Wednesday, January 23

Wootpocalypse: December

by Randall Cleveland

July
August
September
October
November

December 11
4:45p

Finally found this at the bottom of my bag. Lot to go over since we met up with James and the rest of the group. Val and I have been living with a group of about 12 people making our way East. James says the Air Force base is a good idea, and better than any plan they had before. They had a couple of pick-up trucks, but we had to ditch them because every time they fired up more of those things would come running.

James seems to be the de facto leader of the group; he's kind of an alpha type but everyone's so shell-shocked it's good to have someone who can come up with a plan and stick to it. He seems to think this whole thing is some kind of sign from above or something. I try not to talk about it because it's hard to keep from rolling my eyes when he gets on a roll.

Had my first shower in a long time. It was cold, but just running water was a plus. The group has a pretty good system: Donovan and Matt scout ahead and find a house or building for the group that looks secure, the rest of us haul what little food and gear we have. We make slow time, but the two of them are good at avoiding those things. Rebekah handles most of the cooking, which mainly consists of opening cans, but it makes up for her not carrying stuff on account of her back hurting.

Speaking of, my back is still painful and swollen, but it's getting better. Val is still having a hard time accepting what's going on, though. She's always had trouble with depression, and she's out of meds.

December 13
6:30a

Moving out for the day. We've been discussing moving at night to give us some cover, but we'd be just as blind and honestly we don't know if they see any better than us at night or not. It's getting really cold. Had a few days' break from the rain, but it's back today in full force. I knew we should've stopped at that REI, but Matt said it was too crowded in the city to go back.

December 13
9:45p

My turn for night watch, along with Peter. He doesn't talk much. Lindsey, one of the girls, told me he lost his family. I mean, we've all lost people, but I guess he watched his brother turn and get his parents. I can't decide if that's better or worse than just knowing my family is probably dead out there without being able to contact them.

Tonight we're in an old 7-Eleven. Everyone got excited about the food, but it's mostly junk. Still, even four month old Doritos taste good when you're living off canned beans and ramen. We did score a lot of bottled water and some Clif bars; some people had obviously torn through here in a hurry but they left a ton of stuff.

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Wednesday, January 16

First Time Home Owner: No Paint, No Gain

by Randall Cleveland

I recently bought a house. One of the reasons my wife and I bought the house was because the previous owners obviously sank a lot of time, energy, and money into fixing everything up so we wouldn't have to. Neither one of us is particularly handy, to the point that I left moon crater-sized divots in an old apartment of ours while trying to hang pictures on plaster. So we were happy that any of the work we wanted to put into the house would be aesthetic stuff of our own desire and not, say, having to fix a leaking pipe or put a new roof on or something (I realize even by typing those words I have cursed myself and my furnace probably just exploded).

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Tuesday, January 15

So You Want to Be a Famous Writer, Part 2: Your Manuscript

by Randall Cleveland

Now that you've secured a crippling personality defect that fans and journalists can use to paint you with the broadest of strokes, it's time to get to the actual task of writing. Any writers' forum online will tell you that you need to start writing immediately and often because writing is like any other exercise in that you have to do it often to get good at it. These people are idiots.

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Tuesday, January 08

Badvertising: Insufferable Jerks Do Not Sell Satellite Dishes

by Randall Cleveland

Rare is the commercial that really sticks with you. At best, it's likely to inflict some subtle subconscious urge to buy a Bud Light the next time you're at a football game or something. More often, though, and much more tragic, are the ads that stand out for being just so awful they make you go out of your way to avoid whatever it is they've advertised. Badvertising is for those kinds.
 

 

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Wootpocalypse: November

by Randall Cleveland

July
August
September
October

November 1
8:45a
Can't stop shivering. Hard to write. Have to find better shelter, but Val is too scared to leave. We're in Schmitz Park, but luckily it's heavily-wooded enough that none of those people have come in. Heard something come nosing around the tent last night, probably just a raccoon.

November 1
12:30p
Just ate our last tin of sardines. Not sure if we can drink this creek water; it's moving fast but we're near a road. I worry there's all kinds of funk in there. No avoiding it - I have to go find some supplies.

November 1
5:45p
I broke into a house. I knocked and waited for probably 15 minutes, but no one came. I knew no one would, the city feels like it's been abandoned, but it still felt wrong. I smashed the window on the door and reached in to unlock it. I stood outside the door for probably another 15 minutes before I finally worked up the guts to walk in.

I don't know what I expected, but the house looked almost pristine. I guess I sort of thought it would be all torn apart, like someone had looted it or people had to pack everything in a hurry, but the owners could just as easily have been out at work. I found some cans of chili and soup and a bag of extremely stale potato chips. Most everything else was rotten; I thought seriously about just scraping the fuzz off their bread but I didn't want to risk it.

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Tuesday, December 04

 

Wednesday, November 28

Wootpocalypse: October

by Randall Cleveland
July
August
September

October 1
7:30a
Leaving this here in case…I don't know. In case something happens, I guess. I'm taking Val to the Community Center near the library. Hopefully we can get evacuated to a FEMA camp or something; worst case scenario at least there'll be a doctor to look at Val. Wish me luck.

October 3
11:30p
Hurt bad.
Never made it out.
Bill attacked me
Gail- still moving? Thought dead??
Feel sick. Write more later.

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Monday, October 29

 

Wednesday, October 24

Is Public Shaming Justice?

by Randall Cleveland

There was a mildly amusing story in The Riverfront Times about the "Scamwich Artist," a middle-aged man who would call restaurants and claim his (non-existent) order had been messed up, then show up to collect a free sandwich or gift card or whatever. It turns out he's a nebbish 50-something accountant who can probably afford lunch out rather than steal from restaurants, but lovers of comeuppance-getting rejoice! The story culminates with the Scamwich Artist getting outed: his name, photo, and even workplace are revealed so we can all gleefully point and laugh in scornful derision.

And that's…progress?

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Friday, October 19

So You Want to Be A Famous Writer

by Randall Cleveland

Writing is one of the least-valued and under-appreciated occupations a person can get into. Seriously. Go check out Monster.com's listings for "writers." Check out how many goofballs are convinced you'll be willing to crank out six articles a day for "exposure." If you've ever had the privilege of working as a writer in a company or agency, you know it's pretty much a non-stop barrage of Could you please justify your existence again? and I'm not sure how to allocate you on a spreadsheet, exactly.

How do you get around this indignity? Simple: you become one of the greats. And I'm going to show you how with free, easy to understand lessons right here because I'm probably the nicest guy on the planet.

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