Saturday, December 31, 2005

Reflections and Resolutions

Happy New Year! 2006 is upon us. Doesn't it just seem like yesterday when we were all in a tizzy over Y2K? And here we are, six years later, keeping on keeping on.

And what a year it has been. Cracker Lilo was sitting on her porch again and left a comment for me that really resonated. In a post, I had mentioned how I was concerned I was becoming Hard. Among her many reassuring comments was this one: "Also, it could just be that you're adjusting to not having to go from BIG CRISIS to BIG CRISIS. " While the other ones were making me breathe easier, that's the one that drew me up sharp. First was the no, that's not the case. It's been a great year. I got my book contracts; I chose and was chosen by great family; I've made and kept amazing friends, including several people currently reading this blog; I was able to stay in the Boston area...

Then I thought about it. Wow. The last three years have been just that ~ Big Crisis to Big Crisis. A divorce and all that entails; major issues with my bio-family; a health crisis (long resolved, no worries); employment crises; broken relationships; deaths and far too many castings in celebration of a life (I could only attend one of the official funerals.) You get the idea.

Now, she's right. Life has settled down. Oh, I still have money worries and will until Pauline starts selling her books. And the issues with my bio-family will continue, to a lesser degree, throughout our lives. Yet, it's different now. My life has relaxed ~ I just haven't quite caught up with it yet. It's a transition I'm really looking forward to making.

In light of that, I have made some unusual New Year's Resolutions. Yes, I'm jumping on Rose's bandwagon. I want to lose the weight I need to make my body feel better; eat more veggies; quit smoking (Feb. 1 is my quit date if anyone is interested); keep my apartment cleaner; and get on the treadmill more. (Not all of these are Rose's but then, I don't think she's a smoker and I doubt she's a cluttered as I!) I'm also making some others:

* I want to use my tea sets. I have gorgeous china and silver tea sets that I have inherited/been given/collected over the years. It's about time they were used for more than decoration.
* I'm going to settle down in the evenings. Take time for me to sit and read or watch a movie or just be. Light a candle, make tea or cocoa, and...Be.
* I also want to keep candles lit more often. They are a worthy expense for me. The belt is tight enough, I've given up enough other "luxuries." Candles shouldn't be one of them.
* Once a week, I'm going to give myself a manicure and pedicure. Do it right with my paraffin wax and everything. Just because I can't afford to have someone else do it for me, doesn't me I can't have it done.
*I'm going to write my nephew ~ my heart ~ more often. We are too far apart and it would be too easy to lose touch.
* Finally, I want to make sure I have people over more often. Have gatherings of friends at least every other month. Not full parties but not just quick-hey-what-are-you-doing-Friday-night-wannagettogether-nights either. Gatherings. Sometimes pot luck dinners. Sometimes game nights. Sometimes a beauty night with my Girlfriends so we can all have manicures and pedicures.

I think these are things that will help me realize that my life has settled down. That I don't have to rush from crisis to crisis any longer. And I know they are things that will help me embrace this new way of being. And isn't that what resolutions are all about anyway?

What about you? Aside from the standards, what do you want to do to help embrace a new year and a fresh start?

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

CHEERS to DonDon...

...who hooked me up with the new look. I'm still surprised we made it happen considering how bad I am with computers. :) The lack of picture is my fault, not his.

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ and a new Pobble Look, thanks to a friend. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee, but not a drink at the Ritz.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Hello and Goodbye

One of my favorite bloggers, Groove, announced her retirement. :( I don't want to let her go but the time has come. God bless and go reclaim your world in 2006!

However, if you look over there, you will notice three new sites: The Bitter Truth (which may be bitter but is also hysterical); Confessions of a Female Misogynist (which is one of my Favorite words to say ~ it just rolls off the tongue so fabulously but that's not why she's linked; click and you'll see why she's linked); and Daisy Land (which truly IS more entertaining than Disney Land, especially if you've ever worked retail.)

They do not take Groove's place; they create their own.

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ along with some new faces. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Christmas Concern

Greetings from the Pobble! Hopefully everyone's holiday was as merry ~ or at least bearable, as I know I'm not the only one here in cyber space with family issues. Christmas in Connecticut with the Lovely Cats (ah ~ alliteration!) was delightful. There's something especially nice about Christmas with children.

However, all that being said, a concern did develop for me over the holiday. I'm concerned I'm becoming hard and/or cold. See, there were a couple times when I wanted to look at the Tom Cat and the Lovely Cat's mother and say "Seriously, relax. The situation is what it is. You don't have to bring this kind of drama into it." But I was the only one who seemed to be thinking that. And that's my concern.

Now, I thoroughly enjoy not having drama in my life. I mean, let's face it; life has drama enough without us creating more. When the Silent Prince got lead poisoning and had to go to and stay in the hospital until they could release him to a lead-free environment, that was drama. Having now been through a divorce, I understand: Divorce equals drama. When another friend's mother went into the hospital for knee surgery and ended up dying from complications? DRAMA. Unexpectedly losing your job; catching the cooking oil on fire; car accidents...Drama comes at us in all shapes and sizes all the time. So why should we make a dramatic situation more dramatic?

And yet...I don't want to be hard, either. I don't want to be one of those people who has no sympathy for others. Who cannot step back and say "This is important to this person in this moment." Who flits around indifferently to the pain around her ~ or perhaps even caused by her. And when she does notice it, holds it in scorn.

Before I went down to Connecticut, interestingly enough, the Lovely Cats and I had a conversation about pity. What I realized was I really have no use for it. I have use for sympathy. I have use for empathy. Both are vital in healthy, strong, important relationships. But pity? There are very, very few people I pity. Does that make me hard?

Am I a product of my environment ~ a dead father; an ugly divorce; an indifferent mother; and a sister who doesn't understand me any more than I understand her? Can I help but be hard? God, I hope so.

I know I've gotten harder these past two years. My insecurities are fewer and better protected ~ which makes it interesting when they come out, of course. At that point, I'm sure friends would tell you there's unneccessary drama. Hey, I never claimed to be perfect! But I am hoping I am not becoming Hard. Stronger, less dramatic, more confident ~ those I can handle. I just don't want Hard.

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

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Words to Live By

"Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate ... it's that we're powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most threatens us.

"We ask ourselves: 'Who am I to be this talented, gorgeous and fabulous?' Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us ~ it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~ as quoted by Nelson Mandella, 1994

Those aren't Pobble Thoughts. She just lives by them. This will get you a lot more than just a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Carols?

If you read yesterday's blog, you know today is Yule, the major winter holiday for Pagans. And if you didn't read yesterday's blog, I highly recommend that you do. There's a great hot tea recipe waiting for you. ;) Anyway, I digress (as I am wont to do....)

I was thinking this morning about how Yule is hardly even on the radar for most people. And you know, that's okay with me. In my "real" life, as opposed to here in my cyber life, I'm actually pretty quiet about it. I don't deny my faith but I don't wear it on my sleeve like I do here. Plus, I like Christmas and the feeling that surrounds it. Everybody is a little nicer to each other. Even under the frantic and the hectic, people tend to be a little happier. People look out for each other; listen to music; eat and celebrate; fill the world with lights and colors and joyful sounds; sing and dance; wonder at the beauty of a snow covered or sunkissed earth. Why, it's practically Pagan! ;) But I'm digressing again...

Even the carols. Some, obviously and well they should, deal directly with the birth of Jesus. Some, though, are practically Yule carols. Bing Crosby and David Bowie's "The Little Drummer Boy"; the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Canon"; the Royal Guardsmen's Snoopy Christmas song (whose name has escaped me, my apologies); Good King Wensceslas...You get the idea. So many.

