But he was like I'll give you somebody else. There's this person named Lori and she's hilarious.

Speaker 2:

That's not happened, as the person who actually writes how I remember it I'm.

Speaker 2:

This is taking me way off track of what I was trying to say. Okay, but we'll, I will, we'll get there. Uh, what actually happened, folks? This is how you know. Memory is faulty because I've got the email receipts. You got the receipts. I got the receipts. I said, hey, brandon, we're doing this thing, do you want to do it? And he said yes. I said do you know anybody else who's cool? And he said yes, laurie. And then I said cool, can you introduce me to laurie? And then he introduced me to laurie and I wrote to laurie and I said, hey, you want to do this thing? Then, on the day of he had a personal emergency and couldn't join, he did offer to give us a sub, but it was. We didn't need a sub at that point. So, yeah, that's the true, very fascinating behind the scenes story.

Speaker 1:

Now you know I like my story better. I think it played out way cooler it did, but it wasn't true how stories are.

Speaker 2:

There was a reason why I brought this up which was not to bore our listeners with the details of how we organize our podcast guests. I was actually bringing it up because laurie's story of like taking all this time to create something really beautiful and powerful that is, path of the pale rider is what I feel like you're doing right now and like one day you're gonna have a kickstarter.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if you're gonna have hot sauce, I mean now I am oh, you're gonna compete no, you know what I don't think I don't think my brand would work well with hot sauce yeah, what would be your like special gift?

Speaker 2:

I?

Speaker 1:

don't know, a gun or pre or pre-order on the Kickstarter and I'll send you a gun. You know I could dry off some chickens. It's not arms dealing, because technically it's a gift.

Speaker 2:

That's true or it's a pledge.

Speaker 1:

I'm fulfilling a reward.

Speaker 2:

You're fulfilling a pledge? Yeah, interesting.

Speaker 1:

So don't at me ATF.

Speaker 2:

But anyways, I just say it was inspiring to think about what the future will be for you with your book yeah how have you been doing?

Speaker 2:

leah suffering from seasonal depression, of you going back to work. Yeah, it sucks. Um, I am almost four weeks out. I've got four more days for the four week mark. That is when I'm supposed to potentially possibly be having my feet start to feel better. And, um, this is for those of you who either haven't listened before or have forgotten I had a procedure on my feeties because I have really severe plantar fasciitis, which is like, honestly, the lamest chronic illness, like really just my feet hurt all the time just tell me, you uh broke your ankles or something I did break my ankle once fighting a bear, big james the bear yeah

Speaker 2:

yeah, zombie, which will also make sense if you read path of the pale rider. But anyways, uh, yeah, I I'm curious if I have any other like chronic pain friends out there listening. If I do, I'm sorry. It sucks, man. We just do what we can to like enjoy life, which is why I'm on this drawing kick. So I'm hoping that by the time um laurie's episode comes out on may 10th, I'm pretty sure that I will know that my feet are getting better. If I don't, the doctor told me like I need to go in and get an mri and then amputation um, possibly surgery.

Speaker 2:

He also said like if this doesn't work, then something else might be going on. So he was like you could have a cyst in there. Yes, I did just knock the table with my feet. That are hurdy feet so they're kind of hurting today that's how.

Speaker 1:

That's how they can experience your feet right now is by kicking yeah the sound of the table kicking.

Speaker 2:

But I will also say you, going back to work means I'm on them more, so I have noticed them being a little more ouchy. The last week, but um we will see what happens you know, know, I'll just quit my job.

Speaker 1:

That's the dream it is. I mean, uh, I mean further update. I'm I'm working on some, uh, some claims with the VA. I'm a veteran and, uh, you know, if you are disabled from your your time in the army, uh, you can get compensation from the VA. And you know, I get a little bit.

Speaker 2:

And but it's not more.

Speaker 1:

What? What I'm rated at right now is not representative of my actual injury. So I'm working with a lawyer to get it where it's supposed to be and maybe one day, you know, maybe one day. I'm just going to say maybe one day because I don't want to get my hopes up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but regardless, you'll at least be acknowledged for what, uh, you've been through. And I will say, like, if you don't know veterans or you don't know much about disability rating and you're like, why do you have to get a lawyer? Like that sounds kind of like he's just trying to get all the dollars. No, no, no. If you don't understand how to work this system, you're fucked. And, dan, the era you were in was the era of like, don't go to the doctor, don't ever admit that you're in pain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, my medical records are comically thin, yeah.

Speaker 3:

They said that to me.

Speaker 1:

They're like this is hilarious. That's my laugh of pain. They're like you've never been to the doctor, have you? Yeah?

Speaker 2:

What else is going on with me? I have finally decided to apply my spreadsheet brilliance to the podcast. Yeah, that's right. I was so proud about it. I actually made a story on Instagram this week just about my spreadsheet, which I realized we are coming up on 40, coming up on 50 episodes and we don't have a way to track them. So I made a beautiful spreadsheet and I'm really proud of it and it's all sortable and it is going to include it's not totally done this part. All of the episodes are in there and the kind of episode they are and who we interviewed. It records whether or not the author of anything we've read is is, uh, their race, their gender, because one of the things that I realized pretty quickly when we started this show was that if I didn't keep track of it, we would just have white male authors pretty much exclusively.

Speaker 2:

There's a lot in the zombie genre yeah, and that's fine, like I, there's some. You're a white male.

Speaker 1:

Author I love you literally I'm gonna be one more on the pile. Yeah, I'm just saying that.

Speaker 2:

uh, there are also lots of fantastic women authors, lori Calcaterra being one of them. There are black authors like Sylvester Barzee, which, frankly, if I had not been like wait a second, this is starting to look real white. Yeah, and I started like actively looking for authors of color. I don't know that we would have met him and that would have really sucked.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like he's awesome. You know he's awesome. He has a fair amount of notoriety in his, in his circles, but I don't know if we would have found him if we weren't looking for him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because it's like many things, it's a white dominated genre, unfortunately.

Speaker 1:

So we are conservative. Yes, dominated genre.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we are not that yeah we are white but uh, I'm tracking all of that so I can actually see and keep myself honest, keep us both honest. And then we're also tracking all of the things that we've watched or read and whether or not they passed all of the representation tests that we do, so that at some point we can do an episode to sort of like have the bigger picture of the field of zombie literature. So that makes me really excited. But then here's the thing that really got me.

Speaker 1:

Dan told me about ollie eats brains oh yeah brain spreadsheets yeah, ollie eats brains found me on discord, which I haven't been listing the link to the discord since like the very early days of the podcast, because I didn't really have time to spend there and while I got a lot of people from my previous discords to join it, they didn't really have a lot to say about zombies, um, except for like a small handful so I'm like, I'm going to keep it on.

Speaker 1:

Instagram and just kind of forget about it. And then I saw that I had a notification on Discord and somebody found it named Ali Eats Brains.

Speaker 2:

Which means he was, or they I don't know their gender. Oh no, yes, he. It means that he was listening to early ones.

