Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Happy New Year dear friends. All my life, I've wanted to do two things on New Year's Eve.

Thing the first ~ attend a ball. A real ball. Live music. Dancing. Men in tuxedos and women in ball gowns. Champagne and a midnight balloon drop.

Thing the second ~ attend a New Year's Eve event at a glitzy, glamorous city hotel. Be the people high up in that window, overlooking the city and the city lights, drinking champagne and watching the fire works from the best view in the town.

Last year, Lithus and I went to the WWII museum ball. Check!

This year, we are going out for dinner and dancing at the Westin Hotel. 11th floor, overlooking both the city and the river where the fireworks go off. Check!

It was a good way to start 2014. It'll be a good way to end 2014 ~ and start 2015.

May 2015 be good to us all.

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Travelers, Through and Through

Lithus and I spend a lot of time in hotels. A LOT of time. Does anyone else remember the 12 month period of time where we spent more than 40 weeks on the road?

We learned a while back that he really needs a home base. Being on the road is fine. Truthfully, it's preferable. We get antsy if we're home for too long. But we still need a home base if we're going to live the way we do.

One of the best parts of NOLA is that there is no shortage of places to go out at night. Live music. Bars. Restaurants. Lounges.It really is a good place to be a grown up, who doesn't want to go to college bars or meat markets, but does want to enjoy an evening out.

And yet...

I am amazed at how often Lithus and I find ourselves in hotel bars. Hotel lounges. Hotel restaurants. "Our" bar ~ the Sazerac at the Roosevelt Hotel. "Our" brunch place ~ the Ritz Carlton. Favorite pizza for delivery ~ the Hyatt. Best place for tea ~ the Windsor Court. Best afternoon sweet ~ also the Roosevelt, but Teddy's this time. Hair salon ~ the Marriott. Tomorrow night for New Year's Eve ~ the Westin. Even our some of our favorite art in the entire artistic city is at the train station. Not a hotel, but in keeping with the travel theme.

We need a home base. We do. Yet even when we're here, we regularly find ourselves in our comfort zone ~ walking through the hotel lobby, on the way to have a seat and enjoy an evening out.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Why I Love My Workouts...

...and Why You Should, Too.

My mom and I went for walks most of my childhood. I danced in musicals. So, I've been active since I was young. But it wasn't until college that I came to enjoy my workouts.

I discovered running. And weight lifting. In another life, I was a rock climber, rappeller, boulderer, and even a day hiker. Now, I'll be the first to admit there was a backlash after that stage of my life ended. But eventually, I learned step aerobics could be fun. I rediscovered running. Over the past several years, I've become enamored with old-school calisthenics, too.

These days, my workout is as much about re-centering my world, and meditation, as it is health and a strong cardiovascular system. I can sweat out my frustrations. I can burn off my disgust. It's hard to hold onto anger when you can hardly hold onto your light weights.

So I don't come here and rage about

  • People who think that the only way to support someone or something is to support it blindly
  • People who put something out publicly on Facebook, Tumblr, or a blog and then snark that an opinion about it is "unsolicited"
  • People who will call out any and all kinds of privilege ~ except the one that they themselves carry, at which point the Bingo card comes out
  • People who claim to be feminists, but still call women stupid bitches, heifers, fat cow, and dumb cunts when a woman disagrees with them
  • People who claim to be white allies but then get defensive when a person of color points out a mistake the so-called ally has made, because, after all, they're a "good white person"
  • People who swing wildly from one extreme to another, but continue to expect respect, patience, and support
  • People who claim to be white allies, but then don't get the difference ~ or the necessity of ~ "black lives matter" v. "all lives matter"
  • People who think that offering an apology automatically means they deserve forgiveness
  • People who think that being giving forgiveness automatically means you're friends again

Instead, I pick up my weights, I put on my music, and I go to work. I breathe. I burn. I sweat. I pant. I lift and run and punch and push and squat until I have found my center again. Until I have gotten over myself. 

Remembered that not a one of us is perfect ~ in spite of how some people may set themselves up. Remember that how a person presents themselves is their business, and how I present myself is the only thing that is my business. Remembered that I am not perfect, either, and am actually pretty screwed if that becomes the standard. Remembered that, in the grand scheme of things, none of it matters. Remembered that there are no more lessons to be taught, and we all must learn in our own time, in our own ways.

And yes, I post then. But I post. I don't rage. Sometimes, anyway.

For those times it works ~ you're welcome.

