Thursday, November 30, 2006

Folgers Coffee

I actually have three grandmothers. Polly, who you have heard about as Pauline. Mamoo, my paternal grandmother and wonderful woman. And Mama Bear, who, while technically my step-grandmother, married my grandfather long before I was born and was completely a grandmother to me, even if we didn't share a bloodline.

Mama Bear's first husband, John, died the same day Polly did. She and my grandfather, Daddy Ralph, had a mutual friend who, after a while, began pestering them to meet. Mama Bear finally agreed so long as the big city lawyer was willing to come out to the ranch. Which he was.

They spent a weekend together and, at the end of it, my grandfather proposed. In his romantic way, he said something along the lines of: When I go to the store, I go straight for the Folgers coffee. It's what I like and I know what I like. I spent 25 years living with quality so I know it when I see it. You're quality and I want to spend the next 25 years with you.

Smart man, my grandfather.

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

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why I Missed a Couple Posts :):):)

If there was ever any doubt that I am a crazy fool, I have put that to rest. On Wednesday, I did the craziest thing I have ever done in my entire life. With much discussion among the Divine M, Graziella and myself, after much angst, after repeating "living in fear sucks, living in fear sucks, living in fear sucks" (thank you, CrackerLilo!) so often it became a full-fledged mantra, I made the decision to drive not to the basement for Thanksgiving but to...Suffolk, Virginia. Where Lithus is doing a logging tour. Where Lithus was going to be grounded due to weather for three days. Where Lithus was not only spending Thanksgiving but his birthday alone. Where Lithus, my firefighting pilot, who I had not yet actually met, was in for a shock. Here's the story...

Monday, I had the idea and emailed Graziella and the Divine M. They came back with resounding applause and assured me I should indeed make it a surprise. So, I sent Lithus an email asking for the address of his hotel because I had arranged for a package to be delivered to him for his birthday. Then Graziella came over Monday night to help me pack and plan outfits. She donated two bottles of wine to the cause and generally kept me sane as I kept saying "What the hell am I doing? This is crazy."

Tuesday, (after a reassuring phone call from DonDon to tell me he was okay in spite of missing a post and having to tell him what I was doing because I have learned I simply cannot lie to the man, damn him!) I left work and headed straight for the basement. Eight hours later (it's a five hour drive), the Divine M opened the door and generally kept me sane while I said "What the hell am I doing? This is crazy." And I left Lithus a message assuring him I had made it to the basement safely, not to worry.

Wednesday, I sent him off another email saying that the Divine M and I were busy with last minute stuff so I probably wouldn't have a chance to write or call again until later that evening. And I was on the road to VA. When I got to the hotel, I enlisted the front desk staff. He smokes an obscure brand of cigarettes so I had brought two packs with me. Giving them to Kym, I said, "Call Lithus' room. Tell him he has a package." So she grinned and did so. And he didn't come down. And didn't come down. And didn't come down.

Thirty minutes later, another staff member loaned me her cell phone. I proceeded to call the hotel and have her transfer her own cell phone through her system and connect me to his room. "I just got an email confirming the package has been delivered!!! Do you have it yet?" Of course, he didn't but he promised he would go down and get it. At which point, I told him to call me back. And I sat, waiting.

He received his cigarettes with a puzzled expression and stood, looking around, not quite sure what was happening. And I called his name. The front desk staff leaned over to watch us and all but applauded when he wrapped me up. As we stepped onto the elevator, Kym and her cohorts were still watching us, grinning ear to ear and she said "That was some package." To which my dear Lithus responded, "She really is, isn't she?"

And he is wonderful. And he is wise enough to think I am, too. ;) It was a good idea that became an even better reality.

So, my dear friends out there in cyber space, when you read this in some novel at some point, you can grin and remember exactly where the research for those pages came from. And know it's not fiction.

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

P.S. ...

And for those of you who aren't quite so mushy and romantic to have missed this part of the story...

I chose to drive my own car so that I could leave at any time. I had enough money with me to get my own hotel room if something didn't feel right. And I had a safe word with the Divine M. She knew what to listen for so that if she heard that word, regardless of what else I was saying or my tone of voice, she was to call long distance 911 and get the cops there NOW. Plus, I am So NOT above running out into a hall screaming and naked if the occassion demands it.

So safety was considered and thankfully, not needed. I may be crazy; I ain't stupid. ;)

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Glitch in the Plan

So, I may end up without computer access for the next few days. If that is the case, I will add that many days to my posting challenge. It's the best I can do.

