Welcome to Club Awesome.

March 11th, 2014 @ 9:50 pm
On My Career …

My 3 ½ year old son was asked at school to say what his dad did at work all day. His answer? “He works around and sings.”

January 24th, 2014 @ 7:49 am
Friday Five: Teenage Wasteland

I did a bunch of odd jobs before I turned fifteen and was legally allowed to work in Florida. I had gigs mowing lawns, selling airbrushed license plates at the Daytona Beach Flea Market, selling ice cream during the races at Daytona International Speedway, going door-to-door selling Christmas wreaths for charity, &c. Once I turned fifteen, though, I was able to get a “real” job. Here are the five best “real” jobs I had before I turned twenty:

  1. dishwasher / prep cook · Carmichael’s Sports Pub
  2. Sandwich Engineer · Subway
  3. line cook · Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips
  4. counter man · TCBY
  5. pool cleaner / lotion sales · Hawaiian Tropic
November 6th, 2013 @ 5:58 pm
The Five Stages of Feeding a Toddler

See also: Kübler-Ross Denial “What? You can’t be serious. You just said you wanted peanut butter and jelly.” Anger “You eat this bite right now. Sit down! Eat it!” Bargaining “Please? Please have another bite? If you have another bite you can have more chocolate milk.” Depression “I can’t believe you’re not going to eat […]

September 22nd, 2013 @ 5:13 am

Today would have been mom’s 65th birthday. My little sister took this photo of me hugging her just before Mother’s Day last year. I miss her so much that it hurts, a phrase that people use frequently but not literally. But I very literally feel an ache in my heart. The last time I saw […]

August 23rd, 2013 @ 8:23 am
Friday Five: Things I Thought I’d Be When I Grew Up

Battlestar GalacticaIn no particular order:

  • Space Fighter Pilot
  • Cowboy
  • Lawyer
  • Author
  • Archaeologist
August 16th, 2013 @ 7:49 am
Friday Five: Memories

Kathleen A. GagneMonday was the first anniversary of the death of my mom. Here are five things I really miss about her:

  • the sound of her saying my name
  • desperate fear of every hurricane, tropical storm, earthquake, forest fire, volcano, etc.
  • singing together
  • the ticklebug
  • always — always — having someone to call who was guaranteed to be excited to hear my voice
August 12th, 2013 @ 8:10 am
Kathleen A. Gagne

My mom died one year ago today. It simultaneously feels like it was only yesterday and like it was a thousand years ago. I miss her so much that there is an actual ache in my heart. She died much too young. It was undeserved and unfair and unjust and I still rage inside that […]

August 10th, 2013 @ 10:23 pm
A Sunny Day

I spent a half-dozen painful hours on the phone exactly one year ago tonight. My mom had been rushed to the emergency room and I was desperate for answers. The hospital had told me she was fine; she had a urinary tract infection which was causing acute temporary dementia, but they’d given her some antibiotics and sent her back to the assisted living facility and told me not to worry. I’d been worrying non-stop for months and wasn’t about to stop then.

July 12th, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

One of my favorite memories of my mom — of my entire childhood, actually — is singing Runaway by Del Shannon in the car with her and my little sister while driving to St. Paul’s Catholic elementary school. I love that song. She loved that song. She loved singing that song. Mom loved music. And […]

June 23rd, 2013 @ 5:25 pm
Not Dark Yet

Aside from Green Eggs & Ham a thousand times, and the Hemingway novels I was reading my son as bedtime stories when he was an infant, I haven’t managed to read a single book in almost three years. That should be an astounding fact to anyone who has known me for a while, since I […]

May 17th, 2013 @ 7:07 am
Friday Five: Best Los Angeles Restaurants

Rodeo Drive

May 8th, 2013 @ 7:24 am
Before You Came into My Life

I’ve had my Nike Fuel Band for 294 days. I know this because one of the statistics it tracks is how many days you’ve been “active”, and I have worn it every single day since I got it. I can’t begin to tell you what a great motivational tool it is. I am a little […]

May 3rd, 2013 @ 11:55 pm
Scribbled Drunk on a Postcard, Sent from Somewhere Volcanoes Are

It’s tough to be upset about a day that includes a ten-mile run before breakfast, lunch at The Stand, and a trip to Disneyland. But here we are. For the very first time since Kelly gave me my Nike Fuel Band almost a year ago, I didn’t wear it all day. I started leaving it […]

April 29th, 2013 @ 7:08 am
It Ought to Be Easier

It’s really hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that Tim might not make it in the NFL. It seems absurd to me. When my alarm rang at six this morning, there was a text waiting for me that read, “Heard Tebow was cut from NPR before ESPN.” My first thought was […]

April 22nd, 2013 @ 7:40 am
Gonna Fly Now

I have been absolutely nuts for oranges and orange juice lately. I remember when I was a little kid I would go through phases during which I craved OJ like mad, but it’s been probably twenty-five years since the last time that happened. But now I’m drinking two or three glasses every morning and eating […]

April 12th, 2013 @ 8:07 am
Best Wishes to Your Black Lung

I’m trying every day to simply (!) meet my Nike Fuel Points goal. I can’t stand looking at my Fuel Band late at night and seeing I still need to exercise a bit to hit 4,000 points. So I’ve been making a serious effort to knock out as many points as I can as early […]

April 7th, 2013 @ 6:27 am

Today makes it eight months since my mom died. She died on August 12th. I was sitting in the car in the parking lot of Centinela Feed on Pico, waiting with my son for my wife to get some cat food, when my phone rang. A nurse at Woodland Terrace named Ida Alvis — a […]

April 5th, 2013 @ 8:17 am
I Will Never Believe in Anything Again

I did not feel like getting out of bed this morning, much less running. I don’t know if I caught some sort of flu or just a cold or what, but I had a nasty scratch in the back of my throat every time I swallowed, and my head felt thick and cloudy. But rather […]

March 31st, 2013 @ 7:35 pm
When You Love Someone But It Goes to Waste

After eating a lot of chocolate and hunting all over the house for eggs and a brunch at Lakeside which included a pretty strong Bloody Mary and watching a crushing Gators loss in the Elite Eight, I needed to hit the road. I gave myself a solid couple of hours to digest and then knocked […]

March 25th, 2013 @ 10:57 pm
One More Holiday I Will Not Celebrate

My mom loved Easter. She had a fondness for Cadbury eggs, even though — if I remember correctly — she almost never ate one because they upset her stomach terribly. When we were very, very young she used to play three or four songs on her guitar and we’d all sing along. I know probably […]