frogg files

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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yay, Wedding Pictures!

Hey everyone, I got some wedding pics today, so I figured I'd share just a few.

Here's one of my brothers, awaiting the bride's arrival:

Here's my cousin, in the process of extorting money from my brother for the "lost" wedding ring:

Here's the immediate family with the newly married couple:

Now here's the bridal party:

Finally, here's one of nearly the whole frogg clan. A few people missing, but as you can see, we still manage to take up more than our fair share of the stage! Anyway, see if you can find yours truly:

Good times! Congratulations again, Erich and Shannon... love you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back Again

Well, here I am again! Back home in my beloved California at last. Not that I didn't find North Carolina quite charming, because I did. But it's just not the same.

The flight back was mostly uneventful. I say "mostly" because there was a brief moment of drama on the Atlanta-LAX leg of the trip when, during the takeoff, the luggage compartment right across the aisle from me snapped open and all of us passengers in the immediate vicinity stared at it and wondered what on earth to do. Shutting the door would mean (gasp) unfastening a seat belt and as anyone who flies knows, this is a big no-no when the captain has turned the "fasten seat belt" light on. On the other hand, another big no-no is an open overhead bin during takeoff or landing.

Hmmm. What to do, what to do...

The plane was picking up speed, and I was imagining the two rather large carry-ons inside the compartment falling out onto someone's head (like mine, maybe), and trying to figure out if I would get fined or arrested for getting up and closing it. I finally decided that I'd prefer to risk the fine instead of a concussion. I jumped up and slammed the door shut. No one said anything. Whew.

Unfortunately, my heroism was rendered totally pointless during landing, when two other overhead bins popped open before we even hit the runway. Thankfully nothing fell out of them, but honestly, that's just ridiculous. I felt at that point that I needed to let the flight attendants know what had happened, because maybe the plane needed to be inspected or something. So on the way out of the plane, I mentioned the two incidents to one of them.

"Oh yes," she said, "sometimes that happens because, you know, the plane is really long and it kind of bends as we take off and land." And she made bending motions with her hands. I stared at her.

"But isn't that dangerous?" I asked.

"Yes, it is, so thank you for telling us," she said.

Yeah, whatever. A total waste of time.

Anyway, since being back home I've done very little. Still recovering from a nasty cold or flu that set in just before I left for the east coast last week. I spent yesterday mostly in bed. But today I coaxed the cowgirl into helping me tackle a task that I've been avoiding for something like two years; namely, cleaning and organizing my desk.

It took us all day, but I can now see my desk again. Talk about a miracle.

It's amazing the things you can find when you start cleaning out a desk, by the way. For example, I stumbled across many tiny metal parts of things that I couldn't recognize. Does this happen to anyone else when they clean? What are these little metal parts? Where on earth do they come from? No one ever seems to know.

Then there was the second draft of my undergraduate honors thesis, a soporific work entitled "Spinoza's Hidden Dualism?: The Problem of the Nature of Reason in Spinoza's Ethics". If you're ever having trouble going to sleep at night, just let me know and I'll pop a copy of this paper over to you. You'll be zzzzz-ing in no time, trust me.

I also discovered a folder full of old stories and poems that I wrote when I was in elementary school, which I am keeping because someday when I am a rich and famous Pulitzer prize winner, I want people to know that once upon a time I wrote a poem about sharks that goes like this:

Sharks come in all sizes,
And different kinds as well.
There are great whites and makos,
I think sharks are swell.

And that's the least embarrassing in the file. Yowzas.

Probably not surprisingly, I also dug up one of the (several) offers for a chance to win a free pre-paid cremation that I've received in the past couple years. I'm trying not to notice that I keep getting these, because it's a little disconcerting, considering my present condition. But obviously, I'm noticing. And noticing. And noticing again.


Oh, and I found an old fortune cookie fortune. It says, "Look to the next month for some pleasant surprises." Well, that's a relief. I could definitely use some pleasant surprises for a change...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Made It... North Carolina and my brother's wedding! Thank God. It wasn't looking good for a while there, but I made it.

More on all this later, as I am still in NC and don't have time to post properly. Just wanted to let you all know I was OK.

Flying back tomorrow. Talk to you soon!

With many many thanks for your continued prayers, friendship and support, and with kisses (as always) from the frogg princess...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh Strange New World, That Has Such Pills In It!

