Oh my GOODNESS!
Okay, so my dog's name is Natasha! She is an American Staffordshire Terrier (cousin to the pitbull, looks like a pitbull but with a black nose, thinner face, and less muscular/stocky). Natasha is knee-height, has short black fur everywhere except her tummy and paws, and right now she's a little chubby :)
Natasha just turned 12 this past March, and she is an ABSOLUTE cat. She likes her personal space unless she comes up to you for love. And if you call for her she will give you the side-eye, give a little "harumph", then get up and slowly saunter over.
However, when she chooses to be cuddly she is an absolute sweetheart. She'll act like a shark and run circles around the table to then side-swipe you when you're not ready.
Natasha has been in my life for half of my existence. I was there when she was born, and we have been side-by-side ever since. Through every parent argument, every trial, every situation I've found myself in, she has been there for me. I can't count the tears I've cried on her fur, the conversations I've had with her that I expect her to answer, and all the journeys we've had. I also honestly wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for her love and companionship.
Natasha is my best friend. I love her so, so much.
5 helpful tips that may not be helpful if you think about it.
1. Think about your divorce
When you think about your divorce, you cry
if you cry, you exert energy
you exert energy, you lose calories
you lose calories, you lose weight. Ta-da.
2. Try catching the homerun ball - The amount of time you wait for the ball to land in your glove will slowly burn away your weight. It also helps you forget your wife left you. (This tip is detrimental to the previous tip.)
3. Dial M for Mother Hotline - Call a surrogate mother using the Mother Hotline and cry to your fake mother that your wife left you. Weight guaranteed to be lost.
4. Decorate the Christmas Tree - Decorate the tree with all the ordainments from your previous relationship, and set it on fire. The heat from the tree will make you smile and laugh. If you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes, you will lose between 10 to 40 calories.
5. Touch Uranium-238 - Do not eat this material, it will kill you and Touch the material to allow radiation to slowly make you lose your body mass. Hopefully, it will be enough to get your wife to take you back. (Please, Laura, take me back.)
A guide for those who Hate Running
Running is cheap and a fantastic way to maintain some base level of fitness. What's more, knee injuries tend to occur equally among those who run, and those who don't.
If you're only running a couple of times a week, the risk of you suffering from any kind of running injury is very low, and the likelihood of your overall quality of life being high will increase.
Still, you might know all this, and you might even run from time to time, but that doesn't mean you're enjoying it. Every session is a struggle, and you're not sure the endorphins are worth it.
If you're here for a little extra motivation, you've come to the right place.
For runners who find running boring, please go to 1.
For runners who find running embarrassing, please go to 2.
For runners who find running painful, please go to 3.
For runners who find running exhausting, please go to 4.
For runners who find running unnecessary, please go to 5.
For runners who need a sense of achievement, go to 6.
I here ya buddy.
Now, you're probably going to need some headphones for this part. Of course running with a friend might be ideal, but we can't always conjure up the perfect running buddy at exactly the right time.
The trick is not to make the 'run' the whole point. Kid yourself you're just utilising time efficiently. You can listen to the news (Global News Podcast, anyone?), a podcast (99% invisible?).
You can listen to sad songs, the kind you'd sing along to. You can listen to empowering songs, old rock songs that remind you of being sixteen. I highly recommend getting into an album by someone you like.
Songs about sex are also fantastic for when your running. There's nothing like gently fantasising about a steamy session to reach a new PB.
You might also enjoy the silence, or instrumental music, which will leave you more mental space to plan and think out your next steps—for your novel, your work, your life, your wife. When you're feeling down, there's nothing like a run to give yourself a little fake therapy sessions—and the hot bath afterwards will be the epitome of tender loving care.
Honestly, this is probably the main reason I wouldn't run if I hadn't started young. It was the reason at fourteen, when I was being dragged out on runs by my dad, I turned to him and said:
'Our neighbours talk about us running. I heard them mocking us.'
And my dad rolled his eyes, laughed and said: 'Who cares?'
I shrugged. I did.
'If you stop doing things because you're worried what others will think, you'll never do anything,' he said.
And this is the only thing which has proven to be true.
I usually meet no one at all on my runs. For the most part, running is 90% not embarrassing—and definitely worth it. The embarrassment is mostly inside your own head.
However, embarrassing encounters while running can and do happen. Usually the other person is not embarrassed at all and really doesn't care that you're out puffing. They might congratulate you or say:
'Oh, you run!' but chances are they'll soon forget.
In the very unlikely event anyone did think about it more than once, or cared at all, they would swiftly be shut down by anyone around them. What psychopath cares about someone else running to the extent of gossiping about it?
You cannot make sure you will always be wearing your best running outfit, that your skin will be glowing and your armpits deodorised. Sometimes, the sunscreen will melt into your eyes and sting them red, and you'll stink. But trust me. No one except you cares. There is nothing about running which should make you embarrassed. You can and should be really proud of what you are achieving.
