March 28, 2002

The Pooka Life

I'm getting a little worried about visiting Baby D. These pictures they are sending me are almost too much to bear. This kid is so cute, I am quite sure that after I see him, I will want to keep him. You see, I am a closeted baby snatcher. When I visit friends with children, at some point toward the end of our visit, I turn to Kevin and say..."You distract the parents and I'll make a run for the boarder." Everyone always laughs when I say this. "Ha ha, isn't auntie Chrissie funny?" they ask eachother. If they only knew how deep my devious streak ran they would clutch their child close to them instead of laughing.

So to prepare myself for Baby D, I am going to go to the pet store and subject myself to cute puppies and furry kitties. I will hold their warm little bodies in my hands, and I will not squeal, I will not use the words "cute" or "adorable" or "please Kevin please please please can we get just one more." No, instead I will look at them coldly and make remarks such as..."yes, I suppose this one is rather nice but it seems a bit furry for my taste." I figure if I do this everyday until I leave my heart should be sufficently hardened to the point that I don't grab Baby D and make a run for the boarder.

Due to the craft room remodel, the computers have been disassembled. Last night we worked on bringing them up on line and (hopefully) this weekend we will do another Baby D picture update. Until then, I will leave you with a few of my favorites..... Enjoy!

Living the Good Life
Suzy and Dan
Goofing with Elmo
More Goofing with Elmo
Baby Tears

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2002

The Pooka Life

Weíve been working hard on transforming the computer room into a craft and computer room. Kevin has not only agreed to share his precious basement space but has also volunteered to build me a huge table and shelving unit. Of course, this means that he has gone to Home Depot every single day for the last week but thatís fine by me.

In a way, the whole project reminds me of freeway construction. For what feels like years, all you see as you idle in gridlock is a bunch of closed lanes that look perfectly fine interspersed with random bits of large machinery and equipment. The workers always seem to be on a cigarette/coffee break whenever you drive by and even though it has been months and months you swear you see the same piping and concrete blocks lining the side of the road every day. Right when you decided it is all a farce just so people could make you sit in traffic for hours on end, itís all over. In the span of a day the road way goes from one lane open, three closed to a perfectly new four lane highway. Wham. Instantaneous road.

You see, my craft table has been in a mild state of chaos for the last month or so until suddenly I came home the other night and there it was, ready for the final round of drilling and glueing. After days of what seemed like little progress (but lots of mess) suddenly my table emerged from beneath the sawdust and strangely cut two by fours.

Itís massive and wonderful. As I type this, Kevin is applying the final protective coating so that when I arrive home tonight, I will have a table to call my own. Donít worry, Iíll take pictures so you can turn green with envy and drool all over your computer screen as you gaze at Kevinís creation.

For me, of course, the best part has just begun. Now, I get to organize. Right now, my photos and scrapbook stuff is in the dining room closet. The guest bedroom holds my sewing machine and quilting supplies. The kitchen table hides most of my drawing supplies. Meanwhile, the living room has most of my cross-stiching. Upstairs bedroom is my calligraphy station and the oil room holds my collection of rubber stamp and card making stuff. So you see how desperate the situation was. By my calculation, my next hobby would have to be stored in the bathroom as I am out of rooms to fill.

Lucky me, I now have the joy of gathering together all my odd ball projects and doing what I do best. Organizing. Yup, you guessed it. Iím already planning the placement of shelves, the purchase of drawers, the arrangement of hanging files. I figure it should take me a good month before I have everything settled right where I want it. Once itís all there, Iím going to have to quit my job in order to free up enough time to pursue all these great projects but I figure thatís a small price to pay for happiness.

My very own little space. I can hardly wait!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2002

The Pooka Life

Kevin is in for a tough summer. Itís his own fault, really.

Yesterday, the sun came out. Now in Portland, this means you rush into the attic to dig out your shorts and sandals hoping that by the time you unpack and change, the clouds wonít have rolled in yet. So while I was frantically digging through my sweaters looking for my tube top, Kevin was outside cleaning the Barbe.