Yesterday, I listened to Christmas carols. Tomorrow, I'll listen to Christmas carols. Today, I think I'll listen to Yule carols. And be grateful for all the artists who, in singing for their own faith, found mine as well.

Blessed Be, whenever, whatever, however you celebrate.

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

Susan's Spiced Tea

Tomorrow is the major winter holiday I and most other Pagans celebrate ~ Yule or the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day of the year, the time in which the God, represented by the Sun, is reborn and returns to us. In light of this (no pun intended), here is my Solstice gift to you. May it help drive the cold winter away.

Susan's Spiced Tea

2 cups Tang
2 scoops instant lemonade (if anybody can still find Wyler's, it's especially good) 1 cup instant, unsweetened tea (caffeinated or decaf, optional)
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add three heaping teaspoons to a mug. Fill mug with boiling water and stir. Enjoy!

Blessed Be, everyone.

Those are Pobble Thoughts (with a little help from her mother.) That and a buck fifty ~ hell, nevermind. The tea's on me.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Unpacking, Weight Loss and Other Ramblings

Today's Pobble Thoughts...

* On my 35th birthday, I gave myself comfort with my body. It was a great gift. The best ever, actually. Suddenly, I didn't have to worry about being a size 8 or size 10. Suddenly, I wasn't a failure every time I gained three pounds and only lost two. Don't get me wrong, I look damn good as a size 10. But I have to work too hard to stay there. If I miss a day of working out or have two high calorie meals in a week, I don't stay a 10. Life is simply too damn short for that, especially when I look damn good as a size 12 or 14 or 16 or 18 as well. Here's the rub ~ I quit smoking in January of last year and went from a size 12 to a size 18. Jumped straight over 14 and 16. Didn't beat myself up because, afterall, I'm allowed to be comfortable with my body. But, what I've learned over the last year (aside from the fact that the quitting smoking didn't stick) is that my body isn't comfortable. My knees hurt; my feet hurt; I tire easily. It's harder to walk up hills and stairs and paint my toenails. And if life is too damn short to live it without ice cream, it's also too damn short to live it in pain. So I'm intentionally losing weight. Not because society tells me I have to. Because my body tells me I have to. And I'll stop when my body tells me I can stop. Not when society tells me so. If that means I stop at a size 12, great. If that means I stop at a size 16, great. And I have and will continue to maintain that, no matter what size I am, if someone doesn't think I'm beautiful and sexy, that's their problem. It's So Not Mine.

* I have two attorneys (is that really how you pluralize "attorney????") Anyway! I have two of them. One does my estate planning. One does my copyright/contract/Pauline Trent stuff. I love them. My will is tight and appsrus actually emailed me back while he was in the UK because I panicked over something. Knowing my legal affairs are in order is the greatest feeling.

* I have been claimed as a fag hag. My still-as-of-yet-monikerless landlord has decided I'm his. I'm quite flattered.

* On the 22nd, I'm getting unpacked. I called my moving company and they are actually coming in and UNpacking me. This is decadent. This is sinful. This is the greatest thing EVER. And I don't care that I'm broke and have no money and am going to have to charge it to my credit card. I'm getting unpacked. That being said...

* I am learning to not spend money. I have always had champagne tastes on a fine wine budget. Now, I have champagne tastes on a dollar-draft-and-nurse-it-all-night budget. It's not a lot of fun. But I'm a writer. Whenever I don't buy something, don't get a manicure, don't go out to eat, I always make it better by thinking "Yeah, but I'm a writer." And I smile and walk right on by the pair of shoes, the salon, the nice restaurant. So am I learning not to spend money? Yeah. Slowly (see above) Do I hate not spending money? Yeah. (I love the quote, "Anyone who says money can't buy happiness doesn't know how to spend it." ~ and before anybody tells me that you have to have inner happiness and all that, I know that; this is a joke.) But you know what? I'm a writer. And I can nurse a lot of beer all night to be able to be a writer. :D

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


My size 18 jeans are loose ~ Right Out of the Dryer! They aren't trade-them-in-for-size-16-jeans loose but they are loose.

And that's really all. I just had to share.

Those are (size 16 3/4) Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

A Page from Eloise

Here's what I like: Shopping in the city after dark.

Here's what I don't like: Living out of boxes.

Here's what I like: The smell of coffee in the morning.

Here's what I don't like: Spiders.

Here's what I like: People watching.

Here's what I don't like: Watching television.

Here's what I like: Groove and Ruben's new blog looks (and their blogs, too, but you know that because they are linked to mine and I'm picky)

Here's what I don't like: Licorice

Here's what I like: Snuggling down on my sofa, under a blanket with a crossword puzzle

Here's what I don't like: Running errands in the rain

And you...?

Those are Pobble Thoughts (hopefully to be added to with others' thoughts as well.) That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Thoughts on Redemption

Tookie Williams is dead.

I don't know how I feel about this and I know just enough about the case to be dangerous. You've been warned.

But I know Tookie Williams is dead.

On the one hand, this man created one of the most violent, murderous, and heinous organizations to ever plague the country. And, at least in theory, this is not why he was on death row in the first place.

On the other hand, he renounced that same organization and the lifestyle it preaches and reached out to children and teens, hoping to undo the damage he had caused. Eventhough, in theory, this is not why he was on death row in the first place so does it "count towards" redemption.

Four people are dead, allegedly by his hand, and countless more by the creation of his gang. There is no way to know how far these ripples will spread.

Countless children and teens have been touched by his words of peace and strength. There is no way to know how far these ripples will spread.

I don't know...

I don't know how I feel about the death penalty. I know I am not automatically against it. I know I am not automatically in favor of it.

Actor, Mike Farrell, said something along the lines of Williams was a product of the environment in which he had grown up (very loosely paraphrased but the gist is the same.) I have never bought that argument completely because it does a disservice to all the young men and women who grow up in that same environment and do not turn to drugs, violence, prostitution. And yet we know the odds are indeed stacked against these kids.

What about the environment in which Tookie Williams spent the last half of his life? It is generally recognized that the fastest way to turn a petty thief into a hardened criminal is to put him (or her) into gen pop for five years. Prison is as hard if not harder than the streets the criminals come from. Yet is was here that Williams turned himself around. Here where he rejected his past ways, actions and teachings.

Much has been made about the fact that he never asked for forgiveness for the killings of those four people. Much has been made about the fact that he consistently denied committing the murders. If he didn't commit the crimes, should he have asked forgiveness anyway in order to save his own life? I don't know. Did he kill those people or was he truly innocent, as he claimed? I don't know. Did the state of California kill him for committing those crimes or because he created such a bloody gang? I don't know.

Did the state of California execute an innocent man, as his supporters claim? No. Tookie Williams was not an innocent man. Was he a man who had to die? I don't know. Somehow, I just don't think so. I think we got this one wrong. I think we got this one really, really wrong. But I don't know.

Tookie Williams is dead. That much I do know.

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

Monday, December 12, 2005

Goober Alert!

For the past three years, I have lived in the Back Bay of Boston. Beacon Street between Dartmouth and Exeter. If you don't know, the Back Bay is one of Boston's most chichi neighborhoods (I snuck in under cover of darkness) and Beacon Street is one of the Back Bay's most chichi addresses (it was really, really dark and I wore sunglasses.) What this means to you in this moment is that there are no laudromats in the Back Bay.

