Friday, December 15, 2006


In honor of my imminent trek to the Basement and in an attempt to get out of my own head for just a few moments, I offer this:

Drivers in Massachusetts are, not so lovingly, referred to as Massholes. With the holiday season upon us, I thought I might offer up some guidelines for understanding the Massachusetts driver for those of you who might be traveling this way over the next few weeks. Mind you, this is not a defense of Massachusetts drivers. We are indeed crazy. We're just all crazy in the same ways.

1. If you need a foot of space to make a merge, we will give you a foot of space. Do not expect 13 inches.

2. If you need 37 seconds to make a manuvuer, do not expect 38. If you try to take 38, we will throw our hands in the air, step on the gas pedal and blow by you as if it is your fault. Because it is.

3. When traveling on the MassPike, do not go 80 in the left lane. Trust me. All you will do is hold up the traffic behind you and piss us off.

Those are the top three tips for driving in Massachusetts. Because we may be Massholes but at least we're all the same kind of Masshole.

Be safe this season, wherever your travels take you.

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

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Depression and Disgust

Shortly before Thanksgiving, I started showing signs of a depressive episode. This was unexpected because it was early. My last one was March and I generally run on a year cycle. This means for 11 or 12 months straight, I am me. The Pobble. I have good days and bad days like anybody else, am generally happy, and am more sane than not.

Then it hits. My chemicals get wonky and out of balance. For the next 4-8 weeks, I'm different. Really, really different. The good part is that between behavior mod and good meds, I can keep it at 4-8 weeks, depending on the severity of the episode. The sad part is that I have to be very careful with whom I share these 4-8 weeks.

See, it's tiring to support someone with Depression. It's a very long 4-8 weeks. I cry. A lot. And hard. I'm not upbeat or perky. I don't want to do much and often can't make myself. I'm a dreadfully annoying combination of isolationist and needy. Most people react with disgust.

As I was explaining to Graziella last night (who is handling it with incredible sensitivity and grace, for the record), part of it is the label it carries. At least in my opinion. I have posted on this in the past. When someone hears "schizophrenia" or "bi-polar" or "PTSD", they realize that something unusual and major is happening here. When someone hears "Depression" the same triggers don't get thrown. I mean, everybody gets depressed, right? Why don't you just dig deep and find a smile? Can't you find a happy thought and focus on that? Take a day or two and then snap out of it? Dear Goddess...if I only could.

We live in a society that denies pain. We're all supposed to soldier on. Martyrs are admired and whiners are judged. Raw emotions make us incredibly uncomfortable. And so, in my experience, most people do not react well to a situation where a person cannot simply suck it up.

We tend to disregard the importance of sitting in silence instead of trying to fix. We tend to be uncomfortable saying "This makes me uncomfortable." We would rather be disgusted by the person than deal with their ~ and our own ~ turmoil in the situation.

I am lucky enough to have friends and family who can indeed handle what happens to me during these long 4-8 weeks out of every 52 or so. At least, some of them can. And I understand why the rest can't, even as it hurts to have to hide this part of myself from them. See, disgust is understandable. Even as it hurts.

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


Thank you ~

~ to all of you, who have been so incredibly supportive during this time;
~ to Graziella, the Divine M and the Lovely Cats who have really gone above and beyond and know things no one else does;
~ to the FAEE who gets "I have to go right now" and doesn't even flinch;
~ and to my mom, yes, my mother, who has done everything right the last two weeks. Everything.

This weekend, I am heading to the basement. I am hoping to reset myself a bit and see if I can't salvage the rest of the holiday season. If I can, that's great. If I can't, that's okay too. But I would prefer being able to, I must be honest. Meanwhile, you'd be surprised how many people ~ and some of their names ~ who can't handle what I've been dumping on your people. Thank you for your grace and support.

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

Monday, December 11, 2006

Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Thee

I remember staying up late, late, late playing dominoes, smoking cigarettes, drinking bourbon and laughing. A lot.

I remember moments of comfortable silence, around morning coffee.

I remember a slow Southern drawl that didn't speak often but said much.

I remember a gentle arm around my shoulder.

I remember a hug that made you feel as if you were the only thing important in the whole world.

I remember you, Tim.

My father, grandfather and Tim are sitting around a table already. The bourbon is flowing. The cigarettes are burning. The dominoes are laid out. And I'm surprised we can't all hear the laughter. In another 40 or 50 years, I'll enjoy rejoining that party. For now...

