frogg files

"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." --Flannery O' Connor

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Leave A Message

Hello! You have not reached grackyfrogg, but you have reached her blog. She is away from it right now, but she'd love to hear from you, so feel free to leave your name and/or a brief message at the sound of the BEEEEP.

Oh and happy New Year!

BEEEEP.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Meditation

Ah, see the baby, how beautiful he is!

He will walk among us, as one of us, and yet not so, for he has come forth from the God of heaven and earth. The praise of angels precede him, the prophecies of men are fulfilled in him, and the Spirit of the Lord is upon him.

And look! Here are the star-watchers, who have journeyed long, bearing gifts, that they may kneel before the Morning Star. Here are the shepherds too, who, hearing the song of angels as they kept their dark-night vigil among their flocks, have shaken off sleep to gaze on the one who will shepherd many peoples.

Come and see, the baby sleeps. But hush, for the cares and evils of the world and all men will lie heavy on his shoulders when he wakes, and he will bear that weary burden all the days of his life. He will feed the hungry, heal the sick, comfort the sorrowful, rebuke the proud, and restore life to the dead and dying. Then he himself will die for those who revile him and turn away. He will be torn, bruised, and broken for all, whether they have loved or hated him. He will forgive the ones who destroy his life.

Those who love him will falter and stray, but he will be faithful, because he loves them and they are his.

Oh! if only I could make you see how beautiful he is! This baby, this little child, this man named Jesus, this Son of God.

For the light has come, and the darkness does not know how to bear it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No Work For Me=Blog For You!

Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Holiday stresses got you down? Well never fear--the frogg is here! Today I have heroically used my downtime at work to entertain you with this blog. At least, I hope you are entertained. (If you aren't, and would like to complain, please see the second-to-last paragraph of this post. Thank you.)

First of all, I would just like to inform you that today is a cause for celebration. Many celebrations, actually. Because NOT ONLY is it the Winter Solstice, it is also a Palindrome Day! Look--12/21. Now write the numbers from right to left, and it is the same! Watch, I'll do it: 12/21. Whoa! How cool is that!

(Yes, I have too much free time.)

But wait, there's more! Today is also: National Flashlight Day, National Hamburger Day, and Look on the Bright Side Day. So do yourself a favor and look on the bright side by shining your flashlight on a burger from your favorite burger joint (In-N-Out, baby!). And don't forget that "hamburger" written backward is "regrubmah." Uh, that's not a palindrome, is it. Oops. (But it's kind of funny, because it sounds like "Re-grub, ma." Haha!)

Ok, moving on. The next thing I want to share with you is a site called innocentenglish, featuring lots of funny signs gleaned from foreign countries. Here are a few of my favorites, which had me nearly choking in my efforts to not laugh so loudly that the attention of my co-workers would be drawn to the fact that I am doing a lot less work than they are today:

1) A yellow caution sign by a river in Japan:
CAREFULLY FALL INTO THE RIVER!

2) On a multipurpose knife sold in Japan:
CAUTION: BLADE EXTREMELY SHARP! KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.

3) Sign at park:
KEEP JAPAN GREEN
DON'T BURN
THE FIRE CHIEF

(oh I do love that one!)

4) A flush button in subway toilet:
You lady will push this button before leaving.

5) Bathroom sign:
Caution: when you take a bath, please close the
door and switch on the fun without fail.


6) On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.


Yes, it's hard to choose a favorite, but this one gets the Frogg's Croak Award today:

7) A sign in an Osaka hotel elevator above the emergency call button:
Push this button in case anything happens.

Finally, if you are tempted to complain about how crazy things are at this time of year, or anything else really, save it for December 26, which is National Whiners Day. I tell you I can't wait! I am a prodigiously accomplished whiner. Just ask my family...my Christmas-Day trademark, "Come on, guys--When are we going to open the presents?" is legendary (and still performed).

Until next time, here's wishing you a blessed/good/joyous/merry/seasonal/holiday day. Kisses from the frogg princess...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

No Happy Holidays For You!

