Friday, May 30, 2008

Google Me Baby

I signed up for Google Analytics so I can see (read: stalk) everyone who comes my way.

Wait!  Come back!  There's no need to be afraid!   It will take me WEEKS to get around to showing up on your doorstep.  (P.S.  Lemon drops?  Had BETTER be waiting.  Chop chop.) 

But good LAWD, so far Google Analytics had caused me to go through all five stages of grief:

1)  Denial - I am strong confident woman!  My self worth does not depend on blog traffic!  I've lived 33 years without blog traffic.  I'm just fine!

2)  Anger - WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN ZERO?!?!?!  And by the way fuckface, are GRAPHS showing ZERO really necessary?  Oh, wait, what's that?  MORE graphs showing zero?  Okay, now you're just mocking me.

3)  Bargaining - Um, hiiiii Analytics!  How are you today?  Sorry I yelled at you and called you a fuckface yesterday.  But do you think you can show me some love?  Someone stopped by, right?  Because if you show me another zero, I might have to curl up in the fetal position under my desk.  And we wouldn't want that, would we?  Sweetcakes?  Schnuuckums?  Fuckface?

4)  Depression - Five days and ZERO readers?!?!?  I suck SERIOUS dog balls.  I should totally, utterly and completely be working at Walmart.  Time to give up my current five year plan.  My new five year plan will entail moving from my job stocking tampons and cubic zirconias on the night shift to working the cash register on Saturday afternoons.  Booyah!  And if they have a Starbucks in the Walmart?  Maybe I could hand out croissants or write peoples' orders on the cups or something?  BECAUSE.  THAT.  IS.  THE.  ONLY.  WRITING.  I. WILL.  EVER.  DO.  AGAIN.

5)   Acceptance - Oh, what?  I installed the Analytics code wrong?  Oh hiiiiiiii everyone!  Now I can see you!  You are lovely!

The best part about Analytics is that I can also see who has Googled me.  (And um, rude. I get Googled without so much as a drink or dinner first!)

This month's favorites are as follows:

  • "Black Stripper Moves" (Yeah!!  I didn't even know I knew any, or that I was black for that matter!  If you find any good ones, which I totally understand will be difficult after seeing mine, please come back and share with the class.)
  • "What's the American word for sidewalk?"  (Wait, wait!  I'm PRETTY sure I know this one.  It's ... wait for it ...  SIDEWALK.  Right?  Maybe I should think about signing up for Jeopardy ...)
  • "Hopelessly Single" I really shouldn't concern myself with this, right?  I mean if you Google "hopelessly single" and my blog comes up it's not like looking up "future spinster" or "crazy cat lady" or "You WILL NEVER get any! So STOP trying already!" and seeing my picture, right?  Guys? Right?  Where did everybody go?

(On a more serious note (but only for a moment) THANK YOU guys for all the comment love over the last couple of days!  I am so glad you came by!  Lemon drops for everyone!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Great American Road Trip (Including Parts of Canada!) Part 5

I wish I could say that when I saw a nun standing, in full habit, in the middle of a country road at 2 a.m. that my heart felt only good, kind, helpful thoughts.  That I instantly knew all was well.  That I could be of service.  That this kind nun needed some help and thank the GOOD LAWD we happened upon her when we did.  "No sweat God, I am up to the task!  Consider me all up ON this." 

But instead?  I believe my exact words were:


(SSG's flight ... and apparently fight responses?  Fully in check.)

The sheer terror on all of our faces was straight out of a horror film, had we any presence of mind to get the video camera out, The Blair Witch Project would have had nothing on us.

Wes, Dan and Wayne were in the truck in front of us.  I saw the nun approach Wes.  We didn't blink or take a breath.  Wes stuck his arm out of the truck to tell her to stay where she was.  The nun was talking, pointing down the road, waving her arms.  Every single gesture reeked of "Trust me!  I'm a nun!  Let me lure you out of your vehicles so we can snack on you and your little friends for supper."  And I was not buying one minute of it.

Wes pulled his truck off the road into a small general store parking lot.  "What?!" I yelled "you mean to tell me that she just HAPPENED to be in front of this parking lot?  We're going to get ambushed!  We need to call for help.  Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  I have my cell phone!"  No signal.  


I had been messing with my phone so much that I didn't see Dan and Wes getting out of the truck and walking down the road, following the nun into the darkness.

"What are they DOING?!"  

Wayne ran up to our truck and explained that the nun said she fell asleep at the wheel and ran her car off the road.  The gunshot we thought we heard was her car crashing into a tree.  Allegedly ... I was still totally NOT on board.

"Why was a NUN out at 2 in the morning?!  What, do nuns go to bars now?  She's lyyyyyyying you guys!  Are nuns even supposed to DRIVE?!"

But by that time Wayne was running at a fast clip to the pay phone at the general store.

Wes and Dan came walking back with the nun (read:  murderer) and Dan started digging around in the back on the truck.  

"See!  She must have a gun.  He's handing over all of our possessions.  Look at that he's giving her a ... chair?  Wait, what?  Is he getting the stove out?  IS HE MAKING HER TEA??"

Wes, a paramedic and in nursing school at the time, was looking the nun over while she sipped a spot of tea and Dan sauntered over to the truck.

"Hey, she's okay but she wants to go get her sister.  Can you take her to the convent?  I guess it's just up the road."

"Guys?"  Digs pointed up to the hills around us. 

Small lights were visible through the trees and they were making a rapid descent.  Pretty soon large men carrying flashlights stepped out of the forest.  We were surrounded.

