Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Best Friday Ever

Yesterday morning, as I was sitting at work, a few thoughts occurred to me.

1)  It was Friday.
2)  It was payday.
3)  The only thing the day was missing was SSG sipping a lemon drop by 8 a.m.

I shared those three items of importance with my cube neighbors ... and then promptly Twittered the same sentence when they laughed because really?  SSG can only be so funny before 8 a.m.  She's got to take it where she can get it.

And that's when one of the guys I work with said "Haven't you heard?  We're having an 'off site' meeting this afternoon?"

SSG:  Why you gotta tease SSG like that?
CW#3:  I'm serious!
SSG:  No you're not.
CW#3:  I am!
SSG:  Uh uh.
CW#3:  Uh huh!
CW#3:  WAY!
SSG:  Ohmahgah!
CW#3:  I know!
CW#4:  For the love of GOD, would you two STOP?!  SSG, we ARE.

(SSG sat in stunned silence.  OFFSITE MEETING OVER HAPPY HOUR?!)

SSG:  Uh uh.
CW#4:  Someone PLEASE kill me.

But it turns out, WE DID!  And even though I got in at 7 and took a 20 minute lunch before leaving at 3 for a cocktail I ended up buying myself, I'll TAKE IT!  Because that thought of leaving early!  Lemon drop!  Was enough to get me through Friday and onto next week's 5 day countdown before I go on VACATION FOR A WEEK!

Okay, so TOTALLY just kidding.  NEXT Friday will be the best Friday ever ...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Forgive Me Father For I Have Spreed

It has been 24 hours since my last confession.


I looked at the list of ingredients and there doesn't APPEAR to be any crack listed.  Though I don't know, the only actual food item I could make out on the label was "egg."  But I'm pretty sure when egg is hyphenated with "albumen" that it's not anything like the eggs I had for breakfast.  And frankly, after further thought, I'd really rather not know what egg albumen is.  Let's move on, shall we?

The first three ingredients are dextrose, corn syrup and hydrogenated coconut oil.


I feel like Will Farrell in the movie Elf when he says the four food groups are candy, candy canes, sugar and syrup.

We've even developed an afternoon routine at work.  It usually starts out as an e-mail containing only the following sentence:  "We Spree?"  The guy at the convenience store recognizes us the second we walk in.

One of the guys holds his hand out the moment I come back to the office, yet another hears the telltale crackle of the bag opening and asks for a few.  I make my rounds passing out a couple here and there.  There is talk of someone going to Costco to get a box of them.  There is mention of an SSG Spree Subsidy.

Then again ... SSG is supporting the local economy, donating what and where she can and bringing a sense of joy each afternoon throughout our little cube farm ... perhaps dextrose, corn syrup and hydrogenated coconut oil are just the things we need during this stressful time!  Perhaps this is exactly what we can do to get this economy turned around and people spending again!  Believe!  Believe in the power of Sprees!

You are HEALED!

(SSG falls down into a diabetic ... or evangelical coma.  You be the judge.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ma Sexy

Well hello!

What do you guys think of my new digs?  Thank you SO much for your sweet comments and e-mails over the last couple of days!  It has been a quite the celebration!

When I was living in Seattle many years ago, I decided to cut my long brown hair into a bob just below my chin and went from my natural dark brown hair to blonde.  It was so much fun to see peoples faces as they registered that it was still me, just with a different look.  That's how I feel about my site.

Leelou did the design and was absolutely FABULOUS to work with.  I had been keeping my eye on their site for the last 3 or 4 months.  They weren't available for new projects at that time, so I decided to look around for someone who was.  But after searching and searching, I kept coming back to Leelou's designs knowing that when the time was right we'd rock this thing.  And didn't she SO ROCK THIS THING?!

I definitely had an idea of what I wanted SSG to look like and sent her some pictures and a list of what I wanted.  My e-mail had A LOT of adjectives that ended in "y" ... girly, patterny, travely, writey, lovey.  I was sure she'd read my e-mail and be all "this chick WRITES a blog?  GAH!  Those aren't even words."  Instead, she came back SO fired up!  We exchanged a million e-mails and she was always willing to tweak the smallest of things with just my lame explanations to go from.  This was EXACTLY what I had in my mind, but WAY MORE stylish and way more cute.  I'm thinking of asking if she can make ME over too.

The last little piece to get right was the font.  We tried a few different variations until I finally found the one we used.  It literally was called "Ma Sexy."  I was like "umhellyes!"  I may no longer be blonde, but I can tell you for sure that this brunette?  Is definitely having more fun. 

Go check Leelou out!  There is a link to her down on the left there.  Not all of the links are working yet, SSG still has some work to do this weekend with linking those cute buttons back to all of you sexy peeps!  But she just can't seem to tear herself away from the cuteness that is that VESPA.  I think that would be practical in Portland, no?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying


Co-Worker #1:  Hey, SSG!  I'm going to meet you guys in the yuppieteria.  Can you carry my lunch down for me?  
SSG:  Why aren't you carrying your own lunch?
CW #1:  I've got to run and drop this off at the mailbox first.
SSG:  Okay, as long as you stop and grab me some Sprees on your way back.
CW #1:  Deal.


SSG:  Hey, can you grab that bag for me right there?
Work BFF:  Yeah ... (halfway down the hall) Wait, why am I carrying this?
SSG:  My hands are full.
Work BFF:  ONE of your hands is full.
SSG:  But my soup is really hot!  I might have to switch hands midway and then what would I do?
Work BFF:  Dude.
SSG:  Dude!
Work BFF:  Whatever.


