September 28, 2001

The Pooka Life

It's still slow here and since I'll be gone this weekend, I'll leave you all with an extra post to help get you through the weekend.

I'm the world's biggest snoop. If I every tire of my current career, I'm going to become a private investigator because I just love spying on people. I'm not sure where I developed this habit but I just can't stop myself.

I love walking Artie right now. It's cold out but not rainy yet and beginning to get dark earlier. If I take him out around 8pm, I find most people have their lights on and curtains open. It's dark enough outside that I have a nicely lit stage to peer into as I stroll by. And I simply love doing it. I like to see what people are doing, how they decorate their house, what's on their wall. And then I try to figure out what type of people they are. It fascinates me and I can spend well over an hour strolling around with my dog playing peeping tom.

The same holds true with my friends. Never, never, never, leave me alone in your house. I'm simply too dangerous. Forgot your jacket? I'm more than willing to pop by your house and pick it up. Of course, I'll have to rifle through your refrigerator while I'm there. Need someone to water your plants while you're out of town? I'm your gal so long as you don't mind me snooping through your medicine cabinet. I've actually developed a quick snoop technique that's quite amazing. I can rifle through a pile of papers in the time it takes you to pop into the kitchen and refill my glass.

Normally, my labors are all for naught as most of my friends are normal people with normal lives but I always maintain the hope of some day hitting the jack pot and finding strange photos or old love journals stashed away somewhere. I think I may plant notes around my own house just in case I have a guest with my own fetish.

Actually, now that I think about it, I remember playing this game with my sister. We'd leave a trail of cryptic notes throughout the house. You'd start with note 1 that would say something like "Now you've started the game and the trail isn't to hot but you can pick up your next clue if you look in the pot." Then you'd go into the kitchen and look through all the pots until you found the next clue. We loved this game. It would take one person a good hour or so to come up with all the riddles and hiding placed but we'd amuse ourselves for hours.

Man, don't even get me started on all the crazy games we played as kids. I think I'd be a much more normal person if I was allowed to watch more TV. Maybe then I wouldn't have to work so hard trying to suppress my desire to steam open the mail that is mis-delivered to my house. At lease I have my dog to help purge my system but someday I'll be McLaughlin, P.I. You just wait and see. (Obviously, I have read one too many Janet Evanovich novels and need professional help.)

Posted by CHRISSIE at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

When I started this blog, I had two concerns.

  1. Would anyone read it?
  2. Could I make it interesting?
As I have started typing down my thoughts, I find I worry less and less if anyone else sees this. I mean, I have no way of knowing who's accessing this site. This is the joy and the curse of the Internet. I could have hundreds of thousands of people whose only reason for getting out of bed in the morning is the knowledge that there'll be a new entry here. Or, it could be the only person looking at this is my mom. (Hi mommy!)

But since I have a very strange mind that I have been told is like a bad neighborhood which one should not walk through alone at night, I began to worry. What if I posted something negative about someone and, some how, they found this site and read it? Then I thought, nah, I'm just being paranoid. There are a gazillion sites out there. What are odds that the one person I don't want to read this WILL read it? But the thought lingered in my mind.

So I started this blog and, unbeknownst to anyone else, I also started another blog. A secret blog.

Pooka Thoughts was my Dr. Jekyll, the tales of the good life, suitable to be read by small children, domestic animals and my mom. (Hi mommy!) But the other blog, that was my Mr. Hyde. There I let loose and named names. I called it like I felt and with no regard to who would every read it since it was hidden behind the sheer number of weblogs out there. I figured the odds of anyone I knew actually finding that journal were worse than me winning money at Vegas. With odds like that, I felt invincible.

So I was surfing around the ‘net today trying to learn more about this whole weblog thing and I come across this article about how to make a good web journal. The information seemed pretty innocuous. Don't have lots of pictures that drag down the load time, use a spell checker, don't posts thoughts that start "I have nothing to post" and, here's the kicker, don't post anything you don't want the world to know. Whoa there Nelly! What was that all about? So I stop skimming and actually read that paragraph. The author said that no matter what you think, if there is someone out there you don't want to read your thoughts, rest assured, they will find them. If you are putting something on a website, it will be read and it will be found. If you want to write intimate or private thoughts, do it in a journal. Don't put it on a public access site.