One of the (many) surreal aspects of this current experience is the amount of drugs I'm now taking. I have Prednizone pills to take five times a day, an anti-nausea pill to take every 4-6 hours, and some other kind of pill for something else once a day. I was talking to my uncle about how weird it was to have to keep track of all these pills, and when I was supposed to take them, and when I had taken them, and he said, "Welcome to the world of senior citizens!"

Ha, thanks. Apparently 33 is the new 65, kids. Woo-hoo!

Seriously, though, this is tough on a girl who regularly loses her keys, hasn't been able to find her desk under all the books and papers on it since about 2006, and never writes down appointments in calendars (what's a calendar?). Now I suddenly have not only the drugs to remember, but doctor's visits, chemo visits, and who knows what else. My poor little unorganized brain!

So maybe this will be good for me, on some odd level.

Aside from cancer news, not a lot going on. I'm taking the week off of work, and hoping and praying I feel well enough to get on the plane to my brother's wedding at the end of the week, in North Carolina. The whole frogg clan is going to be there, so it should be a hoppin' good time. It's a little unsettling not knowing how I'm going to feel from day to day... am I going to feel sick, or sort of sick, or not sick at all? The control freak in me (who, yes, clashes at times with the disorganized freak) gnashes her teeth a lot about this, as it makes it hard to plan my days. But maybe that's good for me, too. Get a little spontaneity into my life, or something.

Actually, I think I've had enough spontaneity over the past couple weeks to last me a while, thanks. So never mind.

Monday, February 16, 2009

First Round Down!

Well, I had hoped to update the frogg files while I was sitting in the doctor's office, but turns out they didn't have any wireless networks I could log onto without a password. So here I am, at home again FINALLY, after a marathon session of about six freaking hours. Thankfully, the cowgirl and a couple of friends kept me company at different times throughout the whole thing.

The experience has not stopped being totally surreal. I mean, just barely over two weeks ago I was in Thailand, and now I'm a cancer patient?! What the...???

Anyway, I'm feeling fine at the moment, apart from being pretty tired. The side effects of feeling sick don't necessarily kick in til tomorrow or even the next day, which is unsettling. Hard to plan your days when you have no idea if you'll suddenly be taken ill! Grrr.

As for the hair loss... *groan* I'll have to say goodbye to my long locks sometime next week. The nurse told me it was probably a good idea to cut it short first, so it wasn't totally traumatic when it starts falling out in big clumps. Like cutting it short isn't going to be traumatic, too! I said I wanted to wait and see; what if it DIDN'T fall out? She just nodded and smiled, and said, "OK, sure, yeah" and I knew she must have heard that about a billion times before. Oh well.

So I may be having a little haircutting party soon. But not til after my brother's wedding this weekend!

OK, feels like the drowsiness side effect from one of the many drugs I've had pumped into me today is kicking in. Naptime! Ciao for now, my lovelies...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And So It Goes

So tonight, on the way to church, I asked my friend who was driving if she had any gum. She handed me a pack, and as I took one, I turned to the cowgirl in the backseat and asked if she wanted a piece. "Nah," she said, "I have this thing about aspartame."

"Oh why, does it cause cancer or something?" I said, then cracked up laughing as I put the gum in my mouth.

Well, I thought it was funny.

OK, but the truth is, it's actually taken me a few days to even say "cancer" when I talk about my condition. For a while, I stuck with, "I have a lymphoma." I'm not sure why I thought that sounded any better, but for some reason, it did. To me, anyway.

Then I got tired of all the extra syllables. Hey, time is short, people.

Anyway, I think I've finally come to terms (or else I'm terribly in denial, which, knowing me, is eminently possible). At any rate, I'm ready to start my chemotherapy tomorrow morning—a phrase that was probably numero uno on the list of "Things I never thought I'd say."

The cowgirl will take me to my first session at 8:30 a.m. The treatment basically consists of me sitting in a chair for about four hours with an IV needle stuck in my arm. Fun fun!

I guess I'll have no excuse for not updating my blog tomorrow, what with all that time on my hands...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Continuing Saga...

Well, I went to the oncologist yesterday and I'll just say up front that the prognosis is good. I have a diffuse large cell lymphoma, non-Hodgkins, curable. Which you'd think would have my turning cartwheels, but since I've never been good at gymnastics, I just went out for margaritas last night instead.

Go with what works, kids.

But seriously, I am happy about this news, when I'm not freaked out by thinking that any minute the doctor is going to call me back and say, "Oh wait. We missed something." Then I have to admit I get a little nervous. (Or a lot nervous, as the case may be.)