To be continued ...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Leave Your Cars Alone

One of the best compliments I ever received from a guy was: "SSG, you're definitely a woman, but you drive like a guy."   I like to drive.  Fast.  Assertive.  And ALWAYS with the proper soundtrack.  

And as you probably know by now, I love road trips.  When visiting new cities, I get the lay of the land by car first and then go back to places that pique my interest to cover them on foot.  Like Meg Ryan's character in French Kiss, "I get around as nature intended.  In a car."   I respect cars and the freedom that they provide us.  And I think it's time we extend our vehicles the same courtesy.

I've talked about my hatred of bumper stickers here.  But this hatred also extends to personalized license plates and personalized license plate frames.  What did your car ever do to you?  Cars do not deserve such blatant disregard for their FEELINGS.  You may be an Obama supporter, but do you think your car that was manufactured in JAPAN is?  (Hint:  No.)

I beg of you.  Please stop torturing your vehicles by putting "KoolGuy" on your license plate.  Or "51% Angel & 49% Bitch: Don't Push Me" on your license plate frames.  Because SSG thinks you're 51% lame and 49% douche bag and now?  She really wants to push you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blomit (Blog + Vomit)

Hi!  You've come to the most boring site ever.  Welcome!  

I can not keep one coherent thought going, so here you go!  A few of the things on my mind today:

1)  The carnival rides being set up at the waterfront.  How do these things remain in existence?  Let us (read: the shower, razor and laundromat deprived) drive massive amounts of machinery from state to state, throw "The Twister!" up with a few bolts, down a couple of 40's while we're at it and maintain that no, we're not on the Sex Offenders list ... in this state ... yet. "Want some cotton candy little children?" Mwa haa haa.

2)  Thinking that by telling me you don't curse it will make me stop.   It just means that when I say "What the fuck?"  I will now say: "What the fuck.  Oh sorry (insert name here), but seriously. What the fuck?"

3)  Wishing that I came up with the following sentence:  "If you equate every aspect of  your life to 80's power ballads (and let's face it - who doesn't) ..."  Instead, I found out it was written by this adorable, smart ass, California hating U of O student that made me laugh out loud today.  Ladies of U of O, someone sleep with this kid.   Otherwise, I'm going to get 5 years in a women's detention facility and have to leave my lucrative finance career to set up a Tilt-a-Whirl at the Anderson County Fair.  

4)  Shout out to H who 1) I heard stops by here on occasion and 2) got engaged this weekend!  (Obviously #1 is the most important)  She is most famous for her work in a certain Food Network Host's "Chefography."    I don't want to sell her out, but let me just say that the chef's name rhymes with Schmyler Blorence. 

(No, once is not enough).

Send help people.  And by help I mean Grey Goose Lemon Drops and NOT the authorities.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Great American Road Trip (Including Parts of Canada!) Part 4

We had been on the road for over a week and were headed to Banff National Park and Jasper.  Leaving Lake Louise was tough, but I fell in love with Jasper.

Jasper was gorgeous--tucked between snow topped mountains, with a small street lined with cute shops and a huge open field where we tossed a football around until late in the evening.  The camp ground didn't have showers, but I didn't care.  I had taken at least 12 at Chateau Lake Louise and got some of the grime washed off of me when the eight of us got into a snowball fight at the top of a glacier in Banff.  The Chinese tourists LOVED us and took lots of photos, the tour guides?  Not so much. 

Our next stop was Birch Bay in Northwest Washington.  Near Bellingham and on Puget Sound, it felt good to be surrounded by water again.  Growing up in San Diego it always felt odd not to be able to see or drive to a large body of water.  I felt detached, slightly homesick and though I was having an incredible time I missed all of the little routines that made up my life at home.  I walked down to the bay early one morning before everyone was up and was writing in my journal and reading a book about Canadian birds (Um?  Canadian birds? I told you I wasn't feeling like myself).  

"Good morning!" someone called to me from the shore.
"Hello," I said, looking up from my book to an older woman, barefoot with her pants rolled up to her knees.
"It's a gorgeous morning, isn't it?" she asked kindly.
"It's so beautiful here."  I noticed an older man look back at me from his place on the shore.  "Is he clamming?"
"Yes, it'll be our dinner for later."

We ended up chatting for over an hour.  They had been married for over 40 years and had dozens of grandchildren.   It was exactly what I needed--while I loved my friends and our conversations, there was something so reassuring and calming about being around people who were grandparents.  We talked about our trip, where we had been, how impressed they were that we were taking a road trip instead of sitting on a tropical beach somewhere.  Digs eventually came down and joined our chat and Dan and Wes followed.  

Eventually the couple left with friendly wishes for a continued safe journey.  The woman waved goodbye to all of us and gave me a knowing nod as she passed.  Perhaps she knew I needed a good grandmotherly chat.  I was grateful.

We spent the afternoon on the Bay, eventually building a bonfire and playing frisbee until the sun set.  The next morning we needed to leave early.  We had stayed longer than expected in Lake Louise and Jasper and had some ground to make up.  

We drove straight through the Northwest over the next couple of nights--stopping only in Seattle for lunch and again in Portland.  Somewhere I have a poem I wrote while sitting on the corner of NW Davis and 10th--now the Pearl District.  Then?  Definitely NOT the Pearl.  I have no idea what I was doing sitting on the corner and didn't even remember it until I was walking to lunch with a friend one day a few weeks ago and got a fluttery feeling while standing and waiting to cross the street.  I looked up and saw the street sign and remembered I had written a poem there.  Who knew I'd eventually live here?  (If I come across the poem at some point and it's not too mortifying, I'll post it here for you guys to mock).

