January 31, 2002

The Pooka Life

Iíve become a horrible cynic.

Alright, Iíve never been much of an optimism. I like to think of myself as a firmly grounded realist. Some misguided souls have even accused me wandering into the territory of pessimism but I donít pay them much mind. But last night, I realized that Iíve been in the Real World too long. Iíve lost the idealism of youth and taken on the jaded tinge of a working woman.

You see, last night I went back to the law school to conduct mock interviews. The first year students are ready to be plucked from the classroom and trundled off to the law firms for their first summer employment. For many, this is will be their first contact with the real world of the law so our Career Services department hosts mock interviews. The students are taped and alumni come and give them a taste of what to expect. We pitch out the usual hard balls, what are your grades, what is your ranking, why are you so low in your class, why should I hire you, you donít seem to have much experience, etc, etc, etc. After a 20 minute interview, you then discuss what they did right or wrong, how to improve their pitch, what to play up and what to brush over. I remember doing this same thing myself eons ago but this time, I was the one asking the questions instead of the one trying to explain away the C+ I received in Torts.

There is nothing so sweet as a First Year Law Student. They are so..... unprepared.

ďSo why did you decided to go to law school?Ē the jaded employer asks.

ďI really want to help people. I want to advocate and held someone through their problem. You know? I get really involved and determined and I want to feel like Iím helping people.Ē

ďSo what do you like about the law so far?Ē the jaded employer asks.

ďI really like being challenged intellectually. Taking about the issues and discussing why a Supreme Court justice ruled that way is just really interesting. I want a job that will continue to challenge and stimulate me intellectually.Ē

ďAnd what type of experience are you hoping to gain as a law clerk?Ē the jaded employer asks.

ďI really want to work in an office where we can discuss the issues of a case and do brainstorming and look over the big picture. I want to, you know, be in the conversations and discussions about strategy and stuff. I think Iíd really like the mental challenge of planning a case.Ē

All I could do was sit there and try to look professional. How do I tell them the sad reality of being a law clerk? You donít get to pick your client. The partners pick then and you have to fight for them even when you donít like what theyíve done or what they are trying to do. Heck, as a law clerk, your lucky if you ever even see the client. And intellectual challenge? Um, right. How does spending 40 hours holed up in the library or on the computer researching some obscure area of law about whether or not your clientís mother can bring her dog to a hotel because her therapist says it helps her anxiety. Does that qualify as a disability or not? Yeah, those are real big personal rights issues youíll be playing with. Iím sure the semester your spent discussing Justice OíConnerís take on the 7th Amendment will play right in there. And discussing a case? Maybe in some big swanky firm there are tons of clerks running around. Anywhere else, youíre lucky to even know the clerkís name. Brainstorming with someone with one year of book learning on a real case? Not gonna happen.

The really sad part is, I used those exact same answers back in the day. And then reality hits you full on and you get knocked flat on your back and you either stagger to your feet and look for a way to carry on without getting slammed again or you just lie there and moan until the student loan people come looking for you.

Ok, maybe Iím a little pessimistic. But itís also Thursday. Iím sure things will look better tomorrow. Donut Friday! Now thereís a reason to get out bed in the morning!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2002

The Pooka Life

And the winner is.....

Before I get there, let me just say that I now understand why, on the back of every game piece, you'll find a page of rules printed in fine print. This is because people are sneaky. In this instance, one particular person was sneaky. I took down the link to the Archives page but if you had the determination (and time) you could still manually enter the URL and by adding seven days to each entry, you had access to each and every page of Archives. I must admit that there was no rule saying you couldn't do this. So I've decided to award two winners.

And the winner of the quiz who only used his/her memory is...... stalker Kathy! Yes, that's right, my blog buddy Kathy (who is also my hero for actually going through with LASIK and is now living contact free) came up with the most correct answers. Kathy, watch your mailbox with your now perfect vision. You're prize is on the way!

And the winner of the quiz who managed to crack into my archives and re-read each entry to find the correct answer is.... hacker Mikey! (We're not actually surprised here, are we?) Yes Mike, since you took the time and effort to manually access each and every archive link, and yes, there was no rule saying you couldn't, your perfect score nets you a prize as well. I'll be sending it to you via email as an attachment. It's called "naked pictures of Anna Kornacovic" - just click on the .exe file to reveal your prize! (Just kidding, yours is in the mail as well!)

Surprisingly enough, the one question that was consistently answered correctly was #4 about the Facts of Life marathon. I think this means that all of you were also watching that weekend. Don't try and deny it.

(The correct answers can be found below.)

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2002

The Pooka Life

In a futile effort to avoid the laundry, I worked on Little D's webpage last night. It's just the skeleton right now but consider it a work in progress.