I will say that I like my oncologist very much. He was very thorough yesterday in explaining every aspect of my upcoming chemotherapy treatments, including the side effects of each of the several drugs I'll have to be taking. I've heard people call this blend a "cocktail" but something tells me it's not going to be nearly as fun to take as the margaritas. Oh well.

My 1:30 appointment went on for almost an hour, and he never once made me feel like he was in a rush to get on to the next patient. Everyone at the office was nice, too. That pleased me. I like nice people.

The oncologist did tell me some sad news, though. It's pretty likely that I'm going to lose my hair. Of all the horrible things he could have told me, this one isn't so bad, but somehow it's the one thing that makes me start to cry when I think about it. I mean honestly, do you have any idea how long it's taken me to get my hair to where it is?! And now I have to start all over. It's a little bit depressing.

But perhaps good for my vanity. And the hat industry.

Anyway, he did say he'd write me a prescription for a wig, which apparently in medical terms is called (I am not kidding) a "cranial prosthesis." Is it just me, or is that a truly ridiculous name for hair? It sounds more like a prescription for an extra head. Or a replacement head for one that's been amputated! Someone needs to tell the medical community that they really suck at coming up with names for things, and they should leave that to creative people like English majors such as myself. I would have called it... hmm, let me think... uh, wait, give me a second...

Oops, time's up! Gotta go eat. Maybe you can think of something...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Post-Biopsy Update

Wow, that has got to be one of the least creative blog post titles I've ever come up with. Oh well!

So yeah, it's me, the frogg once again, taking over from the cowgirl who was so kind as to fill in for me the last couple of posts. I'm sure you'll hear more from her as well, but right now she is taking a nap. Being my secretary/people-buffer/chauffeur over the last few days seems to have tired her out—not to mention that the pay isn't really that great (i.e., I don't pay her).

This is just a quick update to say that I'm doing OK, mostly. Although my voice sounds like I swallowed about a dozen knives and then followed them up with some sort of corrosive, thanks to the biopsy/bronchoscopy procedure I had the other day. Good times... at least, I guess. I was asleep for it, so I wouldn't really know.

Thankfully, the docs did not confuse me with any of the (many) eye surgery patients. THAT was a big relief! Unfortunately, that relief was somewhat deflated by the words, "It does appear to be some type of lymphoma," which I heard upon awaking after the biopsy. Talk about a letdown.

On the plus side, I am suddenly extremely popular. (Er, not that I wasn't before, of course!)


I was discharged from the hospital last night and am now at home. Today I had a PET scan to see if there is any lymphoma anywhere else in my body. I have no idea what PET stands for. The cowgirl said it was something like Positron Blah Blah Imaging, but that doesn't make sense now that I look at it, because "Imaging" starts with an "I" and there is no "I" in PET, so clearly I was not paying any remote kind of attention at all when she was talking. Oops. And of course, I'm too lazy to Google it, so if you find out, you can tell me. What I know is, it's kind of a cool test. They led me into a cozy little room with mood lighting and a huge leather La-Z-Boy , injected a radioactive isotope into my body (they actually brought it into the room in a lead box, no joke), and then gave me a blanket and basically told me to take a nap for 45 minutes! Sweet.

The part I didn't like as much was after the 45 minutes or so was up, I had to lie on my back with my arms over my head while they put me through a CT scanner. The problem was, the incision on my neck makes putting my arms over my head a little uncomfortable, and they told me I'd have to lie like that without moving for 21 minutes! I have to admit I whined a little about that. So then they said they'd get it down to 17.5 minutes. Woo-hoo! See, sometimes it pays to complain.

I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow, at which point I should know more about the test results from both the biopsy and the PET scan, and have more definitive information about what's next. Thanks to all who have expressed their love and support over these past few days. It means more to me than I can tell you!

With kisses from the frogg princess...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Adventures in Pre-Op

This is the cowgirl once again. There has been a change of events in the last few hours, and since the last post. Actually, things change so much around here it's dizzying!

Instead of a needle biopsy, Dr. Cohen, her primary doctor, decided that a mediastinoscopy would be a better avenue to diagnose this "monstrous tumor." A media...blah basically a slightly invasive procedure where they enter the chest from the top of the breastbone, making an incision about 1 inch long at the base of the neck, and taking a small piece of the tumor for pathology. The procedure is relatively simple and will not take very long. This will give them a better idea of what kind of tissue they are dealing with. She will be under general anesthesia.

