Friday, November 30, 2012

A Little Less Traditional

Lithus and I are still completely in explore mode. With New Orleans in general, and with our new neighborhood, specifically. So, we were out today, exploring, because exploring is one of the things we do best. We live down the block from the NOLA Public Library, main branch. I may never leave the apartment without my drivers license again, because Lithus has his library card now, and I still don't.

However! We also learned that we are right down the street from Ampersand. Yep, that's a rave club. So, we stopped and were looking at the posters. Paul Oakenfold. Skrillex. Such great music. Glow in the dark foam nights. As we are looking and oohing and ahhhing and reminiscing, a young man comes up and asks if we know what we're looking at. We assured him we did. We were able to actually speak some about Oakenfold and Skrillex and laser shows.

Still, when he asked if we'd ever been in, I assured him we had not. Actually, what I said was "Oh honey, no, we're old." At which point, I admit it, he made my day. "No, no," he said. "You should totally check it out. They have shows over at Mardi Gras World, too. You should totally come."

He wasn't selling anything. He wasn't invested. But even being *ahem* of a certain age *ahem* we still just got invited to hang with the local street kids. All because we could talk about a couple old school musicians and have been to light/foam shows. Not bad for 43 and 52, if I do say so myself. 

So, in keeping with the day's techno theme...

And with some dubstep thrown in, for good measure:

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Blog, My Style

This is the second year I've done holiday music throughout the season here at Pobble Thoughts. It has confirmed what I suspected about myself. There are certain artists I like a lot. Of course, there are specific songs I adore, too. But on the days that I go looking for a random holiday song, I am more likely to stumble across ~ and enjoy ~ Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, the Canadian Brass Ensemble, Loreena McKennitt, Blackmore's Night, Manheim Steamroller, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and yes, the Muppets.

So, here is what I am sure will be the first of many.

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bells, Bells, and More Bells

At the old apartment, we had old windows. 150 year old windows, to be exact. We were also only on the second floor. While we didn't live on one of the noisiest streets in the Quarter ~ Bourbon, or Royal, or even Decatur ~ there is no real "quiet" street in the Quarter. Combine all of this together and you get constant noise. Some of it ~ the music, the brass bands, the riverboat calliope, the laughter ~ was delightful. Truly. Others of it, though ~ the restaurant opening and closing, the drunken tourists, the twice-per-night trash collection, the arguments ~ got old quickly.

Here in the new place, if we have the windows open, we can hear the traffic. If the windows are closed, none of the life below us reaches us. Except for the bells. If you go back to the post a couple days ago, where I posted pictures, in the night view, you can see a building with a rose window. That building is a Jesuit cathedral. They have bells.

From 7 o'clock in the morning through 10 o'clock at night, the bells sound every fifteen minutes. At noon and at 6:00 PM, they peal and we are treated to a concert. Our first morning here, they woke me at seven. Our second morning here, I didn't hear them until 7:45. Now, sometimes I don't even notice them when I'm awake. I'll tell you though, when I do hear them, they warm my heart and make me smile. May they do the same for you.

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday

First, we had Black Friday. Then, we added Cyber Monday. After that, we squeezed in Small Business Saturday. Now, we are following up with Giving Tuesday. I admit, I hadn't heard of Giving Tuesday until yesterday, when I was watching CNN at the gym and they mentioned it. I had to go look it up, because the captioning was bad and I wasn't 100% sure what I was reading. Sure enough, Giving Tuesday is a thing.

As someone who gives an annual PSA about giving during the season, I am all for this. As someone who truly believes what we put out will come back to us threefold, I am all for this. In fact, this may be the most sincere, earnest post I make all year, every year.

Because every year, I do a post about giving. This year, it's a little different. This year, if you want suggestions about what to give, where to give, or how to give if you're strapped, go to the links from 2005, 2007, 2008 (the first year Toys for Troops made an appearance, FYI), 2009, or 2010. I missed 2006 and 2011, go figure. Still, those five years should give you some really good ideas. And holy shit, I've been blogging a long time.

For this year, I'm just going to say "Give Something." Give today, if you want. That's great. Give a lot. Give a little. A can of green beans or a hundred dollars to the local food bank. Give a smile or time. Give a clean load of laundry or a swept floor. Give a can of dog food or a year's supply of kitty litter. You know what matters to you. You know what you have available to you. Give what's in your own heart. It will come back to you. Threefold.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Ebb and Flow of Friendship

The FE and I exchanged a few emails the other day, in which I admitted to missing her, just sucking at writing. In return, she admitted to thinking about me all the time, as well. Then she said "we each know the other is out there." It was spot on. We aren't in touch often and yet, it doesn't seem to matter. We each know the other is out there. And it is helpful in that we are both in the same tide as the other. It's not always the case.

Two other friends of mine... In one instance, I am the one wondering why the friendship has shifted. I've done all the things I'm supposed to do. I checked in. I made sure I was initiating. I asked if we were all right. It's all been acknowledged, appreciated, reassured. Because of who this guy is, I even believe him when he assures me we're all right. When a friendship ebbs, that's often the truth. Everything is all right. It's just...shifting. The truth is, even with us all right, I am not as part of his weekly life as I once was.

