Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune - Irish Proverb. Alternate title: Happy Birthday MFD!

(Posting this on 8/31, the birthday eve, since we will be at the shore tomorrow on the actual day)

Happy 34th birthday to my friend of 21 years and my husband of 341 days. Life is a grand adventure with you.

So cute. Disregard the white ear, I don't have patience to fiddle with PhotoShop to fix the scan.
Who is MFD? Michael Francis Doyle Jr. is loving, happy, funny, silly, interesting, zany, likeable, welcoming, inclusive, inquisitive, joyful, spontaneous, unique, and curious. He is a people person. He is a master of The Grand Gesture and The Surprise. He constantly whistles a melodious tune without realizing it. He is kind to everyone even when they don't deserve it. He truly is a kid at heart.

He knows history and politics and loves reading about, watching and researching both. He's a staunch democrat and works to help candidates out around election time. He subscribes to Time Magazine. His favorite channels are Discovery, Weather, History, and National Geographic. His favorite movie is Big, with the Star Wars movies and Braveheart close behind.

He's in that rare class of people who both love their job and are great at what they do. He loves helping friends find homes that suit them perfectly, and he's really good at it. I think I was his worst client and he was very patient and kind to me. I was a raving lunatic during our house hunt. tra la la la laaaaaaa

He is a great musician. He appreciates all kinds of music. He sings and plays the sax. He's a mummer.  



He is Clark Griswold at Christmas. He resembles Bill Clinton. He usually forgets underwear on vacation. He is murder on cell phones. He eats Carvel ice cream cake every year for his birthday. His favorite meal growing up was his mom's salmon casserole. He loves the ocean. He loves fishing. He's an excellent swimmer. He does line dances at weddings. At parties he often disappears and reappears in a ridiculous outfit or someone else's clothes.
Thank you Evan Leslie for this portrait of MFD in Michelle's dress after a wedding.
He likes his kitchen to hold Oreos, fruit snacks, Ellio's pizza, Kraft mac & cheese, Chicken in a Biscuit and Ritz crackers, EZ Cheese, Tostitos queso, neapolitan ice cream, Ring Dings, Combos, gummy bears, Life cereal, and twizzlers. He is a very good, creative cook. He makes excellent seafood, specifically scallops in a blush sauce.


He can't and won't be rushed - he does things on Michael F'ing Doyle time. He's meticulous about his clothes and irons every day but keeps casual t-shirts until they are as soft and holey as woobies.

He talks to our dogs in a made up language.



He makes me laugh even when I don't want to. He drives me crazy. He allows me my moods, over-organizing and cleaning behaviors and embraces my Randy the slug episodes. He never asks me to shovel snow. He always outdoes me on Christmas gifts. He gets up and lets the dogs out every morning even though I'm already up just so I don't have to get up even a minute earlier. He is my opposite in so many ways and brings so many things to my life that I wouldn't have otherwise.

He is not perfect. I am not perfect. Together we are not perfect. Together we are simply us, and that is perfect for me.

On his birthday I felt like listing what I love about him, which is a million little things...the preferences, penchants, and idiosyncracies that make him who he is. I couldn't find a Hallmark card that did that. Get on that, Hallmark.

Happy birthday lovey. Enjoy your day in the sun.


Singing an off-key happy birthday to MFD,

SMD

Monday, August 29, 2011

And then came Gus.

Before MFD and I got Gus in October 2005, I was not a dog person, and I wanted you to get your dog off of me thankyouverymuch.

One of my best friends growing up always had a house full of dogs (hello Van Schoycks!), and I basically said loudly "Get away dogs!" every time I stepped through their door, which was quite often. I didn't get it. Yes nice nice dog tut tut I patted you now leave me be.

Then came Gus. Augustus Fred Mellor Doyle to be exact.

There were two males in the litter. We drove to the middle of nowhere to pick which one we wanted instead of having the breeder pick for us. MFD is always very quick to remind me that he picked Gus. I picked Non-Gus because Gus Gus bit a hole in my shirt and scratched me while Non-Gus slept peacefully in my arms. This is one time (possibly the only time in history?) that I'm happy I didn't get my way.

