February 28, 2002

The Pooka Life

The weather here has been gorgeous lately. Each year, Portland teases us mercilessly. For about a week or so, we are treated to this beautiful spring weather. Blue skies, puffy white clouds, bright clear sunshine that fades to magenta sunsets. And then, at the end of the week, the spring rains move in and donít leave until July. (You think Iím kidding. Iím not. July. Honest.)

So during this short week of Spring, most Portlanders rush to the nurseries and buy masses of plants and flowers knowing we have a very short window to get them into the ground before the monsoon season hits. If you hustle and plant quickly enough, you can kick back and wait for a beautiful summer. All those rainy days between now and July (no kidding) mean your plants are nicely primed when the sun begins shining and they just burst with flowers. Of course, this doesnít happen until, oh, August but better late than never.

My gardening plans, however, are limited by two factors. First, the trees. We have these massive elm trees on our property. They were planted when the house was built back in the 20's and have just grown like crazy. The are, by far, the largest trees around. You can easily find our house by looking at the sky line. Just pick out the two elm trees that stand a good 10 feet over all others and head that way. Joining these elms are two Christmas trees gone bad. The previous owners got living trees for Christmas for a few years. After the holiday season, they stuck them in the ground in the back yard. They are now massive beyond belief. This means that out entire plot - front yard and back - is shade. No direct sunlight to save your life. Just shade, shade, shade and more shade. And, of course, everything I want to grow (roses, herbs, flowers, etc) requires direct sunlight. Not gonna happen. I tried it last year and it was depressing. I think my roses even molded.

My second stumbling block is Artie. His two favorite activities during the day while Iím away earning money for dog treats are digging up plants and peeing on flowers. He is a force of nature that dog. I have re-planted my rose bush four times so far. For some reason, he loves to dig it out since itís been planted in sand for better drainage. Of course, lying on its side out of its hole with roots exposed is the ultimate drainage but somehow I donít think thatís what my garden book had in mind. Any wonder that rose has never bloomed? Heís even managed to completely toast my rosemary bush (not that I was ever going to use it in food after watching him tinkle on it every day) and delights in digging up and chewing my bulbs. Sigh. I canít imagine that bearded irises taste good but they must.

Even though I know it is hopeless, I still find myself longing to work on my garden. All I need to do is chop down the trees and get rid of the dog and my garden dreams will come true. But I know if I just hang in for another week all will be well. Once the rains come, I wonít be able to go outside until July. Seriously. July.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2002

The Pooka Life

Kevinís going to jail.

Last night, as we were driving home, we pulled up to a red light. Kevin stopped and we noticed this really weird looking guy who was waiting to cross the street. He had a bag of cans and looked like your typical slightly crazy street person. I donít think he was totally sober because when Kevin pulled up to the light, the guy kind of jumped. Then he started yelling at Kevin.

ďHey, hey, you see that,Ē he slurred, pointing in the generally vicinity of the cross walk. ďThat says WALK,Ē he yelled. ďYou gotta let me walk!Ē

Kevin and I just sat there, dumbfounded as the guy stopped in the middle of the street right in front of our car and began digging around in his bag of cans. It was clear he was upset with us. He was wearing an old army fatigue jacket and was missing most of his teeth. With stringy hair and wild eyes, he was quite scary looking as he rummaged through his bag. Kevin confided in me, later, that he was afraid the guy was going to pull out a gun. I thought he was looking for a bottle to hurl at us. But it turns out we were both wrong because he pulled this old flashlight out from his bag of cans and began shining it at us. First in our face, then over to the WALK sign which was now flashing DONíT WALK. Back and forth, back and forth. I guess we didnít look sufficiently chastised because he put the flashlight down and pulled out a pencil and scrap of paper.

ďIím gonna get your license plate!Ē he yelled at us. ďYouíre going to jail!Ē

Of course, by this time, the light had turned green for us and the car behind us tried to pull around. Then they saw this guy standing in the middle of the road, waving his flashlight and stopped short. This, of course, made the guy mad and with his attention turned to the new car, Kevin pulled around him and drove off. I think we were speechless for a while trying to assimilate the strangeness of it all. The funny thing is, Kevin had stopped a good three feet behind the cross walk when he saw the guy crossing the street.

I canít decide yet if I should call the police and turn him in or not. Guess that depends on how big the reward is. Hee hee.