As a followup to my previous post, here is a link to a CNN article that I happened to find a few minutes ago:

Tiptoeing Around "Merry Christmas," Er, "Happy Holidays"

I would laugh if it weren't so depressing...the fact that people are busily fighting, at Christmas time, over what is the best way to greet someone, or what to call a tree that has pretty lights on it.

Not to mention the fact that this is primetime news.

Personally, I think we should all just...not talk. No pleasant greetings! No cheerful salutations! And all these angry people get a lump of coal in their stockings for being ridiculous.

(Unless, of course, they don't believe that Christ approves of stockings, in which case I just don't want to hear it.)

Thinking Aloud

This morning I logged onto bible.com because I can't remember very well the last time I read much of the Bible, and I felt like maybe it would be nice to read some, today. I found the following survey on the front page of the site:

What concerns you the most about how the world is attacking Christmas, a Christian holiday?


a) Using an "X" to replace Christ's name in Christmas - i.e. Xmas
b) Banning manger scenes from public places
c) Substituting "Happy Holidays" for "Merry Christmas"
d) Emphasizng Santa Claus over Baby Jesus


I have to say, I am not particularly bothered by any of the above, and it depresses me a little that this seems to be the big concern for Christians at this time of year. Why should we be surprised if a world that doesn't care much for God as a general rule, doesn't want to honor him at all?

It strikes me (wearisomely, these days) that we who love the Lord have to pick our battles, and we seem to be picking all the wrong ones.

I remember meeting a woman a few years ago, in a Borders bookstore, and somehow engaging her in a conversation about God and religion. I began to talk to her about the concept of "grace" and she looked blank. I asked if she knew what the word meant--just the dictionary definition, really--and she shook her head.

That bothers me a whole lot more than whether or not a manger scene is set up on a street corner.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I Just Want To Tell You...

...that I love Christmas lights.

I'm Back...

...and I'm sick. Stupid cold and flu season. I hate it.

Feel free to tell me how sorry you are for me. I'm sure that will help me feel better soon. Pity parties are oh-so-fun!

In the meantime, this is the frogg, signing off and thinking longingly of her bed at home, where she would much prefer to be right now, instead of at work. Sigh.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I Lied...

...obviously, because here I am, blogging when I said I would be gone for a few days. Well, I am gone, so I guess that wasn't a lie, but I am blogging, so maybe that was. I don't know because I have been up since 3am, and it is now 8pm Pacific Time, and I am operating on about 2 hours of sleep. Why am I posting, you ask? Or maybe you didn't. I don't know, because I am not right there with you. But I will tell you anyway--I was conscience-stricken about one of the links I had in my previous post. The post is edited, the link is gone, and I can go to sleep now.

I'll be back soon.

PS Texas is alright, but very flat and brown. It's strange not to see mountains in any direction, for miles. Sigh...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Speaking of Strange, But Amusing, News

In bizarre news today, a man in New Zealand apparently "fled" a hospital in Christchurch sporting casts on both arms and a traction apparatus to correct a serious neck injury.

I have to ask: is the word "fled" (which to me means runnning desperately away from someone/something) really appropriate here? How fast could this man possibly go in the condition that he's in? Was someone actually chasing him, that he would be fleeing from them?? And that person couldn't catch a man wearing elbow-to-wrist casts on BOTH arms, AND the neck-traction halo? Wow.

On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that he just slipped out of the hospital with no one noticing, and somehow lost himself in the city. I mean, look at what he's wearing!! Not exactly inconspicuous, is it? Unless the fashion trends have taken a very startling turn in kiwiland.

And yet, the fact remains that the man has "disappeared" and the police are actually hunting for him. How odd.

Ah, I miss New Zealand!

Note: This is my last post for the week. I'm off to the Lone Star state (appropriate, no?) for the next few days, to see my brother get his wings. Yes, that is what I said. Til I return, miss me, my darlings!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Stop the Presses!

After hearing nothing from my editor in over a week, I got an email from her today asking if I want to undertake a story about some family who might be buying cows and keeping them locally, in someone's field. Um, no, not really. My editor called it, "strange, but amusing." But I am not so sure. I feel like the only thing this story will do is get some cow-buying folks mad at me, because I am pretty sure it will turn out that they are in violation of some city ordinance or other, and since I would have to call the city manager for a quote on the legality of what these people are doing, authorities will find out about it and go after them if they are in fact doing something wrong.

