A goose attacked me on my 30th birthday.

Alright, you guys. Shit has been real, real sad and real, real vague around these here internet parts lately and frankly, I’m getting a little sick of my own sad vagueness. I mean, divorce is this awful and shitty and fucked up and terrible thing and I think I’m allowed a certain amount of emo-ness, but dammit, I went to the woods on my 30th birthday, alone, and, in true me fashion, I was attacked by a goose. And not for the first time. My life has been a series of goose attacks because apparently, if anyone fucking hates Snow White, it is the goose.


Post-road trip, I realized I really like being alone in the wilderness. I wasn’t thrilled with turning 30, but I decided I wanted to spend some time in the wild on my birthday, since the peace I found there while we were road tripping was something I was missing. I briefly entertained venturing to a national park, one I haven’t visited, in Ohio or Tennessee, but that seemed like a lot of work and so I headed to the closest state park instead. It took me forever to find the trailhead, but when I did the nearby parking lot was full of crows, which was fitting since I’ve got one tattooed on my wrist. The bridge leading to the trailhead, however, was full of geese. Three of them – two Canadian, and one white, rage-filled goose.

I am not a stranger to the attack of the goose. I grew up on a farm and goose attacks were a common thing in my youth. I imagine I spent most of my 11th year running from a pack of hostile gray geese in Ohio. But still. I approached this goose, and it’s Canadian friends, with a certain sort of swagger that my 30 years had lent me, and this goose hissed and fussed at me but once I reached the bridge and headed toward the trail, he backed off.

I figured I had escaped trouble, had finagled my way through the situation with my Snow White prowess, and so I set out into the woods. I spent some time laying on a rock, touching trees and moss and streams and things and, after an bit, I found my way back to the trailhead where there were two swing sets that I wanted to swing on, BECAUSE 30, but this couple showed up with their kayaks and I was feeling a little bit shy about swinging in front of them, for some stupid reason, so I walked along the river for a bit, feeling a bit self-conscious and waiting for them to get their shit together and get the fuck out of my way so I could behave like a child on my 30th birthday.  It was on my trek back to the swing set that I encountered the goose again.


We had words, me and this goose.

It walked right up to me on the swing set, reaching out its terrible goose neck and fussing at me and so I stomped at him, and he waddled away and I set to swinging.


Once I got off the swing set and started back to my car, not really wanting to leave, but knowing I had friends showing up in a few hours, the goose approached again.


And this time shit got real. Real real.

He went in for the kill. I captured it on camera, determined to document the whole debacle.


And then I chased that mother fucker of a goose across the field, flapping my arms and honking like the mother of all gooses, or, if you prefer, Mother Goose.

And he honked and hissed all the way across the field, flapping his stupid white goose wings, and then I, dignified, clearly, at 30, walked slowly back to my car daring that goose, who at this point couldn’t even look me in the eye, to fuck with me again.

And so it was. I turned 30 and made a goose my bitch.


Things I’ve written, being the Crazy Cat Lady & an update on my zoo.

I’m over at the Hooray Collective today as well. Here’s a snippet:

I couldn’t breath when I met you. I took a look at you and lost all sense of reason because you were just too much. You were tall and perfect and professional and an adult, which I, at 21, wasn’t. There was something about the way you held yourself, the way you carried yourself that I found irresistible and any control I had over myself was lost then, to you.

I’ve said sometimes that I’ve loved you from that minute, but that’s probably not true. I was too overwhelmed by all that you were to categorize it as anything other than SO MUCH, because that’s what you were and that’s what you have been to me. So much.

You looked at me then, that day we met, and I thought I was melting. I remember being so flushed at the sight of you that I thought for sure I was glowing. I felt insignificant next to you. Feral. You were this polished thing and I was this mess of a girl, raised by wolves.

Click to read the rest.

Recently, the last time temperatures plummeted into the single digits, I put a dog bed on the front porch, for the wild cats, and, as I looked at the bed on the porch, nestled behind one of my red Adirondack chairs, it occurred to me that with that simple little act I had taken yet another step toward embracing my role as the Neighborhood Crazy Cat Lady.

I didn’t really mind, because if it meant the wild cats had a cozy place to curl up, then it was all okay to me. I wasn’t sure the kitties would use it. It smells like dog and house and not-wild cats, but then, after the first terrible cold snap had passed, I came home to find Daddy Cat snuggled up in the cat bed and I might have done a little fist pump right there on the front lawn because he looked so happy, and so cozy and so I’m calling it a CRAZY CAT LADY WIN, haters be damned.

As for the indoor creatures, they’re all crazy.

photo 1That white dog, Sadie, lost her damn mind when the snow came. She was so pleased and darted out of the house to run circles around the yard, kicking up snow as she went. And then there’s her sock obsession. She just can’t quit socks and it doesn’t matter where I put the socks after taking them from my feet, she will find them and she will bring them downstairs to snuggle with on the couch and she will sometimes leave them on my pillow and sometimes I come home from work and find a single, lonely sock in each room of the house.