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

February 26, 2002

The Pooka Life

So there is this new guy on our floor. Iím not to sure who he is or even who he works for as we havenít been introduced. All I know is that heís really tall and whenever he walks by my door, he looks into my office. This really bothers me. I hate it when people peer in at me. If you are coming to talk to me, fine, come in. But donít be walking by and looking. I am not in a zoo or a manakin in a store window. At least have te decency to introduce yourself if youíre going to keep looking in on me. I have asked around and he is doing this to everyone - this walking and peering. How very rude.

I have decided I donít like him at all. I know, you may think this is rash seeing as how I have never said one word to him but still. Iíve just decided it.

Iím tempted to figure out where his desk is and walk by staring at him just to see if he likes it but Iíve decided to take the silent & hostile approach. Iím good at the cold shoulder thing. Just ask Kevin, having been on the receiving side of many of my finest cold shoulders, heíll vouch for my ability to freeze with the best of them.

And on top of that, Iím having a bad eyebrow day. I know, itís strange but true. My dad has these crazy eyebrows. Heíll have individual eyebrow hairs that go malignant and just grow and grow and get all crazy. They freak my mom out and she is constantly trimming them to he doesnít end up looking like some crazy scientist. I appear to have inherited some of these crazy eyebrow genes because the eyebrow over my left eye to truly unruly. It is just out of control with every hair pointing every which way and refusing to lie flat. I have tried hairspray, gel, and even clear mascara to no avail. Some days, my eyebrow just gets cranky and crazy and today is one of those days.

And unlike a bad hair day, I canít cover up my eyebrow. No, instead I have to face the day knowing that I have a spaztic eyebrow. So donít look at me. Or, donít look at me in the face. Itís just all wrong. Maybe I should be one of those freaky people who pull out all their eyebrows and then draw them on. That would solve my errant eyebrow dilemma once and for all. Except then Iíd spend all day afraid to wipe my eyes for fear of smearing off my eyebrow. How weird would that be? There are no easy answers to these questions I suppose....

Posted by CHRISSIE at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2002

The Pooka Life

We had a night without Artie over the weekend. It was a scary-strange night not having the big lug in the house. Iíd open the fridge and expect to hear him jump off the sofa and come jangling over, confident that whatever came out of the fridge would be shared with him. There was no hopeful little puppy face on the side of the bed that night, whining and trying to look pathetic so Iíd invite him up. No one to body slam the bed the next morning to announce that it was time for a potty break. What a sad and lonely life I lead before my pooch.

The girls, however, loved it. When they saw us come into the house without the dog, I swear their little feline eyes lit up with unsuppressed kitty glee. They spent all night tearing around the house, chasing each other and having a kitty party until the wee hours of the night. Without Artie there to break up their cavorting, they had free reign of the house.

So where was Artie you ask? He was having a trial run sleep over at Kat & Josh. Since we are going out of town, they will be the proud owners of 85 pounds of puppy love for the weekend and we wanted to make sure they were up for the task. When we arrived the next morning to claim our pooch, they seemed no worse for the experience. They did, however, want to know if he always needed a potty break at 6:45am. We assured them that he was more of an 8:30am dog. Suckers.

So last night, Artie was back on the sofa where he belonged and the girls were shooting us looks of hate for having raised and then dashed their little kitty dreams, and everything was right in the world. I missed Artie so much that when he began begging to be let up on the bed last night, I gave in without a fuss. Of course, I spent most of the night contorted with one leg hanging off the bed and without any covers on the left side of my body because the darn dog kept hogging all the room but it was worth it when he lay his head on my leg, sighed a big puppy sigh of pure happiness, and begin licking the back of my knee.

How I ever managed to live without my dog I will never know.

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

The Pooka Life

Kevin was a very good uncle this weekend and there are more Baby D pictures too see and enjoy. The chunker is now in the 100th percentile for weight. Is there anything cuter than a fatso baby????

Posted by CHRISSIE at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2002

The Pooka Life

A new daily website to check out here.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2002

The Pooka Life

I have discovered the secret to happiness and I will share it with you for free.

So youíve had a long day at work. Youíre grumpy, tired, and hungry when you get home and the idea of cooking dinner and paying bills and washing dishes and sorting laundry makes you want to just keep driving past your house to the nearest bakery where you can sit with a loaf of fresh bread and butter and your reading book until the world goes away. (Well, thatís what runs through my mind anyway. Feel free to insert your own escape dream above.)

But you know dinner has to be cooked and the bills have to get paid and the dishes washed and the laundry folded so instead of driving by, you pull into your drive way and battle with the door, drop your stuff on the ground and think, ďthis sucks - I need a personal servant.Ē (At least, thatís what runs through my mind. Feel free to insert your own comment above.)

