Saturday, March 29, 2014

Doing It Right...Pantene?

ETA: Sorry, the video should be there now. :)

Not that I have anything against Pantene. They are often my go-to brand. I just don't necessarily think of them when I think of social justice. That may be about to change.

This commercial is only showing in the Philippines right now, which is a shame. Hopefully, they bring it to the US. And hopefully ~ please, oh please ~ they don't recast it. It's about time women's issues aren't only presented as white women's issues. #notyourasiansidekick #solidarityisforwhitewomen #lifeofamuslimfeminist 

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

Friday, March 28, 2014

Emergency Broadcast System

Here in the US, we have the Emergency Alert System that breaks into radio and television programming in case of emergencies. When I was growing up, it was called the Emergency Broadcast System. In fact, I didn't know it had become the EAS until writing this very post. I think I will probably always refer to it as the Emergency Broadcast System, though. The point is, in spite of my digressions, that once a month, television and radio stations were/are required to broadcast a test of the EBS. It looked something like, and sound exactly like, this:

Every test followed that same script. The only change was the graphics behind it and the area it covered. 

I even remember the first time I ever heard one of these that wasn't a test. I was living in Colorado and heard the test go off and didn't think anything of it ~ until I heard the sound followed by actual information and instructions. Holy shit! The test was real! I think I even called Crow and said "holy shit! The test is real!" Note ~ tornadoes that didn't touch down in my area.

Another time I remember so distinctly was living in Alaska. It was about 2:00 a.m. Lithus was long asleep. I was up writing. And the sound went off. Sure enough, not a test. A tsunami warning. What the fuck? A tsunami? At which point, I decided to pay attention. Except that we'd been having issues with cable in the building so what I heard was "A tsunami warning has been issued for the following parts of coastal Alaska...scratch, skritch, static, and noise...This alert is in effect until scratch skritch..." Thank you, Alaskan cable company. Thank you. Note ~ the warning was for the Aleutians and did, sadly, hit, but the tsunami did not come up the coast anywhere close to Anchorage.

This morning, I believe, will be the third one of these I remember. I am here, on the couch, on my computer. Lithus is playing XBox. Our television is not on. Our radio is not on. My phone, sitting next to me, goes nuts. Vibrating. Humming. Buzzing. It is an effect I have never seen or heard. It is something I didn't even know my phone could do. It is an announcement, via text and bouncing and noise, from the Emergency Broadcast System (okay, the EAS). Flash flooding in Orleans county and the city of New Orleans. Avoid low-lying areas. Check with local media. To my phone.

Local and civil authorities have kept up with the times, my friends. Good to know, even if it freaked me out a bit.

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Good Deed for the Day

I have a request of you, dear Pobble Thoughts readers. I would like you to send a postcard. That's the entirety of my request. Just send a postcard.

My friend, Lori, does this amazing thing called Operation Warrior Watch, and she's got a sailor who is down in the dumps. He's deployed, and missing the birth of his first child. He's miserable. His family is frustrated. What should be a miraculous time ... isn't.

In light of all this, OWW is requesting postcards for this young sailor congratulating him on becoming a dad. He loves to get mail (don't we all, really?) and could really use a lift right now.

I'm not allowed to post his address, but if you are willing to send a postcard, let me know in the comments or privately, and I'll get you his contact information. Now, I meant it when I said that was all I was asking of you. However...

Lori's goal ~ because you will learn this woman never, ever does anything half-assed ~ is to "inundate him with cards and letters" and "surprise him with hundreds of cards." So, if on top of being willing to send him a card yourself, you want to get your

neighborhood watch
sewing circle
coffee klatch
drinking buddies
women's group
men's group
drama club
glee club
fantasy football league
cosplay partners
Boy Scout troop
Girl Scout troop

involved, we would love to have every single one of them send a postcard. That's up to you and yours. But if you, yourself, could send one, that would be enough, and I would be appreciative, because every one counts.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ and a bit of goodwill.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Would Make a Lousy Alcoholic

Lithus went out with a friend the other night for some male bonding time. I was finished work for the day and was waiting on edits, so couldn't do more even if I wanted. The remote control, the Netflix, the stereo, and the wine were mine! All Mine!

I started to feel guilty about 3/4 of the way through the first glass of wine. I was drinking alone... On a weeknight... And I was even thinking about having *gasp* a second glass of wine! It was clear I was only a few steps away from needing rehab. 

Mind you, I drink box o'wine because I drink so little of it buying it in bottles is a waste of money. I don't remember when I bought the bottle of rum that's currently half-full. The bottle of vodka that I finally cracked open last Friday has been in the house so long we forgot we had it. If I have a drink 3 consecutive nights, regardless of the situation, I get uncomfortable. I've had a six of Hard Mikes last me a month. 