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

Sunday, December 10, 2006


This showed up in my inbox today:

Pobble, I just wanted you to know that (the closest thing you have ever had to an uncle) came home from the hospital last Tuesday and that afternoon Home Hospice came. The diagnosis is End Stages of failure to thrive. He has been so sick for so long. Most people on hospice have one thing that is fatal. He has many diseases that can't be cured. But you've known this. I'm just asking for your prayers for him to not suffer. While you're praying please remember me too. Love, (the closest thing you have to an aunt)

Can I stop now? *sigh* If you pray and however you pray, if you would please add Sue and Tim to your lists. Meanwhile, they buried RJ today. Yeah, I'm kinda done.

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

Saturday, December 09, 2006


It's been a hard week. For me. For those I love. For those I work with. For those I work for.

I have been a good friend and colleague. I have been a bad friend and colleague. I have been caring, thoughtful, indifferent and negligent. As the people who support me have assured me, I have been very human. As I have assured the people I support, they have been very human. And we're all allowed.

With this long, hard week finally ~ thank the Goddess, finally ~ coming to an end, I offer you below some things that have brought me some peace with the hope that they do the same for you. Blessed be.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. May they bring you peace, with or without the buck fifty.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

Be sure to really listen to these words, not just enjoy the cartoon.

Little Drummer Boy

I couldn't find one that wasn't out of sync ~ but it's worth it.

Christmas Canon (with lyrics) - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Friday, December 08, 2006

Very Mixed Emotions

Very sad...

Very proud...

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Let the Weirdness Begin

I'm not really up to writing anything yet so instead of being creative and coming up with something of my own, I'm going to borrow a tag that's going around and give you six things about me that are weird. Let me tell you, limiting it to six ain't an easy task. That however, I am up to. So...

1. I relate everything to the television show M*A*S*H. No matter what the situation, I can probably find a way to reference those characters or situations. Luckily, my mother does the same thing so I have someone to share this weirdness with without the whole world knowing I do it ~ until now.

2. I can listen to the same thing over and over and over and over again. Oh, and over again. It is not unheard of for me to put one song on repeat and go about my business ~ for hours. At night, I fall asleep to one of the Harry Potters on my iPod. When (because it's almost always a when) I wake up in the middle of the night, I put the ear bud back in and go back to sleep. The book just repeats throughout the night. I have listened to Goblet of Fire now for over three months. Did I mention and over again?

3. I don't check my phone messages. My outgoing voice message even says "I may or may not call you back." This is because I don't check my messages. Leaving me a message on my voice mail is one of the worst possible ways to reach me. Smoke signal will probably be more effective.

4. It takes forever for me to cash checks. I will carry checks around with me for days or even weeks. For some reason, I don't go to the bank. In fact, I have my last three paychecks in my purse now.

5. I quote movies in my head. When I say goodbye to someone, I tend to think "I'll meet you in Dinsford!" (101 Dalmations) When someone makes a joke, it's "That's a mama joke." (Remember the Titans) And when someone is moving something fragile: "Easy boy. Easy." (The Magnificent Seven) There are several others but those are the three most common. I'm not quite sure why.

6. I have a collection of Muppet underwear. What makes this weird (aside from the obvious) is the fact that I don't collect Muppet underwear. But somewhere along the line, my friends decided I did. I bought a 2-pack of Muppet underwear to wear to the Muppet's first show back several years ago. Then I gained a lot weight and they didn't fit any longer. So a friend bought me another 2-pack to wear to his shows. Then another friend was with me when I was doing laundry. A few weeks later, she gave me 2 pairs because she had noticed I had a couple already. Then another friend got me a pair after seeing me unpack at her house. And if you're thinking of it, no Elmo, please. I really can't stand him.

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


RJ died this morning about 10:30. He was eleven years old. My Dear One is okay. Or as okay as he can be. Services are Sunday. Tomorrow will bring back the lighthearted post that was supposed to be here tonight. For now, continued prayers for his family will be very appreciated. He doesn't need them anymore.

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

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Old School

Since I missed yesterday, you get two posts today. I know. Thrilling.

Anyway, when it comes to the holidays, I'm old school. Actually, when it comes to a lot of things, I'm old school. But since this post is on the holidays, we'll focus on that.

And what does this mean, specifically? It means I hate gift cards. To me, gift cards say "I don't know you well enough to figure something out to get you so here's a wad of cash instead." Now, as with everything, there are exceptions to this rule. Gift cards are acceptable when...

*they are for a specific thing. I'm talking a massage, a housecleaning, even an oil change. Something you know the person wants but you can't wrap up in a box and stick it under a tree.
*they are used creatively. The year of AngryGirlfriend's 25th birthday, I got her 25 gift cards to 25 different stores. When the SGM and I were broke, broke, broke early in the marriage, the Lovely Cats gave us $20 to Starbucks. We were able to make that sucker stretch out for a month and it gave us a night out once a week ~ something that we couldn't have afforded otherwise.
*they are for something that you would want to do with the person but you aren't together in order to do it. The Starbucks gift card is a good example. Dunkin Donuts falls in here too. Restaurants to your favorite foodie. Movie passes for the friend who loves movies.