Some things I'm grateful for in the interim:

* the basement and everything inherent therein;
* an early morning phone call;
* the four women I am in still in touch with from high school or earlier and the fact that they are not just my friends but my family;
* a certain pilot;
* the blessings I found by moving to Worcester when all I expected was to save money;
* being one of four people invited to sit at the chef's table;
* all my family, be they family by choice or biology, have two legs or four.

I am truly a blessed woman.

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

Monday, November 20, 2006

Holy Humbling Numbers, Batman!

10,000 HITS!

Wow. And thanks. Seriously.

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

Sunday, November 19, 2006

NEXT! On Fox...

When Dachshunds EXPLODE!!!!

Arriving home this evening, I discovered Lionel and Daisy had gotten into the trash. In a big way.

Man...that's a lot of poop. And throw up. And poop.


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

Saturday, November 18, 2006

But I'm Really...

Apparently, the package I actually come in doesn't really fit me. See, I'm a little white woman. However, throughout my life, I have been paid the compliment of being informed I'm really not that. According to other people, I'm really:

* a misplaced Puerto Rican;
* a sister who's passing;
* one of the guys;
* a gang member;
* a large black man;
* a drag queen in really good makeup

I claim these as compliments not because there is anything wrong with being a little white woman but because they were meant as compliments. And who am I to turn down a compliment? Seriously.

For me, I'm simply the Pobble. As the Grill Master would say, "I do what I do. I am who I am." Last night, I was sweating on the dance floor in PVC. Tonight, I'll be dining at the chef's table in silk. Yep, once again, it's thigh highs and etiquette. And it's all good.

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

Friday, November 17, 2006


First, thanks for telling me about your favorite teachers. What great stories. What great men and women.

Now... Today is my anniversary. As of today, I have been officially, legally divorced for one whole year. And damn it's good. Bolger and I had already planned to go out before I realized what the date was. What better way to celebrate than by dancing the night away with a good friend.

Those are (rushed-I-have-to-go-get-ready)Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee but I'd really appreciate it if you'd lift a glass of anything in my honor. :D:D:D:D

*THAT* Teacher

Who were those teachers for you? You know the ones I mean. The men and women who taught you so much more than their subjects, so much more than they were paid to teach you. I can't tell you who won the best actor Oscar last year or the World Series ten years ago. I can tell you these names:

Molly Gardner. Third grade math. She wouldn't give up on me. Taught me not to give up on myself. To this day, whenever I want to quit something, I remember her. Realizing I made a foolish mistake and cutting my losses? Acceptable. Realizing I'm in over my head and need help? More than acceptable. Quitting? Nope. That I won't do. Because of Miss Gardner.

Anne Spencer. 4th and 5th grade math (and history, I seem to recall). I was attending a special school for gifted kids (this is where I met Nemeria!) and deserved to be there...for anything that dealt with words. Math and science ~ not so much. I received my first ever C in her class. Cried all day. Cried all night. Not even Daddy could make this one better. The next day, she pulled me aside. She was prouder of that C than any of the As and Bs she gave out because she knew how hard I had worked for it. That day I learned that my best, my true best, is always good enough, no matter what anybody else says.

Terry Wilson. Eighth grade science. I was Different in a town that didn't like different, let alone Different. I was smart and lonely and Different. He found little ways to make me feel okay about all of those things, eventhough I was really, really bad in science.

Duane Rutkowski. Mr. R. 10th grade history. At a performing arts high school, academics aren't all that important. Oh, they pretend otherwise but so long as you are getting the show up, that's what is going to matter in the long run. At least that's how it used to be. But I was smart. I cared. So did he. I used to sit with my feet propped up on his desk throughout class. One day, another student tried it and got chastised for it. When he said "But she does it" and pointed to me, Mr. R. replied "That's different." His was the only class I wouldn't blow off to get a show up.

Wally Sherwood. College criminal justice professor. He is the only instructor I ever had that I really, really wanted to impress. I was the only student he had the years I was with him that got As. He taught me I didn't want to be an attorney. He taught me the Constitution is as beautiful a thing as I always suspected it was. He taught me it is more important to be just than to be fair.

But the one who is the reason for this post... That's Betty Witt. 6th and 8th grade English. Retired last year after 35 years teaching. She was a stickler for grammar and punctuation. "Not bad" was high praise. Students would regularly cry in her class because she could be so biting if an assignment wasn't as well written as she believed you could deliver. She didn't make us read Youth Literature but allowed us to read "real" books. 1984. Watership Down. She introduced me to Hesse and Vonnegut. "A lot" is indeed two words, not one. If you pick up a copy of Test Words next time you're in a Borders, read the acknowledgements. She's there. Because she helped instill in me the love of words I carry with me to this day. I have been trying to track her down since the book came out. Yesterday, I came home to a message from her. She had called me when she found out I was looking for her. Tonight, I called her back.