Speaker 1:

So kudos to you, Ali, because I'd like to believe that we're getting better in our earlier episodes so in this discord and I'm gonna list the link to the discord down below in the description because, uh, you know, maybe people want to go take a look at this um ali's brains. His passion project is creating spreadsheets for zombie movies and zombie books. Yeah, he has one spreadsheet that has, like it's all, books, comics, video games, tv shows and movies with brain ratings. Yes, One to five brains.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, really enjoyed One to five brains.

Speaker 1:

And he has rated a lot of them. Yeah, it's clearly dedicated uh, I don't even know how many are in that list. I think it's well over 500 I'm gonna scrolling down right now.

Speaker 2:

I'll nice. You know what, ollie, I will say thank you for this. I am probably going to look at this list and if it has less than three, I'm gonna be like dan, let's not watch it, because this list alone has 966 titles of movies, books, tv shows, video games, with their rating who the writer is, the director is, when it was, the date it was, or not year, it was released. Uh, sometimes youtube links like it's fucking awesome, yeah, and honestly, like I kind of want, like whenever we write something now, I'm like what did Ollie think? Do we agree or disagree?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we got to check the Ollie rating, yeah. And then he's got another spreadsheet that's just books yeah, and I assume he probably wants to incorporate this into the previous one, because just books is like over 1,700 titles.

Speaker 2:

I love you, but you're lying again.

Speaker 1:

I'm lying Because I'm looking at it. How many is it?

Speaker 2:

1439. That's close, that's like 250 off, but you know yeah 260 off uh but still 1439, and I would say that it is not completely comprehensive yet, because it doesn't has the most of the things that we have talked about, but not everything. Wait, does it have comic series in here, is it only?

Speaker 1:

books. Uh, well, I think he's adding, I think he's adding comics. When I checked it last, there was there was just, uh, I think it was path of the pale rider was on it.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's awesome, yeah he has comics on the other spreadsheet yeah, and I love that, like he's got the writer, it says rating and director. So this is a real project. But I will say I also felt really overwhelmed because I'm like we read a book once every 10 weeks, which is like I don't know. Maybe we do five a year. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I read a few more than that, yeah but we only talk about five a year, unless we happen to talk about something in a casual debt in some way. Way, um, I will just say like I feel like we should just like randomly pick stuff sometimes, because I just read 1438 is zomo sapiens.

Speaker 1:

Uh, the apocalypse that sounds. That sounds, uh pretty wild. What I like about that list is because it has the author listed. I can sort by the author and see, like, who the most prolific is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm instantly thinking like I can sort by the author and see, like, who the most prolific is. Yeah, and I'm instantly thinking, like I can sort by gender. Well, you can't sort by gender, but I can get a sense from names and, um, that's really great because I I will say I really enjoy reading um women authors yeah because I can relate and, uh, I don't know at some point we need to have gender parody.

Speaker 1:

I forget what I forget. I think it's called dead world saga. It's by rachel ox and I don't know. At some point we need to have gender parody and should we interview. I forget what I forget. I think it's called Dead World Saga. It's by Rachel Ox. I read that a few years ago and I think maybe, maybe you'd like it.

Speaker 2:

There's also a Shakespeare Undead by Laurie Handeland I'm just like scrolling through this. It's really fun. I highly recommend. If you love zombies too, just go look at this spreadsheet. This is a true labor of love, like I I, I'm gonna.

Speaker 1:

I I think that this might be the most comprehensive list that's out there. I've seen a lot of lists, but like what a lot of lists that I've seen online especially if they're a really big list is that they will just list horror movies in with zombie movies and call it a zombie movie. Yes, so like they're like the thing, zombie movie you're like. No, it's like no, that's an alien movie, but I get what you're saying. It's scary, I guess.

Speaker 2:

So I don't, you know. I'm curious if um ollie is aware of zombie research society and if he's contributing in some way, because I do think, like I doubt, that they have this comprehensive list. I'm just looking at their website right now. I mean it does have a movies and tv section, graphic novels, I mean maybe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah but you know it's still very impressive I think if the zombie research society hasn't scooped ollie up yet, we have to need to hire him, we need to pull ollie into our ranks. Don't give, don't give Ali ideas. Yeah Ali come be on our team. Yeah, if you start talking about him being hired by the Zombie Research Society, we're going to have to like have a budget and be like Ali. We'll pay you more.

Speaker 2:

I will say I was thinking like I don't know. Ali, I'm going to propose this, I'm making a public proposal to you. I would like to join spreadsheet forces with you because I would love if we added the bechdel test, the race test um, the ableism test, the fries test and the vito russo test around lgbtq folks, uh, to all of them. Because I think like, even though I'm gonna analyze the ones that we are talking about, we are already still positively biasing our choices by not just reading from one um identity lens of white males. So I'm just saying it would be cool to have all of that there. And also, I would love to actually see the breakdown of authors by race and gender too, because, again, I think that there's way more diversity than what we see and what is typically talked about. Yeah, in the zombie uh world.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, and also um uh gender identity because like uh, I wouldn't. I wouldn't know where to begin to find a story that's written from the perspective of somebody who's trans yeah like it's got to be out there it's got to be um. But you know, I wouldn't know by looking at somebody's name no book.

Speaker 2:

No, you can't, you can't tell, and those are kind of. Those are the stories that are interesting, like in uh path of pale writer there is a character who is deaf and there's a lot of american sign language. It's cool, yeah, I mean it's, it's interesting. I think that's the cool point. And then the whole point of books is to like imagine and get to live in a world that you won't ever get to because of who you are and your own identity. Like it's neat to get different perspectives. I also have a list ollie of um a bunch of books that we want to read, so I I will also see and just cross reference. I bet you you already have them all but I'll check.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he did. He did say that, um that he was adding some to the list because of our podcast so Wow, I'm honored. That makes me really proud that we talked about books or movies that he didn't already have in his vast spreadsheets of everything that exists.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I want to know what inspired this. He's also an author. We should give you a real shout out.

Speaker 1:

Ollie yeah, actually I went to his website. He has some stories there. I haven't had any time to read anything it's ollie eats brains. I don't remember the exact website yeah, I think it's ollie eats brainscom. I think we'll put a link for it in the description yeah, so thanks ollie for doing that.

Speaker 1:

That's really cool I, you know, I mean it's uh, it's kind of exciting when you meet somebody who's doing something really cool like this, because I feel like the zombie apocalypse genre is like it's a bit niche and not everybody's on the same page. Like you know, some people just watch a lot of movies, some people, you know, they play a lot of video games, but there's very few times where you meet somebody who's just like I'm collating all the data about zombies and uh, yeah, come see my vast library of zombie information that'll be our bookshelves that are behind me right now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, zombie stuff. One day we're working on it first we gotta clean it yeah, that's not the. That doesn't give me dopamine to think of cleaning it. But I will say like uh, I know that we're making requests and clearly you're already doing a passion of love, but Dan has some specific things that he's also hoping you will do.

Speaker 1:

Oh, well, I mean, he probably doesn't want to hear a big list of things that he should also do?

Speaker 2:

Oh no, we're good, we are assigning you things, Ollie.

Speaker 1:

Here's a whole mountain of work for you, Holly.

