Friday, February 27, 2009

Meeting the Bean

So here’s how everything went down when we first met Franny last weekend.

The plan was to head up to Westchester County and “look” at the dogs they had up for adoption.


If we were going out there, we were coming back with a dog.

It was a semi-rainy, gray day when we hopped on the subway to Grand Central station, where we’d be taking the Metro North line for about a half an hour. Luckily, our nerves were distracted by the insane gentleman sitting across from us on the subway, slowly eating a Styrofoam Dunkin Donuts cup, bite by bite. (At one point I turned to Crissy and whispered, “Is he--” She said, “--eating it? Yes.”)

When we hopped off the train in a little quaint town called Larchmont, we had a quick 7ish minute walk to the foster home, which was holding a litter of 5 female terrier mixes. We quickly found our direction (oh iPhone, what would I do without thee?), and excitedly headed towards the house, ignoring the question of how the hell we were gonna bring a dog back with us on the train once we pulled the trigger.

The foster parents were a very kind, friendly pair of empty nesters named Paula and David. Judging by the zoo-like smell of their house, they'd either been doing this for a long time, or were completely insane, or both. David let us into the house with a nod while on his cellphone, and Paula guided us out to the backyard.

As soon as we stepped outside, we were immediately mauled by five muddy, spastic puppies of all colors and coats. In a matter of seconds, it looked like we'd both army crawled through a mile of sewage. It was complete bedlam.

Now, I’m counting on the fact that Francine will never read this post, which is a gamble considering how fast she’s learning things, but I have to tell the truth here.

Here goes...

Franny wasn’t our first choice.

Hang on hang on! Let me explain.

As soon as we got outside, we both pointed to her and said, "That's the one." But the truth is, the as-yet-to-be-named Franny was not that into us. At all. She was pretty freaked out, actually.

She was the shyest puppy in the litter which, to be honest, made us really nervous. We didn't want a skittish, cowering dog that was gonna be afraid of it's own shadow, not to mention the roaring terror of a Manhattan rush hour. So we started eyeing a confident little black pup who made Crissy's face so filthy she looked like Al Jolson.

But something didn’t quite feel right. When we tried to take her for a walk, she whined and pouted and scrambled to get away from us. Not exactly love at first sight.

We started to agonize over it. Maybe this wasn't right after all. After a hour and a half of hand-wringing and apologizing and asking questions we already knew the answers to, we started to get cold feet.

And just when we decided to abort mission, one of the other dogs came over and sat in Crissy’s lap. Both of our eyes widened in excitement. “Sorry,” Paula said. “That one’s already been adopted.” Strike two.

Then, finally, Franny made her move. She screwed up all her courage, slowly staggered over, and with a big, lazy sigh, plopped down into Crissy's lap. And that was all she wrote.

David and Paula were great. They gave us a crate to bring her home in, and David drove us back to the train. After the half an hour back to Grand Central, and Franny's inaugural terrifying New York cab ride, we were finally home with our new pup.

And let me tell you something. I think we found the greatest dog on earth. All she wants to do is whatever we want to do. "Hey Franny, wanna go for a walk?" Walktime. "Yo, Fran, wanna sleep on the couch until noon?" Sleeptime. "Hey, Bean, how about we head outside and you drop a deuce?" Boomtown.

I don't know what we did to deserve this dog, but she's been a complete dream. I mean, she came housetrained, for god's sake. She's less than five months old.

They say dogs are good first baby practice. As long as our first baby is calm, quiet, and exits the womb potty-trained, we'll be all set.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Queen Francine

Many of you already know, but we'd like for you to officially join us in welcoming Miss Franny (Francine the Bean) Mulroy to the family!

She was adopted Sunday, February 22, 2009 from a private foster home in Westchester County, NY. She 15 pounds and 4-1/2 months old and was recently brought up from South Carolina where she certainly wouldn't have had as much love and attention as she's getting now - and will continue to get for the rest of her life!

She's adjusting very well and getting more and more confident with each day. She's walking on the leash and even holds herself to only use the ladies' room outside. She's getting more accustomed to the city with each walk that we take, and we take LOTS of walks!

She can't wait to meet each and every one of her new friends and family.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

yeah, so?

