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Our Meals

The other night my wife surprised me with a barbecue chicken meal. I say surprised because it was the first time she’d made it. It was delicious. No surprise there since she cooks pretty amazing things for me and the family. During the weekend, I return the favor by cooking the Saturday meal. My kids like it as does my wife.

My  garlic chicken and my wife's coleslaw

My garlic chicken and my wife’s coleslaw

Freedom Friday is not the same if I don’t talk about food in some form or another. Today makes no exception.

Some of my favorite meals my wife makes are the simple ones with lots of flavor. For instance, during those cold winter nights when the heat cuts in every two minutes and the snow piles high outside our front door, she’ll dedicate a good portion of her time making all sorts of soup. Squash soup, heavy on the hot pepper, is a regular treat for dinner. It lights up the palate and soothes the chills from the bitter wind blowing from the Arctic. Broccoli soup is another one of her specialties. I don’t know what she puts in it to get it so creamy, but I have to say it’s so good.

Although not a meal, my wife has taken to making batches of Greek Tzatziki sauce. It’s a yogurt-based sauce with bits of cucumber and lots of garlic in the mix. We use it to dip fries, chicken and pita bread in it. I can only describe the flavor as divine. The creamy richness of the sauce provides the meal a missing element of flavor that few sauces can compare. Simply outstanding.

My wife also cooks the traditional Italian dishes for our family. Pasta sauce and meatballs is a staple in our diet. Our typical Tuesday night meal consists of lots of pasta—penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, etc.—drenched with her homemade sauce and lots of spicy meat as part of the plate. She’ll add salad and vegetables as side dishes, but her salads are meals in themselves. Standard ingredients in her salads are sliced cucumbers, chunks of feta cheese and at times, Greek olives. I suppose you might call it a Greek salad with a little something to boot.

My Saturday meals can be anything. I’ve been on a curry kick lately, making everything from curry chicken to any meat with curry in there. I have a handful of ingredients I use on a regular basis to bring out the flavor of the meat in a wild and exciting way (coconut milk, curry, garlic, onion, salt, black and cayenne pepper).

I’ll sometimes make lamb as a special treat on a long weekend. I love my garlic, so I’ll mince garlic in the lamb, add olive oil, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard to give it an extra kick. I don’t want to brag—oh, why not—it’s one of the best dishes I enjoy making and eating with the family.

Lastly, the best part about our meals is sitting together as a family and talking about our day. Nothing quite beats that.

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What foods do you enjoy making or eating? Do you also have recipes you like having for special occasions?

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James Bond

Stuck in bed for two days with flu-like symptoms, I had a choice of watching Hogan’s Heroes or 007. Given I’d watched every Hogan’s Heroes episode ever made at least two thousand times, I went for the James Bond marathon. I couldn’t deny myself the pleasure of spy vs. spy while my fever climbed to unprecedented levels.

Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007

Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007

For today’s Wednesday Warriors, I’m going to share a few thoughts about my love for James Bond and the reason why I think this franchise will be around long after I’m gone.

Shaken, not stirred. Tuxedo at the ready. Casino primed for his entrance. Beautiful women pining for his affection. Q. Moneypenny. M. The list goes on.

Every Bond movie has its differences, though. As much as things change, things remain the same. The villain. The Bond girl. The villain’s girlfriend who seems good at the time but changes sides halfway through the story. And let’s not forget the villain’s right hand man who always gets his in the end.

Formulaic. Predictable. Yes, and yes. You know what? Who cares? They’re movies. Eon Productions made them to entertain us. Whenever I pop one into the player, my jaw drops by the opening sequence wondering what else I may have not seen in my lifetime.

Let’s not forget the actors who played (currently playing) Bond. They have their own style and their own unique way of interpreting England’s finest spy. For instance

Sean Connery (Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever): Some may consider him the true Bond of the franchise. Is it because he was the first?

George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service): One shot deal, but he performed as one would expect for the demanding role—perfectly.

Roger Moore (Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill): The funny Bond who I grew up with. I used to watch him during the lull times of the Jerry Lewis MD Telethon. He was my favorite until Daniel Craig came along.

Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill): Back to the basics with a darker flavor of Bond. He studied Ian Fleming’s books between takes and brought the literary character to life.

Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day): Hands down, GoldenEye has to be one of the best in the series. Brosnan had Connery’s charm and Dalton’s strength. I call him the balanced Bond.

Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall): I can only describe him as the action hero. Chiseled. Worn. Craig’s Bond seeks to bring justice to an unjust world. A superhero? Possibly.

Certainly, many actors have played James Bond, and I’m sure many more will continue to do so. I don’t see the character dying any time soon. The point of the matter though, has to do with escapism. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend in bed than with a stack of movies featuring the world’s favorite spy: Bond, James Bond.

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Have you seen any Bond movies? Which ones? Did you like it? What drew you into the story?

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Zombie Games

The best zombie games I’ve played are the ones some gamers may not consider zombie games at all. They may contain elements of other genres, yet the underlying theme has to do with either raising the undead or killing the undead as a means to save the world. For today’s Monday Mayhem series, I’m going to talk about two games I’ve played that don’t feature zombies exclusively, but are part of the game as accessories.

Silent Hill: Origins

Silent Hill: Origins

Silent Hill: Origins—This has to be one of the scariest games I’ve ever played. The story talks about Travis Grady who ventures into an abandoned town in search of information about a girl he’d rescued from a burning house. Aside from the isolated setting, which I found creepy and somewhat unsettling, the player has to fight zombies and other entities in order to progress through the game. The score adds to the horror factor and provides the player immersive gameplay throughout. What shocked me on several occasions though, were the zombie encounters. Dimly lit corridors and the undead mix well, and with headphones on, I lost a few sleepless nights looking over my shoulder.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Return to Castle Wolfenstein—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this PC classic. For the time, the graphics were phenomenal and the story even more intriguing. I remember the late night deathmatch marathons with folks as far away as Tokyo and even closer to the border here in Canada. The story revolves around B.J. Blazkowicz, an American soldier sent to investigate paranormal activity in World War II Germany. Gameplay is standard with players killing everything that moves and progressing forward from one level to the next. However, the charm of the game lies in the atmosphere for when the player encounters the undead for the first time. I’ve once described it in a post dedicated Return to Castle Wolfenstein as the day I’d gained respect for zombies.

“I jumped from my desk throwing the headphones on the keyboard. I almost screamed, waking everyone in the house. I backed away from the monitor with a dead stare. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding. It wanted to rip from my chest. The cold sweat drenched my shirt. All I remembered was the moan to the right behind me that wouldn’t stop. Regaining my courage, I edged closer to the monitor and peered into the fog. I could barely make them out. Hands? Hands. They appeared from the fog. Then I saw the arms and finally their heads. Their gruesome heads lifting from their graves.”

One day I would love to play another round, but before then I have plans to immerse myself in The Last of Us. It’s only a matter of finding time.

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Have you played zombie games? Which ones? What drew you into the rich virtual world of the undead?

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How to Sleep Well

Toss. Turn. Fluff the pillow. Covers. No covers. I’ve been there. Getting a good night’s sleep had been a goal of mine for a long time. It took me a long time to understand what a good night’s sleep involved. Once I found the secret—because really, that is what it is, a secret—I now gorge on the ZZZ’s.

Sleeping well

Sleeping well

For today’s Freedom Friday post, I’m going to talk about the most important productivity booster you will ever know—sleep.

It wasn’t too long ago when I suffered from insomnia. I have posts dedicated to the subject and my stories are legendary. For instance, there was a point four years ago that I was getting two hours of sleep a night. You may ask how on earth I could have functioned on so little sleep. It wasn’t easy. The condition had lasted for years culminating in the worst year of my life. I’d fallen ill three times that year, one major blow after another. This is from a guy who hadn’t gotten sick since 2005. Flus, fevers, coughs, colds—you name it, I had it.

The bright side to that year was finding a rhythm that worked for me, but not after many attempts and a few failures along the way.

This is how I do it.

Say Good Night—Interesting how the simple act of a goodnight kiss will prep the body to begin shutting down. For me, as soon as I begin my goodnight tour, my eyes begin to drift, my muscles relax and I find that I’m dragging my limbs upstairs instead of walking. This is all very well and fine, because it’s the body’s way of telling me it’s ready to hit the sack. And it all starts with saying goodnight.