Driving late through the evenings with four guys who were like your brothers was about what you'd expect.  Many, many horror stories were told to freak us out, masks were worn to freak us out and oh yeah ... ANYTHING they could do to freak us out?  Was done.  Repeatedly.  

Late one night we were winding through a mountain road somewhere in Northern California.  It was about 2 a.m. and the guys were tired.  We were stopping about every 20 minutes so they could get out of the car and walk around and those of us with weak stomachs could put our feet on the ground.  We had been driving straight for two days and over the past few hours hadn't passed any other cars.  The cool evening air was starting to perk us up and the guys were back to trying to scare us again.  Until the silence of the night was interrupted by a bang that sounded like a gunshot.  

Everyone paused for a moment and than ran back to the cars.  We jumped in and Wes and Dana jammed on the gas pedals to get us out of there.  We started cracking up--a bundle of nerves and premature feelings of safety.  The laughter stopped when Wes, who was in front of us, started slowing down.

"Oh my god," Dana said.

I looked up from the back and saw Digs' face go white.  When I looked out the front windshield, I saw Wes' truck stopped a few feet in front of us.  His headlights were shining on something straight out of a horror film.

A nun, dressed in full habit, was standing in the middle of a country road at 2 a.m. and she was waving for us to stop.

To be continued ...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tea Party

This weekend is my niece's birthday.  She's having a tea party and all the popular 3 year olds in the neighborhood are going to be there.  Anyone who is anyone will be at this thing.

So to my sister who I know has gone all out and to my bro-in-law, the master photographer,  this is for you guys!

Auntie B

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sex and the Sleepy

So I woke up late this morning and bombed into work sporting a headband lest anyone see my hair which was bordering on the GARTIPOC day #5.  The reason I gave the guys at work that I overslept?  I thought it was Saturday.  The real reason I overslept?

I had a DREAM about one of them.  

Yeah, like THAT kind of dream.  And it was a good dream.  So good that it kept me from waking up on time.  I have been a mess all day.  

Everything he (read: Starring Member, or ahem, Leading Man in my Dream) said I heard as either:
1)  Innuendo
2) Evidence that he knew EXACTLY what I had dreamt about.

"Good Morning!" he said as I walked into the office.
I giggled.

"SSG, I'm going down, what do you want?"
"Nothing!  Don't want you going down.  Don't.  Want.  Anything.  Don't.  Uh uh.  Nope.  Nothing."  
"You okay?  You sure you don't need anything?"
"Nope, nope, don't need a thing."  I shuffled papers around and looked up at the ceiling. 

During lunch:

"Want a bite of my burrito?"

After lunch:

"Man, sometimes I wished I smoked.  I could really use a cigarette right about now."

I literally blushed, laughed uncontrollably and ran back to my cubicle.  But not before hearing:

"Dude, what's gotten into her today?"

You have absolutely NO idea.  
And I will do everything in my power to keep it that way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Breaker Breaker One Nine

There was a brief period in the life of Serendipitous Girl where I wanted to be a truck driver.  I was living in Seattle and it was the first time I had lived on my own.  I was in a city where I hadn't grown up and didn't know many people.  I missed my friends, had no money and wanted to get back to the days of road trips.  

"I know!  We could totally become truck drivers!  We could drive all over the country, check out different cities, get to hang out with each other AND call it work?  Why didn't anyone think of this when we were in college?"  

I even had an action plan:

1)  Convince friends to take truck driving class together.
2)  Go in on a "rig."
3)  Travel the country for a year and make mad cash because no one would have to pay any rent.

I convinced one person with my fervor.  That person?  Was me.

I often times wonder what my handle would have been ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Great American Road Trip (Including Parts of Canada!) Part 3

Catch up with Part One and Part Two.

We left Crater Lake, its ass Park Ranger and our speeding ticket in the dust.  We cruised through Portland, hit up Powell's and arrived at Washington's Cascade Range late that same evening.  There was no snow, but there was rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  Were our tents waterproof?   Nah, who is worried about waterproofing when you live in Southern California?

Not that we couldn't have used a little shower.  This was Day #2 and we all needed one--showers were, ahem, somewhat hard to find in the parking lots of Crater Lake.  But there were showers at the camp ground, right?

Wrong.  Who is worried about showers when you're camping?  (Answer: Girls.  Long hair.  Legs that need shaving.  The "natural look" takes some upkeep fellas.) 

"There are showers at Lake Louise!  You'll love it up there!" the guys assured us.
"Great," answered SSG, willing to take a walk after sitting in the car for two days "Which direction do I go?"
"SSG, Lake Louise is in Canada."
"But we're in Washington."
"Yeah, we'll be at Lake Louise in two days."

Lake Louise was held out like the proverbial carrot on a stick.  "It's the most beautiful place ever!"  "We'll be in tank tops and shorts canoeing across the lake!"  "It's this incredible shade of blue!"  "The color is caused by a glacier blah, blah, blah with rock particles that blah, blah, blah!"  "The campground has showers!"  

I grumbled, but marched on like the ultimate trooper.  And by marching on I mean reading novels while Dan and Co. went to hike.  And by hike, of course, I mean scaling a vertical cliff using nothing but the tips of their index fingers.