Now this scared me. I quickly popped over to Hyde and began to read. I counting the number of people I didn't want to read Hyde and when I ran out of fingers, I realized I could be in trouble. I mean, here I am venting about my boss and co-works, complaining about acquaintances and uncovering feelings I thought long dead. If any of this got out, I would never live it down.

So I did the only sensible thing. I deleted it. That's right, no back up copy was kept, no print outs made. I decided a public forum for private thoughts was a very very bad idea. I have decided to write them in my journal which can be hidden safely in my house. Perhaps this journal would be more interesting or read by more people but I'll never know and that's fine by me.

Which reminds me to post about my addiction to snooping. But my stomach is rumbling so maybe, if things stay slow here, I'll get to that after lunch.

(Bye Mommy! Thanks for reading!)

Posted by CHRISSIE at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2001

The Pooka Life

Ack! I also have a fat Blitz story. Too many stories, not enough time!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

So I have two stories for you today. The first is about Kevin and Star Trek and the second is about law students. I can think of no clever way to relate these two things except to say, this is my life.

KEVIN & STAR TREK:

Kevin is a Trekker. This is no to be confused with a Trekkie. If you don't know the difference, you are probably a well adjusted person and should go here for a nice description of these terms. If you already know the distinction between these two terms then read on. Actually, now that I think about it, I vaguely remember Kevin admitting to attending a Star Trek conference back in high school so he may be a closet Trekkie. It's rather hazy so I could be wrong about that. But anyway......

Kevin is a Trekker. He loves the original Star Trek, thinks The Next Generation is ok, actually likes watching Deep Space Nine, but never got into Voyager. (His all time favorite is Babylon 5 which they are replaying everyday in letterbox format much to my dismay.) He has, however, looked forward in eager anticipation to each new series. So last night, for those who are not up on the latest and greatest in the Roddenbury universe, was the debut of ENTERPRISE. The next series in the Star Trek universe. The twist in this series is that it is set before Captain Kirk - it documents the first Enterprise that set off at warp speed. (I think this ties in with one of the movies but I could be wrong. Every time Kevin threatens to put on a Star Trek movie, I run for my life.) But anyway....

Kevin is a Trekker. Since we were going out last night, he had to tape the premier of ENTERPRISE. This would have been ok except Kevin is also addicted to ebay. He's like my dad - once on ebay, he is lost. He admitted this morning that he surfed around last night looking for anything he could buy that cost under $30 with shipping. That's right, he was bidding on anything under $30 even if he didn't want it. Any he wonders why we have credit card debt. But anyway....

Kevin is a Trekker addicted to ebay. So he runs upstairs from the basement at 7:59pm just in time to catch the starting. (He had to find out what the new intro music way going to be. He gives it 2 thumbs up by the way.) Since he's late, he doesn't have time to rewind the tape properly. Instead, he just pops in a tape and hits record. Then, during the first commercial break, he tries to set the VCR timer. Of course, the VCR has been unplugged recently so he first has to choose the language, then set the time and by then the show is on again. Frustrated, he decides just to let the VCR record to the end of the tape at which point it would automatically stop. This is a fine plan so long as there is enough tape. (Now, if you are smart you'll see where this is going.) So when we get home, Kevin runs to the VCR and realizes he only managed to record the first hour of the 2 hour season premier.

Now remember, Kevin is a Trekker. The loss of the first episode of a new Star Trek series is a major blow. He stormed around the living room ranting about my stupid VCR and how it's too hard to use and if we had his VCR this would never of happened. When Kevin starts to rant, your best defense is to hold very very still and try not to blink. After he had worn himself out, he grabbed Artie and headed for a walk to cool down and it all worked out ok.

Oh dear. I forgot my point behind this story.

