Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Raffle For A Cure!!

Yes, it's another Avon post... but this time there's something in it for you!!

I'm almost 1/3 of the way to my goal of raising $1,800 for Breast Cancer research and treatment, but there's still a long way to go!

In order to grease the wheels of generosity, so to speak, I've decided to raffle off handmade prizes to everyone who donates before July 10th. Don't worry if you've already donated, entries are retroactive!

Several prizes will be awarded, based on the time and resources I have with which to make them. My goal is at least five.

Each Prize will include the following:

One (1) hand-knit item of a practical nature (Market Tote)
One (1) hand-knit item of a whimsical--and topical--nature (Boobs!)
One (1) edible treat! Based on the distance the package must travel, this will either be homemade or store-bought. You can only trust the Postal Service with so much!

Today I bought the yarn for the first prize to be crafted: a Market Tote knit from Lion Brand LB Cotton Bamboo, a beautiful, soft, and eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags!

Raffle Entries will be allotted as follows:

$10 - 24.99 : One Entry
$25 - 49.99 : Two Entries
$50 - 74.99 : Three Entries
$75 - 99.99 : Four Entries
$100 + : Five Entries

Winners will be selected via a random number generator on July 11th and notified by email: PLEASE PROVIDE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS WHEN YOU DONATE IN ORDER TO BE ENTERED INTO THE RAFFLE.

Donations can be made via the internet by simply clicking on the image link at the bottom of this message. If you prefer to donate via check, contact me at dasfroggyatgmaildotcom and I will give you the information you need.

So join in the crusade to fight Breast Cancer, and potentially get your hands on some delightful handmade goodies in the process!

Best of luck, and thanks so much for your support!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I was walking through the long passage under 14th Street that connects 6th and 7th Avenues, the L and 1 trains. A single refrain kept echoing through my head in time with my footsteps.

"Na na na na-na na na na, Sheets of Egyptian cotton!"

I made my way down the stairs to the 1 train platform and there was an old black man in a threadbare white t-shirt playing the violin, classical melody echoing joyfully on late-night concrete. I smiled as I passed. He smiled back.

I found a bench and sat, attempting to read my nearly-finished book through a faint haze of alcohol, but the melody of the violin kept breaking through. I broke my own cardinal rule and fumbled in my bag to find my wallet--momentarily fearing it lost until it emerged from the depths of debris that is my daily life--and made my way back down the platform to drop a dollar in the violinist's case.

He thanked me and stopped playing, looking down at my feet.

"Those are some beautiful boots!" He said, admiring my beloved white cowboy boots.

"Thanks," I responded, instinctively posing as if to model. "I got them a few years ago."

"Here? In this country?" He had an accent that I could not place.

"Yeah, on ebay. They're Frye," as if the name might hold some significance.

"Here," he said, thrusting his violin in my direction. "You try, just for a minute."

"You mean to play your violin?"


"Well, I used to play the cello..." Memories of attempting to trade instruments with my friends years ago flitted through my mind as he smiled and continued holding the instrument expectantly toward me.

I took it and placed it gingerly under my chin, tentatively bowing a few notes that were not at all what I'd had in mind. I tried again, and once again failed miserably, but even my poorly squawked notes echoed sweetly through the underground chamber. It was a fine instrument.

I smiled sheepishly, returning the violin.

"I thought I'd play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but I was never very good at the violin..." As if I genuinely need an excuse for my failure.

"Oh!" He said, unperturbed, "Twinkle, Twinkle, it is like this... One, two... One, two..." He patiently demonstrated the fingering as one would for a child, then handed the instrument to me once more.

After a few abortive attempts I managed to feebly pluck out the melody, and he laughed happily. I returned the instrument, smiling.

"Thank you," I offered, "Have a good night."

"You too. Thank you," he replied, returning the instrument to his shoulder. I turned away and moments later music once again filled the late night air.

I walked back to my seat, a smile blooming across my face as I offered a silent pledge.

This, New York, is why I will never leave you.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Have you ever really wanted to tell somewhat what you think, but known that, no matter how benevolent your intentions, it would most likely be taken badly?