Speaker 2:

Yes, well, that's why I'm offering to join forces. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

What would be great is if there was IMDB, Rotten Tomato and Metacritic scores for the movies, but that would be a lot of research to do.

Speaker 2:

What are your plans for this spreadsheet? I feel like there's a what's your evil conspiracy for why you're collating all of this data. I need to know. Should we do a dissertation together on zombie literature? Do I need to go back to school? I'm already talking about doing something on a dissertation on zombicosus.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, go back, and I don't know what episode that is, but look up zombicosus, you'll find'll find it yeah, should I go to school at all? I don't think you. Well, I mean, we don't need to, we could. Just, I mean, I really am such a dork because I'm looking at a spreadsheet. I'm like, oh like, there's so much cool data we could glean.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, about the zombie, uh cultural world that we've created you know the the va just passed a um passed a thing to um extend the uh a lot of the education benefits of my uh, really a post 9-11 gi bill which, uh, I don't know if I can still use it. I think I passed the time limit, but maybe they changed. There shouldn't be a time limit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you'd think so there should be like maybe there's like a use limit, but not a time limit, because people's lives are not linear and I don't know, when you've been through war and trauma, it might take you a while to figure your shit out. It takes people who don't go through that a long time to figure their shit out.

Speaker 1:

But you know, it'd be great if I could find a course that's just like zombie. I get my degree in zombies.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean you really could work with. I'm looking at the Zombie Research Society website, which is just zombieresearchsocietycom. They have a list of experts. We've got just a person with a PhD, somebody who works for the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a bestselling author, scott Kennemore. Does that ring a bell for you? Oh, he wrote the zen of zombie, the art of zombie warfare, and zombie illinois. Oh, zombie illinois sounds familiar. And fallujah heart, is that how you say it? Fallujah in iraq? Yeah, yeah, uh, then we have peter cummings, md massachusetts medical examiner's office. See, that makes sense to me to have a medical examiner, somebody who examines dead bodies.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Some other PhD person San Diego Brain Networks.

Speaker 1:

This is wild. This is an actual group of people. They're going to scoop up Ollie for sure.

Speaker 2:

They are, ollie, don't come Go to the dark side.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, I just found that really exciting. Do we want to move on to our next topic, our main topic, the thing that will take up all of our time?

Speaker 2:

All of our time Surviving? Yes, survival stories. Yes, we got a really wild story from Chris after listening to your snowpocalypse episode.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, I don't think we planned on talking about survival stories so soon after the snowpocalypse episode. Yeah, you know, I I don't think we planned on talking about survival stories so soon after the snowpocalypse episode. But uh, chris, um, he came back with a doozy, uh, and uh he posted it on the on youtube and um, it is, it's. I mean, he needs some. This is this needs to be a movie.

Speaker 2:

It does yeah, should I read it? I would like it if you read it. Okay, I'm going to read a little bit of timing, like give you the chance to live, react. Yeah, and before I do, listeners whose stories of the snowpocalypse is scarier? I think Chris's. I think so too, but it's. It's another snowpocalypse, this is snowpocalypse.

Speaker 1:

I had my survival story when I was a fully capable adult.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this one, chris, is how old I think?

Speaker 1:

10.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we'll find out as we read the story. But yeah, I think this made me realize there could be a whole snowpocalypse series just on its own I survived winter. I want a t-shirt that just says I survived winter. Please give me a round of applause, all right? So this is Chris's's story. It's also on the youtube episode. Uh for snowpocalypse. He says he grew up in valparaiso or chesters, chesterton, indiana. That's on the top of lake michigan. Uh, or on the tip of lake michigan. We would get the regular blizzard, then the lake effect blizzard on top. So he's also a lake effect guy. Yeah, uh, like you were not always, but when it did, people died. Just like dan is saying, the national guard would be out once or twice every winter and they would set up at the roads in and out of towns. If you tried to leave during a state emergency, you would be rammed off the road if you didn't stop and stuck at the armory for 48 hours to a week at times.

Speaker 1:

That sounds terrible, yeah I don't, I don't know if that's what happened. Uh, where I lived, I don't think it did um. But also where I lived was a very rural area, um, so I don't think police were out there in numbers the way that it would be if it was in a much more congested, like city or town area, um you know, for the most part, they're just like please don't leave your house and die, whereas like if you're in honor system if you're in a city, they're like you're gonna hurt somebody, yeah like that storm in buffalo

Speaker 2:

a couple years back was pretty disturbing and people died um, but I still think about the guy who was looking for a hotel that night. Like how did he survive? Oh, in my story, in your story, yeah, but let's get back to Chris's. Yeah, apparently there's a thousand dollar, fine, yeah, that sounds about right.

Speaker 2:

They would go into any 24 hour store with M16s and tell the staff to get home or go to jail. This is wild, some authoritarian shit. If they did not do this shit, like the guy Dan ran into for somewhere to go oh, the guy I was just talking about and Dan walking and possibly dying would happen. There would also be horrific pileups. I can still see the carnage from the old news reports, so that sets the scene for y'all. Alright, here's Chris' story. I didn't have to walk four miles in the country. It was five, chris Five.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, five Chris.

Speaker 2:

Get your facts straight. However, this is little 10-year-old legs, I'd like to point out. We had to walk two miles through town to the hospital for shelter no driving allowed. My mom worked at the hospital and the day of the storm, a university cop who checked on us as we lived kind of on campus VU is literally inside a normal neighborhood. It was like you should. Oh, this person was like you should go to the hospital. You're allowed to be there until the power goes out. It'll be rough. During these storms they'd issued a code white. I don't even know what that is, a code white? Yeah, he repeats.

Speaker 1:

Do you know what a code white is, dan, I don't, but I do know a few hospital codes. Like a code blue, I think is like a heart condition, so if somebody's dying of a heart attack and they need immediate help.

Speaker 2:

Must be a storm code, though it's not a person's code, and then a code red is like somebody who's threatening people with a weapon.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

So this is like a different code, where it's like there's snow outside, everybody, you need to be on your guard, or else the snow will get you.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know what's great. Chris explains it in the next sentence.

Speaker 1:

I just realized.

Speaker 2:

A code white means that all essential staff are locked inside for safety. This is insane. This is an example of the government being like.

Speaker 1:

you know what People are dumb, so we're going to just make some laws so you don't kill yourself. But also, in a hospital, they need people to stay on staff. Yeah, and if people are leaving in a really dangerous situation, they might not be able to come back to work.

Speaker 2:

So he continues Mom, being the main cook there, would make sandwiches. He says Sammies, but I'm Sammies for all. The first responders at the hospital, armory and the county courthouse were rescue centers, and where the plow drivers waited, dad says don't worry, we've got gas heat. So he does not listen to the person who says you should go to the hospital. Uh well, day two comes and there's three feet of blowing snow outside. The sirens blare like fucking silent hill and the eas goes off the emergency something system, emergency alert system yeah, and informs us the power has been overloaded.

Speaker 2:

Prepare to shelter, do not travel. Call line one one if you need anything. The power goes out, then the whole county's power goes out yeah, that's not a good, that's not good that's not good. Three feet of snow probably really fucking cold.

