Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Post Apocalypse Survival Guide...

I've been thinking about the apocalypse quite a bit lately.  I'm not really sure why, but it might have something to do with the fact that I am always reading books or watching TV shows or movies about living a post apocalyptic life.  I've come up with a list of must-haves in order to survive.  (note: There are several plausible  apocalypses, therefore this list will prepare me for all of them.)

Survival Must Have:
1. A very knowledgeable, says-the-right-thing-at-the-right-moment, stoic, yet witty, black man in your group. Think about it ...Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli, 

Will Smith in I am Legend.

The black guy from Dawn of the Dead

Second need for survival...
2. A great immune system.
If the apocalypse occurs because of a global, wipe-out disease...then I need to boost my immune system.  I just read a book by Stephen King called The Stand.  (It was over 1200 pages long and at first, I thought that it was great, But by the end...I was very bored) However...in order to survive, one had to be immune to the disease that spread across the world killing 98% of the population.

(this guy is an expert...I'm going to believe him)

3. An ability to shoot a gun or wield a machete

(Emma Stone in Zombieland)
If I'm going to live through the apocalypse and live through it WELL, I need to know how to shoot a gun.  I know, I know...you might say..."But Brittany, I thought you were an impeccable marksman." Well, you got me there.  I am a good shot...thanks for bringing it up...however.  I don't think that being a good shot is going to help me load and operate a gun.  It's kind of like fishing...I can catch all the fish in the world...but it isn't going to do me a damn bit of good if I, for the life of me cannot, under any circumstances bring myself to take a live, finning fish off of a hook.  I will be standing there, holding a fishing pole with a flopping fish on the end, waiting for someone to take it off.
Only, in the apocalypse...there won't BE anyone to take the fish off my hook............I will have to just wait for it to suffocate and die...and that is just cruel.
<back to guns>
There are several instances, that I can think of, where it would be handy to know how to operate a gun.
    1. If there are zombies, I can shoot them.
    2. I can shoot animals for food.
    3. I can shoot looters who try and steal my goods.
    4. If anyone tries to rape me...I can shoot them
    5. Um...do I even have to mention how bad ass it is going to look when I have pistols in hip holsters and a 12 gauge shotgun strapped to my back? I don't think so.  (Disclaimer: The main objective in living in a post apocalyptic world (besides surviving), by the way, is to look and act as bad ass as you possibly can...reference: Mel Gibson in Mad Max and Mila Kunis in The Book of Eli)

I suppose you could substitute a machete for a gun...although, if I have to cut people up...I'll probably just go ahead and die because I don't think I could slice anything but a watermelon successfully...

5. A dog for a companion...
I suppose if all the people around you are dead, then a dog would be a good companion.  In The Stand, they find a dog and it brightens the mood of the travelers tremendously.  Apparently, Mad Max also has a dog...

as does Will Smith,

There are several draw backs to this...Apparently, dogs aren't always immune to wipe-out-the-human-race diseases either.  In The Stand, dogs did not really survive...but this one did.  In I am Legend, his dog gets attacked by infected dogs and then his one and only companion gets sick and he has to kill her! It was horrible.  On a different note, I may need to invest in some different dogs...perhaps pound dogs.  I don't think Chloe and Coletrane will be able to hack the apocalypse...

I'm just saying...

6. Come to grips with and conquer all of my irrational fears...
Let's face it...those of you who know me, and know me well, know that I have a lot of odd phobias.  For example: When making dinner with my sister Haley a few months ago, there were chicken feathers still on the drumstick. I told her that I could not...simply COULD NOT pluck those feathers out.  She looked at me...stared for a bit and then said very simply.  "You aren't going to survive the apocalypse." (this coming from a woman who falls into hysterics when an ant crawls across the kitchen floor)  This got me thinking: What phobias are imperative for me to get over and which ones are ok for me to have?
   A.) My fear of dead birds and my constant fear of unexpectantly stumbling upon one.
  Hundreds of dead birds along the side of the Morganza Hwy. in Louisiana on Monday. <---If this happens, I don't know if I will be able to leave the house. (see previous post: Fat Tuesday)
Why, you may ask, should I overcome this fear?  Because...during the apocalypse...there may be more instances of birds dropping dead, spontaneously from the sky, like they did on New Years of this year. (Dead Birds)
(<---these are all the places where mass animal deaths have occurred.)
So...as you can easily see...I need to be able to truck through the apocalypse even if there are dead birds all over the road. Plus, because access to food may be limited, I may have to resort to killing and eating birds...If I kill a bird...then I will have to handle a dead bird....ehhhh...I don't like this idea.
    B) My fear of being eaten by a shark(s)