Co-Worker #1:  Hey guys.
SSG:  Hey, you got mah Sprees?
CW #1:  You got mah lunch?

(SSG takes CW#1's lunch from BFF and hands it to CW #1)

Work BFF:  Wait!  I carried YOUR lunch down here?  I never agreed to that.
Co-Worker #2:  (Looks at SSG, who pockets the Sprees, and jumps into her soup.)  Wait a second, what just happened?
Work BFF:  Did you give her something for bringing your lunch down here?
CW #1:  (Digging into his lunch.)  Yeah, I told her I'd buy her Sprees.
CW #2:  So she got Sprees AND didn't bring your lunch down?
CW #1:  It's here.  I don't care how it got here.
Work BFF:  Dude! 
SSG:  (With a mouthful of soup.) Tomorrow I'm going to be asking Congress for a multi billion dollar bailout. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Bloggyversary to SSG!

Peeps!  One year ago I started SSG.  

My good friend Frita, over at Myriad, was the one who told me I should start a blog.  So I did.  I  started about five different blogs.  I can't even remember all of their names.  A lot of them had to do with flip flops.  I'd tell no one, write a few posts and then let it lapse for weeks at a time until I'd eventually delete the blog altogether.  

SSG came about on a whim.  And it stuck.  It felt the most me ... the most, well SSG!  If I had to define myself it would absolutely be serendipitous ... sometimes.

Anyhoo ... one year ago today, this was my very first post.

I had no idea how to comment or how to add photos ... not that I even had a camera.  And when my first commenter, Ash from Ash Unabashed, showed up commenting on a post I wrote about a pizza place in Portland I just about peed in my pants.

And of course my sweet Predo jumped on the support train, the MOMENT I told him what I was doing.  (Smoochies to you, Sunshine!)

Confessions of a (Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl started to take off.  

When I broke up with Starbucks, Jack Bog, a local Portland blogger linked to me and sent hundreds of people my way.  For that day.  But it was an AWESOME DAY. 

I am constantly surprised that this winding little road I take each day puts me in touch with so many interesting people.  I adore hearing about your lives.  I also love that you give me a place in which to ponder the small details of my life that I might otherwise let slip by.

I have said it before and I'll say it again, I would not be the Serendipitous Girl without you all.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of this little SSG's heart.


(P.S. SSG is getting a makeover!  The fact that it's not done on my bloggyversary has everything to do with the lack of timing I gave my totally awesome web designer (more on that to come) and all of the little tweaks like 'Can you make that more scrolly?  Swirly?  Girly? What about more pink?  And more pattern?'  She has done an AMAZING job (and has not killed SSG yet) and I can't wait to show you the new design.  You may have noticed that the blogspot link has changed over to  It will reroute for a while.  If you link to me--THANK YOU!  I'll even have a little button soon!  Ohmahgah, I didn't even know there were buttons!  But it's SO CUTE I want to tattoo it on my forehead!) 

Monday, January 26, 2009


This weekend was my first weekend I didn't volunteer with Big Brothers & Big Sisters.  My year commitment was up and last week we said our goodbyes.  For our last outing little sis wanted to see a movie ... Marley & Me.  A book and movie SSG has avoided like cheap vodka because (spoiler alert) the DOG DIES.  And SSG can't handle DOGS dying.  (But she sucked it up in the name of volunteer work and cried into a handful of Starbucks napkins.)

SSG is also not taking classes this quarter.  

WHAT does an SSG do with all of this free time?!  

For now, she's been getting caught up with friends, doing small projects around the house and WRITING.  

Fisher has settled in to this new routine very well.

This is a chair next to my desk that she's claimed as her own.

Until the boss tells her otherwise.

Das okayz, I yike it daun herez 2.

U haz cookeez 4 meez?

Yes sweet girl, but only if you promise to live forever.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Chez SSG Hallway Makeover

Alternate Title:  The most boring post ever.

Hey ya'll!

Happy Sunday!  SSG woke up to SNOW ON THE GROUND this morning.  It's sunny now and I think it's all gone, but taking no chances ... this SSG is STAYING INDOORS today.

This is also one of her "no spending money" days.  So it helps to not lay her eyes on ANYTHING that does not currently reside in her house.

What better time for a makeover?

This is what I did a couple of weeks ago.  And remarkably they're still intact!  Predo even asked me last night when my thumbs got so green ... and I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere, but this is the most boring post ever, so I'll just leave that one alone.

On that note!  Here is my hallway before ... 

Actually, question for the interwebs ... what do you guys do with your shoes at the end of the day?  I used to just walk upstairs with them on before reading an article that said I was essentially tracking in enough arsenic to kill a large horse and I thought "hmm ... that can't be good."   So here are some of SSG's shoes ...

The super hot sexy ones with heels are uh ... still in the store.   Just kidding, they're in her closet.  Because they NEVER get worn.

Wee goez somewerz?

And this is her hallway after ...

Pictures were even hung!  And LIGHT BULBS replaced!  

Next project ... and the real reason SSG wrote this post ... is to remind her to paint those frames black and get some white mats (mattes?).  But that requires dollAHS which SSG was not going to spend today.  But mad props to her for still hanging the photos!