I may not ever be a teetotaler; I don't think I ever need to worry about crossing the line to alcoholism.

So, maybe, the panic was a little over-reactive. I'll give you that. The amusement that followed was worth it.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

There's a Shock

Where In New England Should You Actually Live?

You Got: Boston!

The big city calls and only Boston can satisfy your needs. A hub for art, music, sports, and more, Boston is the perfect place for you to indulge in your love of culture as the intellectual you are. And with so much history, you'll be kept busy exploring the city the whole time you're there.

Honestly, I think it had more to do with the fact that I don't like the outdoors, but who am I to argue with this result? 

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee (preferably from Dunkin' Donuts).

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Loop recorder surgery.
Heart surgery.
Electrical path ablations.
Polyp removal.
Polyp ablation.

And none of it has skeeved me out nearly as much as the hole I punched through my fingernail and into my nail bed earlier today.


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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

We Knew the Results, But Still...

Want to hear a story? It starts back in October...

For as long as I've needed annual exams (which is code for pap smears and such for the female parts of me), I have gotten them in October. My birthday is in October, so it was a good way to remember them back when I was a teenager and not nearly as interested in remembering such things as I would eventually become. So, this past October, I went to my primary for my annual exam. Only...

Only I had been spotting in between periods and I have a history of completely innocuous ovarian cysts and am in perimenopause, so my primary decided he would send me to an OBGYN. I trust my primary, so when he said he wanted me to see someone else, I was happy to go see someone else.

Dr. Someone Else found a uterine polyp. Oh joy. It could be cancer. Rarely is, but could be, and who wants to fuck with could be. To be completely honest, I have always known I didn't have cancer. I just...didn't. And I knew it. At the same time, once the specter of cancer is raised, it needs to be vanquished. So fine. Biopsy.

Now, Dr. Someone Else and I weren't a good match, but I was willing to let him biopsy said uterine polyp. When it was negative, I could get another referral from my primary for any further steps that needed to be taken. On the off chance it was positive, Lithus and I were heading back to Boston immediately for treatment. Either way, he wasn't going to be my doctor for anything important.

The biopsy was negative. Yay, and to be expected. So, I got a referral to another doctor, Dr. Gyn ~ and I liked her a lot. Within minutes of meeting her, I knew I was with the right person. What do you know, she answered my questions! She drew pictures. She explained herself and my body.

As it turns out, a negative biopsy is only the first step when dealing with the uterus. Know this ~ a uterine polyp can be benign itself, while still indicating a deeper, undiagnosed cancer. Which meant I was going to need a D&C ~ which really means dilation and curettage, but my cousin used to call "dusting and cleaning" so I cannot think of the phrase without hearing Becky ~ the polyp removed, and the removal site ablated. Then all of that would be sent to pathology, tested, and once it came back clear, we could rest easy.

By this time, we are here in March. March 3rd, to be exact, because it was Lundi Gras and getting to the hospital for the appointment was a goat rodeo - plus, I missed Lundi Gras! Digressing... It's March 3rd and Lithus is out of town. I'm here in NOLA for this appointment with Dr. Gyn. She explains all of the above to me and that she usually performs surgeries and procedures on Fridays, but says "we will schedule this whenever you and your husband's schedule allows." Which is a nice thing to say, but no one really means.

On Friday night, March 7th, Lithus is told he'll be heading home Sunday. Whoo-hoo! Love it when Lithus gets home. So, Monday, March 10th, I called Dr. Gyn's office and asked if there was any way I might get in to get all this handled this week. Her nurse will get back to me. Wednesday, we were in her office, going over any last questions; sitting across from pre-admit, signing consent forms; getting prescriptions for pain meds. And Friday morning, I was at the hospital, being prepped for the procedure. Done and done. She had, indeed, scheduled this "whenever (our) schedule allows."

Friday through Sunday is a bit of a blur. Monday was spent still on the couch. By Wednesday, I was 100% and even cleared to workout again. Friday, the pathology reports came back - negative, as expected. I've waited to write this post until I could officially close that circle. As with my heart condition, once I was connected with the right doctor, it all happened very quickly.

No more waiting. No more wondering. No more anticipation until the next appointment, the next phone call, the next procedure. There is no next. We're done. And everything is as it should be. As we knew it would be. I truthfully was not concerned about the results, almost to the point of being concerned about how unconcerned I was. But the weight of dealing with it all has been more than I'd realized. Now that it's gone, I can feel how heavy it was. It's good to put it all down and walk away.