3. Running is painful.
You should not be running if it is painful. You should not be doing anything which could cause you harm. This article is not for you, there is no point running if it is not safe for you.
There have been rare instances where I did not want to run and was slightly hypochondriac that I imagined pain in my knees and shins when there actually was none. I know this because a minute of running would be painful, but thirty, forty minutes in, I'd be feeling free and flying high.
But I am going to assume you need to take care of yourself and should not be running—or reading this article.
4. Running is exhausting.
Listen to your body. If it wants more sleep, if it wants to eat more, let it. Give it what it asks you. For some people, a little coffee before a run does wonders.
There are also times of day which are better for different people's bodies. Late morning, early afternoon, all of these might *your* time. I find running early in the day can zap some of my energy for the rest of it—especially if the run is long. Others find that it energises them.
Nutrition really will change the game. If I am not eating enough protein—which happens regularly since I am terrible at feeding myself, then I will be tired and my muscle will tighten and ache for longer. Similar thing with sleep.
I shouldn't need to say this, but do space out your runs. Don't overrun—either by running every day when your body doesn't want it, or for too long. Give yourself some structure, in terms of breaks and time out running. A short run from time to time is much better for muscle building.
My sibling's muscles weren't growing, and they were pushing themselves harder and harder. They thought they weren't pushing themselves hard enough. But they had a special muscle/athletic lactate test and the results actually showed that they needed more easy work outs and more rest in order to grow more.
If you're someone who thrives from the gains and that sense of achievement, either join a running club, where you will be trained to maximise your potential, or even just follow a running training plan. You will be astonished by the progress you see.
Running—especially running fast—is a fantastic lower body impact sport for building muscle.
Running faster and having better overall aerobic fitness is also a very exciting process. Setting milestones and goals makes running more fun and will improve your self esteem.
You're right. Running is not necessary to your life. It can mildly improve your life—a short run from time to time will boost your mood and make you feel stronger. But don't do it because it's necessary. It isn't and shouldn't be considered as such. Do it because you enjoy it—an eight minutes of walk-run-dance to start your day.
Sonya Renee Taylor once said: “Health is not a state that we owe the world. We are not less valuable, worthy, or loveable because we are not healthy. Lastly there is no standard of health that is achievable for all bodies. Our belief that there should be anchors the systemic oppression of ableism and reinforces the notion that people with illnesses and disabilities have defective bodies rather than different bodies.”
Running is a way to love your body, and an easy way to feel better and take care of yourself. It is not worth it if it does not bring you joy—joy being the best way to take care of yourself.
Go do something you enjoy.
Old and creaky floors
Many years ago my grandparents Eddie and Nellie lived in a grubby ground floor apartment. The building was hammered together in the 1920s using as few nails as possible. The doors sagged, the steps were built crooked and nothing was level. And the floorboards didn't just creak, they groaned and clunked as if they were protesting how poorly they had been installed.
Every Sunday afternoon my parents would drag us there to visit. My father would chat with Eddie about current events while Nellie sat and chain smoked Camels in her overstuffed chair and waited for us to leave. The only respite was the candy and the stories. Eddie was a great storyteller who regaled us with tales of his native Ireland and the adventures he lived in his younger days.
The loudest floor was the back hallway. It was a dim and scary corridor with garish red carpet, surely discarded from a movie theater. Every step made the floor groan and squeak. We were all afraid the floor would drop us into the basement, but it never did.
The Motherhood Question
I wonder how many men walk into a barber shop or dentist or Uber and are immediately asked if they have kids. Seriously – I want to know; I’m taking an informal poll.
It seems like no matter where you go, if you’re a woman of a certain age, you get asked this question as part of small talk that also includes musings on the weather and reality TV. I’m about to be 35, and what I can tell you is that my husband of the same age has never been asked that question by a stranger. In a modern world of increased inclusivity and general “wokeness,” how is it still the case that women are not only more often associated with parenthood than men, but still face a stigma – ranging from general bewilderment to downright indignance – about the decision to remain childfree?
But who will take care of you when you’re old?
You better freeze your eggs!
Only selfish people don’t have kids.
You’ll never know what it feels like to be a “real” woman.
Listen, I get that women are built for childrearing and some might argue this makes the topic fair game, but does anyone ask the men they meet if they’ve killed any predators lately? No. As a result of biology and evolution our bodies are capable of a lot, but that doesn’t mean it makes for polite conversation. And if you’re really set on talking about these meat bags we walk around in, why not stick to harmless fun facts? Did you know that every human being you’ve ever seen literally glows? It turns out that our bodies emit a small amount of light every day. So shine on, my friends, but stop asking me if I’ve pushed an entire child through a hole in my body the size of a strawberry.
