frogg files

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It

So this evening I went down to the basement and hunted through boxes of books til I found the old Thai phrasebook I bought in preparation for the last trip, so I could take it with me and (most likely) not use it this time, either.

In the introduction to the book, the first sentence informs me that "Thailand's official language is Thai," which is comforting, because that's what I figured. But after that things get a bit more complicated. This is because, as the book points out and as I remember from last time, "Thai has five different tones: level or mid, low, falling, high and rising. The range of all five tones is relative to each speaker's vocal range; there is no fixed musical pitch intrinsic to the language."

Which explains why you can think that you are ordering, say, pad thai at a restaurant, when in fact you've made the cheerful observation that "the fat lady is dead" or something along those lines.

Not that I would know about that from experience or anything.

So yeah, Thai is probably not the easiest language in the world to pick up. But the book urges me to have courage and not be afraid of speaking Thai even though I don't have a clue how to speak it. Well, that's easy for the book to say. It's not going to offend anyone if it gets some word or phrase horribly wrong.

But the real question right now is: why am I still awake?

I have no idea. It's way past my bedtime, considering that I have to be out the door at 6:30a.m. So, on that note, I'm off to bed. Oh and happy Inauguration Day! As excited as I am about hopping on a plane tomorrow, I'm a little sad that I will likely miss the most historic inauguration speech since the first one ever. Oh well. Hopefully I'll be able to catch a bit of it at the airport as we await our flight.

And on THAT note, take care of yourselves and miss me, my darlings. With kisses, as always, from the frogg princess..

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Countdown to Thailand!

Only a couple more days...!

I spent today mostly running around, doing some shopping for the trip. Not that I was actually "running", thanks to the fact that I sprained my foot on Tuesday. On the plus side, I guess it doesn't matter, since I probably wouldn't have been able to do much running in Bangkok. On the down side, I can't really walk that well, either, and I'll definitely be doing a lot of walking in Bangkok.

So, yeah. (I'm trying to pretend like I have a point here, but I really don't. And I'm sure that comes as a big surprise.)

In spite of my mobility concerns, I'm very excited about this trip. Definitely about the work that I'll be doing, but also just the chance to go back to Thailand. At a recent planning meeting, our group leader asked those of us who had been to Thailand before if there was any particular food that we were especially looking forward to eating again. She and this other girl started gushing over the fruit that they have over there, but since I'm weird, I don't care for fruit that much and therefore couldn't join in with their rapturous recollections. Instead, the first thing that came to my mind was a Thai omelette. SO good. The second thing that came to mind was a memory of a time when I ordered some pad see ew at this little stand in Bangkok, and when I got it, there was a big dead ant on one of the noodles. Mmmm!

I guess I should have been grateful that it wasn't a (mutant-sized) cockroach, though, because it very easily could have been.

Ah, Thailand. I can't wait...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Latest Frogg Update

Another Monday. Another reason to hit the bottle.

Just kidding. No really, I am.

That reminds me, though, I was just thinking that a cool drinking game during the past eight years would have been to throw one down every time Bush said "on my watch". Oh well.

I didn't get to hear his press conference today, just the highlights on NPR. But they played one clip where he talked about how the media sometimes "misunderestimated" him.

Classic to the end.

On another, completely unrelated note, I read about an exciting new job Down Under. Basically, you get $100,000 for six months of lounging around on an island and having adventures. I think I could handle that. I'm really really good at lounging around. Like, we're talking SUPER good. And I'm not too bad at the adventure thing, either.

The only bummer is you have to apply via video. I am not what you'd call a filmmaker, unless if by "filmmaker" you mean "someone who doesn't have a clue how to make films." Which would be silly. But anyway, in spite of my lack of cinematographic experience, I feel like I want to give this a shot (ha). The only real requirements they have for the position are that you be enthusiastic, a good communicator, attractive and adventurous. Check, check, check and check.

OK, I totally need to find a video camera. And someone who knows how to work it...

Anyway, so I'll keep you posted on that one.

Speaking of adventures, I'll be heading to Thailand next week, working with a group called NightLight. Should be an interesting, educational, and challenging time. I can't wait. I'll be there from January 20-31, and I hope to make at least a couple blog updates while I'm there, so watch this space. I know you probably don't believe that I'll actually do it, since I haven't been what you'd call good at keeping my blog updated, but hey, I might surprise all of us.

Don't misunderestimate the power of the frogg, kids.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Resolved: [Fill in the Blank]

Well, 2009 is here, folks, and there's nothing that says "Happy New Year" like an(other) offer for a free pre-paid cremation from the generous, if somewhat clueless, people at the Neptune Society.

Oddly enough, the same day that I found the pre-paid cremation offer in my stack of mail, I happened to park my car at a local bookstore in a space right next to a car advertising a related service: selling or creating gravestone monuments. If I were a superstitious person, I'd be a little disturbed. As it is, I was a little disturbed.

So, to get my mind off of the gloomy contemplation of my mortality, let's talk about something more cheerful. Like New Year's Resolutions! Woo-hoo!!

Has anyone actually made resolutions this year? Personally, I thought it would be kind of funny to resolve to break my new year's resolutions, but that would entail actually making some, and that in turn would require me to think about what sort of resolutions I would want to make, and at that point I realized that there was already too much work involved, and gave up. Besides, I've never had to resort to resolving to break my new year's resolutions; I broke them just fine without the added pressure of telling myself I had to it. So I guess it wasn't so much a funny idea as a stupid one, but oh well.

A better idea, given my proclivity for attracting pre-paid cremation offers, might be to resolve not to die. But then I'd sure hate to break that one.