Weekend in dating.










Terrence and I don’t get out as much as we used to, his job pretty much swallows him whole these days. So you can imagine how elated I was when he allowed me to steal him away from his computer for a weekend. I had to make sure it was well worth it, and I think I accomplished my goal.

Recipe for an awesome weekend in NYC,

Day 1:
Brooklyn Museum, Sanford Biggers Exhibit (Running until February)
The Islands (Caribbean restaurant, come hungry and patient)
Pacific Standard (Beer tastings, board games… good times)

Day 2:
American Museum of Natural History, Beyond Planet Earth exhibit and other such fun
Luke’s Lobster (Best Lobster Roll, EVER)
Brooklyn Boulders (bring gloves, land gently)

Its nice to be reminded how much you really enjoy the company of your partner. Terrence and I sometimes let the fact that we live together take the reigns of our “quality time”. But once you subtract the television and the computers, the nagging over whose turn it is to clean what, its amazing to know that after 7 years of dating you can still be thoroughly entertained by someone and enjoy every second of their company. I love this boy, he really is the best time.

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The night we met.

Our first photo together, two months after "our first date".

I’ve discussed here before how Terrence and I met on the interwebs. Tonight, however, I received some interesting information about the night we met face to face.

Me: Hey Terrence, the night we met… was that a date?
Terrence: Yes.
Me: Hmmph… interesting. Good to know. I guess that’s why you were so nervous.
Terrence: Uh huh.
Me: Hmmm… and a few days later when we went to the movies–
Terrence: That was definitely a date.

Seven years later and I am finally enlightened to the art of dating. I wore draw string pants and a grandma sweater the night we met… I call do over.

To think, I once hated camera phones.

Last night Terrence asked me to cut his hair. This isn’t the after, this is the before… and trust me he doesn’t walk out of the house this way. I had to blow dry his hair in the direction of the growth before I began trimming. When I came around to the front of him I almost died. I was going to just keep this photo for my own personal collection, but then Terrence complained that I wasted his whole night with how slowly I was going. He kept groaning about how bored he was and whining like a girl. All this after I cut my finger open with the tips of my scissors and bled everywhere. Hmmph. Sweet revenge.

Hmm… If I gave him a uni-brow he’d almost look like a beardier Gallagher.

Irreplaceable.

I know it’s been several weeks since I’ve shown my face around here, I’m sorry for dropping off the web.  This post has been extraordinarily hard to produce.  If any of you have seen my most recent twitter updates you know that we had to put our dog, Dutch, down.  It was a very difficult time for our family and friends, Dutch was and is a very beloved member of our circle… he’s irreplaceable.

I first met Dutch when I was thirteen, he was my brother Marc’s friends dog.  When he was still a puppy he came to live with us, along with my brothers friend.  I initially didn’t care for Dutch, I had recently lost my dog to an illness and was in no mood to deal with an out of control puppy.  He humped everything, everyone… even small children. Thankfully that faze ended quickly.  Not long after arriving my brothers friend left, leaving his dog behind.  And that’s how we came to possess Dutch.  He was our family dog for eight years before we moved on and out into our own homes, at which point my brother took Dutch to live with him, Terrence and I took him for a week here and there.  My brother wasn’t home very often and felt bad leaving Dutch lonely all day, Terrence jumped at the opportunity to take Dutch permanently, and that’s how he once again became my dog.

He never met anyone that didn’t instantly love him, mine and my brothers friends, Terrence’s friends and family, even strangers on the street and from the internet, he was incredible that way.  Sometimes when I’d mention to people that I had a pit bull they would instantly shudder, not understanding the breed itself and only going by their media soaked opinions.  Sometimes they’d have to fortune of meeting Dutch and having their minds quickly altered, he had that affect on people.

Dutch loved the snow, he’d run and jump into mounds of it and enjoyed snowball fights.  He loved when children were around and kissed their faces and let them tug on his ears and attempt to ride him as if he were a pony.  We shared a fork, it made Terrence squirm with disgust but I adored sharing meals with my pup.  In the mornings he would roll over to his back and play, sometimes I thought he had an itch he was desperately trying to satisfy, but it was probably just for fun.  He fetched sticks and balls, once we even tried to teach him to carry the mail in his mouth.  He learned to play dead at ten, even though everyone said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  He loved his sister Penny, although he was often jealous, he’d play tag with her and they’d chase each other around the apartment.  She’d cry at the door or window when we took him on his walks, once he came through the door she would jump up onto him or kiss his face, as if he’d been gone for years.  He played dress up with us without putting up a fight.  He would curl up with us during movie nights and steal the popcorn.