At this point, there are several things you can do to make yourself happier. You can draw a bath and close the door, plop on the couch and watch the tube, break into the candy supply and pump your body full of sugar, etc, etc, etc. All of these are good ideas, but I have found a better one. Itís fast, easy, and doesnít involve any weight gain One word - PJs.

Yup, you read that right. No typo. PJs. I have discover that after you battle with the door and dump your stuff, and bemoan your lack of a personal servant, all you have to do is run to your bedroom and shed your work day cloths and slide into your most comfortable, cozy PJs and suddenly, everything looks so much better. I suppose, to an outsider, it might seem strange that you are wearing your nightie at 6:30pm but who cares! There is something wonderful about your old cotton sleep shirt thatís almost worn through and has a hole where the dog played tug of war with it. Add a pair of old loose gym socks and in under 5 minutes you have instant mood change without the use of sugar.

So when Kevin comes home at night, he finds me happily cooking dinner in the kitchen, looking like Iím ready for bed. Thereís just something about your PJs. I think itís because I spend all day bound and uncomfortable. High heels, panty hose with control tops and reinforced toes, slips and bras, hair bound back, and just uncomfortable. To be able to go home and throw it all off is so liberatingly wonderful.

And PJs say ďIím done for the day. All I have left to do is sleep.Ē It means I donít have to leave my house or interact with other people. Itís the unconscious comfort of knowing that if I really wanted to, I could head to bed right now without delay. How cool is that??

So tonight, as you walk through your door and face your nightly chores, before you do anything else, go change into your PJs and then start dinner. Youíll be amazed how good it makes you feel.

(Of course, I only recommend this if you sleep wearing clothes. Cooking naked may not be the best idea unless you are really good about not splattering anything. Also, the idea of someone sitting on my chairs with their bare butt gives me the willies. )

Posted by CHRISSIE at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2002

The Pooka Life

Point of clarification your honor:

1) I have never had, nor do I ever expect to gain, more than 1 vote. Yes, the propoganda machine of the 'democratically' elected government would have you believe that I am an almost equal member of the voting populace with 3 votes, but let me tell you, I could only wish to be outvoted by so narrow a margin. No, it's 4 to 1, Chrissie always wins. But that's ok.

2) She who rules will get her craft table regardless of the vote.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

I am a big fan of democracy. So much so that I often apply the principal of ďmajority rulesĒ to my own life.

For example, back in the day when Kevin and I were merely dating, we often held mini-elections over issues of contention. I had four votes and Kevin, as an independent body, had three votes. The voting would work something like this....

ďHey Kev, what do you feel life for dinner tonight?Ē Iíd ask.

ďOh, I could really go for pizza,Ē heíd reply patting his stomach and smacking his lips.

ďIím not in the mood for pizza,Ē Iíd reply, ďhow about Chinese?Ē

Kevin would scowl, ďNo, no, I just had Chinese last night. Pizza.Ē



At this point weíd realize we were at an impasse and so weíd put it to a vote. Four votes, Chinese, three votes Pizza, and the issue was decided.

Now I know what you are thinking. Youíre thinking this is merely a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. Ahhh, but there youíd be wrong. How about this factual scenario....

ďIím getting hungry. What do you want for dinner?Ē Kevin asks me patting his stomach and smacking his lips.

ďOh, I donít I could go for Mexican or Italian,Ē I reply.

ďWell, which one do you want more?Ē Kevin asks as he hunts for his keys.

ďI donít know, I could go either way. Lets vote.Ē

Iím split down the middle, two votes Italian, two votes Mexican so Kevinís three vote block easily tips the scales onto Italian and off we head for some pizza.

You see? Democracy in action.

Thereís only one problem. Once our individual beings merged into the state of matrimony, Kevin believed he should be granted equal voting rights. After much debate and long diatribes, I agreed and we now have four votes apiece. This, as you can imagine, is difficult as there are often ties with no mechanism for tie breaking. My streamlined democracy is now a bit more unwieldy but this is just one of the many sacrifices I have had to learn to endure. Although I must admit it was much more fun back in the day when I held the tie breaking vote. Ah well.

But the point of this rambling is that I need a craft room. Currently, Kevin is hogging all the free space in the house. He has one room devoted entirely to his computer stuff and a second room filled with his tools and woodworking stuff. The result is there is no where for me to spread out and work. Therefore, I have decided to submit a resolution to the McLaughlin democracy. I propose that the computer room be turned into the craft room.

Voting will open at 2:25pm today and close and 2:30pm. Any vote not cast wonít count...... Think I should let him know about this? I suppose this entry is a form of public notice. I guess thatís good enough.