Future projects for this space--paint, paint and more paint, new handrail, new tile, carpet and light fixtures.  

That will happen sometime between now and ... um ... 2027.

What are YOU (only reader left awake) up to today?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Yuppieteria

Almost every day, my work posse and I head down to what I've deemed "The Yuppieteria."  It's like your elementary school cafeteria, only with ZERO french fries and a ton of guys in dress shirts.

A few months ago I noticed a guy looking at me.  He was cute, so I looked at him for a couple of seconds longer than just a quick eye gaze and then went back to talking to the boys.  A few minutes later, I glanced up and he was still looking at me.

"Do I have something on my face?"  I asked my work BFF.

I didn't.  

So I looked at the guy again.  

He was still looking.

SSG turned a million shades of red and didn't look at him again ... nor did she answer the guys question when they asked "what's wrong with you?  Are you sick or something?"

I never know what to do in that situation.  If we were in a bar, I'd smile or make my way past him like I was headed to the bathroom to give him a chance to say something.  But we were at WORK.  I was with a group of guys that make fun of everything I do or say.  NO WAY was I going to start flirting with a guy in front of them.  Especially without a couple of lemon drops first.

So I now see this guy at least a few times a week.  But I'm always surrounded by my work dudes.  Starey Guy is always with a group of guys HE works with and yet, we still manage to catch each others glance for a bit longer than necessary.

Last week after it happened again, I was kind of quiet as we meandered back upstairs.  Because:

1)  This could all VERY MUCH be in SSG's imagination. 
2)  The poor guy is probably wondering "why the F is that chick staring at me all the time?" 
3)  He could be a serial killer (SSG has been watching CSI again).   

I was back at my desk thinking about a potential strategy to meet this guy when an e-mail popped up on my screen.

It was from a friend of mine who I used to work with and who also still happens to have a crush on the quandary known as Quiet Guy.  The e-mail said:

"Hey!  Let's get together for lunch next week.  And keeping this on the down low, is Quiet Guy there today?  I e-mailed him, but haven't heard back."

All it needed was a request for SSG to take Quiet Guy a note that said "Do you like ____?  Check Yes or No."

Wait.  A. Minute.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CRUSH GAMES are still fair play in adulthood?!?!

Next week SSG is SO sending her work BFF over to Starey Guy with a note that says:

"Do you like SSG?  Check Yes or No."  

Only the note would also have the following caveat:  

"Or you can check this other box way down here that says 'Who is SSG?'  And if that box is checked?  Forget this little meeting ever happened."

(Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun Times.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is for the Homies

Mom x 2 sent a little homework assignment SSG's way this week.  Go into your 4th folder, find the 4th photo and post it.

Easy enough ... or WOULD BE if SSG HAD folders.  She has thousands of photos just sitting in her I Photo thingy on her Mac.  SSG is not technologically savvy AT ALL ... and where she might be slightly more organized in her personal life (not really) any type of computer organization just kind of eludes her.  SSG thinks of herself as a "creative" type and doesn't bother with this thing known as "order."

(Never you mind the fact that she's a numbers cruncher by day.)

This photo was taken last summer, 6 months after I got my digital camera and 2 days after I finally took it out of the box.  It was the 4th photo in my I Photo thingy. 

This is Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland.  Last spring I broke up with Starbucks and started walking over here every day.  

But then it got cold and I didn't want to go outside.  

So I took Starbucks back.  

But I MISS you Stumptown.  I'm totally going to break up with Starbucks again soon.  It's a relationship of convenience.  Starbucks knows I really love you. 

Why you gotta be like that baby?

And then Big Hair Envy had to call us out on what's in our freezer.  So um ... here she is!  

The single girl's freezer:
  • Bottle of vodka.
  • Mysterious leftovers.
  • Bag of ice from her last party that she always frantically calls someone to pick up when they're on their way over because it's the ONE THING she ALWAYS forgets at the store.
  • Coffee 
  • Chilled pilsner glasses to go with the locally brewed beers in the refrigerator 
  • And Tillamook's peanut butter and chocolate ice cream--heaven for the bargain price of $4.99 (also known sometimes as: dinner)

C!  Wee haz noe cookeez!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do These Shoes Make My Butt Look Big?

Guys of the world?

SSG feels your pain.

Today her work BFF casually asked her:  "Do you like these shoes?"

SSG looked down ... and so did NOT like the shoes.

SSG:  Mmm hmm!  Yes!
BFF:  No you don't.


So SSG did what any self respecting guy would do in her situation.  She pretended she didn't hear the question.