We drove all night to get to Lake Louise.  I slept in the car with dreams of the longest shower in the history of showers.  Be damned water conservation, I had saved five days worth of water and I was usin' it!  I even did my part to pitch in to the collective good of the crew by assuring everyone there would be no shortage of oil.  I had plenty saved up in my hair.

"Uh oh." I heard Dana say from the front of the truck.
"Hang on." Dana got out of the car and went up to talk to Wes and Dan before climbing back into the truck to give us the news. 
"Don't even tell me that this camp ground doesn't have showers," I yelled as he got back in the car.
"So, um.  We didn't check the weather."
"Yeah," I said looking around at a frozen over pond and lots of snow.
"And it looks like our campground is snowed in."
"Ok, ok, ok," I said, remaining calm.  "What are the chances that their showers still work?"

Day 5 and no showers.  And where were we going to sleep? Evenings that weren't spent in a wet tent and sleeping bag had been spent sleeping in a parking lot.  What had I gotten myself into?  How far was Lake Louise from civilization and could I get a one way ticket back to San Diego?

"Dan's going to go see what the hotel can offer us."
"Hotel?" I perked up and Dana pointed behind us.

I looked back at the most stunning hotel I had ever seen.  It sat elegant and graceful on the edge of Lake Louise.  It didn't belong on our road trip, but rather in the mountains of Switzerland.  The hotel and its setting looked vaguely familiar, but I had no idea why or how I would have seen it.  It didn't matter, there was no way we could afford to stay there.  I slumped back into my seat and wondered if you could die from disappointment.  It seemed like the best option available.

"We're in!"  Dan called, jogging back to the cars.
"WHAT?!"  We all screamed. 
"Yep, let's go!"

Dan and Digs had relayed our story to the people at Chateau Lake Louise.  Luckily only college kids were working behind the front desk and they had also just started their summers.  We were able to get a huge room that slept four and they were willing to wheel in 4 extra roll-a-way beds.  The  miracle?  They gave it to us for $200 CANADIAN.  We each had to pitch in $25, which worked out to be about $14 US dollars.  Even better?  There were TWO bathrooms and TWO showers.  I literally cried.

We pulled up to the front of this gorgeous hotel amidst BMW's and Mercedes in our two Ford trucks with enough North Face equipment to outfit an REI.  Eight, early twenty somethings who hadn't showered in five days clomped through the lobby that Robin Leach had recently graced.  That's right peeps, the reason I recognized the hotel?  It had been featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

We ended up staying there for three days--swimming in the hotel pool, relaxing in the jacuzzi and taking enough showers to last us for the remainder of the trip.

Things were starting to look up.

To be continued ... 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I grew up on the beaches of San Diego.  My back is a map of freckles--an autobiography of summers spent between Torrey Pines, La Jolla Shores and 15th Street in Del Mar.   You'd think a beach girl couldn't also be a country girl, but I knew no boundaries.  I'd happily top my bathing suit with riding gear and trade my flip flops for boots just in time for my sister to drop me off at the stable.

My horse would whinny from her stall, recognizing the convertible VW from the road.  Smart?  Yes.  She knew it brought carrots, apples and a sunburned 12 year old.   Days at the beach were followed by evenings spent on moonlit trail rides and slumber parties in the hay barn with fierce amounts of giggling over the barn owner's blonde sons.  These memories flood my mind any time I see a horse.

Life is different now.  I have a career that makes me wear professional clothes.  I love Grey Goose Lemon Drops and high heels.  I love Pink Martini and Frank Sinatra and 7 course wine paired dinners.   But I've still got a hefty dose of Mayberry in me.   And I wouldn't trade it for the world, even if it does make my friends scratch their heads when I talk about wanting to move to a small farming community.

But I have a feeling these horses, who happened to be wandering through Chinatown this afternoon, would understand.  They've got careers, an appreciation for cultures other than their own and I'm sure they would love a little summer afternoon spent on the beach.  I wonder if I could find flip flops that would fit them ...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Princess Pity Throws a Party

Alternate title:  Nat King Cole Had it Wrong

Alternate alternate title:  I Had a Reader Once

I have always been forgettable.  I made my peace (ish) with it long ago.  Like when I lived in the dorms for TWO years in college and the lame desk attendants NEVER remembered me and would rub it in (read: ask for my ID) every time I walked in.  It went a little something like this:

Spleen, Digs & SSG walk in the front doors of Chapultepec
Desk attendant barely lifts eyelids and nods at Spleen & Digs.
SSG tries to walk through.

Desk attendant, now wide awake and all Navy SEAL like "Um, EXCUSE ME.  I need YOUR ID."
SSG:  But I LIVE here.
Navy SEAL:  ID. NOW.
SSG:  But I've lived here as long as they have.
Navy SEAL:  (Raises eye brow, reaches hand toward walkie talkie.)
SSG:  Don't you remember when you busted us for drinking Zima's in our room last year?  That was ME!
Navy SEAL:  (Can't wait to use the words "we have a 6-2-niner, I repeat, a 6-2-niner on our hands.  Need back up.").

SSG flings her SDSU ID at the Navy SEAL.

The "Sometimes" part in the SSG moniker is a direct result of the following:
  • Having to introduce myself repeatedly to people I've met 15 times before.  
  • Explaining how exactly I know people when I start speaking to them in line at the grocery store.  "I'm your neighbor, I've lived next door to you for three years."  
  • Being called "ummm, Fisher's mom, what's your name again?" by the guy that I was convinced had a major crush on me at the dog park last summer.  
  • Another neighbor talking to my house sitter (who happens to look nothing like me, who is also Mexican where I am the whitest of all white people, seriously I could be translucent) for 20 minutes thinking it was me.  
Most of the time I just shake it off and put it into perspective (read: stay in denial) by telling myself that this little quirk has given me room to quietly observe the subtleties of life.  But sometimes it bugs the shit out of me.