Speaker 1:

We don't have a temperature here, yet he's got gas heat, so he's doing good right, just fine.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no problem no, because the gas heat has a thermostat and that's electric. This is real. This is our situation a couple years ago, um, with our pellet stove. Due to safety switches, it's dead. We live in an apartment building and the other occupants, who are students or locals, all had left. It's getting colder, it's gonna get dark, we might die. Yeah, I am 10 at this time. My dad, who I, was the same size as then, and then he says in brackets I'm way too tall, how tall is your dad? How tall are we talking? Chris and I bundle up, we go outside and it's horrible. I tie on to the rope he has around his waist because I can't see him. This is the thing I think that really kills people in the storms is lack of visibility, like in your story.

Speaker 1:

Like, just wandering, not being able to see when people get trapped, like if they, if they go off the road and like they, they can't get help and you know, they get trapped in their car and buried under snow. Um, the thing that kills them is when they decide to leave their car. Um, there's, there's stories of like people who, like they, they lived for two months inside of their car, inside of a snow bank, with only one granola bar, uh, but, like, the one person that like tried to go get help died like instantly because they got, they went the wrong way and they got turned around. They were like 20 feet from a house, that's so sad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, so he's tied. Remember he's tied to his dad. Yeah, um, every foot of snow fights us. My face burns. I'm so scared. I clenched the rope with a death grip you should have had gloves yeah, yeah, 10 year old, chris. Why don't you have a beard yet?

Speaker 1:

yeah, grow a beard, chris apocalypse.

Speaker 2:

I know, I know chris's face and he'd he'd look pretty rad with a beard, I think, big, long one big long beard at 10, at 10 yeah, he probably looked the same way as he does now, uh, half a block into our two mile 12 block excursion, we see police lights, we something, and scream uh sorry, I don't, there's like a typo here, something. We scream, but it's gotten dark, very dark. Despite our calls, the tracked suv rolls by.

Speaker 1:

It's been 45 minutes we've been outside, yeah you know one thing I was wondering, chris when you say tracked su suv, is this a tank?

Speaker 2:

yeah, police have tanks, I mean it would make sense for these kinds of storms, I guess. So yeah, I tell my dad we can do this. I love how you're the cheerleader in this story for your dad, um, as he wants to hide in a neighbor's house but we'd never get to the door. So I push and he pulls and we stomp and plow and he hurts his arm pretty bad. So I have to go in front and help plow the snow away with my arms. That's wild. Two and a half hours go by and we are frozen so cold it's starting to get warm. A very terrifying effect of exhaustion frostbite that is stage three, hypothermia where were you?

Speaker 2:

when did you get that point in your stage three? Was when I was naked in the basement splitting yeah, yeah, um, I'm glad you didn't cut any fingers off that day stage one is like violent shivering.

Speaker 1:

Uh. Stage two, I forget exactly. I think stage one is shivering. And then stage two is like violent shivering, like convulsing, um, extreme. Like your, your extremities start going numb and you have, you're finding it difficult to move. Uh, and then stage three you suddenly become warm and you're like, ah, I'm so warm I should probably just take all this off. That's a bad idea and you can. There's I I forget what it's called, but there there's a certain psychosis that happens where you start shedding your clothes off. You're just like, ah, I got to get these clothes off of me, I got to be naked, naked in the snow, yeah, You're making it sound hot, and I don't think it is.

Speaker 2:

It is.

Speaker 1:

It's dangerous, it's so hot, but what's happening is your capillaries are constricting. It's so hot, but what's happening is your capillaries are constricting. Your body's trying to save itself by keeping your blood away from the surface area of your skin, but it also means that the area of your skin is now freezing solid because there's no more warmth going to it.

Speaker 2:

Well, I have good news, Even though he's on the verge of hypothermia or in hypothermia. He's deep into hypothermia. He says they see the ambulance open but a covered garage bay and start screaming. I'm curious what do you scream? Do you just scream? Help in this moment, yeah.

Speaker 1:

You scream snow.

Speaker 2:

Apocalypse, cold Apocalypse, help, they see us, thank God, grab us and I tell you that was the best fucking sandwich my mother ever made. Aww, what kind of sandwich was it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let us know.

Speaker 2:

Okay, let's have our fantasy sandwich moment. Okay, you have just survived a snowpocalypse. What is your sandwich?

Speaker 1:

I want to go for something. I want to go for something warm. I'm gonna say like a meatball sub yeah or a philly, oh philly a philly cheesesteak? Yeah, yes, you know, I after, after my trip through, through, uh, the snowpocalypse. Um, I don't remember what I ate, but I do remember that, like I was basically just consuming energy, I was like put atoms of things in my mouth. You were just like hoovering food. Yeah, I was like elements, get inside of me. I need energy, fuel me so I don't die.

Speaker 2:

Did your house have power, or is the power out at the house, at your mom's house? Yeah, I'd also really be down for some hot chocolate after this, or apple cider. Oh my god hot apple cider yes yeah, so what kind of sandwiches she made. Apparently 78 people died that night, but we didn't. It was the blizzard of 1999. Sounds pre-apocalyptic too, like right before 2000. And then this part's funny. Oh, the roaches. I have a picture, but they're about three to five inches long and three inches wide.

Speaker 1:

We're asking him about the roaches.

Speaker 2:

German cockroaches. They bug bombed it like six months into my living there and I sealed off everything I could.

Speaker 1:

So after that, I was just thinking of these like roaches that are surviving winter. That makes more sense when, when he, when he uh moves into his roach infested apartment at the end of his first survival story. This is this is chris's second survival story. I have a feeling that chris has a lot more survival stories yeah, I mean, life is harrowing yeah, you know one one thing about that.

Speaker 1:

I think that chris and yeah, we, we have a lot in common, and one of those things is that we have lived on the fringe of society a lot of our adult lives and we are desperately clawing our way out, trying to trying to get somewhere, um. So, yeah, chris, if you're still clawing, I uh, I hope you find, I hope you find the edge.

Speaker 2:

Yes, get over the edge. Yeah, get over the edge On to safe ground, please. Life is scary. Well, I was thinking about telling some of mine, but honestly, after that I should never. I should just never wait for mine to be after somebody else's because they'll always be worse.

Speaker 1:

No, you know what you worse. No, you know what. You have different survival stories. I think it's important for people to realize too that, like you, don't have to have braved a dangerous snowstorm to have a survival story. I think they're all equally important survival stories. It's just there's different ways that we have to survive in life.

Speaker 2:

That's true. Well, I wrote five things here. I'm going to just read the list and then you get to pick one and I will tell that story. Okay, Number one almost drowning in my pond as a kid while I was skating.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that sounds like a survival story.

Speaker 2:

Yep. Number two, getting swept down a set of rapids and my brother rescuing me. Number three running away from abuse Fun times. Number four, running away from dudes at a gas station that I pretty sure wanted to sexually assault me, or more, I don't know yeah. And number five Getting divorced. It's also a survival story.

