Monday, January 30, 2006

For The One

I got this in an email from the One in VA. Thought it would make a good post, especially considering my brain is fried again (see numbers 29 and 30.)

5. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? I had popcorn and cheese about 3:30 but it was the first thing I ate today
6. WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME? don't have one
8. WHAT FOODS DO YOU DISLIKE? mushrooms and swimmy fish
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHIP FLAVOR? good old ruffles (but a cheese puff can hit the spot, too!)
11. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? 1998 jeep wrangler sport
12. FAVORITE SANDWICH? roast beef and provolone
13. WHAT CHARACTERISTIC DO YOU DESPISE? being completely unaware
14. FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING? way too many to choose ~ my black velvet top; my men's pajamas; my grey jumper... too many.

16. FAVORITE BRAND OF CLOTHING? um.... don't really have one
17. TO WHERE WOULD YOU RETIRE? who's gonna retire?
18. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY? 18th - surprise party. although I'm told I really enjoyed my 35th, too!
19. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? live ~ baseball; televised ~ football (esp my beloved Cowboys ~ although I am beginning to pull some for the Giants as well)20. FURTHEST PLACE YOU ARE SENDING THIS? nevada
23. GOAL YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF? be able to afford to move back to Boston in 3-5 years
25. WHEN IS YOUR ANNIVERSARY? November 17th, BABY! (the divorce was final)

28. PETS: Lionel and Daisy, my babies!
29. WHAT PROJECT(S) ARE YOU WORKING ON THESE DAYS? 3 nonfictions, 2 fictions, a proposal for a third fiction, organizing my apartment and a partridge in a pear tree
30. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? I just sent my editor the backfill for the SAT words!

32. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? quite well, thank you for asking

34. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER? anything flamboyant

37. SMALL THING(S) YOU REALLY ENJOY? sleeping as late as I'd like; instant messaging with friends; the feel of Lionel and Daisy up against my back while I sleep; my bear; falling asleep reading my book ... there seems to be a sleep theme here...

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

Friday, January 27, 2006

More Lionel and Daisy

After the last post, I've decided to post something happy. Thank you so much for your support around the dream and the divorce.

And so, without further ado, the babies at home...

Hanging in the Pobble Mobile after a trip to the drug store.

Chillin' on the loveseat.

Stylin in their new winter coats.

Lionel with bedhead.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It Only Hurts When I Breathe

I dreamt about my ex husband today. We weren't together but we were friends again. We were laughing.

I am shocked and truly blindsided by how much this hurts.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And I Wasn't Even Kissed

Okay folks, here's the thing. My heat has been included in my rent for a long time now. Before that, the ex and I had oil heat so we paid for the delivery and called it good. Now? Now it's a little different. I have gas heat which I pay for myself. And it's attached to my oven, which is something that several of my New England friends have heard of ~ and several haven't. So it's not UNcommon but it's also not common. I live in a three bedroom so it's a good sized apartment.

Still, imagine my surprise when, after having to be in long pants and sweaters all the time to stay warm AND supplement the heat in my office with a small space heater, I opened my bill the other day to discover a bill for $321.48! No back payments as I make my payments in a timely fashion. The month was just that much.

Dude. Ouch.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ if you have the buck fifty after paying your heating bill!

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm It

From DonDon009:

4 jobs I've had:

1. actor
2. community relations director
3. domestic violence counselor
4. porn store clerk

4 places I've lived

1. Philadelphia, PA
2. Austin, TX
3. Fredonia, NY
4. Fayetteville, NC

4 movies I'd watch again (only four????? okay, I'll pick obscure ones rather than the obvious Pobble favs)

1. Die Hard
2. Roman Holiday
3. Bring It On
4. How Stella Got Her Groove Back

4 television shows I love to watch

2. West Wing
3. CSI
4. Meet the Press

4 favorite foods

1. Mexican
2. chocolate chip ice cream
3. popcorn
4. COW!

4 places I'd rather be right now

1. the basement
2. a tropical beach
3. Boston
4. in front of a fire

4 albums I cannot live without

1. I think its called "Mandalay" by Blackmore's Night
2. my Handel cd (it's got the Water Music on it!)
3. "Martinis and Moonlight" ~ it's a comp c.d. of Frank, Nat, Louis, Bing...*sigh*
4. Tatoo You by the Stones

4 tags (besides Nemeria, The Lovely Cats and Jaded, simply because they know ~ or they should anyway ~ they are automatically tagged!)