Oh yes! During the first 30 minutes that we managed to watch, this alien ship crashes onto Earth and these aliens come running out firing their weapons. One alien shots this building with his laser and the whole building explodes. "Wow, that's one power phaser." I said. Kevin looks at me with pity and corrects me, "That's not a phaser, Chrissie. Klignons use disruptors."

Have I mentioned that I have a suspicion that Kevin is a Trekkie???

I guess I'll have to save my law student story for later as there were many more tangents than planned in this story. But lets review the morals of this story:

  1. When you unplug your VCR, take the time to reset it. You'll thank yourself later.
  2. Always rewind your tapes. That way, you don't have to worry about running out when you need it.
  3. Hold very very still and don't blink if Kevin is on a rampage.
  4. Kevin's VCR is much better than mine.
  5. And last, but not the lease important, Klingons use disruptors, not phasors. (Duh, like you didn't know that one!)
It's lessons like these that inspire me to keep this log. Please feel free to post you gratitude in the guestbook.
Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2001

The Pooka Life

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then -- to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."

-- from "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2001

The Pooka Life

Warning - lovey dovey posting below.

Kevin is the best. He has the day off from work today and you know what he did? He got up early to drive me to work. Instead of lying in bed with the dog and sleeping in, he actually got up with me just to drive me downtown.

And it gets better. He has a new computer game and a brand new 40 gig hard drive he got for his birthday. Instead of spending all day plugged into the computer, he called me and asked what he could do for the day. That's right, it's his day off and he's going to run errands. How wonderful is that?

I realize I tend to grip about Kev in this blog but that's only 5% of the story. The other 95% is this wonderful person who spoils me rotten.

Did I mention he's going to take me to lunch, go to the store, and cook dinner for me today? My husband rocks.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2001

The Pooka Life

We rock - and by "we" I'm using the marital we. This weekend, Kevin and I became plumbers. Not just any plumbers mind you but MASTER plumbers. What? You doubt our claim to the MASTER title? Then see below.....

Last week, Kevin noticed a leak in the shower. After you turned off the water, there was a slow but persistent drip that continued from the head of the shower. We fiddled with the handle and the shower head to no avail. The drip continued to haunt us. Having no experience with plumbing, we decided to call an expert. After three missed appointments, he showed up, looked at the shower and told us that he could fix it. He'd have to cut a whole in the wall and replace a section of pipe and it would cost us $450. Four hundred a fifty dollars!!!! And get this, that didn't include repairing the hole he cut in the wall. His suggestion was that we hang a picture over the hole if we didn't want to pay to get it fixed. I don't think so.

Kevin showed him to the door pretty quickly and we hunkered down to decide what to do next. It took us .00001 seconds to conclude that for $450 dollars, we'd try it ourselves. So we hit the books. Actually, it was Black & Deckers' Home Projects 2000. For a mere $35 bucks we got a book that showed us not only how to do plumbing , but how to complete another 1999 projects with color photos. How cool is that?

So we flipped to plumbing and learned that we didn't need to cut into the wall. All we needed to do was replace the O rings and/or cartridge in our shower. That's right, for a mere .90 cents for new O rings and $8 bucks for a cartridge, we were on our way to a non-leaking shower. With a plan in place we leapt into action. I actually woke up at 9am on a Saturday (and yes, I am ok, no major injuries from the lack of sleep so far) and we started to work. First task, turn off the water.

And then we hit our first road bump. The book said to turn the water off at the "shut off valve". Right, the shut off valve, and that would be where exactly? It took us an hour and a half to locate the shut off valve in the basement. The problem was, the shut off valve didn't have a handle so we kept passing by it saying, "that can't be it, it doesn't have a handle." (Duh.) After a lengthy process of elimination, we realized that HAD to be the shut off valve. Closer inspection revealed there was a handle. It was sitting right next to the valve where someone had put it after they had broken it off. That's right, they had cranked it too hard and snapped the screw that held the handle to the valve. Kevin tried to use a wrench to turn the valve off but we learned why the handle was snapped. The shut off valve didn't work no matter how hard you cranked.