Oh, the hot drama of small-town news!

Of course, if it turns out they are within their rights, and have a permit or whatever it is you would need to have cows in your backyard, then the whole story is pointless. "Extra, extra, read all about it--people keeping cows in a field! Turns out they're allowed to! Extra, extra!"

You know, I am really not cut out for journalism.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why The Frogg Is Still Single, Reason #1,385

I figured out another reason for my incurable singleness tonight as I walked to the movie theatre to take in a 7pm showing of Narnia. Here it is:

I am a bad dresser.

Since early years, dressing with anything remotely approaching a "style" has been a challenge for me. I found a photo of me once, at Disneyland a hundred years ago when I was a child, and I am wearing a brown and orange horizontally striped shirt with an applique owl where my left breast would have been (if I had had breasts, which I didn't because of being about five), and these yellow corduroy pants with baskets of strawberries in a repeating pattern all over them.

To say that my attire was aesthetically insulting is an understatement.

I recall being utterly aghast when I saw that photo, and asking my mother, "How could you let me go out of the house wearing such a terrible outfit, where I could be seen by actual people? In public?!" To which she shrugged and replied (I kid you not), "That's what you wanted to wear."

Oh did I. Hmmm, since when do parents actually let you do what you want to do? I mean, what if I had wanted to wear coconuts and a grass skirt, would she have let me out of the house in that?!

I think not.

The point being, when I was younger I was not what you would call "fashion savvy." And I am apparently still not. Here is what I wore tonight to the movies (remember, this is SATURDAY NIGHT, out on the town!):

1) Old gray high school sweatshirt that I found in my brother's old dresser.
2) Yellow sweatpants (pretty bright yellow, actually)
3) A tan knit beanie with an orangish and a blueish stripe (and yes, I realize that nothing is really "matching" so far).
4) Dark gray trail running shoes.

I know what you must be thinking, because I am thinking the same thing, namely, what is the deal with me and yellow pants?! Well, I don't know the answer, any more than I know the airspeed velocity of an African swallow, but I do know that something good came of my fashion handicap tonight. No, I did not find a husband (helloooo, bad dresser, remember?), but I did get a student discount at the movie theatre. I didn't even have to lie, because the girl charging me didn't ask. I guess the high school sweatshirt was all she needed to see.

I don't know whether to be flattered that at the age of 30, I can apparently pass for a teenager, or discouraged that at the age of 30, I do not give the impression of being a grown woman. Even though I now have breasts.

Well, I could go on (and on and on) with countless examples of my sartorial misadventures, but I will spare you. The simple fact that there are so many examples I could draw on is evidence enough to support my final conclusion: If anyone is ever going to fall in love with me, it will have to be because of my amazing br...I mean, personality.

At any rate, I'm pretty confident that it won't be because of the yellow pants.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Eew

Speaking of things that are gross to eat...

Oh wait, we weren't? Huh. Well, let's. Because I just got this chocolate bar out of the vending machine, and you know how there are some things that sound perfectly tenable in theory (such as a roller coaster that stays stationary in the interests of supreme customer safety), they are in fact really dumb ideas (such as the aforementioned, which would hit the bottom of the charts in customer satisfaction)?

Well, let me tell you, the M-Azing milk chocolate bar with peanut butter M&M's in it is surely one of those things.

It doesn't sound like it would be, and that's the problem. It lures you into a false sense of pleased expectation, because hey, we all know that chocolate and peanut butter are a great combination, thanks to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I personally, being old and all, remember with great fondness their advertisements of thousands of years ago wherein, for example (and this is true), a caveman with a jar of peanut butter gets into a grunting argument with a caveman who is eating a chocolate bar, presumably debating which one tastes better...and then suddenly the chocolate bar falls into the peanut butter jar (was glass invented in the Stone Age? oh never mind...) and voila! The addictive Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is born--well, not really because it is still caveman times in the commercial but you get the idea that it will be, and then oh what delight awaits the masses! (Such as myself.)