Yup, thatís right. Sun = summer = BBQ. Even though it is just the beginning of spring, the temperature did reach a balmy 58 degrees which is close enough for Kevin. He whipped together that old charcoal grill which had sat dormant all winter. Piled on the coals and a generous helping of lighter fluid, and made fire. (He also asked me why he canít use lighter fluid in the fireplace. Sigh.)

I believe at this point I had changed into summer gear and located a pair of sandals only to be horrified at the pale and icky color of my toes. This called for drastic measures so I began an emergency application of nail polish.

Meanwhile, Kevin prepared the first marinade of the season. This is a very important action as it will define the rest of the grilling season. After going all winter long, I figured Kevin might be a bit rusty on the exact proportions of his secret sauce but I was too busy applying my second coat of polish to really watch what he was doing. After letting the coals heat for 20 minutes or so, he headed outside with the pork chops and the fate of the summer resting on his shoulders.

Sure, it smelled good cooking but BBQ always smells good. Artie planted himself right next to that BBQ and just drooled and drooled and drooled. That was a good sign. Twenty minutes and a few turns later, Kevin emerged from the smoke with a plate of smoldering chops.

We tasted.... and they were delicious. Absolutely scrumptious. OK, maybe we had just missed the taste of BBQ. Maybe we were especially hungry after working all day long in the yard. Maybe the direct sunshine activated some long dormant taste glands. All I know is that was the best BBQ I had eaten in ages.

After stuffing our faces (and Artieís), we rolled away from the table and groaned around our puffed bellies. Although it was delicious, Kevin knew he was in trouble. That first BBQ set the bar and it set it high. Now, for the rest of the summer, he was going to have to match that showing. I donít know how heís going to do it, but Iím going to stand by him.

On a side note, I did manage to enjoy the sunshine. Fully prepped, I sat on the deck, shivering, but refusing to go inside and put more cloths on. Besides, it was like 60 in the direct sun. And thatís practically tropical. Iím surprised I didnít burn.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2002

The Pooka Life

Poor Kevin. He has horribly scarred Artie and feels just awful. You see, Kevin is this wonderfully sweet guy unless two things happen to him. If he is both tired and hungry, he turns into a volcano of anger just waiting to explode. He can handle tired, he can handle hungry but put them together and what have you got? A very explosive Kevin. Heís kind of like a gremlin. All cute and cuddly so long as you donít break one simple rule. If you do, watch out!

So the other night, Kevin was tired and hungry. Artie was being a pest and was ready for this nightly stroll so Kevin hooked him up and headed out. Normally, strolling round the neighborhood with the pooch is fun. But this night, unbeknownst to Artie, Kevin was that deadly combo of tired/hungry. On top of that, Artie was very rambunctious and naughty - barking at people and darting all over the place. By the end of the walk, Kevin was even more grumpy that when he started. Unfortunately for both dog and dad, baby Wicks decided to take that moment to hang out on the drive way.

Kevin turns the corner and begins walking to the back gate. Heís tired and almost home so he probably wasnít paying too much attention. I mean, heís almost home free and baby Wicks is an all black cat who, at night, is almost invisible to the human eye. Unfortunately, she is still highly visible to the canine eye.

Artie saw Wicks on the driveway - Wicks saw Artie. Being a cat, she did the sensible thing and made a dash for the nearest bush. Being a dog, Artie had a Pavlovian response and lunged after her.

Now, to fully appreciate this story, you must realize two things. First, Artie is a very big (some might even say fat) dog. Second, it only takes about three bounding leaps before he is at the end of his leash. So poor unsuspecting Kevin saw a blur of black on black streak by and before you could say bibitybobityboo, Artie had hit the end of his leash and kept on going. Something had to give and that night, it Kevin was arm. More particularly the part of his arm socket that joined his shoulder to his chest.

