Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

5am Memorial was all I could do to not talk myself out of going straight home after work at 6am and going to bed. I had promised myself that I would go out to the Sacramento Valley National Cemetary and for once actually, really take the effort to put the memory into Memorial Day. It was beautiful and breezy outside as I bounded down the stairs with my camera bag and saw the sun breaking through the clouds out to the East. I've driven past the cemetary sign a few dozen times, but never stopped to check it out. Earlier this year, I spent the better part of an hour in a snow dusted National Cemetary in Eastern Tennessee camera-in-hand, reading headstones from soldiers who had been born, lived, and died a century ago. Different locale and horizon, but the same sober haunting feeling washed over me. Who were these men and women? Would they be proud to have served and died for the country as it stands today?

Driving slowly through the gates, there were just a few other souls present - a news truck and reporter knee-deep amongst the headstones waiting for the early morning news, a couple of other photograpers, and a few members of the Veteran's Honor Guard in full dress preparing for the days services.

Quietly, I walked through the headstones reading the names and noticing the dates engraved on each of them. Fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, mothers, husbands, wives...soldiers, Americans. They each bore a message of thankfulness. On a day that seems to have lost some of it's purpose to bargain packs of hot dogs, mattress sales, 4-day weekend camping trips, and the mark of the first day on the lake, I am glad I convinced myself to spent the end of my early morning remembering the importance of the day. God Bless America.

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom in my backyard.

Summertime graveyard shift is doing me in again. I woke up well into the PM hours to the rapid fire caws and squawks coming from my backyard tree line. Not a coo, not a chirp...a squawk. Just in case you didn't know, birds don't squawk to be cute - it's fear, alarm,'s drama. Bird drama was going down!!!

Not to be left out of the animal kingdom emergency, Emma Mudflap was darting back and forth like a gazelle on crack barking like a mad dog. Half dressed I dragged myself out back with my camera to find out what the commotion was. Ten minutes into the investigation, I had made it around the entire perimeter of the house following two big black crows who were flying frantically from tree to tree while keeping a watchful eye on me. Just then, over the back fence a little person voice joined the circus, "shut up you stupid crows, stop yelling stupid crows." Birds, dogs, children...a chorus of noise on an otherwise beautiful, warm afternoon. Despite being only five feet from the back door, my father only tuned into the situation after I delivered a full report. It's like a Norman Rockwell.

Then...I heard it. A sound straight from a Hitchcock film. The shrillest of shrill squawks from the side of the house and Emma, dumb as ever, trying to play with a sick, emaciated bird that had left a trail of feathers behind on its sad little walk to die on the side of my house.

ITwo cardboard boxes, a sister, and an hour later, we had become a bird wranglers trying to stay one step ahead of a hopping bird with 1 1/2 wings. Three calls and animal services is on my front porch picking up the bird and taking it to never-never land.

Just another day in the Coughlan household.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer lovin'

Oh Summer, let me count the ways I love you:

I love that the Sun is down and it's still 79 degrees outside.
I love the smell of BBQs.
I love sundresses.
I love that soon it will be so hot that fashion will cave to comfort.
I love flip flops.
I love that it's hot enough that my tomatos will grow big and red and juicy.
I love that my backyard is my new favorite place to be.
I love that corn on the cob is $.20 a piece.
I love that everyone seems to be in a better mood because they are all getting more vitamin D.
I love that even though I'm not a kid and I don't have kids, the kids are happy to be out of school. I remember that feeling.
I love Memorial Day, 4th of July, and my birthday in the middle of June.
I love that having a porch in the Summer is reason enough to have a beer.
I love the beach.
I love that the rain is gone for now.
I love Summer concerts - they are good for my soul and my psyche.
I love that the downtown farmer's market and the corner lot produce stands are now open.
I love the smell of star jasmine and chlorine. Yes, together.
I love having a tan and a pedicure.
I love that this time of year you have to endure through Summer days, but the Summer nights make it all worth it.
I love that being warm on the outside makes me feel warm on the inside.

<3 <3 <3

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Quote of the night: "All I need is some skates and some pads. I already have a helmet and a mouthguard at home."

Today's chapter: Lauren want's to be a roller derby girl.
Team name: The Tuck and Rollers

"Wait, why do you have a mouth guard?"
It doesn't matter.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Teeny-love-boppy love is in the air. Fresh out of high school or college the invites and evites are taking over the mailboxes. A cousin had this on her Facebook profile "Love is friendship on fire"...I smiled and gagged all at once.

Compatibality is so hard and by hard I don't mean, "Oh dear me, it must be difficult to figure out which one of the eligible bachelors is going to be right for The Bachelorette, Ali at the end of the next 8 weeks."

What I mean is more ..."Shit! Seriously? I'm so over you. Did you just spit a lugie behind the back of the car? Smoking is disgusting. Nevermind, everything I say get's lost in translation."