Last month I broke up with Starbucks.  And I started going over to Stumptown, dragging my coworkers with me despite their protests and overall bitching about its distance from our office.  And I don't expect the coffee peeps to remember me and my little latte that I get each day.  Even though at Starbucks they remember A by name AND his drink despite the fact that they never ask for names in there.  But the other day there was a dawning of recognition amongst the barrista's face at Stumptown.  I got all smiley, no way was this happening.  Someone remembered me?  Could it be?   

And that's when I realized that the barrista was smiling at A ... who was standing behind me and about three other people.  "Large mocha?" he shouted to A.  Who kindly replied "yeah, thanks!"

WTF peeps?
(And don't worry, that's rhetorical.  I know you're not reading anyway.)

If anyone is looking for me (and by anyone I mean my dog and blood relatives who are obligated to miss me if I don't show up somewhere) I'll be under the covers with a box of Bordeaux from See's watching a Veronica Mars marathon.

Waaa haaa haaa.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Play Lists

I was fully planning on writing about the GARTIPOC Part Tres, but it is SUNNY in Portland peeps!  My body, at its cellular level is screaming ... Must!  Get!  Outside!   

While I was driving home tonight, I had my windows down and sunglasses on and was happily pondering how music and the feel of the road just GO together (Remind me to tell you about the time when I was giving serious thought to becoming a truck driver). 

On the GARTIPOC we definitely had a soundtrack--the likes of which included Toto, James Taylor, CCR, Billy Joel, Cat Stevens, Journey, The Beatles, Def Leppard, Bread, Jim Croce ... man you'd think we were smoking a lot of pot by the sound of that list.  

I started making my own summer play list again--Jack Johnson, the 50 First Dates Soundtrack, Big Head Todd & the Monsters.  Could summer really be on its way?  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why I Don't Mind Bringing Home the Bacon

I have been working since I was 16.  Half my life has been spent going to a job, coming home from a job, getting fired from a job (my first ... oopsie!), looking for a new job and simultaneously loving and cursing said job.  

The one thing that has always made going to work worthwhile were the coworkers.  The actual work has been interesting at times, but not half as entertaining as the people I work with.  When I look at my collection of friends, a lot of them have come from previous employers and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world.  No matter how hard they try and get rid of me.  I can find the fun peeps anywhere, even at this job

Today I was scouting recipes, instead of calculating the host of acronyms I should have been calculating, and I came across a spring vegetable soup recipe with goat cheese croutons that I had just started to print out when I got distracted by a rubber band that went whizzing by my head.  This wasn't just any rubber band.  This was industrial strength--large, wide and with enough force to literally blow a section of my hair up off my head.

"Sorry!"  J & L shouted.  So Ems, looking for distraction as much as I was, and I sauntered over and pulled up two feet of the remaining desk space in J's cube.  We promptly started discussing the following:

  • Ins and outs of fanny pack wearing and how much you'd have to get paid to wear one for a year.  The price tag was a reasonable $10,000. 
  • The baby shower extravaganza this weekend where we were promised no games.  And by "no games" they meant melting chocolate bars into diapers and passing them around to see who could guess what kind of candy bars were inside.  Related question:  Was the peanut filled candy bar really necessary?  
  • The unanimous decision that the best part of the shower was when this chick's husband thought that the string he cut for the game "guess the size of new mommy's belly by cutting a string and then measuring it to see how close you are!" was really to see how big her boobs had gotten.  I love having guys at baby showers.  (And future husband?  If you're reading?  First of all, hi.  You're super cute.  And if we ever have kids ... do you want kids by the way?  Anyway, if we have them, you're coming to the shower.  It's going to be held in a box at a baseball game and there will be NO games except for the one being played on the field.)
  • J announced to the group that my bracelet was "the fucking ugliest bracelet he had ever seen in his entire life." (It so isn't.)  
  • The multitude of broken bones we've all had.  (I so won).
We all eventually sauntered back to our desks and I waited to smile until I sat down.  There is no way these guys are going to know that I actually LIKE them.  I fully maintain my cover that I merely TOLERATE them.  But then K sent out an e-mail that read:  

Subject:  Buds

"I really like jawing with you guys.  I consider you good friends.  But if you want to think of me as a casual acquaintance, that's okay too."

And NO way in hell I'll ever admit that brought a tear to my eye, but it so did.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Senator Obama Answers My Question

Last Friday the office was all atwitter.  Senator Obama was here!   Not only in town, but in OUR office building.  "How do you know for sure?!"  "What could he be doing here?!"  "Do you think we can shake his hand?!"  "Does he have Secret Service?"  Our Admin Assistant was ALL over it.

Nancy Drew spied a police officer at the door to the gym downstairs and managed to put two and two together.  She marched directly up to the door of the gym on a mission.  But apparently her set hair and brocade jacket with a broach must have tipped off the police officer to the fact that she may not be there for a routine workout.  He was kind enough to answer her questions.  Yes, Obama was in the building.  The hotel he was staying at didn't have a gym and so he was downstairs using ours.  And no, she could not meet him.