I suppose they (whoever "they" are) figure by the time you can live in the Back Bay, you either a) have your own washer/dryer or b) can afford to send your laundry out. Either that or you are willing to schlep your laundry to the Fenway ~ which isn't nearly as chichi and is where I was living before sneaking into the Back Bay while wearing my sunglasses. Truth is, I didn't have my own washer/dryer, I couldn't really afford to send my laundry out but there was no way in hell I was dragging my dirty underwear three miles each way. So I sent it out.

Now, I'm in Worcester. Not terribly chichi. I live on the third floor. No elevator (not chichi, remember.) You get to my place, come around the back, go up two flights of stairs and TAA-DAH! You're at my apartment.

Today, I am doing my laundry. For the first time in three years. My Fabulous New Landlord (who will eventually end up with his own moniker, I'm sure) has supplied each apartment with their own washer/dryer in the basement. Very, very nice, if a bit chilly because it isn't insulated or anything. It's barely finished. But it's here, not three miles away. And it's free. I'm liking this more and more.

So, I go down, put my laundry in, remember how to turn all the nobs and push all the buttons and am all proud of myself. Walk up two flights ~ and open my second floor neighbor's door. Luckily, I realize what I have done and back away slowly. I don't think she noticed.

I walk up another flight of stairs and get to my actual apartment and go back to work. And work. And have dinner. And noodle around. And work some more. And oh shit I've got laundry in!!!!!!!!!!

Can you say frozen underwear?


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

Now That's Just WRONG

I love Christmas music. Love it. Listen to it from the Friday after Thanksgiving until sometime early January.

And I have a Christmas song stuck in my head. Going over and over and over and over and over again.

Bing's White Christmas? Nope. Nat's The Christmas Song? Not that either. Good King Wensceslas, Joy to the World or Silent Night? Still no. Not even anything by the Canadian Brass Ensemble, Manheim Steamroller or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Not me. Not tonight. Tonight, I have I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas stuck in my head.

And that, my fellow bloggers, is just wrong.

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

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Pleasant Surprises

Over the last several days, I have been taken happily by surprise by...

* The Christmas lights of Freeport, Maine. Really, really beautiful.
* An unexpected snow. Enough to make everything glow and feel wonderfully wintry but not enough to keep me from getting home. Perfect hot cocoa weather.
* The melted butter sounds of Nat King Cole. I'm a huge (HUGE) Nat King Cole fan anyway and you can find him on my cd player regularly. But to stumble across him on the radio is delightful
* A phone call from my oldest nephew ~ my heart ~ for no reason but to say hi and that he missed me.
* A bedroom lit by nothing by candles. The power went out the other night and, after the initial cursing, my bedroom was so pretty and welcoming.
* Learning that my friends still come to Worcester, eventhough it's not as easy as jumping on the T.
* Learning that I still go into Boston to visit my friends, eventhough it's not as easy as jumping on the T.
* Having a long conversation about writing with another author. He has been at it a lot longer than I have and is known and respected in the field ~ and talked to me as an equal and fellow writer.
* Godiva liqueur. I've heard of it. I've known I should try it. I finally got a chance to. Highly recommended. Even more so than I had expected.
* Having glasses that serve eggnog in such a perfect size. They are glasses I inherited and would never have bought on my own. They are pretty, add just a little something to serving the drink, and are perfect for eggnog ~ or Godiva liqueur, I'm sure. ;)
* Discovering I know my way around my new town, even if I don't know the most direct routes.
* Starbucks' eggnog lattes are back. Had I given it any thought, I would have realized that, of course they are back. But I hadn't. Until I saw them advertised. I didn't even stop for one. Just knowing I can is nice enough.

As always, I try to be open to the little things. The small surprises that make life so wonderful and so worth living everyday instead of just on "important" days. Do I always succeed? Lord, of course not. But usually, I recognize them, I get them, and I am so grateful for them. And these certainly counted. Here's hoping your days are filled with the little, pleasant surprises that make a day a little nicer, too.

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

Saturday, December 03, 2005


'Tis the season of giving. The holiday season brings out the best, the most generous aspects of most of us. And let's be honest, it makes us feel good to know we are giving a child a Christmas morning they might not have had otherwise.

However, we have, relatively recently, given to others in the wake of Katrina and Rita. So, perhaps you cannot "adopt a family" the way you have in the past. Or don't know what to give. Or don't want to be bothered with a toy store or figuring out what's "hot" this year.

Consider this:

* hairbrushes
* full-sized tolietries (toothpaste, deoderant, shampoos, tampons, shaving cream, razors, lotion, aftershave...)
* gift certificates to stores for teenagers (most people forget that the cute 8 year old has a 14 year old sibling)
* underwear
* movie passes
* grocery store/drug store certificates
* wrapping paper, ribbon and tape (sometimes parents like to wrap their children's gifts ~ but don't always get the option)

These are the things that human service agencies need year-round, not just now. Plus, any shelter or human services organization that handles residents or donations will LOVE you so you'll still get that warm fuzzy feeling. I'm not saying Don't give toys or food. Those are wonderful gifts. I'm not meaning to guilt anyone into anything. But, if you are wanting to give something and don't know what that might be or don't have a lot cash to spare this season ~ those are some suggestions from someone who spent 13 years in the field.

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


I promise I won't detail every single I unpack that I love or that takes me by surprise or that makes me smile or whatever. These things though...these deserve mention.

See, not only am I unpacking the things that were in the Boston apartment, I'm also unpacking things that came from the house dick-boy (my new, well-earned name for my ex-husband) and I shared and, most importantly, things that were sent to me when my mom and bio-sister packed up the house in Virginia after my dad died and mom moved West. And, oh, the things I am finding...

My mom has given me most of my grandmother's china, crystal and silver. The woman had impeccable taste. Impeccable (if an odd penchant for collecting crystal salt and pepper shakers.) Glass bottles, gorgeous silver that shines through the tarnish of being in boxes for too many years, etched glasses, bone china... Each piece is amazing and makes me wish more and more I had known her. I am determined to clean it all up and USE IT! I don't believe in "saving the good stuff." And it displays beautifully in her mother's china hutch!

Several other boxes include things from my dad's desk. When he died, he had an extensive fiction library and was a big enough science fiction fan that he actually left books by different authors to each of his children. I got the Asmiovs and the Heinleins. So I was expecting those. What I wasn't expecting was to be able to smell him when I opened the boxes. Just a drift that was gone almost as soon as I smelled it. But there he was. Right there with me, laughing and happy the books were home.

The other thing I wasn't expecting was how much of my childhood he had kept. In a box with other stuff from his desk were just about every card I had ever given him ~ including one with my mother's handwriting reading "Love, Pobble" under my scribble from when I was too young to even write. A project on the 50 states from 5th grade. Papers I had done particularly well on my freshman year in college. You get the idea.

I also found prom pictures from 1987. There are Nemeria and myself, dressed in our best 80's small town rebel garb (think Flock of Seagulls for her and Laura Branigan for me) and the young men we fancied ourselves in love with. Nemeria and I are still together. Couldn't tell you what happened to the guys. But there we are.

So, as I unpack, I'm laughing and crying and talking into my empty apartment to all sorts of people ~ some of whom are actually here and some of whom are long gone. It's like Christmas morning with a dash of old-blue-jeans-comfort thrown in. And while there is definitely some melancholia in there, mostly it's just ... good.

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

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Friends of mine were in from Maine last night. It was the first time I got to meet their 8-year old daughter, the Mini-Mainer. They were flying into Logan from Florida where they had spent Thanksgiving and heading back up to Maine this morning. So, I went into town, the not-ex-friend and I met them at the airport and we all hung out. After dinner, it was late and we were all tired. I just crashed on the futon.

