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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good Question

There's an art...exhibit...display...occurrence... here in NOLA. Not the one over in Algiers that's gotten national attention. Another one, smaller one, here in our area. It's probably an 80 foot wall covered in chalkboard paint (I'm assuming). Right there in front of it on the sidewalk is a tupperware of chalk nibs.

Written permanently is "Before I die I want to__________________________" and you are encouraged to fill in a blank. When it rains, it washes the old answers off, giving up the spaces for new responses. 

Lithus and I were both struck by "write a novel" and "fly an airplane." There are so many other answers. The one that moved me the most though was "Be Known."

God, I know that place. I remember it.

But the art definitely created conversation here. I had several knee-jerk responses. Travel. Fill a passport. Take a multi-week, first class only vacation. Host a black tie event. Host my B&B Weekend party. Renovate an old Victorian home.

Then we turned to real things. And I settled on one.

As I've written before, I am the power behind the throne. I have no desire to be the Queen. I'm happily, comfortably, desirably the Queen's best friend. That being said, I would like to think that I positively motivated, inspired, mentored, or influenced someone who truly changed the world. That I gave them the spark, confidence, bravery, whatever, that allowed them to do their thing to that extent.

Before I die, I want to inspire someone to change the world. But I wouldn't mind filling a passport book, either. Gotta be honest.

How about you?

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Wrong Question

Pretty much since 9/11, Americans have been asking why Muslims aren't speaking out against the terrorist groups committing horrific acts in their name. The question is being asked loudly again, since the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

I am not exempt from this. I have been asking this question as well. And to answer the people who say that Muslims not involved in the attacks shouldn't have to apologize for the attacks, let me be clear. 

While I don't need them to apologize for the attacks, I do need Muslims to speak out against them. Speak out against the terrorism that defines their peaceful religion for so many of us in the west. Just as I expect moderate Christians to speak out against the fundamentalism that is becoming the voice of their religion. Just as I expect men to speak out against misogyny, white people to speak out against racism, straight people to speak out against gender/orientation bigotry. People who do not share the views of the extremists in their group do not get to get offended and start in on "not all {insert group here}" if they allow the extremists to be the voice of their people. Period.

So yes, I have asked the question why aren't the Muslims speaking out?

I have been wrong to ask this question. Any of us who have asked it have been wrong. We have been asking the wrong question.

See, my news sources are CBS, Al Jazeera, and Headline News. Just today (January 15) I found a single article about a single Muslim speaking out in support of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and decrying the attacks. One.

But since the Charlie Hebdo attacks, I have also found this:

46 Examples of Muslim Outrage about the Paris Attacks

This link is from Raw Story, compiled by Katie Halper.

So...here's my new question: Why isn't the moderate Muslim response being reported in mainstream media? Why can I find debate and argument, judgement and distain, over the Muslim "silence" in response to the attack? Why are we continuing to spread the hate and fear that only talking about their "silence" spreads?

The attack took place January 7, 2015. That article was compiled by January 8. It is now January 15th. Yet we continue to insist they are silent.

Their silence may be false, but it certainly makes it easier to hate them all then actually have to listen to them, doesn't it?

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

The French satirist paper, Charlie Hebdo, faced an unprecedented attack 2 days ago. I mean...who kills cartoonists

Ah, but what they don't know, what they didn't realize, these Muslims with no sense of humor, is that free speech won't be silenced ~ and neither will the clowns who poke fun at the kings, if they wield jester hats and bells, or sharpened pencils.

After all, this...


Becomes this...

Becomes this:


With thanks to the artists who started it all, and the ones who created these images.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you more than coffee.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Christmas Wrap Up

Ah, my friends, the holidays come to a close once again. We have undecorated the house, taken down the tree, boxed it all up for another year. It was a good season...

Starting back before Thanksgiving, there were tree lightings:


And mall decor:



But soon, Thanksgiving arrived, and passed, and our tree arrived:




And the holidays were in full swing:



With the Krewe of Jingle Parade:



MR.BINGLE!!!!

The visit from the kids:
Aren't they gorgeous????

With Fabulous Jesus


The band on the jazz cruise


Craziness prepping gifts for the building staff:



And, of course, Yule:




Until tonight, when it came time to undecorate. When we got everything off the tree, Lithus found new buds. New buds in January ~ on a tree that was cut in November. Never underestimate Starbuck, my friends.



The corner seems very large and empty now.

There's more. There's so much more. There's always more. But, for this year, we'll end here. I'll post more over at Stilettos and let you know when they're up. For now, I'll finish as we always finished when we would go caroling. The last song of the night.

