Saturday, August 30, 2008

Living History Aside

Sexism (noun)
1. discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of the opposite sex
(WordNet, Princeton University, 2006)
2. The belief that one sex is naturally superior to the other and should dominate most important areas of political, economic, and social life. (The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition, 2005)

Are we in agreement here? Yes? Good. In that case...

Are You Fucking Kidding Me???????

You are
not really considering voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin because the vice presidential candidate has a vagina, are you? Are you really not able to think with your brains instead of your genitalia? Are you fucking kidding me?

Now, before I go any further, I want to make one thing clear: I have no problem with anyone voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin because they represent the issues you hold dear. None. And I have no problem with anyone voting against Barack Obama and Joe Biden because they are against the issues you hold dear. None. No, once again, I am speaking to those people, mostly women, who have always been liberal democrats, who have always rallied against conservative republicans, who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries and are now willing to vote McCain-Palin because, and for no other reason than because, Palin is female.

I admit, like most of America, I know almost nothing about Sarah Palin. I have, however, spent a good deal of time yesterday and today looking her up. Will this be all-inclusive? Oh hell no. Here is where I'm finding my information, though:;;;; and

So, can we look at a few things? Stepping back from emotion and trying to be logical?

More Federal Funding for Health Care ~ Clinton supports it; Palin opposes it

Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming ~ Clinton strongly supports it; Palin strongly opposes it

Global Warming as a Problem Caused by Humanity ~ Clinton believes it; Palin does not believe it

Constiutional Amendment Stating a Marriage is Between a Man and a Woman Only: Clinton strongly opposes it; Palin strongly supports it

Domestic Partnership Benefits for Public Employees: Clinton strongly supports it; Palin strongly opposes it

Offshore Drilling ~ Clinton opposes it; Palin supports it

Abortion is a Woman's Right ~ Clinton strongly supports it; Palin strongly opposes it

Sexual Orientation is Protected by Civil Rights Law: Clinton strongly supports it; Palin strongly opposes it

Absolute Right to Gun Ownership ~ Clinton strongly opposes it; Palin strongly supports it

More Spending on Armed Forces Personnel ~ Clinton opposes it; Palin supports it

Creationism to be Taught in Schools ~ Clinton opposes it; Palin supports it

Look at this, people. They are not the same woman. They do not bring the same ideals and goals to the table and to the country. If you share ideals and goals with Sarah Palin then for the sake of all things holy, Vote For Her. Vote McCain-Palin. Please.
If, however, you share ideals and goals with Hillary Clinton, open your eyes. Listen to the advice we have given to young men for so long: think with your head, not with what's between your legs. Come on, already. Your candidate lost. Are you really going to turn your back on what she stands for? Are you fucking kidding me?

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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Living History

Oh friends, I can hardly see straight. Obama/Biden. McCain/Palin. I am aquiver. With more respect than I can verbalize to Geraldine Ferraro, something's going to change in this election. There is no out. There is no safe choice. However this country votes this time, it's different.

People are saying that the choice of Palin is a knee-jerk reaction. That McCain doesn't really want a woman vice president. He only wants to shake things up, to court the Clinton voters who are too put out by the system to vote for Obama. You know what? I don't care.

People are saying that the choice of a female vice president was strictly politically motivated. Oh Come On, People! They are politicians for God's sake! Every single decision they make and word they utter and phrase they turn is politically motivated. It may be sincere, too. It's not an either-or situation. Just don't fool yourself, even when it is sincere, even when it is heartfelt, it's politically motivated, too. If your name is McCain, Palin, Clinton, Biden or Obama.

You think the Biden choice wasn't politically motivated? He's older, has more experience, is recognized as one of the top foreign policy thinkers in the country and has the safety of being white for those voters who are indeed, no matter how much we all try to pretend otherwise, nervous about Obama's race. Obama may also be lucky enough to be really, sincerely excited to have Joe Biden by his side. And it was a politically motivated move, too.