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Today's Ostara. In recent years, I've become the equivalent of the Christian who only goes to church on Christmas and Easter ~ I've been the witch who only celebrates the equinoxes and the solstices. While it is my hope that this is changing, I have held onto my high holy days and will continue to do so.

Today, we will throw open the windows. There will be flowers. And music. And a spritz or two into the corners to clean the place out. Tonight, there will be lamb and fruit and wine. 

The image I have of myself today is a bear, stretching, blinking, looking around and remembering the wider world around her. It's spring, after all, and I can feel it.

It's a good day.

Blessed be.

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Back in the World

On Friday last week, I ended up somewhat unexpectedly out of commission for the weekend, and early into this week. It was that combination of delightful to have an excuse to do nothing, and crappy because you can't get off the couch, that tends to occur when one ends up somewhat out of commission for a few days.

But Lithus is a care-taker, par excellence, and we live in the day and age of the internet. So, I have been well cared for and spent my time far less bored than I used to.

Netflix. What did we ever do before streaming? I binged on Terriers, 666 Park Avenue, Hemlock Grove, Scandal, and House of Cards. 666 Park Avenue and Hemlock Grove both ended just in time, because they would have lost me if they gone much further (and while I don't think Hemlock Grove is canceled, I won't be tuning in for season 2, because, well, the first season ended just in time). I couldn't quite get into Lillyhammer, FarScape, or Chuck ~ although it is very possible I will be giving all three of these more chances. They're good ~ I just can't binge on them.

Stupid tests. I have found out that I should live in Tanzania. Don't believe me?

What Country Do You Actually Belong In?

You got: Tanzania. Not to be confused with Tasmania, which is actually just part of Australia. Tanzania is located on the east coast of Africa, and borders a number of Africa’s Great Lakes, so you get a little bit of everything. More than 80% of the population in Tanzania is rural, so it’s an ideal place to live if you’re looking to really spread out. Make sure to get a place near the water, though — not many people live in the arid regions.

As Lithus puts it, that makes no sense, while really making perfect sense. That's me, the quivering mass of contradictions. And anyway, would BuzzFeed lie? I think not.

Web Comics. Girls With Slingshots. Romantically Apocalyptic. Questionable Content. The most amazing thing, to me, is watching these artists evolve. Girls and QC look nothing today like they did on their first entry. Nothing. Like, are they being drawn by the same artists, nothing. Amazing. And warning, Romantically Apocalyptic gets weird. That's coming from me, folks, so, yeah. Weird.

And with that, I believe we are back in the swing of things here at Pobble Thoughts. As always, thanks for sticking around.

Fuzzy socks and comfy clothes

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

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Raising the Bar

Annie is coming back to the big screen. You remember Annie: little, red-headed orphan girl, no pupils, rags to riches with Sandy. Yep, she's coming back, officially and formally. Now, here's the thing ~ I don't actually like this story. The play is fine. I loathed the 1980s movie. It's a push. So, when I heard about the remake, it was more along the lines of 'eh, whatever.'

Until... Until the haters started. The movie's been updated. Instead of being set in pre-WWII Hooverville New York, it's modern day. Miss Hannigan isn't old and broken, but played by Cameron Diaz (and not terribly well, if the trailer is any indication). But this isn't what started the hate. Take a guess what started the hate.

Annie is being played by Quvenzhane' Wallis. Daddy Warbucks is being played by Jamie Foxx. And the racists were off. Annie is white... Annie is red headed... Annie is not a little black girl... It's not racist, it's just how it is... Mind you, these same people are silent when white folks play characters of color, but that's different and doesn't mean they're racists.


I can't even give out my traditional are you fucking kidding me exclamation, because I know they aren't. They are announcing how racist they aren't, and then proceeding to be exactly that racist. (An aside ~ it's a damn good bet that if you have to start a sentence with "I'm not racist, but..." you're about to be really fucking racist. Just a tip from me to you.)

Now I'm not so indifferent any longer. Now, I'm going to see this damn movie. Pay full-price, for an evening showing. Even if I didn't go in and watch the movie, it's worth it to me to give them my money. But here's the crazy part...It looks really good. It looks like a movie I don't just want to give my money to, but a movie I want to see. If you aren't interested because Annie doesn't flip your kilt, fine. I get that. I really do. But if you aren't interested because Annie isn't white and Daddy Warbucks is actually a powerful, successful, black man, then are you fucking kidding me?

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

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Not on the Road

Once again, I am at home while Lithus is on the road. Yes, I miss him. Absolutely and beyond words. But I'm also ... itchy ... to get back on the road with him. I like to travel. Stilettos hasn't been updated in too long. But it was only last month, so I shouldn't be this ready to be on the road again ~ but I am. Once a carnie, always a carnie. I can live with that. :)

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

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Will You Look at That...