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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seasonal Specials

Part of what I love so much about the winter holidays is the specials. Yes, most of them are Christmas, lets be honest, but some are just winter-y. And some apply regardless of what you're celebrating.

The Grinch will always remind me of my mother. First, she read it to us (along with Giant Grummer) every Christmas Eve. We would get home from Christmas Eve services and try to settle down in spite of being spun up, and Mama would read to us. We were grown, home from college, and she was still reading these two stories on this one night to us.

Charlie Brown is a classic. Plain and simple. And there is nothing else like the dance scenes.

Another of my favorites is a little-known one called 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. It's the one with the clockmaker and the mouse. Does anyone else remember that one? It's not on often any more, and is even hard to find on dvd or streaming. This one always makes me cry, gotta be honest.

We were watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town this year. It's another Rankin-Bass. They cut the song about sitting on Santa's lap and giving him a kiss to get a toy. They also cut Jessica's (Mrs. Claus) weird, oh-yeah-this-was-a-70s-special-wasn't-it LSD trip in the middle of the show. Okay, it's not really an LSD trip ~ except that it is. She starts singing and the kaleidoscope colors start spinning behind her, right in the middle of this special that hasn't been anywhere close to a yellow submarine up until this point ~ and never gets near it again. So odd. Apparently, though, pedophilia and LSD trips about women's lives not starting until they meet their man aren't as popular in the 21st century.

London sent me a link to one of her favorites called, simply, The Snowman. It's beautiful, gentle, and delicate. Haunting, even. But I need to watch it another year ~ some year when I'm not missing my dad so much ~ because it struck me as melancholy, too. Admittedly, I will never get a first chance to see it again, but hopefully, on a less melancholy year, it will be less melancholy.

My most recent favorite, though, is Prep and Landing (and only slightly less fun, its sequel, Prep and Landing: Naughty v Nice). It came out first in 2009. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Totally secular, totally Santa-centric, and one of the only modern specials that can hold its own with the classics.

There are the movies, of course: It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street (the real one with Edmund Gwenn, not the dreck with Richard Attenborough {and forgive me, Sir Richard, for using your name and the word "dreck" in the same sentence but really...}) but the specials are, well, special. Even in this day and age of instant streaming and video on demand, I try to only watch them once a year.

Let the anticipation begin to build for another 12 months...

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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Recap

So, the 25th was a good day here at Casa de Pobble. Mind you, I woke to the smell of coffee, and the sound of music, so it could hardly have been a bad one.

Part of the joy of being a grown-up at Christmas is you still get chocolates and nuts and hair clips in your stocking ~ but you also get booze and stockings in your stocking.

We would both enjoy sharing Christmas with our loved ones. Have the opportunity to have them in our home, around our table, on the holiday. But for now, it's just not feasible. Which makes it very good thing that a day just the two of us is just as special. Back at Thanksgiving, I wrote about being so very excited to have Thanksgiving with him. A friend asked me what we were doing. I told her we were having the day here at home, just the two of us. She asked what made that different from any other Thursday.

Okay, technically, it's no different. But it is. It's a holiday, with Lithus. And every single one of those is worth getting excited about.

It was a good day. How about yours?

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day

December 26th. For those of you who don't know, this is the anniversary of my dad's death. As I've written earlier this season, I've missed him this year. However, this is not only the anniversary of my dad's death.

Today, Boxing Day, is a day to give back. And so we have. We walked up to Covenant House with nearly 50 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste. Originally, we'd planned on giving our Mac Money to them in the form of underwear and socks, as well. That plan changed slightly, but they still got a boatload of oral hygiene products.

The people who are getting the Mac Money did. It's actually nice to be able to spread it around a bit. It all means more love, after all.

And trust and believe, my dad would approve of that.

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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head.  No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells.  Oh, glorious.  Glorious!

"What's to-day?" cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.

"Eh?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.

"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" said Scrooge.

"To-day?" replied the boy.  "Why, Christmas Day."

If you happen to find yourself here at Pobble Thoughts today, know you are in my thoughts. That I wish you merry and bright.

And god bless us, everyone.

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24th

It's Christmas Eve. I love Christmas Eve. Lithus and I have already been on walk about in New Orleans. Had coffee and a light brunch at the hotel next door. Enjoyed decorations, and yes, even the crowds of tourists.

In a bit, we have reservations for Christmas Eve tea at another hotel in town. Then are heading down St. Charles Street to look at all the lights on the mansions in the Garden District. We each have a couple, small, last minute things to wrap, as well.