I, myself, have never really felt an instinctive pull toward motherhood. As a child, I talked about it in the abstract with my friends – as most young girls did in those days. We shared what our kids’ names would be, discussed what they’d be like as people and wondered whether they’d be friends like us. But now, as many of these friends have actually become parents, I still haven’t felt my ovaries screaming, “Join them! Join them!” (And for the record, no one made good on promises to have Pacey Witter father their children). Motherhood continues to be a nice thing to envision but not act upon for now. I imagine our children – tiny carbon copies of ourselves – playing together in the backyard while we sip good wine and marvel at how our lives have come full circle. Conspicuously absent from those daydreams, however, is the lack of sleep, privacy and time that comes with child-rearing. Also, nothing is sticky.
For quite a while, I agonized over feeling this way. I told myself I was defective and that life would be so much easier if I could just be normal and get on with having kids. The whole go to college, get married, have children trajectory was coded into my DNA long ago, and I’m pretty sure at least half of that indoctrination took place while watching Disney movies. And even though I know there are all sorts of ways to live a fulfilling life, and that this formula is based on institutions and cultural expectations that are fundamentally flawed in unending ways, it can be hard to fight what’s in your blood. Plus, it would make my mom happy.
To talk myself into it, I used to think about how dumb people are and yet, they still manage to procreate and keep their kids alive. Mere survival of your offspring is admittedly a low bar to meet, but still, thoughts of their success gave me confidence I could handle it too. And as for the more adept members of the human race, I found myself thinking that there must be something amazing about parenthood I just can’t fully know until I do it. Is it more amazing than going on a spur of the moment trip to Bali because flights are cheap or waking up at 10 AM on a Sunday with absolutely nothing I need to do? I was and remain suspicious, but can’t help but wonder…
Luckily, last year I was privileged enough to have a therapist and find a silver-lining of the Covid-19 crisis. I had uninterrupted time to ponder the motherhood question, less distracted by tricky commutes to work, less bombarded by baby showers and more willing to listen to myself in the quiet instead of judging my feelings as indicative of something deeply wrong with me. It also gave me insight into my own resilience and capacity for creating peace in my life. When stripped away of the things I thought I needed to be happy, I was still able to find contentment, and even thrive – just in different ways, some of which I hope to keep up long after the dust of the pandemic has settled. I found a new normal, and I suspect motherhood would be a lot like that, though hopefully significantly less depressing.
That said, if I am the source of my own joy, motherhood can’t make me happy any more than being childfree or being rich could (though I won’t turn down money if anyone wants to make a donation). As much as I thought a good life meant achieving a constant state of bliss, it turns out that’s all wrong. Life isn’t a flat road. There are hills, potholes and confusing signs that cause you to miss your exit – and this will be true whether I have kids or not. Without all that, in fact, life’s joyful moments wouldn’t feel like joy at all. Being alive is about embracing the discomfort in this realization and choosing to keep going anyway. And if someday I feel like a change of scenery, that’s okay - my bag’s already packed.
the nowhere café
If we were having coffee, we'd have to hide somewhere no one could find us. Not for their sake; they'd probably be better off if they knew, but I wouldn't want to have to deal with the fallout. I shouldn't say that, though, it makes me feel bad about myself, so I pretend it is for their sake. We both pretend.
If we were having coffee, I would drink something else instead. Sangria, divine nectar, something like that. Something transparent and coloured golden, with a bit of fizz perhaps, and no sugar added and 100% organic fruit, something like that. Maybe it has probiotics in it; that would help, too.
If we were having coffee, you would take yours black, wouldn't you? And you'd keep on complaining about how bitter it is, while refusing to add anything sweet. You'd have to make fun of my drink for a while before you could justify adding sugar to yours, and then you'd dump in the whole pot, and revel in the dopamine rush of sweetness. And I'd wish I could care as little as you, because it's hard for me to see the ways you do care too much. It's hard for you to see them too, isn't it?
If we were having coffee, you would laugh a lot, and I would smile my sweet little secret smile.
If we were having coffee, maybe I could learn something from you. Maybe you could learn something from me. I know we both want that, although you would deny it, probably even to yourself. You always were good at pretending you knew everything. You pretend, and everyone knows it's a pretence, and you keep on pretending.
If we were having coffee, I'd feel guilty about it for weeks. Then I'd do it again, as soon as you asked. You'd say, "Want to meet at our table in the nowhere café?" And I'd say, "No. Is three o'clock good? See you there."
If we were having coffee, you'd jump right in without saying hello, asking the question you always ask, "So how are the Hordes of Heaven treating you? Any fallen angels recently?" Because I can never help responding, "You're the one with Hordes, and what a stupid question anyway, you'd know because it's your doorstep they fall to."
