Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Real House Dogs of Portland Oregon

I haven't had too much sleep over the last couple of nights.  It's a shock to ones system, waking up at 4:30 a.m. again for TWO DAYS in a ROW after lounging around for the bulk of December.

How do I normally do it?  I set my cell phone alarm and put my phone out in the hallway.  

Why in the hallway?  

I have to get OUT of bed to turn the annoying thing off.  Once up, not only does Fisher think it's time for breakfast, but by that time I can smell the coffee brewing in the automatic coffee pot I set the night before.  (Tricking me into doing something is MUCH more successful when there is fresh coffee involved.)

Most nights I slip into bed pretty early, but these last couple have had me up later than normal.  I've had some work to catch up on and I still don't think my body takes it seriously that we're back to early mornings ... and really, after last month who can blame it?

Fisher is usually at my feet, passed out while I'm working in my office.  One ear cocked and ready for the computer to shut down--her cue to bomb down the hall to go to bed.  If you don't think you're a creature of habit, get a dog and watch them respond to ALL of the nonverbal cues you're not even aware you give off.  My friend recently housesat for me, she has a studio in downtown Portland that doesn't allow pets and wanted some dog and house time.  When I got back she asked, "when you come back from walking the dog, do you always go to your office?"

"Yeah, probably.  Why?"
"Fisher ran up there after I took her for a walk and wouldn't come down until I checked my e-mail.  She looked at me like 'Hello?  You're FORGETTING to DO something here."

Where was I again?


So last night I shut down the computer and waited to hear the typical Fisher scramble, but when I looked down, she was gone.

I had this moment of panic--like did I leave her outside?  I don't THINK I left her in my car.  Ohmahgah did I leave the front door open?!  Was I supposed to pick her up at doggy daycare hours ago?

No.  I clearly remembered her being around earlier.

I checked in my room.  She wasn't there.  I called her name.  She didn't come running.  I looked in the bathroom where I keep Rainy's food and water dishes.  I didn't see her tail sticking out from behind the bathroom counters.

"Pupalah where are you?!"  I called as I walked downstairs.


And that's when I found her.

Tucked into MY spot on the couch watching the Real Housewives of Orange County.

Next thing I know she's going to ask me to buy her a Mercedes and some bling.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In a Word

I haven't seen my work BFF for over a week.  He came into my cube yesterday saying only one word:


"Dude" can mean almost anything between us but the meaning is usually a given depending on the inflection with which its said.  Allow me to translate.
  • I HAVE to talk to you, like NOW. (Said quickly.  Followed by a head nod toward the door.)
  • You're so LAME.  (Said with an eye roll.  Usually by me.)
  • Ohmahgah, did you HEAR what (insert coworker 1,2,3 to infinity's name here) just said? (Said with an exclamation point and eyes open WIDE.)
  • Are you STILL carrying out your jihad on the polar bears?  (Said all curt and judgey like.  Followed by a point to my paper Starbucks cup.  Always by him.)
In yesterday's case "DUDE," said while carrying his organic, free trade, vegetarian, biofuel, made by eskimos in conjunction with the polar bears adopted by the ASPCA and blessed by a rabbi coffee cup, meant: "Must. Get. Coffee. Now."

While in the elevator I brought up "Vacation 2009: Bigger & Badder!"  Or not?  

"Dude.  Yeah."  (Translation: BFF was in the same quandary.) 

We each have four weeks of vacation time that must be used in 2009 ... and SSG has no major travel plans until 2010 when she's planning a trip to Italy (SSG has GOT TO SAVE, because this time?  She's getting some table linens.  I curse you fiscal responsibility in Provence!)

On the one hand, SSG is hesitant to take trips because of the fragile economy.  On the other, she smells DEALS.  And if she can just trim her latte habit, shave her eating out & happy hour habits and continue to turn the occasional trick, SSG might just be goin' on a little vacay next fall. (Totally kidding on one of those money saving methods.  I'd NEVER dream of giving up my happy hours.)

After having to explain why traveling to see every University of Oregon Ducks road game was NOT in SSG's travel plans, but still could be in work BFF's, SSG came up with the following list of places.  One of which she'd like to visit next year:

Savannah, Georgia
It's mainly because SSG wants to pick up a sweet southern accent, but she likes the idea of weeping willows, front porches and who are we kidding?  Mint juleps and southern gentleman.
(Not necessarily in that order.)

Washington D.C.
The monuments, the Smithsonian ... and the chance of seeing the Obamas 
(Really, their new puppy ... good GAWD is this thing going to have to take a shit on the inaugural ball dance floor before we're introduced or WHAT?)

Two words: Wrigley and Field.
(Which begs the question why SSG chose a picture of the skyline and NOT Wrigley Field?  
In a word?  DUDE.)

SSG and her college roommates, Digs & Spleen, have been talking about doing a little road trip action up the Maine coast.  
Because a road trip sounds fun.  
And cheap.
(If it weren't for those pesky little necessities like airfare, rental cars, gas, hotels, food and drinks.)