He chose Gus.
The day we brought Gus home, he attended a block party at Michelle and Jamie McKnight's house where he peed on the rug and was fawned over like a furry Jesus. 
Gus at the McKnight Block Party - October 2005
Gus was supposed to sleep in his crate that night and every night. MFD put him in there, listened to him cry for one minute, and took him out. Gus has been getting his way ever since. As a puppy, he wreaked havoc on our apartment. Geege joined us in May 2007 and let's just say the inmates run the asylum.  
Geege's first weekend with us - May 2007
Gus is a royal, lazy, stubborn, jealous, snuggly, snoring and farting machine who loves his bones and toys and will insinuate himself anywhere he wants to be, at any time. Geege is a neurotic, sensitive, soulful, energetic, protective, happy, loving guy who loves to frolic and run both on-leash and off and is scared shitless of thunderstorms, firecrackers and loud noises in general. They make us laugh every day. MFD speaks to them in some made up language I've heard for six years and still don't understand.

And they've made me into a dog person. I can't imagine being without one, ever. Or being without these two specifically, even though they howl at me until I make it inside the house, are constantly underfoot and have even sent me flying down the stairs (I'm talking about YOU, Gus), sometimes mark things inside, bark like demons at passerby when I'm trying to hear the TV, leave hair everywhere, and cost a lot of money. They are a flipping mess and I adore them. They are part of our family. When you walk in, they bumrush you and I don't pull them away. I'm that asshole dog owner. They're excited to see you, says the former non-dog person.

If you had any lingering doubts on how much we consider them part of our family, see below. They were in our wedding, for crap's sake.
Find the dogs.
So why the dog love today? Today is Gussie's sixth birthday. Happy birthday Gussie! Wet food and an extra long walk for all dogs today. MFD's birthday is Thursday, and a few years ago I took this photo which makes me laugh every time I see it:


Three of my favorites in party hats with dog prints on them. What's not to love?

Perpetually covered in dog hair and dealing with it,

SMD

p.s. Dear smug dog trainer from around the block walking your enormous perfectly behaved robot dogs and smirking at me as my two small dogs jackass around like nobody's business: Suck it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

In the name of all that is holy, consult a grammar guide.


Particularly in these instances:

1. they're, there, their. They're putting their books right there.
2. your, you're. You're going to regret not bringing your umbrella.
3. lose, loose. You lose games. Your clothing is loose.
4. quite, quiet. The evening was quite quiet.
5. to, too. You're too nice to her.


6. Incorrect use of plural and possessive forms. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you are an offender. This drives me totally fucking insane. When you address something to me and MFD, we are The Doyles, not The Doyle's. Your family's home can sleep 12, so a few families can stay there. Capisce? Possessive form of a noun indicates that the noun owns something, so if you use that apostrophe, the noun better be in possession of something. Or else!


7. Adding exxxxxtra letterssssss to wordsssss. It doesn't indicate emphasis, so stop it right now. Teenagers, I'm looking at you.
8. The is a word that has no abbreviation. Da is not a form or abbreviation of the. Don't use it. I'm serious.


9. If you can type out gr8t, you can surely type out great. The same goes for 2 - it's just one keystroke less than to. R instead of are saves you 1.5 seconds. It also makes you look stupid. If you don't feel like typing out "shut the fuck up," abbreviate that in a text, not are/the/to. Carry on.


10. Compose texts and emails as if you're speaking out loud to someone. If you say it out loud and it's reminiscent of sounding out words when you learned to read, stop. Start again.

Take your time. Think about what you're saying. Express yourself intelligently. Make your kids do the same. When you're not sure how to write or spell something, look it up in a reference guide or on the world wide web.

You may now return to Hurricane Irene coverage and the corresponding facebook status updates.

Grammatically yours,

SMD

Monday, August 22, 2011

Let's have a coffee and catch up, hmm?

1. MFD finally got his beloved Keurig to kick off his birthday celebration. I no longer have to hear his sales pitch that goes a little something like this: "You know, Keurig always makes a perfect cup of coffee. And it really is convenient. I'd drink more coffee at home and not buy it daily. " Repeat a few times nightly.
                                                                                                   


2. I saw this sky after I made the Keurig purchase. There have been hellious storms and really weird skies recently. ET phone home.


3. Thanks to a tip from Mimi Garcia, I went to Le Dollar Store and purchased plastic baskets in various sizes. I organized the shit out of my freezers (I have a top/bottom in the basement and a side/side in the kitchen. Side/side pic is below) and underneath my bathroom vanities. This photo doesn't do it justice, but take my word for it: nothing is falling out when you open the door, like is with like, and there was much harmony throughout the land. This has sent me off on a reorganizing tangent throughout the house. The man and dogs are none-to-pleased with the uproar. Martha Stewart on the cheap. You know you want to.


4. Geege is super scared of thunderstorms. Tara Hebden lent us her dog's thundershirt so we could try it. We weren't home when he wore it Sunday, but since there was a huge pile of turds on the dining room floor to greet us when we returned, I'm not counting on it as a success. I'll give it another try, but my thumb is leaning down. Sorry for the pink Geege. Dazey is a girl.