Generally speaking, I care a great deal about motive. Why you are doing something means as much to me as that you are doing something. You know what? Not this time. This time, I could care less what the motivation is. Knee-jerk reaction; insincere politics; political expediency. Don't care.

It's history. It's here.

By God, whoever wins had better deliver. That's what I care about.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love the Lovely

Leave it to the Lovely Cats. Tonight in my inbox, I received not one, not two but three separate places to go explore. Most importantly, though, they came with directions from my house.

Yeah, we're 3000 miles apart. And yeah, she's dealing with some shit right now, herself. She still managed to come exploring with me. That's what she does. And she didn't even get an iced caramel latte out of it this time (and you thought I'd forgotten, silly cat.) See why I love her more than my luggage?

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you tea with the spoon left in the mug.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wow, I SUCK at This

I am the bravest person I know. But here's the thing about bravery: you cannot be brave unless you are afraid. If you aren't afraid, it's not bravery. I believe I am open about the fact that I am brave, that I have to be, because I am so often afraid. Sometimes, I joke about it. Sometimes, I cry about it. Sometimes, I'm straight forward about it. It is not something I try to hide any longer, however. I'm not unafraid; I'm just brave.

The tough part is when my bravery fails me. Like, well, yeah, like now. I'm in a new place. A place I don't know AT ALL. I know no one but Lithus and he is often away. I am trying to get out; I'm trying explore. But to do it completely alone, without anyone to hold my hand...This is something I have always sucked at and now is no different.

It's also really, really hard to explain. See, a good majority of the time, I am incredibly competent and strong. I can either dig deep and be brave or I am comfortable and don't need bravery. So I do understand when people don't get why I am practically paralyzed. Why the thought of going out and exploring on my own is enough to bring me to tears and send me back under my blankets.

Honestly, I don't understand it either. It makes no sense. I have traveled all over the world. I have walked through inner cities. When a friend needs someone to come be with her, to help break her out of her out of her comfort zone, I'm the person she ~ whoever she is ~ inevitably calls. And I can do it. Nevermind that I don't know where the Target in Naugatuck is. Nevermind that I have never been to trapeze school or am slightly afraid of heights. Nevermind that I don't know where the voting place is either. Nevermind that I have navigated NYC with my heart twice and done just fine. Or that I took Lithus to Philly, a place I hadn't been in over a decade, and managed to show him around reasonably well and then went to Atlantic City, a place I've never been, and found the place, where to park, all of it. Or that I traveled from the US to Pune, India completely alone and never missed a beat. Or, or, or...

So why can't I explore my own new hometown alone? Why does it, indeed, practically paralyze me? Guess what? I don't know any more than you or anyone else knows. I only know it's true. And if you ask my friends, they will be the first ones to say "oh, yeah, the Pobble SUCKS at going it alone until she's done it once."

I live in a city I don’t know. That’s so big I can’t imagine learning it. And I’m just far enough outside of it that I can’t simply walk out my door and start exploring it. I have to know where I’m going enough to get to it in order to explore it in order to learn it. Only I don’t know it even well enough to find where I want to be in order to start exploring.

When I’m not alone, when Lithus is home, he counts on me to come up with ideas. That was part of the bargain. I do remember that. But I don’t know where I am so it’s hard to come up with ideas. I want to explore on my own…it’s just so big, so intimidating, so scary. It won’t be once I learn it, if I ever learn it, but it’s so hard without even a single friend to lead the way.

I want to explore the city. I want to explore the area. I want to find the cute small towns around. The funky shops, boutiques and coffee shops. The museums. The florists. The bowling alleys. The independent movie houses. I want to know where they are. I want to have a local friend. I want to be a local. I want to know this place.

But I’m not a local and I don’t know this place. I’m somewhere I don’t know and I don’t know how to learn it. Not under these conditions, with no help.

I suck at this. And that sucks. Because I like being braver than this. I like being stronger than this. I dislike having to admit any of this. I dislike the look in people's eyes and the tone in their voices when they begin to realize that, every time I've said this does and would happen, it isn't an exaggeration. It isn't being self-depreciating. It's really how and who I am. And no, it won't get easier in time. No, I'm not in episode. This is Outside of my comfort zone and without anyone to hold my hand through it.