The Four Seasons
This is on SSG's "Life List."  
And at a rate of $600 a night, she could stay here for like ... 
a half hour.
But that half hour would be AWESOME.

And as I was standing in the Starbucks line, feeling the cool ocean breeze of Hawaii on my face, sipping a cocktail filled with a dozen different kinds of fruit (and vodka!) and 12 drink umbrellas, I heard something.  

A little voice.  

A guy's voice ... getting louder as it came toward me.  

Who was it?  I could just make him out ... my hot surf instructor?  

He WAS saying dude a lot.

"Dude?  Um, dude!  SSG, DUDE!  They're ready for your coffee order."

Oh, right. 


Monday, December 29, 2008


(Disclaimer:  Sorry for the photo suckage.  All I had was mah celly.)

After you've been stuck indoors for an entire month due to the flu and an unexpected change from a Northwest winter to an Arctic winter, you kind of forget what the outside is like.  

I woke up Sunday to my requisite combo of coffee and political shows.  This IS Sunday morning after all and my round table discussions have been preempted for the last TWO weeks due to the weather.  Perhaps you've heard it's been snowing here?  Fisher and I eventually headed out to check and make sure our neighborhood still existed.

Actually, that's a lie.  I KNEW it was still here because thankfully my neighbors and Predo have chains and 4 wheel drives.  And technically I HAVE been out of the house.  But last time I saw my 'hood it looked like we were in Aspen or the Swiss Alps but with 100% less skiing.  

A few days ago you couldn't see any of the roads, the trees were covered in snow and  all of the cars were SUV's.  People were in snow gear from head to toe.  At the GROCERY STORE. With the exception of one poor dad I saw at the store last week.  He, or his wife, must have NEEDED to either get out of the house or get the kids out of the house.  Because the guy was in flip flops, had four kids trailing behind him in various summer outfits and he was carrying a shoeless baby practically upside down while pushing a shopping cart full of Mac 'n Cheese.

Where was I again?

Oh YEAH.  

Fish and I went on a LONG walk.  We were gone for a couple of hours taking our time past babbling brooks like this one ...

We walked up hills where buses had been stuck just a few days ago and down hills where SSG slid backwards in her car just over a week ago.  Aside from a few piles of slush here and there, you'd never know a storm hit this place.  It's amazing how something so transient can JACK up your daily life so much.

I ran into my neighbors as I headed out in my car a bit later that afternoon.  "OhmahgahI'minmycar!"  I yelled at them.  They had just bought an 802 inch TV and were so  NOT interested.  Until I mentioned the San Diego Chargers were playing in a big game last night.  They're not from San Diego, but you wouldn't have known because FOOTBALL! + New TV! = "What time are you coming over?!"

Football would have to wait though, I took my little sister (through Big Brothers & Big Sisters) to Peacock Lane, a street in Portland that has lit its houses for Christmas since 1929.  Obviously this picture doesn't do it justice.

But trust SSG when she tells you it was the sweetest evening.

My year with BB&BS is almost up.  It's crazy to think that virtually every weekend this year I've spent time with this munchkin.  In a couple of weeks I won't need to think of someplace to take an 11 year old that she'll like ... that's not the mall.  I will miss spending time with her, but I look forward to having my weekends back. 

This storm gave me a lot of time to reflect on the past year and the blank canvas that is 2009.  I literally have no plans for next year.  No expectations.  No "to do" lists.  No volunteer work.  No classes.  No schedule.  No commitments.  

I CAN'T BELIEVE that's true.  

Just typing it makes me think ... that's not?  No?  It can't be?  Wait ... really?

Yep it's true.

Dreams?  Yes.  Wishes?  Absolutely.  

Perhaps 2009 will be the year they serendipitously come true.  Perhaps not.  But I know for damn sure, I'll have a TON of fun finding out.  

Happy (Almost!) New Year!

(And P.S. the Chargers WON!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cute Neighbor & Christmas Unwrapped

The pajama party is OVER. 

The snow finally stopped on Christmas night and it has been raining ever since.  Not that I'm complaining, the rain is washing all of the slush away.  As is the random tractor that showed up in my neighborhood this morning.  Who has a tractor in the burbs?  

At this point, I DON'T CARE.  Thank you Random Tractor Guy!  

My guess is that in one more day there will be no evidence of the white stuff that has almost put me in a straight jacket.  Taking no chances, I am leaving my car parked safely in the garage and will venture out tomorrow teary and shouting "thank gawd almighty we are free at last!"  (There really is no need for a straight jacket, I PROMISE.)

So!  Who wants to hear about Cute Neighbor?

You don't?

Ok.  Bye!


Cute Neighbor gets to keep his name.  He is CUTE peeps.  I caught a ride to the grocery store with one of my other neighbors and as we were coming home, we caught sight of him trying to get his car into the garage.  I walked up, arms full of groceries, offering my help and praying the whole time that he wouldn't take me up on it because REALLY?  What help is SSG going to give someone about getting cars out of snow?  Maybe:  "I think it's supposed to thaw this weekend, just LEAVE it.  It's FINE that it's in the middle of the street.  People can TOTALLY go around."