Sucks, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holy Shit, My Reader is Over 400...

I'd be lying if I said that life had resumed any semblance of normalcy, but I've come to the decision that it is in my best interests to at least pretend that is has. Look for me soon in a Comments section near you!

Though maybe not today, as I've only got an hour to finish this gigantic burrito, take a shower, and get my shit together before heading downtown to do my volunteer hours at Rep Co #2 and then, of course, head to the hospital.

But I'm trying here kids, I swear. If life takes another turn toward the ridiculous, I'll find some guest bloggers or something.

In the mean time, I leave you with a photo of the giant brain slug that I knit up for my hospital-bound friend (cat is included for scale). The nurses all love it and the other day they had her punching it in physical therapy. It's good to feel useful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One Foot in Front of the Other

It's business as usual here at Froggy's Ranch of Crazy. Looking for a job, visiting my friend in the hospital, and wondering what in my new apartment will break next.

However, across the United States, it may not be business as usual for thousands of women. Every three minutes, another woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Join me in my effort to fund research and provide care to the thousands of of under- or un-insured women who are struggling with this disease.

I have pledged to raise $1,800 and walk in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this October. Please, click the image below to make a donation and help me reach that goal. A dollar, a nickle, a penny. Every little bit helps.

Your donation will make a difference to the women in your community and across the country. They and I both thank you.

PS - The more of you who donate, the fewer of these messages will pepper my blog. I am not above bribery, so go on! Donate!

We will return to your regularly scheduled bitching and moaning tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Brief

As predicted, my internet crapped out again on Friday and I just got it back today. Remind me to call the cable company and make sure I'm credited for the four days I went without.

While life still generally sucks, I do have one piece of good news: Even though the psychologist thought I was a tramp, I still passed the psych evaluation for egg donation. Next step: Genetic testing. If I find out that I have some weird fatal disease I am totally moving to Fiji and spending the remainder of my days in a hammock drinking mint juleps.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wit's End

A list, if you will, of shit that went wrong today:

Early Morning - I am having a strange nightmare in which my parents have disappeared, their house is empty and has been taken over by some sort of automotive chop shop, and I am hiding out in the house across the street, being not-so-subtly propositioned by an aging lesbian with bad plumbing (not a euphemism, just a lot of puddles in the bathroom).

9:00am - I wake up to what I not-so-affectionately term "Bodega Music"--a particularly peppy breed of Latin music most frequently heard in bodegas and non-livery taxis--so loud that it feels as if the speakers are actually in the bed with me (and I'm spooning with the sub-woofer). I wait for a minute, to see if perhaps it is a car driving past, but when it doesn't fade I stumble blindly into the livingroom where it is even louder. I blunder into the hallway where the offending neighbor has got her door wide open and is kneeling down, scrubbing the door jamb. I have to yell "Exucse me!" five times in two different languages before I get her attention and ask her to turn it down. She seems surprised.

9:45am - Never fully able to regain sleep after my rude awakening, I give up and get out of bed. Discover the internet isn't working.

11:25am - Just miss my train. Wait 10 minutes for another.

12:45pm - Having gone to the cable store to exchange my modem, I walk a dozen or so blocks to get to the yarn store I've been trying to make it to for the past three days. I get there. It's closed until Monday.

1:00pm - Go to use the bathroom at Barnes and Noble. It's broken and I have to go up an extra floor.

1:04pm - Stop to get cash at an ATM. It refuses to take my card.

1:09pm - I've decided that only a burrito can save the day. Unfortunately, the line at Chipotle is six miles long and I'm forced to make due with a deli sandwich drenched in enough mustard to feed a family of four.

2:00pm - Arrive at clinic for the Pysch Evaluation phase of the screening to be a potential egg donor. (Yes, I'm considering selling my genetic material for money. No, the idea of other people's kids having my DNA doesn't bother me. Yes, I realize that more of me running around in the world is a frightening prospect.) During the course of the evaluation, the psychologist asks how many sexual partners I've had. I tell her. She says "That's a lot." I wish I'd lied.