We got the full report and after the initial excitement wore off, SSG had two questions:
1)  We have a gym downstairs?
2)  Doesn't the fact that your hotel is sans gym, legitimately excuse you from a workout?

I think it was then that I had an Oprah copyrighted "Aha! Moment."  So that's why my jeans are  um ... snug.  

Thanks Obama!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Message from the Mutt

Hello Everyone!

I'm Fisher.  Aren't I cute?  That's what my mommy always says.  I don't know what it means, but its usually followed by hugs, kisses and cookies, so it must be good.  She had to go to a baby shower today, so I'm home all by myself.  But my mom wanted me to pop by and tell you that she hopes you're all having a great weekend.   She also said something about praying to god that there weren't any games involving chocolate bars in diapers at this baby shower thingy.
I don't know why--games, chocolate and diapers all sound good to me.


P.S.  Does anyone have a tennis ball?  What about a Frisbee?

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Great American Road Trip (Including Parts of Canada!) Part 2

I like cops.  I grew up on Chips for gosh sakes.  And who hasn't watched the show Cops and said a little thank you to whoever you do or do not pray to?  And um, hello?  Reno 911?  The. Best. Show. Ever.   But I've learned I don't like "Park Rangers," specifically Crater Lake's Park Rangers.  Meaning one of Crater Lake's Park Rangers is an ass.  

So the eight of us decided to take a road trip.  And back then we didn't have Mapquest or Google.  My analog cell phone weighed a good 2 pounds and had a battery pack the size of Kansas.  There may have been the Weather Channel, but we were too busy watching Friends and ER to pay attention.  So we didn't check the weather.  And on our first day?  We intended to leave Sacramento at at 8 a.m. but actually left at 5 p.m.  I had no idea how these two themes--delays and the weather--would plague us.

At 21, I considered myself a relatively responsible and prepared person.  I had a job at a bank, shared a house with friends and got good grades.  However, I think my level of preparation on this trip was:  Flannel shirt?  Check.   Pillow?  Check.  Books?  Check.  I'm ready!  There may have been a grocery store run for chips, candy and Top Ramen, but even that's debatable.  I think my "hiking" shoes were my Birkenstocks, which for the record were TOTALLY cool back then.  And I know it never occurred to me that maybe the cabin in Yosemite that I had been used to growing up, was not exactly what we were heading for.   I was 21!  I was going on a road trip with my friends!  It was summer!  Woo hoo!

The first "day" of our trip was supposed to be spent at Crater Lake--we'd wander around, camp and cook some delicious meal around a roaring camp fire with food and fire wood that ... I was sure someone else must have totally had covered.

The first "day" of our trip?  We ended up sleeping in a parking lot.  Literally in a parking lot.  On the cement.  With a tarp over us to keep the ICE off our sleeping bags.  Why you ask?

Because when you LEAVE Sacramento at 5 p.m. and stop at Lake Shasta for dinner in a yummy little Italian place because you're not going to make it to Crater Lake in time for dinner (wha? really?) you don't get to Crater Lake until 2 ... A.M.  And when you don't check the weather, you reach Crater Lake and realize that they've been snowed in.  Never mind the fact that' it's June.  This is Oregon, NOT California.  So the campsites you had reserved (and uh, did someone bring a tent SSG can use?) were under 6 feet of snow.  And so what else were 8 college kids supposed to do at 2 a.m?  We set up camp (but not the tents, because that would have been too warm or something) in a parking lot over looking the lake.  

And at dawn's early light?  We heard foot steps.  

And SSG squeezed her eyes shut tighter because 1) the sun was BRIGHT and 2) the foot steps were FOR SURE someone coming to murder all eight of them.

But it was a Ranger.  A Park Ranger.  And he had ZERO interest in why we were sleeping in the parking lot.  He didn't give a RAT'S ASS about the fact that "we had reservations!"  "Snow!"  Because apparently "you can't just do anything you please in a National Park."  We um, had to pack our shit and go.  We got kicked out of a National Park.

We packed sloooowly due to a mix of disbelief and fatigue.  There may have even been a little standoff when all 8 of us stood in protest and took in one long Grizwald like look at one of the most beautiful sites on a crystal clear morning--the sky's reflection in a still Crater Lake.  Or was that the lake reflected on the Ranger's sunglasses?  It has been a few years ...

Just to prove his point and let us know that he knew damn well what we were up to, the Ranger followed us all the way to the entrance of the park.  And because he was an ass, and wanted to prove it to us one more time, he gave us a speeding ticket on the way out.

Needless to say, it was an inauspicious start.  Little did I know what awaited us ahead ...

To be continued ...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

An Excerpt from the Homeowner's Newsletter - May 2008

"Please remember to maintain outdoor pots and planters.  Landscaping must be in keeping with the property and visually appealing."

(I have NO idea who they might be talking to.)

Hello my lovlies!  Thanks for stopping by!  I am happy to say I've spent the last 3 hours at happy hour with the squad.  We went to Andina's in the Pearl and had maaaaany yummy cocktails and tapas.  You should go!  And if I could remember, or spell for that matter, any of the stuff I had--you'd be the first people I'd tell.  So the GARTIPOC (Great American Road Trip Including Parts of Canada, duh!) Part Two will be coming tomorrow when my brain is operating without the maniacal case of the giggles which is exactly what pretty drinks served in martini glasses will do to me.  That and make me think I can salsa dance.   

But!  In the meantime, this has been so "me, me, me!" focused--drop me a comment about where your favorite happy hour place is.  And let's make it about YOU for today.  I like to think of it as, "Instead of What SSG can do for you, what can you do for SSG?"

