Wild Animals Are Wild


I am a woman of the West.

I know how to ride a horse. I know how to dehorn a calf and sear the artery if clipped. I have wrangled horses, cattle and even one summer, I wrangled honey bees for a ranch with a lucrative side deal for a major honey producer.

I have stood confidently in front of a pack of horses as they charged at me. I had a riding instructor who made us stand at various places in a large pen and she charged the horses at us and made us learn to turn the herd. Over and over.

I have stared down the barrel of a herd of calves who were naturally unwilling to herd and likely to scamper as they broke free from a trailer and ran to the four winds. I have pushed noses, tails and avoided flying hooves as I helped turn them back around.

I have stood near the back of a horse trailer when a flighty animal came blasting out. I have stood in the front of a horse trailer when a balky animal wanted no part of loading in.

I have even been in the line of fire of a charging herd of insane sheep (all sheep are insane) and got the hell out of the way.

Once, I was almost trampled by turkeys.

All of this is to say, I’ve got a little experience with large animals and herd behavior. I know how to stand confidently and turn those charging animals in another direction. I know not to have fear but only conviction.

I am a powerful woman of the West.

Today, I was out walking with a friend (known on this blog as Worm Girl) on a walking path that is next to a grassy berm that runs along a busy street.

Along this berm were about thirty wild Canada geese.

Suddenly along came a fire truck with sirens at full blast.

And when those thirty geese turned in masse and began running toward me (and away from the siren)…
…I screamed like a little girl, threw my arms over my head and hid behind my friend.

That’s me, a powerful, animal wrangling, rootin’ tootin’ woman of the West.

Annie Oakley photo found all over the web in public domain and used here under Fair Use.

On The Double


So I’m entirely too late to do a Theme Thursday, but I don’t care. I’m doing it because here, on Sunday, I finally came up with a good idea.

This week’s Theme Thursday word is: Double.

Here we go, a short short story with an ode to the word double.


So I was feeling kind of hungry and there was nothing good to eat in the house. Trying to calm down the beast of hunger, I chomped through a pack of DoubleMint, but that didn’t help. Exasperated, I put on my doublet and filled my pockets with dubloons and left the house on the double.

I did a double step down the boulevard, looking for a nosh.

Spotting my destination, I fell in to the In-n-Out burger where I satisfied my urge, doing double duty with a Double-Double and a large side of fries.

Well that was pretty darn good, but I was not quite full, and I left that burger joint looking for a little something more.

Right across the street was a Double Rainbow ice cream store where I doubled down on a double scoop of ice creamy goodness and ate it all down.

With all that burger and ice cream in my belly, I was truly in double jeopardy and had to undo the top button on my double knit polyester pants.

Now I wasn’t just full, I was double full, so I decided to keep walking so I could work off a couple calories.

As luck would have it, I rounded a corner and saw a bunch of kids doing double dutch. I hopped right in, jumping to the double rhythm long enough so I got double indemnity from the calories by having both fun and exercise.

To reward my hard work and to finish the day, I popped in a piece of Double Bubble and chewed it hard. I tried to blow good bubbles, but it didn’t work. The gum was stale. I took that pack back to the store and demanded a double my money back guarantee on my purchase.

With my refund, I bought a disposable camera to document my day. But I must have used it wrong, because all the prints came back as double exposures. And I ordered double prints!

Ugh. I don’t got no digital camera (<- double negative) so I guess I'm out of luck. Maybe I oughta go to Vegas where I can drop double nickels and try to hit double diamonds and win the double jackpot. Then I can buy a double lens camera and capture my double good days. Instead, I went home and got into my double bed and had beautiful dreams of riding a double decker bus and drinking double espresso. And that's all I have to say about that.

Image from Harvey Park District.

I Think I Can


My lunchtime walking friend, known to regular readers as Worm Girl, has gone and done it. She has coerced convinced me that on cold rainy days (such as today) we shouldn’t just avoid our lunchtime walk all together. We should, instead, go work out in our company’s fitness center.

My god how I hate gyms.

Hate them hate them hate them.

I conceded the points that we need to mix up our workouts, and we need to continue to work out even if weather doesn’t permit. So today, I followed her into the fitness center where we took up residence on two separate treadmills.

I lumped myself up on the walking deck of a shiny new machine and poked and prodded at the buttons and geegaws.

To the left of me, a tall, young, lithe brunette woman running all out on the treadmill. To my right, a shorter, tiny blond woman with loads of attitude. Also running.

I didn’t come here to run. Hell, at this point I wasn’t even walking because I couldn’t get the machine to start. After punching at the up arrow key, the belt started up but it was quite slow, so I didn’t get on it. I kept jabbing at buttons and “hmmm’ing” and “ummm’ing”.