And it sucks.

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

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oooooo...Feel That?

That bite in the air when you first step out in the morning? That smell that hits the back of your sinuses and cools your throat on the way down? Yeah...that's Autumn.

I love Summer. I really do. And I'm grateful that the sun is warm, the temperature is in the low 80s and the sky is a cloudless blue.
Still...that bite in the air when Lionel and I stepped out earlier this morning. That never has and never will cease to make me smile. That's Autumn.

That's crackly leaves and hot cider and sweater-nights and warm fires after cool days. That's snuggling under a blanket under a harvest moon and Halloween and gourds and the smell of burning wood. That's wind stirring colored leaves on the trees and around my ankles and crunching beneath my feet.

It's coming. (photo from with thanks!)

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And A Little More

The initial reports from the NTSB have come out. The word is there was an engine failure very shortly after take-off. There was also only one window in the trees that even might have been big enough to get the helicopter through. Once the helicopter had gotten through that window, there would have been enough open space for them to make it down the hill on one engine. Had the pilot not been able to find a window, it would have been a completely unsurvivable crash. But there was a window and Roark found it, eventhough it only might have been big enough. Roark still managed to find the window. It was a difference of 18 inches.

18 inches.

Look at your computer monitor. Odds are good that it is 18 inches or more. So, the maximum amount of space he had to judge was your computer monitor. While flying a helicopter 59 feet long, over 12,000 pounds, with rotors 62 feet in diameter. Oh, and just for shits and grins, trying to recover from an engine loss, too.

And while I realize this is old news and not water cooler conversation any longer, should you hear any armchair quarterbacking, here's what else you tell them: he couldn't just put it back down. After every takeoff, there is a point of no return (it's not called that; it's called some acronym that sounds all aviation-y but for us, it's the point of no return.) This is where, regardless of what is going on, the pilots, helicopter and any crew or cargo will be safer trying to move forward and find a safe place to land than to put it back down again. It comes very quickly after takeoff, almost immediately. And Roark's engine failed just moments after that point of no return. (So, yeah, boo on you and fuck you, neighbor!)

Roark didn't fuck up. We all knew it, as much as we could know it. And it's nice to have it confirmed. Removes any last bit of doubt or wondering. It also helps alleviate any concern that he might be made into a scapegoat. After all, he can't dispute anything that is said about him. I would like to think I would be this open about it if he had fucked up. That I would be willing to tell the truth and shame the devil (as the saying goes.) I'm just as glad I don't have to know that for certain. Because he didn't fuck up. He stayed tight right up until the end.

Well done, my friend. You weren't a proud man. I hope you're proud of this.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you a little more closure.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

500? Really? Well...That's Cool

According to the blogger gods, this is my 500th post. Somehow, I feel I should be more excited about this than I am. Don't get me wrong; I do think it's cool. At the same time,

Instead of making a big to-do about it, I think I'll simply leave it at these two paragraphs and then write the post I was going to write before I realized it was the 500th post. So whoo-hoo. 500 posts. There we go. Moving on...

It's been hot here. Like triple digits hot. So, Sunday, Lithus, Timber and I went to the river. I know. I went outdoors willingly. Shocking, isn't it? Blame the heat. It must have made me crazed. There are several wonderful parks out here, though, and a couple weeks ago, we had found this one quite by accident. It's a lovely river with rocky beach and lots of shade and truly beautiful.

This past weekend seemed the perfect time to go intentionally. So, we grabbed drinks and some snacks, dressed in our suits and off we went. I have to say, I'm a bit envious of GNightGirl and Zooom. They always seem to have their cameras with them and their batteries always seem to be charged. How I wish I was like that because I would love (lovelovelove) to be able to post pictures.

It was as lovely as we'd hoped it would be. The current is strong enough to drift you downstream but not so strong as to be scary. The river rocks are fun slimy, not gross slimy. And the water was the perfect temperature, once you got yourself in it.

