Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Book Week

Banned Book Week runs from September 24, 2011 to October 1, 2011 (I know; don't blame me, I don't set the dates or name the thing!). According to the American Library Association, these are the most banned or challenged books of the last decade:

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey

14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous

19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume

44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green

56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien

66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright

82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Taking a trick from my friend, Denny's, hat, I've bolded the ones I've read. Which have you read? A list of the top 100 classic banned/challenged books of the last century can be found here. I've read a lot of these, as well, but not nearly enough. How about you?

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ and a little taste of civil disobedience and dissent.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Birthday Thoughts

A couple days ago, I met a man who asked if I was 33, 34 years old. Since I am within days of my 42 birthday, I promptly fell in love with him.

Last winter, I officially asked Lithus for a new tattoo for my birthday. Given the fact that we are nowhere near a tattoo that doesn't involve homemade ink and a sewing needle, I think that will have to wait. Anyway...

Once I started looking at the Republican candidates for their party's presidential nominee, I changed my request to Canadian citizenship. Or at least the paperwork filled out that will take me one step closer, just in case.

Realistically, I've told him I'll be happy with a nicely scented salt scrub and new fuzzy pink slippers. Seriously, when can you ever go wrong getting me bath products and fuzzy pink slippers. Never, I say. Never!

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee. Everything else here is gonna cost a little more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It Is The BOSTON Pobble, After All

Seven ways to tell I'm getting homesick...

7. I watch reruns of Cheers, Boston Public, and Being Human (but no, not Ally McBeal; I have some standards, even when homesick).
6. My ringtone gets changed over to the Dropkick Murphys
5. These apples are okay, but not nearly as good as the ones from the North Shore
4. This southern girl starts saying "cah" and "quahta."
3. The air I'm breathing seems way too clean to be healthy.
2. It's Autumn in New England.

And the number one way to know I'm getting homesick?

1. Four grand seems a perfectly reasonable rent on a one bedroom apartment, given its proximity to Copley Square...

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


or DADT Is Repealed, Hooray for LGB...Oh...

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, as truly thrilling as the repeal of DADT is ~ and it is ~ there are nuances that many people aren't catching. First, for all the Vermont marriages taking place between servicepeople and their civilian partners, the military still doesn't recognize them as anything other than "very good friends" or "long time companion" because the Defense Of Marriage Act is still in effect. So, yes, the lesbian or gay service member can finally, finally, serve openly and TTG for it. But they and their spouses cannot yet live on post, in family housing; the civilian spouse still doesn't count as a military dependent; still won't be brought to a wounded soldier's side in the worse case scenario. And, yes, I personally believe this is different from not being allowed in a hospital emergency room. That's bad enough. But to not be able to be at the side of your soldier? The man or woman who is risking their life for a country that just today deigned to think they were worthy of doing so? It's a different horror and it needs to be respected as such.

Also, if you pay really close attention, the politicians are speaking about gays and lesbians serving openly. This is not a short cut because LGBT is too long or too weighted or too whatever. This is intentional. This is because gays, lesbians, and bisexuals can now serve openly in the military but a transgendered soldier will still be ousted, should they be outted. And I have nothing more coherent to say about that.

Celebrate. Jump up and down. Sing. Pray. Get drunk and have hot monkey sex. Whatever it is that you do to celebrate when something really monumental happens, do it. Today is worth it. But know that the Transgender American Veterans' Association (TAVA) has requested all who are celebrating also take a moment of silence to acknowledge not everyone got their rights today. Know that DOMA limits just how sweeping this is. Know that tomorrow, there is work to still be done.

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

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dribs and Drabs

  • Tomorrow marks the end of DADT! On the one hand, timely, past timely. On the other, so long as DOMA is still in effect, really only half the battle. This is one of the places where I think the debate in favor of same sex marriage not only should take place, but must take place.
  • I've discovered a love for old school calisthenics. Push ups, jumping jacks, planks, squats, shadow boxing...I love 'em all. Who would've guessed?
  • There is a new phone. Bless Lithus's heart, he so wants me to have a smart phone. Or at least a flip phone. Or a slidey phone. Or something. The thing is, though, I am hard of hearing. Pretty distinctly so. And the more a phone does besides just be a phone, the less phone-like qualities it has. So, yes, there is a new phone. It's another $15 Go Phone and I can hear quite well through it, thank you very much. Mind you, sending Nemeria a single line text this morning took five whole minutes because none of the extras are the same as I'm used to but hey ~ I can hear.
  • Check this out: Middle Child Press. They are a new epub house created to get women of color published. While it is a travesty that we still need such a house, we do, so let's support it!
  • I'm thinking about starting an ongoing segment over at Stilettos In The Outback entitled "Carnivale." Now, more than ever, Lithus and I have indeed run away with the carnival. There is a core group of people who work for this new company and we move from place to place. While it's not actually a caravan ~ or hasn't been yet ~ we all end up in the same place, share food or booze or look after the kids or each other. And maybe that's all that needs to be said about it; maybe it will become something. It's an amazing experience though, this carnivale I've joined, and worthy of noting.
  • An introduction, of sorts...If you look over at my links, there on the left, you'll see a few new names: Authentic Life, where Bill writes about life and writing and Boston and family and yes, trying to be authentic in an often inauthentic world (and did I mention Boston?); and Reporting Live, where Paria writes about love and pain and success and failure and keeping on and reaching goals ~ all with a poignant sense of self. Also, J Byrd, if you're still reading, I can't comment on your blog and I want to! Any thoughts on how to finagle that?
  • We bought a car. In Alaska, we were driving a cherry red firebird. It was completely and totally irresponsible and oh so fun. We knew, however, that we couldn't do that again. This time, we really needed a bush vehicle. We researched and set out looking for Durangos. We're now the proud owners of a 2002 Land Rover. At least it's not a sportscar, right?
  • In spite of the carnival, I'm back to watching television and movies set in northeast cities just to go dreamy eyed over the exterior shots. Apparently, it's been a long time since I've been home.
  • ETA: How Did I Not Know This???? Talbots has a petite plus size section. And their models are actually and for real plus sized. No shit. Because not all of us who are petite are size 2s. And some of us ~ I know, this is daring ~ still want quality clothing. Demanding, short, zaftig women that we are.
Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Screaming Liberal Post #3A