Blondie snapped at me “You should just get on it!”

I thought how easy it would be to insert my foot into the middle of her tiny stride and send her flying. “Whoops! Did I do that? Sooooo sorry.”

See, when I walk on the walking trail, there’s no turning it on. No fiddling with buttons or a recalcitrant machine. I simply walk.

Also, on the walking trail, snooty Blondie would just jog past me and our association would be over. But no, I gotta stand next to her for the next hour feeling inadequate and awkward.

Did I mention that I hate gyms?

In addition, Worm Girl further convinced me to sign up for the company’s annual “fitness challenge.”

Over the next eight weeks we have to get weighed and measured, attend classes, and participate in physical challenges.

Today’s challenge was to log our fastest time to run or walk a mile.

So I warmed up a bit and then cranked up the machine and galumphed my way along.

Blondie and Brunette looked in askance as I became the little curvy engine that could. I huffed and I puffed and by god when it was done, I had turned in a respectable 16:04 minute mile.

I couldn’t sustain that pace, so I did two more miles at a seventeen and a half minute pace.

And now my legs ache.

Did I mention I can’t stand gyms?

Image found at Bottomless Mimosa.

*Ow* Yoga *Ow*


“Show me on the doll where Yoga touched you in a bad way…”

Here…and here….and over there….oh yeah, and that place too.

In the early afternoon hours of this past Saturday, I traveled up to the city of San Francisco to take what promised to be a really wonderful yoga class. Entitled “Yoga for Writers” it was taught by a gentleman who is both a well known local columnist and avid Yoga practitioner.

I like his writing style and the price was right, so I signed up. I arrived in time for class with my brand new yoga mat firmly in hand and a lot of hope.

This class promised that through Yoga, through getting out of your head and into your body and tapping into your inner self, you might be able to write more smoothly, easily, and with lots of verve. (ok, I made up the verve part, but it sounds good).

While I’ve been doing a good job keep up with my blog, mostly, the fiction side of my writing life is suffering in a big way.

I have a confession to make. I have a scant 3,500 words on my goal of 50,000 for the month of November.

Um. There are only nine days left? Right? I’m utterly failing. I stare at the screen and I got nuthin’ to write. It’s very bad.

My writer’s block has become immense. Intense. It depresses me. So I really did rather hope that the yoga class would help free up the ol’ Muse and get her dancing.

I was in a TERRIBLE mood after having a god awful week at work, and so I was actually scared and nervous going into this thing. Would the class be chock full of hipsters? Would it be chock full of tiny yoga girls in tiny yoga pants?

Answer was yes on both counts.

I entered the yoga room and immediately wanted to pass out. Why is it so *hot* in there? Ok, yeah, I know, they keep yoga rooms warm, even if you aren’t doing the kind of yoga (Bikram) where you sweat your holymarymotherofgod off while you stretch.

Sitting there on my little mat waiting for class to start, I was already pitted out.


The class description said “not for absolute yoga beginners. Assumes moderate level of physical ability and yoga experience.”

Ok. That’s me. I’ve done quite a bit of yoga in my life, though not recently. I know my Tree of Life from my Warrior pose. I walk three to four miles a day.

I’m not an athlete but I certainly have a moderate level of physical ability.

My lard ass was actually NOT prepared for what lay ahead.

I thought this would be a writing class interspersed with yoga. This was instead a hardcore not-for-sissies yoga class with an occasional writing exercise.

In the three hour class there were three 15 minute writing exercises and one 15 minute stint of sharing some of what we wrote.

The other two hours were intense, almost brutal yoga.

Yoga never hurt me before. Why, overly large statue of Shiva in the front of the room, WHY?!?!?!

My god. This isn’t peace, love and butterflies. It’s agony served up on a rubber mat!

I hurt. I can hardly use the restroom because while sitting down goes ok, I can’t get back up off the toilet. I can’t be still for more than a few minutes at a time or I yelp in pain when I move again.

Look. I’m a writer! We’re notoriously pasty and out of shape!

When did yoga start hurting people?

I found this article titled When Yoga Hurts from several years ago (2007) with concerns that Yoga was being taken a wee bit too seriously (i.e. competitively) in the local health clubs.

I’ll say!


(To be fair, the instructor was actually really good, just incredibly hard core. He’s that kind of guy who can balance a handstand on one pinky at the rocky tip of a mountain and hold it for an hour while thinking pure and spiritual thoughts. Whatevs. I’ll meditate on a bag of chips and feel just fine.)

Image from Icanhascheeseburger