It was too much for Kevin. The hunger, the tiredness, the whole bad walking behavior and now his arm being ripped from his socket. He blew and he blew big time. I was inside the house, watching TV and I heard the yelling. Next thing I know, Artie comes tearing through the back door, tail between his legs, and he scooches under my feet shaking. Heís scared and I donít blame him. He was followed by a very angry Kevin who yelled about the ďstupidĒ dog for a while. Although Kevin gets really really mad, it only lasts a few seconds and then he feels just horrible. After eating dinner and resting for a little while, he apologized to Artie and we thought all was well.

Until the next night.

Kevin finished the nightly walk and headed toward the back door. Artie (who must be part elephant which would explain not only his great memory but his weight issues) was fine until they hit the driveway. Then he suddenly lowered his head, his tail dropped and he refused to go any farther. He knew this was were poppa went open loop last time and he wanted no part in that game. Kevin managed to coax him through the door where he promptly ran into the living room and cowered under my legs. Itís been three nights and so far, Artie is still freaked out. Heís fine until Kevin takes that last turn and then he goes into scared mode and Kevin has to practically drag him into the back yard. Poor Kevin feels simply awful for traumatizing him but no matter how many treats he offers, Artie is still scared. Oddly enough, he has no problem when I walk him down the driveway. He bounces along all happy go lucky but if Kevin is holding the leash, he becomes scaredy-dog.

I donít think Kevin fully realized how scary he is when he gets mad. But having to watch the pooch cower in fear every time they walk up the drive has really hit home. Poor Kevin.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2002

The Pooka Life

Today is Kevin's last day on shift which is a good thing because, just between you and me, I miss him. While I can be quite self-sufficent, it's so much nicer with two. I actually had to take the garbage out myself the other day. Horror!! Blogger is being touchy so only a short note today. Grrrr.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2002

The Pooka Life

I have decided that my house is situated on some strange time warp field. This field appears to be particularly active on weekday mornings between the hours of 7-8am. If you are not careful, you will find yourself sucked into this deadly distortion and brutally victimized by its effect.

This morning, both Kevin and I were victims of said field.

I know this because at 7:45am, we were both in separate rooms, looked at the nearest clock and yelled, ďGhaaaak! Look at the time, Iím late, Iím late! How did this happen????Ē Now that I am here at work, contemplatively sipping my coffee and eating my sesame seed bagel, it is obvious. We were clearly struck by a massive time warp field this morning. Really, we didnít stand a chance.

It goes something like this.

The alarm goes off and you peer over your pillow (squinting if you donít have perfect vision and are too spineless for LASIK). The little evil black box is flashing 7am and you think, ďjust 5 more minutes, then Iíll get up.Ē Unbeknownst to you, a massive time distortion field is forming around your bed and you wonít realize it until itís too late.

ďTraffic and weather every ten minutes on the 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 past the hour. Itís 7:25 and here is Steve Nelson with the traffic.Ē Some part of your bleary, barely functioning brain begins to listen to what I-5 North is looking like and then it hits you. 7:25!!! You bolt upright, grab your glasses and realize your five minutes have stretched into twenty. ďGhaaak! Weíre late!Ē you yell, elbowing your spouse and kicking the dog in the face. ďSorry Artie, but momma overslept.Ē Both of your stumble out of bed and into the closet where, in your frantic state, your select a black skirt and navy blue hose. It isnít until you get down stairs in the sunlight that you realize your mistake. Of course, by now itís past 7:30 so you grab what you hope are a pair of black hose with no runs and stuff them in your purse. A quick trip to the bathroom and you emerge groomed and clean by 7:40. Now, you are ahead of the curve and this is where the time warp really sinks you. That early warp was just a warm up really.

You see your spouse stumble by wearing a yellow shirt, tan pants and black shoes but figure a) heís a guy and b) heís an engineer and decide to let him leave looking like a fashion disaster. After you get him out the door, you realize you have 5 minutes before you have to go and so you slow down.