This morning, the Mini-Mainer and I go out so I can have a smoke. The door of the Pobble Mobile is open. Someone had gone in a stolen my coat. I loved this coat. So, I'm crawling around, looking to see what is gone and what is still there (smokes? check. Snorlax? check. cd's? check.) and trying not to teach the 8-year old brand new and interesting words to take back to school with her when she speaks up.

"Wow. Someone must have been really, really cold to take something that didn't belong to them."




Perspective is an interesting thing. Now, I still said all those wonderfully, descriptive and insulting words once the Mini-Mainer was out of earshot and I'm really not happy about someone stealing my coat (come on, people...!!!!!) and yet...

Maybe someone was really, really cold. There were a lot of things that weren't taken. So, I'm grateful for the perspective. It was a coat. And I have others. And I can afford another one if needbe. Basically, if they didn't need it, shame on them. And if they did ~ well, it was just a coat.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ if you've got it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Thing About the Holidays

Here's the deal ~ I love the holidays. Always have. The adult role models I had growing up continued to see them with the eyes of children and love them with a child's heart so it is perfectly normal to me that I always have done so as well. And yet, eight years ago...Daddy died on December 26th. Yes, it was eight years ago this December (which is impossible, isn't it?) but that doesn't seem to matter. When I miss him ~ as I do this morning ~ I miss him as much as I did at the beginning.

I think I know what's going on this year. I'm in boxes instead of settled. My decorations probably won't get unearthed to be unpacked, let alone put up. I'm further away from my friends than I've ever been. I'm completely single. And, for the first time in my life, I'll be a guest in someone else's home on the 25th instead of being in my own home. Mind you, I'll be going to the Lovely Cats's house which is as close to my own home as I can get without being here or in the basement. It's just...strange.

So, I admit I'm just a little ... off ... this season. I understand why. It's okay. It's just different for someone who has always been energized and more than a little pollyanna around the holidays.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Meeting Jaded

Jaded and the Pobble finally met today. Wow. What a neat lady! What a neat family. How lucky am I to know these people and count them as friends. I'll be back down here for my next scheduled trip in March ~ and will save time to crawl out of the basement and catch up with the Jadeds again.

How can you do anything but love a woman who not only has coffee for you but has chocolate raspberry coffee AND hot cocoa.

DonDon, somehow, some way, you're next...

Those are Pobble Thoughts (with, once again, help from Jaded). That and a buck fifty will get you chocolate raspberry coffee.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A Thanksgiving Riddle

How do you know when it's time to go home on Thanksgiving?

When the two-year old throws up all over the kitchen during dessert!

Ah well. We believe it was caused by the fact that she mainstreamed her piece of cake. Aside from that, it has been a good day! I must say, it's kinda nice when someone else hosts (the Divine M's sister, this year) and all you have to do is show up with the paper plates. Toasts were made to those who couldn't be with us ~ or with others we know and love; thanks were given for family and friends; and (aside from the vomit incident) everything was delightful.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have had a wonderful day as well (minus vomit ~ I think I got that covered for all of us.)

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Back to Blogging from the Basment

Well, I'm back. The move went well. I am up to my ears in boxes and will be for a couple months now ~ and I'm going to enjoy my new place. It has room for my father's books and my grandmother's furniture and my artwork. And it's mine. Pictures to post soon!

Meanwhile, as the title says, I'm back in the basement. I think Thanksgiving with the Divine M and the Grill Master is going to become a tradition ~ and a cherished one at that.

Cultures are colliding here a little bit. In case I haven't said so in the past, the Divine M, the Grill Master, and the Poo are black. I, your Pobble, am white. Aside from the strange looks we tend to get when I tell people at the Philly airport I'm visiting family and then the Grill Master wraps his arms around me and swoops me into the truck, it has stopped registering on our radars LONG ago. Until this trip...

The Grill Master's 5 year old nephew is staying with them for a little while and it came time to introduce me.

"This is Miss Pobble."


For the Divine M, it's a sign of respect to one's elders. In our late-30's, she still calls Miss Phyl, "Miss Phyl" and wouldn't dream of calling her anything else. For me...well, I'm a white woman from the South. For me, it harkens back to "Miss Scarlett" and "Mister Ashley" and not knowin' nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies.

Luckily for us, the Divine M and I can talk about things like this. It is important for her that her nephew sees me the same way he sees the other, mostly black, adults in his life. To leave off the "Miss" will set me apart as much as adding the "Miss" did during the anitdiluvian era. And yeah, that makes sense to me. I still cringe a little when he says my name. Probably will for a little while yet. Yet, the reasoning makes sense to me. And, as powerful as words are, they only have the power we give them. So, I reject Miss Scarlet and embrace Miss Pobble. Or at least, I'm working on it.

Finally, in case I don't get on here again today, my very best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to everyone. It's easy to forget all we have to be thankful for. Remember it this week and know you are counted among one particular Pobble's own blessings.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ and a slice of pumpkin pie!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Short Hiatus

Tomorrow, the packers come and pack everything up. Bob, My Hoo-Hah Computer (yes, that's his name; registered with Dell and everything) will be squatting with a friend so I will have limited and sporadic internet access (whenever I'm at my friend's place) for the next few days until everything gets set up in Worcester.

At which point, I will be back: The Boston-ish Pobble. ;)

Until then...

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee, even in Worcester!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Unusually Random Pobble Thoughts

1. I met the Muppet's parents. Mind you, we have been in contact via email and phone calls for the past couple years. That's what makes finally meeting them even cooler. We all agreed we were all as fabulous and as wonderful as we had expected.

2. I have a head cold. It's getting better but the timing on it sucked ass. I have a deadline with work; the packers come on Thursday; the movers come on Friday. Now was NOT a good week to have a head cold.

3. I have a new favorite doo-hicky. So something good came out of the head cold. It's a portable, mini, just this side of disposable vaporizer. Put a pre-vicks'ed-up pad in this thing and turn it on. It has moved from my bedroom to my office to my bedroom. Buy one of these. Even if you're not sick now. Winter is coming. You'll thank me.

4. I love my new landlord. To the point that I think I might actually have a friend in Worcester. Time will tell. Worst case though is I have the coolest landlord on the planet. And that is not a bad worst case scenario.

5. I have decided to pack all of my sex toys and my ritual tools myself and carry them in the Pobble Mobile rather than have them packed and moved by the packers. These are not items I particularly want other people handling. It does however make for an interesting pile of things in my living room awaiting boxes.

6. I remember, at one point last year, I was uber-busy at work; things with the divorce were going badly; and I was generally feeling sluggy. So, Angry Girlfriend (this is actually a compliment, trust me) offered to have her cleaning lady come over and do a major cleaning of the apartment so that I would at least have one less thing to worry about. I was also doing a nightly ritual at the time so my tools and altar were just out (normally, I store them; my place isn't big enough for a standing altar.) When I got home from work, Angry Girlfriend was waiting for me and started to laugh because her cleaning lady had swept and mopped around my altar but hadn't touched it. We laughed even harder when I went into the bedroom and discovered my sex toys lined up in their drawer organized by type and color. Sex toys she could handle. Ritual altar, no way.

7. Angry Girlfriend and Airman Elmo are finally getting married. I'm their maid-of-honor. And it is an honor. I've told her I will kill her if she puts us in hoop skirts and parasols. I mean, do you have any idea how many weddings I have been in down south and I've always managed to avoid hoop skirts. Luckily, she had impeccable taste in clothing (and men and friends...) so I'm not really worried. Unless she does it to spite me. Which is not beneath her.

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

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Holiday Gifts

The Pobble is back and feeling much better after a really lousy day yesterday. My not-ex-friend came over last night. We talked and ate Italian food and played cards in front of the fire and by the time he left, I felt like myself again. It's good to have friends.

