Sunday, August 26, 2012

What A Difference A Week Makes

But it actually starts sixteen years ago. My ... "friend" seems so inadequate ... she's my sister as much as anyone related to me by blood and biology. My Cats. My lovely, Lovely Cats. Sixteen years ago, she married a man who had made her cry the day before. And for sixteen years, he has worn her down. He has called her names until she believed them. He has showered her with insults until she thought they were true. I have seen him beet red and screaming, so close to her face he was spitting on her. And, still, what I saw wasn't as bad as it got, because it was always better when he had a witness; he was on his best behavior.

Last Saturday, he sent her to the hospital. He slammed her arm in the door to the point everyone thought it was broken and then wouldn't let her leave the house. Afterward, he made her beg to be taken to the emergency room.

It wasn't the first time the police were called. It was the first time neither of them could cover it up, excuse it away, charm it back behind closed doors. 

I'm sitting here, trying to find the words to explain just what he did, what it was like, and have just decided that I can't. It is impossible. The words I can find though, are the words that will follow her as she moves forward. And is she ever moving forward.

She is stronger after only one week than I have seen her in sixteen years. She is a better mother than she's been in thirteen years. She is more resolved than I've seen her ever. This will not happen again.

Is it easy? Of course not. Is she okay? Of course not ~ except that she is. Her brother said that maybe things were going as well as they could be, and I was able to reassure him that they were going even three baby steps better than that.

It's been a long week. It's going to be a longer...however many months the state requires and then he drags this out. She will go through times when she is weaker than she is right now. She will only continue to get stronger. She is already surrounding herself with better people, people who know the difference between love and control. People who understand that her being at her best is a good thing, not a threat. People who want her to succeed, not fail.

I watched her today at the beach, playing with her children, smiling and laughing and at peace. We were barely adults ourselves the last time I saw her like that. I've missed my friend. It's good to have her back.

Saturday night



One Week

It's been a long week. But as I was telling the Princess Kitty, as scary and sad as this week has been, this one week has made every day for the rest of our lives so much better.

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One! Two! Three! (Ah, ah, ah...)

ONE! ONE giant leap for mankind:

TWO! TWO different characters:

THREE! THREE sad losses!

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

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Toast the women who:

* finally say "no."
* recognize when enough really is enough.
* pack their shit.
* know that as scary as this is, it's still not as scary as it could be if they let it.
* know that as scary as this is, it's still not as scary as it will be if they let it.
* protect the right people.
* make the phone calls.
* don't make any more excuses. the men who:

* know the difference between love and need.
* don't hit, yell, name call or abuse.
* are "real men" ~ in all their forms.
* don't need excuses.
* understand that fear has no place in a home or a family.

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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Getting It Right

Recently, I have been corrected regarding events here in NOLA. Corrected by two men who used to know more about the city than I, but who don't live here, have never lived here, and no longer know more about my hometown than I do. By two men who I have, in the past, thought knew me well enough to know that I a) rarely talk out of my ass b) usually admit to it when I do talk out of my ass and c) take polite correction (reasonably, if unhappily) well. I would actually prefer my friends to correct me, so I don't make a fool of myself in front of people who don't love me. But... If you are smug, and self-righteous, and seem to take pleasure in correcting me, I gotta be honest, it makes me question if you are actually my friend.

For the record, the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday are indeed called Carnival. Mardi Gras is only the day before Lent starts. Locals don't interchange them.

French Quarter shopkeeper: I probably make 25% of my yearly profit during Carnival.
Uninitiated: Oh, so Mardi Gras is good for you?
FQS: Oh hell, no! I'm closed on Mardi Gras. I don't want their drunken asses in my shop!*

Also, White Linen Night is a Warehouse District Event in August.

It's a community stroll, where the shops and galleries stay open late, offer wine and hors d'oeuvres. People ~ yes, wearing white linen ~ come and stroll and look in the shops and galleries, drinking wine and eating hors d'oeuvres. Dirty Linen Night is a French Quarter event that takes place the next weekend. A few years ago, someone from the Quarter decided that no one else in the city the Warehouse District shouldn't get any attention at all have all the fun, and created Dirty Linen Night. It's the exact same thing, only down Royal Street, with more liquor and less wine, and dressed in the linens that got dirtied last week in the Warehouse District. I know this exists because I got caught in it last night when I decided I wanted brussel sprouts with my dinner and went to the grocery store. Plus, there's a website and signs and announcements and shit like that. Locals know about this.

Local 1: Did you go to White Linen Night last night?
Local 2: I did, but I dropped a cocktail weenie on my top.
Local 1: At least you're ready for Dirty Linen Night next week.
Local 2: True that.*

* Dialogue may be exaggerated for effect.

So, when I referred to Carnival and Dirty Linen Night, I actually meant Carnival and Dirty Linen Night. Surprise! I actually know about my town. Don't get me wrong; I'm not hurt that you corrected me. Not in any way. However, I would remind you when you correct me, be correct. Or, at least, don't be smug, and self-righteous when you correct me and you're wrong.

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

Monday, August 13, 2012


I always know something's going on when I start to get restless. As I am these days. I know what it is, and it's easily fixed. More writing, less second-guessing. All will be well. But until I get back in my rhythm, I am restless.