Because I missed post #2 by accident and laziness.

I want to clarify something. I am not anti-Republican. I am not anti-conservative. When speaking with Lithus, I frequently refer to "conservative but sane" meaning I am infinitely okay with disagreeing with someone's politics so long as they are not insane. Want an example?

This person is not crazy:

I may disagree with him on many instances (and I do), however, his facts actually are facts; he is educated in reality. If he ever gets into the White House, I won't feel as if I have to leave the country.

This person is crazy:

I have informed Lithus that I do not love him because of his Canadian citizenship however, should she get into the White House, his citizenship will definitely be an asset he brings to the table.

See? Not crazy; crazy. Disagreements, no problem; disagreements, and big problem. You and I can disagree. You can be conservative; I'm embracing my screaming liberalness. Just don't be crazy. Don't be uneducated. Think and learn and listen before you speak ~ or run for office ~ or vote.

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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th, Every Year

Every year on September 11th, I call the Grill Master. If you were to ask either of us, I'm not sure we could tell you why it is important for us to check in with each other this day; we only both know it is. In 2001, we weren't together; we didn't talk; we didn't catch up. The Divine M (his wife and my best friend, for those of you who are new-er here) and I spent many hours on the phone that day, but he and I didn't. And yet....

One year, on the anniversary, I was there, quite by accident. He and I spent the day quietly together. "In prayer and reflection" isn't a phrase that will ever be used for us, but it was as close to that as we will ever get. We didn't talk much but we didn't leave the room without the other often or for long, either. The shoulder clap and the eye contact-nod was common throughout the day. It was vintage Pobble-Grill Master and it felt right. It felt right enough that the next couple years, I was there on the anniversary intentionally. Somewhere during those years, it became important for us to check in when I couldn't be there.

This year was no different. It went like this:

Him: Hello, Boston.
Me: Hello, Grill Master. How the hell are you?
Him: As good as I can be. How you doing?
Me: 'Bout the same.
Him: Yeah. Where are you now? Idaho? Iowa?
Me: We're in Idaho. What the fuck am I doing in Idaho?
Him: Calling me, 'cause it's September 11th. That's what you're doing in Idaho.
Me: *sighs* Yeah. You know I love you, right?
Him: Ditto.
Me: I know.
Him: Yeah.
Me: Yeah.
Him (sadder): Yeah.
Me (sadder): Yeah.
Both: *sigh*
Me: You take care.
Him: Go, have as good a day as you can.
Me: You, too. And if I don't talk to you before, I'll talk to you in a year.
Him (laughing): Yeah!
Me: (laughing): Talk to you later.
Him: Later.

That was it. That was enough. We both said everything we needed to say and heard everything we didn't need to speak.

And that's why I love him and why I acknowledge this day with him, wherever I am.

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

Thursday, September 08, 2011

One of Those Moments

When Lithus is at work these days, he leaves his phone here at the hotel. He has absolutely no cell service where he is on the mountain and so the phone is just one more thing to keep track of while he's out. I spend the days ignoring it beeping and blooping and ringing. Today, however, I was deep in edits when it rang, scaring the crap out of me. Honestly, it was habit that got me up and looking at caller i.d. Where I saw Lithus's project manager was calling. The project manager who has access to Lithus. Or at least has access to Lithus's radio. Who has no reason to be calling Lithus's phone. No reason but one...

I'm quite proud to say I didn't panic.

And in fairness to Project Manager, he realized immediately what he did. It went like this:

Boston Pobble: Hello?
Project Manager: Oh...damn. I think I called the wrong Lithus. Is this Lithus the Pilot's phone?
BP: Yeah, it is PM.
PM: He's okay. I hit the wrong Lithus on my phone. He's fine.
BP: *nervous laughter* No worries. It happens.
PM: Looks like he's gonna be a out on the fire late tonight, too.
BP: Okay. Again, no worries.

Here's what I love, though ~ Project Manager has been around long enough that, as soon as he had confirmed his mistake, he knew what the first words out of his mouth had to be. And just like that, my heart's beating again.

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

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Screaming Liberal Post #3

2009 wasn't the greatest year for me, in case you weren't aware. Lithus and I spent a lot of time under a rock, just trying to get by. By 2010, I was paying attention again but honestly, didn't think to go backwards and catch up. I looked up at what was happening currently and kept going. All of which is to say, this has just now come to my attention.

Now, I have done some research but haven't found anything more about this, which leads me to believe it just is what it is ~ and that none of these men lost their jobs over this issue. Which begs the question Dear God Why The Fuck NOT?????

If anyone knows of real, long lasting fall-out from this, please, let me know in the comments or via email. We've got another election coming up, people. Make sure you know who you're voting for.

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