Also, the winner of The Quiz will be announced tomorrow so cast your votes now. So far, no one has scored 100% so the prize is still up in the air.....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2002

The Pooka Life

Every since little Daniel slipped into the Terry/Walls family, I have found myself wanting something new myself. Kevin has been around for the last ten years and Artie and the girls are all pushing middle age in pet years. Itís hard knowing thereís this new little thing way down south and everyone but me is pinching and hugging his soft little cheeks. I have to make do with some pictures and email updates. Kissing a furry dog head or stubbily husband cheek is not the same but itís all I got.

Iíd get a baby myself if I could sell it on ebay or dump it off at Goodwill once the novelty wore off as I do with most of the results of my strange binges. Fortunately, there are laws against selling/abandoning small children so that pretty much rules out the kid option for me. Kevin has put his foot down on another dog/cat so my options seem to be limited here.

And so, last night, I had a good long talk with myself and I can to the conclusion that Iím ready for another fish.

Oh, didnít I tell you about my last fish owning experience? It ended in tears and flushing and I cleaned out the tank and trundled the fake plants, colored rock, and heater into the basement to wait until my heart mended.

You see, I had an awesome fish. His name was Bosley and he was a blue beta. When I first bought him, he lived in a very small glass bowl with colored rocks and a single fake plant - no filter, no heater, no bubbly water. He was the Rambo of fish. I would clean his tank only when I could no longer see through the glass. The kitties decided that his bowl was their water dish (I think they liked the fishy taste) so every day they would jump up on the shelf and start drinking away. Good old Bosley would swim under his little plastic plant and stay very very still until the cat left. He was smart that Bosley. He lived for years in his moldly little bowl. Sometimes heíd get feed every day, sometime Iíd forget or go out of town for a week but heíd be there, fighting mad when I got back.

After heíd proven his worth, I upgraded to a bigger tank with more rocks and plants and even a few other fish for him to boss about. It was great. Everything was going gang busters until one day I came downstairs and found all three little fishes floating belly up. (Actually, I only found two of the fish and baby Wicks sitting next to the tank, smacking her lips, with her paw in the water trying to fish out the other two floaters.) Bosley wasnít looking too good either but he hung on for another day fighting valiantly but alas, it was in vain. I watched with my heart in my throat as heíd slowly turn sideways and float to the top of the tank and then rally and swim back to the bottom only to capsize and float to the top. He did this for a whole day and night before his little scaly body finally gave out.

One fish version of the black plague had inflicted my house and in the span of two days, they were all dead. (I secretly blame Josh for this but he adamantly denies all responsibility. I havenít been able yet to prove his guilt but Iím still watching and waiting for him to slip up and admit his hand in the death of Bosley.)

But it has been a year since the 5 flush salute and I think it might be time for a new beta. Iím thinking of calling him Charlie. I wonder if heíd let me kiss him?

Posted by CHRISSIE at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2002

The Pooka Life

Pop Quiz Baby!

So, how well have you been paying attention? Itís very simply really. The person who answers the most questions correctly will get a prize. Yup. Thatís right. A FREE gift personally mailed by me to you. Itís very simple. Read. Answer. Email. Fun for everyone!!!

Question 1:
Kevin was scared when he walked into the bedroom because I had......changed the bedding from blue to pink.

Question 2:
The book I am trying to locate is called..... The Resistance by Katherine Rusch (anyone seen it for under $50?)

Question 3:
If I were to get a tatoo, the design would be a....the zodiac symbol for Taurus.

Question 4:
I once spent a whole weekend watching reruns of .....The Facts of Life - Tootie rocks.

Question 5:
I learned the hard way that you should not feed your dog what kind of candy? Twizzlers. Remember this one. It might save you a lot of carpet scrubbing later in life.

Question 6:
The name of the weapon used by Klingons in premiere of Star Trek Enterprise is........disruptor NOT phasor. Duh.

Alright, think hard and email me your answers. Just to make sure there are no cheaters, I have disabled the Archives so donít be thinking you could click your way to the answers. Iím on to your tricks. Answers and winner to be announced sometime next week.....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2002

The Pooka Life

Last night on the radio was a silly little country song about remembering your first kiss. I asked Kevin about his and he told me the story of walking down a snow covered street with his date for the night, holding hands, and having his first kiss. It was very sweet. I told him about sneaking off the playground with Kyle Castle and kissing in a door way in front if his friend Carl on a dare. Of course, the major difference here is that Kevin was in 11th grade and I was in 4th grade. So Iíve go about seven years more kissing experience on my resume but heís a surprisingly fast learner so I have no complaints.

After laughing over this, we both sat quietly in the car for a moment and then Kevin turned to me and said, ďI donít remember our first kiss. Do you?Ē

I didnít either.