1. Rose
2. Spider Girl
3. Traci
4. Cracker Lilo

Oh and The One ~ if you want to answer (I know how you love things like this) feel free to leave yours in my comment section. And get your own blog already. You'd be a natural!

Those are Pobble Thoughts, in sets of four. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Yeah, That's About Right...

Attention Ladies!

Sorry, guys, as much as I love you (and you know I do!), this offer is only open to my female readers. :( Maybe next time I'll do a book aimed at men and we'll leave the women out.

I am currently working up a proposal for a new book aimed specifically at women. An important part of the proposal is market research. In light of this, I have designed a quick questionnaire. If any of you would be interested/willing to take the time to fill it out, I would be so appreciative.

If you click on "view complete profile," you will discover I have linked my email. Just drop me a line and let me know that you want me to send you the questionnaire. Please put your blog name in the subject line so I don't delete it as spam!

Know something ~ I will absolutely maintain your anonymity not only with the questions and answers but here in cyberspace as well. Very little annoys me more than seeing someone leave a person's name in their comment section. If we had wanted our names out there, we would have put them out there. In case you hadn't noticed, I guard who I really am pretty carefully myself. I would never disrespect anyone here by doing anything less for them.

SO! Now that the serious part of the post is done, want to have some fun? Drop me a line. You may be helping create a new bestseller. ;)

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

Friday, January 20, 2006

New Links

Some other blogs have caught my attention. When you get a chance, check out Traci at Buttrrflyys, the gnightgirl at This Just In and Spider Girl. A friend of mine asked why I link some blogs and not others. Here's my eloquent, well-thought-out, meaningful reason. Wisdom for the ages. You ready?

I have no clue.

Seriously. There are just some blogs that I feel I want to have linked to mine. I don't even agree with some of them. (Got you thinking, now, don't I?) And, once I get to feeling like I want them linked, I link them. Sometimes it happens after one reading, as with Spider Girl. Sometimes it takes a while. But there is something in each one of these that I value for some reason. So, take a minute. Read them. If you value them, too, great. If not, okay. You don't have to link them to your blog. :) Pretty cool the way that works, isn't it?

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

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Can't Believe I'm Posting This

How scary is this?????

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime. It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity. In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess. This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act
. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison. By Declan McCullagh -->Published: January 9, 2006

But you know...

I'm going to drive my blog 56 miles an hour in the passing lane. I'm going to pick my blog's nose in public. At a restaurant. My blog is going to speak unnecessarily loudly while on a cell phone. My blog and I are going to berate the middle man because we don't have the balls to approach the supervisor when something doesn't go our way. We're going to leave our carts on one side of the supermarket aisle and stretch across to the other. We are then going to make faces at people who want to get by us. We're going to stop and talk to each other while my blog ties its shoe Right Smack In The Middle of pedestrian traffic flow. We're announcing the ending of movies to the people waiting to get in.

Now, if I truly had balls, this post would have been not only annoying but offensive. As it is, apparently I only have blog balls. Or only my blog has balls. Or something. The point is, free speech is becoming far less free. And yeah, don't let the jokes above fool you ~ that's one I'll go to jail for.