Itís like a bad horror movie.

There you are breathing a sigh of relief as you casually gather your purse and lunch together while right above you is hovering a huge time distortion cloud. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the kids in the back of the theater yelling ďNoooooo! Donít slow down, run, run you stupid girl!Ē Silently, deadly, the time field drops over you as you open your shoe closet.

ďLets see, I could wear the navy and match the hose but Iím going to change them so I probably want black. Looks like rain so no open toed shoes. Those heels hurt last time but I am wearing a skirt so maybe something with a little height....Ē You dig around blissfully, trying on this pair and that when you hear, vaguely, from the bedroom......

ďTraffic and weather every ten minutes at the 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 past the hour. Itís 7:55 and hereís....Ē You look up, frantic, and shake off the gossamer tendrils of that sneaky time cloud and a strangled ďAcklerypĒ emerges. You shove your feet into your tennis shoes Ďcause youíre going to have to run now. Throwing yourself into your car, you run every yellow light to the park and ride, and sprint over the bridge to the commuter platform where you just manage to squeeze through the last door on the 8:01am MAX train before it leaves the station. Exhausted but relieved, you slump into the nearest seat only to realize two things.

1. You forgot to grab a pair of shoes and will be stuck wearing your ratty old tennis shoes all day.
2. Your purse, replacement hose, lunch and all your money is sitting on the kitchen table and you will have to borrow a few bucks from your co-workers. Again.

I have yet to find a way to beat this time warp in my house but I have discovered how to mitigate the side effects once I am outside of its range. You see, I keep a pair of black hoes, black shoes, extra money, one whole work outfit. hair brush, tooth brush and toothpaste, and one frozen lunch here at work so when I arrive haggard and mismatched, I can collect myself quietly in the womenís bathroom and emerge (half and hour to an hour later depending on the severity of the morning time warp field) ready to face the day.

Iím thinking we may need the help of a professional exorcist at home. I mean, clearly, itís not our fault. Thereís just some strange supernatural force working against us. Thank goodness they do the traffic and weather every ten minutes on the 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 past the hour!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2002

The Pooka Life

Was an absolute domestic goddess yesterday. Kevin is going to have a tough time following my act. Heís on shift and worked all day Sunday. While he was gone, I cleaned the house, pulled weeds, baked banana nut bread, went grocery shopping, chopped kindling, built roaring fire, walked dog, and baked the worldís best lasagna.

Why all the effort?

Because, when he has his week off next week, I will be able to demand the same level of attentiveness. You didnít think I was doing this for purely altruistic purposes, did you? Kevin came home last night to a warm fire, good dinner, and clean house. He was impressed but undaunted. Although he admits my little performance on Sunday raised the bar, he claims he can top it. Weíll see.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2002

The Pooka Life

I am a real believer in true love Princess Bride style. Donít know if I believe you only have one soul mate thought. I mean, what are the odds that youíd ever meet them? But I do believe that there is something magical that happens between the right two people.

Iíve been thinking about this because of an old friend of mine. Now, please bear in mind that many people tell me I have swiss cheese memory and am slightly delusional in that I often clearly remember things that never happened and completely block out other episodes totally. (I pay no mind to these people who accuse me of this but they make up a frighteningly large majority of my acquaintances.) So, this is just my own demented memory of high school. If I malign or besmirch (what a great word - makes me think of mashing green goop onto white silk) anyone, I humbly apologize.

So I had this good friend in high school. Smart, funny, caring, rich (hey now, lets me honest, that's a bonus) just an all-around great friend but he didnít believe in marriage. More particularly, he didnít believe in true love Princess Bride style. He was very cynical about the whole find-someone-you-love-so-much-you-get-married-and-stay-in-love-forever fairytale. I think he believed in love, in general, but was doubtful that you could love someone so much it lasted forever. So he had a few girlfriends, went on some dates, but remained pretty much skeptical about true love Princess Bride style.