So the gloves were off. We weren't going to be stopped by a mere valve. We decided to go to the source. That's right, we hit the water meter. Actually, I hit the water heater because Kevin was too squeemish to put his hands down into the muck with all the spiders and slugs. I unburied the main valve and Kevin cranked it shut, drained our pipes of water, and began operating on the shower. After a few choice cuss words and a lot of plumber's grease, we managed to replace the valve. When the water was turned on, there was dead silence in the shower. No drip. We had succeeded!

Since it was 2pm, we decided to take a break and celebrate with lunch. It only took 5 hours and $43.08 (plus miscellaneous wrenches which we won't count in the total since they can be used in other projects). And that, my friends, is why we are MASTER plumbers.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2001

The Pooka Life

I have to stop drinking tea before I go to bed. It seems like a good idea to curl up with a pot of warm tea and a book or a bad made for tv movie but my poor bladder just can't make it through the night. This wouldn't be that big of a deal except in my crazy house.

So I'm lying in bed and it's 4am. I've been having dreams where I'm trying to find a restroom but not having any luck. - - Random side note, I'm constantly amazed how your brain can take present environments and put them seamlessly into your dreams. My brain can meld buzzing alarms, radios, lawn mowers, even trash collectors into my dreams which allows me to sleep through just about anything. Ask Kevin, he can attest to this one.- - So after a few minutes of dreaming about restrooms, I decided to put my bladder out of its misery and opened my eyes.

First thing I saw was Artie. He was sitting right next to me. He's a big dog so when he sits next to the bed, he's eye to eye to anyone lying on the bed. Now I found this to be a little weird. I mean, why is my dog watching me at 4am??? (He was also smacking his lips but I think he was trying to get rid of his morning breath which, believe me, is pretty horrendous.) But I was pretty groggy and didn't give it much thought. I rolled out of bed and headed for the nearest bathroom.

In my house, the master bedroom is a converted attic that takes up the entire top floor. It's a pretty big room but there isn't a bathroom up there. You have to go down the stairs to the main floor to find the nearest toilet. We plan on someday adding a bath upstairs but it's pretty low on the to-do list.

Now, I believe there are two types of night people. Those who will turn on the light when they have to get up in the middle of the night and those who prefer to stumble around in the dark. I fall into the latter category. I'd rather keep the lights off and bang my shins than suffer the bright harsh light. This means, in my sleepy state, I took the stairs down to the bathroom very slowly. By the time I had gotten down the stairs, tinkled, and groped my way back to bed, it was too late. All I could think of was that line from Simon & Garfunkles' CECLIA... I got up to wash my face, when I come back to bed someone's taken my place...

Yup, you guessed it. Artie was sprawled out right on my side of the bed. As I said, he's a very big dog and there simply isn't enough room for myself, Kevin, the cats and the dog. I tried to wedge myself pack in and subtly schooch him off but he wasn't falling for it. Since he clocks in around 90 lbs, when he wants to stay put there isn't much you can do.

After my futile struggle to regain my spot, I did the only thing I could. I stumbled back down the stairs and slept in the guest room. Blitz joined me - she's the only one who really loves me. Kevin didn't start looking for me until 7:20am. What can I say, Artie is a great snuggler - obviously I wasn't missed.

So learn from my mistakes. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find your dog watching you, whatever you do, don't get out of bed.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2001

The Pooka Life

Oh yah, the plot thickens over at Unemployed Theo. The latest episode is quite the cliffhanger.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

Alright, I confess, I'm addicted to Wil Wheaton's weblog. I don't know how it started. Everyone else was looking at it and I swear I only peeked to see what all the fuss was about. Before I knew it, I was checking and refreshing every couple of hours. I'm hopeless. But it's so funny and interesting and he updates it himself all the time. I was never a big Wesley STNG fan but I did like Stand By Me. Listening to what it's like to be on the otherside of a Star Trek convention is hilarious. If you want a good honest weblog, go to his. But I warned you - it'll be a habit before you know what hit you.....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2001

The Pooka Life

I'm having an intellectual dilemma. Maybe you can help.