So how about this: I do not believe "the welfare mother" stereotype exists anywhere but in Hollywood and on television. George Bush is not evil because he isn't smart enough to be evil. The military, the police and the firefighters are brave men and women who the country couldn't do without ~ and they aren't saints or gods and some of them are even total assholes because being willing to serve and protect doesn't guarantee you're a good person. Sometimes it just means you want to wear a gun or a beret or play with fire and use your job title to get laid. This goes for Green Berets and Rangers, too. Fort Bragg is a perpetual state of adolescence. By GOD I think Benjamin Franklin had it right when he said anyone who would give up freedom for security deserves neither freedom nor security. And I also believe the United States is becoming more and more fascist and the vast majority of the country is too blind or too sheep-like to even Notice let alone care. I haven't said the Pledge of Allegiance since I was in the 11th grade because I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a piece of cloth. I am the strongest, most committed, most passionate Patriot I know. I'm not sure Al Gore could have handled Sept. 11 had he been president.

There. Annoyed yet? Good. Somebody call a fucking cop.

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ and no, you cannot have my name. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lionel and Daisy!

Meet the Babies! These are Lionel and Daisy. Lionel is the thinner one (on the left) and Daisy is the Rubenesque of the two. They joined the family yesterday after being driven to New York from Virginia. The not-ex-friend and I drove down and I fell in love before we had ever left the parking lot. Lionel is 13 and Daisy is 12 but in their hearts they are still about three ~ and have wings. Why do I say this? Because they love to jump onto the couch. And off the couch. And onto the bed. And off the bed. And onto the loveseat... You get the idea. No surface is too high. No floor too low. When I see them about to leap, I intervene and help them up or down. When I see them. That's the key phrase. They're fast little buggers.

Lionel co-opted a pillow that hadn't gotten put away since the move. Daisy has decided that my feet make a great head rest while I write. And both love being under the blankets at night.

The last dogs I had were a great pyrenees and a saint bernard. Now, in case you don't know, these are BIG dogs. I mean, at one point, I had 300 pounds worth of dog in my house. Well, Lionel or Daisy had an accident this morning. Not unexpected from senior dogs. This "accident" was tiny. At least compared to what I'm used to. Let's face it ~ pyrs and saints have poops the size of dachshunds! Obviously, I'm not going to encourage them shitting all over the house. And, it's nice to know that one missed signal doesn't end up taking over the kitchen. They love riding in the Pobble Mobile. I can see us now, cruising from book signing to book signing.

The thing I find sad, and yet am most grateful for, is that they were considered unadoptable at the rescue organization. The DRNA (dachshund rescue of north america) were still trying, don't get me wrong. But no one wanted them. They were too old. They had to be adopted out together. They weren't 100% housebroken. On and on and on. So, through sheer luck and other people's shortsightedness, I have the two greatest dogs (okay, the greatest dachshunds, out of respect for a couple pugs in Florida I know) currently on the planet.

Expect to hear more about them. Expect to see more pictures. They are my babies and I love them. And please, if you are not able to keep a pet, find a rescue organization, don't just send it to a shelter. And if you are looking for a pet, please consider a rescue organization. My babies and I thank you.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2006


My friend is a black belt. As of tonight, a lifelong dream has become a reality. I was honored enough to witness it. When she was presented with her belt and sword, I wept. I know what this has meant to her. And we, her family and friends, gathered to watch.

What I saw was strength, beauty, dedication and power personified. Sure, she did cool stuff. She disarmed people, fought off three "attackers", flipped guys three times her size. Even broke through four boards. And I saw all that.

But I also saw magnificence. She shone. The light around her glowed. Her energy was a sparking, tangible thing. This indomitable creature that is my friend.

Last night, I had composed another post. Its title was "And I Missed It." See, I got the nights confused. I thought the test was last night. Knowing how bad I am with directions (and dear Lord, am I bad with directions!), I got to the part of town two hours early. And proceeded to drive around, unable to find the dojo for two whole hours. I drove back to Worcester in tears.