SSG:  Uh, I'm sorry.  What?
BFF:  Wha ...
SSG: Wow, that girl over there looks just like Tom Brady's girlfriend.  What's her name again?
BFF:  Giselle?  Where?!
SSG:  Oh she just walked into Starbucks, you should go get your refill.  I'll see you upstairs. (SSG sprints to the elevator.  And then turns around to see work BFF right behind her.)
BFF:  Seriously, do you like them?
SSG:  (Starts sweating.)  Do YOU like them?
BFF:  I don't know, I thought I did but then looking at these pants, I don't know.
SSG:  (SSG frantically hits their floor button over and over again.)
BFF:  So dude?
SSG:  (SSG nods her head.)  Dude.
SSG:  Since when do you care what I think?
BFF:  So does that mean you DON'T like them?
SSG:  I didn't say that.  Why did you buy them if YOU didn't like them?
BFF:  I know what I think, tell me what YOU think.
SSG:  Well if YOU already know what YOU think, why are you even asking me?
BFF:  I'm going to kill you.
SSG:  Please do, then I can't answer.  I ... I ... I MEAN violence NEVER solves anything!
BFF:  HA!  I knew you didn't like them.  
SSG:  I'm ... uh ... well ... I'm not sure I'd wear them with those pants (SSG thinks to herself 'or any pants.')
BFF:  What's wrong with these pants.
SSG:  (Wondering when she walked into a mine field.)
BFF:  Don't answer that.  I just don't like how my shoes are black, my socks are a different shade of black and my pants are gray.
SSG:  (Bites her bottom lip and says quietly) I thought guys socks were supposed to match their pants?
BFF:  No they're supposed to match your shoes.
SSG:  I think that's for women.
BFF:  (Earth crumbling.)
SSG:  You know, SSG knows NOTHING about fashion.  We have two gay guys in the office.  Let's ask them.
BFF:  Okay, it's TOTALLY obvious.  The only appropriate color of socks is white.  Regardless of shoe color.
SSG:  Or shoe style.  White socks and sandals?  HOT. 
BFF:  I'm never asking for your opinion on anything ever again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cuz the Water in the Hood is Always Hard

SSG is heading out on a little vacay in a few weeks.  And even though she's staying with her sister, got a good deal on a plane ticket and will be required to wear only t-shirts, track pants and flip flops while she chases her niece and nephew around, she STILL feels guilty about spending money that's not tied to absolute necessities.

(What's so funny?  Grey Goose Lemon Drops ARE SO necessities.)

So!  SSG decided to follow Suz Orman's advice and become fiscally responsible by not eating out for a month and taking one day off a week from spending any money at all.

But instead of a month, it will be like 3 weeks.  And instead of not eating out, it will be more like not eating LUNCH out ... and instead of saving for retirement or toward 8 months of expenses in a high interest bearing savings account, the money will be used to sustain SSG and her sister's age old pact ...

SSG does NOT have to change any diapers as long as she buys her sister Starbucks each day.

Since SSG's gay boyfriend, Predo, was out of town last weekend and the Bobs weren't coming into town until Sunday, she decided Saturday would be the day she didn't spend any money.  And instead of lounging around on the couch all day watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother, she decided she'd clean ... and only spend HALF the day watching the comic genius that is Neil Patrick Harris.

Cleaning was the perfect idea because SSG has had this little problem with her shower head recently.  Instead of delivering a steady stream of water throughout its hundreds of little holes, SSG's shower has chosen to deliver water through only 5 holes.  One of which shoots SSG in the eye every morning, two others aim for the ceiling, another manages to cover her entire bathroom floor in water leaving only one anaemic stream to rinse out shampoo from SSG's hair.  Which now takes approximately 2 1/2 hours (ya'll have SEEN her yearbook photo).  SSG can now be the first girl to, legitimately, use the excuse that she can't go out because she has to stay in and wash her hair.

But when SSG went and opened her cupboard last Saturday morning, she realized she didn't have ANY cleaning supplies.  After a few minutes of wrestling with whether or not she should run to Target for cleaning supplies because cleaning supplies are a NECESSITY.  As is a new CD.  Oh yeah and that cute shirt!  And ohmahgah VALENTINE'S DAY stuff!  She decided that she should try and use ANYTHING that was already in her house.  Because Target for SSG is kind of like crack.  One step in that place and gone are her next three paychecks.  And before you know it she's turning tricks to fund her magazine, pajama and matching shower curtain/bathroom accessories habit.


Where was I again?


So THAT is when SSG learned about the genius called VINEGAR.  

After doing some online research about homemade cleaning products and finding out that they all involve either vinegar or baking soda, SSG ran downstairs to her kitchen cupboards.  And after sifting through the twelve bottles of flavored vinegars most likely recommended at some point by the Food Network, she found a lowly little bottle of plain old vinegar WAY toward the back.  Right next to a box of baking soda that still had packing tape on it.  Packing tape from when she moved from San Diego to Portland.  Five years ago.

SSG got down to business and whipped up a few recipes from

And that's how she ended up with what looks like a condom on her shower head.

But peeps!  It worked!  A little bit of straight up vinegar on that bad boy for a few hours and SSG's shower is now fully functioning.  

And her bathroom only smelled like a salad for like, two days.  

Inauguration Day

SSG is SO annoyed with herself that she didn't take today off.  When she tells her grandkids ... or maybe her sister's grandkids ... what she was doing on this day in history, it will probably sound like any other day.

Coffee, coffee, NPR, train, work, coffee, blog reading, lunch with the boys, work, Spree run, more blog reading, shuffle papers around on her desk to make it look like she's working, train, walk the dog, wrangle together some dinner that doesn't only involve a piece of celery and some ice cream, talk to her neighbors, talk on the phone, answer e-mails, long bath, glass of wine, little TV watching, little book reading, drift off to sleep.  Wake up.  And repeat.

Today, the first African American President will take office.  And while there has been some discussion about his race, most of the discussion has been about his qualifications for the job and if he is a strong enough leader to see us through this time.  Tomorrow will be business as usual for President Obama ... though I'm sure his schedule looks a teensy bit different than SSG's ... and that it will be anything but "usual."  Not only the country, but most of the world, will be looking at him, and us, for our next move.  