Speaker 1:

I mean the first two sound like what we're talking about right now like a physical survival story, what we're talking about right now like a physical survival story. I'd actually rather hear the running away from abuse or running away from dudes at the gas station story, because I want to see some more variety in our survival story.

Speaker 2:

Well, pick one Running away from abuse. Okay, well, you were a part of this story.

Speaker 1:

Wow, was I the abuser.

Speaker 2:

No. Oh good, you're the white knight. I like this story.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad you like this story. So where does one begin? I did not prepare for this at all, so we're just going to wing it, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to start from the beginning All right.

Speaker 2:

Well, the beginning is. I think I have alluded to the fact that my childhood was, in many ways, a mess. Lots of it was good, lots of it was good, lots of it wasn't good. Yeah, it was not idyllic. It was idyllic in where I grew up. I grew up in a beautiful countryside place and spent a lot of time with cows and stuff. But my family, um not good. My dad pretty abusive, and he came from his own fucked up home and like he would do weird things like be really abusive to me and my mom and my brother and then like cry and tell us he loved us and how his dad never told him he loved him. It was weird. Yeah, that was weird. So suffice to say, uh, the model I had of relationships was at like, growing up was really not healthy, but you don't know any different, yeah, when that's your world. And so I ended up the first guy I had a serious relationship with, um that dan, I'm pretty sure, still hates to this day. I don't hate him, no I don't like him.

Speaker 1:

I kind of want you to hate him. You know, for for me, for me to hate somebody, that means that I might just like, want to like, end them. Um, I have, I have a lot of, I have a lot of room between, uh, people that I dislike and people that I want to shoot in the face. And, you know, there's a there's a lot of, there's a lot of room in those areas, and I think it's just because I've spent so much time between experiencing violence and experiencing conflict that, like you know how, sometimes, if you, if you have more words for a color, you can see more colors. I have more words for dislike of people.

Speaker 2:

So okay, when do you put this on, Like where what's the word?

Speaker 1:

He's like solidly in the middle, like I don't like him. But you know what he's not. He's not a part of of my world anymore.

Speaker 2:

So let's give him a different name.

Speaker 1:

That's not his real name Steve, like my dad.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's weird. Real name, steve steve, like my dad. Oh that's weird. It feels incestuous. But okay, steve steve, okay, so fucking steve. I think the most important thing here is that my model of relationship is like no matter how bad it gets, you should stay, because that's how you know that you love somebody you gotta sacrifice your happiness to make somebody else happy.

Speaker 1:

That's how you know that your love is true.

Speaker 2:

Yep. That's the lie. That was what I grew up learning. Yeah, that's what you do you pick somebody and then, no matter what they do to you, you stay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, how much abuse would you tolerate from me?

Speaker 2:

None, okay, yeah, too bad for you. Yeah, this is actually really interesting.

Speaker 1:

I can't abuse you, you can't um this was a interesting discussion.

Speaker 2:

We had just leaping way into the forward into the future of my life, after I escaped the abuse, where dan and I got back together and I said like, hey, I've been through some things and these are the things that if you do any of them, I'm out like there's not going to be like a forgiveness period. There's not going to be like a forgiveness period. There's not going to be second chances Like this is. I've been through too much and my standards are at a point now where that's not an option. And what did you say?

Speaker 1:

I thought I was special. No, it is. It is kind of a weird thing because obviously I don't want to do anything to like I don't want to abuse you, I don't want to screw up, I don't want to make you, I don't want to hurt you, but, like you know, at the time it's like how come everybody else got so many chances? Yeah, cause I was. I'm on the third strike, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I didn't even do anything, no, but I think that that is an important lesson that I had to learn of self-worth, which is just that if something doesn't feel good to me anymore, then I'm out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you know if somebody is abusing you, it might not be love. Yeah, yeah, which is why, really, when it comes down to it, I have nothing to worry about. Like you know, I'm not actually upset that I don't get three strikes, like like previous people. I'm just not going to do anything. I've had a lot more than three strikes, like like previous people. I'm just not going to do anything.

Speaker 2:

I've had a lot more than to abuse you because I think the other thing is like um, I don't think I knew what abuse even was. Yeah, honestly, until like a year ago, I was like, oh, like these are all things that are defined as abuse. So it's been an interesting journey like I still am figuring that out and what's acceptable and what's not acceptable behavior. And the reality is is like a lot of our culture is fucked up and we do things to each other that are really not okay. And how do you decide what's okay? I'm not, so what's not okay, and I think everybody's line might be a little bit different, but I've been through too much now so I have pretty strict lines of what's acceptable, like, for example, there's no yelling, like we dan knows that if yelling starts like I'm out of here. That's just like a thing that I think some people like they yell when they fight. I can't tolerate it anymore. It's way too triggering for me.

Speaker 1:

And when I when I in the household that I grew up in, I thought it was actually normal for people to have a screaming argument at least once per month.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then my household that I grew up in was screaming argument at least once per month, yeah, and then my household that I grew up in was screaming argument at least three times a day, yeah, in the morning when we all got back from school both my parents were teachers, so we'd all get home around the same time and then usually at dinner time and then sometimes before bed. At least three, yeah, three was a good day. It was like an average day full-on screaming um. And just like I'm not going to get into details because I don't think that people need to, in case you've been through things, I don't need to bring stuff up for you. My point is is it wasn't good, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So then I start dating this guy, steve, steve, in like late high school, I want to say. And Steve, like ticks all the boxes of a bad boy. He is a drug dealer, he a drug grower. Yeah, he, um, I think had dropped out. Yeah, he dropped out of school. He's an alcoholic. Perfect for me, perfect, couldn't ask for more.

Speaker 2:

Really edgy his politics were really edgy to me at the time. He loved an rand, an rand, einrand, sorry, einrand um, which I don't like her stuff anymore, but you know, I thought it was cool when I was 17, um, and sorry, if you like, I ran. I think at this point you should probably have deduced that I would not be a fan anymore with my politics. But whatever yours, you can like what you like. And what's funny about it is that my mom, when I decided I wanted to move in with him when I was in college, at this point already he'd been abusive. He even had said to me my goal is to be mean to you most of the time, so that when I'm nice to you because he literally said this to me that when I'm nice to you, you'll be grateful. And I was like, okay, and I kept dating him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it makes sense that's, that's totally normal, that's love, yeah, uh. But anyways, my mom was like this guy is not good and she was like begging me, calling me every five seconds, being like this man's from the wrong side of the tracks like do not date him, and I told her, famously, that I was gonna do what I wanted and, uh, that if I regretted it I will regret it. And, um, you know what? I don't actually regret it. I think I had to learn, I think I had to replicate my parental relationship, because he was just like my dad, except for he was also an alcoholic. My dad never really drank, but on my mom's side there's a lot of alcoholism. My grandfather was an alcoholic, so I think he just combined some male figures for me all into one person.

