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 23, 2009

Let Me Tell You Why I Suck*

... at being domestic. It's a long story, but no doubt very enlightening. Unless of course it isn't, in which case welcome to the frogg files! That's par for the course around here.

But moving on to the illustration of my point: On Monday, I did something so bizarrely out of character, I can only assume that chemotherapy had more far-reaching effects than I had ever imagined in that it must have altered some core element of my esoteric being. I spent the evening baking.

Wait a minute, I hear you saying. That's not sucky! That sounds like you might be actually be getting good at being domestic! That sounds like there's hope! Yay!

To which I say, O ye of little faith.

First, some background. The reason for the foray into Betty Crockerdom was due to the fact that I had a medical appointment the next day and wanted to bring some goodies for the wonderful staff who took care of me through my cancer ordeal. Second, a(n embarrassing) confession: my mom helped me. She let me come over and use her kitchen because I was too terrified to contemplate the horrors that would no doubt result in my attempting unsupervised domesticity (giving the old "don't try this at home" line a delightfully ironic twist). Anyway, the point is, I ended up with a batch of red velvet cupcakes for the nurses in the chemo treatment room and a few loaves of pumpkin bread — one for my doctor, and two more as extras. And I would just like to add that my mom cautioned me, as we put the cupcakes in a large tray and covered them with foil, about not letting the foil touch the cupcakes because it would mess up the frosting.

So naturally, the next day as I was headed out of my house to my car, my arms full of about a million different things including the cupcake tray, I rested something — oh so briefly! oh how gently! — on top of the aluminum foil covering the cupcakes.

It will come as a surprise to no one that the cupcakes got messed up. (Which, however, did not prevent them from being eaten.)

And that's not even the worst of it. That morning, I also had to wrap the pumpkin bread for my doctor, since I hadn't done it the night before because of wanting to wait til the bread cooled. But first I cut a small piece off of one of the loaves to taste it and make sure I wasn't about to give my doctor something that tasted like, oh, say chemotherapy. Thankfully the bread actually tasted awesome, so I wrapped them all in plastic wrap, but added an outside layer of tissue paper graced by a pretty Christmas ribbon and a card on the one for my doctor. Then I took that one out to the car, along with the aforementioned cupcakes and the loaf I'd cut into (which I'd decided to share with my co-workers), and drove off to my appointment.

My first inkling of trouble came after I arrived at work later that morning, when I stood in my office kitchen staring at the pumpkin bread loaf I'd just unwrapped and not seeing the place where I'd sliced it. The dreaded confirmation of my mistake came when I got home and discovered that the third loaf, which I'd put aside for someone else, also did not bear any telltale signs of violence. That could only mean one thing.

Somehow I had managed to give my doctor — for Christmas, and also as a thank-you for helping to save my life— a loaf of delicious pumpkin bread from which I had already eaten. Classy.

My mom, bless her heart, made me feel a tiny bit better about the whole thing after I wailed to her about it over gchat and told her I felt like an idiot. Turns out she was making pumpkin bread today, and after getting the bread pans in the oven, she walked through the kitchen and found the can of pumpkin still sitting, unopened, on the table. She had forgotten to blend it in with the other ingredients! And since pumpkin is kind of a key ingredient in pumpkin bread, she had to haul the bread pans out of the oven, dump the hot mix into a bowl, add in the pumpkin, pour the mix back into the pans, pop them back in the oven and then hope for the best.

"Now who's the idiot?" she typed.

Oh, don't you worry, Mom. It's still me. I'm just a slightly comforted one, that's all.

* bonus Christmas points if you get the movie reference!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We Interrupt The Last Weekend Before Christmas For...

...a big sigh of relief! The CT scan went well on Tuesday, and (even better) so did the results. The doctor left me a voice mail on Thursday and let's just say it included the words, "great scan" and "no sign of cancer."

Just what I wanted to hear! Whew.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled holiday chaos. Thank you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Health Status Update, Blah Blah Blah

Actually I don't have that much to report. I'm doing pretty well, and feeling good, thank God. My CT scan is tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. — my first followup cancer screening since my all-clear PET scan back in May. I'm not as nervous about it as I thought I would be, thanks no doubt to the love and prayers of family and friends. (Where I would be without all those who have supported me throughout this past year, I don't even like to think.)

Anyway, I have to be up early to get ready for the test (i.e., to drink an entire bottle of contrast dye — yum!), so I'm heading to bed soon. Goodnight, with kisses from the frogg princess...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cold Snap

As the nations continue to deliberate in Copenhagen about what to do to stop the temperatures from rising all over the planet, I'm sitting here in my living room, bundled up in a long-john T-shirt under my regular T-shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, a beanie on my head, and a thick cozy scarf around my neck.

The temperature in my town right now is 49 degrees Fahrenheit. Do you know what the temperature is in Copenhagen right now? 43 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, DENMARK is only a tiny bit colder right now than SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

Someone obviously forgot to give the Golden State the global warming memo.

Now that I think of it though, Copenhagen in winter seems like a strange choice for a global warming conference, doesn't it? Oh, I know they are calling it a "Climate Change Conference", but that's probably because Copenhagen starts with a "C" and so do "Climate", "Change" and "Conference." And everyone knows that alliteration is hot. But I mean, honestly, it's a little hard to swallow the idea that the world is about to burn up into a raging fireball when outside snow might decide to start falling at any moment. If I were in charge of the event, I'd run away to Tahiti. But if I were caught and forced to actually do my job of planning the conference, then I'd suggest meeting in the Sahara in July. Believe me, by the end of a week in the desert at the height of summer, some new policies would be in place.

In the meantime, I'm voting for any legislation that makes time travel legal, so we can speed up winter and get summer going again. Stat!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Here's Some Food for Thought...

...since you wouldn't want to actually eat any of it. (Although I admit to being personally intrigued by "It seems Honey.")

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Holiness Burns

The desire to see the resurrected Lord Jesus with one's very own eyes has a long and respectable tradition, starting with one of Jesus' very own friends. I speak, of course, of Doubting Thomas, whose one claim to fame (poor guy) is for missing out on one of the Lord's first live appearance post-crucifixion, and then offering up this classic response when his fellow disciples told him about it: "Yeah, well, I'll believe it when I see it." (OK, those may not have been his exact words, but they might as well have been.) Frankly, I think most of us can relate.

Fortunately for Thomas, he got his chance — Jesus appeared to him later in the flesh, and he believed. The rest of us, unfortunately, have to make do with stuff like this.

Well, I'm sorry, but the bottom of an iron does not the Shroud of Turin make (although admittedly it might do a good job of smoothing out any of the relic's wrinkles).

To be fair, I have a superstitious streak myself, so I guess I can't make too much fun of people who take these "appearances" seriously. I mean, I may not see Jesus in inanimate objects, but I have to make a conscious effort not to get nervous when I get an offer for a pre-paid cremation in the mail. (I think I'm up to at least five of them now. Woo-hoo.) Never mind the time I pulled into a parking space and found that the car parked next to me belonged to a coroner. I believe that was in the same week of getting one of the pre-paid cremation offers, too. Fun.

But it does seem to me that there's a fundamental difference between alleged omens and dubiously shaped burn marks on potato chips, pancakes and now this iron. I don't know what the difference is yet, but I'm working on it.

(By the way, isn't it weird how Jesus mostly appears in food form? Then again, he did say, "This is my body, take and eat," which I guess is weird enough in itself. But still. The Bread of Life and the Pancake of Life so don't have the same ring.)

On another note (yeah, I know, finally!), how does one score a job where you get paid for digging up bizarre "news"? Not to mention making up your own statistics in support of your story.