St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (New Orleans)

Look! The City of the Dead has electricity. Plumbing too! (wastewater system not included)

This is the older of the three cemeteries I had a chance to visit over Easter weekend. They call the cemeteries w above-ground tombs Cities of the Dead. It is an apt name. Most cemeteries I have visited the dead buried in facing one direction. I haven’t ever been to a cemetery where the Romany (aka Gypsies, which some consider a pejorative term) are buried. They traditionally bury their dead standing. However, I just bet the graves face one direction.

In the New Orleans cemeteries, the family tombs are organized along what can only be described as streets. And, there are distinct alleyways. There seems to be a main avenue and then side streets, too. In St. Louis No. 1, though, there are also segregated portions based on religion.

That reminded me of the lovely Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas. But, Concordia has all kinds of sections (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mason, Chinese, the Nursery). And, I bet the corpses are mummified rather than completely disintegrated as they are in New Orleans. (yeah, because that’s something to ponder. I’ll just store it under ‘potential for zombies.’ But, wouldn’t a mummified zombie be awfully brittle?? Not much of a threat, really.)

AAH! Why do I sit here considering the type and danger level of zombies in graveyards? There aren’t any. I wander cemeteries on a regular basis. I have never seen a ghost, heard a strange noise, felt an odd breeze, or been attacked by zombies. In reality, what horrifies me the most are the graves of young mothers and their dead children. Particularly when the family plot contains so many children who lived for a just a few days…and sometimes just a day.

Recently, pop star Libby Allen suffered her second still-birth. While the media called it a miscarriage, she actually lost a six month fetus. That is a still-birth, not a miscarriage. How awful for her. I wonder if many of those dead infants in cemeteries were still-born.  I’m not even sure how a person would go about researching such a thing.

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I let this man in my house?! He’s an Evil Illustrator. I’m scared.

One of my beloved’s friends was interviewed by CNN. He’s no evil dictator, but he does carry grenades with him.  He also wears a kilt and some kind of leather armor. I never questioned his fashion choices until I saw him on CNN. I must have lived in Austin too long if this is what passes for normal to me.

Martin Whitmore is an artist, so I guess I will let it slide this time. If you ever need an illustrator–or if you are interested in comics featuring zombies and strippers, he’s the guy for you!

That book? It’s a modern d20 RPG based on a zombie-infested world. It’s the zombie apocolypse–will you survive? Marty illustrated the book and collaborated with my beloved, Sergio Vandel, to write it. You can get your own copy for $14.99 at

They’ll be at AggieCon 2011 on March 26-27, and they’ll be running a game. Print copies of Against the Dead will be available.

An army of headless zombies attacks on El Paso Street!

They were directed by two zombies with heads still intact. I was lucky to get out of there alive! As soon as I saw this line of monsters, I took one shot with my camera and ducked down an alley way. Look, if only two of them have heads, best to get out of their line-of-sight as soon as possible. It lessens the chance they’ll fixate on you. Zombies suffer from obsessive thoughts. Use that knowledge to your advantage!

Which dress did you like best? I normally can’t fit the ‘girls’ into those dresses. I know, how tragic that I’m top-heavy. Anyhow, I like that black and white corset a lot–mainly because it is not modeled on a freaking zombie on the move!!!

Concordia Cemetery–Chinese Section (El Paso)

If you go to EP, it’s on the north side of IH10 when you are driving west towards downtown from the airport. Take the Copia Street exit. Really, if you do nothing else in EP on your business trip, visit this cemetery. That is, if you have already taken the drive up Rim Road/Scenic Drive! If you haven’t taken that drive on your trip…well…I’m just sad for you. EP has so much scenery and history to offer–even if you only have a single hour to spare you should be able to find something to admire.

Even though the cemetery right off the interstate, it’s a fairly peaceful resting place. And, even though I have been there about 5 times now, I haven’t yet explored every corner. Frankly, I’ve been too busy obsessing heavily on the Caples family mausoleum and John Wesley Hardin’s grave. There is so much more for me to learn about El Paso’s history, though.

I finally visited the Chinese section. As you probably already know, the Chinese population came to the West to work on the railroads. The graves are very orderly in this section, unlike in the rest of the cemetery. I don’t know enough about burial traditions to tell you what that one box is in the middle of this section. I’ll have to do further research.

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Oh, and I totally freaked myself out when I was in the corner taking the feature pic. I thought, “Sh*t! Perfect location for a good zombie ankle-grab from what used to be Yee Yick. He’s under that slab, and he could get me with a zombie hand now.” And then it was all over for me. eeep! eeep! eeep! Ran to the sunlight…’cause zombies don’t move quick in the sunlight.

Gawd. I feel like an idiot now. But, at the time it was really creepish. I swear! And now here it is on the dang internet for everyone to see. Oh boy.

Dia de los Muertos (Austin, 11/2010)

I had the best time at this event!  I couldn’t believe some of the get-ups people had on. Very imaginative! Maybe next time I will dress up…but that kind of ruins the photo-taking opportunities. It’s one of those “how awesome would I look” v. “how cool are these pics” kind of cases.

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I’m going backwards in time as I upload my pics to this site. It’ll be that way until I get all my junk off of facebook (not that I’m quitting that good time!) and on to a site that can handle high resolution photos.