kevin! you are my dear and wonderful friend.
he took me to chicago with him recently. we have been through quite a lot of growth together and I've watched him evolve. I am so very proud to know him.
I'm pretty sure that kevin gained some of his greatest traits from his grandmother, who passed away last month. she lived in wisconsin. we visited her home and I tried to see it all from his perspecetive. I have lost a lot of friends in my life, but my family, thankfully, remains intact. I love them dearly, no matter the distance. without touching on too too much, I just know that it must have been difficult for him and his family to have lost such a humble and selfless entity. she molded them into such incredibly wonderful people.
I felt blessed to be able to share the experience; to see them come together and experience raw emotion and understanding of the loss. the children provided comedic comfort and stressful distraction. the kids and I picked flowers for her in a field next to the funeral home and I carefully persuaded them to go easy on their family in a time of sadness. children seem to have an understanding of life and death that is far more calm and realistic than an adult. hm. the process of life... at the beginning of time, it seems, we, as humans, were able to celebrate life much more easily.
now, we just miss each other.
and we wonder what we could have said or done to make it so we don't feel like we took each other for granted.
life is a busy, complicated, wonderful, and crazy thing. I find it increasingly difficult to divide my time. my relationships with people are ever changing and sometimes I feel more needed or wanted or available to give than other times.
I guess it just comes down to me wanting everyone to know that, no matter how much attention I give them, I still love them and want them to be happy.
so this is where I sign off and go to bed.
sweet dreams of floating in the sea on the back of a jellyfish.


this job, this therapy.

almost every morning I arise... ready, or somewhat ready... with a clear head. it is so early. sometimes kiko will have disturbed my sleep by running a few midnight laps around my bed. sometimes he will actually stomp on my face while in the midst of a sprint. for a moment, I will want to almost end his cute little life for this. but once I am aware of how much I enjoy not sleeping my life away, I become incredibly grateful. he contributes to forcing me out of something which has greatly limited me in my past... too much sleep and not enough life.
sometimes I will wake up with troubling thoughts. worried for someone. or maybe I will have a dream about my past so realistic that I feel frozen under my warm blanket.
when it comes down to it, though, I absolutely have to be up and ready for work and willing to interact with people I know, sort of know, hardly know, or have never met before, by the time 7am rolls around. and all I want is to make their day happier. because I know that some of them roll into the coffee shop after waking alone, waking to screaming babies, waking to argumentative spouses, barking dogs, construction workers, disgruntling jobs... generally unpleasant (yet realistic) ways to begin a day.
let me just say that I love everyone. every single person I meet. I want them to be happy. I want them to feel like life is worth living and I want them to realize that life is so much more enjoyable when you can live knowing that you make others lives more pleasant through simple gestures of kindness. or just smiling at a random stranger for no reason other than just wanting to share a happy thought.
I'm not fake about being perky in the morning. I don't pretend that I am happy to see people. I am actually happy to see them. If they find that I react with anything other than happiness, then it is because I am genuinely set back by an action they have chosen to make. disrespect, for me or for themselves... watching a person limit themselves out of fear... it is a human thing to do, but I often find that I want someone to kick me out of a state of stagnation. all I would like to do is push them to break the shells they put around themselves.
I have found life to be extremely trying at times. I'm pretty sure my whole life has been continuously tough learning experiences. there are days when I would like to have had it some other way, but most days I wouldn't have had it any other way. this life, the things that I have seen... the things that every person has seen, it is all relative. and life is always going to be that way. each day is going to bring about a new and interesting challenge. and the most important thing for me to focus on is the next step. the next step in solving a problem, which may be best put as "the next step in improving my situation" (a little positive twist to subside the fear).
well, I suppose these are just some wandering thoughts of mine... a lot of it is pep talk for myself. reawakening this something inside of me that keeps me moving.
the whole point of this blog entry is to remind myself why my job, my very social, very early, very energizing coffee job is like therapy to me.
because if I didn't have it, I'd be a mess of a recluse. you'd never get me out of this house. ever.


this mortal, coyle.