Pobble: Betty, it's Boston Pobble.
Betty: Girl, what have you done?
Pobble: Well, I write books.
Betty: And what took you so long?

And if that isn't the greatest compliment a writer can be paid, I don't know what is.

So I ask again ~ who were your those teachers?

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

Thursday, November 16, 2006


The federal confidentiality laws that govern doctors, human services, any organization or entity that deals with personal health information (PHI to those of us in the field) are known as HIPAA. It stands for something. I don't know what. Maybe DonDon or Nancy do. You'll have to ask them.

So instead of telling you why I am not posting until 11:00 pm or why I just worked a 12.25 hour shift, I will tell you about something else entirely.

When I was 17 and in the hospital, I remember wishing someone would just hold out their hand to me. Literally. Just leave it there while I dealt with...whatever...until I got to the point where I wanted to and was willing to take it. When the case managers and clinicians would, if I didn't want to take it immediately, they would withdraw it, leaving me the choice of really having to reach out for them or to sit without contact. Neither of which I did well.

Tonight, I learned that technique actually works. Sometimes, if you just sit with your hand out long enough, someone takes it and holds on. And that it worth a 12.25 hour shift. Any damn day.

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Learning to Remember

In every relationship, sooner or later, needs are going to collide. Something has to give. In a strong relationship, there is back and forth. Not tit for tat or owing the other but honest compromise. Both parties can trust that, if their need is the one subjugated in this moment, at some other time, the other person will make the sacrifice. It's normal. It's healthy. It's good.

During my marriage, this exchange rarely took place. The SGM's needs trumped mine the vast (vast) majority of the time. When it was happening, it seemed reasonable. My needs tended to be very personal ones. His had wider implications. Nothing bad would happen if I didn't move back to Boston. If he left Denver before this one project was complete, it could have global-political repercussions. Seriously. No shit. If I didn't have my best friend and partner with me just after my dad's death, that only affected me. If he didn't lead this certain deployment, the odds were good some of our friends would die. Seriously. No shit.

But here's the thing ~ no one is actually indispensible in any work place. They are in a marriage. And not all his needs were this noble. Want to know the truth? The truth is, even with the noble ones, after a while, I stopped caring about the bigger picture and just wanted to stop being the thing that was worth sacrificing. Because I was, almost always, the thing that was worth sacrificing, even when the other needs weren't so noble. And that gets old.

The result of this is I have spent the last several years and my past two relationships with an ENORMOUS chip on my shoulder. My needs will be met, dammit. If the man I was with couldn't do it, that was just fine because I was perfectly capable of meeting them my damn self. Just don't ever expect me to go out of my way or sacrifice one damn thing in order to help you meet yours.

Now, several years out, I am remembering. Remembering I can be respectful and caring and sensitive and still be respected. That being willing to compromise doesn't equal being a doormat. That give and take is a healthy part of a relationship. That there are men out there who can do it. It's nice to be remembering. And to be reminded.

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

And Away We Go...

Tah-Dah! The first post of the 30 Day Post Challenge. And I cannot think of a damn thing to write. Don't it figure?

The visit with my mother was good. Probably the best visit we've had in a very long time, honestly. Over the last few years, I have (kicking and screaming) accepted the shifts in our relationship and the limitations therein. She hadn't quite gotten it yet. There continued to be issues forced and asides that made it very clear she was upset with the fact that there had actually been consequences to her actions.

That changed this visit. This visit, she seemed as accepting of the new dynamic as I have been able to become. So, when she said that I would probably not ever come to Tahoe for the holidays, it was a statement of fact that was appropriate to the conversation ~ not a dig trying to make me feel guilty.

It's nice to be finding our way again. It's also nice to have my apartment to myself again. Think I'll go take my bath. :)

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

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why Not...

Over at Rose's, she has accepted a challenge to post every day for the month of November. It's a cool challenge and I am enjoying her being around regularly. It also got me to thinking about my own stuck-ness (which is a word now, even if it wasn't before.) Seems like a good way to alleviate that particular problem.

Here are the things:

1. It's already the 9th so I'm behind and
2. My mother is coming into town this afternoon. She doesn't exactly know about this blog (which is probably a good thing considering some of what I write here.)

SO! On November 12, my goal is to write every day for 30 days straight. They may not be long. They may not be interesting. They should get me unstuck. We'll see if I can do it.