Well, look at that, only 4 minutes left for voting.

Iím thinking Chrissie is going to get her craft room after all......

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2002

The Pooka Life

Itís so easy to get sucked into this material world. The world of bigger, better, newer. Itís so tempting to always want more and itís so hard to ask yourself, ďdo I really need it?Ē

I have a friend who has sold her soul to stuff. She constantly wants and everything revolves around name brands. She has to live in the best part of town, her kids have to wear all the designer cloths, she has to drive a big name car. She asks first where your outfit came from before she decides if it is nice or not. She complains about how much she spends a month but is horrified when I suggest a less expensive alternative. ďMy husband would never wear shoes from Nordstrom. He only wears Ferrigamos.Ē She is never satisfied. She is only impressed by the price tag and the name brand and the image. I watch her in her quest for stuff and I have to shudder in part revulsion and fear because sometimes I see myself for her.

I donít want to sell my life for money. I donít want to spend nine hours of my day just so I can go out on a weekend and buy more stuff that Iíll never use and never be satisfied with. I donít want to drop my kids into daycare when they are 6 weeks old. Money is great. You can get a lot of things with it, but I would rather have my time and my sanity than a stressed out life. But it is so tempting and it is so hard to be happy with what you have.

She saw my house and turned up her nose. ďHow can you live here?Ē she asked me in horror. ďWhat is it, under 1500 square feet? I could never stand a kitchen that small. I need at least 3,000 square feet you know.Ē And I found myself blindly agreeing with her that yes, my kitchen was way too small and I couldnít wait to move somewhere bigger. But after she left, I had to ask myself, why do I need a bigger kitchen? I mean, mine works just fine. It has all the appliances. Sure, it doesnít have the island or miles of counter space but it suits my lifestyle. I mean, really, it is enough.

So now when I talk to her, I use it as a sort of grounding test. I watch her scramble through her life of image is everything and I chant to myself, ďthat is what I donít want to become.Ē I love coming home and eating dinner with Kevin. I love playing with my dog and loving the cats. I love having weekends free to just enjoy. I donít ever want to give those things up for more money. It just wouldnít be worth it. So I guess that means Iíll never work at some swanky big firm or live in a 3,000 square foot house with a kitchen island, or have a prestigious zip code.

But you know what? Thatís just fine with me.

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

February 18, 2002

The Pooka Life

Oh man, this kid is growing so fast, next think I know he'll be looking for his first car. Anyone know any hot 1 month old girls looking for a date? If so, I'll run them by Baby D. Two month old might be ok too but anything over that will be pushing it. You'd better act fast though cause this kid is gonna be a real looker just like his aunt.

I am stuck here at work even though it should be a holiday and the sun is sort of shining (which qualifies as a minor miracle here in Portland) and instead of working on my garden or loving my dog I am here. At work. Stuck. Did I already mention the stuck part?

Needless to say, I have been totally unproductive and proud of it. So there!

Come back tomorrow. I may be less grumpy...but no guarantees.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2002

The Pooka Life

I sometimes forget that not everyone sees the world through my eyes. Things that seem perfectly obvious to me may be totally bizarre to someone else. For example, my friend needed some chap stick so I told her to grab it out of my purse. She rummaged around in it for a while and then said, ďUm, Chrissie, what is this?!?Ē

I looked up and saw she was holding a spritzer of Binaca. You know, that stuff you squirt into your mouth to freshen it up right before you kiss someone. Now, having a tube of Binaca in your purse probably isnít that strange but in my case, the tube is wrapped in duct tape with a piece of twine hanging from it like a handle.

ďOh, that,Ē I replied nonchalantly ďit goes on your wrist, like this.Ē And I took the spray from her and slipped it over my hand so that it hung, dangling from my wrist. Oddly enough, this little demonstration only seemed to add to her confusion. What, like other people donít walk around with a home made Binaca bracelet?

It actually took me a moment to process her confusion. You see, in our house, we walk around with the Binaca bracelet because it is the ultimate training device. Artie just hates the stuff. First off, when you spray it, it makes this weird hissing sound like a mad cat. Second, it makes him sneeze. Itís non-toxic and wonít harm him if he swallows it so we just aim at his nose and shoot. So when someone is at the door, we slip on the Binaca bracelet and if he starts barking or jumping on the guest, a quick squirt quiets him down. When you take him on a walk, you slip on the bracelet and if he goes after a cat or gets in a tangle with another dog, a quick squirt squirt and the squabble quickly breaks up. Itís gotten to the point now that all we have to do is pick up the spritzer and point it at him and say ďnoĒ and heíll stop whatever it is heís doing he hates the stuff so much.

