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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Fine Tooth Comb

Want to feel weird? Go over your spending habits with a fine tooth comb. Actually, have someone else do it.

Over the weekend, we had both of our debit cards and one of Lithus' credit cards declined because we triggered security alerts. We had plenty of cash in the bank account, plenty of room on the credit card, but.

So on July 3rd, we sat out in the parking lot of the farmers' market and had the following conversation:

Them: "The account has been accessed at three separate farmers' markets."
Us: "Yes."
Them: "Three, really?"
Us: "Yep. We like our U-pick farms up here in Massachusetts."
Them: "And Alaska Airlines, and Delta Airlines, both yesterday,"
Us: "Yep."
Them: "From different cities."
Us; "Yes, he came from Fairbanks, she came from Medford."
Them: "Yeah...that's what our records show."
Us: "As well they should."
Them: "Okay, thank you very much. We've released your account."

Then July 5th, in a Home Depot parking lot:

Them: "Did you just buy (these appliances) in Rhode Island?"
Us: "We did!"
Them: "Just to confirm (this, and this, and this, and this)?"
Us: "That's correct."
Them: "Okay, thank you very much, We've released your account."

Both customer service reps were professional, respectful, and polite. They didn't make us feel weird for our farmers' market habits or needing three small appliances and one large one, or even traveling on two separate airlines from different states. 

It was, however, weird to look that closely. Kind of like looking in one's pantry or medicine cabinet and wondering what other people would consider "normal" and if having seven bags of 3 different kinds of coffee would make you unusual.

And why did those trigger security alerts when other purchases ~ like a freaking car ~ didn't? Who knows. Not us, and not the nice people on the other end of the phone.

Honestly, I'd rather have them catch something legitimate than let something illicit slide, so I'm even okay with it. But the fine tooth comb was...interesting...to say the least.

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

Saturday, July 04, 2015

4th of July PSA

This one's easy, folks. Don't set shit on fire. Someone I love, someone you love, is a first responder.

Whatever you need to cook, grill, blow up, sparkle ~ I don't care. Go for it. Enjoy it. We, too, will be cooking, grilling, and sparkling (we leave the blowing up for the city). Just dear lord, people, do it safely. Don't set shit on fire.

It's really not that hard....

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


Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage Equality

You know I'm thrilled. I am. The tax benefits. The protections. The rights. They belong to ALL people and SOCTUS has confirmed that now.

But...

But religious freedom restoration acts still exist. Which means that LGBTQ peoples can still be discriminated against "for religious reasons." These laws aren't just not-make-a-wedding-cake laws. Don't want to make a wedding cake for a queer couple? Whatever. Fuck you, but whatever. These laws are don't-get-to-make-decisions-for-your-dying-partner level laws. These are employers-don't-have-to-offer-your-family-insurance level laws. They are the work-around. And they are being written and passed in state after state after state.

But employment protection laws are still not universal.
But housing protection laws are still not universal.
But LGBTQ peoples are still threatened, bullied, attacked, and killed because we live in a society that doesn't see equality, and has to have it legislated.

ETA this brilliant infographic from The Center for American Progress




Marriage equality is an exciting first step ~ so long as it is one. So long as it is the first step of many. I'll get truly excited when we start throwing this same kind of commitment, passion, and devotion around when it comes to achieving true equality, not just marriage equality.

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Well, Hi.

Whew.

On the one hand, I feel like I should offer a very long explanation of where I've been and everything that's happened and what the hell's been going on. On the other hand, I think if I do that, I will 
a) forget something important so the other things that follow won't make sense
b) bore you
c) be far too overwhelmed and stop writing about 2/3 of the way through.

So, we'll see where this post goes.

We made the move! We made the move and it went well! Lithus and I are officially residents of Massachusetts, now.

On the road:
Goodbye, Lake Pontchartrain

Hello, Mississippi!

A surreal moment

Travelin' Ducks

The Truck

We found a Muppets-themed diner

As close as we expected to get to Manhattan 

But there was a detour...
 Still, we made to Worcester. Bought a car. Got moved in. Ran around like mad doing all the things one must do to move in before heading back out to Oregon again a week later.

When this thing happened...

I got a text from my friend here in Worcester, Bolger, saying "I need you on the next plane home. (His partner, The Lion) has passed away."

Now, The Lion was 43. In good health. The Lion should not have been passing away. So I called Bolger and the first words out of my mouth were "is this a fucking joke???" But it wasn't.

So, I headed back to Woo. There were family gatherings and services and I spent a couple nights on the other side of Bolger's bed, so he didn't have to sleep alone yet.

And in the middle of that, there was more moving, as we got the stuff that has been in storage for the last eight years out and up three flights of stairs and unpacked. While still trying to be there for my grieving friend and trying to grieve as needed myself. And buy a mattress because my mother was coming to visit the very day we returned home from our next tour to Oregon.

Which happened rightnow.

Then home, to Worcester, in time for my mother to arrive later that day to sleep on the mattress we'd bought two weeks previously and hadn't even had time to unwrap out of the plastic it was delivered in. And why was my mother coming to visit right then?

Because Lithus was finally becoming a citizen. Which deserves SO MUCH MORE of a post than I'm about to give it ~ and maybe there will be another. For now, here are some images from that day. That amazing, perfect, wonderful Citizenship Day.