That fine line is one I have always tried to walk. That one between allowing myself to feel emotions ~ even, especially, the icky ones that don't feel good and make me want to curl up and disappear ~ and not wallowing in those same emotions and letting them sink me into an abyss. Maybe it's because I am older. Maybe wiser. Maybe healthier. Or perhaps, just more jaded. Whatever it is (a combination of all of those things?) I know it's an easier line to walk than it used to be. While I don't have to hide from the negative feelings, I don't have to let them control the next several days of my life either. It's a nice gift to have given myself after so long.

While I was in Texas, the Duck and I talked a lot. She doesn't have a friend down there she can say anything to. While I was there she did, though, and so I did a lot of listening. I found myself wanting to be able to give her this gift. This gift of balance. Of feeling but not letting it consume you. Of not having to pretend everything is just fine, really when the exact opposite is the truth. Unfortunately, this is not a gift you can give, like a book or a day at the spa. This is a gift we each have to learn for ourselves. My wanting it to be easy doesn't make it so. God knows it wasn't easy for me to learn it.

However, if I had my way, it is the gift I would give everyone this holiday season. The gift of feeling AND perspective. The gift of realizing our own self-worth and that one bad day ~ or one person's perspective ~ doesn't make that any less. I want that for the people I love. For the people I don't love. For the people I don't even know. Until then, I will keep walking that thin line myself (and falling off of it occasionally, I'm sure ~ pobody's nerfect) and listening to those people who have honored me by choosing me to listen.

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Taste of Honey

You know the one bad thing about getting to spend three hours with someone you love? It makes you want another three hours. And another. And another. And, and, and...

I have been in Houston the last five days. It's the trip I had to reschedule because of Rita the Bitch. Now, all five days were wonderful. The Duck and I can go weeks, months, years without ever being in touch and *POOF* it's like we have never been apart once we are indeed back together. Wonderful. But those three hours? Those were the three hours I spent just with my Dear One.

I finally got my arms around him. Touched him, held him, made sure he really was okay. And then we started to laugh. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I laughed that hard. For three hours, we talked about everything, nothing, and laughed and just were. I met Momma. I walked through his house so I can picture him on the computer when we chat. The tears were there when I had to say goodbye to him ~ but, honestly, at that point I was too tired to cry.

Still, I saw him. He's beautiful. I'll see him again. And I already miss him.

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

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Out My Window

This morning, I was sitting at my window and I stopped and just looked. Yesterday it snowed. Yep. Snow. On October 29th. Ah, New England... Today, there is not a cloud in the sky and, at 8:30, is already warmer than it was all day yesterday. It's not Warm ~ don't get me wrong. But nor is it Cold, the way it was yesterday. It is a perfect autumn day. Ah, New England...

As I stopped and looked at the blue sky, the green trees, and the red brick of the buildings around me, a magnificent blue jay swooped down and landed in the tree closest to my window. He and I stared at each other for a moment before he cocked his head and flew away. While I was still wondering at that, a large, black ... crow? I assume...came and perched in the exact same spot. We also examined each other a moment. His/Her black eyes stared into mine what felt like a full minute ~ which means it was probably 6 or 7 seconds because of that strange thing time can do ~ before blinking once and taking off, just as the jay had done.

When I looked back out at the world, everything seemed a little brighter, a little bolder. The blue sky was deeper; the green trees, more lush; the red brick, stronger and more stately. Now, I admit, I don't know much about animals or what they portend. Perhaps there is someone reading this (CrackerLilo? Appsrus?) thinking "Oh No! Pobble, go back to bed and stay there until the horrible thing passes!" Perhaps there is someone reading this (CrackerLilo? Appsrus?) thinking "Oh Pobble! You lucky woman! What a blessing to have been visited by these two birds at once!" And perhaps being visited by a jay and a crow means nothing in particular. (Sometimes the lesson is that there is no lesson...) Still, these two beautiful creatures brightened my morning ~ literally.

And so, regardless of what they are "supposed" to portend, that's the energy I will carry with me today. The energy of these two beautiful, regal beings who stopped by to wish me a good day and left me one in their wake. May you have one as well.

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

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Boston-ish Pobble (with thanks to Jaded)

My father once told me that there are two ways to make a decision. One, you want to live somewhere so much you are willing to do whatever you have to do in order to live there. Two, you want to do something so much you are willing to live anywhere you have to live in order to do it. Now, I'm still not sure if this is true or not ~ and I know it is playing out right now.

Last night, I put a deposit down on an apartment in Worcester.

That's how much I want to write.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Me 'n Joe Walsh

So, I'm driving home from the Cathouse today, listening to my favorite classic rock station and bopping along with the high-speed lane traffic. And who comes on but Good Ol' Joe reminding us that Life's Been Good to (Him) So Far.

First time I heard that song, I was 8. It was our last year in Austin. Brooke Olsen was my best friend. David Little was the love of my life. My father was my hero. Twenty was Old. We all struggled over if we would marry Arthur Fonzerelli or Vinnie Barbarino and live happily ever after. We were as likely to be caught singing anything by Joe Walsh as we were to be caught humming Delta Dawn or Colorado Rocky Mountain High. And even then, I couldn't wait to be 36.

Here I am at 36. It seems a lot younger than it did from the opposite side of 10, let me tell you. I don't have a driver and a limo. I don't own one home, let alone three. Brooke and David have long since become memories and Daddy became far too human to stay my hero ~ and it made me love, appreciate and respect him all the more. And you couldn't PAY ME to be 20 again and be that young. While I am still likely to be caught singing Joe Walsh songs, you can also find everything from Bare Naked Ladies to George Winston and Loreena McKinnit to Mozart and Bach in my c.d. collection as well. I didn't become Mrs. Fonzerelli or Mrs. Barbarino (oh thank God!) and my happily ever after didn't work out too well, either.

So, I sit here in my fabulous apartment, with my candles lit and my aforementioned George Winston, which will soon be followed by the also aforementioned Loreena McKinnit, playing. A drink on my computer next to me and the sound of the city coming through my window. And I realize Good Ol' Joe had it right. I can't complain but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far. Makes me look forward to the next 36.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ if not Joe's particular stimulant of choice.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Finally Autumn

Yesterday, I made the drive from Boston to the Lovely Cats's (with a detour to check out an apartment in Worcester) and the leaves are finally changing and there is a noticable bite in the air, even during the day. We are missing the firey orange and the blazng reds this year ~ mostly we have rusts and yellows. But this is the thing about the yellows of New England as opposed to the yellow of Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, or Colorado (the other places I have spent autumn)...the yellow of New England isn't just a tame, bland yellow. It's a warm yellow, the yellow of a house lit by firelight, the yellow of gold sparking in bright in sunlight.

It invites you in from the dark afternoon and asks you if you want a cup of cocoa. It hints at brisk days under the pale autumn sun, playing with friends. It whispers of cold nights in front of a fireplace, snuggled in your favorite sweater.

Autumn and all its gifts has been here for a few weeks now. It has been hard to recognize it. Now, with the warmth of the yellows and rusts blowing in a brisk wind, it's impossible to miss.

Those are Pobbble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ or hot cider!

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm stealing from the Lovely Cats. She didn't tag me. I'm just stealing. And actually, I had this idea while I was hibernating but before I read her blog. Which no one will believe but her (because that's just the way our brains work) so I'll give her the credit. 'Cause while I thought of doing this, I had no idea where to find the quiz. And stealing from each other isn't stealing. It's borrowing. ;)

For those of you who do not read her blog (findingavalon3.blogspot), this is the final quiz given at the end of The Actor's Studio. I have always wanted to take it.