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

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

While He's Lost His Own Voice

A friend of mine is usually very political. He cares deeply and doesn't care who knows it. I, on the other hand, care deeply, don't care who knows it...and don't get into the political arena very often. I write about other things. However, he is having a hard time writing these days. This post is for him. While it will be a very different one than he would write, it is, nonetheless, a trip into the political that I probably wouldn't have taken had someone not needed to speak for him for a little while. I love you. :*

The past two nights, I have had the pleasure of Nerd conversations. There's nothing that makes me quite so happy as discovering a fellow Nerd in someone I already know and like. But I digress...

Both conversations dealt with the (then upcoming) elections here in the US. My partner in the first one is a resident alien living here in the States. He's been here nearly 20 years and has chosen to be bound by laws he has no say in influencing. Personally, I find this very brave. (digressing...) The point is, he doesn't understand voter apathy in this country. He even floated the Australian (I think) idea that people who don't vote be fined. While I understand this and even think it has merits, it didn't sit well with me. Again, in my opinion, this would remove a vital if amorphous and undefinable piece of what the country was founded on. It plays into the freedom thing somehow and, if you've read this blog for very long at all, you know how I feel about the freedom thing. Still, I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't get more votes for our government than for American Idol. We are very, very fond of our bank accounts around these parts.

The second conversation also dealt with voter apathy (and history, John Adams, the Constitution, and, and, and digressing...) but focused more on the cause rather than the solution. What was batted around was this: Here in the US, certain groups have a historical memory of not being able to vote. In our grandmothers' lifetimes, they were not allowed to vote. In black adults' lifetimes, their parents were not allowed to vote. But white men? Here in the States, in large part because of the way the country was founded, there is no united, generalized historical memory of not being able to vote, of having a right denied them. And that is what trickles down, even into some of the previously mentioned groups.

Now, both of these concepts are far more intricate, nuanced and complicated than can be summed up in one or two conversations, let alone one blog post. I can't even say how I feel about either of the concepts without thinking on them and mulling them over more. Still, they are worthy discussions to have and to consider and made for delightful bones to gnaw on as I waited to vote this afternoon.

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

A Not So Gentle Reminder my US readers:


If you are pleased with the way the government is being run and the current makeup of the Congress, this is an important election because there are a lot of people who aren't and who will be voting to change it out.

If you are displeased with the way the government is being run and the current makeup of Congress, this is an important election because you have a chance to change it out.

Whichever side you choose, VOTE. And if you don't vote, please keep your damn mouth shut when you don't like the way it all falls out in the end.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee. The right to vote cost a hell of a lot more.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

When All Else Fails...

...update your template.

Over there with the links are four new blog listings:

Dagoth who I found through the amazing trinity of SpiderGirl, Tai and Kimber the Wolfgirl and who always manages to bring a little peace to my world. There's something gentle about his writings that you don't always find here in cyberspace.

Nancy who came to me through...DonDon009 or the Blog Whore, I forget which (sorry!). I find myself rooting for her family and her kids as they continue to beat the odds and are, actually, healthy, sane and as well-balanced as any family can be these days.

Two Dollar Productions who just showed up in my comments one day and has stuck around for which I am HUGELY grateful. His dry wit has brought me to tears of laughter on more than one occasion.

And finally, my friend out here in real life as well as cyber, Graziella. If you're ever curious about the conversations I have over my weekends, while sitting on one or the other's couch, here's your link.

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ that will hopefully lead you to the really cool thoughts of others. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm stuck with my blogging.

I want to write about some of my favorite belongings, as GoodNightGirl has suggested we do. But I am arguing with my camera right now and its winning and I don't want to post it without pictures and, and, and...

I want to write about work but I have to be very careful because of confidentiality laws and I think there is actually something in our contracts that says we can't and it doesn't matter that much to me anyway and, and, and...

I want to write about Lithus but it's still too new and very private (even for here) and I don't know what to actually say and I don't want to jinx it and, and, and...

I want to write about writing but it's pretty dull to write about because I'm just, well, writing, and that doesn't translate into exciting posts and while I don't have to be interesting, it's just not that compelling, even to me, and, and, and...

I want to write about life but it's just sorta keeping on keeping on these days and there's nothing much to tell (as odd as that seems) and even the Pobble just lives life and does laundry and watches dvds sometimes and that's not what I particularly want to write about and, and, and...

I don't want to have to write about RJ and, while I talk to my Dear One every day, I'm just as grateful to not post again about RJ and wouldn't mind falling silent there for a while and, and, and...

So. I'm stuck. It's me so something blog-worthy is going to happen sooner rather than later. Guaranteed. Death, taxes ~ and the Pobble will have a story sooner or later. Those are the three things you can count on. But for now...

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