If we were having coffee, would anyone notice? Would anyone care? Maybe we both pretend we hide it from them for our sake, while pretending it's for their sake, while in reality it wouldn't matter if they knew. When people are at the point where our meetings would disrupt their worldview, they're generally also at the point where we could both be screaming at them and they wouldn't hear us. They'd watch us sip our drinks, note your wicked horns and my golden halo, and say, "Nope. That's not them. Nothing can shatter my carefully constructed bulletproof vest of borrowed ideas and soldered fragments of faith."
If we were having coffee, we'd just laugh at them. And I'd say, "Does next Tuesday work?" And you'd say, "I'll reschedule my tempting." And I'd say, "Don't shirk your duties for me, Lucifer." And you'd say, "I was going to shirk anyway, this just gives me a better excuse."
We Promised Eternity
On our wedding day, we promised each other eternity. We would say to each other “One lifetime isn’t enough time for our love.” Now, as I look at her, I’m struggling to remember why I wanted so much to spend an eternity with her.
She was beautiful, certainly. And she had her good qualities, I suppose. But nothing was ever good enough for her. I could never spend enough time with her. I couldn’t spend enough money on her. Everything I did that took me away from her was treated like the worst possible crime I could commit.
I admit I could have been more patient, but I’ve never been a very patient man, and her nagging never ceased. I almost regret it now, but then, I really didn’t have a choice. I simply could not spend eternity with that woman. I know I did the right thing, taking fate into my own hands and bringing our “eternity” to an end.
Yes, it was the right decision. After all, with her, I wasn’t really living my life; I was living hers. Now, I can live my own life. I have so much to look forward to. What should I do first? I think –
What happened? There was black darkness, and then some sort of bright light. What is this place? Where am I?
Am I . . . dead? No. I can’t be. How could I be? How could I possible be –
Wait. Is that . . . No, it can’t be. How the –
She’s here. My wife, she’s . . . she’s here. Of course she is. We did say eternity, didn’t we?
Harry Situation Reviews: Army of the Dead
Army of the Dead is a zombie heist movie (now that's a new one) directed by the one and only Zack Snyder. It stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Tig Notaro, Theo Rossi, Garret Dillahunt, and Hiroyuki Sanada. A zombie outbreak has devastated Las Vegas, leaving the whole city quarantined off from the world. But a wealthy casino owner (played by Hiroyuki Sanada) hires a gang of mercenaries, led by Dave Bautista, in breaking into his casino amid the zombie horde in order to retrieve $20 million. Sounds like nothing could go wrong, right?
Zack Snyder seems to be getting good with the critics of lately. While I haven't had the chance to see his version of Justice League, I'm glad that Warner Bros. gave him a chance to release it. And I'm glad that his version was well recieved. If this film is any indication that he's improving as a filmmaker then he'll still get my support.
This film's got a great cast. Dave Bautista is awesome as a lead in this movie. Honestly, I think this is the first time I've seen him in a leading role. Good for him. Everyone else does a great job too but it really is Bautista's performance that really shines through in this movie.
I like the style and direction in this film too. The way Snyder made this film reminds me much of a George Romero zombie film. It is worth noting that Zack Snyder did direct a remake to Romero's Dawn of the Dead (a film that I really like), but this movie is not at all connected to that or any of the Living Dead films. Honestly letting this film being its own thing is actually a good thing. Nowadays every film is a sequel, or prequel, or remake, or whatever. So it's nice to see a standalone film for a change.
The action is great. There's plenty of zombie killing and gore to go around in this movie. Brains are splattering, people are getting eaten and ripped apart. It's all good fun and all I could as from a zombie film.
The zombies themselves are also cool. You have just about every zombie type seen in other movies compiled into this film. You have the classic, slow, Romero zombies. You have the fast Danny Boyle zombies from 28 Days Later. There are also super smart zombies that act as pack leaders to the other zombies. There's even a zombie tiger. It's all great and they all get plenty of screen time and plenty of action.
I would say that the only issues I had are its lengh and tone. This is a two and a half hour long movie. I don't know what is with Snyder's obsession of making his projects extremely long but I don't think a film like this needed to be that long. At best a two hour runtime would have been better for this kind of film. As for its tone it's a bit jarring. This film tends to switch back between comedy and horror often. So which is it suppose to be? Is it a comedy? Is it a horror movie? Is it an action movie? This movie needs to pick a tone and stick with it.
Now that theaters are starting to gain audiences once again it is nice to have a film that's just pure dumb fun and anyone watching can have a good time with it. While this is a movie that is available on Netflix I believe you can see it in select theaters. Regardless I would still recommend checking out Army of the Dead if you ever get the chance.
-Style and direction
Final Grade: B-
So those are my thoughts on Army of the Dead. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
Marianne Peters: "Somewhere between leaving your ass and saving my own I developed a conscience. It's exhausting."
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