Strange, huh? I suppose, at the time, Kevin was just some guy I had gone on a few dates with. I didnít know that we would last through college and long after into marriage so when that first kiss did happen, I didnít bother to savor the moment. I wish I had.

We were able to piece together some foggy recollections of an early kiss and have decided to name that the first kiss. Seems kind of strange that my most memorable kisses where with people other than my husband. In retrospect, Kevin has decided that if he could go back in time, heíd start kissing sooner. Upon further questioning, he has assured me that women were throwing themselves at him all during high school but he was too shy to put the moves on them. All I can say is if Kevin gets to go back in time to use is moves, I get to follow so I can watch. Having been the object oí Kevin moves, I can assure you, watching Kevin playing Rico Suave in highschool would be hilarious.

Which actually leads me into a bit of a side rant. Whatís wrong with cute??? I mean, every time I tell a man heís cute, he gets all upset. ďNo, no,Ē he cried in protest ďI donít want to be cute. I want to be dangerous and mysterious and sexy. Anything but cute!Ē Kevin constantly become upset when he tries for sexy and I respond by squealing ďoh Kevin, you are just soooo cute!Ē But he still insists that he is trying to jump from cute to sexy even though I much prefer cute. Silly Kevin.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2002

The Pooka Life

Have you ever wondered how a computer knows exactly when you have the most unsaved information on the screen? How it senses that if it were to crash, right now, it would totally destroy all those documents you had just spent all afternoon creating?

Is it born with this ability or is it programed in at an early age?

There is nothing worse than having to recreate. And itís only Tuesday. Sigh.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2002

The Pooka Life

I have spoken with all concerned parties and the general opinion so far is that baby D is The Cutest Baby Ever. I cannot find anyone who has seen him to disagree with this title. Of course, so far everyone who has come into his presence has been a grandparent or parent so this may have tainted the results. Nonetheless, I feel quite confident in bestowing upon my nephew the title of The Cutest Baby Ever.

For those of you, like myself, who have not yet been saddled with children (or have not yet experienced the joy of parenthood depending on your outlook on kids), let me give you a very big piece of advice. In fact, go ahead a get a pencil and paper and jot this one down because it will save you a lot of heartache later on.

I'll wait.

Ready? Ok, here it is. When it comes to babies, it is ok to lie. I know, I know, the Bible and Moses and a whole host of men in robes will try and convince you otherwise but trust me on this one. When it comes to babies, lying is a-ok. I have learned this lesson the hard way.

My fellow co-worker, Laura, had a little girl about a year ago. She would bring her into the office every now and then and every time she would stroll into my office, hoist the child in the air in my general direction, and ask me point blank - "Is this the cutest baby you have every seen???"

Normally, I could avoid a confrontation by answering, "she's pretty darn cute!" At which point Laura would wander off to elicit a response from some other person. However, Laura is also and attorney so it wasn't long before she began to notice my tactful evasion.

The conversation started out like any other. "Good morning Chrissie. Look at the baby, isn't she the cutest little girl in the whole world?" Laura asked me with a smile. She thrust the child in front of her and I looked the baby over nodding and smiling.

"She's pretty darn cute!" I replied and began shuffling paperwork in an attempt to look too busy to talk. Laura re-settled her child on her hip and paused, squinting her eyes at me.

"Yes, but she's the cutest baby in the world, right?" she said again, this time with a bit more iron in her voice.

"Yes, yes, very cute." I mumbled, panic rising in my chest. Laura stepped fully into my office, sensing my pathetic attempt at evading her question.

"But you do think she's the cutest baby in the whole world, don't you." I was trapped. Unable to think of another way to divert her attention, I attempted one last maneuver.

"Well, I haven't seen every baby out there so maybe I'm not the best person to judge who's the cutest in the world." I threw in my most charming smile, hoping she'd wander off in search of another opinion. I was out of luck.

"Ok, fine," she replied, all warmth gone from her voice, "but you have to admit she's the cutest baby you've every seen, right? Right???" As if to help my answer, I found the child held right at eye level so I could examine and pronounce my verdict.

Here's were I caved. It was the pressure of the constant questions or the kid drooling on my desk. I don't know what possessed me but next thing I knew, I said, "Well, if you must know, I have seen cuter."

There was a sharp intake of breath and the child was quickly withdrawn from my view as if I had just tried to bit her. For a moment, everything held still as Laura processed the thought that I didn't agree that her child was the cutest. In that silence that seemed to stretch forever, I found myself babbling in an cowardly attempt to back pedal.

"Not the cutest but definitely in the top 10. I mean, she's no Shirley Temple and I have this cousin whose got these dimples that are cute and your baby doesn't have dimples so of course she can't be as cute as my cousin but she's really really cute for your family not that your other babies weren't cute but this one is definitely the cutest so far......."