If he ever runs for office, this will be on his campaign materials


If you look closely, you can see him waving


Registering to vote as an American

We decided the best place to spend the afternoon was in Concord, where the shot heard 'round the world was fired and the whole kit and kaboodle started.


Plus? There's cheese in Concord!
 Finally, we went home, napped, changed, and were ready to enjoy the evening.


Straightening bunting



"Enjoying the evening" included STEAK
But citizenship is a big deal, and deserved more than a day. So we also headed to Plymouth, to see where they first landed.


And Lithus stuck his toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time



Mama, taking a break in the red rocking chair her mother used to sit in

Signing the citizenship document.


For as excited as we were to be back near the Muppet and his Peaches, Mr. and Mrs. Pike, the Blackbelts, the FE, Nemeria...the list goes on...we've seen no one yet (except Bolger, obviously, but we didn't even see The Lion before he died). It's been too busy, too fast. But as of this week, I think we're done. I think we get to slow down and just figure out what it means to live life here, in Massachusetts.

Today, there's travel back to Oregon. And another fire fighting tour. And so much more to write about. But that can wait for another day, another post. I don't think I'm done here, in spite of the really long hiatus. So, thanks for sticking in with me, and coming back.

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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Evensong


This morning, we were going to go to the breakfast place where we'd had our first meal in town ~ but it's really just a diner, and had a 45 minute wait. Ummm...no.

So we went to the Ritz. I do love brunch at the Ritz.

Other people take pictures of food. I take pictures of bathrooms.



The rest of the day has been last minute packing. The curtains are even down. We're drinking wine from coffee cups. The mattress is on the floor. But we're ready to pick up the truck at 7:30 and for the movers to show up at 9:00.

Tonight we went to Cleo's for dinner. Our favorite little hole in the wall Middle Eastern place. We were some of their first customers when they opened. It was fitting to have our last meal in NOLA there.



And we were home in time for evensong. The first evensong we heard here was Ave Maria. This was the last:








Those are ... melancholy, excited, omg moving day is HERE ... Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What I'll Miss

Mike over at My Point Being is also in the middle of a move. He's done a lovely series about it, and a couple posts about what he'll miss and what he won't miss.

God love him.

I've mentioned the fact that I'm moving and then that's about it. Why? Because on the one hand, I still haven't believed it and haven't wanted to jinx it. On the other hand, if I started bemoaning NOLA, I would never stop. I am that over this city.

There are, however, a few things I will miss. We've lived here for 4 years, and loved it for 3, so yes, there are some things. 

I'll miss the view out our window. We look down on one the hotel pools in the area. It's one of the nicest hotels in town, which means there's always something going on down there. We have learned to tell the weather forecast based on the pool umbrellas. Still up? The rain won't be too bad. Being closed? There'll be some wind. Stacked and stretched out on the ground? Hold onto your butts; it's about to get ugly out there.

On nights when there have been private parties, we've opened our windows and danced in our living room to free (and at home!) live music. Usually jazz, but sometimes pop.





And dear lord, who can forget the crawfish hats? I will miss the crawfish hats.






Then there are the church bells. From 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, every 15 minutes, the bells at the Jesuit cathedral chime. And at 6:00 pm every night, we have evensong. Last night, when I got teary, I realized just how much I was going to miss evensong.




Hopefully tonight or tomorrow, Lithus or I will record it. Because I am going to really miss evensong.

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


Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's the Little Things

I've said for years that one should never bring something into their home unless they love it. From laundry baskets to fine china, if you don't love it, why look at it, deal with it, or live around it every single day?

Because I talk this talk, I also try very hard to walk this walk. You've read about things I love. You've read about my little pot from AppsRUs. Now, let me tell you about my clock...

When I was 12 or 13, someone I admired but I don't remember who now (although it was probably Gail or one of the Sues) had a digital clock with blue numbers. This was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Obviously cool people had digital clocks with blue numbers. So for my birthday, or Christmas maybe, that year, I asked my folks for a digital clock with blue numbers.

They got me this great square clock with blue numbers. A Sony Dream Machine Cube. It was user friendly and intuitive. I loved this clock. And then I didn't think about it any more. It was, after all, a clock.

It moved all over the country with me, hanging out by my bed, in front of my picture of my grandfather, wherever my bedroom happened to be. It was just there. 

For 23 years.

Then, as I was moving from Worcester, I was rushing and not paying attention. Caught my foot in the cords, tripped, and brought the clock down. Done and done.

I replaced with another Dream Machine ~ but the Cube was discontinued. The new one had blue numbers, but was anything but user friendly and intuitive. Whatever. It was a clock.

A few weeks ago, I literally woke up thinking about my old clock. And remembered that we live in the time of the internet. So I went looking.

Turns out, I'm not the only one who loved the Sony Dream Machine Cube. People have written eulogies to this clock. People loooooove this clock. One person has stockpiled 2 spares, just in case.

I found one. For sale. For a reasonable price. It is, after all, a clock.

When we got home from this last tour, it was waiting for me. My clock.



See how it works? See its cool blue numbers? See its old-school controls? Obviously, only cool people would own a clock this cool.

It's as user friendly and intuitive as I remember. This morning, I realized the alarm was set for the wrong time (too early!) and reached out, still half asleep, and reset it without thinking about it. Almost as if I'd used it for more than half my life or something. 

Yes, it's just a clock. But why have anything in your home if you don't love it? And wow...I love my clock.

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