"Oh thanks for offering, my roommate (please take note of the word ROOMMATE) is coming down." He answered nicely and then came over to shake my hand (firm handshake, no wet fish action which SSG hates).  "It's nice to finally meet you.  Who's this?"

"Huh?" I asked, completely forgetting my neighbor's adorable son who was carrying Fisher's bag of dog food behind me.  

Because his eyes?  BLUE!  
His smile?  Yummy!  
And his outfit?  NICE! 
(Jeans, good shoes, ironed tucked in shirt and a nice jacket--SSG's like the Terminator in the "once over" department.) 

"Oh!" I managed to pull it together.  "This is (insert NEIGHBOR'S name here loudly) son." 

Just then, his "roommate" came out.

A girl.  

Who also introduced herself.  And was really nice.  

But is a GIRL!

Cute Neighbor has a GIRL roommate ... who was in pajamas.  So he obviously is PERFECT FOR ME because he likes girls that WEAR PAJAMAS.  

And she's from the midwest somewhere so she helped him get his car out.  While SSG stood like a delicate little flower with two other neighbors quietly supervising and then said "you're welcome!" when he thanked us.  For doing nothing.  

Isn't that an AWESOME story?

Predo was like: "Where does he work?  Was that his girlfriend?  Where is he from?"  
To which I was all:  "I have no idea."
And then Predo was all: "Well that doesn't sound like a successful meeting."

So if YOU'RE all "I want to know more!"  Tell me what questions to ask and next time I see him I'll tackle and sit on him until he answers. 

I'm sure he'll LOVE it.  As will his "roommate" when she sees the random neighbor girl straddling her "roommate" interrogating him for the interwebs. 

Who wants to date SSG?  It's REALLY fun!

And then Christmas!  This was the first year I didn't fly home for Christmas since I took a few trips this year.  Perhaps you heard I went to France?  I didn't talk about it much.  Luckily I didn't have catching a flight to add to my stressful staying home from work and cookie baking worries.  My poor dad, who lives in Seattle, couldn't make it down to L.A. which is where my sis, brother in law and niece and nephew are.  

Predo & Jimmy took me in.  And forced me (totally unwillingly) to taste every liquor in their liquor cabinet.  (As I'm sure many of you saw when "Predo" commented on his own blog).  We had a great time.  Jimmy is an awesome cook.  Predo is an awesome bartender.  Their friends are awesome dish washers.  And SSG is an awesome bar stool warmer.  We had a white Christmas and there was a moment of panic when MORE SNOW dared to fall from the sky.  

Predo remedied the panic with his own libation creation.  Perhaps if all of you ask him, he'll share the recipe.  I totally would, if I could remember.  I only remember it having a really inappropriate name and being DELICIOUS.

How were YOUR Christmases?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I hope you all have a wonderful day with family, friends and the warmth that can only come from this season ... and its cocktails.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve Day!

ONE guess who SSG met yesterday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Think I'm Turning Into a Guy

  • I am STILL at home due to inclement weather.  I'm giving Hugh Hefner a run for his money with the amount of pajamas I've worn in the last 200 years since I've been in captivity from this Arctic-Freeze-Blast-Whatever-Pain-In-My-Ass storm we've been having (but the snow is SO pretty!) ... let's also not forget SSG was SICK for two weekends prior to this.  
  • I just realized I don't think I've been out on a weekend since December started (please excuse SSG as she sticks her head in the oven).
  • I DID run into my neighbor yesterday though and she (not cute neighbor ladies, sorry) said: "You look so nice!  Did you go to work today?"  Apparently all you have to do to dress up pajamas is wear your winter coat and a scarf over them.  This helpful tip brought to you by the SSG.  You are welcome.
  • Do any of you smarties know how to record a voicemail from your cell phone onto your computer?  My college roommates, Digs and Spleen (TOTALLY their real names), left me a voicemail last night and it's the most hilarious thing I've ever heard in my life.  Let's just say there may have been some wine involved.  And Christmas carols sung where SSG is likened to a popsicle.  
  • One of said college roommates also sent SSG a subscription to Maxim magazine.  Maxim magazine is a guys magazine and has some of the smart assy-ist (is TOO a word) writing I have ever read in my life.
  • SSG LOVES Maxim magazine.  She worried for a second that it accidentally got put into her mailbox as both of her neighbors are single guys (why is SSG at HER house again?) but figured they wouldn't mind if she read it.  Then she spied her college nickname on the mailing label.
  • I wonder if the person who types up the subscriptions was all "WTF?" when they saw the name to send it to.  Thanks Digs!  This was also the Digs that filled out an "I'd like more information on" card for Miracle Ear.  SSG got a call bright and early at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning from a very nice Miracle Ear rep.  Did SSG mention she was in college?  And 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning was like maybe 2 hours after she went to bed?  (Payback is a comin' sister.)
  • Maxim magazine is probably not the magazine to be reading when you've been in pajamas for 90% of December and eating cookies for breakfast.  Because um, half naked girls?  Maxim is ON THAT.  
  • I imagine the "Sexiest Stars of 2009" make me feel about as sexy as guys do when they imagine themselves in a Speedo.  While standing next to Michael Phelps.  Who is also in a Speedo.
  • Why do I read?  For responses to reader questions like "What happens if I use steroids but don't exercise?"  Maxim responds "We applaud your desire to get ripped yet remain lazy ..."  Love those guys.
  • In SSG's effort to get ripped yet remain lazy, she walked a whole two houses down the street, to go to her neighbors and watch Monday Night Football where she drank two Coors Lights and called the Bears the "Cubs." 
  • Perhaps she is still a girl after all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Can You Come Out and Play?