At this point, Laura turned on her heel and took her child out of my office. In fact, I believe she didn't talk to me for the rest of the day. Instead, she emailed/called all of our friends who have children and recited the horrendous statement I had made. All day long, I got emails from people telling me what a meanie I was for calling Laura's kid ugly. They all vowed when I have a child and ask them, they will reply that the kid is the ugliest they have ever seen just to get me back.

The child in question is over a year old and Laura still reminds me of my fatal blunder. So trust me on this one. If a mother thrusts a small child in front of your face and demands that agree that this child the is cutest you have ever seen, don't look at the kid, don't even hesitate, just answer YES. You won't regret it.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2002

The Pooka Life

I'm an Auntie!!

After waiting by the phone/email for what seemed like days, I have been informed that this morning at 8:30am, Mr. Daniel Kahili Walls was welcomed into the world. He clocked in at a hair under 8 lbs and 20 inches with brown hair and cubby cheeks. Mom & Dad are doing fine but the grandparents are chomping at the bits to get their hands on the little guy.

Kevin and I are a bit disappointed. We were hoping they'd chose Kevin Walksthru Walls but they decided to go all traditional on us. There is no accounting for some people's tastes I suppose.

So mark your calendars and laugh out loud 'cause there's a new baby in town! Go Suzy!!! I'm so excited I want to just run in circles for a few minutes only I'm afraid that's not appropriate office behavior. *GRIN*

Posted by CHRISSIE at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

I may already be an Auntie.

Suzy was scheduled for a c-section today at 9am. Due to the fact that the baby is a fat little chunker with a Walls head and Suzy is a little teeny person with a fused spinal rod, her doctor told her he wanted her to deliver via c-section. The procedure was to occur at 9am this morning barring any other emergency moms that would bump Suzy to a later time.

No word yet on my neice/nephew but I'm thinking it's a boy. A big fat chubby baby boy. Cool. I can't wait!

I may already by an Auntie!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2002

The Pooka Life

Things I Did This Weekend

1. Slept in till 12:30.
2. Survived Kevinís mystery meal.
3. Ate ice cream in front of a roaring fire.
4. Played Diablo on the computer.
5. Watched Evolution and Stealing Beauty.
6. Finished a cross-stitch project.
7. Paid bills.
8. Vacuumed.
9. Talked to my parents.
10. Brunch with Kevinís Dad & CarlaMac
11. Read.
12. Wandered around Home Depot looking for Kevin.
13. Wandered around Michaelís Craft Store looking for Kevin.
14. Attempted to vacuumed the dog hair out of the Civic, realized impossibility of task and gave up.
15. Watched Kevin pump gas.
16. Walked the dogs & petted the cats.
17. Installed shelves in the shower.
18. E-mailed Christmas pictures to Erica and Auntie Bev.
19. Ate leftovers.
20. Napped.

So there you have it. This is how I wasted away the weekend. A measly 20 items in a 48 hour period. Of course, I was only up for 20 hours so I suppose, talking sleeping into consideration, this wasnít too bad.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2002

The Pooka Life

I am the queen of sleep.

There is no dispute, ask anyone who knows me, I have a gift. I can sleep for days. In highschool, my parents thought I might be anemic due to my sleep schedule. I think they even had me tested for it but it was a no go. My blood work was fine, I just loved to sleep.

I remember, on weekends, my dad would make breakfast. He'd come into my room and tell me to wake up. I'd mumble something and just fall back to sleep. Eventually, he'd come in and take all my blankets. That would usually convince me to get out of bed and join the rest of the world.

Now that I'm an adult (at least in the eyes of the law), I'm able to sleep to my heart's content. On a typical weekend, I'll hop into bed around 11pm and awake the next day sometime around 1pm bright eyed and ready to get going. This presents a strange time warp because by the time Kevin is ready for dinner at 6pm, I've only been up for a few hours. Oddly enough, I can fall right to sleep at 11pm and wake up the next day at 1pm with no problems for two days back to back. So on a typical weekend, I spend 28 hours sleeping and 18 hours awake. What can I say, it's a gift! If I'm really tired, I've been known to sleep through days. I'll hop into bed on Friday and won't arise until Sunday afternoon. I think I was a bear in another life.