So Reese's PB cups are a good idea. But the M-Azing bar...not so much. It tastes like too many different things at the exact same time, i.e., a milk chocolate bar (of questionable chocolate quality), and peanut butter M&Ms (which already have three different tastes going on: peanut butter, the thin candy shell, and more sub-par chocolate). I admit am still eating it, because I keep thinking maybe I am wrong about how bad it is, and on the next try I will see the light (or taste it, so to speak), but it never does happen. (Kind of the same experience I have with diet soda, come to think of it.)

Sigh. What a waste of .25.

On a lighter note, it's Friday! And I am going to a party tonight! With a bunch of people I don't even know! So who was the dork who said I lead a boring life?

Oh wait.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Um

So I was thinking that it would make for a good, entertaining post, if I shared with you a most scandalous secret about myself. Then I wracked my brains for a few minutes, trying (unsuccessfully) to make one up, because I couldn't think of any.

I am either really uncreative or I lead a very boring life. Or both.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thought of the Day

You know how some days, you get these nagging thoughts that won't leave you alone? Like wondering if maybe you left the coffeepot on when you left the house, or the iron. Or maybe the rent is due, and you need to remember to pay it. Or maybe it's an annoying song, like "Ob La Di Ob La Da." (Gah!)

Well, my nagging thought for the day is that if there were such a thing as a Dork-O-Meter, it's all too likely that I would register pretty high on it, and I can't make up my mind if this amuses or worries me.

Hmm, probably a bit of both.

(PS "Horse With No Name" is also a very annoying song.)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

For Theophilus

in all my work, theophilus, my desire is you will find the one who seeks you so persistently, who draws you ever onward and upward, into his waiting embrace. do not think you can escape him, if you love him! it is good to be a prisoner of hope.

if i can be as transparent as glass, so that the light in me (but it is not of me) can shine for you in a dark place, if i can make you smile, if i can make you think with longing of the one my heart longs for, i will consider myself well rewarded for all my labors.

but i want to tell you that he loves you very much, this God who does not know how to leave you alone. and something good will come of all this doubting, and sorrow, and struggle. you cannot see it now. but neither can you see the beauty of the rose that will one day spring from the seed you drop into the ground. you must trust that the seasons will bring forth the work of the one who set them in motion in ancient days.

he has not forgotten you.

God save and keep you, friend. he loves you and has forgiven you for everything. he doesn't even think of it. as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. his grace is sufficient for you, and oh how he wants you to know it!

therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

do not forget the eternal God who is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. but if you are faithless, he is faithful. he will not let you go; he knows you love him. he knows your heart. as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him.

ah theophilus, may you find rest in the midst of all your strivings. i have great hopes for you. may his peace guard you, his light guide you, and his love surround you--always.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Afternoon Lull

Friday afternoon, and I have no client projects to work on. I am sitting at my desk with my afternoon cup of English Teatime tea (I always drink Earl Grey in the morning), and listening to the traffic nine stories down, on Fairfax. It's gray outside, and I would say gloomy, except that I think I'm ready for a bit of rain, perhaps even hoping for it.

I love it when it rains at night, and I can lie in bed listening to the sound of it. That's one of my favorite things.

Another favorite thing is Christmas lights, and I have seen, on my night-time walks, that the houses in my neighborhood are starting to put those up.

Which reminds me, I can now allow myself to start playing Christmas songs on the piano, since Thanksgiving is past!

And that reminds me that I actually succeeded in playing through the frustrating second line of Chopin's Piano Prelude #6 last night, and I am quite excited because that is one of the most difficult sections of that composition, so that means I can start working through the rest, and perhaps by my next lesson I will be able to play the whole thing through. It's a very pretty piece, and I like it.

Hmm. I like the word "pretty." Can you say it aloud without smiling? If you can, you shouldn't.

(Yes, I know I'm rambling. But it's that sort of day, and anyway, now you know what is usually going on in my head all the time...just multiply the tangents and randomness by whatever it would take to fill up 24 hours, and you will have a good idea of why I ought to spontaneously combust! I don't know why I don't, actually. Maybe it's because I drink so much tea--that's supposed to be very relaxing.)