I suppose, though, to those unfamiliar with my life, it may look like Iím strangely paranoid about my breath. I mean, why else would there be a spritzer of Binaca in every room? But itís all perfect normal. Trust me.

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

February 14, 2002

The Pooka Life

Here's a little mind bender for you this Valentine's Day. Place the letters of the work LOVE in the square below. All four letters must be on each vertical and horizontal line. No two of the same letter may be next to each other on these lines.

Sorry about the random white space. I seem to have offended the html gods and they refuse to cooperate this morning.


__ O __ __
__ __ V __
__ __ __ E

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2002

The Pooka Life

Sabrina sent me this link that reads your personality based on color preference. According to my selections....

I don't like authority and I rebel against all forms of limitation. I am my own person and I intend to stay that way .. and to get on in the world simply by my hard work and determination.
Man, all that from picking blue.
Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

I am refusing to watch the Olympics this year. Ever since the whole bribery episode, I have just been turned off by the idea. And the patriot theme! I completely OD'd just watching the Super Bowl. I can only imagine what sort of imagery is being thrown around the Olympic games.

I think the worse part is that horrible addictive theme song. You know the one. This is my house.....etc. Have you ever really listened to the words? I think this post pretty much summed up my feelings exactly.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2002

The Pooka Life

It is my belief that every girl growing up wishes she had different hair. Itís some sort of teenage rite of passage. Girls with thin straight hair long for thick curls, those with thick curly hair would do anything for smooth straight tresses. I, too, suffered through this strange phase. I remember spending hours and hours pouring over teen magazines, thumbing through articles on how to make my thick unruly hair straight and sleek. I tried every technique and gel with no success. The sad truth was that I would never have straight thin hair but I refused to believe this incontrovertible fact. This bizarre desire continues to haunt me and has caused me no end of suffering as you will see.

While my idea of perfect hair has not changed, the source of my infatuation has. Instead of teen magazines, I am drawn in by television. Almost every show on today has women with long, straight, shiny hair. After spending an hour or two watching prime time TV, I somehow manage to convince myself of two very dangerous facts.

First, that the style worn by the TV actress would look good on me and second (but perhaps more dangerous) that I can cut this style myself.

And so at the end of the show, filled with some strange sense of purpose, I grab my hair scissors and head into the bathroom to recreate the style as seen on TV. These are very dangerous words - as seen on TV - in any context. For some reason, the kitchen cleaner or vacuum sealing bags when shown in the 30 minute infomercial look wonderful. But once they arrive on your doorstep, you find yourself wondering what on earth possessed you to order them. With products, this is easily remedied with a quick trip to Goodwill or (in our case) a new auction on ebay. However, things are much different with hair.

I mean, really, a TV show is nothing more than a 30 or 60 minute infomercial. They are selling the clothing, and the make up, and the furnishing, and (in my particular case) the hairstyles. By the end of the programming, I have been convinced that I, too, need to have Rachelís snazzy new hair cut or Buffyís perky little bangs. Instead of reacting like a normal woman and making an appointment with a hair stylist, I take matters into my own hands. I think this is because I want it now and I donít want to wait until next week for an appointment. Whatever the reason, about once every few months, I wander into the bathroom with a pair of scissors and the best of intentions.

The results are quite comical. So much so that my girlfriends at work have decided that certain shows are off limits to me and my impressionable hair. The real difficulties lies in the fact that Iím always coveting hairstyles that only work if you have straight, thin hair. That and the sad reality that I am not qualified to cut hair.

Anyway, waiting for Kevin last night, I flicked on the TV and there was a re-run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This show is on my list of things-my-too-impressionable-mind-cannot-watch but I got sucked into it anyway. Not the plot or the acting so much as Buffyís hair. In this particular re-run she had these cute little bangs. Now, for those of you who arenít Buffy fans, she has long, straight, blond hair. As most of you know, I have crazy, thick, brown hair. I donít think any further explanation is necessary. Lets just say I woke up this morning wondering what happened to my hair. Then I remembered.

The TV show. The scissors.

Thank goodness hair grows quickly.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2002

The Pooka Life

So I think Kevin has been doing a little too much ebay lately since Iíve figured out how to turn him from the dark side of ebay. Iíve got him selling stuff instead of buying. Now he huddles in front of the computer working on his layout for his auction items. Trying to get the best mix of information and visual effects to convince some sucker he really wants our barely-used-almost-mint-condition thing-a-ma-bob.