Kevin, however, cannot join me in restful slumber. He is plagued by Blitz. That's right, big fat fatty has Kevin trained. At 7am every morning come rain or shine, fatty sits by the front door and begins to meow. She wants out. Now. Kevin will hear her mournful cries wafting up the steps but can bury his head under the blankets and tune her out. After a few minutes of no response, fatty moves to the bottom of the stairs and continues to wail. Again, Kevin will bury his head and hope she gives up. Next thing he knows, the crying has moved closer - she's on the railing at the top of the stairs. He can almost feel her glaring at him through the comforter. He lies very still and hears a thump, the bed shakes, and before he can save himself, fatty is squatting on this shoulder, bellowing into his ear. At this point, Kevin gives up. He stumbles out of bed, bleary eyed, and drags himself to the stairwell. By the time he gets there, Blitz is at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at him, thinking, "Come on tubbo, move it, I want out." She continues her cries while Kevin plods down the stairs and opens the front door. She slips out without a backward glance and Kevin hauls himself back upstairs where he tosses and turns for 20 minutes before giving up and getting up for good.

We tried to alleviate Kevin's misery and installed a cat door in a basement window. Unfortunately, Blitz doesn't like to use it in the mornings. We think she is too lazy to walk down the stairs. Instead, she prefers to continue to sit and cry at the front door for Kevin. I asked him today why he doesn't just pick her up and walk her down to the basement cat door. He said, all he's thinking about on 7am on Saturday morning is killing the cat. It takes all this strength not to drop kick her out the door in the morning and trying to catch her and walk down to the basement is just too much for his sleep addled brain. Myself, I don't even hear her, even when she perches on my stomach and cries at my face. For this reason, she doesn't even bother trying to wake me from my hibernation. She knows who's the softy and heads right to him every time.

Talk about a well trained owner. You've just got to admire my fat fatty! And so, if you are to call my house on a weekend before, oh, 1pm, don't expect me to answer the phone. But don't worry, I can sleep right through the ringing!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2002

The Pooka Life

For Christmas, my old buddy Erica sent us a card game called Battle of the Sexes. The idea is you break up into teams of men vs women. There are two decks of questions that are used - one consists of knowledge women would know, the other stuff men know. The men read the women a "manly" question and the women read the "womanly" questions to the men. If you answer three questions correctly in a row, you get a point.

So when Kat & Josh invited us over for dinner, I dropped the card game into my bag and headed out. We decided to give it a shot and Kevin & Josh teamed up against Kat & I. I suppose I'll just jump straight to the heart of the matter and say Kat & I cleaned up. The only questions that tripped us up were the ones related to chewing tobacco. Everything else, we could pretty much reason out. Also, the fact that Kat grew up with a ton of older brother meant she had a really incredible knowledge of sports. We were roaring through the questions. At one point, Josh grew a bit disgruntled and stated that we were just too butch. But the boys picked up toward the end and actually made a decent showing.

What I wanted to share with you was, by far, my favorite question given to the boys. It was something like....

What is the first line to the song, "I Will Survive".

Now, I knew Kevin had heard this song. I must have played that song 100 times in the car just rockin out and singing away while sat resignedly in the seat next to me. But the questions was, had he ever paid attention to the words?

Josh & Kevin looked at eachother and started humming. "Wait, wait, I know this. Something something I will survive....." Then Josh, who has more illegal MP3's than the entire Napster site during its hayday, had a break though.

"I got it! At first I was a woman, I was terrified!" he shouted in triump to Kevin. I think Kat and I both lost it then. At first I was a woman, I was terrified? That sounds like the starting for a song about a gender change to me. I mean sure, I guess if Kevin woke up one day as a woman he'd be terrified. But really, it's not that bad.

"I don't think so Josh, I think it's petrified, not terrified. You know, 'At first I was a woman, I was petrified'" Kevin sang out.

Kat couldn't contain herself and chimed in with, "Actually Kev, I think that's trees, not women, who are petrified."

After a few minutes more of our snide remarks, the admitted defeat. It was a classic Josh & Kev moment though. They just crack me up.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2002

The Pooka Life

For the last couple of days, publishing to this site has been tough. The service I use, Blogger, hasn't been able to support the number of people using it and as a result everything bogs down. This has lead me to search out other web publishing alternatives. Of course, I probably don't have the time or technical know-how to host my own stuff but hey, it's fun to learn about what else is out there.

Kevin is coming out of his hectic shift schedule at WT and moving into his off week. I've been concocting a nice long to-do list to keep him busy. You know what they say, idle hands are the work of the devil or something to that effect. I'm particularly uneasy because for Christmas, he got his first real power tool. Before Dec. 25th, his biggest baddest tool was a cordless drill and a couple to of pull saws. However, my dad was kind enough/crazy enough to get Kevin a bansaw for Christmas. Lets just say it's big and could easily cut off your finger in about .2 seconds. The idea of leaving Kevin alone with it unsupervised for a week gives me the willies. So far he's been pretty good except every time I see him working with it he isn't wearing his safety goggles. I shudder to think what else he's doing when I'm not around.