So, without further ado, drumroll please...

1. What is your favorite word? both, followed closely by yes

2. What is your least favorite word? wrong

3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually or emotionally? intelligence

4. What turns you off? unearned arrogance

5. What is your favorite curse word? fuck and all the derivatives thereof

6. What sound or noise do you love? wind through trees

7. What sound or noise do you hate? any being in pain, emotionally or physically (ok, and that really annoying person who thinks it's okay to start yelling because s/he's drunk at 3 a.m.)

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? casting agent

9. What profession would you not like to do? garbage collector or hygiene assistant

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?they're over there. just follow the singing.

Those are Pobble Thoughts (with a little help from some friends.) That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

To Think that I Saw It on Newbury Street

With thanks to Dr. Seuss for the title!

Tonight I decided I wanted a fire in my fireplace but I didn't have any wood. So, I headed out the the convenience store to grab a load. On my way, I passed...

* 2 bagpipers in full formal highland dress, playing their bagpipes for no apparent reason

* a man in a tux, lighting a pipe and sitting on a bench

* another man carrying four chairs, crown-style, on the top of his head

* five hockey goalies, dressed in full gear, walking down the street (to the beat of the bagpipes but I'm not sure they realized it)

No wonder I love Boston. :)

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

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Worcester Pobble?

(subtitled: DonDon, Step Away from the Pharmacy!)

Interesting to get back online and see how many people have been hibernating recently. I know I have. Contrary to popular belief, I am indeed an introvert. Actually, I am, according to my therapist friends, what's known among therapist circles as a Hub. It means that I require equal amounts of introverted and extroverted times. Personally, I think I'm just an introvert but they're the ones who've gone to school for this shit so who am I to argue. ;) Anyway, there isn't any "good" reason for me to have been offline. Nothing "bad" happened. Just...didn't write. Didn't socialize much. Turned down some invitations to some parties. Didn't even work (too much) on my books (as FAEE looks at the calendar, my deadlines, and grabs her heart, gasping.) Didn't return many phone calls. For no reason at all. And now I'm writing again. Probably still won't return phone calls but that's vintage Pobble regardless of if I'm being introverted or extroverted or whatever.

Okay, Pobble, fine. But what's up with the title? Well, it appears that I won't be moving to Philly anytime soon. Even Philly isn't inexpensive enough. So, until I succeed in making people give me things just 'cause I'm cute (which I will find a way to make happen one of these days), I have to find a place I can afford to live and keep writing.

Here's the thing ~ I can get a "real" job and stay here. Except what I am qualified to do in the real world is exhausting. No matter how much I have loved my jobs in the past (and Lord, have I loved my jobs) they have worn me out. If I choose to go back there, it means, in essence, these three books will be the only three I ever write. Guess what? I'm not going to do that. I'm a writer, dammit. It's who and what I am. It's what I love. So, I will live wherever (almost) I have to live in order to keep writing full-time. And if that also entails getting a part-time job at a bookstore or answering phones, that's okay. But I won't give up full-time writing.

Once this decision was made, others had to follow. The Lovely Cats and the Divine M invited me to live with them. As did my mother. Because I am neurotically independent and stubborn as a mule, I am trying to not take TLC and TDM up on their offers. My mother lives on the West Coast and that would take me too far away from my family (see my first post "Whose Family" for an explanation of that statement.)

Which made me realize...being close to the Muppet, Brian's wife, the Lovely Cats, the Divine M, Nemeria ~ that is as important as writing full time. And others. People who aren't my family but are the best friends I've had in a long time... BJ, the Happy Couple and their evil twins, Peaches, Jaded, my not-ex-friend, FAEE, the Girlfriends. Being near them is important.

Would I have moved to Philly? In a heartbeat. It's close enough that we would have all figured something out. Away from the East Coast, though? I can't. I won't. And not because it's the East Coast anymore. Because of these people. Who mean as much as writing does.

So maybe my therapist friends aren't crazy to have spent that much cash on their educations. Maybe there is such a thing as a Hub. And maybe I really am just that such thing. But no maybe ~ I'll go to Worcester before I'll leave here. At least right now.

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

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bored and Chatting...

In the "Well, duh" category...

What Sign of Affection Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

lip kiss
kiss on the lips - you're sweet and simple but
quite daring. you move for the kill confidently
knowing the other person wants the same thing.

If You Were A Barbie, Which Messed Up Version Would You Be?
brought to you by Quizilla

Barbie Got Back
Barbie Got Back! Go you! You're the closest thing
ever to a true black Barbie. Shake that fat
ass of yours.

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

kiss my ass2
congratulations. you are the kiss my ass happy
bunny. You don't care about anyone or anything.
You must be so proud

And the "Okay, whatever" category...

Who is your soul guardian?
brought to you by Quizilla

A faerie watches over you. You are charming and
cunning. You have a way with people that you
can lead them and they will follow. You're
active and ambitious. You're smart and
outgoing. You're faerie is always by your
side. Whether or not you may always see it,
your faerie is always there, keeping an eye on
you and protecting you. You're faerie is like
your conscious. It will always lead you down
the right path.

And finally, the "WTF??? You're kidding, right?" category...

Which Disney Movie are You??
brought to you by Quizilla

Your Movie is Pocahontas

Which DISNEY character are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bambi Result

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Too Angry to Write

This is the birthday present a young friend of mine was given at school. She has just turned 17. She is a senior, taking advanced classes AND college classes. She can act. She is beautiful. She has dreams and plans far bigger than the small town in which she lives. She is bisexual. She is a caring, loving Christian who takes her faith seriously. Guess which ones her peers care the most about?

I am so angry I can barely write. The police won't do anything about it because it "took place on school property." So, apparently, hate crimes aren't hate crimes between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. At that point, they are simply childish pranks and can be handled by the principal. So many other bloggers I know could be so beautifully eloquent right now ~ DonDon, the Butler, and the Lovely Cats come to mind immediately ~ but all I can do is be angry.

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

Sunday, October 09, 2005

DonDon's Tag

I'm It. DonDon gave me a very interesting tag. Here are the rules:

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the 5th sentence (or close to it.)
4. Post that, along with these rules, in your blog.
5. Tag 5 people.

And the 5th sentence of my 23rd posting was:

"People are dying."

Pretty startling, huh? It was a post entitled "New Orleans." 'Nuff said, don't you think? Now, this could rapidly turn into a pretty depressing post. Unlike if it had been the 22nd posting which was practically an Ode To Life or the 24th, which was delightfully sarcastic. No, it had to be the 23rd ~ people dying in New Orleans. So, we will move along to the tagging section of our entertainment this evening...

1. The Lovely Cats (because I will always tag her, even when I don't really tag)
2. Nemeria (ditto)
3. Jaded
4. Blue Dog
5. The Butler (not sure if he reads this or not but if he does ~ hey! Tag!)

And I'm looking forward to reading the other tags DonDon left, too (yes, Cracker, Ruben, BrettCajun and Hikaruland, that's you!).

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ past and present, with some help from DonDon. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Looking Around

It's raining. It's raining and it's muggy and it's very un-autumn-ish. I have cramps that go from my chin to my knees. So, I grabbed my smokes and went outside ~ pissy and ready to humph at the world. Here's what I saw:

1. An old man (80+) with a little girl (>10). He was holding the umbrella. She was skipping and splashing in the puddles. They were laughing.

2. Two (apparent) strangers, one trying desperately to parallel park. The other walking by. The one walking by stopped, gave the driver hand directions so she didn't slam into the car behind her, and went on with a friendly wave once she was set.