Prepare the Sleeping Area—My ritual entails stripping the bed and making it over again, even if it’s done. Yes, I admit it is strange. But it’s my thing. It’s another step toward solid sleep. I remove the wrinkles. Tighten the sheets. Fluff the pillows and create a fold. I know, and I agree that it’s obsessive compulsive. You know what, though? Every time I get under the sheets, it feels great knowing I’ve made the bed minutes earlier. Call me strange.

Wash and Get Dressed—Hygiene is very important for a sound, restful sleep. Every night I brush my teeth, wash my face, comb my hair and go pee—and wash my hands again, of course. Then I slip into my PJs made of 100% cotton. The material is important because I find 100% cotton allows my skin to breathe. Try sleeping with polyester on your skin. Not a fun night Charlie Brown.

Downtime—Once I’ve taken care of the prerequisites, I’ll turn off all the lights except for the one on my nightstand. I’ll dim that one to its lowest setting. Next, I’ll pray, listen to music, read, perhaps play a game or two and slowly allow my eyes to close. Sometimes I won’t even have the chance to do anything. I’ll simply be ready for bed. The downtime provides my body to ease into its sleep cycle. It’s not about the activity, but about allowing your body to shut down naturally. For a long time I didn’t do this and found myself wide awake at two in the morning.

In Bed—Once I’ve completed the Twenty-Mile Marathon, I put everything away, tuck myself under the sheets and turn off the light. Seriously, within seconds I fall asleep and wake up every morning feeling refreshed and invigorated. The trick while sleeping is to never look at the clock. Eventually, the alarm will go off and you’ll bounce out of bed with all the energy you need to tackle the day’s events.

That’s all there is to if. Now you know me a little more than you had a few minutes ago.

Last piece of advise, if you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep: find your rhythm. It’ll take a while, but once you find it, your body will be happy you did.

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Have you suffered from insomnia? What was your cure?

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Tyler Durden

“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”

If that sounds like the craziest line you’ve ever heard from a movie, you’re probably right. Then again, the character who said it was pretty crazy. So it’s understandable why anyone would think that.

Brad Pitt is Tyler Durden

Brad Pitt is Tyler Durden

Released in 1999 and directed by David Fincher, Fight Club soon went on to become a cult classic among film buffs. I know, I was one of them. That’s why for Wednesday Warriors I’d like to talk a bit about Tyler Durden played by Brad Pitt and what he means to the average viewer watching the movie for the first time.

I’ll try not to spoil it, but I will make a few references to the film’s content that may seem like I’m spoiling it—I’ll try not to. I promise.

A lot of folks have heard about Fight Club‘s rules. If you haven’t, I’ll lay down the first two as a starting point for this post:

The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.
The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!

The movie begins with The Narrator (Ed Norton) who’s sick of his corporate day job and wants to change his life but isn’t sure how to do it. He’s living a miserable existence, possessing miserable things, and taking part in miserable activities as a way to buy his time until he dies and leaves this miserable world.

The Narrator then meets Tyler.

Tyler Durden's perspective.

Tyler Durden’s perspective.

Tyler has a different perspective on things. He believes people should break free from their depressing schedules in order to truly experience a meaningful life. He believes those stuck in their pitiful routine have given up and need a shot in the face to snap them out of the rut.

Enter Fight Club.

Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club

“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.” Tyler says to The Narrator. Of course, The Narrator will do no such thing. To sucker punch someone because they ask? It doesn’t make sense. Yet Tyler insists, wanting The Narrator to make sense out of the nonsense. This is how Fight Club comes to life—two guys beating the crap out of each other until someone says uncle.

Yet, what Tyler wants The Narrator to understand is it really isn’t about the fight. Anyone can pick a fight. Anyone can also beat someone senseless. The whole exercise is about feeling alive again. Doing something beyond oneself as a means to feel every bit that kid again before the establishment got a hold and knocked the kid out of them.

This is what Tyler says:

Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.

Tyler may appear antiestablishment and may give the impression he hates all forms of authority. In reality, he’s quite the opposite. He’s the type of person who wants to push people to question their beliefs, think about their morals, and tempt them to understand who they are as a way for them to become stronger than they think they are on their own individual merits.

Tyler is not antisocial either. He is very much the people person no one expects him to be. A leader. An instigator. Different. And it’s that difference that sets him apart from other leaders to light the flame of independence in an effort to stir a crowd to action.