Here’s what I hate about celebrity sightings: I so desperately want to not care, but I can’t help it. Outwardly I say things like, “They’re just people like you and me. Who cares?” Inwardly I think, “I wonder if they can sense that I’ll soon be famous too, just like them? Maybe they just need to get a closer look at me.”

Since we’ve been here we’ve seen a bunch of celebs. Usually it’s some B or C-lister from shows that Crissy curses herself for watching and that make my testes retract, like Gossip Girl, or The City, or…whatever Nicole Ritchie’s famous for. Is there a show called Smokin’ Butts and Makin’ Babies? Maybe I should pitch that to Fox.

Every once in a while, we get pretty good ones. I saw my teen crush Jennifer Connelly at our local Whole Foods in Tribeca (Wow…As I typed that, spell-check corrected the spelling of her last name…that’s how you know you’ve really made it), looking scarily gaunt and starved with her scowling 10-year old daughter in tow, effectively striking her from my celebrity fantasy make-out league. “Connelly, hit the bench! Marissa Miller, get in there! Bjork!! Sing something nice!”

But sometimes we get REALLY good ones. Like the time Crissy and I were out for a jog up the west side highway on an unseasonably warm day a couple weeks ago. As we were trotting along, I happened to look up and notice a super-pale, chubby dude with a red goatee, gasping his way down the path in ratty old New Balance Classics, white socks halfway up his thick ankles, and cargo shorts down past his knees.

And just as I started to think, “Aw, poor nerd…that sucks,” I noticed his jogging partner:

The one and only “Mel,” from Flight of the Concords, A.K.A Kristen Schaal.

Not only is Mel an authentic nerd in real life (in stark contrast to Connelly’s inauthentic hotness), she’s even got a real-life, authentic nerd boyfriend.

Ooohhh yeah.

“Miller, out! Schaal, in!
Nobody told you to stop singing, Bjork!”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

oh please god no

If there’s one thing on this earth that makes me incredibly uncomfortable, it’s witnessing older white men try to urban-up their language when speaking to black people.

Maybe I’m overly sensitive to it because I’m guilty of it myself. Sometimes I think to myself, hey, I’m a creative guy…what’s wrong with a couple extra mans and dudes when I’m trying to ingratiate myself to someone? Crissy usually calls me out on it when I’m really laying it on thick. She can instantly tell the difference between sincere Kevin-speak and my not-so-subtle verbal ass-kissery.

But really what I’m talking about is hearing older white men try to add their own special brand of urban-ness to sentences where it doesn't belong.

For example, sometimes the super-friendly black cashier at my work cafeteria likes to whip up special, sample sized coffee concoctions to hand out to people for taste tests.

So, once he made a cinnamon-pumpkin latte with a touch of honey, and offered one to me, and one to the older white gentleman in front of me. And the guy in front of me chuckled and sniffed and said, “Oh that’s cool. I’m not down with cinnamon-pumpkin.”


Then there was the time I was at the gym, and I overheard a clean-cut, banker type with a crisp new haircut in the middle of a personal training session with his black trainer, say, “My boy back home has been into the yoga thang.”

Ohhh no.

Then there was this morning. I was in line at Starbucks, when a tall slender man in his 50’s with sensible slacks and wayfarer sunglasses casually ordered a grande coffee from a twenty-something white kid.

But when the older gentleman stepped up to the black woman at the register to pay, suddenly the name of his order became a “grande coffaaayyyy.” Then he bit his bottom lip and did a tiny, almost imperceptible, knee-bend bob to "Buffalo Soldier."

And I cannot for the life of me get the image out of my head.

I think I need to go home and put a cold-compress on my aching brain.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Heartwarming Valentine's Day Tale

While waiting in the checkout line today at the Duane Reade (NYC's version of Walgreen's), I look to my right and the guy next to me is buying various sexy-time products. The female cashier is trying her hardest to be discreet, but all the while holding back unstoppable laughter.

The guy swipes his credit card, says thank you, and starts to walk away. The cashier just couldn't resist herself and shouts loudly "Now THAT'S the way to spend your Valentine's Day!".