Hi!  SSG is going INSANE!

It's snowing.


My office is closed and I'm so bored, I've even made up my own meme!  

Want to play along?  


Stop it!  Yes you do!

Take a photo of the following:

Something you can see from your window.

These are icicles that formed on my neighbors house.  I don't know these neighbors.  So I hope they don't mind a crazy girl standing on her back deck taking photos of their house.  

Something from your kitchen.

Isn't this teapot the cutest thing you've ever seen?  My sister bought it for me years ago and it has made the trek from a ghetto apartment in San Diego to my house now ... and every apartment in between.  As reward for it never breaking, I keep my ground coffee in here.  SSG is CRAZY like that--using a TEA container for COFFEE!  (Sorry, there really is nothing funny that happens to SSG when she has been in her house for MONTHS.)

A book from your bookshelf.

This is one of my favorite books and is always out on display (on an old table of my Gam's no less!  Please pardon the dust, readers.  And Gam.)  I love its dog eared pages and the way that Eiffel Tower statue (one of the few items I brought back from Paris) is required to keep it closed.  Often times I'll walk by and open it to a random page ... let's do so, shall we?

A quote by Coco Chanel ... "It's not houses I love, it's the life I live in them."  


Something from your closet.

I know us ladies are fond of the little black dress, but I LOVE this little red one.  This has made the Christmas party ROUNDS.  I wore it three years in a row due to moves and new jobs and still hope no one noticed.  But I can't look at any other Christmas dress without feeling like I'm cheating on it ... which is why I wore jeans and a cute shirt to my boss' Christmas party this year ... and was still over dressed.  I love working with guys.

Something you love just because.

I bought two of these pillows at Target a couple years ago.  If they ever left my house, I would cry.  Polka dots are an SSG favorite.

So if you love SSG ... or even like her a just a little ... come out and play!  

Or a comment would do!  Like you guys that never comment.  Hi!  I see you!  And where I do appreciate the strong silent type, SSG's sanity rests on your shoulders.

No pressure.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wer FiSHeR iz?

Les go playe n dah snowez!

Wut?  U knot redeez?  K, i jus sitz behine u til u redeez.

R u redeez yetz?

Hi snowez!  U haz cookeez 4 meez unders herez?

Wut so funneez?

I wach teh sledz go downz hillz.

S coldz on mai buttz.

Kan we goez 2 dah hous nowe?

Das mush beterz.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Am Woman! Hear Me Ro ... Whimper

Most days  my commute entails a 10 minute drive down a few hills to catch a timely train that whisks me downtown while I have my nose firmly entrenched in a book.  This is followed by a few block walk to my office.  Normally a CAKE WALK peeps ... or RIDE, whatever.

How I miss those days ...

Friday was much like Thursday.  I hoofed it down the hill to catch a newly discovered by SSG Express Bus!  That would take me directly downtown!  And was about 1/4 mile closer to my house than the bus I caught on Thursday!  I looked wistfully at my precious car still stuck in the apartment complex at the bottom of my hill, blew it a kiss and mouthed "I MISS you, I LOVE you" before chatting with the few people who were also waiting for the bus.  The bus that was a half hour late.  

And then I got off at the wrong stop downtown which meant I walked a good 3/4 of a mile to get to work ... in the snow ... all the while wishing I had thrown an irritating lady off the bus.  Said lady talked to the driver the ENTIRE ride which would have been weird and annoying anyway, but made MUCH less so if she weren't sitting halfway toward the BACK of the bus.  Throwing her of the bus?  Definitely would have made my walk much more satisfying.  Total commute time to go about 10 miles?  An hour and a half. 

It was still snowing throughout much of Friday and an ENORMOUS storm is coming this weekend, so I decided to treat myself and take the train part way home and catch a cab the rest of the way.  Which I did.

And got a cab driver on his SECOND day of driving cabs.  And who was not from Portland.  Um?  About 5 minutes into my ride I realized he didn't have a meter.  After a few seconds of sheer panic that I might have been in a serial killers car (note to SSG, please cease the watching of CSI and all its spinoffs immediately), I remembered it DID have a taxi sign on its roof top.  Though the TAPED Microsoft Word created "Taxi Rates" sign on the windows was an item of concern, I reminded myself I've always had good luck with cabs.  

Like the time a New York cab driver GAVE me some pot.  Like for free!    Because he liked me!  What was even funnier was the entire time we were talking about smoking during my ride, I thought we were talking about smoking cigarettes.  And then I'm such a delicate little flower I flushed the pot down a hotel toilet because I worried I was part of a random NYC drug sting operation and a SWAT team was about to come bust through the hotel room door.  (Take THAT NYC Po Po, SSG's no sucker.)

