Friday, February 28, 2014

My Hair

I'm one of those people who is both completely nonchalant, and totally obsessed with, her hair. On the one hand, it's hair. It grows. If you get a bad cut or a crappy color, it grows back. Plus, it's not world peace or curing cancer. It's hair. Perspective, please, people.

On the other hand, it's my hair. I use the best products I can afford. I am always on the lookout for a curly conditioner. I make sure the stylist understand how to cut curls and get them to look good. Until very recently, I didn't color it from a box. Ever.

When it looks good, it is Charles Emerson Winchester hair: It does one thing; it does it very, very well. But when it looks bad...oh my goodness. My hair can look really bad.

For the first time in years ~ possibly since I left Worcester, but definitely since we left Washington ~ my hair looks really, really good. It's nice to be back.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee (the cut and color cost a bit more...)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Overheard In NOLA

Earlier today, I was late for a manicure, so was moving with deliberation down the street. Passing two guys, I heard their exchange...

Guy 1: Now there is the perfect woman. She's got somewhere to be!
Guy 2: And she knows how to get there!

All I could do was smile and keep on moving, but I did have to smile.

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

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Five Years

At midnight on February 22, 2009, Lithus and I stood in our living room, in front of a fire, with a very small handful of family, and said "I do." I had to double-check that date because it can't have only been five years. We've been together...forever. Through so much. Are so integral a part of each other's very beings. And yet it was. Five years, in spite of feeling like it was 25.

Last summer, he upgraded my wedding band. I figured 5 years was a good time to return the favor.

Aircraft quality titanium and a garnet. It's the perfect blend of us both.

Dinner out. Breakfast in bed. And most importantly, together. Where we most want to be. Here's to the next forty...

Happy Birthday, Edward Gorey, and thanks for creating our kind of romance

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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thank You!

I went for a manicure yesterday. The salon is a new place, because I got a staff infection from the place I used to go (lovely). After reading reviews, checking the place out thoroughly, and plain old listening to my gut, I found this new place. Yay!

So, I'm getting my nails done, chatting with the woman doing them and our ages came up. She was stunned to discover I was 44, because she thought I was her age ~ 32. Maybe I was 34. Maybe. Now, I am really okay looking 44. Don't need people to think I'm 20. However, I must admit, after the debacle where I was informed I looked really good for 69, I don't mind being told I look 10-12 years younger than I am, either.

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

Monday, February 17, 2014


Way back when, when I first started blogging, three specific bloggers ended up on my comments page: WolfGrrrl, Tai, and Spider Girl (I believe Spider Girl showed up first, but I could be mistaken). Over the years, we have all gone our separate ways, but the woman I originally knew as WolfGrrrl and I still exchange the occasional "hi" and she remains one of my favorite people out in cyberspace. Which makes it a no-brainer for me to boost this.

She and her (equally talented) husband are Fox & Bee. One of the (many) creative things they do is make videos. Here is their latest project. Watch, share, do what you can.

Those are Pobble Thoughts ~ with the help of an old friend. That and a buck fifty donated to the right place will get you an entire freaking forest.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Seeing My City

A few days ago, I realized I had stopped seeing New Orleans. When we first moved here three and a half years ago, I was completely enraptured by everything. A lot was in play there ~ 

First, NOLA is an amazing city. It is. There are colors and sights and smells and nooks and crannies and colors and shapes... It is visually stimulating and enchanting. The people are unusual enough that even Portland, for all its pride in being weird, couldn't keep up down here.

Second, it had been a long time since I'd lived in a city. Anchorage didn't really count because we were there in winter, and didn't go out much. The years I spent in Washington, we were in bedroom communities of cities, but not in the cities. To be back smack in the middle of a city ~ any city ~ was a sensory delight for me. To be smack in the middle of the city I described up there? How could I be anything but delirious?