When I called her to leave a message, she answered. I burst into more tears. We arranged for me to meet at her's today (which I can get to blindfolded if necessary) so we could go over together. All afternoon, she kepty saying "I feel so bad you wasted yesterday afternoon." I couldn't make her understand how grateful I was for that "wasted" afternoon. It taught me I couldn't find it. It allowed us to make other arrangements. It allowed me to see her earn her black belt. No "wasted" afternoon has ever been better spent.

I am proud of her. I am honored she considers me one of her closest friends. She is magnificent. She always has been. Now, she's a black belt, too.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Happy Birthday

Today would have been my father's 71st birthday.

Happy Birthday, Weenie!

I love you.

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

When People Try to Help

ARGH! Yesterday, I went to my wonderful salon for a day of being pampered. The woman doing my hair took longer than expected and did more than I had originally made my appointment for. The time and the cost took me by surprise because she hadn't told me what she was doing was going to cost more. Call me naive but I have no idea what a double process hair coloring costs. Although I do now!

So, the woman who does my manicures and I are friends outside of the salon as well as client/manicurist. This morning on the phone, she was asking me what was going on, why it was taking so long, stuff like that. And so I told my friend what had happened. About 20 minutes later, I get a call back from the salon saying the owner had "passed along my message from (my friend) and I had $125 of services coming back to me."

Wait. What?


What message? To the owner???

Suddenly, what I thought was talking ~ okay, complaining ~ to a friend has become a much bigger deal. I love my color and my cut. The price threw me, yeah. But it looks great. Also, I love being able to stop in there, be welcome, say "hi" and have everyone be comfortable. If it had been a big deal, I would have dealt with it.

So what the hell do I do now?

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

Friday, January 13, 2006

Done, Done, Tra-Lah-Lah

I'm Done. I'm Done. Tra-Lah-Lah. I'm done with the Words book.


Done, Done, Done.

First word is Abbreviate

Last word is Zeitgeist

There are 998 words in between.

And I'm done.

Done, Done, Done.


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

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thanks to Daisy

I steal from fellow bloggers. I admit it. I stole Ralph, the duck, from Phaggot (back in the day when he was called Gay Mad Housewife and had a penguin. Now there's a sentence one doesn't expect to write once, let alone ever again. I do wonder what happened to the penguin, though. Digressing...) I stole the idea of a new look from Ruben and Groove (who is also gone ~ maybe she and the penguin...nah.) And have stolen more from poor DonDon (including his time) than should be listed here.

Tonight's act of kleptomaia? A link from DaisyLand. Don't even bother opening the archives unless you have some time because you will keep wanting to read just one more. Thanks Daisy!
  • Overheard in New York

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

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

    This was written in 1943. It's a shame it seems to have been forgotten...

    Government of limited power need not be anemic government. Assurance that rights are secure tends to diminish fear and jealousy of strong government, and by making us feel safe to live under it makes for its better support. Without promise of a limited Bill of Rights it is doubtful if our Consitiution could have mustered enough strength to enable its ratification. To enfore those rights today is not to choose weak government over strong government. It is only to adhere as a mean of strength to individual freedom of mind in preference to officially disciplined uniformity for which history indicates a disappointing and disasterous end...

    Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good as well as by evil men. ... As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accompliment must resort to an every-increasing severity. As governmental pressure towards unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be. ... Ultimate fultility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the the fast failing efforts of out present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard. ...

    (W)e apply aply the limitations of the Consititution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. ... When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.

    If there is any fixed star in our consitutional constellation, is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us...

    Those are the thoughts of Justice Robert Jackson and the United States Supreme Court. And they will get you a lot more than just coffee.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    Politcal Correctness Run Amok

    I'm not terribly politically correct. In fact, I am often accused of being downright politically incorrect. I was once introduced as being related to "Susan and the Weenie by birth." I bit back the retort that I looked pretty good to have kids that old ~ but it was a near thing, I admit.