Everyone around us started hysterically laughing (including the purchaser of said sexy-time miscellania, thank god).

This is one of the many reasons why I love New York.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ok, now it's official

They say that age is just a number. And I really believed that for a long time. But I just found out it’s not true.

Age isn’t a number. It’s a thing. And that thing is Grape Nuts.

We’ve been eating Grape Nuts every morning now for about a month, mixed with vanilla flavored yogurt, and maybe some blueberries, for the antioxidants.

And I’m starting to freak out a little bit. Because I really like it.

I know the old annoying joke is to say, roughly every 3 years of our lives, “Now I’m really getting old.” When we turned 22, it was, “that’s it…no more birthdays to look forward to. I’m officially old.”

Then 25 came, and we said, “Ok, that’s it. My twenties are halfway over, I’m officially old.”

Then 28 rolled up, and we thought, “Crap, only two more years before my life is over. Man I’m old.”

Then the big 3-0 creeped up on us. (Which wasn’t really that bad, in retrospect).

But, it turns out we weren’t actually getting old at all. We were just growing up a bit. And there were certain milestones along the way to remind us that we were growing up.

We’d drink 50 beers over the weekend, and have 50-beer-gut on Monday. Ok fine.

We started stuffing toilet paper in our ears at loud concerts to protect our hearing. That’s probably a good thing.

Our knees began to ache after exercise. Well, that sucks, but oh well.

But then, practically out of nowhere…BAM!

Grape nuts.

If you need us, we’ll be on our Rascals down at the mall.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What I've Been Focusing on Instead of Posting (and Work)

We've wanted to add to our family for a little while now, but didn't think it was right to adopt a dog and immediately move it to a new city. Since we're finally settled, happy and employed, we feel that it's the right time to bring a pooch into our lives.

We must have a small dog because of our apartment. Most people in New York have the same requirement, which means that the "good" small dogs in Manhattan shelters go super quick. I've been on almost every day for the past month, and each time I call the shelter about a specific dog, nine times out of ten, they've been adopted. The majority of dogs in the city shelters are the poor, unwanted pitbulls, german shepards and rottweilers who've been left behind by their negligent owners.

The other option is to go with a breeder. I've done quite a bit of research and found a few breeds that seem to be a good fit. Part of us wants go that route, but part of us feels like we're giving up on an abandoned dog who needs lots more love. It's a very hard choice to make and we change our minds every other minute.

We've been relying heavily on advice from two of our most trusted dog lovers, Heather and Bekka. Heather is a staunch supporter of shelters, having adopted two beautiful and special dogs from the pound. Bek has a purebred boston terrier who is healthy, happy and sweet as can be (her only flaw is that she snores like an old man). They each have incredible dogs and make strong cases for how they came into their lives.

We haven't given up hope yet that the right pup for us out there in a shelter. We are heading out of the city to visit a few places this Saturday. We may come home with a pup, but we may not. We (I, specifically) just have to be patient and know that however and whenever we get our dog will be the right way, and you can't force a new 10-15 year relationship no matter how badly you want it. Your thoughts on the matter are welcome in the comments section.

(The pups in the photo above are from a border terrier breeder that I contacted -- these are her little girls who become available next weekend)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bowl

On Sunday night the missus and I went to a Superbowl party at Bekka’s sister-in-law Lex’s apartment on the Upper East Side. Pretty good game, I have to say. Though I kinda wanted the Cardinals to win. Don’t the Steelers win every year?

The party itself was a complete food bonanza, though things got a little tense there for a moment. Crissy got the hostess bristling by bringing a couple dishes that had guests swooning over the food like a Pizza Hut Tuscani Pasta commercial.

So just to get Crissy back, the hostess busted out about 17 consecutive dishes, carefully staggered out through the entire game, which she practically fork-fed each guest from her knees, asking what they thought of each bite. And I couldn’t lie (because we would have been asked to leave), it was all pretty freakin’ good.

Other highlights from the night included this conversation:

ME: “It smelled like spring today.”
HOST: “I hate the smell of spring”

And a raucous, fist-pumping chant of GO! GO! GO! GO! as the dog demurely shit on the floor.

We had a damn good time. Thanks for the invite, Bek.