Third, I had always wanted to live here. This was the city I had tried to get to since I was about 10. My dad briefly considered a job here, which would have altered the way I grew up considerably. I was accepted to law school here, only chose to defer ~ and then not go. Lithus and I thought he had a job here a few years before, only to discover the offer wasn't quite as legit as we'd been led to believe. And finally, finally, I was here. 

Again, it's no wonder every brick fascinated me.

But then reality happens. Even the most amazing places become mundane. The extraordinary becomes every day. On top of that, just in the last year, New Orleans herself has changed direction. Has gone from being on the brink of being something truly special, to backing away from that edge and choosing to become something mediocre, perhaps even a caricature of itself. The first part of this I could have lived with and accepted. After all, sometimes part of what makes a place wonderful is the very comfort and ordinariness of it. The second part, though, the second part has taken the bloom off of NOLA for me.

It is, however, where I am. And I don't like going through life with my head down, not looking up, not finding reasons to be delightful and enchanted and delirious. So, I am making an effort to, as I wrote to a friend of mine (*waves hi to London*), see NOLA as it still is, rather than for what it isn't any longer. Here is the result of the first day of that self-imposed challenge.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee ~ and maybe a little magic back.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Distressingly Accurate

There's a quiz floating around online about what state you belong in/represents you. Just for shits and grins, Lithus and I took it while we were waking up this morning.

You got: New Hampshire

Live free or DIE HARD. You’re a regular John McClane. You’re a problem solver, someone who is ready to handle whatever situation comes their way. No job is too big. You’re a motivated individual and someone who isn’t afraid to take on projects others are too nervous to take on. YIPEE KI YAY!

Me, the Boston Pobble:

You got: Virginia

You’re the ORIGINAL. People look to you for advice and follow your example. You’re a well-rounded person: professional but not afraid to cut loose from time to time. You’re mature at the same time you’re immature. You refuse to be pigeon-holed into one group or another and that’s something to admire.

I'll concede they are accurate results as far as the write-ups go. But I still maintain I'm a New England girl.

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

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Every medical provider in the United States has been required to comply with (what is known in the business as) HIPAA regs since the late 90s. I know this because, in another life, I was the Human Rights Officer at a mental health clinic, and wow, were we sticklers for HIPAA regs. We had to be. We were also sticklers for human rights in medical care ~ which I am learning, not everyone is. This has been a struggle for the hospital I go to for as long as I've been going there. But, until very recently, it's been worth it to me to continue getting my medical care there. Then there was this past week...

Monday, I had follow-up procedures on my surgery sites from my heart surgery. Ultrasounds to make sure the veins and arteries have healed well. (Note ~ they have and all is well) I am sitting in the waiting area and hear "Miz (My First Name ~ let's say Pobble)?" So I go. The young woman and I chat. I recognize her as a tech I have had to ask to cover someone else's chart in the past (see? HIPAA struggles) but don't tease her about it, because that's really awkward, and she doesn't recognize me. We chat. She says we're going to do my EKG sitting up on the table. ... Okay, I'm not scheduled for an EKG, but it's my heart guy's office, so maybe it's routine. 

I take off my shirt, someone else comes in, she does the EKG while the original young woman is doing paperwork. First young woman looks at my birthday and is surprised to see '69 because they expected younger. I shrug "Well, 44..."

And with that, they are off. They are raving at how good I look for my age. Raving. That they expected someone with grey hair and a little nanny sweater.  And they rave some more... Okay. Not sure how old they think someone born in '69 looks, but, hell, I'll take it. EKG is good and the second woman leaves. 

The first woman says "If I call out your daily meds, will you be able to tell me if they're right or not?" ... Okay. And she says "baby aspirin daily." Nope. Not me. And I look down on my EKG report to see the name Pobbel Bosnian. Not Pobble Boston. First name pronounced the same way. Completely different last name. Completely different person. She is 69; I was born in '69. She was born in '44; I am 44. The tech had never once asked me anything to confirm I was the patient she thought I was.

I had to point this out to her.

At what point, do you realize that perhaps you don't have the right patient? When the 44 year old in front of you maybe isn't 69? No matter how "good she looks for her age?" When do you, just maybe, ask the patient to give you some information, just in case?