Is irregardless a word?

If it is, does it mean the same thing as regardless or the opposite?

I'm stumped. It's been a long Wednesday.....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2001

The Pooka Life

I feel it's my duty to pass on what little knowledge I manage to gleam from everyday life. And lately, I've been obsessing over my bus riding experiences. These nubbins of knowledge have been gathered slowly over the last two years and I think it's time I start passing them out.

So here goes, the first rule of bus riding is........

1) Never sit by a man.

Alright, I can hear the question percolating in your mind. "Why shouldn't I sit by a man?" you ask me, frowning in confusion. Let me start with a general disclaimer. I'm going to lump all men together into one big category. I realize that there are some decent, courteous men out there and to those three gentlemen, I apologize.

Men do not sit, they sprawl. Next time you are on the bus or sitting in a church pew or even at a ball game, check out how the men around you are sitting. You'll see they spread out, legs jutting apart at a 45 degree angle, arms thrown over the back of the seat behind them. The average man easily hogs 1.6 seats.

Now, if there is no one sitting next to you, I have no problem with this spread out posture. But when the seating is tight and every seat counts, it can wreak havoc. When I board the bus, I immediately scan for open seats. Outside isle is best if possible. If I see a female siting solo, I make a bee line for that opening. When you sit next to a woman, she will almost always grab her purse, put it in her lap and scooch over to make room for you. After you are seated, she will roll in her shoulders and lean away from you allowing a nice space to form between the two of you. This is true regardless of size. Even larger ladies will do their best to free up as much seat as possible.

If you sit next to a man, the reaction is so markedly different it astounds me. I secretly think that men are trying to be seat hogs in the hopes that you will move somewhere else. It's the whole, "if I'm a total jerk she'll go away" ploy that countless boyfriends use to break up with a girl. It worked in highschool so I think they just keep applying it through life.

If I can't find an open female seat, I have to resign myself to looking for open male seats and the process is always the same. You only have .4 of a seat to sit on because he has thrown his leg and butt over most of your seat so you perch on the edge of the seat smashed up against him. Instead of moving over, he might throw you a dirty look or, my personal favorite, bump you even further off your seat in the hopes he can scare you off. Of course, you are now sticking way out into the isle so every time someone tries to get off the bus you get stepped on.

I have tried may techniques for dealing with these men. I have tried to sit squarely in my seat and push very hard against them. Usually, this pressure is ignored and I just end up with a hairy sweaty leg smashed against me for the ride. I have tried asking if he will move over but usually all I get is a glare and a remark that he can't move over any more. The only technique I have found to be effective is the cough. If I start hacking uncontrollably in his direction, about 1/3 of the time this will invoke a response... but not always.

Now, I'm not saying this behavior is only on buses. I find it at ball games, airplanes, anywhere seats are strung together. I can not understand why this behavior is tolerated and it obviously is since I see it happening every day of the week. I am still searching for the ultimate attack but so far, nothing I have tried is 100% effective. If anyone out there has developed a good counterstrike to the male seat hog, please let me know.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2001

The Pooka Life

This weekend we developed a new rule. Kevin is no longer allowed to rent movies. Now wait, before you start saying I’m being too harsh, hear me out.

It all started when I was sick. All I could do was lie in front of the tv and cat nap. As this is rather boring for Kevin, I sent him to rent some movies. Since I was planning on sleeping, I gave him free reign to pick whatever he wanted to see. He returned with Josie and the Pussycats and Snatch. (If you can tell something about a person by the movies they rent, I wonder what what these selections say about Kevin???) We actually made it all the way through Josie and the Pussycats - no easy feat but didn’t fair so well with Snatch. About 15 minutes into the movie, Kevin turned to me and asked, “do you understand anything they are saying?”