Then he went to college and something magical happened. You see, there, he met HER. Yup, you guessed it. He met someone so wonderfully special that all his doubts and fears and beliefs about love were stripped away. For when true love finds you, there is no room for doubt.

I went to a different college so I didnít get to see the courtship or the slow realization that she was The One. But I did get to know her and see them together and there is no doubt in my mind that they are It. They are the poo. Take a sniff. (Can you tell I was watching Bring It On last weekend?)

So now, he glows. I swear I am not making this up. He watches her and he glows and he smiles and every sharp angle is soothed by her. I donít know if she realizes it - how much she has changed him. I mean, she didnít know him before her. (That could only happen in a bad Star Trek episode with a tear in the space-time continum which, lets face it, rarely ever really happens.)

But I know.

Got a picture from them today and heís still glowing. Ainít love grand?

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2002

The Pooka Life

'Cause it's never too early to start them on books.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2002

The Pooka Life

Yesterday was crazy weather day here. It started out sunny. Then these clouds moved in and we had a thunderstorm with big booms and flashes of lightening. Watching out our office window, we saw lightening strike down by the river front. Turns out it hit a playground and left a four inch deep hole in the asphalt. (Donít worry, all the kiddies were inside at their desks.) The thunderstorm only lasted ten minutes or so and then the clouds blew through and it started to clear. Right when I thought everything was normal, down comes this torrential rain that turns into hail. Absolutely crazy I tell you.

And itís not just the weather thatís gone nuts. There have been two shootings downtown. Now, you have to realize that Portlandís downtown blocks are a mere ten by ten grid. On Monday, at 11:30am, a man and a woman were walking by the Pioneer Square, pretty much dead center of downtown, and a man approached them asking them for drugs. The couple refused, and the man pulled a gun and shot the man point blank five or six times in front of dozens of witnesses. He then hoped into a car and took off. The man died later that day. Then, yesterday, three men walked into the Wells Fargo over on 4th at 2pm, shot a few rounds into the air, and demanded money. One or two fled into a nearby apartment building where they took hostages and were surrounded by police. I guess it all ended peacefully. In a big city, this may seem like nothing but this is not a big city. Crazy I tell you.

How do I know all this, you ask me? Itís not because I read the newspaper, listen to the news or radio stations. Oh no, I have discovered a new (and very addictive) pastime. Police scanners. Yes, thatís right. Thanks to the joy of the Internet, you can now listen to the Portland Police scanners over streaming video. They even provide a handy-dandy reference sheet of codes and lingo so you can understand whatís being said. It is so very very neat.

Have decided to quit my job and become a police dispatcher as soon as I figure out where to apply.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2002

The Pooka Life

$7,000 - you told me we only got $5,000 back!!! Where were you going to put the other 2K? And, what was that Pool Cleaning Truck doing outside our home this weekend?

You're going to have some questions to answer when I get home MRS. Mclaughlin...

Posted by CHRISSIE at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

The Pooka Life

We are rich, rich I tell you!

Over the weekend, Kevin & I did our taxes and, for the first time, realized the joy of home ownership. You see, 2001 was our first full year in our little house. Before that, we were royally screwed by the tax man.

Our first year of marriage, we bit it big time. Married, we were hit with the marriage penalty, and could only get the measly marital standard deduction which was way less than our old individual deduction. We had no kids and no home. On top of that, we were barely over the maximum income and were brutally phased out from deducting any of our student loan interest. It was horribly pathetic. We owed and we owed big time.

It did, however spur me onto bigger and better things. We filed our taxes on April 4, 2000. On April 21, 2000 we closed on our house. You can catch me unaware only once. After that, I wise up quickly.