4:00pm - Decide to walk the 2 miles to the hospital to visit my friend. Fifth Avenue was a BAD idea. I hate tourists

8:30pm - Arrive home and set up new cable modem. It doesn't work. Half of my remaining taco shells are broken. My DVR failed to record the new episode of Bones as it was programmed to do. I eat my crumbling tacos then spend 50 minutes on the phone with three different techs from the cable company who do everything short of sacrifice a goat, but none of whom can get my modem to work. Just as I'm about to tear into Tech #3 and tell him there's no way I'm paying him for the FIVE DAYS I'll be without internet until they can get a tech to my house, the damned modem starts working as if my magic. I keep my appointment for Tuesday, since it's sure to break again, and the guy gives me a free month of HBO for my trouble. I should have asked for Showtime.

10:40pm - Plug the modem into the router. It can't find the DNS servers. So I have internet, but only when the modem is tethered to my laptop via a fairly short cable. I'm writing this in Notepad and will cut and paste it once I crouch uncomfortably next to the bookcase to plug the network cable in.

11:10pm - My neighbors are clearly disassembling a tank next door. This place seemed so quiet when I first moved in.

In all fairness, there are a few--very few--things that went right today, including: My friend's speech getting clearer, Mister Softee, and my kitchen light turning on with the first try. On the whole, however, I really hope that tomorrow is a little better.

You know, just a little.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My Google Reader count is up over 200 again. I am a blog slacker.

My friend is still in the hospital. That won't be changing any time soon, but it sort of gives me an excuse for being a blog slacker.

I still don't have a job. Not for lack of effort, but the economy is being a total slacker.

I've had hot water in my shower exactly ONCE since I moved in. I am now a shower slacker (good thing I've nobody to impress).

I really want to leave to go to the hospital but I'm waiting on a phone call and I just know they're going to call as soon as I get on the subway. Damn you, caller, for being such a slacker.

My cat has spent the better part of the day sleeping, and the rest of it whining. Total slacker.

I have no logical or witty end to this post. Which makes total sense, really... because I'm a slacker.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's not the sort of phone call you expect to receive. At least, not in your 20s.

"Um, hi, yeah. I don't know much but I wanted to let you know. I'm on my way. [Friend] is in the hospital. She collapsed on the way to work and they're saying she had a stroke."

Admittedly not the most sensitive response, but what would you have said if you'd just been told that your close friend, just turned 30, had a fucking stroke?

"I don't know! I'm on my way now. She's at [Hospital] on [Street] and [Avenue]."

"[Street] and [Avenue]? I'm on my way."

This was Tuesday afternoon. The last four days have been completely surreal as I shuttle back and forth between my not-even-remotely-unpacked apartment and a hospital waiting room that is becoming unpleasantly familiar, trying repeatedly to stop my thoughts from going to the dark place to which they instinctively gravitate.

I've always worried about people dying--even when I have no reason to worry. Any time the phone rings at an odd hour, I immediately panic. And now? When the closest friend I have in this city has had a stroke, has already undergone one risky brain surgery and is going to need another before the problem--which there was no way of finding until something like this happened--is resolved?

I'm just sort of numb.

I haven't cried much. A little on that first day, before we knew anything, sitting in the waiting room with her best friend and her boyfriend. I very nearly lost it Thursday night in Carnegie Hall when the guy holding the concert sang a couple of very sad songs. But mostly I just feel a creeping sense of numbness and disbelief. I run errands, I cook food for the family and friends sitting at the hospital, I send text messages to update other concerned friends, and when I don't feel that I'm taking time away from people who deserve it more than I do, I pop in for a few minutes to see her, talk to her, make jokes and bask in a sense of relief when I realize that my friend is still in there. And through it all I try to think as little as possible.

She'll be okay.

She'll be okay because she has to be okay. There simply is no other option.

So I'm back, in a sense. I have internet access once more, but please forgive me if I'm a bit absent for awhile. I've really only got one thing to think about, but like I said, I'm trying not to think.

Any of you believers out there, send your prayers toward New York City over the next couple of weeks, okay?