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, November 26, 2008

Brrrrr!

Well, the cold weather continues. Yesterday I was out to lunch with a friend and at one point I glanced out the window of the restaurant to see snow falling. Snow! I could hardly believe it—especially since the sun was still shining. That's just adding insult to injury.

My aunt said she couldn't understand how someone who hates the cold so much can like snowboarding. I don't know either. It's a real mystery.

Anyway, somehow I have managed to avoid developing hypothermia out here on the East Coast. Probably because I've spent most of my time these past couple days sitting on the couch in my aunt's living room with a heating pad (turned to the highest setting) at my back and a fire in the fireplace.

I have, however, developed a bit of a cold, which is depressing. I hate being sick. But in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I'll just say that I am thankful for being sick because it's a pretty good excuse for sitting on a couch all day and doing nothing.

Not that I've ever really needed an excuse for doing that.

In other news... hmm. Actually I don't have any other news. It's hard to have news when you are in major hibernation mode.

ANYway. Here's wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving! I suppose I should have written a post in celebration of all the things I'm thankful for, but that would have taken more concentration and coherence than I'm capable of at the moment. Hey, what can I say... I'm on vacation, kids. But feel free to share what you're thankful for, if you like!

Enjoy the holiday, with lots of kisses from the frogg princess...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You May Call Me Master Now

Well, I survived the giving of my lecture, but more importantly, so did the people who attended. In spite of my somewhat-last-minute decision to scrap everything I'd written for the lecture and just extemporize off of a few notes on the handout I'd created to go wiith it, the talk went well and I even almost went over my time limit, which was kind of cool in a way, because I thought for sure the lecture was going to be too short . The bummer was that, because of my rambling, I had to cut out the second part of the two-part writing exercise I had planned, which sort of lamed the first part of the exercise, but oh well. The point was, I gave the lecture. After that, there wasn't much left to do but get through the next few days until graduation, which took place on Saturday, November 22.

So there you have it. Two years of a regular rotating schedule of deadlines, procrastination, last-minute-panic-induced creative spurts, doubts about my sanity in choosing to do the writing program in the first place, and very little social life have culminated at last in my achievement of one of the most impractical degrees currently on the market: the Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing.

Woo-hoo!

Now I'm in Maryland for the Thanksgiving holidays and no doubt inquiring minds want to know: what will I do next? Coincidentally, my own mind is inquiring the exact same thing. Weird, huh. Well, there are a few ideas knocking around in what is left of my poor frazzled brain, but I think they need the nourishment and fortification of a delicious Thanksgiving dinner before they start to make any sense. So I'll have to get back to you on that.

In the meantime, here's hoping you are enjoying warmer weather than I am at the moment. Although I'll just say that cold weather isn't nearly so bad when you get to stay inside a nice, cozy, house all day, with absolutely nothing on the schedule that has to be done...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Three Words

35 degrees Fahrenheit.

I guess technically that's two words and a number but who cares. The point is, that's the temperature outside right now.

So yeah, it's pretty cold here in Louisville, but I am surviving. My reading went well on Saturday. My mentor gave me a spectacular and moving introduction, which included phrases such as "deeply talented", "poetic language", "sharp insights", "honest voice", "thought-provoking material" and "beautiful hair."

Um, that last one made a whole lot more sense in context. Anyway.

On Wednesday afternoon I give my lecture, and I'm pleased to report that I'm still not finished with it, thus staying true to form. But don't worry, I'm sure it'll go fine. I'm not sure that it'll have anything at all to do with the lecture topic I turned in to the office two months ago, but as I said before, who cares.

OK, my darlings, I've gotta go. Need to reattach some fingers that just froze off. I know, ouch! But first, a stop at the charming hotel bar for something to dull the pain. Being able to prioritize important activities is a very important skill, one that I'm sure you know I've never learned.

Ciao for now, with kisses once again from the frogg princess...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Heading off to the lovely bluegrass state tonight. Here's where I stand with all the stuff I said I needed to get done before I left:

1. Lecture=not finished

2. Select a section of my thesis to read aloud in front of peers on Saturday (reading to last 20 minutes)=not even started

3. Read/write feedback on the stories of 9 other people who will be in my workshop sessions=not finished

4. Read a set of pre-residency assignments in preparation for some of the required lectures=not even started

In other words, I am doing a pretty good job of defending my claim on the title "Procrastination Queen." (Er, I'm not sure who I'm defending it against, exactly, but I am defending it.)

I'll try to keep y'all posted on my news as it occurs, but no promises. In the meantime, take care, and miss me, my darlings!

With kisses, as always, from the frogg princess...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Five Things I Enjoy About Being Cold

Well, it's that time of year again; i.e., winter. And with winter comes a precipitous drop in temperature—from 80-90 degrees down to as low as, like, 50! I know, I know... brrrrr, right?! Well, normally I would whine and complain a lot about how much I really miss summer, but I thought that for once I'd try to look on the bright side and be positive. So I listed the top five things that I enjoy about being (freezing) cold. Here they are, in no particular order:

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


*sigh* I really, really, really miss summer.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Great Graduation Lecture Caper

Well, I made some serious progress on my lecture this weekend! In other words, I gathered a lot of quotes from various sources and arranged them in an aesthetically pleasing manner on a Word doc. They are quite inspirational, believe me. And mostly by Flannery O'Connor. My lecture isn't about Flannery O'Connor per se, but it might as well be, because I quote her like a million times, and everyone else gets maybe one quote. Even me, which is maybe not so good since I'm kind of supposed to be giving the lecture and therefore talking a little bit more than Flannery.