And the surprising part is, heís good. Actually, he's better than good, heís really good. His gimmick is free shipping. The biggest rip-off on ebay is the shipping. You watch the auction, increasing the bid .50, fighting with treklover342 over three days only to win your auction and discover the seller wants $20 to ship a book via parcel post. This makes me very very grumpy. And so Kevin, tapping into his devious used-car-salesman soul, lists his item as follows:


This brings them in droves. Suckers.

To date, we have made well over $100 bucks on our little selling scheme. I rummage through the basement looking for ugly wedding presents or unused computer stuff. Once located, I forward them to Kevin who reacts in horror. (ďOh no, not the pineapple shaped cigarette tray. That was given to us by my uncleís first cousinís neightbor. I know weíve never even taken it out of the box in the two years weíve been married but that doesnít mean we wonít use it!Ē) After much cajoling and hand holding (and the promise that the proceeds will go toward a new Athalon XP 1800 chip), Kevin will cave to my demands and sell the offensive item online. So far, every item weíve posted has sold for a profit. Kevinís chip fund grows full, my basement shelves grow empty.

So why, I hear you asking me, do I think Kevin has been doing too much ebay? Well put on your dream interpretation hats boys and girls because last night I was visited by a very strange one. Hereís the skinny.

In this dream I go down to the computer room and hop on Kevís computer. I look at his ebay site to check how our auctions are progressing and I realize heís added a new one. This one reads :

In horror, I click the link to find out that Kevin has posted me online and, even worse, the auction is closed. The site counter says 15,000 hits but there were only 15-20 bids for me. The final price paid? $320. Thatís right, Kevin sold me for $320, no reserve.

So at this point Iím getting frantic. In dream world, it is common knowledge that an ebay auction is legally binding and I know I canít get out of it. My first thought is maybe itís some one I know who bought me so Iím frantically trying to figure out who this person is. On ebay, next to a personís name is a linked number which shows their feedback history. Using this number, you can see that last 6 months of purchases/items sold for that person. So in this dream, Iím clicking through all of the items bought/sold by this person trying to figure out who he/she is. And itís just weird crazy stuff bought - I remember one was an automatic banana peeler. (Is there even such a thing? ) I canít tell anything about who this person is. So I start plugging the ebay ID into Google and Yahoo hoping to discover the identity that way. Nothing. Nada. All I know is that Kevin has up to three business days to ship me off to my new home after payment is received. As Iím working the search engines, this email pops up saying Kevinís paypay account has just been credited $320.

Now, how scary is that?

So this morning I decided two things. First, Kevin needs a break for ebay. Second, Iím going to nice to Kevin all week. (I know, I know, thatís asking a lot but I figure aim high, right?)

Any interpretations of the aforementioned dream would be greatly appreciated. And with that, I think our hour is up.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2002

The Pooka Life

More pictures on the Baby D page. Be warned, some of these pictures are so cute you will want to get a Baby D yourself. I'd recommend a fish instead.

Trust me on this one.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2002

The Pooka Life

The question over donuts at the office this morning revolved around Valentineís Day. We all went around sharing what we were going to get the sig. fig. in our respective lives. When it was my turn, I was truly stumped.

Iím not getting Kevin anything for Valentineís Day. Never have, probably never will. Iíll go even one step farther and let you in on another secret as well. Iíve never bought him an anniversary present either.

Whatís that youíre calling me? Cold, heartless, bitcó Um, excuse me. My mother may read this. Lets keep the language out of the potty thank you very much.

Now, before you judge me, let me explain. I believe that Valentineís Day and anniversaries are a chance for my sig. fig. to express how happy and thankful he is that Iíve deemed to stay with him another year. I figure the fact that I said yes and went through with the whole ďdo you Christine, take this man...Ē ritual carries over from year to year to year. Valentineís Day and anniversaries are sort of ďget out of jail freeĒ cards for Kevin. A chance to score some brownie points for later down the line. So that during early March, when he really sticks his foot in his mouth, he can say, ďbut I bought you that great Valentineís day present, remember?Ē The glory of the present dictates how many times he can use this as an excuse. A good present and he can trade off that karma for months. Not so hot present, and heís sunk by the end of spring.

I thought this was how things were done everywhere. I had no idea that for some people, the woman buys the man presents. What a scary thought. Whatís the world coming to, I ask you?

Posted by CHRISSIE at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2002

The Pooka Life

Iíve started watching Ally McBeal reruns late at night. I never really liked this show but Iíve somehow gotten sucked into it. Anyhow, I think itís rubbing off on me because I had this strange theme song playing through my head all day.