Recently, I vacated the wonderfully intoxicating city of Austin to embark on a journey through Chicago.
I took the subway for my very first time... I flew on an airplane for the first time in years... it all felt like being a child again. Everything was so new and exciting. I'm not quite sure that I will ever understand those who dislike flying. It will never seize to amaze me; that you can reach such great heights that you are above the clouds! I feel as though they should make planes with observation decks, like trains with observation cars. with large windows so you can see for miles. I'm quite sure they make the windows so small so that most people don't have panic attacks while flying. If you don't even look out the window while on airplane, you may be able to get away with convincing yourself that you actually have not even left the ground.
And then there is the infamous "sky mall" catalog. my sister and I used to look through those on flights to see my dad when we were young. we would try to pick out the most ridiculous products out of all of the ridiculous products that fill the pages. then we would pick up the other magazine and do the crossword. I always pretended to finish them, but I would find one that was left filled in and just copy it. too young to know those words.
when we reached chicago, the airport smelled of hot dogs immediately. this was a meal recommendation that was thrown at me on a daily basis during the weeks before my trip. I am a vegetarian, but one who doesn't care what other people eat at all, so these recommendations were pointless, but definitely not insulting or alienating whatsoever. actually, quite entertaining. people would go on and on about the hot dogs for five minutes or more, even after I shared the news that I am an herbivore. these hot dogs must be amazing!
the next scent I detected before descending to the depths of the train tunnels was the sweet delicious smell of gummy bears. it reminded me of sticking my hands in the bins at the candy store when I was a child. we rode the train to logan square and climbed the stairs to daylight. the air there felt so fresh and cool and full of energy. it was quite a switch from the hot, sticky, 107 degree weather we have been experiencing in Austin.
the architecture is so different from Austin. they don't really have the boring cookie cutter apartment buildings that we have here. don't get me wrong, Austin is quite wonderful, but Chicago has these huge old buildings that look like giant houses, but are all split into apartments on each floor. the look, the feel... it's all so much more comforting.
anyways, this is just a taste of chicago through my senses... I'll log more details later.
removing myself from Austin for a few days certainly put things in perspective for me. I finally felt like I had time to think. about everything. about what I would like to put my energy into and where it needed to be balanced. I'm happy to be back and I feel like it is the beginning of something new and wonderful and fresh and I am so excited.


*why I remember my life like it's a tim burton film.

byrd theatre. cary street. reading batman comics before I knew how to read. the snow in the winter in downtown richmond, with real christmas lights and garlands and a clock tower. peanut soup in an old hotel in fancy dresses. waffles in an old restaurant with a cast iron elevator. hollywood cemetery. that old black baptist church in downtown richmond. smashing pennies on the railroad tracks by the old white shack with the rocking chair on the porch in maryland. the dead puppy we found while canoeing around in the creek in maryland. scratch ankle farm where we went through Coalter's old Russian spy trinkets. dad's room with the rickety old french doors. all those cats. my eyes swelling shut in the nighttime, after we fell asleep quoting beetlejuice back and forth. the nice red headed girl who had to wear a wig that made her scalp itchy. horseshoe creek and taking the rickshaw for a ride. collecting fresh eggs for the morning and watching flies collecting on the fly paper hanging from the ceiling fan in the kitchen. the snow in the woods in the winter at the house on foxtrot lane. that weird serpent creature and the giant toad named violet we kept as pets. dad got them from doing some construction job... what did we name the eel thing? blacky? I don't even think it had eyes or a mouth but I did love it so and was so very worried when it started to shed it's skin and die.
nightmare before christmas. mom watching MYSTERY every night and us having to go to bed right after the edward gorey introduction. dressing up like a pumpkin and getting my halloween costume stuffed with rolls of toilet paper while trick or treating. dressing up like a dead victorian woman. memorizing edgar allen poe's the raven. dad reading us poe before bed. shopping and trying on flapper dresses and feather boas at bygones, one of my wild imagination spots

hanging out in the small old family cemetery out at loftan's grandparents virginia farm, where the main house had each room dedicated to a separate primary color. catching lightening bugs. rolly pollys. singing about dying grubworms in the form of a dark beatles song about death and organs in jars. watching batman and batman returns a million times at byrd theatre. oh yea. and dad being batman himself and dating that girl from spencers who looked a little bit like selina kyle. and told us stories about collecting dead bats in his room when he was a kid (yackety yackety yack).

all I ever really truly wanted for chrisimas were cardboard boxes big enough to make a house and a car for myself.