Tonight, when SSG gets home and flips on the TV to watch the inauguration festivities, she will look up for a moment and say thank you.  Thank you for the opportunity to be alive at this time.  Thank you for the opportunity to cast my vote.  Thank you for continuing to show me how I can help be part of the solution.   But most of all, thank you for the ability to go about my daily business with that extra little spring in my step that can only be brought about by hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Last week Obama had dinner with some conservative reporters.  And people just about lost their shit.

I was hoping George Stefanapoidfh;alf!js on This Week would get some insight into the most COVETED dinner party invite EVER (SSG is sure her missing invitation was just an oversight and had nothing to do with the fact that she's not a conservative ... or in the media.  Bygones.) But alas, George Will doesn't kiss and tell.

Damn it.

I wonder which bow tie Mr. Will chose to wear to the event ... no doubt it was vintage.

I like the whole idea ... having dinner with a group of intelligent, rationale writers who believe in a different platform than you do.  SSG knows that we absolutely NEED a conservative party.  Eradicating the Republican party isn't the answer anymore so than getting rid of the Democratic party.  The two need each other for balance ... kind of like Donny & Marie Osmond.  One's a little bit country the other's a little bit rock and roll.  

I actually look forward to watching a more modern conservative party take shape.  Perhaps one with 100% less involvement of the church in state affairs and 100% more pragmatism.  (In fact, if it will get her a dinner invite next time, SSG has a feeling that if the party banded together fiscal conservatism with social responsibility they might just have a go at it.  You are welcome Republicans.)  

The thing that concerns SSG most about this dinner is that she didn't hear any women's names mentioned in the list of attendees.  And that's when she remembered the two loudest conservative women's voices in the media right now:

SSG prays, for all of the love that is holy, that Peggy Noonan was at that dinner.  

Read more here

(SSG is all for freedom of speech and varying opinions ... but she has to remind herself of that every 0.2 seconds when she hears those two up there open their mouths.) 

P.S.  Some changes will be happening around SSG over the next couple of weeks!  Confessions of a (Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl will be getting a makeover.  You'll hear more about that soon, but you might notice some hiccups along the way with mah site.  Like losing all my links to you folks.  THAT is fun.  Stay tuned! 

P.P.S.  Your supportive, candid comments and e-mails yesterday blew my mind.  Sometimes after holding something in and being careful for so long, you've just got to lay it all out there and say "this is me" and let the chips fall where they may.  Luckily I can do that here and say ... not on a nationwide conference call at my office or to the person sitting next to me on the Max train on a random Tuesday.  My coworkers around the country, the random person on the Max and I THANK YOU.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


(A Note from SSG:  This post is not for the faint of heart.  If you've come looking for the light and occasionally witty banter that is normally found here, it will be back tomorrow.)

I got asked about my high school experience recently.  What I was like--if I was good or kind of bad.  I had a few different options.  I could ignore the question, I could highlight the good parts or I could tell you the truth.  Oddly enough, those were the exact three scenarios I found myself in on a daily basis during those years.  Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, back then I ignored the truth.  

Today I choose to tell it. 

It is impossible to talk about high school without talking about my parents.   When I started 9th grade, they had been divorced for about a year.  My mom decided she no longer wanted to be a wife or a mother.  Our relationship prior to that was never easy.  She was abusive--verbally and physically--and you were never sure what would set it off. 

My father is a "nice" guy.  Moral, ethical, kind.  Everybody loves him because of how "nice" he is.  He never hit me and rarely raised his voice.  But he also never stopped her from doing it.  When I would ask him about it, he'd say "your mom is just jealous of you."  

Can we say MAD parenting skillz?

I started to live smaller.  I never wanted to do anything that would garner attention from anyone for fear she would feel threatened.  When I'd bring friends home she'd sigh: "You have such nice friends.  I was always alone growing up."  When I would get praise from my horseback riding instructors at shows or clinics, she would just smile and then tell them, yes she knew.  Later that day or the next, she would turn their praise against me, tell me how wrong they were, follow it up with a slap and then tell me how selfish I was.  When a boyfriend brought me flowers when I was living with her during a summer in college, she said "I'll take them for you and put them in a vase."  She shredded them. 

She unfortunately, is still the same.  When I bought my house in Portland, she bought one right down the street, though she lives in San Diego and had no plans on moving.  She simply let it sit empty for three years and then decided to sell it.  Just because she could.  

When my freshman year of high school started, I was living with my mom.   

I had also been the victim of rape earlier that year.  I knew him.  I trusted him.  It was horrific and awful.  He called me the next day, sobbing.  Apologizing profusely.  It was confusing and scary and I had no idea how to handle it.  I hung up on him and told no one.

I went into my freshman year of high school wanting only to be invisible.  But I had signed up the year before to be on the student council which was HEAVY into events.  So I avoided school at all costs.  So much so that as a gag gift later that year the ASB gave me a package of those stickers you get at conventions that say "My Name Is ..."   

My first two years of high school I was so beaten down--between my life at home and what had happened--that I became a victim there too.  I got in a fight because a girl liked a guy that liked me.  My "friends" were horrific--aiming for social status and trying to figure out who they were themselves at that age.  Incredibly nasty, mean spirited and just ... bitches.  Though who knows what was going on with them at home, they had no idea what was happening at mine.