As a Pagan, I try to stay connected to the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. Fire is easy for me. Air is easy, too. Not as easy as fire but easy. I wear the Muppet's earring at all times and he is an air witch so I carry air with me. Water is generally taken care of because I take my baths that I love so much but I admit to not being as connected as I need to be. Earth...well, earth and I aren't very connected. I don't spend a lot of time with earth. If anything, I spend quite a bit of time avoiding earth. Yet on Sunday, I was enveloped in all four elements. The fire I carry with me; the air around me; the water buoying me; the earth under my hands, my feet and bumping up against my butt as I floated downstream.

From this perspective, looking back on it, I realize it was exactly what I needed to bring some balance back into my life. From the other side on Sunday morning, it just seemed like a fun thing to do. I've said for a very long time, even before I was Pagan, the Universe gives us what we need. TTG I decided to listen this time, right?

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

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Of Kibbeh, Jazz and the Purple Dress

Yesterday, Lithus reminded me that we hadn't celebrated the end of the new book or getting the novel out of copyedits. We'd hoped to do it when I finished them ~ but he was on tour and out of town in Montana. We'd hoped to do it when he got home from his tour ~ but that didn't happen and we all know why. We'd talked about the fact that it was one of the things that had gotten put aside but we were both still in that shruggy-who-cares place and, well, shrugged and didn't care. But yesterday, Lithus cared again and suggested we go out. Anywhere I wanted.

We found Lebanese food. And a jazz club. And I wore my purple dress.

Now, Middle Eastern food is a favorite of both of ours. Love the flavors and scents. There are, however, certain foods that you generally won't find on menus at generic "Middle Eastern Restaurant" menus. Like kibbeh. Kibbeh is, to my knowledge, a strictly Lebanese dish. I was introduced to it by the Lebanese grandmother of my college roommate (so I know good kibbeh) and have never seen it on a menu except at Lebanese restaurants. I wasn't disappointed. Ground lamb, ground beef, perfect seasonings...yeah.

As for jazz, I really know nothing about jazz except that I like it. I like it a lot. So there we sat, at a bar in downtown, listening ~ and watching ~ these four guys do what they love. The pianist was still young enough that he didn't quite have the cool, suave, jazz thing down. He was talented ~ amazingly so ~ but he was still in that place of being very excited to be doing what he was doing. Nothing cool or suave about him. But the bassist, saxophonist and drummer...these guys were in their 50s and 60s and had been doing this all their lives. You could just tell. They had it down.

And the purple dress...last summer, before leaving New England, I went to visit the Lovely Cats et al. MomCat and I had brunch and she took me to this great consignment shop. We were looking around, oohing and ahhing, when she pulled out a purple lace dress. It was lovely. It was elegant and romantic. It was my size. It was five bucks. I only had about ten bucks on me and was trying to decide between the purple dress and a gorgeous coat (which cost ten bucks) when MomCat took the dress away from me and walked up to the counter. She bought it saying "This is to wear when Lithus takes you out on the town." That was June or July last year. For lots of reasons, it never got worn. Until last night. Celebrating my books. Out on the town. With Lithus. Under a full moon. With jazz.

Yeah, life's good.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Life Continues

Hard to believe not too long ago I was given an award for being a fun read, isn't it? But the amazing thing is life does indeed continue. There are books to write and a city to explore and friends to make and laughter to share. Even now. I'm hoping this will be the last Roark post for a while. Sure, there will probably be some scattered in now and then. And you should probably bet on there being at least one around the funeral (early September) but as for this series...I think, I hope, this will be the last.

So here's where we are...(with thanks to the two guys who will recognize this because it is, mostly, an email I sent to them):
We have actually gotten enough information for us to be able to begin to move on. It's unofficial but believed to be accurate. And it's the kind of thing that may not mean anything to the general public but speaks volumes to us.

1. The takeoff was slow. This probably (by a HUGEMONGOUS margin) means there was something mechanical going on that Roark would've been trying to compensate for when he hit the trees. Simply because it was the third trip means nothing. Everything can be fine ~ until it isn't. Something did indeed cause him to hit the trees. He didn't ... just hit them.