So maybe I'll but Kevin on the quest to find a new web publishing replacement. When he's on the computer, my only worry is how big of an ebay charge we're going to get hit with. I'd rather deal with Visa statements than drive to the hosipal with a finger wrapped in ice. Bleck.

And maybe, if your REALLLLLLY lucky, he'll even turn of the web cam tomorrow and you can watch him as he watches his computer. Ohhhh, how exciting would that be!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2002

The Pooka Life

So people have been asking me what are my New Year resolutions. At first, I really didnít have any aside from survive another year of Kevinís cooking. But upon further reflection, I think this year Iím going to try to finish more.

Iím notorious for great ideas that sort of overlap. Iíll start some project, spend a few days/weeks collecting all the necessary items, hunting for bargains and advise, organizing and preparing, and then when itís all set, Iíll sit down to actually Do It only to discover my attention has wandered onto something else. And Iíll shelve the current project to start collection, hunting, organizing for something else.

I mean, this list really is impressive. Last year I started and peetered out on the following projects.....

Creating a cookbook of favorite recipes - learning to play the guitar - learning to watercolor - re-learning how to play the piano - working on my stamp collection and first covers - creating a scrap book for my photos - cross stiching various patterns - knitting scarfs, hats, sweaters - sewing curtains, dresses, skirts - learning calligraphy and copper plating - selling my used books online - finishing various short stories/books Iíve begun - planting a veggie garden - making a quilt - making a greenhouse - painting the guestroom.

And thatís just for the last year!!! Iím sure there are more things - I mean, I have a whole ream of paper full of ideas and projects Iíve seen and want to do from organizing my CD collection to creating a craft room in the basement. Unfortunately, my eyes are bigger than my free time.

Strangely enough, whenever I mention to people that Iíd love to stop working they all tell me Iíd be bored. Um, hello! Bored??? I have a list that would keep me occupied for at least 5 years of neat projects and the list continues to grow.

So this year, Iím going to try very hard to stay on target. Sure, Iíll continue to collect ideas but instead of acting on every impulse that passes my way, Iím going to calmly add them to a project binder instead of chaotically rushing to begin them willy-nilly. Of course, that means Iím going to have to set up a project binder. Iíll need a binder with pockets and dividers - maybe a color coding system? And I can arrange alphabetically or chronologically or by subject matter. Maybe time needed to complete? And a supply list for sure.

Iím thinking this is going to be another long year. Ah well, resolutions are meant to be broken, right???

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

January 07, 2002

The Pooka Life

Sometime, Kevin cracks me up. Actually, it's either I laugh or I cry and I've decided laughing is probably healthier for me.

Take, for example, last night. I made this *incredible* soup from scratch and left some out for Kev since he was working late. He comes home, sits down, eats his soup, and I sit across the table from him listening to his day and telling him about mine. After the soup (which he also felt was incredible), he decided he needed to relax in front of the t.v. I, however, was not in the mood to veg in front of the boob-tube. Instead, I set up shop at the kitchen table. I took out the Zen garden we got for Christmas from Jean & Ben, arranged the smooth river rocks in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, stuck a few sticks of incense around artistically, lit one for ambiance, and pulled out my new Naked Chef cookbook to inspire my newly fanned cooking desire.

And so there I sat, relaxing in the kitchen, dreaming about fresh mozzarella and twice bakes potatoes when suddenly Kevin shouts out..."Hey, here's that special on Carrie Otis. Did you know she used to be married to Micky Roarke?"

My moment was shattered. I replied in the negative and re-settled myself as I rummaged through the joys of baking your own bread when....

"Oh man! Guess what they're doing to these guys?? They're hitting them with baseball bats. Oww! Can you believe that!" my husbands yells to me from the living room. "I'm trying to read here" I sweetly remind him.

This continued for then next twenty minutes. Every time Kevin saw something interesting on the t.v. he felt compelled to shout out a description to me in the kitchen. Finally, I admitted defeat, snuffed out my incense, shelved my book, and spent the rest of the night on the sofa enduring Kevin's feeble attempts to channel surf. (Lets just say, he surfs like a weenie.)

Such is my life. I will, however, leave you with the recipe for my awesome soup courtesy of my mother. It's sooooo easy, you won't believe it.

You will need.....

1/2 onion diced
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 can of chicken broth
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained
1 can of chopped tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cinnamon
1/4 ground black pepper
1/2 cup ditalini pasta (this is a very small tube pasta about 1/2 the size of macaroni- bigger stuff probably won't work)

Here's what you do. In a medium pot, add the olive oil and saute the onions until tender for a few minutes. Then add everything but the pasta. Turn it to high until it starts to boil. Then reduce the head until you have a nice steady boil and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Finally, add the pasta and cook until the pasta is tender. AND THAT'S IT!!!