So when don't I like gift cards? When it is simply $25 to Target. Or Macy's. Or somewhere random. That's not a gift. That's handing them cash. That's not a present. That's a deposit. Personally, I would rather get vanilla bubble bath or another candle every single year than just be handed a gift card to a department store. And I'm going to take the time to find the thing that I know you like, not something I could give to you or any other random person who might wander through my life. But maybe that's just me.

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


Well...I did it. My last day at work will be December 22nd. Working through a temp agency will be good, even if it's not a 100% steady paycheck. I'm sure I will have as much work as I need to make ends meet. Right...?

Plus, I've gotten a lead on two more writing gigs...


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

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The New Plan

Tomorrow, I am giving notice at work. No, I haven't suddenly hit the lottery...although wouldn't that be nice. The problem is, as great as the plan was ~ work in the mornings, come home and write in the evenings ~ it didn't work that way. The theory was great; the execution sucked. It looked great on paper. Kinda like Communism. (digressing, Pobble...)
Instead, I will give notice tomorrow and register with a temp agency or try to find a part-time job that allows me to work 3 days a week, leaving me four days a week to do nothing but write. When I can do nothing but write, I write. And I write a lot. When I have to do something else first, it just doesn't happen.
Dear God but this is scary...
Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Better Late Than Never

Several weeks ago now, GNGirl issued a challenge to her readers to post about the things in our world that we love and that make coming home such a joy. At the time, I was arguing with my camera and it was winning. But no longer! I have prevailed over the technology and can finally rise to the challenge. Admittedly, this was tough because I have a pretty strict rule about not having things if I don't love them. However, I think I have chosen wisely. So, without further ado, here are some of the things that I enjoy the most about being in my space...

These are my loveseat and fabbo pillows. They reside in my den of iniquity ~ which triples as guest room (it's a sleeper, even!) and television room. For snuggling with the puppies, for napping, for lighting the candles around it and lounging, this is a wonderful space. Whenever I'm sitting here, I feel like a 1940's movie star. Not bad for a sleeper sofa.

My teaspoons. These were the first things I bought without thinking of the SGM's tastes as well as my own. These I bought just for me, to hang in my home. I have the matching measuring cups and love them as much. The spoons, though, represent more. I will measure things I don't need to measure just to use them. They are the first thing that gets hung in a new kitchen.

I adore sconces and have several in just about every room in my home. However, this collection pleases me particularly. I've owned the lanterns for several years and this is the first time I've ever hung them. The tiles behind them read "heal" "magic" "play" and "be free." These were bought while I was dealing with the issues around my biofamily and slowly, slowly getting my head around the truth of the dynamic. While I have hung the sconce and the tiles before, there is something about them in this configuration, along with the lanterns, that brings me peace.

All my life, I wanted peacock feathers in a vase in a room. The wax lanterns clustered there. And, in a slight cheat ~ the corner of my favorite print. It's by Ty Wilson and I have owned it since I was 15. The Lovely Cats had taken me to the mall just outside of Philly when I saw this poster. It took my breath away. I decided then and there that I would live that life at some point. Somehow, the peacock feathers and the candle lanterns got tied into that promise. Twenty-two years later, I've actually made that promise come true. This corner reminds me of that fact.

And, finally...

This is CeeGee. CeeGee stands for Ceramic Giraffe.
A couple years ago, I was having one of those days. No matter
what I did, I couldn't make it right. On the way home, I stopped
and bought a pack of cigarettes, a six pack of hard mike's
lemonade and a ceramic giraffe. It was an excellent combination.
He never, ever fails to make me smile when I need to ~ or even
when I don't. I hightly recommend owning a ceramic giraffe.
Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ and Pobble Things. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Holiday Tradition

Every year, I take an evening and have an A Christmas Carol marathon. See, I remember the first time I ever saw A Christmas Carol. When Bob Cratchitt comes in late on the morning of the 26th and Scrooge yells at him, I panicked. I looked at my mother, stricken. She smiled and said "Just watch." And so I did. And have every year since.

Several years ago, I ended up alone, with a bad flu and nothing on television. But I did have my three favorite versions of A Christmas Carol. My first very own tradition was started. First, I watch the Muppet version. Then Patrick Stewart's. Then my all-time favorite, George C. Scott's. That's a brilliant Scrooge, there, my friends.

Tonight, the babies and I snuggled up and had a date with George, Patrick and Kermit. It's a nice way to start the holiday season. Do tell ~ what do you do?

And God bless us, everyone.

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