Speaker 2:

He used to also say a lot of things about your appearance yeah um he, he had like a very specific version of you that he expected you to be at all times yeah, I, his version of a partner was like, uh, housewife in heels at all times and so his, his brand of abuse in the beginning was verbal, yeah, primarily um, and he made a point of of making it very clear that nobody else would be interested in me and he had some very weird um, there was sexual abuse. I'm not going to get into those details, but he had some very weird. It was weird and not okay and actually I'm uh, we're watching baby reindeer right now and I'm like it's not as extreme as that, okay. Okay, if you're watching that, it's like way less extreme. But my point is that I understand the psychology of what's happening in that series, because fawning is a trauma response and when people do fucked up things to you and you want to be safe, like your brain, psychology does some weird shit.

Speaker 2:

And I think, especially because I had grown up in a household that was fucked up, bonding was an option for me to be okay a lot of the time, so I defaulted to that with him and, yeah, it was mostly like either verbally berating me, weird physical sexual abuse stuff, and then, as we got together and stayed together longer, there's a whole thing that happened where he cheated on me. It's not even worth getting into that. That's like whatever. That's like. That's not a high point of this. Yeah, cheating is never a high point, but you know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

It's like the smallest part of his abuse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm being deliberately vague because, again, I just don't think I need to give you to want to marry me and the more he abused me, the more I wanted him to want to marry me, because I think it wasn't conscious I can say this now with hindsight I believed that if I could make him love me and want to marry me, that meant that I was like, had value in the world.

Speaker 2:

You were good enough yeah, um, and so fast forward. It's 2009. I'm in the middle of doing my master's degree because, after he's cheated on me, we've broken up and gone back together. And, uh, he, we go to wales to visit his mom. And then we go to france and, honestly, I had a good time in france. It was, it was fun. And then we go to the Eiffel Tower and he asks me to marry him on the Eiffel Tower.

Speaker 2:

And that's the kind of thing where, like, what does this have to do with survival story? This isn't like for other people, this is like a fairy tale, but that was the moment, like the moment that he actually asked me to marry this guy. It was weird. It was like, suddenly I had achieved my goal and then I didn't know if I wanted it anymore. Then we got a puppy and, honestly, um, that puppy saved my life and I have a lot of regret about this puppy because I was young and immature and we should never have gotten a puppy and I worry about that dog. At this point he's he'd be, hopefully, dead, and I say hopefully because I ultimately had to, um, sacrifice the puppy to save myself from this relationship.

Speaker 2:

So, um, he started abusing the puppy and like physically as well, like he was abusive physically and verbally to the puppy and we would have fights about it and like what was okay or not okay. And I don't mean like you know, like average, like people do things to dogs that I don't agree with, because I'm kind of a really a gentle person. I mean like doing things, like not just like showing him his poop and being like you can't do that. I mean like hitting him really hard and like smashing his face, so there's shit all over the dog's face. Yeah, that's really yeah.

Speaker 2:

And um, I there was other stuff that was going on at the time. I don't even remember the details anymore because it's so long ago, thank god. Honestly, every year that goes by that I'm not in that relationship, I feel more and more grateful about how long ago it was. Uh, but he's, he started getting more and more angry. I don't know why I, when people are abusive, often there is no good why and he started doing things like trashing our house. So whenever he'd get upset, instead of hitting me, what he would do is knock over all of the furniture, throw things at me, throw things at the dog, just destroy everything and then tell me to clean it up. Yeah, and there was this one.

Speaker 2:

That's one of the first steps of becoming becoming physically abusive is like starting to destroy other things, yeah, around you. Yeah, it was scary. I was scared a lot of the time with him, um, but the thing that that really broke me was seeing him abuse our dog and, um, I had this moment where I was like, if he's this way with a dog, who? What's he gonna be like with a baby? And at that point I really thought I was gonna live this like cookie cutter life. I thought I was gonna have two and a half children in a white picket fence, um, and I was like I don't want to have kids with this person. And that was the first thing that really got me to question it. And then, at some point, I realized I was like, wait, he treats me worse than the dog and maybe I shouldn't be in it. So that was the revelation. I'm really grateful. I'm really grateful to the puppy for that.

Speaker 2:

But unfortunately, the the options were for me when I broke up with him was give him the dog or risk more violence towards me and my family. He, when I broke up with him, basically told me like you can go and you can keep the car we had two cars. He told me I could keep the car that was already mine. I'm not sure how I didn't process the fact that it was in my name and I could just keep the car. Yeah, and I needed the car because I lived in a really rural area, so there was no like getting around if you don't have it. So that was the option. And I was fucking heartbroken. Dan knows I was heartbroken because I literally ran away to georgia. Um, because he started doing shit like coming to my parents' house and shooting up the walls with BB gun pellets and just weird shit like that. So what am I missing, dan? You were there for a lot of this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I think that's about it. Yeah, I mean, I wasn't there for all the things that you were there for, no, but I think that's the main part of the story. But yeah, I mean, this was a survival story because if you hadn't had that realization, you might still be married to this guy and your life would be fucking terrible.

Speaker 2:

And their kids' lives like I would have had kids and their lives would have been terrible and, um, I'm really glad that I broke that cycle and my family, I'm really grateful to you for giving me a place to come to, even though I was a fucking mess and, I think, made your life more difficult in 2010. I know there are really good times too, but it was. It was rough, but I will just say, like Dan did save my ass in a really difficult time and you watched me melt down quite a bit about how devastated I was.

Speaker 1:

And that was pretty much daily.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'd come home from work and you're just like I'm sad about Irwin.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then I would just cry.

Speaker 1:

That was the dog's name, yeah.

Speaker 2:

He was a German wire haired pointer. I tried to get him back about six months after we had broken up, but that was not an option. So I just have to hope that he had an okay life. But I'm not really sure that's the case, because not only did he do all that physical stuff to my parents house, but he also did things like email. He emailed me this really creepy like love letter email many months later, wow, and I responded and was like fuck, no, not in a million years will I come back to you.

Speaker 2:

But also it was a kind I wasn't, wasn't very strategic. If I could talk to younger leah and that moment I would have said like save the fuck you part of the letter and try and get the puppy first. But I didn't. I was like fuck you know. Also, can I have erwin? How is he doing? And that's when he sent me pictures of erwin chained up onto the side of the road and said like I take him to work and he just sits out here tied up all day without water or food. That's how erwin's doing. Then I lost it. Yeah, so, yeah, yeah, I, I, he saved my life, that dog, he saved my life and you saved my life. But he sacrificed a lot and he didn't even know it. And that's what moral of the story. If you're not a stable person or you're in an unstable relationship, I think maybe don't get a dog. I think, like Don, get a dog. I think like Don't have children.

Speaker 2:

Don't have children. Oh my God, yeah, like thank God we didn't have kids and, honestly, lots of people do, things happen. I got lucky that I even was able to see it as early as I did. I got lucky that I got to be with Dan afterwards and experience a much healthier form of love that gave me a set of standards that I'd never had before. But, yeah, most of it's luck that I got out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Also on one of the many trips back and forth to Canada and Georgia to be with you is when I encountered the people that were gas station attendants who tried to sexually assault me at like four o'clock in the morning. That's for another time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, number four in the Leo's survival list. Yeah, yeah, it was o'clock in the morning, that's for another time. Yeah, number four and the leo's survival list.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it was very late at night. I needed gas. I got off the side of the road at the very weird little gas station and they tried to corner me in the bathroom and I. It was scary, I don't want to get into that one. I know I listed it. And then I was like you know what?

