My dog nephew and niece get their 15 minutes of dog fame

Or is that 105 dog minutes? Hard to say. Anyway, Melvin and Sunny, dogs to my brother and his wife, had the Instagram-famous Marnie the Dog over for a play date recently, and the result drew nearly 60,000 likes. From what they’ve posted online, everybody had a fun time.

Here's me w/ dogs 4 #nationaldogday (I'm a dog too)

A photo posted by Marnie The Dog (@marniethedog) on

My brother got married!

This past weekend. I’m exhausted even after a gloriously full night of sleep last night, but I’m so happy for him and Danielle. Everything went wonderfully, and they even showed up in the Times!

My (taller) little brother gets married today! Very happy for @bankstnyc.

A photo posted by Patrick Cooper (@btrpkc) on

These two. A good weekend with family and friends, old and new.

A photo posted by Patrick Cooper (@btrpkc) on

And, not on Instagtam, a few more family shots from my phone:

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And a happy, tired, somewhat blurry us at the very end of the night:

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Pasta science is a crazy thing

“Add 3 cups of cold water to a pot, add the pasta, turn the stove on high, then give the pasta 10 minutes with a perfunctory stir every now and then. As it cooks, the pasta absorbs the water, all of it, which is kind of nuts, but which also eliminates the need to drain the pasta.”

My brother sent me a link and video with the above. The subject of his email? “The devil’s pasta” and I think that’s about right.

But I’m interested.

‘It wasn’t just assisting animals. It was assisting people.’

It’s been a busy month at Patrick Cooper International Headquarters. So many things have happened, some happy, some sad, some intriguing for the future. One of the good things has been my brother (Brother Rob) and his girlfriend, Danielle, getting engaged. I’m all kinds of happy for them.

A good way to introduce Danielle to you is through another cool thing that happened in the last month, with PAWS NY putting her and her volunteer work in a video. PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) helps ailing seniors and other vulnerable folks keep pets in their lives. Danielle has been active with them for a long time, and my brother gets in on the fine work too.

The cool snippet from Instagram featuring Danielle:

The longer version with lots of folks talking about PAWS NY’s goodness:

Hulk Hands make the season special

My brother Rob has a serious job, and he’s very good at it. But I’m a big believer in keeping all parts of the brain active. So I gave him Hulk Hands for Christmas. They became part of Cooper holiday traditions right away.

Putting ornaments on the tree.
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Sitting down to Christmas dinner.
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Opening presents by the fire.
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Celebrating the season with family.
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Truly a festive day! I can’t wait for next year. And I bet neither can Rob.

(Also, I may have given Lori a Jayson Werth mask. Merry Christmas!)
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Adventure Park II: Return to the Skies

Two years ago, friend Sheri and I took to the air above Sandy Spring, Md., on a LivingSocial deal and (for heights-hating folks like myself) a prayer.

This weekend, I went back to the Adventure Park with my brother, Rob, and his girlfriend, Danielle. They were in town for his birthday weekend — the big 3-0! My little brother was getting old. But we climbed trees, hung from wires, ran across wooden boards, and swung though the air like we did not fear the inevitable long downhill walk toward the grave. Hooray!

The above photo captured the heights pretty well. Got my blood pumping for sure. But I felt more comfortable this time than I did the first time at the park. I began to understand how folks really got into the treetop life.

More photos…

Danielle braves the zip-line.

Rob zips below me.

Continue reading Adventure Park II: Return to the Skies

Celebrating Easter outside and at table

This blog has so much catch-up to do, not the least of which are shots from a beautiful Easter Sunday last weekend. Saw the Strahotas and Coxes at church, had time to eat some Easter candy and bread around the house, and went to the cousins’ house for a big family gathering.

The song running through my head all the hours after church was the closing hymn, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee. The song sticks in your head because it uses the tune of Ode to Joy (the first bars of which were one of the few successes of my Groupon piano lessons). But the song does so especially on warm and sunlit Easters because it’s an outdoor song.

The tree on the parking, just after getting out of church at 11.

First bursts alongside the neighbor’s driveway out front.

Continue reading Celebrating Easter outside and at table

For my brother, on his birthday

Rob took this photo for me a long time ago, and it has sat around ever since. For his birthday today, I salute him and his accompanying note: “Fyi, the cheddar flavor creates a perfect cross between Cheerios and Cheetos.” This is why we are brothers and why I respect and love him.

Not only is he a fine investment banker (and an upstanding investment banker, it must be said in this day and age), but he understands and, I know, appreciates the finer things in life. Like Cheerios! And Cheetos!

Happy 29th, brother Rob! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. It’s sure hard to believe you’ll be 30 next time. Give me a year on that one.

To continue the celebration, more pictures, nearly lost on my machine, of boxes of cereal, all of which remind me of my brother in some way…

Continue reading For my brother, on his birthday

Family vs. fish

There are few things in life for which my brother cuts short his sleep, and he is a king sleeper. Work is one. Fishing, once a year, is another.

Rob rose at four this morning to leave the house, stand by the side of the beach road and jump in cousin Greg’s van as they headed to the waiting ship at Oregon Inlet.  The rest of the family, as any sane folks would, did not see Rob off. Here was the video he took upon leaving:

But we welcomed him upon his return!

The Sea Breeze arrives from the sea…

Rob reports for spring training. The Steinbrenners order him to shave.

He gives a sober retelling of the mighty battles against the sea beasts.

Continue reading Family vs. fish