But we didnít start paying our mortgage until May and we had to liquify a bunch of assets to make the down payment and closing costs and so, when April rolled around last year, we still owed. Not enough house payments, too much capital gains tax. This made me very very very grumpy. In a fit of rage, I readjusted our withholdings and had extra money subtracted each month. I then promptly forgot about this.

Until this weekend.

This weekend, we ran the taxes again and are getting a refund of $7,000. Thatís right, seven big ones! Iím not sure how or why and Iím not going to ask too many questions. You see, I have a plan. A beautiful, ChrissieTerry original plan.

I say, we get our big fat refund check and fly to Vegas. Then we place the whole enchilada on red and let it ride. If we lose, no big deal. Itís money we already thought weíd lost to the government anyway. Weíve lived without it so far. But if we win........ If we win, I can give the pool boy that raise he deserves. (Whoops, hope Kevin isnít reading this!)

Kevin, however, isnít so hip on the idea. His Vegas experience so far has consisted of putting money on the table, losing it all, putting more money on the table, losing it all, emptying out his checking account, losing it all, etc, etc, etc. Heís probably right. Sigh. Ah well, maybe if I ask really nice heíll let me fondle our refund check for a day or two before I have to put it in the bank. Man, it sure is tough being an adult.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2002

The Pooka Life

The Great Danish Heist

We like to buy the danish pack from Costco. These packs come with twelve danishes. The three flavors, in order of Chrissie preference are, apple, blueberry and cherry. The cherry ones are, in my opinion, too tart and so I leave them to Kevin who (as far as I can tell) has no danish preference whatsoever. This means that the standing rule in our house is no one gets to eat the apple danishes except for me. Simple rule, no? Well, this weekend it was horribly violated.

Picture it. Sunday morning, 9:30am, Kevin is up and about while I am catching up on my beauty sleep. Hungry, Kevin decides to bring up a danish pack from the freezer in the basement. He rips it open and removes a non-apple danish. (What a guy!) He is, however, in a rush as he wants to hit Home Depot before the crowds and so he leaves the open flat of danishes in the kitchen and heads out the door. So far, no violation of the danish rule, right? Bear with me, its coming.

Kevin shops for wood, I sleep like the dead, and unbeknownst to either of us, the great danish tragedy is underway.

Kevin returns from Home Depot to find that someone has ripped into the danish supply. Three of the four apple danishes are completely gone. Gobbled up no doubt without a speck of evidence left behind. However, there are two partially eaten cherry danishes still on the ground. Upon closer inspection, Kevin realized that the culprit had carefully eaten around the cherry filling, nibbling only the outer pastry, and leaving that cherry remains strewn across the kitchen floor. Oddly enough, the blueberry danishes went untouched.

The culprit was easily located on the sofa. When confronted, he confessed all, rolling onto his back, exposing his now engorged belly, tail beating wildly, ears back, with a very sad - Iím-so-sorry-but-Iím-just-a-dog-and-you-shouldnít-have-tempted-me-by-leaving-them-open-and-within-my-reach look.

And so, when I rolled out of bed at eleven or so looking, I might say, quite beautiful, Kevin had to break the bad news. From the fresh pack of twelve danishes, only six survived that morning and a mere one apple left. The danish rule was horribly violated. But really, I canít blame Artie. The apples are, by far, the best tasting of the group. My dog has good taste, Iíll give him that.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2002

The Pooka Life

I sometime read things in the newspaper and have to stop and wonder if they are really true. This story is so out there I can't even begin to understand it. Too bizarre.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2002

The Pooka Life

Ahhhh, books. Iím a total and complete book nut. Canít help it and wouldnít change it even if I could. Youíve just got to read.

Iím feeling generous today so Iíll give you a little sneak peek into my formative years. When I was younger, probably 10 or so, I decided to catalogue my books library style. I piled them all up and sorted them alphabetically. I then created index tabs with the first few letters of the title and a sequential number. These tabs were placed on the spine of each book. Next, I created a pocket and an in/out card for each book. Finally, I made a little card catalog of all the books in my collection. If I wanted to read one, I would flip through my catalog and select the book, then proceed to my shelve and locate it by its number. Finally, I would write my name and date on the card and check it out just in case, you know, I forgot who was reading it. Yup, all 12 books were properly shelved and accounted for at all times. I donít ever remember fining myself for overdue books but hey, you never know.