Now, Josie & Snatch were Kevin’s first two strikes. On Friday, he took another huge swing and missed the ball by miles. That’s right, he rented 3000 Mile To Graceland. Since it was his birthday, I had to let him pick his own movie. I would seem like a total ogre if I vetoed him on his big day. (In hindsight, I should have followed my first reaction and been an ogre. It would have averted so much needless suffering.... But I digress.) So after all-you-can-eat sushi with Kat & Josh, we hunkered down and popped 3000 Miles in to Josh’s DVD player.

DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE! I cannot emphasize this point enough. It was awful, horrible, painfully ridiculous. I think at one point my brain started to bleed. The worst part was the run time was well over 2 hours. Ok, the run time is actual 125 minutes but trust me, those extra five minutes feel like at least 6 hours. Two whole hours of pointless violence, a plot line with holes bigger than the ones in Kevin’s socks, and it just kept going and going. Ever sat through a movie that you kept thinking was going to end and put you out of your misery but you were wrong? Every time I though the torture was ending, what little plot line there was keep getting dragged out again and again. While I admit that I’m a little picky about the movies I like, I am not alone on this one. Not only did Kat, Josh and even Kevin begin groaning involuntarily within the first hour, I found the following review that pretty much hits the nail on the head:

You know you're in trouble when a movie has more Elvis impersonators than it has brain cells. You know you're in trouble when you're looking at your watch before the opening credits have finished. And you really know you're in trouble when the best performance is turned in by none other than Howie Long, that noted NFL pre-game show anchor guy and Radio Shack pitch-man. (I kept looking for either Terry Bradshaw or Teri Hatcher, but didn't see either of them.) Some movies are bad; 3000 Miles To Graceland is excruciating. It should be banned from theaters on the grounds that anyone unwittingly seeing it is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. As the end credits for 3000 Miles To Graceland rolled, I stalked from the theater, muttering all sorts of unprintable things under my breath. Someone, perhaps unaware of my disposition at the moment, politely asked what I thought of the film. My rather terse response was: "I hated that movie. I despised that movie. I loathed that movie." (At that point, in my exasperation, I ran out of synonyms.)
We finally got home after 1am on Friday and Kevin looked at me and said, “Lets make a rule that I am no longer allowed to pick out videos again ever.” Lets just say that rule passed with flying colors.
Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2001

The Pooka Life

Today is Kevin's birthday so wish him a good one!

When asked what he wanted to do today, he replied that we wants to go to an all-you-can eat sushi place and then rent 10,000 Miles to Graceland. I figure, it's his birthday so he can do whatever he wants. I was mean and didn't give him his presents this morning. Gonna make him wait all day long before he gets them. Am I mean or what???

Posted by CHRISSIE at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2001

The Pooka Life

I've been reading alot online today about what has happened but this article is one of my favorites so far.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

I am heartbroken.

I watched the news all night long and even though I have seen the pictures over and over, I still just can't seem to get my mind around what has happened.

I am enraged.

Seeing the celebration in the streets - children laughing and throwing candy, happy at this death and destruction. I cannot understand how this can be seen as a victory, as a celebration of death on such a massive scale.

I am anxious.

I keep hearing words that worry me. The second Pearl Harbor, declaration of war, attack on our own soil, if you attack one you attack us all. I worry about what has been started and where it will end.

And when I could not watch or hear anymore, I turned off the tv and had a little one-on-one with God last night. No answers yet, but I'll keep you posted.....

Until then, you can help out here. $500,000 and growing....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2001

The Pooka Life

The garage sale was a huge success. We easily had over 100 people stroll through our driveway and we managed to sell almost everything. Actually, Josh & Kev managed to sell almost everything. They were amazing. Josh in particular was quite the wheeler and dealer.

For those of you who don't know, Josh is a very old buddy of Kev's from high school. He is the quintessential "good guy". I can count on my right hand the number of times I have see Josh without a smile on his face. Now, one would think such a sweet person would be a push-over in the dog eat dog world of garage sale haggling - but you'd be dead wrong.