In the other instance, I am the one shifting. She and I are completely all right. At the same time, I am aware that I don't think to reach out to her as often as she thinks to reach out to me. My instinct isn't to share the good, the bad, or the indifferent with her immediately any longer. She didn't do anything. I still love her. And she is no longer as much a part of my weekly life as she once was. And I can tell she knows it, too.

To a certain extent, I'm grateful for the shift within the first friendship, because it gives me some persepective on the second. I try to reach out a little more than I might, otherwise. As the second frienship gives me perspective on the first. I trust when he says I haven't done anything, because I know she hasn't done anything. It's just the ebb and flow of friendship.

Mostly, though, it makes me grateful for my friendships like the one with the FE. Sometimes there are flurries of emails. Sometimes, there are long stretches of silence. And either is all good. Eventually, we'll come back together. Until then, we know the other is out there.

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

As I mentioned yesterday, we are home for the holidays this year. I also mentioned we had moved. Living in the Quarter was great. It really was. It was also, as my mother pointed out, an experience, and sometimes you don't want an experience. Sometimes, you just want to live your life. So very true.

Now, we live in the CBD. We are still downtown. It is still cool. If anything, it's almost cooler. Because it is everything you want and expect from New Orleans, specifically, and everything you want and expect from a city life, generally. Steel, marble, concrete and glass. God, I love a city life.

The building is professionally run. There's a doorman. There's a maintenance team. There's a cleaning crew. There are elevators that are clean and work. There are enough outlets. The lightswitches are all in the right places. The kitchen, while small, is laid out perfectly. We even have our own washer-dryer. An oven. It's amazing the things I will never again take for granted.

For the first time since we hit the road, I have unpacked all my clothes. Everything is out of suitcases. All the sweaters and jackets are out of boxes. I can't wear them down here, because it never gets that cold, but dammit, they are on shelves, off the floor. Lithus is blessedly patient, because so far, every single morning, I have gotten out of the shower and announced that I was going into the closet to decide on an outfit to wear today, and remind him that I can do that because I am unpacked.'s kind of a big deal after four years.

Not all the boxes are unpacked yet, and it already feels like home. Home in a way nowhere has since Worcester, for those of you who have been with me that long. Only here, I've got Lithus with me, too, which makes it even better.

Plus, there's this...

Palm trees to the left

Palm trees to the right

And the nighttime view out the window.

Finally, we are still surrounded by hotels, and always have a sleeper sofa, so come visit.

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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What's This?

It's Christmas. Yule. The countdown to Santa. The winter holidays. Hannukah. The most wonderful time of the year and God bless us, everyone! The season has barely begun and yet we have already had a wonderful evening with friends, and the coffee commercials have begun to make me cry. In the next few days, we'll decorate.

It's New Orleans, all dressed up in her party clothes. We'll wander the streets of our city and enjoy palm trees sparkling with lights. We've already wandered through the elegant hotels and enjoyed their lights and trees and wreaths.

It's home. Lithus and I get to spend the holidays here, in our own home. Talk about an amazing gift. We moved recently. Out of the Quarter, by about six blocks ~ but lightyears away from the drunken party that is always that part of town. The buildings around us are steel, marble, and glass. Gorgeous. Our view is all city. Even still among our boxes, we keep looking at each other and saying "God, we love this apartment!" I've unpacked, for the first time since we left Washington state and hit the road. Seriously. It's been that long since I had shelves and everything was out of suitcases and boxes. Like I said, talk about an amazing gift.

There will be more, but even if these are the only gifts of the season, you won't hear me complain.

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's The Day After Thanksgiving

You know what that means? That means it can be time for carols. And this year, the day after Thanksgiving also happens to be Lithus' birthday. So, in honor of my favorite person, I give you his favorite carol.

Happy birthday, my love. Happy holidays, everybody else.

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Here's A Hint

* If you start your statement with "I'm not being racist but..." you're about to be racist.
* If you use the N-word, you are racist.
* If you use the word f*%%&t, you are bigoted.
* If you think there are levels of rape, you are anti-woman.
* If you force people to accept your belief that life begins at conception and abortion is murder, you do not believe in religious freedom.

* Not allowing you to oppress me does not make you oppressed.
* Religious freedom isn't about being allowed to choose which branch of Christian someone is going to be.
* No one else's marriage is a threat to your marriage.
* If your religious beliefs can't stand up to other people believing differently, your beliefs are the weaker ones.
* Laws based on Christianity are just as oppressive as sharia law.

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

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Borrowing Words

As good as I am with words, sometimes others say it better.

In an article by Christopher Hennessy, Tony/Pulitzer-winning playwright Doug Wright puts it THIS WAY:

"I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, 'My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.'

"It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues."

The rest of the article is definitely worth a gander, too.

Those are Pobble Thoughts, through Christopher Hennessy's and Doug Wright's words. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Screaming Liberal Post #6

With thanks to AppsRus.

In case you do not know the musical LesMiserables, there is a song entitled One Day More. It is the song sung the day before the revolution begins. If you are interested, you can find a version of it here:

If you aren't interested, or don't have time right now, that's okay. The point is, it's a powerful song about people being scared, not wanting to say goodbye, but willing to do what they have to do tomorrow. The fact that it is the basis of the parody below is not coincidence.

In spite of that intro, this really does stand on its own.

One Term More - With Subtitles from One Term More on Vimeo.

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