Here's the real kicker ~ on my way out of the office, I snapped a picture of the sign, hanging on the wall:

Please! Inconvenience me! I'm begging you.

I know this much: Pobbel Bosnian's most recent EKG is a lot better than her previous ones have been.

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

Monday, February 10, 2014

Paper Product Problems

For years, I loved my Puffs Plus with lotion. It was the only tissue I had in my house. No, I hadn't grown up using them. My mother was a Kleenex brand woman. But I loved my Puffs Plus with lotion. About a year ago, they changed their paper quality. It is no longer soft. I have gone to Kleenex with lotion. Not as good as the old Puffs, but better than Kleenex plain. Ah well.

Now? Now, my Charmin toilet paper is smaller. I know what happened ~ some social scientist informed the production folks that they could trim a quarter inch and no one would notice, really! Only...I noticed. So, I stopped using Charmin and went with Cottonelle. Guess what? They have the same social scientist on board. The only toilet paper I can find that is the original size is Target brand. I'm not even kidding.

Maybe I'll adapt. Maybe I'll just buy toilet paper at Target. Or maybe I'll become that old lady who bitches about how things were better when she was young. Whichever way it goes, I still wish they hadn't fucked with my paper products.

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

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Have A Bon Bon, Sir

My mentor professor, Wallace W. "Wally" Sherwood, retired last year. And good for him. Bad ~ really bad ~  for the pre-law students that are coming up without him. He was that spectacular.

Prof. Sherwood was hard to describe. There were only a handful of us who actually liked him. But those 4 or 5 of us took every class he offered, every opportunity we got. I never worked harder for a professor; never got worse grades on tests. His attitude was if you were passing his tests, then you didn't need him. One mid-term, the high grade was 68. No, it wasn't mine. Although, in another class, I got a 78 ~ the highest single test grade he gave in any of his classes that year ~ and stunned him.

He is the one who got through to me that the Constitution is nothing more than a piece of paper, once you leave this country (no comment for now); that it is better to be just than to be fair; that it is okay to fail gloriously and in public because it means you tried to do something glorious.

We weren't friends. He wasn't that kind of professor. But I adored him. In reading about him in all the stuff that gets written about a tenured professor when they retire, I realized just how much I didn't know him ~ and how much more I would have adored him.

He was on the leading edge of the civil rights movement in Boston. Committed to social justice. Practiced law in some of the worst parts of the city, defending the people no one thought worthy of defense. Did that mean he defended some guilty people? Sure. Show me a defense attorney who hasn't. More though, he brought law ~ if not always justice ~ to people who believed they would never have access to it. And if they still missed out on the justice part, it wasn't his doing.

The odds are good I will never see him again. I knew that when I graduated back in 1994. I don't do homecomings ~ and somehow, he never struck as the type who would either, although I could be mistaken. But he impacted my life in a way few people have. I'm sorry for the students who will never know what it's like to fail one of his tests ~ and be proud of it anyway.

Have a bon bon and a bourbon, Prof. Sherwood. God knows you deserve it.

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

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Canada, For The Win

Sent to me by a friend. Offered without comment, but with much amusement.

Those are Canada's Thoughts, but this Pobble is happy to pass them along. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

ETA: Sorry about that! Hopefully, the video is there now!

Friday, February 07, 2014

A Little Creepy

I write a lot about how unique NOLA is, but there is another side of this city. Sometimes, it's a little creepy.

What do I mean? I mean the WTC. NOLA's World Trade Center was the first in the world. It's an impressive building.

Unfortunately, the WTC has run to disrepair. It's closed, no tenants, waiting for its future to come. Except...

When there's a light on.

A single light on.
Who turned it on? How'd they get up there? Why is there a light on up there????? How is there a light on up there????