Candles are lit, music is playing. It's a good day. If you're lighting a last candle, biding your time until the seasonal craziness ends, waiting for Santa, or midnight mass ~ may it be a good day for you and yours, as well.

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dangerously Good

I wanted a tasty beverage with a holiday-esque spin. Eggnog was too heavy. We didn't have apple cider. It was time to improvise.

I started with Ovaltine, cold milk, half an ounce of dark rum, and an ounce of whipped cream vodka. It was close, but not quite right.

This time, though, it was only 2 times a charm. My big hot cocoa mug. Hot cocoa. 1 ounce whipped cream vodka. 1 ounce Kahlua. Stir well.

Trust and believe, dear friends, you want to try this. A couple of times.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you a tasty, tasty adult beverage.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Evolution of Christmas Wrap

This is our third holiday season in this apartment. Our fourth living in New Orleans. While that probably isn't a big deal to most people, for us, it's huge. I don't think I've had 3 holidays in one home as an adult. And I know I haven't lived in the same town for 4 years since I moved out of my parents' house. And on the move is Lithus' natural state of being. So, to have decorated this same apartment three times is noteworthy.

The first year in this apartment (the first year we lived in NOLA we spent the holidays on the road and with Crow and Bil) was leanish. Not the leanest, by any stretch. But lean-ish. We decided we didn't want to spend money on wrapping paper and bows. This wasn't a tough decision for us, because there just wasn't that much money. We'd rather spend the money we did have on gifts for family, friends, and each other. Instead, we wrapped gifts in brown paper sacks from the grocery store and decorated them with Lithus' art supplies.

Last year, we bought wrap. No ribbons, bows, or fancies, though, because while not a lean year by any stretch, it still felt like an indulgence after so many years of lean.

This year...this year, we have wrapping paper. Thanks to our foray into uptown the other night, we have ribbon. We have bows, stickers, tags, and fancies. We each took over the bedroom and wrapped and designed and poofed and curled. I was able to embrace my inner (gothy) Martha Stewart.

Three years. One apartment. Who knew it could ever happen? Brown paper to ribbons and bows. The love is no different ~ it is, however, wrapped nicer.

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blessed Be

What a difference 24 hours makes. Actually, it only took about 1 for me to start feeling better after yesterday's post. 

Lithus and I decided we would take the trolley up Canal to Carrollton, buy holiday wrap and ribbons and fancies, then go to our favorite Italian restaurant for dinner, and bakery for dessert. And just like that, my holiday mood was restored.

Then, of course, today is the Solstice. There are some holidays in my religion that lend themselves to reflection and pensiveness. Yule isn't one of them. It's not the most raucous of our holidays, but still ~ it's about pushing away the winter and the dark and celebrating the return of the light. Hard to be blah in the face of that.

And so I wish you a blessed Yule. Today is the shortest day of the year, and the light returns tomorrow. It's a good day.

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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Morning Post

I learned my lesson last night. If I wait until later in the day to post, I simply don't want to. My holiday spirit is fine this year ~ although not, admittedly, as great as I would have expected it to be based on how holiday-ish I was feeling leading up to Thanksgiving. But, at the same time, it's not. I don't know how to explain it.

It's been a weird season. A mix of rage-inducing tragedy, over-the-top excitement, awareness of my friends' pain, awareness of my own blessings.

Lithus is home and off work, so that will help. I'm not, but am taking a few days off this week, including tomorrow, for my faith. Melancholy isn't right. I'm not melancholy.

Maybe I'm aware? Maybe I'm tired? Maybe I'm a grown up? I don't know. The light begins to return Monday. Maybe I just need the light to return.

Whatever the reason, whatever the happening, I figured it was time to work some new singers (if not so new songs) into the repertoire.


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

Friday, December 19, 2014


It's been a long day, catching up on work after the kids' visit (pictures soon!), catching up with Lithus after his being gone, dealing with stuff. Nothing bad, just daily living stuff. But it makes for a blah kind of blog.

Have some music, straight, no chaser. Because it never gets old.

 Those are tired, but here, Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Playing Favorites

On the way to the airport this morning, Listener and I got to talking about our favorite holiday songs. It's so hard for me to choose. As soon as I would settle on one in my mind, another would pop in. I finally narrowed it down to the 4 that first popped in when she initially asked the question. Then I remembered that I hadn't included Good King Wenceslas in that list. I think it's because I don't consider that a holiday song, but more a life directive.