Your slightly tipsy SSG

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Great American (And Some Parts of Canada!) Road Trip Part One

A couple of days ago I mentioned reminiscing with Dan and Wes while their respective girlfriend and wife listened with way more patience than they should have.  The stories had to do with one of the road trips we took in college.  Since my post a couple of days ago, I've had people ask me about the sardines and nuns.  And I realized I've had this trip running around my mind because when the squad and I went to lunch today at Habibi's and someone asked if I had ever been kicked out of any place, I could only think of Crater Lake, which also was a story from this road trip.  And so here it is ... The Great American Road Trip Part One.

(P.S.  The sardines up there were actually chocolate and a gift from Wes.  I say were because ... well ... they were chocolate ... and therefore, promptly eaten by me.)

The cast of characters:


Then:  Engineer of road trips and social butterfly.
Now:  Engineer at Google and (coffee) bar fly.


Then:  Chemistry major who frequently donned a periodic table t-shirt and looked for a girl who was willing to go horizontal.
Now:  A chemist at Coors Brewing Co, married and climber of anything vertical.


Then:  Nursing major who spoke softly but carried a "big flashlight."
Now:  Registered Nurse who has to speak loudly as the only Republican in the state of Oregon but we go (kind of) easy on him, because he and his wife are having a baby any minute now.


Then:  Math major who was just starting to embrace his Mormon roots.
Now:  Last we heard after he got back from his mission in Korea, he's the married father of two ... three?  Maybe four, sources are sketchy.


Then:  Psych major and roommate of SSG.
Now:  Secret Agent at Goldman Sachs and SSG wishes she could be her roommate again.  You can read more about that by clicking here.

Bree MastAH

Then:  Younger sister of Digs and smarter than all of us combined, in her first year at Notre Dame.
Now:  Incredible graphic designer for a magazine based out of San Francisco and still smarter than all of us combined.


Then:  Dan's girlfriend (ish).
Now:  Um?

Sometimes Serendipitous Girl

Then:  English major who believed everything she said was right.
Now:  Financial analyst who believes everything she says is right.

Miles Driven: 3,432
Days on the road: 15
Estimated time of departure on Day #1:  8 a.m.
Actual time of departure on Day #1:  5 p.m.
Number of times the weather was checked:  0
Genesis of The Great American (including parts of Canada) Road Trip:  San Diego, CA
Destination: Banff National Park, Canada

To be continued ...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Fly

For the past three days I have had a fly the size of a small Volkswagen buzzing about my house.  The fly was so big that the mutt, not used to taking on anything of that size, would growl at it.  I thought I had left the window open long enough for it to fly away to its huge fly mansion up in the West Hills or into some sinister, but much loved only for this purpose, spider web.  But just as I started to feel comfortable, I found out how oh so wrong I was.  

Yesterday I came downstairs to the mutt who was sitting in front of the living room window ledge, staring intently at this mutant insect who's size is, I'm sure a direct result of the global warming that I caused by driving into work instead of taking the MAX three times last week.  The mutt was going ballistic, barking as if this devil swamp creature was going to cart both of us off to someplace that doesn't have cookies or doggy daycare.

So last night I did what any rational person who is terrified of an insect the size of a small country would do.  I slept with my door shut and stuffed a towel at the bottom just to make sure that the rogue fly or any of its offspring couldn't get in.  So what if I died due to lack of oxygen, I'd rather that than be suffocated between two fingery, pokey, hairy claw like talons--have you SEEN how gross fly legs are?  The mutt and I awoke somewhat suspiciously this morning.  When we went downstairs, there was silence.  

I was relieved for about 3 seconds.  Because just when I thought nothing could freak me out more than a fly the size of North & South America combined, I realized that I closed all of my windows last night.  And if my Google search of fly life spans is correct, I now have a dead fly carcass to come across at some point.  And I can guarantee it will happen juuuuust as I'm starting to get comfortable.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend ABC's - F is for Friends & French Girls

This is my girl crush, Clotilde.  She writes Chocolate & Zucchini, the food blog and her new book Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris was just released last month.  She epitomizes my phrase "I'd hate her if I didn't love her so much."  And she was at Powell's on Friday night.  (Please note the ease with which I overrode the question:  Is cell phone picture taking stalkerish and slightly creepy?)

If you haven't read C & Z, I'll give you the following recap:  Clotilde is 28.  She was born in Paris.  She moved to the Silicon Valley in 2000 because she is a genius computer engineer and that's where all the geniuses were in 2000.  She was inspired by California's fresh produce and spent a lot of her free time cooking and shopping for food.  She recognizes the irony of growing up in Paris but falling in love with food in California.  She moved back to Paris and started C & Z in 2003 when there were only about a dozen food blogs.  Now there are about 3 trillion.  She lives in Montmarte.  She cooks.  She shops at the Parisian markets.  She writes.  She wears cute clothes and gets to travel around the world doing book signings and readings.  I haaaaate.  But I also loooove.  

I was worried I'd make a complete ass out of myself.  Especially since the Bobs and I are staying in her neighborhood, Montmarte, when we go to Paris in September.  Would I come off as crazy groupie girl if I told her?  Should I pretend I was cool and act like I just happened upon her book signing and "oh, what a pleasant surprise!  No, I haven't read your archives one by one, tearing up during many of them."  I even asked Ems at work if my outfit was cute enough for Clotilde to think I could be her new best friend.  "Maybe if I tell her I'm staying in her neighborhood she'll say 'Oh good!  I'd really like to hang out with you more, here's my number I can tell we're going to be BFFs!  Let me show you where to get the best lemon curd tart."  And yes, Ems looked at me like you're looking at your screen right now.