5. Gus doesn't give a rat's patoot about thunderstorms, but he doesn't like to be left out. This is his "No photos please ok wait yes take it, I love my fans!" look.



6. And finally:
  • Pine-Sol smells awesome, I want to clean everything with it.
  • My BFF Lil Kim is back from a fabulous trip to Africa. I missed her so!
  • Is it September 14 yet? Vacation, I've caught your intoxicating scent blowing up from the south.
  • Why can't I buy the correct replacement lightbulb unless I have the actual bulb with me? I suck at lightbulbs.
Randomly yours on this beautiful Monday,

SMD

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

In my office, we call this guy "our friend." Every single day he stands outside our building on the corner of 16th and Market catty corner from the 16th Street preacher.

He's there from about 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. daily. Regardless of the weather he is wearing long sleeves and long pants, sunglasses, headphones, and has a jacket clutched in his hand. He stares straight ahead down Market towards 30th Street. He doesn't look around, talk on the phone, consult his watch, cough, scratch, or move at all. He is not waiting for a bus. I assume he breathes but I'm not going to check because in the summer he stinks to high heaven. I have to hold my breath when I go near him to cross the street.


The front desk guys tell this tale: Our friend is waiting for his lover, who was supposed to meet him on that very corner six years ago and never showed. He was stood up, kicked in the metaphorical balls. Yet still he waits. He is a true romantic who may or may not have had a mental break when he was scorned by his lady. Ah, life. Ah, unrequited love. Friend, I hate to break it to you...she's probably not coming.


I applaud your steadfast commitment and the fact that your presence is as reliable as that of the City Hall clock. What are you listening to as you wait? Is Hello playing through your headphones? 
image from sweetlyrics.com

Cause I wonder where you are And I wonder what you do...
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying, I love you ...

Singing Lionel All Night Long,

SMD

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Crabtopia

We spent the weekend in Chester, MD, visiting our good friends Meem and Doug. We had a lovely and relaxing time. It's  insane that we don't visit them more often since 1. We love to hang out with them 2. it's an easy, quick drive 3. crabs. Not the gross kind either, dirtbags. These glorious lovelies:

The crab that walks too far falls into the pot ~ Haitian Proverb
Meem's parents live on Cox Creek and have a dock that you can fish and crab from, and instead of just setting traps Doug & MFD actually crabbed on Saturday with bait and nets. Meem has been crabbing since she was in the womb so she lent a hand. I observed and was a lazy asshole. Crabbing butts pictured below.


Lucky for us, Meem and Doug picked crabs in advance. This weekend's menu included:

  • Meem's muffins (bacon cheddar mixture on an english muffin, baked in the oven to savory deliciousness) with fresh crab mixed in. Superb.
  • Crab cakes. Meem's mom's recipe. No filler, fresh crab. I ate it then died.
  • Crab fried rice. Again, so good you could drop dead and be happy because you just ate it.
  • Steamed freshly caught crabs supplemented with a dozen from Mr. B's.

Holy shitskies, people. Really. Everything was phenomenal. Meem is a fabulous cook and Meem and Doug are wonderful hosts. And they sent us home with crabs, homemade frozen egg rolls, and figs freshly picked from Meem's mom's trees. Oh happy day.

Also:
1. Friday night we left our house at 11:15 p.m. and had a totally bizarre full moon ride that was a cross between Adventures in Babysitting sans kids, Pleasantville sans time travel and Back to the Future sans flux capacitor. Doo doo doo doo.
2. I learned how to make egg rolls at the hand of the master (Mimi). Everyone who comes to a gathering at our house within the next year, expect to have egg rolls made by moi. Konichiwa, bitches.
3. The drive home on Sunday was made in almost two hours of awful white knuckler rain, the worst I've ever driven through for such a long duration. Yikes.

And that was the weekend that was. Sunday night blues, commence.

Crabfully yours,

SMD

p.s. I cannot say crab without saying FRab. Someone's kid said that when they were little. Who was it?
p.p.s. I cannot say crab without picturing one singing.

Image property of Disney

Friday, August 12, 2011

It feels so good to be back here at the Dexter Lake Club...

 We'd like to do for you now a tune entitled 'Shama Lama Ding Dong.' So hit it.

Oh, Delta. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the varsity swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.

Animal House, one of my favorite movies of all time. Shama Lama Ding Dong, one of my favorite songs of all time. Niedermayer, one of the biggest weinerwhistles of all time.