ANYWAY.  Newbie cab driver got me safely home, and was actually really nice and non serial killer-y.  I was even able to get my car out last night!  Woo hoo!   All of those crises safely averted meant there was only one more left ...


There was NO way I was going to try and drive my car down to the grocery store once I got it safely in the garage.  And there was also NO way I was going to walk about a mile down the hill to get groceries at 7:00 at night.

Which only left like a 2 hour window this morning.   Because peeps?  SSG's neighborhood is supposed to get about 12 inches of snow today.  (Please excuse SSG as she crawls into the fetal position under her desk.)

This morning I had myself convinced that I could make two eggs, a bag of spinach and a bottle of champagne last me until Tuesday or Wednesday when we're supposed to be, not only out of the 12 inches of snow, but also the 4 inches of ICE that we're supposed to get tonight (who wants to come to Portland?  It's SO fun here right now!)  I made this rationalization because I had PLENTY of coffee.  And who needs more than a couple of eggs, handful of spinach and bottle of champagne when you have POUNDS of coffee at your disposal?  Not SSG.

But then I went to make coffee.  And um ... so did NOT have plenty of coffee.  

I SPRINTED down the hill to the grocery store.

Shopping for groceries usually has me weighing the COST of things, not weighing the WEIGHT of things.  But now, every choice not only had to sustain me for the next 4ish days, but also had to be carried back UP the hill I just ran DOWN.  

I stayed in the store for as long as possible, defrosting and procrastinating, picking up items briefly before saying "too heavy."  Did you know the grocery stores have little screw top single serving bottles of wine that were the perfect size to take on picnic ... or put in your jacket pocket?  I made it out of the store for $80, which is TWICE as much as I usually spend there. $10 of that was magazines (Light weight!  Not edible.  Wah wah.)  

Once home, after a LONG hot shower and while a pot of coffee was brewing I unpacked my wares.  Salami, cheese, crackers.  Artisan bread.  More cheese.  And then it occurred to me ...

The food I purchased to keep me alive for the next few days?  The exact same food I buy when I'm having a cocktail party.

May I offer you some crudite?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Have an SSG Day

1)  Slip down three hills to catch a bus that will get you to work 2 1/2 hours later than you normally get there.

2)  Note how progressive the Portland buses are.  They have Poetry!  In Motion!  Like this one:

Dogwood Tree
Yellow Sun Shining

(SSG:  How nice!)

Skinny brown
lifeless dogwood 

(SSG:  Oh!)

Never grew an inch
Never liked the sun

(SSG:  Um?)

Ashes of my dog

(SSG:  Does anyone have some Prozac?)

3)  Go with your work BFF to get some coffee because he has been stuck with the "Snarkless Duo" for the last 3 days.  (Who NEVER has anything mean to say EVER?  Teh crazies, that's who.  As Rhiannon from Rhi in Pink says, "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me."  Amen.)

4)  Ask your favorite former intern if it's weird that you saw the random "work couple" who work in a different department (they do EVERYTHING but go to the bathroom together despite being married to other people) went shopping at Ross together.  

5)  Realize you have nothing to say when he replies "you came with me to look for snowboarding jackets.  I'm standing out here waiting with you to get your lunch even though I have mine already.  But dude, if 20 years from now we're in the same place?  Kill me."

6)  Have the following elementary school conversation:
 "Does that mean you're not going to be my BFF in 20 years?"  
"No I AM, I just mean if we're still working here in 20 years, kill me."  
"Awwww!  That's so sweet!  And ok." 
(Former intern rolls his eyes.)

7)  Leave work at 3:45 p.m. Catch a train and then a bus.

8)  Spy 3 hand tattoos "NIN", "HIT" and "100% Real."  Resist the urge to say to the 300 pound black guy with dreads either "Awwwww yeah" or "Is that quote '100% Real' by J. Lo?"  

9)  Have "100% Real" take your picture not so smoothly with his I Phone.  Wonder if there is anything porn related that can be done with only half your face showing due to a hat, scarf and jacket collar pulled up around your ears.  And if so, hope that no one recognizes your eyes and nose ... or that you get some royalties.

10)  Get a very kind offer (with a very specific compliment on one of your posts no less!) to write for an "adult" website.  

11)  Wonder what content you've EVER written here that would give a marketing guy for an adult website the idea that that may interest you (Lys don't you dare bring up the panty throwing comment, your friend is in a band!  Panties get thrown, it's what happens at concerts.)

12)  Remember today that you thought two funny things to write on your blog would be "the bus had chains on its tires and the vibration as it was driving down the road almost gave me an O" and that Predo sent you a text message in the middle of your work day that said: "Say penis really loud right now!  PENIS!  I want PENIS!"  

13)  Wonder if you still have that adult website guy's e-mail address.

14)  And if Predo would want it.

15)  Get home at 6 P.M.  Only 2 hours after you left work.

16)  Realize as you're slipping across the street that THIS will be the moment you meet "Cute Neighbor." 

