Monday, March 16, 2015


My friends and long-abandoned readers,

I come to you with a heavy heart and the sad news that the only canine member of the O-House has gone home to be with Jesus. Rest In Peace to the beautiful, loyal, chillest-dog-you-ever-met, Toby.

As if life in the O-House weren’t great enough, one day a dog appeared. And by that I mean that Syd brought him back to Manhattan with her. (The amount of communication between house members regarding this decision is up for debate.) One fact remains, we will forever owe the Miller family a debt of gratitude for making our O-House family complete. 

Some of the O-Housers were more excited than others, as evidenced by this picture.  (Ahem, Keira.)

But in the end, hearts were won and life-long attachments formed. Toby never got in anyone’s bed uninvited, never barked incessantly (to my recollection), and only once devoured an entire plate of cookies that was carelessly left on the coffee table.

Toby never caused any house drama, save the time he “disappeared” and sent the O-Housers on a panic-fueled drive around Manhattan. For more on that story, see here.

If Toby had any shortcoming, it was that he was perhaps not a great exercise partner. There was the time Syd took him on a bike ride and he bolted after a squirrel, sending Syd flying over the handlebars. There were the times that this author took Toby on runs around city park, and he wanted to sprint the first mile, poop as far away as possible from one of the pet “waste disposal” stations, and then crawl home at a leisurely pace. 

But in all other respects, he was the. perfect. dog.

As I looked through the pictures that Syd sent for this blog post, I thought to myself, how was Toby not a model? There isn’t a picture where he isn’t posing perfectly, radiating a sort of regal handsomeness. He definitely could have been the poster dog for 1-800 Pet Meds, or even the Martha Stewart Dog Collection. Look at him killing it in that bandana:

O-House crushes came and went (or in some cases stayed, if you count the ones who got married). But the only boy constant in our lives and hearts was Toby. Despite being part of a shared custody arrangement between various Millers (the specifics of which I could never quite figure out) he made it into a surprising number of O-House pictures, and even joined us for post-college reunions.

Toby, there are few dogs loved so deeply by so many.  Miss you. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

O-House Reunion Recap…. Four Years Later.

Dear Readers,
I found this previously unpublished draft in the archives, recounting an O-House reunion that took place in the fall of 2011(?) I suppose it was unpublished because I never got around to writing a conclusion. Sorry that it trails off, but I decided to leave it as it was.  Rest assured, we all returned home safely. Also, sometime after I wrote this I started using capitalization again. oh to be 24 again. 

it's been eighteen months since i last backed out of the most perilous driveway ever constructed and said goodbye to my beloved college home of two years. since that time the o-house girls have scattered to various corners of the midwest. there have been graduations, engagements, marriages, new jobs, returns to school and just about every other major life change you can imagine, save pregnancy (knock on wood).

we were long overdue for an o-house reunion and two weeks ago, we finally made it happen. on friday evening, jayne, keira and i flew from kansas city to denver, where we met up with syd, who is currently living in oklahoma city. bethany picked us up from the airport. we immediately followed our hearts and our iphones to the nearest starbucks.

fully caffeinated, we headed to frisco where syd's parents have a house. we went out in search of food. the only place open was a bar with a rather limited pizza selection, a weird dj, and about five customers. we quickly made a friend, and by friend i mean an intoxicated gentleman who instantly identified us as kansans. however, he bought us a round of drinks and then attached himself to a more promiscuous looking female, so all in all not a bad situation.

the next boy we met became an instant o-house crush. he was a southern boy by the name of john ray, who just moved to frisco for the skiing. he was clearly the man of syd's dreams and after much persistence he finally got her phone number. obviously, there is a wedding (or a non-commital make-out session) in the near future. after a long night of charming the townies and dominating the dance floor, we were exhausted and headed home.

saturday was spent walking around breckenridge, looking super fly and taking lots of group photos. we rode the gondola up the mountain, took lots of pictures and kept our eyes open for J.R.

we spent the afternoon doing our nails, missing abby something fierce, and getting our gosling fix by watching crazy, stupid love. for dinner we had some delicious sushi pictured below.
we had to get up early sunday morning to head back to denver. bethany had arranged for us to serve lunch at the homeless shelter where she works. she did a superb job driving her ford focus in the snowy mountains, thanks mostly to syd's coaching. once at the shelter, we took a tour and then chopped vegetables while we waited for the lunch rush. keira and i were put in charge of candy apple distribution and the other girls bused tables.