Speaker 1:

nope, yeah, I mean you know survival stories like like mine and chris's, like I think that recalling it is exciting and interesting and it's like, yeah, I survived the nature that almost tried to kill me. But like when you're recalling like yeah, somebody tried to like fucking make me uh, you know, make me hurt for the rest of my life, um, by abusing me or attacking me or doing something sexual to me, like that is a hard, hard thing to talk about sometimes.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, dan, for saying that. I don't know if I did a very good job talking about it, because it's like it's a delicate balance of how much I want to share and I I think the reason I wanted to share it. Potentially I've been, we had options, that's what you went for, but it was on the list because I think this stuff is very common, really really common. Like abuse does not have to be somebody beating the shit out of you every day. That's obviously abuse. But there's such a thing as emotional abuse and psychological abuse.

Speaker 2:

Sexual abuse in relationships, I think is under-talked about abuse, um, sexual abuse in relationships, I think is under talked about. Yeah, um, and the precursors to physical violence. Like I do really believe, based on the trajectory it was going, that he was going to eventually start hitting me. We just hadn't gotten there yet. Yeah, so it was going to happen. Yeah, so, um, I feel like one as a culture, you've got a lot of healing to do and people need to learn what abuse is. There was a thing that um, I an acronym I just learned this year called darvo. That I feel like is an essential survival tip actually. Yeah, do you remember?

Speaker 1:

the acronym is dan uh, darvo, um, I forget what d is deny, deny, what's a? Okay, I'm just gonna say it.

Speaker 2:

So this is an acronym for what people do, uh, that are being verbally abusive and also gaslighting you First. So say, let's mock something up here. I'll do a classic one my dad Okay, so me and my dad. I'd be like dad, like these are early days when I still thought I could repair that relationship and we could have like real conversation. I'd be like you did X, y or Z when I was a kid, and that was really hard. His immediate response is to deny right, don't, I never did that. That never happened. Uh. Then the next part of the acronym is attack. You were a shitty kid and you were unreliable and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right.

Speaker 2:

So just didn't listen yes, which the intention of that is to reverse the victim and offender, to make himself the victim and me the offender. That's darbo, deny, deny, attack, reverse victim and offender, and once you see it, it is everywhere. People are doing it all the fucking time. It's a really common tactic of manipulation. Our government does it. Yeah, our coworkers do it. They do it because it works.

Speaker 1:

People in our family.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it works. It's the easiest way to deflect and twist somebody up when they bring an issue to you. So those are the kinds of things I think it's like. I wish we knew more of those things as a society. I also wish that I'd had just like different models of relationships as a kid. And I also want to say I wish my mom had divorced my dad when I was young. They were separated when I was 10. And when he came back I cried. I was so upset about it. So I'm going to say this because I don't know who's listening. If you have kids and any of this feels real for you, don't stay for the kids. That's not real.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the kids will be better off.

Speaker 2:

It would have been better if my mother had modeled for me that when somebody abuses you, that would have been the better model, not the stick around, no matter what. That's how you really love somebody model. Just take the abuse. So that's my depressing story, but it's not so depressing now because my life is really good and I have standards and that's how I know that I'll keep myself safe. One of my main dreams I have dreams where Dan does these things to me and I break up with him and it's like they're devastating, but they are my uh. Talk to my therapist. Therapist about it. They're just me rehearsing and practicing and knowing that if these things were to occur again, that I would take care of myself and that feels good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, that is good. I think we need evil, magic chicken, zombie clucks after that. You know, I mean, obviously you know people don't have to share deep, dark secrets if they don't want to, but we do want to hear more people's survival stories and I think that's a good example of, like you know, a wide range of what a survival story can can look like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you could be. You could have survived a religious cult.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

For example. That's real. Yeah, I have people in my life who've been through things like that. So, yeah, there's all kinds of ways of survival, and I think we learn things along the way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're always learning. I think when we love zombie apocalypse stories, that might also be a way that our mind is trying to prepare us for something and I think we're just trying to survive and the zombie apocalypse is like a fun way for our brains to like geek out about that and also prepare itself I think so too.

Speaker 2:

I think I think we have a primal part of us that knows that as much as things feel stable, because we are lucky enough to be living in a time and place and be of a race that is generally more stable, uh, but I think we know that there's a real possibility, things can change this is a dark podcast.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God, it really took a turn, didn't it?

Speaker 2:

On another note, I'm going to give one positive one. My brother saved me twice. He saved me from drowning in a pond as a kid while we were skating, and he saved me from drowning in a set of rapids that we were swimming in together. Two times drowning yeah, thanks, brother, I know, isn't that? What's? What's the, I wonder. If I'm, am I going to drown to death? Oh, my God, knocking on wood. Thanks, thanks for that Does that hurt your ears when I do it.

Speaker 1:

No, but I'm going to have to fix that in post.

Speaker 2:

Really, what will happen?

Speaker 1:

It's going to be really loud. You know, maybe one day we can get my brother on the podcast to tell a survival story about me saving him in a river.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that sounds fun. We can swap stories. Yeah, I think it's time for groans from the horde. Yeah, are we going to groan? Yeah, one Ollie Eats Brains Again. Got to give you another shout out. Had not even listened to our hashtag alive episode yet was just aired today, the day that we're recording this, and was already like hey, I hope that you compared alive and the American version alone because of the cultural differences, and I was like, damn it, ollie.

Speaker 2:

We didn't realize that till it was too late, but we are going to watch alone the other version very soon. I'm really curious to see how it stacks up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm curious now. Yeah, I was. I was not like when I, when I saw the, the previews for alone, I was like this is gonna this because, like, this isn't the first time. Well, this isn't, this isn't that. But um, like when korea has something that does really well, sometimes, um, they'll want to make remake that in the us. So, like a perfect example is trained to busan, they want to do train to new york boring. Yeah, I mean, maybe it'll be good, I don't know, but like that's what I thought this was.

Speaker 2:

It's like like a remake yeah, they're just trying to make the american version yeah, because they assume americans won't watch korean things, which is proving to be untrue.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but turns out they were just both. They both had access to the same script.

Speaker 2:

Hmm, Well, we will watch that one and we shall compare, even if it is belated. Yeah, I have a question which Grown from the Hordes do you want to hear first? Do you want to hear the last two? Evil, magic, chicken, zombie, clucks I've got Hint, hint, folks, give me more. Or do you want to hear a voicemail from Zompocalypse, who we called upon for random facts on Night of the Living Dead?

Speaker 1:

Let's hear Zompocalypse and then end it with some clucks.

Speaker 2:

Okay, hold on one moment. I need to go to the messages, all right.

Speaker 3:

Zompocalypse, here we go.

Speaker 2:

You have summoned Zompocalypse here we go, you have come in zompocalypse yeah, we assumed you know what you wish all of it.

Speaker 3:

You have called me out about george. I got really much of nothing. Oh that's disappointing.