So we're sitting here in the pre-op awaiting the OR to open up. Trying to keep the parental units from worrying too much. The frogg is more popular than ever! It seems the phone rings off the hook and she is always checking voicemails that are being left. I'm jealous. My phone has hardly rung! :( just kidding. She's appreciative of everyone's prayers.

[N.B. this is the frogg. Can I just say that there have been many many MANY times when my phone has barely rung in a day. In fact, I can think of at least one occasion when I decided to pay attention to how often the phone rang, and let me tell you something — three days later, it hadn't rung once! No calls, no texts, NOTHING. So, boohoo cowgirl! Cry me a river... and then kick some tumbleweeds into it or something.]

The frogg is apparently worried that she is going to have to pee while under general. What the heck?! I mean, who worries about that? Of all the things to be thinking about right now, and she's hoping that she doesn't become suddenly incontinent on the table! God love her....

P.S. Apparently the surgery of choice today is eye surgery. I have seen three patients wheeled by with gigantic patches over their eyes. I'm thinking that maybe I should put a big "X" on the frogg's neck so they don't puncture an eye!

P.P.S Oh no! The doctor just came to sweep another victim off to eye surgery. As I was writing the above P.S. we overheard the doctor speaking to another patient saying, "You've been in for eye surgery before, haven't you?" We gotta get outta here!

The Frogg Files Announces a Special Guest Today

This morning we interrupt our regularly scheduled program, The Bangkok Diaries, for some breaking news in which the frogg princess hands over the reins of the blog to the cowgirl, for reasons the cowgirl will make clear shortly. But first let's have a big round of welcoming applause for the cowgirl! Yeehaw, baby!!!

Howdy all. It has been quite some time since some of you have heard from me, and some have never heard from me. Some of you may not know who I am or why they call me the cowgirl. I guess the latter is probably self-explanatory. The frogg is one of my biggest fans and supporters in my cowgirl endeavors. She has been trying to revive my zeal for blogging. So I have answered the call, under some rather strange circumstances, I must admit.

Our beloved frogg princess has met with rather unfortunate circumstances. I guess there's no real easy way to put this, but, well, uh... (everyone think Arnold...) she's got a tumor. Okay, let me explain before you start to get too freaked. She was admitted to the hospital Sunday night after experiencing major pressure in her chest and up into her head and neck. X rays and CT Scan revealed the presence of a mass/tumor in the chest between the lungs that was apparently pressing on her heart and major vessels. Since being admitted, steroids have helped to relieve much of the pressure and pain. She is much more comfortable tonight than last and can lay down fully with minimal pain.

Okay, now there are many types of tumors, none usually good, but the doctors feel rather strongly that this is a teratoma. A tera...what??? Do not be alarmed. As strange a word that this one not as bad as it seems. Well, sort of. Although teratoma comes from the classical Greek meaning "monstrous tumor" ....wait, wait, wait. This isn't sounding good, and I'm digging this hole deeper and deeper. Let me start again. [NB from frogg princess: Yes, please do!!

Here's the deal. A teratoma is a tumor made up of tissues that resemble, well, other areas of the body. WHAT??? The first time I ever heard about a teratoma was on some medical discovery TV show and this kid couldn't sleep because he apparently had this teratoma thingy in his brain and it was putting pressure on the part of the brain that regulated sleep. When they went in to remove the tumor, they discovered what looked like a perfect fetus foot! YIKES!!! It was totally weird. I mean, this kid had a FOOT in his BRAIN!!!

So, what, does the frogg have a FOOT in her chest you ask? Well, no, I don't think so. But it is kinda funny to imagine. I told her the story about the kid and she said she was going to kick me and I said, "What, with your OTHER foot?" I don't know if she really thought that was funny, but I did! My brother said it was like Alien. I have five words for you: My Big Fat Greek Wedding. If you haven't seen it, you're totally missing out. You need to watch it and all this will take on a whole new meaning.

Anyway, although nothing will be confirmed until after the biopsy scheduled later today, the doctors are relatively unalarmed. Treatment will depend on biopsy results, but the frogg's fairly likely to go under the knife this week (actually under the saw—they gotta crack the chest to get to it) so all prayers are greatly appreciated.

**Intermission, Intermission**

frogg: Whoa, what? Crack the chest?!

cowgirl: Yeah, didn't you know about that?

frogg: Wha... wha...

cowgirl: Well, not really crack it. They saw it open.

frogg: Uh!

cowgirl: Uh, do you want me to delete that part?

frogg: Gaaaaaaaaaaah!!

**Intermission ends**

I guess I'll leave it in.