I'm not really too concerned about facing/overcoming this fear.  Although sharks scare the crap out of me and when I see pictures/videos about them, I can't look away...I don't think that, even in a post-apocalyptic world, that I am going to run into them too much.  I have no real desire to be near an ocean.  so...this fear, I can keep.
   C) Getting eaten by an alligator.
This fear...depending on where I live after the apocalypse, could come true.  I found some tips on the internet at a website called...Animal Attacks, on how to avoid an attack by an alligator...here they are, right here...

  • Stay away from alligator inhabited areas during the dusk and early evening. This is the time of day alligators most commonly feed. They are also most active during the warm, summer months.
  • Don't clean fish and discard the parts near water. This attracts alligators to the shore, and maybe even to a swimmer nearby. (THIS IS A TIP THAT I WILL REMEMBER WHEN I LEARN HOW TO TAKE A FISH OFF THE HOOK)
  • Avoid searching or reaching for lost golf balls, boomerangs or anything else in water. This can be dangerous, especially to your hands and feet. ( I DON'T KNOW HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM THIS WILL BE, SEEING THAT I HAVE NEVER GOLFED OR EVEN SEEN A BOOMERANG, BUT CONSIDER IT NOTED)
  • Keep pets away from waters inhabited by alligators. Small pets especially can attract alligators to the shoreline, or nearby swimmers. (CHECK)
  • Never feed alligators. Giving food to the alligators teaches them to associate humans with food. (UM...DUH?)
  • Don't harass an alligator if one is seen. An alligator will usually avoid a human unless is feels threatened, so turn around and move the other way quietly. (CONSIDER THIS TIP FOLLOWED)

   D.) My fear of abnormally large inanimate objects...
For example...,
I'm sure there will be many different large inanimate objects in the post apocalyptic world.  However, I'm sure due to sheer exposure, I will be able to overcome this fear during the apocalypse.
(On a side note, the last two pictures, I have seen these in real life.  They are from a highway in North Dakota called the enchanted highway. My friends from high school, Rachel Knutson and Stephanie Irish picked me up from college in Idaho one year and on the way home we took this highway thinking it would be fun...IT WAS NOT FUN, IT WAS HORRIFYING.)

This is in no way a complete guide to surviving the apocalypse, just so you all know....I've been writing this post for several days now...so I've thought long and hard about the last point.

7.  I need to be able to take on several "people" at one time, in a fight.
I put people in quotations because I may not be fighting people off.  They may be animals, aliens, or zombies...

You never know when you might need a set of fighting skills to ward off post apocalyptic monsters.  A gun and dog may help but, I think being able to fight in hand to hand combat is just as  bad ass of a skill as shooting someone.  Also...think Hunger Games.  The one thing I've learned is: You have to be able to kick butt after the apocalypse.

Alright...well that ends my list for now.  I know that I have a lot of work to do in order to solidify my survival in the post apocalyptic world.  If any of you have any other skills you think would be worth having to live, feel free to post.  In the meantime...I'm going to start mastering my list. Happy surviving...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Frustration Tolerance

So, as most of you know, I work with children who have autism. I love my job and I think that it is great...we use ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and basically...we all get stuck in the jargon of everything. Right now, my mind is definitely stuck on the phrase "frustration tolerance". Why you may ask? Because I do not have any. When I am frustrated...(physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) I do not tolerate much of anything else.
If anyone comes in contact with me in the next few days and says to themselves, "woah...what is wrong with Brittany?" You will know that I am in need of some frustration tolerance training. (I probably could be cured by a good make out session...I'm just saying.)

Another phrase that we use a lot is...Escape behavior...this would be defined as when a child uses a behavior to escape from a demand. For example...When asked to brush my teeth...I may engage in a tantrum like behavior in order to get out of brushing my teeth. This phrase is often shortened to just..."escaping". I often think...what kind of image would an outsider conjure from hearing us say..."Brittany is escaping from brushing her teeth."
(I know there is a fork in his hand...but trying to stab someone to get out of brushing your teeth would be "escape behavior")

Access behavior is another common phrase...Access behavior is usually what you think about when you think about a child having bad behavior. Someone acting out to get something in return. This would be if my mother were to say..."Brittany, you cannot have that toy because you don't need it." I would be engaging in access behavior if I threw a tantrum in order to get the toy.
This is a three-way tantrum...It looks as if the kid in the middle may be the peace-maker, but my theory is that he is the instigator. Look at that face. Little red has that green toy that little green wants. Red is escaping from sharing and green is access crying in order to get the toy. Old blue is keeping them apart because he is trying to build his sand castle in the middle. He was ok with red helping him, but once green came into the picture...it was all over.
Tantruming is also a word that is used OFTEN in the world of autism and ABA.