    All that being said, I do believe words are important and do indeed help define our realities. For years, I have been a staunch proponent of using "and" more often than "but." "But" in case you've never realized, pretty much negates what was said ahead of it. "And" on the other hand, allows both things to be true. Good stuff. The words "right", "wrong", "always" and "never" have bothered me for a long time as well. Whose job is it to say what is "right" and "wrong" anyway? And I learned a long time ago that using "never" and "always" is guaranteed to bring the exception to rule down upon my head in a really, really ugly way. Not terribly fond of "should", "ought" or "have to." So, I do recognize the importance of words. Still...sometimes it gets silly in my opinion. As in the abovementioned case where I was introduced as being related to my parents by birth. Or...

    I have recently been informed
    that I shouldn't use the word "not." Excuse me, I should choose to refrain from using the word "not." "Not" apparently, introduces too much negativity into the world and we should all put more positivity into the world. Therefore, we are no longer allowed to say "I'd rather not have dessert tonight, thank you." We are to say "I'm choosing to skip dessert tonight, thank you." The statement "They did not discriminate."...? Nope. Can't use it. We are to say "They chose diversity." (That's an actual quote.)

    Instead of "I'm just not interested in dating you" it's going to be...what? How do I am I supposed to put a positive spin on that? Perhaps "I'm choosing to wait to date someone who I am actually interested in." Yeah...that's kind, loving and positive.


    Is it just me? Or not? ;)

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

    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    Live to Work, Work to Live (Holy Cow! This Got Long...)

    First, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for you outpouring of support and affection. I thank you. My credit card companies thank you. My FAEE thanks you. Thank You. It is pretty fucking cool, ain't it? And if I'm this over the moon about a nonfiction SAT/GRE book, can you imagine what I'm going to be like come fall when the novel comes out????? That noise you will hear, wherever you are, is the scream of the Pobble when she gets her first copy. But I digress (I know; you are shocked....)

    To the body of the blog: I have always been a work to live type o'gal. Work pays the bills, keeps a roof over your head, gives you the cash you need in order to go do the fun stuff. The living part. Do your job, do it to the best of your ability, just don't forget what's important.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I have also been ~ and continue to be ~ a believer in and proponent of doing what you love. Life is too damn short to spend 40+ hours a week doing something you hate. Even if you can't find a job you love right now, at least find one you don't hate until you can find one you love.

    Here's what's changing ~ I love to write. I love to write so much that a day without writing doesn't feel like a day off. It makes me grumpy. Out of sorts. Itchy to get back to my computer or my composition books or my notepads or whatever. Over Christmas while I was with the Lovely Cats, I had to buy a comp book. I had decided to take the week completely off. It was miserable. I was miserable. I bought a comp book and spent an hour writing every night before bed. Slept like a baby.

    I'm not used to this. I'm not used to loving something this much. Even when I'm hating it (if seniors in high school don't know this word then they shouldn't be going to college anyway! good god, how many definitions can the word "plumb" have anyway? sweet jesus ~ I've defined how few words in the last fucking hour????) I'm loving it. It's a little scary, actually. All the excuses are gone.


    I'm beginning to think it's okay though. Suddenly, I'm losing weight without trying, I'm down to less than a pack of smokes a day, and I don't mind not spending money. Yeah. It's scary ~ and it's good.

    Now, some business before coffee. It's the Q&A portion of today's post.

    1. When does the book ship? Can I/my child/my students use it for the SATs this school year?

    I hate this answer. The book will not be on the shelves until August. Which is a damn good thing for me considering it's still on my computer and not even completed yet but really sucks if you/your child/your students are taking the SATs or GREs this year.

    2. Great. What the hell do I/my kid/my students do now, Pobble?????

    In researching this book, I have been very impressed with Barron's guide books. They are comprehensive and clear and have a nice way of explaining things. Also, check out Words You Should Know in High School. It is also published by Adams Media and is the third book in the series. No, I didn't write it. No, I don't get anything from plugging either of these books. Yes, I think you/your kid/your students will find them helpful. (Just remember, once you/your kid/your students get into college, another word book could come in handy as well. College profs like erudite students... Okay, shameless plug number 47 is over.)