Mrs. Bob, also a big fan of C & Z but way more chill about it, asked a nice question that Clotilde could answer.  And what did I do?  I told her that we were going to be renting an apartment in her neighborhood when we visited in September.  And then I waited.  I waited for her to tell me how much she can't wait to take us for lemon curd tarts when we visit.  But she just smiled and quickly signed my books with her Sharpie.  And then I waited some more.  And then she quickly signed Mrs. Bob's books with her Sharpie.  And then I waited some more.  And then Clotilde said "Bon voyage!"  And I'm sure she meant it as "have a great trip!" and not at all like "ok, stalkerazzi, get away from me you're creeping me out and yes, I will show you where you can get the best lemon curd tart, it's in my new book, which is precisely the reason I wrote it!  Now bye bye!"   

The Bobs and I had a great visit.  There was wine, there was brie, there were yummy cocktails at Henry's.  There was a chick flick while Mr. Bob went to go geocache with Baby Bob (Made of Honor.  Cute, but note to McDreamy, please do not ever try physical comedy again.  You may mess up your perfect hair and we just wouldn't be able to take it.)  There was a pass through Bridgeport's pretty stores and thus many feelings of home decorating inadequacy by Mrs. Bob and me which we promptly remedied by double scoops of Haagen Das ice cream in waffle cones.  There were revisits to favorite stores on Alberta St and burgers at Pause before I had to bid them adieu with a plea to Baby Bob to tell her parents that every weekend she wants to come down to Camp Portland.

And then SSG had to rally, because Friday night and Saturday were FULL.  And SSG is usually cross eyed by Friday night and goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. and then recovers from the week by staying in her p.j.'s all morning on Saturday and watching her cooking shows until Wade tells her to come over for drinks and yes she can wear her p.j's.  So she was tired and so was her little mutt.  But Dan and Co. were waiting to meet SSG at Papa Haydn at 10:30 p.m. (!).  At some point in the not so distant past, that used to be SSG's going out time.  When did it become waaaay past her bed time?

So I rallied, because I am young, hot, single woman and not tired, early bird special wanting retiree in Florida.  I met up with Dan, his new girlfriend Celia, Wes and Wes' wife--the cutest pregnant woman ever, Michelle.  And poor Celia, because she had to listen to the stories that poor Michelle has heard a million times before.  Stories about sardine cans and nuns out on country roads in the middle of the night and how I think Dan and Wes are feminists even though they don't think they are.  And that was before I even cracked open Papa Haydn's dessert menu.

But when I shut my mouth for a second and actually opened the dessert menu, there it was.  A Meyer Lemon Curd Tart.  

And I smiled to myself.  I may not live in Paris or have Clotilde as my BFF.  But my little corner of the world with these people as friends?   Sweet and filling, just like that lemon curd tart.

Hope you guys had a lovely weekend too, I missed you!

Friday, May 2, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog Already in Progress ... Again

For weekend house guests!  Woo hoo!  

The Bobs are coming into town!  You can read about them here.

And Dan is coming into town!  You can read about him here.

And in case you came here looking for dating advice like one girl (um?) this is the best I can do!

Have fabulous weekends!  Now I must go clean the guest room ...


Thursday, May 1, 2008


I can be kind of a bitch sometimes. 

Like today when I told A that I thought I stole someone's coffee accidently when Stumps called up a latte after I was already drinking what I thought was my latte.  Then the guy behind me said "um, I think you maybe picked up my soy latte?"  To which I took another sip and said "nope, definitely not soy.  I don't think I hijacked YOUR coffee."  And I meant it to be funny, I swear I didn't mean it bitchy, but I think it may have come across that way because he started explaining himself and then just trailed off.  Like "you don't have to be such a bitch about it."  Oops.  

So throughout this whole exchange/coffee debacle 2008, there is a lady in capri sweat pants and a pink, puffy hoody coat that's about as long as her too short sweat pants rushing around getting coffee and rolls for her husband and son who were chilling outside soaking up the 40 degree temps and sun.  And I've seen this look before, because Stumptown is right by a hotel and there are always tons of people waiting in line who look rushed and frantic and all "I'm not in my routine, I don't know the proper protocol for this coffee shop.  12 oz, tall, small?  And what the fuck is taking so long? Aaahh!  Might.  Spon. Tan. E. Ous. Ly.  Com. Bust."  And I looked at A and said "I'm always concerned that when I go into another city I look like a total and complete asshole tourist and everyone can just tell I'm NOT FROM THERE.  Ya know?"

To which he cocked his head to the side and said "I'm sure you fit in just fine."  Because A's nice like that and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, unlike his cubicle neighbor who drags him blocks away for coffee these days.

And I said "that's what my friends say and I start to feel better.  But then I see people like that and I realize, no ... it's pretty damn obvious when you're a tourist."

So to the guy who took offense at my hijack joke, I apologize.  I swear I'm nice most of the time.  I was unaware of the proper protocol for when someone accuses you of stealing their drink after you openly admit that you think you might have.  I'm really just a tourist visiting Beeyotchtown, I don't normally live here.

And P.S. to this RIVETING story, the extra latte turned out to be A's drink that Stumps messed up on.  So alas, all of the overpriced espressos were joined lovingly back up with their owners.

The End.