Eventually, I could no longer take it.  I asked my mom if we could go to a counselor to try and get our family back on track.  She spat "I'm not the one with the problem.  You guys are the ones with the problem."  I started to get angry.  I called her out when she brought home guy after guy.  I started telling my dad when we didn't have food in the house.  

Eventually my mom kicked me out.  

And it was the best thing that could have happened.

I moved in with my dad, stopped talking to my friends and started rebuilding from the ground up.   My dad traveled a lot for work and I was at home alone for weeks at a time.  I had to learn how to cook for myself, how to grocery shop, how to do laundry and how far the car could go with the gas light on.

I came home every day and relished not being yelled at.  But I was, most of the time, alone.  When my dad was in town he'd leave for work at 5 a.m. and get home at 5:30 p.m.  We'd eat dinner together but then he'd go and work in his office.  I had a lot of free time on my hands.  Looking back, it was probably the best thing for me.  I don't know that I could have survived any more pressure.

I hooked back up with an old group of friends, a few of which I had known since elementary school.  They were the same sweet girls that I grew up with and it was like coming home.   It wasn't always easy though.   There was a group of 10 of us that hung out.  9 of which had boyfriends.  Guess who didn't?  They couldn't figure out why I didn't want to date Shane or Jeff or Brian or whoever.  Because it would be, like, SO FUN ohmahgah!  There was NO WAY I was going to tell them.  On the weekends I went out to parties while they went on dates to the movies.

My senior year I was (almost!) done with parties.  I randomly ... nay, serendipitously ... found friends in three people on the speech and debate team.  Teresa and I had been in student government together my freshman year.  I think she was surprised I knew how to talk and show up to class everyday.  The four of us became fast friends and they convinced me to join the debate team.  

To this day, Ryan, Teresa and John have no idea that they helped me find my voice or the powerful effect that had on my life.  

I had been silenced up until that point.  Never able to speak what was on my mind.  Never able to question.  Never able to argue.   I banned both of my parents from coming to see me speak at events.  I brought home trophy after trophy.  And I didn't look back.  I thought I could run away from all of this forever.

It was a good run.

It allowed me to get some distance.  

Going back through this time period over the last couple of years with a therapist (because let's face it, SSG NEEDED one ... someday she'll tell you what led her there.  THAT'S a fun story too.) was, in a way, more difficult than the two years I mention above.  At that time, I blamed myself.  I honestly felt everything that happened to me was my fault.  So it was simple.  I worked on becoming the best person I could be.  I tried to be the perfect daughter, friend, girlfriend, student and employee.

As an adult, it took a long time for me to even admit that my parents did anything wrong.  It took me even longer to believe that I didn't play a part in it.  Same with the sexual assault.  Where that might seem easy ... to place responsibility where it belongs ... it SHATTERED me.  If I didn't deserve those things, and they still happened, what was lurking out there waiting to get me again?  My entire belief system had to be looked at, evaluated and redefined. 

I am almost at the end of that very long road.  And have found it an awful lot like breaking my elbow.  Which I managed to do a few years ago.  (So NOT serendipitous.)  My elbow was shattered.  It required surgery and tons of physical therapy.  But I made it back to 100% range of motion despite my doctors saying I couldn't.  "You'll still have that scar though,"  they said apologetically.

"I'm fine," I smiled at them.

I already knew that even the deepest of wounds can heal ... and the scars they leave behind?  They eventually fade too.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SSG's Dealer

SSG has a drug dealer.  

Luckily he's not located too far away from her office.  So every day, in the late afternoon, SSG tip toes out of her cube.  After a quick swing by work BFF's desk, the two take off to get their respective drugs of choice.

It's all taken care of in a matter of seconds.  SSG's dealer gets her change ready the second she walks up to him.  They only deal in cash and she doesn't even know his name.

SSG and her work BFF crack up as they walk back to the office slowly, already high.  And as she sits back down at her desk, all is quiet and right with the world.

Until her coworkers hear the telltale sound that can only mean one thing ...

Co Workers:  DID YOU GET SPREES AGAIN?!  What's WITH you and those things?
SSG:  (Mouthful of Sprees)  They're soooooo gooooood maaaan.  You know you want to try one.

So tell SSG, what are you secretly (or not so secretly!) addicted to?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Going Back to Cali. Cali. Cali.

SSG bought a plane ticket today.  In a few weeks, she'll be heading down to Southern California.  And aside from the fact that she just remembered she left her flip flops in France (which is the equivalent of leaving her HEART in France) and that she'll probably have a tough time finding a pair of Reefs in Portland in January, she CAN'T WAIT to get down to this ...

And this ...

And ... please excuse SSG while she goes and gets a tissue ...

THIS ...

But most of all she can't wait to see THESE TWO!

She can't wait to snuggle her little princess niece and Charger nephew, run around the playground, have dance parties and read books before bedtime.  

February can't come soon enough ...

And OH YEAH!  She can't wait to see her sister and brother in law too!  

(Side note to Winner:  Do you have some flops I can borrow?)

Edited to Add:  Totally awesome photos by SSG's brother-in-law!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Not ALWAYS About SSG

SSG has been ALL OVER THE PLACE lately, what with her interviews over here and over here and soon to be over here, here and here.  (Lys your questions are coming!)

I'M starting to get sick of myself, I can only imagine how you guys must feel.

