frogg files

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

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hopping, Skipping, Jumping Away From Winter!

It is supposed to be spring, right? Which in California usually translates to "early summer." And "early summer" usually translates to 75-80 degree days, clear blue skies, and light clothing.

Well, today I am dressed in jeans, sheepskin boots, a long-sleeved shirt, a fleece jacket and a beanie.

This is not the Southern California I know and love.

Happily, I will be getting a taste of warmer (if not dryer) weather soon—tomorrow I head to Kauai for The Great Backpacking Adventure! I am very excited and looking forward to having a whole new set of "what not to do while backpacking/camping" experiences to add to my collection. Woo-hoo!

Anyway, I'll be unable to update the blog from the island, so have a great week and miss me, my darlings.

(If you like, leave me a message. Tell me how you're week is going, what's on your mind, what kind of cereal is your all-time favorite. I like to hear your thoughts.)

Until next time, kisses from the frogg princess...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Light

Late this evening, while driving home from church, I looked up into a black sky. I saw a single bright white star, and far below it, near the horizon, a dark, heavy moon swallowed entirely by shadow—except for one knife-like sliver of bright white light.

Oh, my heart! After the staggeringly horrific events of this week, I am full of tears and questions, anger and doubts. The world seems so dark, and God... oh He seems so far away. Is he even there?

Sometimes I don't know. But tonight, for a brief time, I believe I saw a glimmer of hope in the heavens.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:5

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Brrrr

I am not sure what's gone wrong with April. Normally, this month is balmy and pleasant and warm in Southern California. But it seems like an April from somewhere else entirely—Colorado perhaps?—has come to pay a visit instead.

I want my California April back!

Cold tonight. I had to turn on the heater. I am still not warm enough.

Last night was cold, too. And around 4am, I was awakened by thunder. Then, hard rain. Lightning flashes lit the room a few times. I was glad in a way that I was awake to hear the sound of the storm. But I was tired today.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Imus Problem

I have purposely refrained from discussing the whole Don Imus flap, for various reasons ("everyone already IS discussing it" not being the least of those reasons). However, I read an interesting commentary on CNN today, which highlighted a part of the controversy that seemed to me to be getting overlooked:

Imus might be spark for debate on sexism

While I appreciated what Roland Martin said, and was glad he said he pointed out the sexist angle in more than a passing reference, I was not entirely satisfied with his editorial. Because somewhere in the middle of it, he says, "So many people tried to make this a race issue. But for me, that wasn't the primary point. I never wavered from the attack as one of a sexist. It didn't matter that he was trying to be funny. He insulted a group of women who are already accomplished."

That argument prompted me to write him the following email (edited here):

Mr Martin,

I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for calling attention to the sexist nature of Imus' remarks. As a woman, I was actually flabbergasted that the producer of Imus' show did not share in Imus' drubbing; after all, he used the word "ho's" first! Where was the outrage over that? Where were the cries of disgust that women in general, regardless of race, can be referred to by such a disgusting, derogatory word even aside from the racial adjective?

Your column certainly went further than any I've read so far in pointing to the existence of a problem that goes beyond race, and for that I thank you. However, I am puzzled when you say, "he [Imus] insulted a group of women who were already accomplished." Is that really the problem? If they were not so accomplished, would it have been OK to insult them? (I am sure you didn't mean that, but that's the unfortunate interpretation left open by your statement.)

The bottom line is that it is not appropriate to call women "ho's", regardless of their accomplishments. I may not be a CEO, a star athlete, or a high-ranking politician—but such language still hurts me. It is not a term of endearment in any way; it is so degrading. Sexism pervades our culture, it's true, but the language, the language... oh, why can't we hate it more than we do? I wish the word "ho's" had gotten the same amount of media attention as "nappy-headed." As far as I'm concerned, whatever Imus suffered, his producer should have been suffering right along with him.

[rest deleted]


So there you have it. My take on the Imus controversy, in a nutshell.

Having said all that, I don't know if I think Imus should have been fired. I mean, if a man is paid to be a "shock jock," it's a little hypocritical for his bosses to fire him when he's doing such a good job of it. Now they want to be seen as principled and all. Well, where were those wonderful principles of theirs throughout his entire career?

All six, or maybe even seven, of them were in the "amount" section of his paychecks, that's where.

Let's face it. The problem isn't really that Imus and his producer said what they did; it's that people listen to him in the first place. There is money to be made with his kind of shtick, or he wouldn't have lasted as long as he did.

Where the carrion lies, the vultures will gather, after all.

There is a solution, of course. It's called, "Don't listen." Is that going to stop racism or sexism? No. But it might go a long way toward shaking things up in corporate empires that make money off of offensive material, if they suddenly found they were NOT making money off of it.

Well. It's a nice idea, but I am not naive enough to think that we will see it happen any time soon. Such a paradigm shift in the marketplace would have to start with a paradigm shift deep inside a place much closer to home.

Our selves.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ha?

Well, I never thought I'd be quoting from D.H. Lawrence in anything like a positive light, but while reading Lady Chatterley's Lover today, I had to laugh at this short passage because really, how true is it:

The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few in most personal experience. There’s lots of good fish in the sea . . . maybe . . . but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you’re not mackerel or herring yourself you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.

Believe me, it's even more depressing when you're a frogg...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Apropos of Nothing In Particular

Last week I finished reading The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, and Amsterdam by Ian McEwan.

Then I went to the library today and checked out a book of short stories by Saul Bellow, The Cadence of Grass (how I love that title!) by Thomas McGuane, and The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard (which I tried to check out once before, but forgot the author and accidentally picked out The Birth of Venus instead—QUITE a different book). I also bought a used copy of The English Patient for $1.

Of course, none of the above books bear the slightest resemblance to Ulysses by James Joyce, or Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette—a fact which I mention only because I am supposed to be reading both of them in preparation for the spring residency of my writing program.

Oh, speaking of Ulysses: I used to think that Ulysses was a book that people read just to say they'd read it, so they could sound superior. I also thought that if anyone said they actually liked it, they were lying, so that they could sound superior. Somewhere along the line, I stubbornly purposed in my heart never to read Ulysses, so that I could (I suppose) sound superior by virtue of my non-comformity to the rest of the crowd. You can imagine that I was a little annoyed when the book got assigned.

But a strange thing happened when I began reading it. I found myself... well... liking it.

Oh well. As they say: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or in this case, if you can't be superior over them, be superior with them... over other people.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Thought of the Day

I'm back from the Rose Bowl, where a revolutionary idea occurred to me:

Maybe I should take up swimming.

Here I Am

Well, I am happy to report that I did not perish in the flames the other day! My office is still standing (yay?), and Warner Bros. survived as well (I know all you WB fans were concerned about your favorite characters and shows). The Hollywood Hills are a bit the worse for wear and are going to have some bald spots for awhile, but otherwise I don't think there was any other damage.

In other news, I am coming up on the final deadline—next Thursday, yikes!—for the first semester of my writing program. Then I am done til the end of May! Although I still have assignments to read that will keep me somewhat busy, but hopefully not as insanely busy as I've been lately. I desperately need a breather.

All right, time for breakfast, and then off to the Rose Bowl for some more getting-in-shape-prior-to-backpacking-in-Kauai fun! Woo-hoo!!