But really, if I had my way, instead of giving the lecture, I'd just hand everyone a copy of Flannery's book Mystery & Manners (which is where I pulled all the quotes from) and say, "Here, read this." Then I'd say, "My work here is done", don a cool red cape and fly away to help fight crime somewhere that needs a superheroine who wears a cool red cape and can fly.

And as a plus, I'd avoid having to give the lecture! Bonus.

Hey, I'm just saying what I'd do if I had my way. Clearly I am not going to have it, but that's OK. It's not the best situation, because I really do like having my way, but I'm adaptable. I can make do. I've come to terms, as they say.

Anyway, I guess it would get expensive, buying books for all the people who probably won't show up to my lecture because maybe they'll find someone else's more interesting and go to that person's instead.

On a completely different note, I've finally discovered The Flight of the Conchords. Which is kind of bad news in a way, because I spent most of the evening watching the first-season DVD and not as much of the evening finishing my lecture. But the good news is it's almost as funny as the Beached Whale video sensation on YouTube. (If you don't find the Beached Whale funny, you probably need to spend more time in New Zealand. Or just be a New Zealander.)

On yet another note, I only have three more days before Thursday, which is when I leave for Louisville. In that space of time I need to a) finish my lecture; b) finish making final edits to my thesis; c) reprint my corrected thesis to turn in to the program office; d) read a whole bunch of stories and critique them; e) um, something else that is no doubt important but that I've momentarily forgotten; and f) avoid slacking off.

It's going to be a tough week. Where are the red cape and superhero powers when you need 'em? I mean honestly.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Quiet Friday Afternoon

Too quiet, if you ask me. If a tumbleweed were to blow through our office right now, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Actually, that's not true. Seeing as how we are not on the ground floor, and there aren't any tumbleweeds around, it would in fact be pretty weird if a tumbleweed made an appearance.

On another note, I'd just like to say that today on a lunchtime stroll I noticed that one house still had Halloween stuff up, even though Halloween was a week ago. That is almost as bad as putting up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving.

But not nearly as bad as playing Christmas music before December. (I don't want to name names, but my mother is oh-so-guilty of this one.)

If I sound grouchy and grinchy today, it's probably because I got up too early this morning. I now have to go running before work instead of after, thanks to the time change and the shorter daylight hours, blah blah blah. And I am so not a morning person.

I've also noticed the weather getting colder. I do not like cold, which I define as anything less than 65 degrees F.

On a more positive note (yes, I can occasionally hit those), I got my end-of-semester evaluation from my writing mentor, and it pretty much said that I am awesome. I knew that, of course. But it's nice to see it in writing.

OK, I lied. It said my writing was awesome, but it is also cool to see that in writing.

If I sound oddly disjointed and delirious in this post, it's probably because I got up too early this morning.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Public Service Message, of Sorts

The following is a public service message from your friendly neighborhood frogg princess.

Call me Scrooge (or Scroogette, preferably, seeing as how I am, after all, a girl), but there really should be a law against putting up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving.

And I say that as someone who loves Christmas lights. But seriously, it's a bit much. I mean, give Thanksgiving a freaking chance, people!

That may be less of a public service message and more a sort of soapbox harangue, but I don't care.

You Know It's Going To Be A Long Day When...

...you've been ready to eat lunch since 10:45a.m. Grrr.

On another note, today on the freeway I saw a tow truck with a license plate that said, "YOU NEXT." Driving along in the lane behind the tow truck was an SUV with a license plate that said, "4SCRAPS." If I were that SUV, I'd have been feeling vaguely threatened. Actually, I kind of was anyway, and I'm not even a car.

It's possible that I am a little overly sensitive.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

History Has Been Made!

Namely, on October 31st, when, in an amazing feat of superfroggian prowess, I somehow managed to overcome my natural procrastinatory tendencies and finish my grant application! On time!! YES!!!

Oh yeah, and yesterday Obama was elected president. Also pretty historic, I suppose. It might even be slightly more historic than me beating myself at my own procrastination game, but that's a tough call.

Kidding. Sort of.

Anyway, so as Obama turns his attention to doing whatever president-elects do while they're waiting for January to roll around, I'll be turning mine to finishing up school stuff, seeing as how I'm leaving for Louisville, hmmm, next Thursday night. Yes, I realize that is only a week away. And yes, of course, I have absolutely nothing done that I am supposed to have done. Naturally, these things being the case, I managed my time tonight as effectively as I usually do — i.e., after work, I went for a 3-mile run, followed by a 3-mile walk with a couple friends, followed by agreeing to go to coffee with one of the said friends after the walk, followed by finally getting home at 11:30pm, at which point it was (of course) too late to do any work.

Other than writing this blog, I mean. Er.

In other words, this weekend is looking like it's going to be pretty historic, too. As in, it's going to be an epic catch-up session the likes of which I can't even fathom, being, as I am, in full-fledged denial.

But don't worry. I have a simple little mantra to get me through this difficult time:

YES I CAN!

Hey, if it's good enough for Obama...

Monday, November 03, 2008

God's Dilemma

So I was driving into work this morning, listening to NPR. A woman was being interviewed about the elections, and she said that she was praying that John McCain would win.

Which puts God in a bit of a stitch, seeing as how I'm praying that McCain will lose. Awkward, isn't it.