So, Listener, it was early. Good King Wenceslas is, bar none, my favorite holiday song ~ and life directive. Since you've heard it already this year, though, we'll cut to the other four...

In the Bleak Midwinter:

Christmas Canon (and I always love revisiting this video every year, just to see Ossie again. There are some people we never stop missing.):

Snoopy's Christmas:

And, of course, Bing and David. Because nobody does it better than Bing and David.

If I happen to have tears on my cheeks after listening to those four for posting, I'm woman enough to admit it. That's what makes them my favorites, after all.

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Delighted and Foolish, All At Once

Back on the 9th, I wrote about a clear loop recording thingy. The music I chose for the day was one from the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble Christmas album. This album was the sound of my childhood Christmases.

Every single year, it was the way my father let us know we could come into the living room. When we were little, we would have bounced into their bed, and my mother would wrangle us in place until the music came down ~ or up, depending on the house ~ the stairs. Once we started getting older, and weren't quite up to bouncing any longer, the sound of this music would wake us. It was Christmas morning, and the day had finally arrived.

A few years ago, I found this music on youtube and posted it for Christmas day. I'm sure I wept happy tears at finding it, because I have no idea how long it had been since I'd heard that music at all, but especially on Christmas morning. 10 years? 15? I don't know.

Fast forward to the 9th of December, this year. I've posted a song from my childhood and it hits me: I bet my parents' copy of this album wasn't the only one that was ever made. Not only that, but I bet it was put out in different mediums. In fact, I bet that it didn't matter that I don't know what happened to my dad's album. I bet I could my very own version of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble Christmas album.

Guess what? Amazon. New, for $7.29. I have my very own version of this cd:

So yeah, I feel a little foolish that it took me this long to think of it ~ but more I'm delighted that I finally did.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee to wake up to on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Holidays Means Something After All

I am always stunned when people don't like being wished a happy holidays. There's an internet thing going around that says people should say "Happy (insert whatever holiday they celebrate here)" and not be offended by anything else.

On the one hand, I get this. How great would it be if we could all wish each other Happy (Whatever) and it be okay! 

On the other...really? People get offended by my wishing them a happy holidays, because they think I'm disrespecting Christmas by actually acknowledging they might celebrate something other than Christmas. Which means the very acknowledgement of a possibility of them celebrating Hanukkah is enough to make them feel disrespected. These people would freak the fuck out if I wish them a Blessed Yule.

So I'll stick with Happy Holidays. Because I do wish you a Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Yule, a Lovely Kwanzaa ~ and yes, a Merry Christmas. Because I know, love, and respect people who celebrate each one of those. I just don't presume to know which one you do.

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Annual PSA

Every year, I write a post on giving during the holidays. This year is no different. However, since I'm pre-publishing right now with the kids in town, I'm reworking an article I wrote earlier in the month for a newspaper gig I have...

It’s the holidays, and you know I do love the holidays. The lights. The colors. The music. The food. Laughter, friends, and goodwill. Traditions that have spanned longer than I’ve been alive, and that just started last year. I love it all. Especially the traditions.

A few years back, Lithus and I were in pretty bad shape financially. Really bad shape, actually. My Mac sat down to do her charitable giving that year and, instead of giving to the ASPCA, she gave to us. $100. Now, it doesn’t seem like much. That year? It was a ridiculous amount of money. What none of us realized, though, was a tradition was born.

Every year since then, Lithus and I have given $100 in her name. We’ve given to individuals, a family, organizations, even once the innkeepers of a place we’d been staying, when we learned they were on food stamps. That $100 in My Mac’s name has become part of our holiday tradition.

Another tradition of mine is to buy a toothbrush and full-sized toothpaste every time I go to the store from November 1st through Christmas. Sometimes, that’s once a week. Sometimes, it’s every day. However often, though, I buy a toothbrush and toothpaste. Between Yule and Christmas, I find a homeless shelter wherever I am, and deliver them. Lithus is British Canadian, so he grew up with a strong sense of Boxing Day being the day to make charitable donations. For him, it was gloves, scarfs, socks, underwear. The small things people tend to forget about. We have combined our two traditions quite nicely, and now deliver my toothbrushes and his gloves on December 26th.

My point is holiday traditions don’t have to be about turkey or beef for dinner. Or the chorale concert you always attend. Or decorating the tree with your friends and too much eggnog. Don’t get me wrong – I have those traditions, too, and I love them. But holiday traditions can be about more than that, too.