Certain songs are tied to people or places for me. When I hear them, Iím teleported through time and Iím back somewhere in my past with that particular song defining the moment. Today, for whatever reason, Iíve had the song Fool in the Rain by Led Zepplin in my head. Iím not a big Led Zepplin fan, I havenít listened to this song in years but today, for whatever reason, itís been my theme song.

Well there's a light in your eye that keeps shining
Like a star that can't wait for a night
I hate to think I've been blinded baby
Why can't I see you tonight
And the warmth of your smile starts a-burnin'
And the thrill of your touch gives me fright
And I'm shaking so much, really yearning
Why don't you show up, make it all right, yeah, it's all right, all right
And suddenly, Iím back in highschool. Iím at home in our kitchen with Steve and we are making fortune cookies. Iím not sure why we decided to do this, but I suppose I found some recipe about it and so we spent a Saturday afternoon writing silly fortunes for our friends and teachers, then folded them into a pastry dough and cooking them. If I remember right, they turned out truely inedible. He did, however, bring over a mixed tape for me. (Yes, this is back in the day when we used to listen to cassette tapes. It was a given that youíd make a mixed tape for your girlfriend. Some sort of teen age rite of passage I think.) I remember that one side was a best of Pink Floyd and the other was the best of Led Zepplin a la Steve. I hadnít really heard that much from either group so it was all pretty much new to me. But Fool in the Rain just jumped out at me. It was one of those songs that clicked.

This may be a bit silly but bear with me.

I remember that after Steve left, I ran into the living room and turned up the volume. (Where were my parents? I have no idea but for some reason I was on my own with no one to complain about my crazy music.) He had left behind this green knit sweater and I found it. I then proceeded to dance around the kitchen with this sweater doing my best to sing along at the top of my lungs. I so remember this itís scary. Dancing and singing and just being so happy and giddy that I felt like I would burst.

I have no idea what happened to that tape but today that song just came back to me. Maybe I heard it on the radio or someone was humming it - I really donít know. But as I was walking down the street to lunch, I found in pounding through my head. I found myself walking to its beat and smiling. Some of my giddiness must have slipped out because people kept smiling at me. One young man even tried to strike up a conversation with me, saying I had a great smile and asking what was making me so happy. I wanted to tell him it was my theme song but I was afraid heíd think I was a bit looney.

Of course, he wouldnít be that far from the truth, would he?

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2002

The Pooka Life

Just a couple of quick administrative details.

First, the USPS returned my quiz prizes. Due to increased security measures, you can no longer send items in the mail via normal envelopes. And so I have re-packaged them and sent them off again. Hopefully this time they will comply with all safety regulations. Who knew?

Second, I have finally received a new batch of Baby D photos and work on his page this weekend. However, there was one picture that I just can't wait to share.

When they call to interview me thirty years from now, asking if I had any idea that Baby D would turn out to be the world's smartest person, I will merely show them this photo.

This kid is so cute. I may need another fish.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2002

The Pooka Life

The whole Baby D experience jump started my maternal side. After many long and heated discussions and soul searching, Kevin and I agreed it was time to add to our little family. And, so, it is with much excitement that I can announce a new addition to the McLaughlin clan.

Please put your hands together to welcome Charlie.

Charlie is a young Siamese fighting fish. He weighs, well, not much, is approximately two inches long and cost a whopping $3.75. I think he has Kevinís stunning profile but that could just be the proud mom in me. Charlie is adjusting to his new life very nicely. He swims around and puffs up real big when you walk by his tank. Dang, is this fish cute or what? We are currently working on dinner time. Right now, he hides under his plant when your hand makes a shadow over the bowl while feeding. However, I understand this is perfectly normal for a fish at his age and that over time heíll learn that the hand = food.

If youíd like to send cards or gift to Charlie, he really likes bloodworms. Iím thinking by the end of the week he should be up for visitors so long as you donít have a cold or any sort of contagious fish killing virus. *JOSH*

Actually, I highly recommend a beta. They donít need a heated tank or circulated water because they are air breathing fish. Yup, thatís right. A beta has gills but they arenít real efficient. Instead, a beta will pop to the top of his water and gulp air. Itís really rather neat. This means, however, that you must have a tank that is exposed to the air. If not, your beta with suffocate and die. I know, this is rather strange, but thatís what Iím told.

