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.

Monday, May 24, 2010

party in the O-HOUSE

oh hey friends. i bet you’re wondering what’s been happening at the o-house. and the answer is nothing. well, that’s not entirely true. word on the street is that landlord dave is redoing the floors. can i get a PTL? now if we could just do something about the driveway…

but seriously, everyone is gone for the summer. (insert sad face here.) and some of us, unfortunately, are gone a little more long term. but we’re not talking about that. we’re talking about how the o-house girls went out in style… with one of the most legendary parties to ever occur in manhattan. what’s that, you say? i’m exaggerating? take a look at these pictures and then decide.

mood lighting: check.

dancing: check.

Katie pooler attempting to evade a NINTH concussion by wearing a football helmet: check.

o-house tribute pics: check.

hottest FSHS graduates of all time: check.

boys who travelled from another state to be at our party: check.

nine hundred million pictures of jayne long pretending to be lady gaga: check.

horrified party guests: check.

super excited party guests: check.

sorority girl impersonations: double check.

keira (and maybe me) being sassy: check.

marion griffin dancing so hard and so beautifully that she was on the verge of tears: check.

Jacob starkey: check.

miley cyrus’s party in the usa: check.

yeah, it was pretty amazing. too bad you weren’t there. unless you were, in which case thanks for coming and helping the o-house girls celebrate the end of another epic year!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

pop quiz: how well do you know keira masters?

*keira proudly displaying her MOTW plaque. don't look too closely at the inscription.

it’s that time again (long past that time, actually)… time for a new o-house member of the week (MOTW)! this week’s lucky winner is the only remaining o-houser- keira masters!

with finals approaching, and whatnot, i thought it might be fun to have a test that doesn’t require a #2 pencil. and it’s not really a test. you could maybe call it a quiz… the point is, it isn’t very long and it’s super fun and if you know keira at all you should pass with flying colors. see below for answers and photos.

the how well do you know keira masters? pop quiz:

1. where did both of keira’s parents grow up?

a. Burlington

b. China

c. Natoma

d. Heaven on Earth

e. Both C & D

2. which fellow o-houser did keira and jayne once call the police on?

a. Bethany

b. Toby

c. Abby

d. Sarah

e. Sydney

3. what does keira want to be when she grows up?

a. a Train conductor

b. a dentist

c. an industrial engineer…. whatever that is

d. a figure skater

e. both C & D, but mostly D

4. what is keira’s favorite movie?

a. Gone with the Wind

b. Step Up 2: The Streets

c. Flubber

d. Homeward Bound

e. Trick Question! Keira doesn’t have favorites.

5. keira excels at which of the following activities?

a. taking artsy photos

b. dancing

c. making mix cds

d. life in general

e. all of the above

6. which of the following would cause keira to freak out?

a. having a key hidden outside of the o-house

b. waking up with the alarm clock in her bed instead of on the nightstand

c. a strange man hiding in the o-house bushes

d. an unusually large amount of steam in the shower that looked look poisonous gas

e. all of the above would/have caused keira to freak out

7. what is keira’s most infamous item of clothing?

a. the retro dress her uncle found in a ditch

b. a white v-neck

c. her new denim vest

d. a k-state t-shirt

e. THE purple jacket

8. what did the o-house girls say that they admire most about keira?

a. her color-coordinated closet

b. her perpetually smooth hair

c. the fact that she ALWAYS has her house key

d. her y2k-like food supply

e. all of the above

scroll down for answers.

1. E. Keira’s parents grew up in my hometown- Natoma (population < style="mso-spacerun: yes"> Despite Keira’s frequent trips there to visit her grandparents, we never met before we decided to live together. It’s a small world after all.

* the retro dress referred to in #7.

. E. Well here’s a little classic moment in o-house history: one time last year, keira and jayne were at home alone. i was at work. abby was home for the weekend. bethany was God only knows where and syd was in Oklahoma. k & j were upstairs and heard an “intruder” enter the o-house, lock the door and begin “banging things around” in the kitchen. assuming a very clever vandal had entered the premises, the girls locked themselves in the bathroom and called 911 from the bathtub. moments later, half the riley county police department had surrounded the o-house. the panicked trespasser saw an officer from the window and decided to surrender peacefully. she walked out onto the porch, raised her arms and said, “i live here.” turns out, syd came home early from Oklahoma.

*luckily, they were able to reconcile.

3. E.

*the next nancy kerrigan. (and friends.)

4. also E.

*not really relevant... except that maybe this is the face she makes about absolutes.

5. E.

6 *slow jam.

. E. i couldn’t make this stuff up if i tried.

*freak out face.

7. E.

*the hottest industrial engineer k-state has ever known.