Then, there's the building next to ours. Most of the building is empty ~ I would say abandoned, but it's not quite. Just close. There are still three apartments that are occupied: Ironing Guy; The Couch Couple; and The Other Apartment. Then, there is...the other other apartment. Lights are never on. It doesn't appear to be furnished. But some mornings, the coffee mug is there. Some mornings, the coffee mug is steaming. Some mornings the coffee mug is gone.

Has the Once-ler moved in next door to us?

I'm thinking yes.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you a little creeped out ~ and coffee.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A Week Later

So, it's been a week since I issued the easy challenge. Did you do it, white folks? Did you pay really close attention to the world around you? Did you see how many people of color are actually in your world, on your screens, in your friends lists? Just how multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial, is your world? Were you ever the only white person? Were there ever more than two people of color? How did any of it make you feel? Make you think?

It's Black History Month, a good time to be thinking and being aware of issues like this, but not the only good time. Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue actually has black people on it. That we are celebrating that in 2014 is a appalling, but there you have it. 

For us, it was a week of awareness. For people of color, it's their lives. Even though the week is over, the awareness shouldn't be.

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

Saturday, February 01, 2014

I Am Snart!

Forgive me while I go all self-help-y on you for a moment, but I have come to a decision. I am done chasing friendships. Now, I don't mean accepting the natural ebb and flow of relationships, or being unforgiving about a busy/tough/introverted/introspective time in a friend's life. Not at all. But I am talking about being the only one invested. The only one who is contributing anything real to our dynamic.

Because this decision was made after the realization that I had several people in my life that I was, indeed, chasing. Several months ago, Denny said to me "Pobble, don't fall in love with potential." I scoffed at that because, honestly, waiting for someone to grow into their potential has never been my strong suit. To the point that I've rightfully (within this context) been accused of being cold-hearted. But what dawned on me shortly after he said it was that, while I wasn't in love with potential, I was ~ and have been ~ in love with what was. The friendships and relationships that existed before. That I had been unwilling to see shift.

Some people, I've been chasing for months. A couple, I've been chasing for a couple of years now ~ as embarrassing as that is to admit. And these friends, these old friends, have always responded well and enthusiastically when I initiated ~ but they didn't initiate themselves. A few, when they would initiate, would have nothing but lighthearted, insignificant, blatherings to offer me ~ when I knew they had real things happening in their worlds. If they couldn't be bothered, or didn't care, to share the real stuff with me, I don't know. I know it was shared with others, though. Others who now mean what I once meant.

When I checked in, I was told all was well, in spite of it not being so. And when I said "I need more than this. I need you to be invested, please" they were just as enthusiastic ~ and nothing has changed.

So, I have come to realize, to admit, that these friendships are not what they once were. Maybe it's me; maybe it's them; maybe it's a combination. Honestly, the why doesn't matter as much as the that. And the that is that as much as I want to still matter in the way I once did, I don't. And it's time to stop chasing them.

I don't need to make any grand pronouncement, calling them out, or telling them we can't be friends any longer, or they aren't welcome in my life, or any other great dramatic gesture. I do need to let go. Be grateful when I hear from them; not worry when I don't.

Now, before it starts to sound like a pity party ~ or to nip it in the bud, if it has started to sound like one ~ the reason I can now see all of this, and stop all of this, is because I have, once again, remembered just how fucking amazing I am. Oh, I have faults, and I screw up, and my laundry list of neuroses is pages long ~ but I am a pretty fucking fabulous human being, with all the messy imperfection that implies. 

I deserve friends that want me actively in their lives ~ not to chase people who, at best, take me for granted, and at worst, aren't all that interested in keeping a part of their lives. Hell, I have friends who want me in their lives, who love me, and value me, and bring something real to our interactions. Some of them, I'm in touch with almost daily. Others, months will go by between contact, but it's real and genuine and heartfelt, and that's what matters. Curiously, a couple of those friends are going through similar things with their old friends. Maybe it's in the air. Whatever it is, the time has come to value those friendships more, and worry less about the friendships that used to be. Because those people are as worth it as I am. And already, I am more at peace.

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