Anyway. She's in great spirits—er, or at least she was—and I'll be with her here all week. I'll keep you posted on things as they happen, so just sit deep in them saddles and cinch yer hats down tight.

Oh yeah, we named the little guy. His official name is ILB: Inconvenient Little Bastard. I think the name speaks for itself and needs no more explanation. Stay tuned as the saga of the ILB continues...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bangkok Diaries: Another View

I'm not feeling well tonight, so I thought that, instead of writing an update, I'd direct your attention to the blog of one of my Thailand teammates, Kelsey. She's done a fantastic job of summing up a lot of the stuff we did and saw.

Oh, and by the way, she's better at picture-taking. Like, way, way better.

I hope you'll go over and check out her blog, Along for the Ride. Let her know the frogg sent you. And see if you can find me in some of the pics!

More later...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bangkok Diaries: Travel Photos And How Not To Take Them

Ah, my first morning in Bangkok! I got up, stretched, and pulled the curtains of our bedroom aside for a spectacular view of this:

Which brings me to my first big segue of this whole Thailand saga. I know, I know... it's unusual to have a segue before you actually begin the saga in the first place, but it's OK. I am a trained professional.

So what I'd like to talk about now is the strange and weird world of amateur travel photography. Because I don't know about you, but whenever I go on a trip, I take what I think are all these great pictures, but when I actually get home and look at them, I'm shocked to discover that all my great pictures have somehow morphed into totally lame ones.

I call this the "what in heaven's name possessed me to think this picture would be cool?" principle. Or WIHNPMTTTPWBC for short.

Now, I don't like to brag, but I feel compelled to confess that I am an expert in taking WIHNPMTTTPWBC pictures. If you don't believe me, just take a look at this:

That is a picture of the BTS Skytrain train tracks in Bangkok. Why, you ask? The answer is simple: I don't know. I mean, it's not like they look really different from train tracks anywhere else. But apparently I thought they were pretty intriguing, because I went ahead and took another picture of them:

And another:

I'm particularly proud of the psuedo-artistic angling of that last one, which I suppose I imagined would distract viewers from the utter banality of the subject; i.e, yet more train tracks. Talk about cool! And notice how cleverly I avoided getting a photo of the actual train in any of these photos. The train sometimes had advertising on the sides, which might have given an insightful and/or entertaining glimpse into Thai culture. For example, I remember one ad that seemed to be for career advancement courses, and which showed a fortune teller as one of many viable career options available to the eager, bright-eyed generation of tomorrow.

But why would I take a picture of something that people might actually want to see? Come on.

I did try to mix it up a bit with the following pic:

Look! Two people on cell phones! You don't see that in the United States every day! (I'm sure it didn't escape your notice that they are on the Skytrain platform. Which is right next to the Skytrain train tracks.)

But my personal favorite of all the photos I took is this one:

If you're at all conscious at this point, you're probably wondering what that is. Well, that makes two of us.

So yeah, while I was busily recording images of train tracks and an unidentifiable flash of light that, if previous photos are any indicator, is probably a train track in disguise, my colleagues on the team were getting photos of monks in saffron-colored robes, gleaming temples, bustling marketplaces, each other, and so on. You know, stuff that would be of interest to other people. Stuff you're supposed to take pictures of. Cool stuff.

All I can say is, photography is clearly not my life's calling.

So tomorrow we'll get back to the story, in writing, thank you very much. Because I may take boring photos, but at least my writing is... hey, what? Are you asleep?

That is so not cool.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bangkok Diaries: Prologue

After wracking my poor little brains for a while, trying to figure out how to start telling about my Thailand trip, I had this startlingly innovative idea: begin at the beginning! So here we go...

My flight to Bangkok left on Tuesday, January 20 at about 11 a.m. I was kind of bummed that I'd miss the historic inauguration ceremony, but I needn't have worried—turns out there's this nifty invention called "radio" which we had in the car, so I got to hear a lot of announcers talking mindlessly to fill air time until the actual historic ceremony began. And it seemed they were particularly taken with reporting on how cold it was in D.C. and how many people were suffering from hypothermia and so on. J, who was driving, made the observation that those were probably the people from California who didn't know any better than to wear their flip-flops, as usual. I would have liked to protest, but the truth is, he was probably right. Still, I bet there would have been a lot less cases of hypothermia if people had figured out that another nifty invention called "television" makes it possible to watch historic ceremonies without leaving the (warm) comforts of home.

But I (shockingly, I know) digress.