I'm pretty sure that my sister will appreciate this blog more than most. I mainly wrote this entry for us, but maybe there's enough imagery for some of you to appreciate it.

...and in texas, there is the sound of heat.

I'm not referring to cats in heat... that screeching, hissing, yowling phenomenon you witness when you've got a female indoor cat whose belly has yet to be split open, snipped at, and sloppily sewn back together to prevent unruly and ridiculously cute offspring...
In texas, we have, what I call, the sound of heat. After living here for fifteen years-give or take a couple of brief moves-I can tell by the sounds from outdoors exactly when the summer heat has arrived. it is the small vibrating click of cicadas. the sound travels from every direction in waves. it makes me feel like I'm in one of dad's favorite westerns. on a horse. on the side of a mountain in the desert. standing by a small cluster of large, dry boulders with one or two little shrubs around them. and a rattlesnake curled up, rattling, and ready to strike. let me see if I can find an old comic book cover to really show you how it feels...
okay, here;

watch out! there's a snake under that rock there!

recently I was given a computer, which I sort of forgot to remove from the back of my car and got very lucky, because it still works- so, today I went to get it out of my car. I carried it all the way to the porch as it singed my fingertips.
I guess I wasn't thinking. but once I got it inside and set it down, I looked down at my fingertips and they are oh so pink and burnt. I suppose from working with coffee all the time, I'm used to my burning fingertips, but this time it left a mark. and this is when I acknowledged the sound of heat. I should know to heed warning from the sound before slinging around metal that has been sitting in a hell fire oven of a car for days. alas, this is my one brainless move of today.
but really, I'm ready for summer to be over. even the juicy little tomatoes in the garden are beginning to dry and prune from the heat.
I love the hills and the country of Texas, but during the summer I am relieved to be in Central-ish Austin. The outdoors can be so wonderful most of the time, even in the heat, but a bicycle ride in the city to my favorite watering hole is somehow a more realistic notion than traipsing around in the sun, looking for a true watering hole in the hill country.
I'm pretty sure I'm just saying all of this to justify to myself why it is good for me to stay in the house today. what is so scary about the heat? discomfort? is it me being lazy? since I have a difficult time sweating, does the heat effect me more than most? I love the cold. I'm pretty sure it was a decision that I personally made... to love the cold. I'm attempting to recall a time when I even tried convincing myself that I love the heat. Occasionally I will climb into an oven-y car in the summertime and feel a deep, hot pressure and I will think to myself. 'wow. if only heat could feel like this all the time.' I'd probably die of heat stroke because I would lock myself in hot vehicles. like those babies that parents forget in their cars at day care centers. I know. it's a terrible notion, but maybe, just maybe, the last feeling those babies feel is that comforting deep, hot pressure.
or maybe I'm just hoping that it's not as terrible as it sounds.
so.... that's probably kind of a stomach-flopping subject for most to read. sorry about that.
it's reality, sort of.

>photo by laurel coyle



steve grosskopf.



you could see a million stars during the night time.

goat's milk collection

foto by laurel coyle.

this week I was invited out east to the Little family farm. it was wonderful. while there, I met many chickens and roosters, a turken, two kittens and their momma, a donkey called willa may, many female goats for milking, three male goats for killing, and about five sheep. the sheep make noises that make me giggle. they sound as if someone with a hoarse voice is imitating what a sheep could sound like. the land is beautiful and lush, with an expansive and impressive garden. i played horseshoes for the very first time in my life... I think that, with practice, I will one day not feel ashamed of my throwing skills.
traipsing around in the tall grass made me miss living out in dripping springs with mom. speaking of mom, she placed third in the Wimberley Valley Art League Juried Show! I am so proud of her! take a peak at her blog... her paintings become more beautiful and unique every time. most recently, I feel she has been more self expressive through her work than any other time...

shea on his father's converted lawnmower.

cherie emotionally preparing a goat for milking.

stephanie, farm owner, milking a goat.

suzanne as a scarecrow.

joe loves goats. loves.

jana, cai, and cherie./

cherie loving willa may, the resident ass.

shea and suzanne.

all fotos by laurel coyle.