They’re basically her babies, those socks, and she’s very, very protective of them, often growling at the cats when they can to close to her sock pile and occasionally liberating them from the insides of my running shoes.

photo 3And then there’s Luke, who is most definitely the most kind creature living in this house. He’s a proper gentleman, although there has been a noted uptick in his anxiety whining. Sometimes he just stands in the middle of a room and cries, for no apparent reason. He has a lot of feelings, I think.

He also has this incredible ability to pick up a whole mess of leaves and yard debris and carry it into the house on his back. There’s something about his fur that just traps the leaves so perfectly that sometimes he comes in with leaves all over his back, looking like he was just practicing his camouflage techniques.

photo 4Bitty is crazy. Out of everyone, she’s the meanest and the softest and the silliest. She’s great at snuggling, and at biting the edges of boxes and at spying on me from various locations. In the morning she races me and the dogs to the back door and then has to be held, just for a minute. She meows and chirps along the way and it is so, so sweet.

But, she’s very sassy, that orange cat, and is still waging a full on war against the wild cats. When she’s really pissed, she’ll bite the trim around the windows by the front door and I noticed the other day that she’s totally bit off the paint in a few spots and a bit of the wood as well. It is not cute.

photo 2Beanie is probably the strangest animal that lives in the house. He’s the best climber, for sure, and whenever there are scary things in the house, like dogs he doesn’t know, he climbs from the kitchen counter, to the top of the fridge, to the top of the cabinets and hangs out up there, chirping a little bit. It is vaguely unsettling to walk into a dark kitchen, flip on the light and find a wide eyed mess of black looming from above me.

He also believes very strongly that an empty food bowl means his death is imminent. I don’t ever even check the cat food bowl anymore because I know, the moment the last bit of kibble is come, Beanie will appear, fear in his eyes, bopping his head at me like a pigeon and frantically racing up the stairs to see if food has appeared yet.

And me?

I’m ok. Sometimes I have solo dance parties in my dining room while cleaning the house on Sundays and sometimes I go for a long run and feel like I never, ever want to stop. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed and it’s a fight to push myself forward. Sometimes my heart hurts so bad I wish I could cut it out and go on without it. But mostly I’m ok. Just ok.


That time I got bit by a lion in Alabama.

I went to Alabama in the middle of September, and while I was there Andrew and I headed just outside of Troy, Ala. to a place called McClelland’s Critters. I had heard about this place, this strange little zoo in the middle of the Alabama wilderness, and I demanded a visit, because there were tigers and lions and bears and camels and it sounded like a sort of Snow White paradise.

The place is down some winding Alabama back roads, but, once you arrive, and once you start exploring, it’s like a magical wonderland. It’s $9 to wander around the place, and for $5 you can get an actual bucket of food and you can hand feed buffalo, goats, sheep, a camel, some big ass birds, tiny little horses and a handful of funky little deer friends, among others.AlabamaZoo20130922_001



AlabamaZoo20130922_002I was freaking out a little, because I get crazy excited about feeding goats at a petting zoo and here I was handing alfalfa pellets to a camel and, better yet, a buffalo. I love all the little and big critters, in true Snow White fashion, but there was just something about feeding the buffalo that was sort of magical. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t ever gotten to do that before, or what, but standing there, gazing into the eyes of a big ass lady buffalo, while Andrew entertained the REALLY BIG gentleman buffalo, was incredible.

We wandered around some more, after we had exhausted our food bucket, and said hello to tigers and bears and raccoons and monkeys and then we saw that Mike, the owner, along with some other visitors were actually IN the cage with the lion cub, and so we wandered over, me probably sticking my head out like a curious little bird, then Mike invited us into the lion pen, with Thor, the 5-month-old lion cub, and he told me to pet him, on his belly, and so I handed the camera off to Andrew and I got down on the ground, right next to this little lion guy and I pet his little belly and it was a crazy and terrifying because he might be little, but he’s still a fucking LION.

And then he bit me. Just a little.

AlabamaZoo20130922_041Not aggressively, but mostly playfully, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. He put his little lion mouth around my knee and nibbled, just a little bit, and it reminded me so much of the way my terrible little orange cat would nibble me when she was just a little thing, except for that she was like three pounds and this lion guy was like 50 pounds and there’s a real big difference between my house cat and that lion cat. It was a little bit terrifying because there was an instant where the most logical and life-protecting part of my brain was like, YOU JUST GOT BIT BY A LION HOLY FUCKING SHIT, RUN!! and then the other part of me that was all like, oh, this lion nibbled on me! How cute!



AlabamaZoo20130922_038Andrew also got in on the lion-petting action, but only because I told him he had to, because really, how many chances are there going to be in life to pet a baby lion? Andrew is far more cautious than I am, in a lot of ways, including lion-petting ways. He is the steady state of calm to my pandemonium.

Incidentally, the day I got bit by a lion was also the day I got snakes put on my head.