    3. Are you P.T. Shank?

    Yes...and no. I am indeed the author of the book. However, for those of you who are new to the blog, that's not my name. That's my grandmother's married name. I'm way too private a person to throw my name out there for all to see and know. Have you checked out my avatar? It's a freakin' subway map. Online I go by Pobble. My name is my own. While I don't hide (I mean, somebody somewhere ~ Mr. Jaded, perhaps :) ~ can find my info off this blog if they know enough about computers), I do like privacy.

    And, before anyone asks, no, this blog will not become subtitled The Pobble's New Books and Where to Buy Them. I will continue ramble about ... whatever. Whatever just happens to be about the Pobble's new book (and where to buy it!;)) right now.

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

    Thursday, January 05, 2006


    Check it out...

    Yes, there it is. Click on it further details. Feel free to tell your friends, tell your enemies, order early, order often and leave rave reviews. :) Seriously though, it's exciting to see it there already. Guess I have to finish the damn thing for real now, huh? And I will, once I finish the doing the Excited Pobble Hop!

    My cold is gone; there's snow on the ground; and my book is on Amazon. All is well with the world. Now, I gotta go write.

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

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    An Inauspicious Start

    2006 didn't start particularly well. I woke up on the morning of the 31st with a dreadful head cold. One of those that makes you wonder why people say "It's just a cold." If it's "just" anything then why do I feel as if my head is the size of (and is as full as) Boston Harbor and why does my voice sound like it's being dubbed by Golum? So, I called my friends and told them I would not be coming in for Boston's First Night.

    Well, shit. This was not what I had planned. Not in any way shape or form. I had turned down several invitations in order to do First Night with these people. And here I was, at home, alone and sick.

    And! To make matters worse, I had no lemon juice. Hot lemon water is my all time favorite cold remedy. So I threw my favorite winter pajamas into the laundry and went to the store. Found lemon juice. Oooo ~ and a cheese ball. I do love cheese balls and it's New Year's Eve, after all, and I'm at home, alone and sick. And there are those chocolate covered shortbreads I like so much. Those are my favorite crackers to eat with cheese ~ especially cheese balls. Then here, in this aisle, next to the decongestant for some odd reason but thank goodness, are movies for sale. And they're even on sale. 2 for $11. Sabrina, Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and The Full Monty.

    Because, afterall, I'm (say it with me) at home, alone and sick on New Year's Eve.

    I felt pretty lousy from the shoulders up but the decongestant helped. And if I sounded more like Golum than the public speaker I am, you know what? I didn't have to talk. And the hot lemon water felt and tasted really good. I even served my cheeseball and crackers to myself on my grandmother's crystal platter. Lit my candles, snuggled down under an electric blanket, in my favorite pajamas (that were still warm from the drier) and watched the movies.

    At midnight, my not-ex-friend called. I could hear the fireworks in Boston going off as clearly as I could hear the Worcester ones exploding. When we got off the phone ~ quickly because I couldn't yell above the noise he was dealing with ~ I went out onto my balcony. It was snowing. And the fireworks were lighting up the sky, reflecting off the snow on the ground and in the air. It was beautiful.

    And I realized something... I was having a really, really nice night. It was no where near what I had been planning. No where near any New Year's Eve I have ever had. was lovely. It was, dare I say it? Fun. My neighbors were out in their yard, laughing and shouting "Happy New Year!" I croaked "Happy New Year!" back at them and we all waved and laughed at being caught by the other. I lifted my head, letting the snow fall around me ~ just for a moment before being sensible and taking my sick butt back inside ~ and realized it was a happy new year, even if it wasn't the one I had expected.

    So maybe it wasn't as inauspicious as I had originally thought. Maybe the whole year will be just like the night that started it: different than expected but still good. Who knows. Certainly I don't. But I'm looking forward to finding out.

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