17)  Put your head down and walk faster.

18)  See a package from Frita of My Myriad Life and forget about "Cute Neighbor."

19)  Get Fisher all riled up by saying over and over again: "What is it?!  What is it?!  What is it?!"

20)  Call Frita and Bob and say "THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!"

21)  Notice the saying on the Stride Rite box your goodies were sent in.

22)  Revise the box's quote for a 34 year old instead of a 3 or 4 year old:  Couch's Waiting.  Get Wine.

23)  Sit.

24)  Pour.

25)  Sip.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gettin' Hyggae Wit It

One of my favorite words, aside from serendipitous ... or Paris ... or sunny Saturday morning ... or fireman ... (don't worry, I'll stop) is "hyggae."  It's a Danish word that, when loosely translated, means cozy.  However, hyggae is much deeper than that.

Hyggae refers to a sense of intimacy and comradeship.   The long and dark winters of Denmark mean plenty of food and wine filled evenings amongst friends and family.   Instead of being stressful, fussy dinner parties,  they're actually quite the opposite.  Homes are lit by candles in order to hide the dust and people come around to relax, drink, eat and enjoy each others company.

I like to think of it as how family dinners should be  ... if families weren't so INSANE.

Never before did I know how important a sense of comradeship was until after I slid backwards down the icy hill of death yesterday.  I was hovering between absolute fear and the sheer comedy of that particular 30 seconds.  Kind of like when you see someone trip and then start jogging to cover it up as if they fully intended to go for a little run in the middle of their workday.  While wearing a suit.  Maybe they pull it off in the end, but you saw that split second "oh SHIT" moment in their face.  I can only imagine my "oh SHIT", frantic steering, braking, "I'm going to TOTALLY!  HIT!  THAT!  BMW! face probably looked like the funniest thing anyone has ever seen.  Myself included.

Anywho ...

My neighbors called yesterday afternoon and asked if I wanted to come over for dinner.  "OHMYGAHYES!!!"  I screamed into the phone, grateful after MONTHS of no human contact (or like 3 days).  I traipsed lightly on the ice, while Fisher ran slipping in circles around me.  "Whatever you do, DON'T make me break this bottle of wine or you're going straight back to the Humane Society."

Wine was poured, candles were lit and we were commiserating over the ice and having to stay home when one of my neighbors busted out with "I killed a tree today."

"Wha?" I asked, confused.
"I tried to drive down the hill and totally slid, running SMACK DAB into a tree."
"Oh my god!  Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, but I feel like such a jackass, I'm from Chicago!  I should totally know how to drive in this!"
"THANK GOD!"  I responded and raised my glass.

I, in turn, told them about my day, my ditched car, the look on my face when I thought I was going to crash into a BMW and how I had to walk uphill, slipping the entire way, past a crew of construction workers.  We all cracked up, clinked our glasses in a show of non ice driving solidarity and had a great dinner.

As I was walking back home, I noticed the warm glow of my neighbors windows, the quiet snowy streets and twinkly white Christmas lights on outdoor trees.  And I realized there is no need to be anywhere else when you've got hyggae right in your own 'hood.

(P.S.  That was, until Predo had to go and post pictures of MEXICO on his blog.  I am now going to jump off my roof.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Ok, see this?

You CAN NOT drive on this.  Trust SSG.  She just tried.  And slid down her hill backwards.  In slow motion.  With her eye on a parked BMW she was about to hit. 

The two messages she just left:

#1:  "Hi Boss (in tears) ohmaigah I just slid down my hill backwards and am parked in an apartment parking lot and it's so icy.  I'm okay and my car is okay but I don't think I'm going to be to work today or ever again because it's going to snow for FOREVER.  Either that or you're going to fire me.  Please don't fire me."

#2:  "Hi apartment complex at the end of the icy hill I just slid backwards down.  I had to park in your lot so I don't DIE.  Please don't tow me.  I promise to come get my car the next time it thaws, which will be ... NEVER."

But ice cubes do go well in this ...

Which is exactly what SSG needs to keep her hands from shaking.  

(P.S.  Luckily SSG did not hit the BMW.  But she's pretty sure she gave a construction crew the laughter they needed this morning.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

SSG and the Arctic Freeze

Things You Need in an Arctic Freeze

1)  Snow Tires or Chains
2)  Snow Boots ... not to be confused with snow shoes, but if you have those, awesome.
3) Puffy North Face Jacket like the kind you mocked less than a week ago.
4)  Ability to stay inside for ... EVER.

Things SSG Does NOT Have
1)  Snow Tires or Chains
2)  Snow Boots or Shoes
3)  Puffy North Face Jacket
4)  Patience to stay indoors from now until the END OF TIME

You think I'm joking about the Arctic Freeze, but readers I AM NOT.  It is here and she likes it so much she's not going anywhere for a LONG time.  Cold hearted be-yotch.

Sure it was fun to see the pups chase snowflakes yesterday ... on a Sunday ... when you're supposed to be home watching football on the couch and baking cookies.