People say pit bulls have a life expectancy of nine to ten years, Dutch far surpassed that.  In February we learned that he had a life threatening tumor, he survived that too.  In the end he simply lost use of his legs from arthritis.  Climbing the stairs became a challenge for him, my mother suggested giving him a small vacation at her apartment.  She has a yard and lives on the first floor.  The day we were set to pick him up he had fallen, my mother called us in a panic, she wasn’t able to get him up.  Terrence rushed over assuring me that it was okay and that he was going to get him up and bring him home.  With no such luck we took him to the vet, she essentially told us that it was futile to keep him going and that he legs didn’t have much left.  She asked us if we were ready to say goodbye.  I looked at my dog, my best friend of fourteen years and said no, today was not his day.  She lowered the table and he walked right off of it, as if he were playing a trick that had gone terribly wrong.  I left Terrence with the vet to discuss his new medications.  Dutch walked right out of that office and down the block and in circles, just to prove he could.  The rest of the day he played with Penny and paced around my mothers apartment soliciting pats from all her guests.  Sadly that night he lost his mobility again.  After three long days of Terrence rubbing his legs and changing his warm compresses, carrying him in and out of the apartment so he could sit in the grass, sleeping with him on the floor and feeding him by hand, we decided it was time.  We cried and we begged for him to get up, but he was done now.  He refused to eat, he’d just lay there on the floor moaning.  It killed us to make that choice, but I feel that he may have made it first.  We called our closest friends and family and hung out on the floor with Dutch that last day, then like a procession we drove to the vet.

I sat with him in the back seat on the ride over, he looked me in the eyes the entire time.  He was calm, more relaxed then he’d been in days, he knew… this time was his time and he and I were okay with that.  I hugged him tight and held on to Terrence’s arm… and then he was gone.  I held onto Dutch and inhaled him deep, then I walked out the door and could barely breathe.  I went around the side of the building and let it all out, all the strength that I had for Terrence and my family, I let go, I grieved for my loss and for my dog, for my child, for my best friend.  I screamed, not because it wasn’t fair… but because it wasn’t familiar, it wasn’t normal, it was completely empty… surreal.

Two days later it was his fourteenth birthday, we were set to have a party for him and we didn’t cancel it.  We celebrated the life of our dearest friend with all of the people that loved him.  We laughed and told stories, we cried and hugged each other, Terrence got drunk… he says that’s how the Irish grieve.  I let him have that.  Sometimes the cat still cries at the door, sometimes I think I hear him or see him from the corner of my eye.

People have suggested that we replace Dutch, that that will somehow erase the pain of our loss.  Personally I feel that it’s insensitive to say so, but I understand that it’s not uncommon and its what a lot of people do.  These people have obviously never had a dog as uniquely awesome as mine.  So we’ll be doing this the old fashioned way, we’re going to cry when the mood hits us and as time goes by it’ll happen less often… until it stops.

*This video was originally intended for his birthday, after his passing it began to take another tone. It was tough, but I had to finish it.

Chocolate plus dog, equals a long night.

After a night out with friends Terrence and I came home to find that Dutch had gotten into an entire bag of baking chocolate. Terrence stayed awake to watch over Dutch, he seemed wired… pacing around and panting. Dutch is 14 years old, has a melon sized tumor threatening his life at every moment and then as if that weren’t enough he has to scare us by trying to commit coco-cide. Terrence had finally allowed himself to nod off when Dutch paced over to my side of the bed and collapsed. Nothing can describe the horror that we felt in those brief seconds before pulling him out from under the bed.

When we flipped on the lights we found him laying in a giant pile of partially digested chocolate chips and bile, for a second we thought he was gone. Dutch was dazed, he’d thrown up so hard that he lost his balance. Terrence rushed to clean him up and see that he was ok… and I was left to clean up the chocolate mess. One roll of paper towel and a bath later, Dutch was now fast asleep.

The next morning I made him eggs and rice, but he wouldn’t get up to eat it so I put his dish beside him and he slightly lifted his head and strategically licked up the food… without actually getting up. I tried to take him for a walk and he just looked at me and put his head back down. I gave him his water dish and he used the same maneuver as the food. Half the day had gone by and he just laid there on the floor in the middle of the office.

He was the saddest thing, but eventually he got his energy back and let us walk him. By the next day he was back to normal.

Old dogs are bad news for the easily stressed. Word of advice, keep the chocolate on a high shelf.

Own a bike.