My online news source for years has been NBC news. Partly, NBC was partnered with my email provider and shared a landing page for a very long time. Partly, because I watched NBC news for years. Mostly, because those two things created a habit and they delivered solid enough news that I didn't have to jump. Occasionally, I bitched, but mostly...habits die hard.

Then they changed their web presence to be app-based. Now, I have no doubt that if I used a pad, their site would be magnificent. But I don't. I have a regular laptop. As a person who literally makes her living on her computer, a pad is an unnecessary, inefficient expense. Plus, I'm not techy, so not having the latest and greatest really is okay by me. When I first got this computer with Win8, I went through the learning curve and decided that yep, I hate Win8. It's inefficient and unnecessarily complicated for a computer. Then I got a a Win8 phone and wow! I was stunned at how well Win8 works on a machine designed for it (or for which it was designed, depending on how you look at it). I love Win8 on my phone. Which is a long-winded way of saying that I have no doubt NBC news looks great on app-based tech. But I still don't have app-based tech. I have a laptop.

So, I started looking around for a new place to get my online news. Years ago, during one of my bitching stages, AppSRus had mentioned he reads Al Jazeera. Given that I have more respect for him than I have for most people (put together), I figured I'd try it out. You know what I found? News.

Objective, fact-based (they even use that term), non-interpreted, non-slanted, non-biased, non-agenda-ed news. The landing page looks like a newspaper ~ well organized, easy to navigate, easy to read. The content is clear, concise, and well-written. It is also written for grown-ups with a modicum of education and intelligence. That stuff that NBC (and CBS and ABC) used to be. Fascinating... Turns out, I really do still care. I really can still be engaged. And I really am still capable of making up my own mind about I feel about a situation and don't need someone to spoon feed me that, either. It's nice to be a news junkie again.

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

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Happy Mardi Gras

Since I have zero intention of being out in it today, I'll acknowledge it here:

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ with chicory and king cake.

Monday, March 03, 2014

However You Send Them...

ETA: At 3:01, the Grill Master (her husband) sent me a text that she was out of surgery and in recovery. Amen, and Blessed Be! Thank you for your wishes.

...Please send your best wishes, prayers, warm fuzzies, good thoughts to the Divine M. She's having surgery today. While she will absolutely be okay ~ she's in really good hands, and it's really a necessary procedure ~ it is also somewhat major surgery. And it's one of those where we aren't even sure what all they will be doing because the doctor won't know until she's in there.


Offer her up in your prayers. Light her a candle. Lift your glass to her name. Send her warm fuzzies. Whatever. It all works and she'll take 'em, in whatever form they come.

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

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Sense Memory

It is said that scent is one of the most powerful memory triggers. I have no reason to doubt or debate this. The wrong smell can bring me to tears ~ or anger. The right one can bring back a decades old joy. This morning, my windows are open and it smells of spring. It has been very warm here ~ mid-70s for a while ~ but it hasn't been spring. It's just been warm. As of this morning, it is also spring. I remember this smell from our backyard in Austin, Tom Bombadil sitting on top of the hill, next to the fence, surrounded by almost green grass...from the streets of Philadelphia, when there was still snow on the ground and my breath dusted out in front of me, but this was the smell underneath the bite...from my beloved Boston, sitting on the quad with my long-gone friends, whose faces and laughs are now as clear as if it had been yesterday...drifting in from the window in Worcester, reminding me that even if it felt like my life would never again be easy and peaceful, spring was coming...

But it's not just scent. The other day, I took a sip of orange juice, and I was four, on the island of Antigua, amazed that not all orange juice tasted like the stuff my mom poured for me (filtered through her small strainer, because the concept of 'no pulp' orange juice was still a long way off) in our kitchen in Fredonia. I didn't like it then. Now, the memory is worth the bitter tang and I found myself savoring it.

Or sound. While I am a child of the '80s, having been 10-20 during that decade, I grew up on college campuses, and at high schools, during the '70s. My babysitters were children of the '70s. The girls I wanted to emulate (Mary...Bonnie) and the boys I that were the target of my innocent puppy love (Ross...Steve) were teenagers during that time. The ubiquitous flocks of young people in my world (which happens when your father teaches at the college level, and your mother teaches at the high school one, and both are adored by their students) brought their music with them. On record players and 8-tracks and transistor radios hung by their white plastic straps, with cliched regularity, over whatever was available. The '70s are back in commercials these days ~ specifically Three Dog Night's Shambala ~ and I am awash in images of New York and the backyard and the roof outside my bedroom window. They are so young. I am younger. There is laughter and comfort and love and friendship.

And it is spring.

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