Tyler Durden. Rabble-rouser.

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Have you seen Fight Club? What do you think of the Tyler Durden character?

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Zombies and the Weather

I’m writing this post a week in advance with the temperature outside having dipped to a balmy -26°C/-14.8°F. Of course, balmy is not the word I would have chosen to describe the frigid arctic air mass that has settled here in Northeastern Canada. But know it’s my attempt at sarcasm. I’m hoping by the time this publishes, this paragraph will remain relevant. Nonetheless, since I’m talking about the weather and our frosty climate across the border, I’m now curious as to whether the undead would be able to survive our environment here in the Great White North.

Winter in Canada

Winter in Canada

So, without much fanfare, and since today is Family Day here in Ontario, I thought it interesting for my Monday Mayhem series of articles if I talk about zombie survivability in extreme weather conditions.

[Note: Please folks, don’t take this post seriously, because I’m going to share some ideas with you that will not have relevance of thought, or applicability to current conditions in the grand scheme of zombiehood. In other words, take it as light reading for a Monday morning.]

All right, with that out of the way, let’s talk about zombies and the arctic weather we’re experiencing here in Canada. Would zombies be able to survive our climate if they walk the streets at night and no one’s around to feed them? Literally. Knowing what I know about the draggers, and how stupid there are, I think they’d freeze solid before they even try to get their grimy little paws on us. First, at least on my street, it gets quiet during winter. If it’s quiet then chewers can’t find us. More than likely, they’d roam or maybe stand in one spot, which, by the time I wake up in the morning, I’ll have a bunch of undead statues standing erect on my driveway ready for the hammer to the head. Second, snowstorms have blessed us up here. I’d love to see those miserable eaters fight through our frozen winter wonderland chasing after their food. They’d have to find us first. The blustery wind alone would shake them off their feet.

Tornado and Lightning

Tornado and Lightning

Since I’m talking about the wind, what about tornadoes? In the summer, just north of where I live, resides twister alley. Do you think the undead would be able to survive a blast from nature soon after one of these cyclones touches down on terra firma? The impact alone would kill them. I’ve seen videos of how one of these funnels cut a path straight across a neighborhood leaving devastation in its wake. No way would a zombie live through that. I mean, after getting slammed a few times upside the head with a pickup truck, I’m sure there wouldn’t be anything left either of the zombie or the pickup.

How about thunderstorms? In minutes, I’ve seen our neighborhood go from birds chirping, sun shining and a gentle wafting of the breeze to utter devastation, thunder clapping, deluge of water coursing through the streets and lightning. I think a storm of such ferocity, though, would do little damage to the chewer population. Oh sure, perhaps a few bolts of lightning frying the unfortunate undead who happens to stroll the sidewalk that day could prove nature still had a way announcing its control. But really? It’ll last a few minutes and the zombie crowd would still be around for the fight.

No, what needs to happen is for the earth to open and swallow anything dragging their feet. Then, and only then, would there be peace on earth.

Unfortunately, our neighborhood hasn’t experienced an earthquake in years. Not that I would want one, mind you.

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Do you think the weather could prevent the undead from attacking? What would be the most devastating thing the weather could do to destroy a zombie horde?

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Do You Want to…

There’s a running joke in our family these days that has grown out of control and poses a threat to our sanity. Not really, but once you know what it is you’ll know what I mean. Ever since the release of the movie Frozen, we’ve been taking turns singing the words to Do You Want to Build a Snowman? in a new and original way. We replace the words “to build a snowman” with pretty much anything that pops into our head.

Frozen's Olaf the Snowman

Frozen’s Olaf the Snowman

Like this: Do you wanna read Freedom Friday?

It started with innocent intentions. One of us—I will not name names—me—began to sing the words to the snowman song whenever it snowed. Given I live in Canada and it snows a lot, especially last year, I was singing the opening phrase quite extensively. You can read that as meaning others in my family were telling me, “Stop singing that snowman song.”

Of course, if someone tells Jack he shouldn’t be doing something, what does Jack do? Yep, Jack keeps on doing it. [End of Jack’s third-person dialog.]

So, I did what any other normal person would do—become excruciatingly annoying.

Not only did I sing the song when it snowed, but I also sang it when it didn’t with the added incentive to change the words to suite my needs.