But not on a Monday ... when you're supposed to be at work, where you were (almost!) all last week, but not at your 100% best because you've had the bubonic plague ... or TB ... or something for the last two weeks and now it's not only month end, but YEAR end and everyone needs everything RIGHT! NOW!

S koldz herez.

Don't get me wrong, I can take a snow day with GUSTO like the next guy.  But normally the snow melts and everyone trudges into work the next day.  But peeps, the snow isn't melting.  It's in the TEENS in temps outside and with the wind chill it's in the single digits.  And it's supposed to stay that way for the next week-ish.  With more snow coming on Wednesday.

I don't think there is such a thing as a snow WEEK is there?

But if there IS?  Can someone please run to the store and pick me up a few things?  Things like lemons and Grey Goose because I seriously think I'm at the end of my TV watching, reading, cooking, cleaning ROPE.


(Before you guys think I got another dog, I'm watching my neighbors' while they're in Chicago.  I now have TWO renegade Kleenex stealers I've got to keep my eye on.  HALP!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SSG on the Red Carpet

I hope you guys are having a good weekend!  We're supposed to be getting snow tonight and tomorrow, which means SSG is hunkered down in Chez SSG complete with hot cocoa fixins, cheesy Christmas movies and a good book.

Last week I got myself some A-WARDS.  And I am SO grateful!  Thank you guys!!

Lys from Just Another Gal gave me the "Superior Scribbler Award."  Thanks Lady!

Quick shout out to five other superior scribblers!

Angie at Big Hair Envy
Krissa at HalfAsstic
Molly at Molly Blogs

My sexy friend Predo over at Spartacus Wore a Skirt also gave me a "Witty Blogger" award.  Thanks Sunshine!  And right back at you!

There were no "rules" attached to it, he's just generous like that.  So I'm going to make up my own rules and you can leave them in the comments if you want to play along.  What are some of your "can't miss" blogs?

The Witty Blogger Award
And Predo, I'm searching for JUST the right award for you (especially since Lys beat me to the punch with the Superior Scribbler) but I'm seeing a Joan Rivers Live from the Red Carpet show and feather boa in your future.  We'll call it the "You Are One Sexy Bitch" award.  Now if I can JUST find the art work ...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Like, Duh!

I got suckered into going to a local outdoor store yesterday with a few guys from work.  They wanted my opinion on snowboarding jackets.  

"Aren't they all just puffy advertisements for North Face?" I asked, which clearly exhibits the fact that I should not be the one accompanying them on such an outing.  

The answer was a resounding no.  ("No" totally meaning YES in this scenario.)

Needless to say, as four business people amongst an early 20's workforce, we stood out a little.  I kept trying to ease away from the pack because SSG doesn't mind a little 20 something snow boarder eye candy ... especially ones who are probably completely high.  They're super nice ... and chatty.  Which she found out while standing over by the ladies ski jackets.

"SSG!"  I hear my name being shouted across the store.  "We're going upstairs, come on!"
(TOTAL box blockers.)

As I made my way toward the stairs, I passed two employees talking.

Stoner #1:  What did it taste like?
Stoner #2:  It totally tasted like shrooms.
Stoner #1:  How do YOU know what shrooms taste like?
Stoner #2:  (Clearly puzzled) Because I've SHROOMED before. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why a Straight Chick Cares About Gay Marriage

Did you happen to catch Mike Huckabee on Jon Stewart Tuesday night?

I've been wanting to write about gay marriage since California's Prop 8 and haven't quite known where to begin.  Because frankly?  I can't believe gay marriage is even an issue.  We've got wars going on, kids in the country that are are only being fed one meal a day and unemployment on the rise.  And we're worried about two consenting adults who want to get married?  No we're not.  


It didn't make me angry at first, it made me furrow my brow and say "Really?  No one cares who I marry, why should I care who anyone else marries?"  But now I'm starting to get pissed.  And what better place to get pissed than on your own blog?   Well in a pub in Ireland, but that's the word in a whole different context.

Wait.  Words can mean different things to different people?  To different cultures and yet still be equally truthful?  Novel concept.

People's rights are being violated.  Right here.  Right now.  In OUR lifetime.  One generation away from a time that we SHUDDER over.  Photos of marches in the South, clear division of racial lines, people getting beat up and killed because of their skin color.
No, no.  We don't do that anymore.  It's against the law.  Now we're ... nicer.  We even elect black presidents!  So go away now, nothing to see here.  Moving right along.  People can live any way they want to live.  

But we don't like our words being redefined.

"They.  Want.  To.  Redefine.  A.  Word."

Seriously?  That's the argument?

This isn't 2nd grade.  This is real life where tough decisions have to be made.  Decisions like coming out as a gay adult so you can live your life being true to who you are knowing full well you'll be discriminated against.

Tough decisions like my lesbian neighbors who adopted their 5 year old son because they wanted a family and know that all kids deserve stable homes.  I watched their boy, grow 6 inches in 6 months because he is now in a loving, stable environment where they sit down together to dinner every night and read stories before bedtime.

Tough decisions like one of my good friends (that you all know well) who served in the military only to come back home and become a cop.   He has fought and protected freedoms that he doesn't have.