2. The helicopter landed on its left side. The left side is the side the pilot rides on. Which means he was killed on impact or, at a minimum, was knocked so far into unconsciousness that the flames wouldn't have hurt him. Which we already knew because, as I'd said before, it's the only reality I will accept.

3. Roark was indeed the command pilot during the flight. This takes pilot error or arrogant flying almost completely out of the picture. Could Roark have fucked up? Of course. He was human. Is it likely? Not at all. Not doing this.

4. "She" knows Lithus and I are out here, know about her and will be there for her whenever/however she needs us. Roark would have expected nothing less from Lithus and we wouldn't have offered anything less to Roark.

So. These four things help. The official report will (hopefully) fill in some of the details in time. For now, these things help.

A major gathering is taking place here in a few days. Lithus and I have decided to skip it. They are expecting 3000 people or more to honor all nine of the men killed. It's a great idea. I'm glad they're doing it. And it feels ... wrong somehow. To both of us. While there will certainly be people who go for the purpose it's being held, I can also see people going because ooo, I wonder if so-and-so will be there. I haven't seen him in a while. sure, I'll go. And that's not really anything we care to join right now. We're invited to the private service. That's the one that we will attend. That feels right.

There have been several requests for at least one story. Here's my favorite (that can be shared): Last fall, I went to CA to be with Lithus while he was on tour. Roark rotated in and we were all very pleased about it. The pilot who rotated out is a really good guy but he's not Roark. Every flight, I stand by the fuel truck and watch the bird take-off. Rotor wash is whipping around.
Santa Ana winds are whipping around. It's very noisy and yes, a little romantic in a WWII kind of way. Lithus even blows me a kiss out the bubble every time he is in the left seat, just as he flies away. (command-level pilots take turns being pilot or co-pilot or else a 14 hour day can get really boring) So, this one flight, Roark is up and flying; Lithus is in the right seat. And I realize Roark's hovering. Not moving, just hovering over the tarmac, looking down at me. As Lithus tells it, they've been hovering so long even *he* is aware that Roark is just hovering. Suddenly, I realize why.

The winds have blown my shirt up over my bra but below my chin so I haven't been aware of it. The whole time Roark's been hovering, I've been flashing him. I pull my shirt down, start to laugh and he, the rogue, laughs back and blows me a kiss just as he flies away.
And that's how I like to remember him. Laughing, blowing me a kiss and flying away.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty...well...we're getting there, anyway.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Getting There

I think we might have turned a corner yesterday. Maybe it's temporary, maybe it's permanent. Either is okay because grief will manifest how grief manifests. For right now, this moment, and a few hours yesterday, a corner has been turned. We are no longer glued to the television and internet. We actually are aware of the fact that we should probably clean the kitchen. We have had a couple conversation-length conversations that don't even touch on Roark or the accident. I was thinking this morning about a non-Roark related post. I'm not ready to post it yet and I was thinking about one for the first time since Wednesday.

We are now able to be wryly amused at our movie choices this week. See, we've been renting a lot of movies. Action, mindless, non-thinky movies. We both enjoy the genre and watch a good deal of it. But this week, they have all ~ that's right all ~ had an aircraft crashing, someone burning alive or both. Random titles we have never seen and have nothing in common but their genre. And the fact that aircraft go down and people burn to death. Go figure. Before this week, I can't remember the last time we watched a movie that had either of those, let alone both, of those things happen, in spite of how much of the genre we watch.

And yesterday, one of our neighbors said something offensively inaccurate and grossly inappropriate to Lithus about the crash (neighbor doesn't know what Lithus does for a living or who he and Roark are to each other but it would have been offensively inaccurate and grossly inappropriate if neighbor had said it at his office water cooler) and specifically about "that pilot who was killed." He presented himself as in the know because he had talked to someone who knew someone who was there or worked for the Forest Service or something. Lithus was calm and simply said "Neighbor, your information is inaccurate" and left it at that. Last night, I was venting about neighbor to the Divine M. Loudly. Angrily. About armchair quarterbacks and assholes who want to look and sound like they are important. About how if you are going to present yourself as knowing the truth then you had better be damn sure you're not doing so to someone who actually does know the truth. Yeah...neighbor was outside. Our windows were open. Odds are good he heard me. Wryly amused.