3. A young woman out for ~ and finishing up ~ a run. Who, when it came time to stop, stretched her arms wide, leaned her head back a grinned into the rain.

4. The mailman help my neighbor get her baby, the stroller, her purse, the diaper bag and another bag down her steps.

5. Reddish-brown leaves blowing in the wind, being carried with the rain.

Mind you, the rain didn't stop. Autumnal weather didn't suddenly sweep in. And my cramps are thinking about leasing another body because mine is running out of room for their expansion plans. It would have been very easy for me to be out there, under my umbrella, humphing at the world. There were certainly many other humph-worthy things to focus on. God, I'm glad I didn't.

I don't try to be pollyanna. I believe completely in feeling whatever we are feeling ~ if it's being happy or humphing. And yet, when the Universe innudates us with such unexpected's just too damn hard to try and stay humphing in light of that. I hope I remember this next time, too. Because there will be a next time because I do feel all my emotions so I get humph-y. But I hope, in the midst of the humphing, I will look around. Look and at least be willing to see beauty that's there.

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

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hoops and YoYo

Remember the post I made on taking Time Outs? Well, here it is again in case you don't or are new here:
  • Time Out

  • And you may have noticed there's a new link over there since about Tuesday to Hoops and YoYo. Hoops and YoYo have been for several months now, one of my favorite places to Time Out.

    Here's the odd thing (okay, the other odd thing ~ Hoops and YoYo are pretty odd to begin with) ~ they are a division of Hallmark of all places. They are not their own independent, funky little website. They just seem like their own independent, funky little website. And they make me laugh.

    They make me laugh on days when all is right in my world. They make me laugh when I'm having one of those days. When I am happy, sad, irritated, sarcastic (okay, I'm always sarcastic but you get the idea), they can make me laugh. And that's saying quite a lot in this day and age. Just as we need more Time Outs, we need more laughter.

    Now, let me warn you ~ my sense of humor is a bit...ahem...touched. A little random, shall we say. However, for me, an over-caffeinated, sugared up, maybe and green...bunny, I think...singing about needing more caffeine and more sugar and telling ghost stories about giant, mutant marshmallows is just random enough to make me laugh.

    So, check them out. They may not be your cup of tea and that's fine. Even if they don't make you laugh, you will, at least, have gotten a Time Out. And we all need more of those.

    Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee (and a donut with extra sprinkles!)

    Birthday Party

    I think one of the greatest compliments I can be paid is "You always throw the best parties." For me, entertaining is an art. It's something I truly, truly love to do and when people are comfortable and having fun in my home, I'm happy (happy lots of other times and places, too, mind you ~ but that's what this particular post is about so...) At one point, I sat back (as I knew I would) and just listened to the laughter of my friends. Mind you, at another point, I looked at the clock to make sure it wasn't too late on a Thursday night for us to be making this much noise! Both times, the sound of it was beautiful.

    The candles were lit, the jazz/swing/big band cd's were in the stereo, the daiquiris were icy and the cake was delicious (if I do say so myself!) And I got presents. I do love presents! And because these people know me well, I got great presents ~ which is even better and makes it so much easier to open them in front of other people.

    Not everyone knew each other but by the end of the evening, everyone was hugging everyone else. And, when people started pulling me aside to say "You always throw the best parties" it just made the night that much better for me. And when we drink we drink together...

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

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    And When We Drink, We Drink Together

    The title of this post comes from a song by Blackmore's Night. The lyrics are about good friends. When we sing, when we drink, when we fight, if we fall...we do it together. Here's the thing about good friends, as you know, I've got 'em.

    Tonight, my favorite Bostonians (most of them anyway) are coming over to help celebrate my birthday. What a week this has been. Started at the spa with the Lovely Cats and the Divine M. Continued Monday night and Tuesday afternoon with my ex-fella (who makes an amazing non-ex-friend). Wednesday, FAEE and I did our Indian food dance (we always order the same thing but we always put up the appearance of studying the menu.) Tonight, these friends. Tomorrow, the Muppet and his Peaches are coming over. If it gets better than this, I can't tell you how. (Unless it would include Nemeria and the One being able to make it in)

    Here's an announcement ~ I'm not a neat person. I'm clean ~ but I'm a slob. What does this have to do with my friends? These people don't expect every surface to be dusted. My desk will look like my desk always does. My bedroom door will be closed ~ and they will all know why (I tend to not put away laundry...). That pile of papers there in that corner of the kitchen? It'll be there tonight when they buzz. In fact, I think most of them would be hugely insulted if the place was cleaned within an inch of its life before they got here.

    Here's another announcement ~ I'm painfully shy. Painfully. If I'm in my own territory and with people I feel comfortable around, you would never guess it in a million years. If I'm not ~ well, I'm painfully shy. I'm also an introvert. Seriously. And these people know that, too. When, at some point this evening, I sit back in my chair and just watch (as I undoubtedly will), smiling at having most of my favorite Bostonians in one place, no one will ask me if I'm okay. No one will force me back into the conversation until I am ready to rejoin. Taking the time to soak it all in and appreciate the moment is not only accepted, it's expected.

    I believe a couple of things are happening here. First, as I am getting older (not that 36 is old, mind you; I'm not saying that!), I am coming to appreciate the people in my life more. Second, this is probably my last birthday in Boston for a while. And I've been celebrating it with these people for years now. Hell, one of them, I've been celebrating it with long enough that when we started, she was the only friend I had here and it was just the two of us.

    Last year, I threw a huge, blow-out party at a club. I'm told I had a good time. ;) This year, I just want these people with me. A couple drinks, a cake, some munchies, and my favorite folks. It's going to be a momentous year. I can feel it. What better way to get it started than this?

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

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005


    First, let me say that this post is not based on any of the comments I have received here. It is based on feedback I have received in other forums.

    Re: The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book...

    Yes, I get that I was lucky enough to grow up shopping there and that my mother still does.
    Yes, I do dream big.
    Yes, I do intend to spend thousands of dollars on quality furniture, luxurious linens, and table settings once Pauline starts making her mark.
    Yes, I do want to own a large monstrosity of a house on the coast of Gloucester one day with about 14 more rooms than I need.
    Yes, I do understand that not everyone who shops at Neimans and other high ends stores are selfish, socially unaware, or shallow.
    Yes, I understand that there are people who shop at Target who are selfish, socially unware and shallow.
    And yes, I understand that these people's $840 for an iPod carrying case has nothing to do with the defense budget and soldiers getting equipment they need.

    And yes, I still feel the same way and that paying that much money for something that you probably won't be using in another year is outrageous. Especially considering how much need in the world there is.

    You don't have to like it. I won't apologize for it.

    Those are STILL Pobble Thoughts. And that and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book

    First, if you haven't left me a birthday comment, I would still love one. It's the next post down. Yes, this is a Shameless Pobble Plug. :D


    The Neiman's Christmas Book showed up today. If you don't know, Neiman Marcus is a high-end, very expensive department store based out of Texas. Their flagship store is in Dallas (and the only store where the actual, real, honest Santa Claus goes. Macy's has nothing on Neiman's!) God, do I remember as a kid when my parents would get it, flipping through this and ooo-ing and ahhh-ing and pretending I could buy anything I wanted out of it. I still can't afford a damn thing ~ I mean, come on, does anyone really need an $840 iPod carrying case? And no, that's not a typo. That's not supposed to be $84. It really is eight hundred forty dollars. Honestly, I would hope that, when (when!) I can afford an $840 iPod carrying case, I will still have the good sense not to buy an $840 iPod carrying case. The even more amazing thing is that after the oil markets in Texas crashed in the '80s, the prices and selection in the Neiman's Christmas Book went down ~ and they still haven't completely recovered. But I digress...