Personally, I love pasta in my soup so I added more than 1/2 a cup. If you do this, be prepared to add more water/chicken broth as the pasta really sucks it up as it cooks. This isn't a really liquid soup which makes it good enough for a dinner. Yum yum. I've decided to keep the big ingredients on hand - ditalini, chopped tomatoes, and garbanzo beans - and then I'll be ready to make it one a moments notice. And I don't even like garbanzo beans!

That's all my culinary knowledge for the moment. Trust me on this one, make this soup. You'll thank me!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2002

The Pooka Life

I was talking to Kevin last night and told him that Eric Clapton had just married his 25 year old girlfriend. Kevin's response?

"Man, I've got to learn how to play the guitar."

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2002

The Pooka Life

Here at last are the long promised pictures. First, feast your eyes on the "before" for the computer room. Notice the ugly floor. In a fit of incompetence, we painted a concrete floor with regular paint. The result is a nice peeling, spotty floor. Euuuuugh, gross. If you want, click on the image for a closer view of our icky paint job.

Now look at that same floor with carpet! How neat is that??? Artie decided he wanted to help cut the molding too and managed to chew through five feet of the stuff before we managed to corral him. If you look closely, you can see bits of demolished wood handing from his mouth. We moved back in all the computer stuff and Kevin set up shop again. Artie took up watch at the door making sure no pesky cat tried to invade the new space. Personally, I think the carpet brings out his eyes, don't you?

And then there was the baby piglet. Take a look at him all curled up next to me. Look how cute and snuggly! Who knew what a terror lurked beneath that peaceful facade. Please disregard the knitting needle sticking out of my hair. I'm constantly forgetting where I put it and sticking in on my head has proved the only way I know how to keep track of the thing. Man, I miss that baby piglet....

So there you go. Pictures as promised. That wasn't so bad, was it?

Posted by CHRISSIE at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

We took down the tree and packed up all the xmas decorations. All except for my Christmas card making supplies. You see, I have a deep aversion to mass productions. If you are going to make something "home made" you should only make one. An original, one of a kind creation. To mass produce your home made goodie makes you no better than Wal-Mart or Hallmark. I apply this sensible belief to everything from decorating cookies to Christmas cards to letters. The idea of baking home made Christmas cookies and then passing them down an assembly line of same frosting color, same sprinkles, same placing of red hots makes my skin crawl. Each cookie should be a unique and precious piece of work, otherwise, what separates it from a plain old Chips Ahoy?

However, the draw back to my belief is that creation takes time. Faced with 27 star cookies, how do you creatively decorate each one in a unique and yet presentable fashion? In the time it takes my dad to mass produce all 27 candy canes in a monotonous red and white striped pattern, I find I have complete a mere 3 star cookies each a unique and delightful joy to behold. I wonder if the Cabbage Patch creators were faced with the same dilemma?

So for my Christmas cards, I realized that in order to be ready for next Christmas, I need to start making cards in January. For this year, the time break down per card ran something like this...

Drag boxes from basement and arrange stamps, ink and papers around me in a suitable position..... 45 minutes
Take a break for coffee and to call Kat to come join me.... 20 minutes.
Watch with envy and delight as Kat arrives and arranges all her stamps, ink and papers in a suitable position around her... 20 minutes.
Select first paper size, orientation and color.... 5 minutes.
Select first stamp for paper... 6 minutes.
Select correct inking for above selected stamp... 3 minutes.
Ink and stamp... 1 minute.
Confer with Kat over outcome of paper, orientation, color, stamp and ink result... 5 minutes.
Proceed to select wording and correct ink to work with above creation.... 5 minutes.
Ink and stamp... 1 minute.
Confer with Kat over outcome of wording and ink to previous creation... 5 minutes.
Break to refill coffee and confer with Kat about her current creation... 10 minutes.
Select appropriate envelope and stamp/ink for outside.... 5 minutes.
Stamp and ink.... 1 minute.
Sit back and review entire set of envelope, words and card, confer with Kat re results.... 10 minutes.

Total time spent to set up.... 1 hour 25 minutes. Total time to create one Christmas card..... 57 minutes.

So you see, in one sitting I can create approximately 4 cards on a good day with no interruption. At approximately one card per hour, I figure I need to start my Christmas creations now rather than later. An so, with a brisk pat on my back for such foresight, I have refrained from packing away all my Christmas stamps. This fact alone should cut down on the set up time by at least 6-7 minutes and at my pace, every second helps.

So if you were one of the lucky few to receive a home made Chrissie card this year, rest secure in the knowledge that yours is a unique and original creation, created with my own little hands and sweat in the mere space of one hour. If you did not receive a card from me, I apologize for this oversight and vow that come next Christmas there will be enough cards to go around. At 4 cards per weekend, and dedicating one weekend per month, I figure I can complete 48 cards for 2002. Is that impressive or what?!?!?