If you have a tradition of giving, great. If you don’t, it’s never too late – or too soon – to start one:

  • Give in honor or in memory of someone. A teacher who supported you. The friend who was always there. The sister who loans you her skirts (even if she draws the line at her shoes). The brother who taught you to tie a necktie.
  • Give your time. Not all of us have the financial resources to give money. Believe me, I get that. Contact your local food bank, or animal shelter. Find your local LBGTQ organization, domestic violence shelter, or day shelter. They will have ways you can donate your time, knowledge, empathy, muscles, brains, and passion. Whatever cause is dear to your heart, you can donate your time to it.
  • Combine traditions. Invite your friends over to decorate the tree and drink too much eggnog ~ and ask that everyone bring a single toy, stick of deodorant, full-sized toiletry, or jar of peanut butter. Pick a theme and ask everyone to bring one of that thing. The goal is to reach critical mass – have a small pile of something, without anyone having to spend more than they have, or feel bad because they couldn’t afford much.

And that’s how traditions are made. Which is far more interesting than just a list of things you can donate. HOWEVER! If you’re looking for that list, I have those suggestions as well. 

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Over the River

The kids ~ My Heart and Listener ~ arrive tonight. I am so excited I can hardly see straight.I haven't had him in my home since we lived in Anchorage. I have never had her in my home. And, as much as we've seen each other in the last year or so, time with family is different from time just with us. My Heart and I haven't had time just us in...damn, years. Yes, Listener will be here, but she is really good about, well, listening.

So I'm busy doing last minute puttering. Ovaltine? Check. Flowers? Check. Clean towels? Duh.

They arrive tonight and I get 3 whole days with them. My Christmas wish came true a little early.

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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Little Gifts

I have written before about my measuring spoons and how important they are to me.

Aren't they great?

In the 8 years since I wrote that, their importance hasn't diminished in the least. If anything, they are more important because I am now sharing my life with someone who appreciates them as much as I.

When I bake, I use them. When he cooks, Lithus uses them. They are our working set of measuring spoons. Only about 2 years ago, the 1/2 teaspoon broke. Right there at the bowl, it snapped off. I was devastated, but Lithus assured me it could be fixed. So, we put it away until we could get it fixed. Again, that was 2 years ago.

I mentioned it to him a couple days ago, asking if he knew where it was any longer. We both thought it might be in a drawer. Sure enough, it was.

Today, we ran out to run some errands before The Kids arrive tomorrow ~ and he stopped in to the watch shop down the street.

My 1/2 teaspoon was fixed. He'd taken it over and gotten it repaired. Not as a holiday present. Not "for any reason." Just because it was time that I had my set back together again.

It's a little thing, but it means so much.

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

As Promised...'s our door this year. Looking forward to next year, when the greenery is real and not plastic. For now, I love it enough to put up with the plastic.

Those are happy, homey, holiday Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

See the King Stir

I miss my dad this season. Maybe it's the protests. Maybe it's the fact that we're dealing with the kinds of things he and his generation already dealt with and "should" be long past. Maybe it's the fact that he was so damn good in these kinds of situations, that I wish I had his wisdom to draw from. 

Maybe it's the realization I had the other day that I have had Nemeria, Starbuck, and LRNs in my life longer than I had him. After all, Daddy died when I was 28. Nemeria and I have been together for 35 years. Starbuck and LRNs (and his family) for 30. Talk about a realization that rocked me back on my heels. 

Or maybe it's none of those things. Maybe, as the FE wrote today, some years it a non-issue, and other years it's unbearable. I think that's the hardest part, is just not knowing when you'll feel a certain way, or what the trigger will be. I think she's right. I know she's right. This year, for whatever reason, is just one of those years. A year I miss my dad.

And that's okay, no maybes.

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Because I Get It

When I was married to the SGM, I would make requests calmly. Explain myself rationally. Offer logical reasons for whatever I wanted or needed or we were discussing. And he would figuratively pat my head, assure me that yes, yes, I had been heard, and then ignore me. 

It wasn't until I was angry, crying rage tears, and yelling that he would take me seriously. And by "take me seriously" I don't mean "give me my own way." I literally just mean "take me seriously." Respect me as an equal in the relationship with him. Even then, although he did take me seriously, it was with an air of what's wrong with you? about me, and the situation.

No acknowledgement on his part that I might have had some help getting to this place. No recognition that the only way I could get him to hear me was to rage at him. And certainly no understanding that I didn't like being, or want to be, this crying, raging person standing in our bedroom ~ but that I needed to be heard more than I didn't want to rage.