I watched Josh as he sized up each person who stepped out of their car. He'd watch what they were looking at, gauge their interest, and then move in for the kill. All smiles and friendly, he'd slowly drop the price until they couldn't say no. If he couldn't lower the dollar amount, he'd start throwing in free bonus items like coffee mugs or vases until they had to say yes. A big fan of "service with a smile", he'd bag the items and then carry them to the person's car. The man is a genius. If he ever decided to join the dark side and opened his own used car lot, we'd all be in trouble.

We managed to net, after expenses, a whooping $350 bucks. This total becomes much more impressive when you realize that 70% of our items were priced at .25 each. Now the question becomes, what to do with our new found wealth.....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2001

The Pooka Life

Kat & Josh are heading over tonight and we are setting up for the mother of all garage sales. Our little house spewed forth boxes and boxes of junk mostly marked at the very reasonable price of .25. I figure if we get 100 shoppers who all buy 10 items each, we'll sell everything. If not, well, Good Will is going to be very very happy on Monday.

After sorting, marking, and moving all this stuff, I have decided I need to downsize my life. Less is more. I remember the good old days when everything I owned and need fit into one dorm room. My room was my livingroom/dining room/guest room/bedroom/study and storage area all rolled in one. And I lived quite happily.

I think the funniest part of marking the stuff was when Kat filled a box with knick-nacks and wrote - ".25 each or 3 for $1". Kevin looked it and said, "so they're more expensive in bulk?" See, this is why we keep him around - he's the only one who can do math properly. I think this means we won't let Kat make change tomorrow. Sorry cinquo.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2001

The Pooka Life

Went with the boots today. Kevin walked by as I was slipping into them and said - "ah, the ubiquitous black boots, every woman should have a pair." Huh? Is that my Kevin? Usually his comments range from "what's for dinner" to "would it be ok if I went and played on the computer". Since when did he develop a fashion vocabulary? Upon further questioning, I learned that he has been reading my fashion magazines. What a goof.

I've also got him hooked on Sex and the City. We don't have HBO but I found out that you can rent the old season at the local video store. So I picked one up thinking I could watch it while Kevin played computer. Only, he ended up watching one episode with me and got hooked. He went out and rented the whole season and we watched something like 20 episodes in a week. It was crazy! Kevin's favorite is Miranda which surprised me. I think she's my favorite as well. I loved the episode where she bought an apartment by herself and ended up overfeeding her cat for zany reasons. But I'm digressing here....

Kevin is a very simple and sweet person. He is the quintessential engineer - very smart but sort of off in his own world. Our old friend Shanda said that if Kevin where an animal, he'd be a manatee. Kevin wanted to be something a little more exciting but I think manatee is a pretty good match. They are considered gentle giants of the sea - you never hear about anyone getting attacked by raging manatees. This animal naming has sort of stuck and every now and then someone sends us a manatee postcard or stuffed animal much to Kevin's dismay.

But the thing I wanted to blog about most regarding Kevin is the fact that yesterday he saved a dog's life. Now, I think if you save an animal's life, you get some sort of extra bonus points that you can cash in later. He was out walking Artie last night and they went past the park. It was dark but Kevin could see a bunch of dogs running around. It was looking like a wild pack so Kev decided just to keep on walking but one big dog saw Artie and started running across the park. Now, normally, this would be no big deal except Kevin and Artie were walking across the street from the park. As the dog came up to the street, Kevin realized two things. 1) The dog was going to run across the street and 2) there was a car coming very fast down the street. So he did the only thing he could, he jumped into the street and started waiving his hands yelling - "Look out! Stop! Look out!" The must have freaked out the driver to have a person jump in front of his car because he slowed down and was able to see and stop the car in time. Kevin says there was about 1 foot between the car and the dog.

The owner comes running out of the park and Kevin goes ballistic. He starts yelling at the guy - "DO YOU WANT TO KILL YOUR DOG??? DO YOU??? KEEP HIM ON A LEASH!!!" I guess I should explain by saying a few weeks ago this exact same scenario played out only the results were much worse. Kevin & Artie on one side of the street, dog off leash on the other, dog runs across street only this time Kevin couldn't stop the car. He heard a squeal of tire, a thud, and yelp of the dog as the car hit it. It traumatized him horribly. So when it happened again last night, Kevin lost his cool on the owner. The sad part is, the guy didn't seem that upset by the whole thing which only made Kevin angrier.