The truely astute reader will realize that there are no pictures on this site as promised. Yes, the carpeting is finished, yes I took pictures, yes I transfered them to the home computer. However, at this point, someone turned horrible grumpy and stormed out of the computer room ranting about demanding and pushy wives. I don't think we need to names names, do we? So come back tomorrow, no promises but heck, it's better than working, right?

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

January 02, 2002

The Pooka Life

And 2002 is off!

Didn't get to post any pictures yet because the computers were removed from their niche. After hanging out with Elmo for the week, Kevin was bit by the do-it-yourself (DIY) bug and decided he wanted to carpet the computer room. He consulted with Elmo before he left, picked the carpet, called Josh, and they began to lay away. I'm actually surprised to say that it looks good! It's almost done and the computers will (hopefully) go back in tonight. Artie *loved* the carpet and spent every free moment rolling around and acting goofy on it. We figure it was the one area of the house that wasn't covered with his dog hair and drool and he sensed this disruption in the force and went all out to rectify that. Unfortunately, Artie petered out and ended up snoring in the middle of the newly carpeted room. He had a rough weekend because we were invaded by the baby piglet.

Our friends, Anna & Todd, were leaving town for the weekend and needed someone to watch their dog, Eugene. He's a one year old male pug who is absolutely adorable and absolutely crazy. He arrived Friday night and proceeded to chase the cats, bark at Artie, and run around the house like a headless chicken until he crashed in a little furry heap. I named him the baby piglet because he snorts just like a pig. He's one of these dogs that goes full circle - he's so ugly he's cute. Those little frog eyes on the side of his head, the wrinkly brow and curl little pig tail. I simply couldn't contain myself.

And, as it turns out, neither could the baby piglet. He wanted to PLAY and he didn't care who with. So first, he snort around the house looking for the cats. If he was lucky enough to find one curled up sleeping somewhere, he'd run up to them and start jumping up and down and barking. Usually, all we'd hear was barking, hissing, and then a streak of black followed by a blur of off-white. They'd race down the stairs into the basement where we'd hear all this tumbling and crashing and then they'd come back up the stairs only this time Eugene would be first with a huge and pissed cat right behind him. Kevin would grab Eugene and I'd try to keep the cats from clawing their way up Kevin's leg. Wicks wasn't too bad -she's so fast Eugene couldn't touch her. But big fat fatty Blitz was another story. At one point, she started to stalk Eugene. I watched her creep forward, hair puffed up, a deep moaning coming from her 20 lbs of chub. I was scared for my life but Eugene was unfazed. I managed to coax Blitz away from the piglet but it was close. When the cats managed to hide themselves from his reign to terror, he'd move onto bigger prey - Artie.

Now that was a site to see. Here's this little dog jumping up and down and pawing at Artie's face. Artie would look at him with disgust and growl. That only made the baby piglet increase his jumping and barking. Suddenly Artie would snap and break out into a full fledge bark. This would throw the baby piglet back a few feet in surprise but in true puppy form he'd shake it off and be right back in Artie's face. Poor Artie, he'd just look at us as if to ask, why me? If he tried to walk away, Eugene would walk right behind him and nip the back of Artie's legs. This would result in Artie turning around and letting out a really pissed bark. Eugene would cower for a second and then, once he sensed the danger had passed, would jump up and start barking in Artie's face again. It reminded me of those nature specials with the lions. The baby lions were all cute and tumbly and would run over to the male pack leader and begin to bother him - jumping on his back, chewing his tail, acting tough. The big lion would kind of ignore them until they went too far and then he'd turn around and roar at them. Those little lions were usually smart enough to take the hint and go find another lion to bother. Eugene, however, is no lion. He'd have poor Artie snarling and barking away and would kept coming back for more. I must say that after living with the baby piglet, I have to re-evaluate my opinion of Artie. Artie is a sweet, mellow, well behaved, gentle creature. Dang, my dog rocks.

Even though Eugene was a puppy terror, I couldn't get enough of him. He followed me around, did the cute little puppy head tilt when to talked to him, sat right between my feet, and would curl up on my lap to sleep. And when he was sleeping and snorting away, I could forgive him anything. He was that cute.

Yes, I took pictures but I can't post them (see opening paragraph) until later. But once I do, you will want a baby piglet all your own too. Once he left, all our animals curled up and slept for 12 hours straight and it was eerily silent without the sound to snorting echoing through our little house.

(Kevin was not as taken with the baby piglet because he pooped on the kitchen floor and Kev stepped in it and tracked it all over the house. Ick. Thankfully, he was wearing shoes!)

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)