Ashley Ream
Dispatches from the City of Angels

I'm a writer and humorist living in and writing about Los Angeles. You can catch my novel LOSING CLEMENTINE out March 6 from William Morrow. In the meantime, feel free to poke around. Over at my website you can find even more blog entries than I could fit here, as well as a few other ramblings. Enjoy and come back often.
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Favorite Quotes:
"Taint what a horse looks like, itís what a horse be." - A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

"Trying to take it easy after you've finished a manuscript is like trying to take it easy when you have a grease fire on a kitchen stove." - Jan Burke

"Put on your big girl panties, and deal with it." - Mom

"How you do anything is how you do everything."

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When woodland creatures attack

You'd think L.A. wildlife would mostly be limited to the crazy homeless lady in the orange hat who screams at me as I run down Venice Beach in the mornings. But as it turns out, our urban metropolis is teaming with furry, fanged and clawed creatures, and some of them aren't even human.

Take, for instance, last Saturday. I jogged out my front door at 4:45 a.m.* happy to have the city to myself before the blond, tanned hordes descended on the 47 coffee shops along my running route. When suddenly, something way bigger than a squirrel darted in front of me and into a bush.

Me: (slightly alarmed) "What was that?"

Okay, you know the sound that Dracula would make with his long, yellowed fingernails as he climbed up the side of your house and used his fanged teeth to rip through your window screens? Yeah, I heard that. And it was coming from the tree over my head.

Me: (way beyond hysterical) "Holy freaking Christ! What the f*&k was that?!!"

Answer - Opossum.

Easily big enough to eat the average house cat, the furry beast stared down at me from its newly climbed limb, flicked its hairless tail and - I'm pretty sure about this - flipped me the finger.

I was dissed by a woodland creature.

And it's not just me. My husband swears he once came home very late from work to find a raccoon the size of a Doberman going through the garbage. Far from running at his approach, the raccoon reared back on its hind legs, paws on hips and said, "What are you looking at, b*&ch? That's right. That's right. Keep walking, punk!"

I have the distinct feeling that our place at the top of the food chain is no longer secure. In my head, the booming-voiced movie preview guy is talking. "They're here. They're pissed. They're rabid. This ain't the Hundred Acre Wood. Get used to it."

Frankly, I'm a little scared.

*Yes, it was still dark. Yes, I'm insane. Yes, I promise to seek treatment as soon as possible. Oh, and if you're my mother, yes, I wore reflective clothing and obeyed all traffic signals.

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