I have suspected it for a few days, but just really got it today, sending an email to a friend. See, just recently, Lithus and I made the conscious, deliberate decision that we would stop looking outward and elsewhere and beyond. We love New Orleans. Love it. And no, we really don't want to leave unless the reason for leaving is massively worth leaving. Manhattan? Boston? Sure. Absolutely. Missoula, MT? Hoboken, NJ? You know...really not so much. Which is why it took me a little while to realize I was restless this time. Because I am happy, and I do love where I am, and I want to stay here.

But I've spent the last few days not being satisfied with this:

Or this:

Or even this:

No, I realized I was restless when I found myself thinking that this:

photo by Vivienne Gucwa
or this:

could make my life so much different.

The truth, however, is that if I'm not writing in New Orleans, I won't be writing in New York or Puerto Rico. If I'm second guessing myself here, I'll second guess myself there, too. The geographic cure only works when the problem is the geographic location, no matter how restless you are.

Because really, there ain't a damn thing wrong with this:

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

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Little More Than a Week On...

...and I'm getting better. The itching has all but stopped. The swelling is gone. Once everything heals up, I'll be able to shave again! Yay!

It's the little things.

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

Friday, August 10, 2012

Time Passes

I woke up this morning to the headline "Three Special Forces Operations Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan." First, it's not hard people. "Special Forces" are the Green Berets. Nobody else. "Special Operations" are all of the elite units, including but not limited to, Green Berets. Second, I... didn't care.

Don't get me wrong. Of course I care. The war is supposed to be over. Soldiers are not even supposed to be there, let alone dying there, any longer. But that worry that it is the SGM, that worry that maybe the Golden Boy finally got caught... Nope.

It just seems so long ago now. He seems so long ago. I am happier than I ever was. I am loved more than I ever was. I love more than I ever did. Lithus and I have known each other a little over six years, been living together for five, and married for three and half. And he very long ago. Which is odd, considering this blog was started as a way to process my divorce from him.

Reading the news, I realized no one would think to call me if it was him, but also, even if they did think to contact me, no one would know how any longer. And I am just fine with both of those facts.

As the day went on, more information came out and it appears they weren't Special Forces, which means it wasn't him, which is fine, because I do not wish him ill. The Golden Boy lives to fight another day and good for him.

But me? I'm where I belong. Living my life. With my dear Lithus. I can't imagine anything else, any longer.

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

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Of Chicken, and Other Treats

It's Starbucks Day! Grab a coffee or a tea or a cookie or a bottle of water today and show your appreciation to companies that support LGBTQ rights. And, if you're craving a chicken sandwich while you're out, here are some alternatives.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ but the one from Starbucks is gonna cost a bit more.

Friday, August 03, 2012


Wednesday was a holiday for me, so I decided to take some cornbread and fruit and a couple sips of rum down to the river and watch the sun set. The entire walk there, I'm thinking to myself "just make sure you don't sit in an anthill." See, I am highly allergic to ants. And not just the red fire ants. Little, black, garden variety ants will get me.

In fact, the last time I was bitten by an ant, I went into anaphylactic shock. Another allergen was present ~ toasted coconut ~ and no docctor has ever really been able to tell me if it was one of these, or the combination of the two, that led to the anaphylaxis. I just make it a policy to avoid both.

Which brings us back to Wednesday evening. I get to the river and look around. No ants. Fabulous! I sit down, begin to unpack my cornbread when I realize my dress has pulled up and the grass is dry and therefore biting into my skin. I adjust my dress when ~ and I know you know ~ I realize I am covered in ants. On my hands. On my feet. On my legs. And yes, they are biting.

This is where I will toot my own horn. I did not start screaming. I did not throw myself into the Mississippi River. I did not panic. Instead I packed back up and started paying very close attention to my breathing. So far so good.

I mentally mapped the hotels between me and my apartment, figuring I would stop there and ask them to call for help if necessary. I remembered I had my phone and called the Divine M, who rose to the occasion beautifully. And I made it home.

Even holding off what could be a medical emergency, there is something disconcerting about stepping into a shower fully clothed. But I did it. Rinsed everything, washed everything. Still breathing well. I even thought to drown whatever ants were still in my clothes so they wouldn't be crawling around my apartment.

Yesterday, once the swelling started to go really go down, I decided to count the individual bites. I gave up after 94. Figured that was enough and I didn't need to count any higher than that. Now? Now it looks like I'm a plague-ridden serf from Tudor England and I itch so badly I can just barely stand it. And I'm more or less bedridden because getting up and moving around causes everything to swell back up and hurt. And I'm stoned out of my mind on benadryl, because longer than four hours and the itching gets to the point that I can't stand it. And everything, including my kidneys, aches just a little as my body processes everything.

The pictures below are a little icky, if you're squeamish. Feel free to skip them. You're not missing much else in terms of writing. Instead, envision the town crier coming through, yelling "Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!" and that's about the same thing. :)

These are just of the one ankle.

You don't really need to see the rest of my body

See? Plague-ridden medieval serf, right?

But I'm livin'. And I'll take that.

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