Speaker 2:

I'm just pausing for a second. What a letdown. I thought you would know everything about Night of the Living Dead. I call this bluff. Yeah, let's see what happens next. He says he's got a lot of nothing, but we also have a three-minute voicemail, so I'm not sure I believe that.

Speaker 3:

Let me tell you guys this. I don't know if this is true or not, but I heard over the grapevine. This is kind of a fun thing to think about. George Romero did not like the term sunny. He wanted to call them fools. Very Fallout, yeah, pretty cool, huh. I guess that's the fun fact of the day. I guess I guess I could be wrong.

Speaker 3:

Don't quote me on it, I just heard it, we just did yeah, it was someone else who is just as big as the george romero fan as I am. That is the you have called the public dollars there's still two more minutes in this voicemail.

Speaker 1:

I have no idea what's next, I mean, um, george romero. I mean I feel like he can call him whatever he wants, because at the time the genre didn't exist, true, but I think it's a good thing that he called him zombies, because it had some cultural significance. Um, but maybe if he'd make it made a different decision either zombie movies wouldn't be as popular as they are today, or we would be watching ghoul movies.

Speaker 2:

I don't like it. I like zombie. Yeah, I actually am annoyed that Fallout. They call them ghouls, just call them zombies. Yeah, they become zombies. All right, let's listen a little more.

Speaker 3:

Wow, I haven't given you my zombie chicken noise yet, oh shit.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I haven't given you my zombie chicken noise yet. Oh shit, I paused again. I didn't know this was coming, okay.

Speaker 3:

I'm ready. I am getting a t-shirt for the idea for the zombie talking noise competition, but I feel I'm obligated to give you my best impression of the zombie chicken. Thank you, I'm ready for it. I'm not going to be as funny as Dan or anybody else's, but I will give you my best impression. That's all we ask for. Are you all ready? Yes, yeah, I'm ready. This is what I think it's going to sound like. This is what a magic zombie chicken is going to happen, Hope you guys enjoy it.

Speaker 2:

And oh it is. He hit the three minute limit so he got cut off but I will say wow, I wish my dad had introduced me to the night of the living dead.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know I I used to watch movies with my stepdad once removed, um and uh, you know, horror movies were like what we would do when I'd come over, um, on the weekend, right. So like we go and rent movies at the movie store, the rental, the rental, the video rental store. Um, I do remember watching dawn of the dead, the 1978 Dawn of the Dead. I loved it because, I mean, as a kid I was kind of a gun nut. I just drew guns all the time. I read gun books. I just thought they were cool.

Speaker 2:

I'm having a really hard time paying attention to what you're saying because Dan is doing this weird thing with his eyeballs that makes him look like a zombie. I'm a zombie.

Speaker 1:

I know we're tired, uh, but like I only saw it like once. I didn't really discover night of the living dead until I joined the army and we were watching it in the day room during training. When I was in training not for training, it's the weekend we're in the day room, we're like let's watch movies, and then we we watched the night of the living dead, both versions back to back, I think. Um, and I was like I think I love zombies, I think it's cool, I'm I like what's going on here. I can't describe it why I like it so much, because it's just a movie inside of a house and not a whole lot really happens. But it makes me me feel things and I don't know what that is. And it took me 20 years or more to understand why I like it so much and I still couldn't really answer that question.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say why do you like it so much? I don't know. I mean, we tried to talk about it. Yeah, we have two more zombie clocks. Dan, I want to send us out on zombie send me out on a zombie cluck that one sounds like that was three seconds. That's our world's shortest zombie cluck. Yeah, I think that one sounds like it was drowning. I'm gonna play it one more time and last but not least, why are chickens so funny, especially chicken zombies?

Speaker 3:

Because that was a great joke.

Speaker 2:

Well, somebody here is going to get a T-shirt. We don't know who we're going to draw for our 50th episode.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, are we just gonna pick at random I think so.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think so. I don't think I could pick, because they're all so good yeah, they're all wonderful in their own ways yeah like even the three, second one was hilarious, just for being so short seconds, yeah, and then zampacos, we already gave you a t-shirt because you helped us with this idea and we loved it. Um, but thank you, we. I thank you for your cluck. As I've said many times, all I'm asking for is a cluck just one clutch, just go cluck, that would be fine.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's all I want. Oh man, you've got time to be entered into the t-shirt competition well leah yes dan oh, we're, we're coming to the end.

Speaker 1:

Can you guys hear the the energy sapping out of us as we end this all day long recording session? It feels like at least it's been a few hours other than going out for breakfast.

Speaker 2:

This is all we've done today.

Speaker 1:

Pretty try to keep it, keep the, keep it at a high level the entire time. But I cannot lie. I am ready to lay down and go into a coma my eyes, not my eyes.

Speaker 2:

That's how I know I'm tired too. My ears literally hurt from the headphones, so we are going to remind you one last time that your zombie homework for episode 45 is the comic series and multimedia experience path of the pill writer yeah, by writer sorryurie calcaterra yes, uh, there are incredible things in it, like american sign language, riddles, fun little secrets yeah, little QR codes, little movies yeah, stories within stories, within stories, we got rickrolled like we did and, as you'll learn when you listen to that episode, as usual, I forgot a lot of details, but I never forget that I love it because that's how my brain works and, as always, we want to be clear.

Speaker 2:

We read what we want to read. So we are truly promoting this because we like it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and Lori is incredible, truly. We recorded the episode just before this episode, which will be coming out in the future, after this episode. Yeah, be coming out in the future after this episode. Yeah, but it was a really good one and we had a great time and now we are exhausted.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, if anything, I'm a little embarrassed by how much I fangirled, but I'll get over it. I don't know what I'll feel more of a vulnerability hangover for after today. Was it me sharing my story of abuse or just telling Lori multiple times that I think that she's the best thing ever? Yeah, in the meantime, call us 614 699 0006. You have up to three minutes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, to send us a message.

Speaker 2:

Or email us at zombiebookclubpodcast at gmailcom. Subscribe in all the places.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Get bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, leave a rating and a review. It helps us, it does, and we need all the help we can get.

Speaker 2:

We do. Oh, and go buy an evil magic chicken zombie shirt or sticker or mug, yeah, or baby onesie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, do you need a baby onesie? Do you want one with a chicken on it?

Speaker 2:

Oh, a dog handkerchief for their neck Right so many options for you. We right so many options for you, these boys, we do. We can point out dogs. Yes, that's what these boys mean. All right, we are delirious. We're gonna go eat our favorite meal on nights where we have had not enough time to cook, which is, uh, frozen pizza and nuggets yeah, pizza nugs yep, all right, that's how we do.

Speaker 1:

Bye, everybody bye have a great time. The end is nigh, don't die bye-bye, bye-bye.

The Zombie Book Club
Work, Chronic Pain, Writing Dream
Zombie Media Ratings Spreadsheet Conversation
Surviving the Snowpocalypse
Surviving Different Life Challenges
Navigating Abuse and Self-Worth
Survival Story of Domestic Abuse
Surviving Different Forms of Abuse
Zombie Cluck T-Shirt Competition