"Use your Words" is a common phrase used in my field.
Sometimes, this phrase is OVER USED. I hear it all the time...use your words...use your words...use your words...The thing is...ALL of the children I work with do not speak. They have communication...but they cannot talk verbally, therefore the phrase, "use your words" is not an efficient way to get them to communicate.

Eloping is my favorite word we use.  Instead of saying..."Brittany is running away from the classroom," We would say, "Brittany is ELOPING from the classroom." I like the image of eloping better than the image of running away anyways...

Why, you may ask, am I choosing to blog about this? I have no idea...Other than, the phrase, frustration tolerance is stuck in my brain right now.  I am frustrated with a few things in my life and wish I could be UN-frustrated by them.  Dammit.

Maybe if I engage in some access behavior for the things that I want, I will get it.  Or if I escape from the demands I have placed on me, life wouldn't be so hard and I would not have to tolerate my frustration.  Either way...I need action.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Squeezies...

I feel the necessity to share a little characteristic of myself that that has been plaguing me today. I believe that I have always had this characteristic, but it wasn't accurately defined until my best friend, Melanie A Tidwell came along. We discovered it somewhat simultaneously in ourselves, probably on a food binging, high of code red mountain dew, lack of sleep college stupor. It is called, "the squeezy loves" or more commonly refered to, as just, "the squeezies". You know when you see a brand new baby and you have the weirdest desire to squeeze it's cheeks because it's just that damn cute? Or a puppy that you squeeze so hard it grunts a little bit.
Or you see a bunny rabbit and your mom says..."Don't squeeze it that hard, Brittany, it's little and you might hurt it." But you squeeze it just a little too hard and poop comes out anyway? Well...I get this kind of squirmy squeezes for regular people...Not bunnies, not babies...but friends and family.
The squeezies don't always come about because you love someone. I am a firm believer that they come in sneaky forms as well...Not that you necessarily hate that person, it's just that you feel feisty inside and the devil is in you....you want to pinch them and/or bite their cheeks. I also believe that some of my kids at school suffer from this form of squeezies as well. I have "love" marks all over my arms and neck because of their squeezies.
Squeezies come at random times. You can't really plan on having them...they just come.
For instance: A person I work with made me so annoyed yesterday that I told him that I wanted to punch him in his face the next time I saw him. Instead of punching him, today, I felt really wiley...like sneaking up behind him and pinching the back of his neck. I felt like biting his arm anytime I sat next to him. I felt like tripping him on the way to the bathroom. I felt like stealing his pen from his hand and throwing it down the hallway all dramatic-like. The scariest urge, on which I almost acted, was wanting to tackle him to the floor, pinning his arms down with my knees and then poking his cheeks with my middle fingers. WHY??! This makes no sense! There is no rational feeling for this except for the fact that I had the squeezies!
Melanie and I use to describe different scenarios involving squeezy loves. A common conversation we would have while walking uphill before a run would consist of something along the lines of this...

Melanie: I feel like driving round a round-about 20 times, then crashing into a ditch with you on the top of the car.
Brittany: Oh yeah, well I feel like biting your leg off and then hitting you on the head with it 5 times.
Melanie: I want to squeeze you so hard your eyes pop out.
Brittany: Well, I want to squeeze you so hard you poop your pants!
Melanie: You couldn't do that.
Brittany: You couldn't make my eyes pop out.
Melanie: But still, I would try.
Brittany: (blank stare) I want to tie your hair on top of your head and then cut it all off.
Melanie: You want to cut my head off??!!
Brittany: NO! Just your hair!
Melanie: Oh...Ok.
Brittany: Want to get a hot and ready and watch 27 dresses?
Melanie: Do I?!
(Proceed to walk back home without completing our run)

Ridiculous eh? We would never do any of those things, but did you ever love/hate something or someone so much, you wanted to hurt them? I believe you may suffer from the squeezies as well...
There is treatment for this condition. Act on your urges. Do it moderately and sneakily, but it's okay to randomly pounce on someone with that little gleam of evil in your eyes.