So!  In the spirit of being all undercover secret agent like--is there something you want to know about any of the people that I've written about here?  This could be friends, family, co-workers or even other commenters?  I promise to get the scoop.  (Predo won't let me interview him thinking I already know too much and will get him in trouble.  But TRUST ME when I say next time I see him I'll distract him with a few gin and tonics and a low cut shirt with LOTS of cleavage ... that Jimmy will be wearing.) 

And then some other bits and pieces on people you haven't heard about for, like, a week.

Work BFF
 (On Tuesday--SSG took Friday &Monday Off)

SSG:  Dude!  Did you miss me?
BFF:  Not at all.  GUESS WHAT?!
SSG:  I'm not listening.
SSG:  Awesome!  Wait, what does that mean?  Do we get free coffee?
BFF:  No, but I do!  Or did ... yesterday.
SSG:  Not the whole week?
BFF:  No, but my name stays on the chalkboard all week showing what my drink is.
SSG:  Nice!  What's "your drink?"
BFF:  Grande coffee of the day.
SSG:  So it's only when I have to buy you coffee that you pick the one that takes 10 minutes to order and costs $20?
BFF:  Yep.
SSG:  So why did they give you this fabulous honor?
BFF:  Because ME + ZERO = AWESOME!

So Me + Zero = AWESOME goes to Starbucks and gets recognition.  SSG goes to Starbucks and gets the "Deluxe Fruit Blend" for $3.45, opens it up at her desk to find a few slices apple, some grapes a half a kiwi and a chunk of pineapple.

So NOT deluxe, Starbucks.   

Quiet Guy

I think Quiet Guy might be reading my blog. 

Yesterday he came up to me.  On his own accord.  In the LOBBY of our building (AWAY from the confines of our cube farm) while I was waiting for some friends to go to lunch.  And MADE A JOKE.  

And then today, he forwarded me an e-mail he thought I would think was funny.  Which I DID.  And then laughed at something I said when I wasn't talking to him but that was HILARIOUS (if SSG does say so herself.)

Are you there QG?  I have this paranoia that you're reading and secretly laughing at me by doing crazy things and then making me write about them.

SSG's Nemesis Known as THE WEATHER

Um, do you see that below readers?  THAT is a patch of blue sky.  In Portland.  In JANUARY.  I wasn't the only one out there taking a picture.

Miss Fisher

Noe pitchurz pleez.  I s tyred.  Unles maybeez u haz cookeez 4 meez?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Special Agent SSG

So SSG kind of has a thing for the Secret Service ... and the CIA ... and the FBI.   

It all started when I was a wee little girl and my uncle was dating a woman whose brother was a Secret Service Agent for Reagan.  I know this because while we were all on vacation together in Yosemite (my uncle and his girlfriend, not President Reagan and the Secret Service), the aforementioned girlfriend, after telling us the story, pointed to the front page of the Fresno Bee and said "See!  There he is!"  And sure enough, kind of blurry and off to Reagan's left shoulder you could see a white, brown haired guy in a suit standing guard.

"WOW!" SSG's little brain thought.  "The President is SO special, he has a SERVICE to write down his SECRETS."  

SSG thought of her diary at home, with its small gold lock and heart shaped key, and wondered if her uncle's girlfriend's brother (got that?) had something similar.  But his probably had the Super Friends on it.  Because he was A BOY.  DUH!

SSG had NO IDEA what the Secret Service ACTUALLY did (aside from being the scribe to the President's diary).  Nor did she know that her uncle's girlfriend was kind of ... oh I don't know ... CRAZY AS SHIT.

The stalker kind of crazy.  Which we didn't find out until a few weeks later when she called my mom asking where my uncle was.  My uncle, who had gone to backpack through Europe, was somewhere in the English countryside and my mom assumed his girlfriend (wrong assumption #1) meant she needed his address to send him some stuff.  And not that she actually didn't KNOW WHERE HE WAS (and wrong assumption #2).  So my mom gave her his address. But um.  There was a REASON the girlfriend didn't know where my uncle was ... he had broken up with her before his trip. 

You can imagine HIS surprise when Crazy flew across the country AND the ATLANTIC OCEAN only to show up on the doorstep of his B&B in England.  


So anyhoo, Crazy's Secret Service brother MIGHT have been a figment of her imagination ... just like her relationship with my uncle.

But SSG was HOOKED.  And it escalated when Dan Quayle came to speak at SSG's high school.  On the Good to Bad Vice Presidential scale?  I'm going to say the Vice President, visiting a high school in San Diego, while still in office?  Is probably WELL below the Mendoza Line.  

Secret Service covered our campus for a few days prior to Vice President Quayle's arrival.  And we all thought it would be, like, TOTALLY AWESOME if we sung "Secret Agent Man" when they came into the classrooms.

Um, Secret Service, like, totally did NOT find it AWESOME when they walked into the classroom and heard my classmates (SSG was INNOCENT!) singing "Secret Agent Man."  They. Didn't. Crack. A. Smile.  And I'm pretty sure if any bullets started flying around a couple of days later, that moment in the classroom would have been the deciding factor on whether or not they should just go ahead and just let Quayle take his.

Last night, after 24 (Ohmahgah!!!  SOOO good.), the local news came on.  I'm guessing you can imagine how SSG's ears perked up at the notice that the FBI was HIRING.  Like MAJOR hiring.  Broadcasting it on the news seems a little ODD to SSG.  Don't they have think tanks where they monitor your test scores and give you experiments as a child and if you can solve them then your some kind of GENIUS that can automatically speak 27 languages and you get tapped as you're walking across your college campus on the way to Religious Studies?  