My bicycle was my birthday present to myself. It’s a Globe, I bought it at Bennett’s Bicycles here on Staten Island. I was obsessed with the idea of a cute, girly bike and wouldn’t listen to anything Terrence had to say about weight and price and all that boring stuff. After a few months of riding my super adorable bike… I wish I would have listened. Sure, I got a hybrid so I have all the aesthetic appeal of a cruiser but the functionality of a road bike… but it weighs about 30 lbs and the wheels are way too thick. I plan to get thinner wheels so I can move a bit faster, but the weight will always haunt me. It’s not the first time I will say that I should’ve listened to Terrence, but sometimes I wish I could have been right first. Bastard. I’m actually already contemplating selling it and getting a lighter, less pretty bike. But it’s sooooo pretty, I don’t know.

Whatever, this is my bike.

Year Two, Month Ten. (22 of 192)

This is the best song of the entire year. I know it’s a little soon to call it… but it’s that amazing. I fell in love seconds in, and only became more trapped when the saxophone comes in (the sax really does make the song). I can’t believe I once fell asleep at an M83 show, in my defense it was late, I was drinking, sitting with my head resting on a table and it was a very quiet ambient sound moment. This was before an entire band of musicians graced the stage and it was just Anthony Gonzalez by himself with a laptop and other assorted machines. I doubt anything like that could happen with this song playing, I just dance and get all intoxicated with joy when it’s on. It’s that good.

M83, Midnight City

Riley’s Soundtrack, Year 2.
October | Sea Talk
November | All Of The Lights / Indestructible
December | Wasting Time
January | Weekend
February | I Follow Rivers
March | Heart In Your Heartbreak
April | Bizness
May | Helplessness Blues
June | East Harlem
July | Midnight City

Own a cello.

 

I came home from work the day before my birthday, Terrence was cleaning in the back of the apartment and I walked towards the front to stay out of his way.  As I entered the living room I noticed my plant was moved, I turned around to where it usually sits and in its place was this cello (with a little red bow on it).  I cried, and Terrence crept into the room to gauge my reaction.  I hugged him super tight.  Sometimes I wonder if Terrence reads through my life list to know what to do for me on special occasions… but its probably just his natural awesomeness and attention to detail.

Before you ask, no, I don’t know how to play it yet.  I’m just good at looking like I do.  We’re currently still trying to figure out how to tune the cello.  I’m not sure if it’s the beast itself or the tuner.  But every time either of us tries to tune the instrument, once one string is good and we move onto the next, the last string goes out of tune again.  Hugely frustrating.

Maybe for Christmas Terrence will surprise me with an feeble old white man, equipped with a ruler to strike me when I make mistakes, and he’ll teach me to be great like Jacqueline du Pré.  He’ll also have a little red bow, I hope.

Year Two, Month Five… Six, Seven, Eight and Nine. (17, 18, 19, 20, 21 of 192)

I have no excuse for my lack of dedication to this site. I think about updating all the time and just take a nap instead. Naps are super delicious.

Month Five: Lykke Li’s I Follow Rivers

Month Six: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s Heart In Your Heartbreak

Month Seven: tUnE-yArDs’ Bizness

Month Eight: Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues

*****

I just want to say that my heart belongs to Zach Condon. I couldn’t let this game of catch up go by without pointing out his amazing talent. This song is incredible. Swoons all around.

Month Nine: Beirut’s East Harlem

(not the official video, but better than watch the album art for 4 minutes)

And there you go, five months of songs in one shot because I’m really bad at life. It’s ok, so far Riley hasn’t noticed.

Riley’s Soundtrack, Year 2.
October | Sea Talk
November | All Of The Lights / Indestructible
December | Wasting Time
January | Weekend
February | I Follow Rivers
March | Heart In Your Heartbreak
April | Bizness
May | Helplessness Blues
June | East Harlem

Year Two, Month Four. (16 of 192)

We were lucky enough to have a whole day with Riley this month and once school let out we were joined by her siblings, Mya and Jakob. They ran around our apartment, played the piano together, learned about vintage Nickelodeon programming (way better than theirs). We had snacks, Mya and I played Pretty Pretty Princess while Terrence and Jakob played Mouse Trap… well… played isn’t the right term. Who actually plays Mouse Trap anyway? Riley just ran back and forth trying to join in with everything. It was a nice day, I look forward to more of these kinds of days with my nieces and nephew, they’re good times.

And then, music.

Smith Westerns, Weekend

Riley’s Soundtrack, Year 2.
October | Sea Talk
November | All Of The Lights / Indestructible
December | Wasting Time
January | Weekend