I know, right?

What is my preoccupation with compatibility? Some of it is just the rambling I hear in my head fueled by the obveservations all around me. I don't get why people, and by people I mean reasonably smart women, settle. Why?! I subscribe to a school of thought that lives somewhere between A) don't be a slut and B) there's a damnshitloadfulloffish-in-the-sea, but this stuff going on is just what soap operas are made of. Do you want to be Kourtney Kardashian!? I thought not.

Blame the cute sundresses I can't escape buying, blame the wanderlust and the desire to not always have to figure out who is up for a trip, blame an upcoming birthday, blame my big, big family, blame the fact that my father (yes him!!!) said today: "you know you could easily be a cat lady" which was shortly followed by "I better get my one leg and move quickly" after the sideways glance became the quick recipient of.

I don't have many answers about anything, but I am finding out what is really important to me, who I actually am, and one solid for sure: I know that I don't want to end up being the damn cat lady.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hasta la vista mi juventud

I have exactly 5 full weeks until my 29th birthday. 5 weeks until the LAST year of my 20's. 5 weeks until I have a small mental and emotional break down. 5 weeks until my biological clock gets a little more wonky. 5 weeks until I have one more year that I can self-justify totally stupid behavior. 5 weeks until the beginning of the end.

As of tonight, I want one, or both, or all of these things to mark my 29th birthday...a puppy (to keep me company in my pathetic single early 30's), a tattoo (maybe of a pathetic old hag with too many cats), or a kayak (because I could strap it to the roof of ozone killer and feign that I've picked up a supercool hobby in my middle agedness).

Ok...maybe I'm being a little over dramatic. Maybe I'm looking forward to being 29. Maybe I'll finally consider myself semi-adult-like. Maybe I'll take myself seriously for once. Maybe I'll stop making excuses...

So, Costco has kayaks, the SPCA has puppies who need some love, and there is a tattoo to be had out there somewhere. I have 5 weeks to decide what I want to ink into my skin to permanently mark this momentous occasion of the passing of my youth. I know...maybe I'll just get the Kanji symbol for drama queen.

Seriously though, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what symbol can properly sum up the course of my life thus far. What would sum up yours?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May flowers

Absentee blogger here coming at cha with the gardening tip of the day.

May 8th, 2010: Tip #1 gardening in sundresses particularly low cut sundresses, only results in dirty cleavage. It's really that simple.
Tip # 1 1/2...if you're going to hang the plant, put all the soil you need in it before you hang it so you don't have to deal with the tip #1 as described above.

I know, of all the things for me to make my May 2010 re-entry into blogging with, it would be about dirty mammaries.

I sincerely mean to blog more, along with gardening more, but those get put on the back burner along with eating better, throwing out old clothes, cleaning the garage, and uploading the hundreds of pictures I take on a monthly basis. Lately my most avid "hobby" has been sleep. Full on, dead-on, open-mouth, dry-throat, sticky-tounge, sleep like a newborn. It's been glorious and depressing all at once.

I'm not doing so shabby far I've gardened, blogged, taken a few pictures, and I'm eating a super healthy snack, strawberries and non-fat greek yogurt.


I'm about to go have a margarita and some Tex-Mex before going to the local fair to see Creedence Clearwater Revisited (I know, either it's another tribute band or they decided they're too old to try and revive anything or anyone) and Pat Benetar!!! I don't know...I just might be way too excited about carnival beer and funnel cakes. Oh that sounds like a blog in the making.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weirder than Poison

In 1999, I graudated from high school. We didn't have a regular gym or field to graudation from, so we had our ceremony in the local community center auditorium. Seating is not in excess...I think I had 5 invites and I was even the class speaker. This is not a large building.

Tonight, I went and saw the Gin Blossoms perform on that same stage. Apparently they're staging a comeback and performing at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre is where it's at for trying to capture your old glory. I guess that's what's happened with Boyz II Men and Blues Traveller. You know how well it worked out for them.

Nothing is better than a Friday night out with my BF, sitting second row center, trying not to be accosted by the lead singer or his overly tight plaid skinny pants. We narrowly missed being the chosen as the lucky tamborine audience member who got an overly zealous fist bump at the end of the spontaneous fan participation. "Just don't make eye contact and don't let him see you not clapping" I kept hissing to keep us out off his radar.

Even better than the stage in front of us, was the audience around us - children, mullets, old folks afraid of being in the ruckus front row, a city council man two rows behind us, co-workers, women in boyfriend jeans with little bottles of Grey Goose in their pockets wearing Gin Blossoms 1994 concert t-shirts...really, this was almost as good as the people watching at Poison - mullets, side boobs hanging out of muscle shirts, inappropriate 50 year olds in denim skirts and leather, and the King of wierdness...Brett Michales, himself.

Oh community center, so many memories...sooo many memories.