Another source of wry amusement for me now is the fact that they are using stock footage in most of the video. What is amusing about this is probably 60-70% of the time, Lithus is one of the pilots in the footage. There is a way to tell. Again, it's not my place to explain ~ just know there's a way to tell. And there is he is, in more than half of this footage. Another pilot who really doesn't want to be known as a hero, being shown doing his job in reports about heroes. Yep, wry amusement.

What's not amusing me, wryly or otherwise, is you are hearing things that aren't accurate. Not about the crash itself. We're not hearing anything definitive enough yet to know if that's accurate or not. But about Roark. About my friend. And it's not my place to correct the information. It's not my place to shout from the rooftops "That's not who he was!" What I will say is all this hero stuff that is being bandied about, all the statements that firefighters are heroes, about how they were willing to sacrifice their lives...well, he would've hated this shit. He would have smiled and said thank you and been very polite. All while he was hating it. He would've hated being remembered as the pilot who died fighting the fires. So, he would've simply changed the subject, asked about you, listened to your stories. And really wanted to hear them.

Those are Pobble Thoughts.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Everyone is saying something different and the reports keep changing and contradicting themselves. There was an NTSB press conference again today and we couldn't find it anywhere because the Northwest News Channel didn't bother to run it. The crash is, after all, old news now. It took place three whole days ago. Everyone has moved on. Except for those of us who still want to know what the fuck happened to our friends.

The voice recorder has been found. TTG. I pray it will have Roark's voice as pilot on it. Anything else is unthinkable.

I'm amazed at how often I think about him in daily life. Not around this. Just in life. Today, I was looking for an old post to show Lithus. The thought process went like this: I need to show him that post...he'll love the vest...I found that vest online once...I wonder if I can still find it...I better be able to find it because I'll need it when Lithus, Roark and I start flying cargo...oh, right. Just Monday I had sent the Divine M the picture of the two of them that I have posted down below, telling her what a great picture it was of my two favorite pilots and that I wanted to get it blown up to hang it in the new place. Over the weekend, I had come up with a storyline for a new novel; the hero is a pilot. I named him Roark. I decided to wait until I heard back from my agent to make sure the plot was good before getting in touch with him and saying "hey, let's write this!" The email from my agent came back as I was reading the first article that dared to call him presumed dead. Couldn't put it in a book or no one would believe me.

I'm struck, too, as I look back on these posts at how nonchalant the first one is. "Dammit, Roark. Come on, friend. Prayers please." It wasn't more because, even as I posted it, I thought "You are going to feel so foolish when he's fine and comes wandering out of the woods." Because that's really what we all expected to have happen. I seriously wasn't concerned. This was Roark. Who took a job in Rio and proceeded to disappear. Do his work, cash his checks, but disappear nonetheless because he was enjoying Rio too much to do anything but do his work and cash his checks and enjoy Rio. Lithus and I were thisclose to taking bets on if he would ever come back. So ... so what if he was "unaccounted for"? Roark lived his life unaccounted for. Accountable yet unaccounted for. He was Roark.

He was bigger than life and twice as handsome. He spent his life being called an enigma. But, as I wrote here just last fall, he wasn't one, not if your paradigm is large enough to accept Roark in it.

God, I'm ready for some answers. Ready to start to heal. Right now, we are just sitting around, trying to stay busy and pretending we aren't waiting for the phone to ring or have Lithus' email notification go with news. I'm ready for the pall to be gone. For our laughter to not feel so forced. It's only been three days. But the hurt feels much longer.

Those are Pobble Thoughts.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

An Iota of Peace

Roark was, apparently, flying, after all. I don't know how to explain why this makes it easier if you don't understand instinctively. Just know that it does.