TGIF,

SMD

p.s. If we renew our vows, Shama Lama Ding Dong simply must be the first dance song. I wonder if MFD will go for this.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sin is coming and it smells like liquor, smoke and sweat.

You. You there, walking along 16th Street to work. This man has something to tell you.

This is the 16th & Market Preacher. He actually gets on the R7 at 30th Street and commutes in to this corner. It must be a haven of wickedness and a choice spot for declaring doom.

His sermons always heat up on Thursdays and Fridays. As I've heard him say before, "The Sinning Days are upon us!" He hates the weekends and their opportunities to sin like I hate clowns and litter.

Today's condemnation from the corner: "You buy your whiskey, you buy your cigarettes, you buy your sex, you pay to sin! Sin is coming and it smells like liquor, smoke and sweat!"

Alrighty then! Happy Thursday Sinners!

And on a QUITE different note...a very happy birthday to my stepmom Carol. Loving, caring, generous, big hearted, kind, smart, helpful, wise, pretty, great gift giver, best veggie pizza maker, fun and funny. I hope you're enjoying your week at the shore!


TGIAF,

SMD

p.s. I forgot my work keys for the second day in a row. What the shit!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainy Days and Tuesdays can both suck a wang

I highly recommend this clear bubble umbrella, specifically if you work in a city. You can glide through the rainy streets with ease, safe from precipitation in your little bubble. You will still see what's going on around you, which will keep you from banging into the umbrellas of others who are stalking around with their heads down, cursing. Even Serena van der Woodsen uses it:

Image from styleseendaily.com

Totes bubble umbrella. Get it. Then, carry it and USE it, or you will look like this:


What the frig! It's like a wet mark of a reverse butt. Christ on a crutch I am a mess. Instead of using my beloved umbrella, I used this on the two block walk back to my office from the gym:


Classy. I looked and felt homeless. While I'm airing grievances, you down there. Sanuk flip flops. I love you for daily wear. I can walk all the live long day without my feet, legs or back hurting like they do in most flip flops. However, you get an F for rain performance. I was slip sliding away and nearly broke my ass a dozen times. Get your shit together.


Attention people in the lobby: when I bust through the revovling door with my wet T-shirt over my head, don't stop and look at me in dismay like I am The Swamp Monster. I am not. I just play one on rainy Tuesdays.

Finally, a huge thank you to building management for closing the closest revolving door every time it rains so I have to walk another half of thousand miles to get in the building. Am I on Candid Camera?

Wet and singing along with Karen Carpenter,

SMD

p.s. Tuesdays are the worst day of the week. They're not the first day to jam through, they're not Wednesday poising you for transition into weekend mode, they're not Thursday/Friday Eve. Useless.

p.p.s. MFD makes awesome ribs.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fears I will never face

Walking over the Ben Franklin, Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges are all things I will eventually cross off of my Life List. I don't like being on bridges, but I recognize the beauty of them, and their necessity. I want to conquer my fear, and I will.

Some fears I am not interested in conquering. I will never build a bridge and get over them. Get it?
Anyway. Let's get this over with. I will forever be a weinerwhistle in regards to the following:





1. Clowns. Why the hell do people still like clowns and dress up like them? Haven't they ever seen Poltergeist? Or It? That was some seriously scary shit. WTF people. Burn all the clown costumes. I'll have you know that when I googled "no clowns" a bunch of scary ass clowns came up. Google, I declare a friendship divorce. Until three minutes from now when I need you again.



2. Slugs. Senior year of college, I was sitting on my front steps (I didn't know to call it a stoop then, having not yet lived in Philly) having quite a serious discussion with a friend via phone and smoking cigarettes like it was my job. I reached behind me to grab my drink and grabbed...cripes I am ill describing this 12 years later...a flipping slug had slugged its way up the side of my MFing glass! I touched it and it was a bad touch. BAD TOUCH! I hyperventilated, heaved the glass away, and ran inside to take to my bed where I passed out and slept through my first class the next day.


3. Bed bugs. I can't do this one, I've been scratching phantom itches since I first started thinking about writing something here. I care about health and the environment, except in the case of extermination for bed bugs. For the love of Lucas PLEASE bring back whatever awful chemical was released to keep these things at bay for so many years. I have lost all respect for my eco self after placing this plea on the world wide web.