We arrived at the airport without incident, which is always nice to report after a stint on the 110 freeway. But we hit our first snag at the check-in desk for Korean Air, when it turned out that one of our team had a passport set to expire in just under six months. Apparently this is a big no-no as far as Thai policy goes, so the airline refused to allow her on the plane. We tried to get them to change their minds, but in the end she had no choice but to go get a passport extension, which takes 24 hours to process, as it turned out. But there was nothing else to be done. The Korean Air staff were polite but firm. She would not be joining us on the flight over.

So that was that.

It was a bit of a downer of a way to start the trip off, but our team member had a good attitude about it—much better than I would have. After she left, with assurances that she would get the next available flight once she sorted out the passport situation, we finished checking in and walked up to a restaurant that had TVs broadcasting the inauguration. I was pleased that I didn't have to miss it after all! And I was even more pleased that I didn't get hypothermia.

Eventually it came time to board the plane. Our itinerary was to Seoul, then Bangkok. By my calculations, the Seoul leg of the flight took a whole lot of hours—enough to watch four movies in a row. Which, I might add, was more than the amount of movies I've watched the entire past year. (Yes, I know I need to get out more often.)

One of the movies I watched was Vicky Christina Barcelona. I couldn't get over the fact that Javier Bardem could be so incredibly sexy as a Spanish painter, given his Oscar-winning turn as an incredibly unsexy psychopathic killer in last year's No Country for Old Men. On a more amusing note, the Korean Air flight magazine had a profile on Javier which, due to an unfortunate typo, identified him as "one of the world's sexist men."

Well, maybe it's true. Who knows.

I also watched The Mummy III (couldn't finish it, too lame), The Dark Knight (which I had missed when it came out, and which I thought was way better than Batman Begins, by like a trillion times), and one of my personal favorites, Chariots of Fire, which only gets better every time I see it. (Fav quote: "I believe God made me for a purpose—for China. But he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.")

I could go on and on about the flight, and the food, and blah blah blah, but then this post would be about as long as the flight itself, and you'd probably fall asleep, if you haven't already. So I'll just skip ahead to when we finally arrived in Bangkok, at about 1 a.m. on Thursday, January 22. As we left the airport, I braced myself for the horrific humidity and heat that I remembered from my last visit to Thailand, but was pleasantly surprised. The air was warm, but not unbearable, and only a little muggy.

After a short wait, a van picked us up and we drove to our hotel, located in one of the red-light districts of the city. After checking in, we went up to our rooms. The one I was sharing with C (our team leader) was a great example of the "let's not match" school of interior decorating. It featured a deep-purple carpet, seafoam green walls, at least two different tile patterns in the bathroom, and a bright gold bedspread on the double bed. (That's right, I said "bed," not "beds." There was only one bed in the room, but both C and I were too tired to care at that point.)

As an added classy touch, there was a horizontal mirror on the wall next to the bed, which took up the full length of the wall. The way it was angled, if you wanted to actually see yourself in it, you had to crouch down in front of it or else stretch out on the bed.


I went to sleep that night trying not to take up more than my fair share of space on the bed, and trying even harder not to think about previous occupants of the room and their likely activities. At least, I thought as I drifted into dreamland, I haven't seen any mutant cockroaches yet.

But then, it was only my first night back in Bangkok...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sawadee Kah!

Boy, I sure hope you pronounced that correctly. You don't even want to know what you just said otherwise.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, "sawadee kah" means "howdy" in Thai. Although if you're a guy, you should say "sawadee khrup." I'm sure there is an explanation for this, and I'm equally sure that I don't care what it is. The Thai phrasebook might shed some light on the matter, if I wasn't too lazy to flip through it and look. As it is, I guess the answer will remain a mystery.

ANYWAY. I am back from Thailand, after successfully not updating my blog during the entire time I was away. I believe I have officially elevated not-updating-my-blog to an art form. However, I did think about updating my blog while I was gone, so hopefully that counts for something.

The trip was pretty amazing. Frankly, I don't even know where to start in talking about all the things I did and saw. Some of it was upsetting and sad. Some of it was fun. All of it was thought-provoking and educational... to say the least.

I think the best way to go about telling the story may be to do a day-by-day recap.* So check back Wednesday for Day 1. Hopefully I'll have my thoughts in some semblance of an order by then. In the meantime, thanks for your patience! Kahp kuhn kah!!

*Thanks to Abbie for the narrative-method suggestion. Unless it turns out to be lame. In which case, you now know who to blame.**

**Or is it whom? I always get those two mixed up...