Pobble Thoughts may become a little single-tracked for a bit while I process through all of this. While we learn more of what happened. Or, I may stop posting for a little while. I'm not sure which way it will go. Bear with me, please. We're just very, very sad out here.

I'm ready to learn what happened. I'm like that. I want to know. I want the details. I need the full picture before I can move on. The one thing I already know ~ and Lithus knows as well ~ regardless of what is proven, regardless of what comes out of the investigation or eye witness accounts or anything else, Roark died on impact. Two of the men who survived were on fire when they escaped from the helicopter. The burning jet fuel is still making it difficult to approach the wreckage. So Roark died on impact. Period. I know this. As for the rest, I'm ready to learn that. But how he actually died I already know. Because it has to have been this way. So it was.

At the same time, I'm ready to have him back now. Okay, this has been an interesting, not terribly fun, bit of excitement in the week. Let's get back to reality and stop the joke. It's time for the investigators to say "Actually, we haven't found as many bodies as we expected. We have, however, heard singing and have spotted a campfire down the hill aways so we're checking that out." And there he will be. It's not going to happen, and I do know that. But I'm ready for it to. Because you spend all day worried. And then you spend all day on the phone and in tears and glued to the internet news updates. And then you finally get your arms around your fella. And you make love. And you cry together. And you actually get a good night's sleep in each other's arms. And you wake up...and it's still there. That sinking in your stomach. And the burn right behind your eyes. And the lump in your throat. So it's time for all this to be over and us to start telling stories again.

She got in touch with us. Lithus had looked for her email or phone number and hadn't been able to find it. We were so grateful that she thought to write him. It was horrible telling her but now she knows. And no one had told her anything. She's not official. She wasn't in the loop. She is now because we know how very happy she made him, how very much he loved her. That puts her in the loop in our book, regardless of whatever label she officially carried. I can't imagine how horrible yesterday must have been for her. Today is worse...and better.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. I don't know what any of it will get you.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

6:06 p.m.

It's official. He won't be coming down off the hill, cigarette clenched between his teeth, whiskey in one hand and that rolling laughter booming out before him.

Dammit, Roark.

Goodnight sweet prince...


...I feel cheated. We were so close to being the friends we both suspected we could be.
...I want to scream. Why weren't you flying, dammit! Why weren't you?! You should've been fucking flying.
...I hurt for Lithus. Who is too far away for me to even be able to touch. Who always knew there would be another time to fly with you, to drink with you, to laugh with you.
...I ache for her. Who will think to tell her? Or is she alone with the news reports and wondering which one of you was flying?
...I don't want to hate him for flying. For his style of flying. For his arrogance. For his know-it-all attitude.
...I miss you. You don't die. You don't. Not like this.

Mostly...I hurt.

Dammit, Roark. Come walking down off that hill already. Okay?

Dammit, Roark...

Come on, friend.

Prayers, please.

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

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Activism, Apathy and Indifference

Activism (noun): the knowledge of, concern for, and action regarding social and political issues; usually accompanied by a willingness to change personal behaviors to some degree in order to affect change

Apathy (noun): the feeling that nothing one does will matter or change the status quo; often accompanied by a sense of hopelessness or resignation that changing personal behaviors is a waste of time and energy

Indifference (noun): the knowledge of an issue combined with a complete lack of concern for it; often accompanied by an unwillingness to change personal behaviors to any degree in order to affect change

(source: the Boston Pobble)

While I consider myself an activist, I am aware of the fact that I know people who make me look as if I don't even know who is running for President. And it's no secret that I am not as much an activist as I was before I decided it was bon bon time and started writing trashy romance novels. Still, I am aware and, when I hear of something new, I will do my best to incorporate it into my life.

That being said, I understand apathy. I understand the feeling that one person cannot make a difference. That one person buying, not buying, doing, not doing, voting, not voting, whatevering, not whatevering won't change a damn thing. The issues are too big, too overwhelming. Weighed next to the demands of our own lives, making the change, caring, being aware is just too much effort for little or no results. It makes me sad ~ and I understand it at the same time.