I know we tend to treat our dogs like they are little people but they aren't. If they see a cat or another dog or even a squirrel they will run. They don't understand cars or roads. To them, it's just a chase and there is nothing you can do except yell and watch. For this reason Artie *never* goes outside unless he is on leash. It's our responsibility to take care of him and we take that very seriously. If we want to let him run, we either take him somewhere fenced in or off into the wilds where there are no cars to jeopardize him. Have you ever seen a mother or father with a kid near a road? They have a protective death grip on the child, constantly aware that at any moment their kid could try and dart across the street. In my book, the same is true with your dog.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2001

The Pooka Life

This morning, as I tried to pick out my shoes for the day, I realized that my life is a constant battle between sensible and sexy. Bear with me here, this thought my take a while to fully form.

My shoe bin holds two very different styles of shoes. On the lower level live the sensibles. These are your basic black, low heel, closed toe shoe that have nice arch support and comfortable soles. Since I am a public transportation girl and find myself standing on the bus since chivalry is dead ---mental note to blog about that experience later--- and I have to hoof it a good couple of blocks each day, I find that my sensible shoes work wonders. I can be on my feet all day and not feel a thing. The only problem is that, well, they're sensible.

The upper level of the shoe bin contains the sexys. These shoes tend to have nice high heels, open toes and little straps and buckles that are all shiny and purdy. These shoes hurt like hell but when you meet up with your girlfriends, they all say "ohhh, cute shoes" which somehow makes the pain ok. These shoes are fun to wear and will garner admiring looks from men and women but after more than 5 minutes, you have to sit down and relieve the pain. Probably my favorite pair of sexys are my boots. After watching The Long Kiss Goodnight one too may times I decided I *needed* a pair of black boots. Whenever I need a real boost, all I have to do is slip into my boots and I'm a power house. Isn't it sad that shoes can have such an effect on my personality??? But my boots, well, lets just say I have yet to wear them and not get some form of compliment. If you need a pick up, I highly recommend a good pair of boots.

So each morning, I have to ask myself, "Self, what do you want to be, sensible or sexy?"

Now that I think about it, I find myself facing that question on a daily basis. Glasses or contacts? Glasses are quick and easy. But when I wear my awful, painful, contacts, I get compliments even though I spend most of the day blinking back tears. Sports bra or push up? Knee highs or control top hose? Frizzy and wild or blow-dry and straightened? Sleep another 30 minutes or get up and do the makeup thing?

If I could just decided on either sensible or sexy, life would be so much easier. Today I went with a pair of the sexy shoes and after standing on the bus, I'm beginning to regret it. Hopefully I'll bump into a girlfriend & make the whole experience worthwhile.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2001

The Pooka Life

Since Kevin posted the main page this weekend, I'm going to continue the theme with the following poem...

This is a poem made up entirely of actual quotes from George W. Bush. The quotes have been arranged by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson.

MAKE THE PIE HIGHER
by George W. Bush

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty,
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked,
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize Society!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2001

The Pooka Life

Sorry for the delay in postings lately but Kevin has been sick. Now, when I am sick, I need lots of bad tv and personal catering to recover. Kevin, however, finds that his aminobodies and white blood cells benefit from the soft glow of a computer screen. Something about the soothing hum of the processor chip coupled with the smooth rotation of the logitech mouse makes him feel better. Things like doing the dishes and vaccuming are very very bad for him in this fragile stage. So yesterday he played something like 6 hours of computer. It must be working because the entire time he was down here he didn't cough once. However, once he arose from the basement, he was instantly hit by a coughing attack that landed him in front of the tv. Poor Kev. I don't want to take up too much computer time from him so I'll cut this short. Wouldn't want a relapse now.....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)