May 2015 bring you nothing but the love and happiness you deserve. Thanks for sticking around for another year. Let's go see where we end up this time, shall we?


Bingle Butt!





Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Excited When I Realized A New One's Come Along

I've written a lot about how I love my holiday traditions. Decorating the tree. Looking at Christmas lights. Giving and Boxing Day.

Some traditions, like music, are old, and have been reclaimed. Others, like Christmas Eve tea, are new, but are being held onto. Still others are more vague, unset, unspoken, yet there somehow. A traditional meal with lots of candles on Yule. Dressing on Christmas Eve. Even caroling throughout the month here at Pobble Thoughts.

Some, I'm not in charge of. Lady Blackbelt sends me cookies every year. I'm always nervous that this will be the year she doesn't. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm always nervous until they show up.

Some, are in need of tweaking a bit. Christmas Eve tea was...off...this year. I really don't want to complain, but it wasn't quite what we expect. Next year, we will still go to Christmas Eve tea ~ but we've agreed to find a new hotel or tea room.

And then there are the ones that have just come along ~ like New Year's Eve. Lithus and I have decided that, after the last two years, we have a new tradition: formal for New Year's Eve. The WWII ball last year was incomparable. The event at the Westin this year was fine. But incomparable, or fine, we do love a formal, ticketed, dinner and dancing event. Wherever we end up at the end of this year, he'll be in his tux; I'll be in something floor length. And a tradition is born.



Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

They Don't Mess Around in NOLA

We had to run to the grocery store on the 29th. The Christmas display was long gone. Replaced, already by this:


It's a Mardi Gras tree. Christmastide? What's that? We've got drunken revelry to enjoy!



 Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Another Cross Post

I was really good over at my newspaper gig the last couple months, because I'm cross-posting another one here, too. 

Happy New Year! 2015. Here’s hoping your holiday season was both peaceful and joyous, and that the new year brings you the best of what you’re wishing for.

Over the years, I have earned a reputation – and rightfully so – for being notoriously anti New Year Resolution. I simply see no point in setting up artificial, and often unreasonable, expectations based on aspects of ourselves that we don’t like simply because we turned a new page in a calendar. It certainly doesn’t seem like a healthy, or happy way, to go into a new year.

If, however, you are determined to make New Year’s Resolutions, may I suggest these:

Get Healthy. This is not an admonition to quit smoking, lose weight, or eat more vegetables. If you want to do those things, great. Do them. But not because of a resolution. Instead, just think long-term, yet low maintenance. Women, do breast self-exams. Men, perform testicular self-exams. If you are “of a certain age” get mammograms and prostate exams. At some point this year, sit down with a doctor and get a physical.

Stay Focused. While anger may be a powerful motivator, it’s also a good way to become miserable, burned out, and, well, angry. The world is angry enough. Instead of being angry (although there is time for anger, and I will never say otherwise), concentrate on staying focused. The issue that makes you angry – police brutality, open season on black men, continued threats against members of the LGBTQ community, women’s issues, legal inequality, whatever it is – stay focused on it. As the news cycle moves on, stay involved. As people start discussing other things on social media, keep bringing it up. Refuse to back down, to become complacent, to sweep it under the rug. You may lose some Tumblr or Reddit followers, but you’ll learn who your real friends are.

Spread Peace. There is plenty of anger in the world. And there are times when it’s appropriate. But remember when it isn’t, as well. There is no need to snap at the homeless. Or yell at the person behind the register. Or be rude to your neighbor in the elevator. More and more, it seems like we as a society are moving to the extremes: doormats or aggressive assholes. There’s a huge middle ground between those 2 poles. Make a concerted effort to live in that middle ground. No one is perfect, but the effort itself will inherently make your life a more peaceful place, for you and those you encounter.

Buy the Leather Jacket. Listener was telling me a story about a friend of hers who wanted to be the kind of girl who wore a leather jacket – so the young woman went and bought one, because then she’d be the kind of girl who wore one. Whatever your “leather jacket” is, don’t wait for it. If you want to be the kind of person who adopts rescue cats, or drinks champagne, or reads The New Yorker, or eats off of china plates, or yes, wears leather jackets – don’t wait for whatever magical event will turn you into “that kind of a person.” You are that person. Right now. Without having to fix or change yourself in any way. The only thing missing is the jacket. So go buy the jacket!



2015 is upon us. And with every year before it, it will be exactly the kind of year we make it. So let’s make it a good one. 




Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.