This ~ this disregarded, dehumanized rage ~ is what I see when I look at the Ferguson/Garner riots. Only on a cultural level. My rage was individualized. My rage was about one man making me less than. Imagine how much greater this rage is. 

When, instead of just one person not listening, not taking you seriously when you try to be calm, express yourself peacefully, and wait for the right thing to be done ~ it's an entire culture. An entire race of people. An entire system of justice.

Honestly, I can't imagine it. And it's the very fact that I cannot imagine how great this rage is that I get why it must come out. 

We did this, fellow white people. We created this rage. We white people, who couldn't be bothered to hear people of color when they asked, calmly, logically, rationally, for equal laws, equal safety, equal respect, equal humanity. We disregarded them, we patronized them, we dehumanized them. We don't get to look at them with an air of what's wrong with you? now that they are raging and have our attention.

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

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

A Non-Event

I had a heart loop thingy reading yesterday. It was empty. Oh, I had triggered it a couple of times because it's lowest setting is 150 and my workouts got me there some. But it was empty. No episode. No PVC. No...anything.

And it's such a non-event that I didn't even think to tell anyone, because, well, of course it's a non-event. What a difference 18 months makes. After 27 years, in 18 months (almost to the day) my heart is a non-event. I can live with this.

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

Monday, December 08, 2014

You Know Who You Are

A couple times recently, I've mentioned that I've got some friends going through some stuff. Here's the thing about the life I choose ~ it keeps me pretty far away from, and out of easy access to, my friends when they (or I) are going through some stuff. So I've learned to cheer from a distance, as best I can.  

That being said, if you need to hear these, if I know you need to hear them or not, here you go. From me, to you, dear friend...

If you've got anything along these lines that has helped you, or someone you love, please share them in the comments. I'll make sure they get to the right people.

Those are Pobble Thoughts, with some help from the internet. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee, vodka, mocha lattes, hot tea, or whatever else you drink.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Christmas Parade

The Christmas parade went off without a hitch ~ and it was wonderful. We found a spot that wasn't too crowded, just like we like. The "off season" parades (Krewe of Boo, Krewe of Jingle) are far more family friendly than the Mardi Gras parades. Some beer, but nowhere near the drunken debauchery that comes with the February parades. Honestly, I'm over most of the Mardi Gras ones, but still love Boo and Jingle, for this very reason...

It was 80*

And the parade begins!

Mini Mr. Bingle

Full sized Mr. Bingle!
And the jolly old elf, himself

It was a really good day

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I'm Not Trying

I get it. I do. Pobble Thoughts isn't a whole lot of fun to read right now. It's murder and outrage and protests and injustice. But here's the thing ~ this shit is happening.

We've got black men being killed by police, with no consequence.
We've got people being killed for not being straight and white, with little or no consequence.

And this is happening now, during Christmas, Hanukkah, and Yule. Yes, it's supposed to be "the most wonderful time of the year" and God bless us, everyone ~ but it's not playing out that way this year.

This afternoon I'm heading to the Krewe of Jingle parade, and will thoroughly enjoy myself. Will probably post about it tomorrow. I haven't heard about a protest scheduled today. But if there is one, one that shuts down the parade, I will join it. As much as I love the Krewe of Jingle parade.

Because #Blacklivesmatter ~ a hell of a lot more than making sure the blog is happy, or the parade runs through.

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

On July 29th, at 6pm WalkRunFly Productions (Warren Adams & Brandon Victor Dixon) partnered with poet Daniel J. Watts, and over 100 Broadway stars, directors, producers, musicians, choreographers, designers and technicians in Times Square to send a message about violence and the killing of Eric Gardner.

Friday, December 05, 2014

34 Posts In

I just looked at Lithus and said "I have nothing to write about. Nothing happened today." Of course, that's not entirely true.

He got his flight physical, so is cleared to work another year. This is a yearly event, and not a big deal, but is indeed something that happened today.

My editor continues to be amazing and has hooked me up with 2 weeks of articles so that I can get started on the rest of the month ~ which will allow me to have the entire time My Heart and Listener are in town off from work.

Operation Warrior Watch got hundreds of letters from children to send to the soldiers on their list. Hundreds. (Contact me if you want to help ~ which you can do, even though the event is Sunday)

On the social justice level, another unarmed black man was shot by a white cop. This time in Phoenix. Open season... 

And in terms of the holiday season, we found a really pretty piece for our door. It's made of twig (real wood) and greenery (plastic, but we'll replace that next year) and ~ and here's the part we love ~ is shaped like a star. I'll get a picture once we have it hung. While we embrace the commercial, secular holiday of Christmas, we try to keep our home as Pagan as possible. Stars on our doors are good.