8. E.

* super smooth hair. props to her stylist, abby trammel.

moral of the story: the o-house loves keira. congratulations on being the MOTW!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

it's a love story. baby, just say yes.

hey friends, remember when the o-house had a house crush on josh tedder last year?

i mean, who could blame us?

and tedder came over to the o-house and saw jayne long in her pajamas and thought she was supa fly?

but then jayne developed a real-life crush on tedder, thanks mostly to this haircut?

nice work, keira.
and then they started for real dating?

gross. i mean, that's cute...

and they shared many happy memories together at the o-house with all their bffs?

the woman who brought them together.

the friends who were probably way too involved in the relationship.

it might look like all these pictures were taken the same night... because they were.

well, i am pleased to announce that the o-house is a magical place where people meet and fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MOTW (member of the week, duh): j.hull

*youngest member of the o-house, and arguably the hottest.

it’s taken some time (mostly because the o-house just recently forgave her for going home when she had the swine instead of sharing it with the rest of us), but i am pleased to announce that jennie hull is the o-house member of the week.

let’s just share jennie’s story:

it was may of 2009 and the o-house girls found themselves in a desperate situation. after a drama-filled series of events, the details of which are beyond the scope of this blog, we were without a sixth roommate. there were house meetings and super intense phone conversations with landlord dave (props to syd for handling those), and a solution could not be found.

enter jennie hull… aka the sixth man.

i first met j. hull when she and her mom came to look at the house. and i remember thinking, wow, that’s the nicest girl ever. and her mom was great too, because she LOVED the basement, which is pretty much the opposite reaction of all the other moms who have been down there. jennie signed the lease, wrote a check and we were good to go.

after living with jennie for 7+ months, i still think, wow, that’s the nicest girl ever. and also the sneakiest girl. she goes in and out that side door with incredible stealth. if i were planning to rob a house, or even a bank or train, i would consult jennie first, and probably let her in on the heist.

*clever disguise that would come in handy in aforementioned robberies.

however i can’t really picture jennie ever turning to a life of crime. she wants to be an elementary teacher. if i had to guess, i would say that she’d be the type of teacher who gave out skittles and extra recess time and didn’t’ make you feel like an idiot if you forgot the capital of Montana, or if you incorrectly spelled it "c-a-p-i-t-o-l", as i initially did in this post. and she would probably admit to you that long division is a waste of time, thanks to a clever new invention called the calculator….but that’s just a guess.

remember when jennie saved toby’s life? well, by that i mean the time that she tried to save his life, but it didn’t actually need to be saved. IRRELEVANT. the point is that she was super concerned, and she devised the brilliant (albeit unnecessary) rescue plan.

random fact: jennie hull goes to more birthday parties than anyone i have ever known. i would guess that 32% of our conversations include the phrase, “oh, i’m going to a birthday party that night.” now, granted the o-house hosts a lot of birthday parties, but jennie’s party-going is on another level.

*at a birthday party... for Jesus.

random fact #2: jennie's been pulled over like 47 times (ok, i think it's 11). but all but one of those times were because of her headlights. this has led to a fear of driving at night that rivals even my grandmother's.

awesome news about j.hull: after many, many job interviews, jennie just landed a job at coldstone. mmm. the o-house girls, like all Americans, love ice cream. we’re crossing our fingers that she gets a discount on ice cream cakes.

jennie hull: a friend to pets and people, swine flu survivor, birthday party-goer extraordinaire, future coldstone creamery employee of the millennium, and most importantly- O-HOUSE MEMBER OF THE WEEK. oh yeah, and nicest girl ever.

Friday, March 26, 2010

sb10: the pictures

prior to spring break 2010, or SB10 as it will be referred to hereafter, i issued a challenge to the o-house girls: to submit one picture from their break that best encapsulated the week. other than that, there were no instructions. i have now taken the photos and created a little recap of everyone’s SB10. the photos go in ascending order of awesomeness.

6. sarah Hachmeister. i kind of forgot to take any pictures, other than a few while i was EXTREMELY bored driving to Natoma. i went home on Thursday, windows down, sunroof open, sunnies on. i drove back to manhattan on Friday, windows up, heater on full blast, windshield wipers/windows/road all covered in ice/snow. it was a perilous 3.25 hour trip to say the least.

5. jennie hull. jennie spent her SB10 moose hunting. here’s the moose she killed, jennie, and a high school boy. draw your own conclusions. just kidding. jennie went home, did a lot of sleeping in and mourning over her bird who died. also, her sister broke her collar bone. in two places. yikes.

4. keira masters. keira travelled to kcmo, where she met up with jayne long, josh tedder, kevin hubbard and yours truly. the weekend included watching ku dominate k-state, and dominating all the games at dave & busters. check out our 3000 + tickets. after her kc adventure, keira went back to Burlington for some quality time with the fam and a trip to the coat factory.

3. becca melvin. becca got to leave for SB10 early, as she went on a “field trip” to Portland, Oregon. i thought field trips were only for elementary students, but apparently i was wrong. and of course, becca would submit a super artsy photograph that makes everyone else’s look dumb. after spending some time in seattle, becca headed back to manhattan early. she was missing stu terribly. it was the longest they’d been apart in months.

2. sydney miller. what’s more exciting than going to Portland and seattle? how about going to a foreign country? that’s right, syd led a missions trip to Guatemala. she spent her SB10 building a concrete wall, hiking up mountains, perfecting her Spanish, spending quetzal and talking about Jesus with the Guatemalans.

and now you may be thinking, “what could possibly be better than spending a week in south America?”

answer: making the decision to enter holy matrimony.

1.abby trammel. SB10 marks engagement of abby trammel to kellan gregory. take a look at that rock:

the wedding is currently planned for summer 2011. that means that there’s still time for one of the other o-house girls to beat her to the altar. i mean i know it would have to be a short courtship, but THERE’S STILL A CHANCE! jk. congrats to kellan and abby! let the wedding planning begin!