    This morning, I sat on my stoop and flipped through this catalogue. The five-year old in me got incredibly excited again. Glitteries and silkies and slinkies and strappies... A set of dominos at $295. A $5000 dog sculpture made of watch faces. A $20,000 personal photo booth like you see at malls. A 1.5 million dollar private concert from Elton John (yes, you can buy Elton John from Neiman's). And, I shit you not, a 3.5 million dollar sky car. Neiman's is selling a car that flies. How can the kid in any of us not geek out over this stuff. So I feel no guilt at the vicarious rush I get reading this catalogue.

    Then I start to think about...
    ...the Gulf Coast devastation
    ...American soldiers without proper equipment in a war
    ...thousands and thousands of working poor who are doing what they are "supposed" to do and still can't insure and feed their children
    ...the elderly trying to live on the pittance offered by social security after a lifetime of paying into it
    ...and, and and...

    And there is so much. Which makes me ask again, does anyone ~ anyone ~ really need an $840 iPod carrying case???

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

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    And Then There's Reality...

    Today is my birthday (and yes, honestly, 36 comments might be nice if we can manage it. that was a cool idea!) . It is not yet noon. I have spoken with my mother and instant messaged with my bio-sister. Mom is feeling better (has the flu wicked bad); bio-sis has a really busy day planned; and my mom's stepdaughter's wedding was lovely. Thanks, Nemeria.

    I got a notice from my car insurance company that they had been unable to reach us (my ex or me) regarding the reduction in coverage for the '98 jeep wrangler. Which is mine. Which I have not reduced coverage on. Which is covered by insurance to be managed and paid by my ex per our divorce settlement. I have emailed her back.

    When I woke up this morning, something had bitten me. A lot. So I had welts all over my arms and face. Have taken a benedryl which is making me sleepy and not want to have to run the errands that need running. (for those of you who are now freaking out ~ no, I didn't need my epi and it wasn't anywhere close to anaphylaxis. just itchy.)

    Sigh. Still today is my birthday and that makes me really, really happy. I'm 36 and things just keep getting better. I had an amazing weekend and am still glowing (literally and figuratively) from that. Later this week, my Boston friends will help me celebrate the day. Today, I will celebrate the day. And I will deal with the insurance. And I will go ahead and take my mid-day nap now because the benedryl is knocking me out and that's Just Fine. Reality may be back but I'm in a pretty good place to handle it.

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

    By the Sea

    Sigh. The Lovely Cats, the Divine M and the Boston Pobble spent the weekend at a spa. Sigh. We had salt scrubs, wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages. We have been pampered and relaxed and released to within an inch of our lives. We have laughed until our stomachs hurt. We have cried over nothing and everything. We have done both at once.

    All three of us had different providers: I had Lara; the Divine M had Tina; and the Lovely Cats had Beth. TLC looked at me Friday night and said, "I have to talk to you about something. I'm in love with a woman named Beth." I laughed because I totally understood. You know what the sign of a good spa is? We've decided. It's when three people sit around listening to the raves of the others and each one still pities the others for not having her provider. That's a quality staff, right there.

    And we met the Earth Mother. Wow. What an amazing lady. Technically, she is the room manager/cleaning crew for the inn. In reality, she is a huge part of the inn's heart and spirit. She's hot shit. After the Lovely Cats left, the Divine M, the Earth Mother and I sat in the suite and talked for over an hour, until if we hadn't left when we did, the Divine M would miss her train. And we still thought about telling one more story, sharing one more thought...

    Okay, there was one person on staff that we didn't like. I'm not going to talk about her here because that's not what this is about. Tomorrow, when the owners are on site, I will call and give feedback ~ the positive and this one person (who really was the ONLY negative of the entire weekend). That being said, the staff is the friendliest, most professional, most caring group of people.

    When I met the man who lives on site and acts as the innkeeper for the owners, I said "Hi! I'm the Pobble. My friends and I are staying in the Ivy Suite." His response? "Oh! You're the really great ones everyone is talking about!" I don't know if that was true or not but it certainly made me feel great. And the three of us kept thinking that we were the only people staying at the inn. We thought that because we were treated so incredibly attentively and well. Turns out, the place was booked solid the whole weekend. We had no clue.

    The three of us kept trying to come up with new words for "relaxed" and "peaceful." The best I could come up with was that I was too relaxed to live. The Lovely Cats mentioned something about "being too relaxed to call it happy." The Divine M contributed something witty, appropriate and pithy but I was dozing and don't remember it any longer. I laughed and agreed at the time so it must have been dead on target.

    And we kept bursting into tears. Sometimes, it was for understandable reasons. Othertimes, it was because the air felt so good or someone mentioned a baby or just because we loved each other so much. When the Divine M asked (sniffing through her tears) why she was crying so much, I said "Because have none of the emotional defenses up right now. We are all one big gaping, bloody, opened, relaxed wound." Hey. It worked for us.

    Now, odds are this place isn't for everyone. If you are looking for rooms that come straight from a 4 or 5 star hotel, not for you. Television, fax machine, dedicated phone lines, and WiFi? Not for you. Saunas, jacuzzis, and the latest in exercise equipment? Still no. But if what you want is to relax, be pampered, sleep in the most comfortable bed, live in an immaculately clean room, and be respected and listened to by consummate professionals...This is your place.

    Has a year passed yet? Can I go back now? Sigh.

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

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    By the Sea Inn and Spa

    I will post more on this later. For now, I am too relaxed and too delightfully happy for even Pauline or the Pobble to form words. Let's just leave it at this:

    Those are not Pobble Thoughts because the Pobble is incapable of forming coherent thought. A buck fifty will still get you coffee.

    Friday, September 30, 2005

    Friends and Strangers

    Blogging is such an interesting phenomenon. I forget I don't know the people who most often read my blog and whose blogs I most often read. This came full-force tonight when I was reading the comments left for me under "Pauline Trent and P.T. Shank." See, I realized that praise, support and congratulations from these people have meant more to me than some of the responses I've gotten from people who share my bloodline. Now, this is, partly, a statement about how fucked up my family has become. But it is also a statement on how important people can become to each other in unexpected ways. I mean, I got a comment from the Butler. One of my favorite bloggers left me a comment! How cool is that?

    DonDon mentioned that he "almost know(s) someone soon to be famous" and that statement took me by surprise. Still, it's true. Because we don't know each other. And yet... "Not knowing" DonDon and the Butler and Jaded's Kimmy didn't keep me from being so worried about them when we thought Rita was going to be a bigger than Katrina had been. "Not knowing" the Gay Mad Housewife didn't make me any less happy when he was able to start leaving comments for people again, even just one-handed. "Not knowing" Blue Dog certainly hasn't kept me from checking her site to oooo and ahhh at her creations. And "not knowing" Cracker doesn't keep me from hoping she's okay because I haven't gotten a comment in a while.

    Of course, there are the bloggers I do know. The Lovely Cats, Nemeria, FEAA, the One in VA, and appsrus. Their praise and support and congratulations light my world because they are my friends, my family...and yes, my fellow bloggers.

    Perhaps it is because we are all writers and so the praise of other writers means more. But I think it has to do with this great community we have created for ourselves. We all have friends and loved ones that we recognize on the street, that have our home phone numbers and our "real" email addresses. Hell, that know our real names. Still, that doesn't make this place ~ this cyber lunch table, if I may borrow from Blogzie ~ any less important. Just makes it different. And since I love different, it really works for me ~ and makes me as proud to read those comments as if the people who left them actually knew my name and I knew theirs.

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