AlabamaZoo20130922_052I always think I’m afraid of snakes, but then when I actually get to meet them, I really don’t mind. I don’t think I’d be a very good Snow White if I was all weirded out by snakes, especially snakes like these, who seemed quite content to slither around on my face. Also, that python gives one hell of a neck massage.

Just before we had to leave the zoo, so I could catch my plane back to Virginia, this happened:


AlabamaZoo20130922_057BABY GATORS!

AlabamaZoo20130922_059So, yeah. I went to Alabama, got bit by a lion, had snakes put on my face, hand fed some buffalo and snuggled some baby gators. All in a days work for Snow White, I guess.

Cats, dogs, biting the ocean & my honey badger dog.

blog-1-snuggle dogsPeople often ask how the cats and dogs get along. It’s fine, really. The white dog occasionally chases the black cat, but it’s mostly just because he runs. She’d never hurt him, but she does think it’s hilarious when she runs at him and he goes tearing out of the room, up the stairs to the landing to glare at all of us, ears back, tail swishing, as if he’s pleased with himself for narrowly escaping an imagined death.

Mostly though, they just coexist. There are occasional inter-species cuddle sessions, but they’re rare. Sometimes one critter will come to cuddle with me on a couch and then another critter will join as well, and when that happens, it’s pretty amazing, even if orange cats try to ruin it by throwing on their best bitch face, but it’s fine.

Over the weekend I went to the beach for a teeny tiny girl’s weekend getaway. I only went for a night, and I took both the dogs and it was an adventure, to be sure. The dogs love riding in the car, and the Sadie, the white dog, loves it so much that she wouldn’t sit down for more than 3 minutes the entire 4 hour ride down to the beach. When we finally got there, I wanted to kill her. And then she tried to escape.

But then on Sunday we went to see the ocean and Sadie loves the ocean. It’s her favorite, and so, no matter how mad I was at her for her inability to chill the fuck out on the ride down, it all disappeared when she hopped into the ocean and began assaulting it, because that’s what she does. She attacks the ocean. I don’t know why. But she bites the waves, wagging her tail the whole time.

blog-3-sadieI think maybe she thinks it’s playing with her, but whatever the case, it’s absolutely amazing to see her launching an attack on the ocean, biting and barking at the waves.

blog-4-sadiewoofShe slept nearly the whole way back home, which leads me to believe she was just too excited to sleep on the way down, like those kids in the Disney commercial.

The other dog, Luke, hates the ocean. He thinks it’s loud and unnecessary and has no time for it’s bullshit and spends all his time at the beach struggling to get away from it.

blog-2-lukeReally though, I feel like there’s a bigger message in Sadie’s insistence on biting the ocean. I  watch her and feel like her personal manifesto, if she had one, would simply read “BITE THE OCEAN,” which I think is dog speak for “FUCKING GO FOR IT.” I mean, if there’s a honey badger thing to do, it’s biting the fucking ocean, no fear style, just going for it, not really caring that the ocean is this big and massive thing, but putting yourself against it and in it just for the fun of it, just for the challenge and just because it makes you mother fucking happy.

And that’s why she’s my dog, because she’s a honey badger dog who bites the fucking ocean, just because she can.

My neighborhood is potentially infested with Snow White types.

YOU GUYS. There is woman, in my neighborhood, who drives around and feeds the wild cats. SHE IS LIKE ME, ONLY MORE DEDICATED, AND ALSO OLDER. She is, potentially, my future. She is Old Snow White.

I haven’t actually seen her, not really. But I’ve heard her. There have been a few days in the past few weeks when I’ve been sitting outside, on my back deck, and I’ve heard a car pull up in the alley and then I’ve heard her get out and then she calls to the kitties, like Snow White does, and she leaves out food for them and she is, basically, my new favorite person, even though I don’t know her and I’ve only caught glimpses of her through my fence.

I actually heard about her from a friend of a friend who lives in the neighborhood who asked if I was the crazy cat lady. I got really excited about that. I didn’t think I was, but I definitely didn’t mind the prospect, and then the friend of a friend asked if I left the notes, and I didn’t, but it turns out the crazy cat lady, who I’m assuming is Old Snow White, left notes on a bunch of houses because some shitfuck was going around shooting stray kitties and she was demanding they don’t.

She’s my hero, this Snow White cat lady. I want to be friends with her, but I don’t know how because I’m crazy awkward and it just seems weird to pop over the fence and be like, HEY, LADY WHO IS FEEDING THE CATS!!!! I FEED CATS!!! LET’S BE BESTIES!!!

I mean, that’s not gonna work.

Also though, I’m a little pissed at the kitties, because they’re definitely running a whole racket on me and this other Snow White. I’m sure some of the kitties she feeds in the back alley are cats that I feed in the front, most definitely one stinkin’ Baby Cat, who still has the gall to chase other wild cats from my porch and meow-yell at me whenever he’s around, demanding breakfast and lunch and dinner, as if I exist solely to feed his precious cat face. It’s like he doesn’t even know how busy I am.

Cats are assholes, no matter how much I love and adore them.