You know what I don't understand? I don't understand indifference. I don't understand refusing to make a small, insignificant change when told about a need. I don't understand underestimating the harm that can be done. I don't understand the absolute resistance ~ often bordering on obstreperousness (is that a word?) ~ that refuses to buy a cup of coffee or tea from a particular place, that refuses to even try another brand, that refuses to consider a change in one's actions. Not because it won't matter but because it is simply not important to make the change.

Only buy eco-friendly cleaning supplies? Good for you. Buy traditional cleaning supplies but refill the same bottle as often as possible to cut down on landfill? Good for you. Think 'oh shit...I always mean to do that but never remember when I'm at the store' when you read that? You know what? I even understand that. Support LGBT issues? Get your next bottle of water or cup of coffee from McDonald's. There's a boycott going on. Don't support LGBT issues? Get your next bottle of water or cup of coffee from Burger King. There's a boycott going on. Pro-choice? Don't order your pizza from Domino's; get it from Pizza Hut or Papa John's instead. Pro-life? Order from Domino's as often as possible. Correction: Domino's founder and owner sold the corporation almost ten years ago now. He was the one who supported the anti-abortion movement so this last bit is moot now. Sorry!

These little changes and those like them are big for activism. They are small enough to appeal to even the most apathetic ~ even if they aren't going to work (*grin*). So why wouldn't someone do them? Or, if these aren't your issues, why wouldn't someone take this kind of minor action over something that *is* their issue (and please, don't tell me that they *would* for something that directly affected them because this post is coming from somewhere, folks.) To be told about something that affects you and to not change just because you don't care enough... Nope. I don't understand indifference.

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

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Oooooo! Another one!

This has been a very good week for me, both in reality and in cyberspace. Check it out:

Courtesy of Cracker Lilo

Needless to say, I'm honored. Cracker Lilo was one of the first blogs I ever read that was written by someone I didn't know. She had actually tagged (back when they were still called tags and not memes) the first blogger I ever read that I didn't know. I left him a note saying I liked the tag and she showed up in my inbox. I've loved her ever since.

So here's what I do now:
* put this on my blog (working on that one)
* nominate seven other blogs (with thanks to whomever created this originally for a number I can work with!)
* let them know they've been nominated (the easiest part!)

Part of me simply wants to say "Look over there at my links. They are all brilliant. Pick one, any one. You won't be disappointed." So know that's the truth of the matter. However, I will play along and introduce you to some unlinked bloggers at the same time...

Lrns over at Acknowledge, Move On A while ago, there was a "thinking blogger" award going around. Had I been reading Lrns at the time, I would've nominated him.

Denny over at The Chronicle If this doesn't count as brilliant then I'm not really sure what the word actually means.

Gabi at Ick Feh Fun, irreverent and thoughtful. Only she likes NY better than MA. Hey, no one can be perfect, right?

GOML! at Get Off My Lawn! I knew I'd find a way to nominate him for something. 'Cause he's just way cool. And yes, brilliant.

Mike C. at
Thoughts on Spirituality, Liturgy and Religion His gentle faith requires more of himself than of others. His thoughts, struggles and beliefs come from a place of integrity. Those are nice lessons ~ even for a Pagan.

StevieD at
Real Euphoria He's a new read but I am consistently impressed. (Note ~ this is not a G or PG rated blog. There is occasional full-frontal nudity. It is beautiful and tasteful. I don't imagine this will shock or offend any of my regular readers but if you're stumbling here for the first you know.)

And finally Vanyel over at
My Life in the YYZ You will never wonder how he feels about a topic. Ever.

So there you have it. Seven brilliant blogs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I.

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ with thanks to Cracker Lilo and with a little help from seven friends. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Ps ~ I thought I had figured out the linking within a post. And I had...until about halfway through. *sigh* Pobble: 1/2 Computer: many. Still, I'm leaving the links up since so many of these are unlinked. My apologies for the weirdness that goes on in the body of the post. Boo on formatting.