So...yeah. A lot happened today. If it makes for interesting reading or not is a whole other question. But 34 posts into a nonstop blog-a-thon, I'm happy I'm managing to put words out there in front of you. Thanks for bearing with me.

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

Thursday, December 04, 2014

It's Open Season

That's the only thing I can think. I'm turning to John Stewart for this one, because, truly, I got nothing.

And let's not forget this one:

No music today, because I can't find anything remotely appropriate to it being okay to kill black men.

Those are Pobble Thoughts, with the help of Jon Stewart. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Department of Education

Have you heard about the new guidelines from the Department of Education regarding transgender students? It's very exciting...

Section 31 of the Questions and Answers on Title IX and Single-Sex Elementary and Secondary

31. How do the Title IX requirements on single-sex classes apply to transgender students?

Answer: All students, including transgender students and students who do not conform to
sex stereotypes, are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX. Under Title IX,
a recipient generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity
in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of
single-sex classes.

And it applies to any elementary, middle, or secondary schools that receive public monies.

There's still so much work to do ~ and it's nice to post something positive.

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Black Lives Matter

The Ferguson protests continue, as they should. My fellow white folks continue to show their tails, as they shouldn't.

Here in NOLA, where we marched, white folks tried to control what the chants were. Nope. We don't get to do that. We can add our voices, but we don't get to decide what the leaders of this event say. 

I've heard that, in Denver, the white protesters changed the chant from Black Lives Matter, to All Lives Matter. Really? If this is true (and it's being passed around enough that I'm not sure of the original source and cannot find it myself ~ but I cannot discount it, either, because, hello, special white people...) REALLY? 

Yes, all lives do matter. But my life ~ my white, upper-middle class life ~ isn't at risk here. I will not be shot just for walking down the street. I won't even be stopped for driving in the "wrong" neighborhood, let alone end up dead for walking down my own street.

This is not about me. White people, this is not about us. Stop making it so. It is okay when someone else is important. It is okay for people who don't look like us to have the stage. Get over your damn selves already. You. Are. Not. Helping. It is not our turn. Stop.


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

A note about this video:

  • no, it isn't the greatest version, however, it includes the whole poem, which is why I chose it and why it belongs on this particular post
  • the images in it are hard. real death from a real war, even though that war was a long time ago
  • that war ~ and why these men died ~ wasn't as long ago as we'd like to pretend

Monday, December 01, 2014

Hands Up, Walk Out!

I don't go to school. I don't go to an office for work. I don't even have a heavy work load today that would allow me to not work this afternoon with any impact. But I can tell you about this:

From the website, Ferguson Action, on Monday, December 1st people around the country will be walking out of their schools and places of work in solidarity with Ferguson communities across the country effected by police violence.

Where? It can be any central location at your school or the area where you work . Consider if there is a place that has relevance to social justice such as a monument, chapel, or scene of previous protests.

It's soon, so I haven't given you much time. But it's important.

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

December 1st

We got through November (and yes, London, that was indeed NaBloMo, thanks for asking) with only missing a day. Think I can do it again, maybe even without the day, in December? Let's find out.

And since it's December 1st, it means it's all holiday music (but your regularly scheduled ramblings) all the time here at Pobble Thoughts. Ooooo....I do love the holidays.

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Smells of the Season

Damn, I missed posting yesterday. Either I'll post a second one today, or I'll just admit I'm not perfect and move on with my day after this. We'll see. Anyway!

Last night, Lithus and I were sitting, chatting, when the faint aroma of pine drifted through. It was right on the heels of the "autumn scented" candle we had lit. It stopped me mid-sentence. That's the smell I've been missing in my home since we left Vancouver five years ago.

Christmas and winter and Yule and family and warmth and cold and snow and crackling fires and dry leaves and all those things that mean the holidays ~ from one waft of the fan.

Our little tree on top of our table continues to make me deliriously happy.

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Story of the Tree

Earlier today, we got a call from our front desk letting us know there was a package downstairs for us. Lithus has ordered me a present already, so we thought we knew what it was. At one point, while we were coming through the lobby, we stopped for the package.

And the desk guy wheels out this 6-foot package. It wasn't my present. Lithus and I looked at each other, to the package, to each other. I said "I didn't order this." He said "I didn't order this." We double-checked the address label. To The Boston Pobble and Lithus. At which point, Lithus, who was holding onto the box, says "it's a tree. I can smell it."