Betaís are particularly nice at work. If you can, bring one in a small bowl, plop it on your desk, and youíll find yourself relaxing and gazing at him while he swims away. It is the best stress release around. It will also cause frequent visitors to ďcheck on the fishĒ which is an added bonus too. Iíd love to bring Charlie to work but I doubt heíd survive the MAX ride. But if you can, do it. You wonít regret it.

Oh yes, the latest craze is to make these living vases. If you have the time/energy I suppose itíd be pretty cool. You can find some basic instructions here. Just make sure you leave some breathing room between the roots and the water for your little fishy to gulp air!

My instincts have been appeased and there is a certain balance in our house. Fish, cat, dog, person. Sort of flows together like some strange nursery rhyme. I like it!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2002

The Pooka Life

Pretty much once a day I turn to Kevin and ask him, ďHow could someone not love this dog?!?!Ē

We got the girls because my friend was having a difficult pregnancy and her doctor recommended a cat hair free environment. She was heart broken and only agreed to part with the girls with the greatest of reluctance.

But Artie was given up because someone didnít want him. How is this possible? How could you not love this dog? Even more baffling, how could be so cruel that youíd hit him in anger?

His latest thing is heís turned into a real sneaky seat stealer. Youíll be lounging on the sofa, watching TV or reading a book, and decide to get a refill on your coffee or the phone rings and when you get back, thereís this big fat dog curled up on your spot. Lately, heís gotten even more daring. If you stand up for even a moment to get the remote or pick up a magazine, in the .2 seconds your rump is off the sofa, heíll scooch right in there and settle down like heís been sleeping there for hours. Iíve tried sitting on him but he really doesnít mind. Call or start tugging on his collar and I swear heíll start to fake sleeping and even throw in a few snores as if to convince you that heís fallen into slumber. Like thatíll fool you or something. The only way to reclaim your seat is to go into the kitchen and start crinkling food wrappings. Heíll suddenly ďwake upĒ and come running into the kitchen. Of course, once he realizes itís merely a rouse, the race is on and we both dash back toward the couch. Heís usually faster than me but heís lower to the ground and has those extra legs so itís not really a fair race.

They say you can find anything on Google so I decided to run a search for Artie. I was bored and just fooling around. I never excepted to find anything but, well, try it for yourself.

Run Artie + Oregon + catahoula. (Thatís his ďIím-really-wierded-out-by-what-you-are-doing-please-stop-itĒ look.)

The sad part is, if you tried Christine + McLaughlin + Oregon, Iím not found. Iíve been surpassed by my dog. Guess I better get used to sitting on the floor for a while.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2002

The Pooka Life

What If

He gave her butterflies.

She wasnít sure why but there was something about the way he smiled at her that made her heart go wild. Of course, she smiled back and did her best to cover up the pounding in her chest but she didnít know what came next. She thought she gave all the right signs. She laughed at his jokes, made sure they ended up sitting near each other during class assembly, and spent most of study hall sneaking notes to her girlfriends with doodled hearts and swirly initials hoping her secret would make its way to his ears. Still, he did nothing.

Emboldened by her friends, she grabbed his hand at lunch and drew a happy face on it, elaborating on the basic design, adding eyebrows, ears and dimples to prolong the thrill of holding his hand. Embarrassed at the intimacy of her act, even if the pretense was innocent, she was too flustered to notice his reaction. This action was brandied about by her group for the next class period, each girl weighing in with her opinion. The general consensus was it was a very daring move and if he didnít respond then he definitely wasnít interested.

Lunch came and she made a point of sitting by herself near his locker but he didnít notice her. During P.E., she saw him talking to Julie and watched in horror as they walked off the field together laughing. Mortified and unable to face her friends who had witnessed this atrocity, she fled to her locker and grabbed her books. In her haste, she never noticed the note that was wedged through the door crack.

Ending #1
It fell to the floor to be swept up by the night janitor and she never knew.

He spent the next day waiting for a reply and was puzzled when she didn't laugh at his jokes. When assembly was called, he headed toward her only to notice that her girlfriends had filled all the seats around her, forming a wall of protection.

After the assembly, he headed for the bathroom to wash off the happy face he had so carefully preserved on his hand. And he never knew.

Ending #2
She didnít find the note until she opened her binder to start her math homework and it fell into her lap. It was filled with jokes and rambling which said nothing but meant everything. She spent the rest of the night calling friends and practicing her dream name over and over again in her best handwriting. Mrs. Mary Lawerance

At assembly, the butterflies returned and made her chest shake when he sat next to her. When he reached to hold her hand, all she could focus on was that silly face so carefully preserved on the back of his. Part of her heard her friends begin to whisper but the rest of her was smiling so hard it hurt.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)