4. Horror movies and commercials for scary movies. Yes, I know it's all fake. I am a Scary Mary and I don't give a rat's patoot if it's fake or not. It's effed up. Nocandoskies people. Of course I've seen some scary movies (see #2 above), but mostly on accident. "What's a poltergeist? Ahhhhhhhhhh!" "IT? Sounds nondescript. I guess it could be good. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!!!!" My idea of a good time does not include being so afraid that it's a real possibility that I a) pee myself b) vomit c) cry d) poop my pants e) pass out or f) all of the above. If MFD leaves a commercial for a horror flick on for even a second before flipping the channel I am screeching at him in a high pitched voice to turn it turn it TURN IT RIGHT NOW I'M NOT KIDDING YOU KNOW I DON'T LIKE THIS STUFF WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Shudder.  Fluffy bunnies fluffy bunnies fluffy bunnies.


Shit. The Donnie Darko bunny. Add demonic bunnies to the list.

Fearful and Loathing in Philadelphia,
SMD

p.s. Happy Saturday! Have you seen the google homepage in honor of Lucillle Ball's 100th birthday today?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Luke loves Laura. And so do I.

image from generalhospital.tv
Oh, General Hospital. Luke and Laura Spencer. Luke loved Laura Laura loved Luke on and on ad infinitum for years on GH. Nevermind them and their long history of love, pain, intrigue, moronic son Lucky and foolish daughter Lulu. I am easily distracted on Friday mornings.  I have my own Laura, and this post is about her. When you're as close as we've been for going on 23 years, you can sense each other's moods, whether you live around the corner or two hours away from each other. Today I think Laura could use some laughs and good cheer, no bobs about it. Henceforth on August 5 I will celebrate the anniversary of Laura Being Awesome. In honor of this day, an ode to Laura.

A LITTLE ABOUT LAURA

Laura loves Air Supply, interpretive dance, fudge, wedding planning, participating in dance offs, Brothers Pizza, kids, and the Sound of Music. She is nice to old people. She believes in paying for beach tags and not making a fuss. She is not a good cook and should not ever make her own mixed drinks unless she wants to be poisoned. She can laugh at herself. She hates mustard and cheese, both of which I spilled all over her dashboard at 2 a.m. a trillion years ago. And which she had to clean off of my wedding dress because yes I served hotdogs at my wedding and yes I was messy enough to spill mustard on my wedding dress.


She was always the first to sleep at slumber parties and the first to wake up.  She had two Ford Escorts we named Menudo and Guido. When she fell asleep we used to take ridiculous photos all over them. She never knew about it until we gave her a book of them for her 21st birthday. Here she is on her 21st beside Guido.


I would hire her as my handywoman. She has done electrical work, tiling, painting, etc. in her gorgeous home in North Jerz that came standard with an elevator. She uses it for storage of cleaning supplies, but whenever we visit we like to take photos and act like assholes in it.

She is a CPA working in Manhattan. She can audit like nobody’s business and people too stupid to know she’ll always get to the bottom of something have been burned by underestimating her.  She works near Magnolia Bakery and never goes there.  How?

This crazy ass also ran the NYC Marathon a few years ago and is running it again this November. We follow her around the city boozing out of flasks, wearing t-shirts with her name on them, holding up signs with her face on them and hooting and hollering like loons. Win/win.


Her heart is the size of the moon. In addition to volunteering for Holiday Express throughout the year, she also volunteers at weekend camps for kids who have lost their parents to cancer. She travels two hours to attend Relay For Life events and walks beside me in the heat and rain to raise money for people with cancer. She lost her Dad to the disease and instead of spewing bitterness into the atmosphere she chooses to pump love into the universe. This is one of my favorite photos of Laura and Mike:


She is silly and ridiculous and not afraid of looking crazy. She makes the best costumes and wears them with glee. She is also very crafty and ingenious and to thank us for being a good support system turned jock straps into #1 Supporter Gifts.


I won’t try to describe what a huge part of my life she is. When I told her I started this blog yesterday, she offered to be my Victor. She is my family and one of the people I love most in the world, my favorite road trip partner, pretty much the only person I answer the phone for besides my parents and husband, and quite honestly one of the best people I know. If there is a rapture like some of the crazies think there will be, she is definitely moving on up. This photo is from May 21 this year, the latest Rapture Hoax.


Laura, I know you are reading this because I sent you the link. You are beautiful, strong, smart, funny, generous and wonderful. You bring a great richness to the lives of everyone lucky enough to be one of your people. Today, I hope you are celebrating that. I will be.  Happy anniversary of being awesome!

Looking through the eyes of loooooove,
SMD

p.s. I’ll still be sending you a card like I always do when I can feel your fret through the miles. Blogs don't replace Hallmark greetings.     
p.p.s. I wrote this and then went in the bathroom and cried because I am so proud of my friend for the courage and spirit she's shown in the past few years. Yes, I am a weinerwhistle.                                                                         
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