So, we took it upstairs, lopped the end off where it said to lop the end of, and unboxed ~ a Christmas tree. 

The only person we could think who might have done it was my mother. I called her and, even before I had said hello to her husband who answered her phone, said "Did you send us a tree?" Nope. Not them. But I could check with mom, just in case. Yep...

And no, mom assured me they hadn't sent the tree. I said "I thought it might have been you because you know we were going to put it on the dining table and this one is small, to fit the dining table. But we had decided not to get one, so I thought you might have sent it." 

And the pieces fell into place. 

To which Mom replied, "You hadn't told me you weren't getting it." But before I could say anything, she followed with "Who did you tell?"

Because by then, I knew.

Starbuck. I had told Starbuck. We had planned on getting a tree. Then blah blah blah reasons had decided not to. But none of those reasons were about not wanting a tree. Or about it being a poor decision to have a tree. So she, crazy, insane, amazing, Starbuck, sent a tree.

Sure enough...

What do you say when someone decides there is no way you are going without a tree this year and sends a freaking tree? It's the greatest thing ever. It's insane. It's delightful. It's our tree. And this will forever be the year Starbuck and Apollo Sent Us That Tree.

Happy Holidays, everybody. We got through Thanksgiving. It's time to enjoy Yule.

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

On Thanksgiving Day, I find myself thinking about my family, both the ones I'm related to, and the ones I'm not. I'm a lucky, blessed woman.

Today, I've been in touch with a woman I've known for 35 years. Thirty-five years. And another I've known for thirty.

I've chatted with two friends who had cancer scares this year ~ one turned out benign, the other didn't, but her tumor was the best possible of the bad diagnoses. But they are both right here, to be chatted with.

My Heart is spending his first holiday with his new family ~ Listener's folks. That dawned on me today. We make a big deal out of the fact that she is now a part of our family, but that means that he is part of hers, as well. 

Listener. She is such a blessing to me, already. What an amazing young woman. I can't wait to get to know her better, and watch her grow.

My mom. For most of my life, our relationship has been...complex. It's leveled out over the last 7 or 8, but when I remember growing up ~ complex. Except for Thanksgivings. My memories of my mother on Thanksgiving aren't the least bit complex, or complicated, or convoluted. They are simply wonderful. Talking. Planning. Cooking, Cleaning. Sharing. Teaching. Learning. Hanging out at the kitchen sink, the kitchen counter, the kitchen table... And always joyous.

Crow, BIL, and the Little Ones. We are more a part of their lives right now than ever before ~ and I love it.

AppsRUs, who is present at every holiday meal ~ and several others ~ now, thanks to my little pot. Dr. B., Lori, M-O-M, the Divine M...

The list goes on and on, too many to list, too many to even begin to enumerate, until I end where I should have begun, with Lithus. My dear Lithus.

Money is great. I've had it, and I haven't had it, and I'll take having it any time. Living in a cool city is great, but it's not the be-all, end-all. But the people in my life? They are my blessings. They are my thanks giving.

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cutting the Cord

Part of the life we live is never knowing what day it is. Lithus flies every day he's on. No days off. No Friday excitement. Same with me. I write until I've met my week's deadlines. Could be every day. Could be through Wednesday. Regardless, there is no set day off. Without touchstones, it's easy to forget where one is in the week.

We also lose track of what time zone we're in. And have little, if any, say over what television stations we have available to us when we're on the road. Just this past season, I had watched every single episode of Face Off on SyFy. The night of the season finale, we ended up in a hotel that didn't offer the channel.

In light of all this, we stream almost all of our television. Netflix. Amazon. Even the stations' websites. We just rarely watch television in real time. So, we made the decision to get rid of cable.

When Lithus was talking to the cable guy, we could keep basic cable, keep our internet speed, and have access to in the moment weather, news, and emergencies. And, for a whole hell of a lot less money. You know what? We live in hurricane country. Immediate, local weather is worth keeping basic cable for a hell of a lot less money.

We unplugged the cable box, gathered all the stuff, and returned it all to the cable company. That night, we came home, swallowed hard, and reprogrammed the television to see what channels we got now.

Every. Single. One we had. Okay, no music stations. But we hadn't used those since we started using Spotify a couple months ago. ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC. SyFy. Food Network. HGTV. The list goes on. Every station we watch. Every station we've had.

We've been paying all that much more money for the cable box and remote control. *thunk*

I got nothing.

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