We're talking about love, pure and simple.  That's it.  Men and women have found the people they want to pledge their lives to.  They're not selling heroin and teaching each other to self harm.  We have enough British pop stars for that.  They just want to get MARRIED.

I understand religion plays a very large part in people's decision making.  And that is valid.  Belief systems are important.  They are protected.  And they ABSOLUTELY should be.   Some religions in America believe Jesus was the Messiah.  Some don't.  Some people are Buddhist.  Some aren't.  But your personal beliefs are your own.  They can never be taken from you.  But you can't infringe on another group's rights.  That's part of the deal.  Two men or women getting married does NOTHING to infringe upon the rights of a straight couple's marriage.  

Marriage is a social right that is being withheld from our brothers and sisters.  Our neighbors and friends.  Our mothers and fathers.   If we can start withholding rights because people are afraid or uncomfortable?  

I shudder to think what's next.

(P.S.  SSG supports gay marriage.  But she does not give up her right to JUDGE marriages.  SSG's looking at you Heidi & Spencer Pratt.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Message

SSG walks into the office.

Co-worker #1: Are you feeling better?
SSG:  A little bit, thanks.
CW#2:  Shoot.
SSG:  ?
CW#2:  I saved your voicemail from calling in sick yesterday.
SSG:  Blank stare.
CW#2:  It's HILARIOUS.  
SSG:  Blank stare.
CW#2:  It's so funny, I think you'll appreciate it.
SSG:  Blank stare.
CW#2:  But maybe we should wait to listen to it until you're feeling better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Perhaps You've Heard I've Been Sick?

So I know I haven't talked about it MUCH, but I've been feeling under the weather for the past few days. 

I KNOW.  You NEVER would have suspected, huh?  SSG is good at holding back.

So I stayed home yesterday, with the exception of running out for a few hours to take my final.  And as I explained to Predo on my way home, "I was pulling stuff out of my ASS."  Let's just hope it was the right stuff.

So today I go back to work.  And I'm actually looking forward to HUMAN contact.  Because as much as I love my little furry guys at home, they're not big talkers.  And as much as I used to love my television (TV, we're SO over.  I need some space.) it doesn't LISTEN to me ... well neither do the work peeps, but at least they pretend to.

But after a day off, I will admit to being a little worried about what I'm walking into.  I mean SURE, there will be voice mails and e-mails and playing catch up.  But I'm more worried about what my coworkers left me with.

Like the time they labeled everything in my cube when I stayed home because it was SNOWING out.  You can read more about that by clicking here.

Or the time we moved my boss out of his office when he was on vacation, which you can read more about here.

But I'm most worried about what we did when one of our coworkers was on vacation last year around this time.

Because taco shell grease?  Is HARD to get out of cube walls.  

(P.S.  THANK YOU to everyone for your sweet get well comments and putting up with my ick!) 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend ABC's - T is for TV, TB & Test

I have tuberculosis.  

Just kidding.  But it FEELS that way.  

I'm just practicing my excuse to get out of my accounting final today.  Do you think my professor would want a doctor's note if I used the TB one?  Because AN ACCOUNTING FINAL?  The only calculation I have enough energy to do right now is to see if my A is strong enough to allow me to skip the test entirely and still pass the class.

Kidding AGAIN.  Damn me and my over achieving ways.

Dogs don't have to study for accounting finals.  

I took a break from studying on Saturday and decided to hang out with my two BFF's.

And then once I did that, the thought of picking up my accounting book made me want to gnaw my own arm off.  So I watched two cheesy surfing movies instead.

Because have you heard it's winter?  And I'm in Portland?  I won't be seeing the sun until sometime next August.

Hi sun and beach!

(SSG collapses into a mess of tears ... and kleenex.)

I TOTALLY miss dropping in on waves like that.

This is really SSG, she did stand in for the movie Blue Crush.

Hey Fisher!  Dogs can surf, should we go to Hawaii?

No, I yike dis playce.  S warm rite herez.

SSG might be booking a flight to Hawaii.  Because she's SURE all surf instructors look like this:

And this ...

And sorry this one is a little blurry, she may have licked the screen once ... or twice.

BUT!  SSG is more than just a pretty face admiring girl.  So she watched her Sunday morning line up like always. 

Hiiiiiii President Elect Obama.

And after news on the big three automakers, the terrorism in India, the economic meltdown and the probable usage of a weapon of mass destruction by 2013, SSG decided she'd like to go back to a simpler time.

Like New York City in 1947.

So she watched a movie called "It Had to be You."  Which really was the precursor to modern day chick flicks.  Ginger Rogers was the "Runaway Bride" in this film.  She left three guys at the altar and was engaged to her 4th.  But that's when she met a FIREMAN.

And I'm guessing you all can imagine which word caught SSG's attention in that TCM description?

This is what SSG looks like whenever she walks by a fire station.  

Only without the hat.

I tink I mite yike dri chereez?

And then she came home from the store, collapsed on the couch and flipped the TV on again.  Because running the smallest of errands when you have TB?  Takes A LOT out of you.