Like this: Do you want to cook some chicken?
Like this: Do you want to have some sushi?
Like this: Do you want a have a party?
Or like this: Do you hate me for my singing?

And on and on it went. Eventually, I’d worn the family down so much that they too fell to the Dark Side.

Now, a year later, we’re all singing it.

At the dinner table: Do you want to pass the salt, please?
In the garage: Will you ever wash the car, dear?
While shopping: Do we need some extra olives?

Naturally, because I write about zombies, I have to have my own version of the song:

Do you want to kill a zombie?
Will you shoot it in the head?
Will you throw it off a cliff and sigh
Watch it fly
Until it’s fully dead?

So really, the moral of this post is this: if you want to change people you should never have to change yourself. Be a nuisance and you just might get what you want.

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Do you want to leave a comment?

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Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne is a superhero. Big surprise there. He’s not your ordinary superhero, though. He’s what I call a natural superhero. Let me explain what I mean for my Wednesday Warriors series dedicated to guy fictional characters who rock the planet.

Bruce Wayne / Batman / Dark Knight

Bruce Wayne / Batman / Dark Knight

Unlike Superman who has the ability to see through things, fly like a bird and bend steel with his bare hands, Bruce Wayne doesn’t have any of that. In fact, behind Batman‘s mask, Bruce Wayne is quite normal. Spider-Man even has him beat with his acquired ability to climb walls. But Batman? Superpowers?

Born from DC Comics and part of the Justice League, Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne possesses an extravagant lifestyle that is nothing more than a ruse for those curious enough to want to investigate the multi-billionaire. He can afford the toys. He can afford the equipment. No expense is too great for him. No cost is too grand. His parents were victims of a brutal mugging by a man named Jack Napier. In later years, Jack becomes the Joker, Batman’s archenemy and nemesis. It’s through Bruce’s dark past that Bruce gains his strength. Call it revenge. Call it payback. Whatever name it goes by, it’s Bruce’s impetus to fight crime on crime’s level.

Heath Ledger as the Joker

Heath Ledger as the Joker

Back to Bruce Wayne’s superhero status. He’s a natural. He doesn’t possess superpowers. He relies on equipment to fight the evils of this world. And he sports a wicked attitude against those who skirt justice at the hands of the law. Known also as The Dark Knight, the moniker provides an ominous message for anyone attempting to flee from their misdeeds. He will find them. And he will punish them.

Batman’s skill as a crime fighter resonates well with those weak of spirit. If an ordinary man without superpowers can overcome the demons of this world, who’s to say everyone else can’t? For in the depths of darkness lies truth awaiting discovery. That truth, no matter how simple an idea it is to swallow, sparks the fire within the souls of the just to bring the unjust to their knees.

Burdens may overtake Gotham City, but with Bruce Wayne around, archenemies bow before his presence. The idea of an ordinary man without superpowers having the ability to do this is astounding. And yet, it is so. Batman can’t see through things, can’t fly like a bird, and he can’t bend steel with his bare hands.

But what Bruce Wayne has living within his soul is what makes him a superhero. He has the willingness to sacrifice himself for those less fortunate. He has the willingness to live a selfless life as a way to bring justice where darkness lives. What’s more important?

Bruce Wayne as a natural superhero is willing to die so that others can live. That is what makes him a superhero worth admiring.

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Are you a Batman fan? What do you like most about the character Bruce Wayne?

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Zombie Nightmare

The other night I had a nightmare. I don’t blame myself for having it, considering I write about zombies, and I’d gone through a Walking Dead marathon recently. But yes, I had a full-blown nightmare waking up in a cold sweat and trying to catch my breath. I fell short of screaming–thank goodness for that. Then again, what would I consider scream-worthy?

Spider nest

Spider nest

For today’s Monday Mayhem, let me tell you about this nightmare.

Some of my friends have asked me pointblank where do I get my ideas. In all honesty, because I write every day, I figured it had to do with the writing habit. But more and more I’m finding I draw much of my inspiration through my dreams, and yes, nightmares. I have yet to experience night terrors, such as those few unlucky people I’ve met in my lifetime, however my dreams are so vivid at times that when I wake up I’m confused as to what is real and what is not.

Knowing this, let’s get back to my nightmare.