(I just remembered that I did the same thing with all my clothes. I listed them on index cards and cross referenced them so if I decided to wear the blue Esprit shirt, my little card then listed all the matching skirts, pants and shorts that went with that particular piece of clothing. Once my clothes were selected, I proceeded to the closet where they were all hung by color and type. Scary.)

Unfortunately, my reading collecting has grown and my free time dwindled so I no longer catalogue my books. Instead, I have The Best Of Collection. I keep all my favorites on one shelf so I can grab them when needed. If someone is looking for a good read, I can direct them to The Best Of Collection confident that any book they choose will be a winner. To keep the numbers down, I limit the books in The Best Of Collection to the first in a series. So even though I love the entire Janet Evanovich series, only One for the Money gets the honor of being part of The Best of Collection. The rest are trundled away until needed. I find this creates a nice, manageable supply of good books that I can delve into as needed.

I still, however, index to-be-read books. I carry around this little, cheap flip notebook with one of those scary Anne Geddes babies on the cover. (It was 50% off.) In it, I jot down all the authors that I like, all the books that have been recommended to me and I want to try, and where I am in a series. I keep it with me, in my purse, so whenever I wander into a bookstore, I can whip it out and know exactly what Iím looking for. There is nothing I hate more than knowing you want a book but you find yourself unable to remember the author or where in the series you are. A little to-be-read notebook takes care of that nicely.

And lastly, you simply must have a buy back source. I read so many books that are good but not great. Iím not interested in reading them again but I donít want to throw them out. Instead, they languish on my shelves, collecting dust and eating up valuable The Best Of Collection room. The answer is to sell Ďem. Most independent book stores will buy them from you and this allows you to feed you habit. Read it, sell it, buy something else. What a wonderful system.

All this talk of books, makes me want to head to Powellís for a quick book fix. Sigh.

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

March 06, 2002

The Pooka Life

Didja miss me? I know Artie did. Poor fat sausage. He thought we had left him forever to be ruled by the Melo puppy. Heís still a little discombobulated. Either that or living with Kat & Josh was so good heís sad to be back. He has, however, reclaimed the sofa as his own and was bossing the cats around last night so I think heíll recover.

It was worth it though. Elmo flew into town Sat morning and we packed up and headed for Mt. Bachelor for a little Spring skiing. It was beautiful. Sunny, warm, with no new snow but a nice base and few people. Amazingly, the old man managed to keep up with Kevin and I without breaking something. Weíve been taking this trip for, man, over seven years or so and we have it down to an artform.

The best part is that Kevin and Elmo get to hang out together. Since we are stranded up here in Portland, my parents only come up few times each year. So the entire weekend, Kevin keep looking at my dad and exclaiming, ďSo thatís were she got that from!Ē

Kevin says that when he was contemplating the big M, he was told to look to the mother before marrying the daughter. So he scoped out JT and like what he saw. Smart, caring, sweet, loving....based on this, he popped the question. Little did he know that in my family, the saying goes look to the father before marrying the daughter. What can I say? Iím a chip of my dadís shoulder. Iím a teaser and a card shark just like my old man.

Oh yes, Kevin has a new nickname. Marshmellow. However, like most of my nicknames, this one is best used when you have a very clear line of escape. (But the look on his face is worth it.)

We have decided that next year, our annual ski trip will be in Colorado. Look out Beanie! Here we come!!

Posted by CHRISSIE at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2002

The Pooka Life

Iím going away. (Donít worry, Iím also coming back.)

No big deal, right?

You just wait. Youíll miss me.

Posted by CHRISSIE at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)