Category Archives: television

Gardening in a Zombie Apocalypse

First, I suppose I have to explain why we allow our son (he’s nine) to watch The Walking Dead (it’s a zombie television show). Our philosophy is that we can overlook a little (ok I know it’s more than a little) gore and violence. We make him shut his eyes and cover his ears (and sometimes leave the room) during any…um… “kissing” scenes (i.e. Shane and Laurie, Glenn and Maggie)…For the record he doesn’t own or play any video games (violent or otherwise). And doesn’t care too. Which I think is pretty wonderful. So watching The Walking Dead is one of very few (somewhat questionable) guilty pleasures in which he indulges. And in the wise words of Cher Horowitz, “Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there’s no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value.” HAHAHAHahaha

So about The Walking Dead

The show is story-driven, not character-driven. Most of the characters are very annoying and make the worst decisions and brood around talking about their feelings, when they ought to be focusing on a perpetual water supply or planting a garden. And…

Are there no jokes in a zombie apocalypse?

Humor is vital in distressing times and the show is seriously lacking in punch lines. Despite these shortcomings, we just love to talk about what we would do in a zombie apocalypse and the show inspires these conversations.

There is something exciting about fighting against pure evil. A war against zombies eliminates all the tricky moral questions of real-life war. I think the appeal of killing zombies is that it is symbolic of destroying what is evil in the world, and ONLY the evil. When a zombie is shot, there is no question of, “Could he have been redeemed? Did the zombie leave behind a family? Friends? There is only the living and the (walking) dead. In non-apocalypse world, evil is so much more complex. All people do evil things in some capacity. Gossiping, judging, vanity…no one is innocent. But even the most horrific murderers could be redeemed (perhaps still punished for life, but forgiven in the eyes of God), at least I like to think so. I’d like to destroy all the corruption in the world, but is the expense of taking a life too high a price for the destruction of evil? A war with zombies is infinitely more simple than a war between the living.

The “Spy” (our son) likes the idea of destroying zombies. And I don’t find this disturbing, because the bullets and weapons are directed at something that is unquestionably vile, wicked and bad. The complexity of the human condition is entirely removed when a person “turns”.

Zombie Destruction, by the Spy 2013, age 8

Zombie Destruction, by the Spy 2013, age 8

Detail. The speech bubble says "Suckers" hahahah

Detail. The speech bubble says “Suckers” hahahah

If my kid was drawing pictures of tanks running over puppies, I would be concerned. But killing zombies? It’s basically being passionate about protecting what is good (life) through destroying what is bad (evil/death).

Drawn by The Spy, A Saint HAHahaha

Drawn by The Spy, A Saint HAHahaha

Once, after watching a couple of episodes (there’s often a marathon going on with all the old episodes) I was tucking him in and I asked “What is the main thing you’d want to do in a zombie apocalypse?” He replied,

“Find a ’71 Dodge Charger and just drive really fast down an open road.”

Me, “And that’s all?”

Him, “Well, it might be kind of hard to find a ’71 Dodge Charger, so a newer model Dodge Challenger would work. Or a Chevy Camero or a Ford Mustang. If I couldn’t find any older models. And I’d want to shoot zombies. It sounds evil, shooting zombies and stealing cars, but it’s a zombie apocalypse.”

As you can see, the boy driving this “Dodge Charger Zomby Killer” looks perfectly well-adjusted:

Ahhhhhh....the open road

Ahhhhhh….the open road

So anyways, though I can’t entirely relate to the enthusiasm the boys (my son and husband) feel about using zombies for target practice, I am drawn to other skills you would need in an apocalypse. Sewing, knitting, crocheting. Building a cozy fire. Cooking. Gardening. Though the world in a zombie apocalypse would make obtaining the basic needs for life more complicated, the focus would be entirely on those basic needs, and therefore simpler in some ways. Simple may not be the right word, just that our fundamental needs would get the attention they deserve. I deeply appreciate the simple things in life. Potable water, a fresh lemon, a hot cup of black coffee. It is important not to romanticize the notion of an apocalyptic world, because many people on this earth might as well be living in one. Pillaging and chaos and war and genocide and famines. The evils of such communities are very real and infinitely more complex than a world where zombies simply need to be destroyed. But I digress…

There would be a garden.

With a fence...

With a fence…

A bit sturdier that this one.

A bit sturdier that this one.

There would be weapons and stock piles of ammunition. But the garden…It would be a big garden. Chickens. Maybe some sheep. A cow? A few horses? In many ways, our ideal operation in a zombie apocalypse is pretty much my dream in real life (just sans walkers). Though in zombie-world there would be a bit more pressure for the garden to be productive and not just a pretty subject for me to photograph.