One night I find myself running through a wheat field. I could hear the stalks breaking under my footsteps and I could feel the grain scratching my hands as I attempt to make my way to an exit of some sort. The night is cold. It feels more like the end of October, early November. I can see my breath. I remember wearing my jeans and sneakers, but that’s not important until later. And there’s very little light, although I can see ahead to what is coming next.

I then find myself at the mouth of a cave. At least it looks that way. The rock outside glistens in the moonlight. Now that I think about it, I wonder why everything looks brighter than the wheat field. I notice the rock appears wet to the touch. I can’t understand why it seems wet, yet I can’t see a source of water anywhere.

Inside the cave, I look around and notice that the walls are also wet to the touch, much like the outside. I move forward until I stop next to a crag where a small shaft of light appears. I find this weird, but I’m not afraid. Then the light disappears only I find the tunnel ahead contains a fire burning in the background. I can smell the charring wood and can feel the warmth from a few feet away.

I can’t move, though. I try to lift my feet, I try to pull my legs from where they stand, but something’s keeping me there. It’s funny, I feel as if I have lost my will to use my lower half.

When I peer at my feet, expecting I may have stepped into glue, I see things crawling on my sneakers. They are black. They have legs. Now, I’m afraid. Their legs bend as would a spider’s legs bend. It’s not a spider, though. The hand-sized bug has seven legs, three on two sides and one in the back. It crawls around and has now begun climbing my legs.

Having regained the use of my legs, I run. I scream. I shake. Yet I don’t go anywhere other than two feet from where those bugs had attacked me. I turn around and stare at them. I find I had stood frozen in place under their nest.

Then I hear a familiar growl. The undead. I’m sure of it.

That’s when I wake up.

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Have you had any nightmares lately? What was the last one you remember?

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Binge Watching

Netflix has given rise to the term binge watching. It happens when viewers have the choice to watch full seasons of a TV series available online, rental or for purchase. Not only does the definition include TV series, but it also includes movies. Some folks, including me, call these binge watching sessions marathons. I know of a couple of friends who have gone a weekend watching full seasons of 24.

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II

Today, for Freedom Friday, I would like to talk about my binge watching sessions and tell you a bit of what I’ve learned from the experience.

For me, it all started with The Godfather. One Christmas, many years ago, I received The Godfather collection on DVD. It’s a gift I’d always wanted, since I’d eaten through my VHS tape copies and needed a replacement for the films. Way back in the distant past, the only way to enjoy this series was through TV. Like everyone else, I had to wait until the next movie in the series would air to find out what happened with Michael Corleone. I eventually purchased the VHS tapes, but sometimes my VCR mangled the tapes and it left me with a free night to do nothing other than stare at a blank television screen.

Anyway, once I had The Godfather series on DVD that fateful Christmas morning, a day later I took to my TV and gorged on all that is mob-related. Watching the movies in context with one another is an experience. Gone is the delay of waiting to see what happens. The other benefit was not having to remember what the character’s names were because they were still fresh in my mind. With subsequent marathons, I also could connect the various events that happened in the movies with each other and determine how they related with one another. I find it’s something I can’t do when I watch something once a week or every few years or so.

Breaking Bad's Jesse and Heisenberg

Breaking Bad’s Jesse and Heisenberg

Recently, my binge watching has included The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Trailer Park Boys, Breaking Bad and, just a few weeks ago, The Walking Dead.

In particular with Breaking Bad, I found the show more enjoyable without the interruptions between episodes. Walt, the cancer-stricken meth producer became more real as did his addict assistant Jesse. I could feel the adrenaline rush as they attempted to escape death from every turn.

In the case of The Walking Dead, when watching the last episode of Season 4 and the first episode of Season 5 back-to-back, my stomach tightened from one scene to another as I wondered what will happen next. I couldn’t stop from watching the protagonist unravel. Rick had me from the opening and wouldn’t let go.

Experiences like that provide for an awesome event to remember. And I also think the stories and characters become more meaningful. I know as a writer, I appreciate the plot beats to the point where they are now something to spot, “Ah, there should be a twist right about now!” Things like that make binge watching a treat.

My recommendation? If you haven’t done it, try it. It truly is something everyone should appreciate.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

What shows or movies have you dedicated to binge watching either in the past or recently?

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