The season premiere of The Walking Dead is tonight on amc.

I’ll be watching to see if they plant anything.*

*This was originally published just before the season four premiere aired in fall 2013; and the first scene of the season WAS OF A GARDEN!!! Man, I really called that one; right?! This post has been republished for your enjoyment; as the season five premiere is tonight! So, once again, I’ll be looking to see what veggies they are growing. But I have a feeling those scary people in “Terminus” are no vegans.

68. House of Smoochie

The last few posts my heart really hasn’t been in Spy Garden. And by Spy Garden, I mean this website, not the actual garden. (My heart is always in the garden!) The website, not so much. It’s not writers block. It’s not a lack of how-to ideas. It’s not a lack of photos or creative pursuits. It’s the Game of Thrones.

It is a great show. We’ve seen most of all the HBO/Showtime series and I daresay Game of Thrones is my favorite (though Rome would be a very close second).

I’ve always liked the history of the middle ages. The fantasy genre however, has never been my favorite. I truly think the Harry Potter movies are really stupid. And while Lord of the Rings is entertaining, I always found it a bit tedious. The fantasy in these movies is simply too obvious. Everything is magic. Which ruins the mystery. In Game of Thrones there is a judicious bit of fantasy. Just enough for it to remain mysterious. Which is sort of the whole point of dragons and monsters and other chimera: they’re only entertaining (at least to me) when they retain the element of the unknown.

We’ve just finished watching the first season of Game of Thrones. It took a week because unfortunately we can only watch it when the Spy is asleep or enthralled in a book in his room. Because, as it seems to be requirement of an HBO series, there are extremely graphic…um…kissing scenes. That pop up quite unexpectedly. It is very annoying because otherwise the Spy would enjoy it. But we have to draw the line somewhere, and NC-17 seems to be it. This quiet, child-free time is normally spent trying to come up with witty entries for this website. But the past few nights I’ve carelessly hammered out a few words, eager to get back to the middle ages.

In the show, there is House Baratheon, House Lannister etc. The different families that rule the realm. And heretofore we shall be known as the House of Smoochie. “Smoochie” is what my husband and I call each other. Also moochie and namanoochie. And when yelled across the house its “Moooo Cha!”

NO! The Game of Thrones is serious!

NO! The Game of Thrones is serious!

Much better

Much better

Little Lord

Little Lord

The crest of the House of Smoochie

The crest of the House of Smoochie

The last dragon

The last dragon

Detail

Detail

The crest of Scooby Doo.

The crest of Scooby Doo.

I mean, they are great danes, but they look like Scooby. Humor is an important element in the House of Smoochie. My husband and I did this painting a few years ago. I blocked it out and did some of the outside crests and he finished it, adding all of the small details. Though I think the crowns still need some work.

The crest of Christmas.

The crest of Christmas. Those are reindeer. Winter is coming.

My husband (smoochie) does the most hilarious and perfect impression of Drogo. Unfortunately, he would not let me put black eyeliner on him and photograph him shirtless (yet). I have extremely long, thick and unbrushed wavy hair, that looks quite medieval. Though I haven’t adopted the medieval braided styles of the tv series (yet).

There is a cold winde blowing from the north and it is quite easy to imagine a deep dark winter is coming full of white walkers, raised from the dead (um, yeah Game of Thrones has medieval zombies, again, greatest show ever). So please forgive me if I add unnecessary “e’s” to the endes of wordes but I am enthralled.

Winter is coming.

Winter is coming.

The dark woods whisper messages of deep snows and frightful creatures.

The dark woods whisper messages of deep snows and frightful creatures.

A raven brings a secret report from the north.

A raven brings a secret report from the north.

The winter winds doth blow and on a perfect grey November day (today), I took the little Dragon to Target to market. It was hard not to notice the names of the various neighborhoods encampments on the drive ride. Greystone, Rosemore, Stonerun. And some of the signs even had ye olde fonts. There are stone walls and weathered wooden fence posts. And horses tossing their manes around in a medieval manner (we live in kind of a rural area). My black leather ankle boots clicked on the pavement stone and I might as well have been walking the halls of Winterfell.

Kaleesi rides.

Kaleesi rides.

Yes, I am 31 and I am playing pretend. One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote about the same sort of medieval pretend, and I admit I sort of scoffed at the idea. How ridiculous really, I mean…I’m all for the silly…but strutting round the house calling my family members lord and lady and speaking in a vague English accent? Ok, well yes, I am doing that. And it is very enjoyable. All the more so because…

We shall begin to watch season two this very night.