Okay wait, that might have been an episode of Alias, 

But STILL.  Broadcasting it on the NEWS?  Can you imagine the crazies they're going to get applying?


You can apply!  Online!  To be a Special Agent in the FBI!!

In a word?  AWESOME!

This is all that's required:
  • Be a U.S. Citizen (Check.)
  • Be at least 23 but younger than 37 (Check. Check.)
  • Possess a 4 year college degree (Check.  Then DOUBLE check that they don't rule out English Majors.  We have MAD ANALYTICAL SKILLZ peeps.  And we can spell good. 4 realz.)
  • Three years professional work experience (Cheeeeeeeeck times, like, infinity.)
  • Valid drivers license (Ohmahgah.  Check!  I'm so ROCKING this interview!  Wait, do you have to know how to drive in the snow?)
  • Available for assignment anywhere in the FBI's jurisdiction?  (Um, check ... ish.  Can I have a sunny climate please?  With no humidity?  And on the coast?  In the U.S?  That's your jurisdiction, right?  But maybe on just like the west coast?  So I can still see my friends and family?  Okay, then CHECK.)
SSG was PRETTY SURE she had this one locked DOWN.  And just when she thought it couldn't get any better?

She scrolled down and saw that there was a physical required.  And then her eyes bugged out when she found out that physicals are given at the local FBI offices.  Which to SSG means only one thing:  Clean. Cut. Guys. In. Suits. Carrying. Guns.


SSG was SO IN on this secret agent stuff!  Going to her local FBI office for a physical?!  Hell YES.  So she clicked on the link and wondered what she should wear.  Special Agent suit?  Or go all Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs and wear athletic pants with a gray sweatshirt? 

But that's when she saw it.

You don't go to your local FBI office for a PHYSICAL.  You go for a Physical TEST.  And have Clean. Cut. Guys. In. Suits. Carrying. Guns. watch as you do the following:
  • As many sit ups as you can in a minute.
  • Timed 300 meter sprint.
  • Push ups (unlimited time).
  • Timed 1.5 mile run.  
Well, SSG wasn't expecting THAT.  But whatevs ... 
  • Sit Ups in a minute?  Probably like, 4 ... ish.  Okay, maybe 3.  You're right, more like 2.  Okay, okay, okay FOR SURE 1.  Let's say a half of a sit up and then maybe I'll surprise you.
  • 300 Meter Sprint? Is 10 minutes enough to cover 300 meters?  SSG's not very good at the metric system.
  • Unlimited time for push ups?  PLEASE.  SSG just needs like 20 SECONDS to get through one.  That's right FBI.  She is THAT quick.
  • Timed 1.5 mile run? Dude, EASY.  SSG has NO problem timing Clean. Cut. Guys. In. Suits. Carrying. Guns. while they run 1.5 miles.  In fact?  She could do that ALL DAY.  SSG is the consummate team player.
So SSG really just has one question for you guys ...

Do you provide the sunglasses?

(On a scale of 1 - 10, how much trouble do you think SSG can get in for this post?  The FBI has WAY better things to do than read blogs, right?  Secret Service and CIA too, right?  Right?  Guys?  Where did everybody go?)

Monday, January 12, 2009


April over at April Showers recently wrote a post about us ladies and our BRAS.  I'll apologize to the guys who read SSG ... in fact go ahead and picture us in the Victoria's Secret matching bra and panty sets that you normally do ... which is TOTALLY what we all wear ALL. THE. TIME.  And scoot on off and watch Sports Center.  Go ahead, this post isn't for you.  

There's nothing to see here, SSG promises.

Bye bye!

Riveting sports analysis calling!

Bad sports puns on the TV right now!

Go on!

Get out of here!

Okay ladies ...

You know the bras I'm REALLY talking about.  Like when you hear the experts on Oprah say bras should only last 6 months if you wear them every OTHER day (?!).  And immediately you think of the bra you currently have on.  The one you wear EVERY day.  The one that you've had for, ahem, a WEE bit longer than 6 months.  The one that's held up by sheer force of will, a couple of safety pins and permanent indentation marks on your shoulders which act like tracks.

We all have them.  And reading about April's bra self destructing off her body and wearing one that squeaks made me CRACK up and remember that I haven't told you about the time I got felt up.  Because of my funktified bra.  By a TSA security agent at the airport.

So there I was ... 

Maid of honor in my sisters wedding.  An up-do bobby pinned and hair sprayed to within an inch of its life.  Professional make up.  Maid of honor dress that did NOT stretch and shoes that felt fine!  For about 30 seconds after I put them on.   

The wedding was beautiful--it was held in an old spanish chapel that was recreated in a museum in Balboa Park, San Diego--or at least I THINK it was beautiful.  I had tears in my eyes the entire ceremony and couldn't wipe them away because I was double fisting bridal bouquets that weighted at LEAST 100 pounds each, all the while pulling a flamingo trying to give each foot a rest for a few seconds at a time.  

The reception was AWESOME.  Especially since I ate three bites of food and drank about 20 lemon drops.  It was an open bar!  I got through my speech!  My sister got married!  Let's party!  Woo hoo!  

My friends who were at the wedding decided it was time to FULLY take advantage of me in my drunken state and drove me to a bar ... AFTER the reception and the 20(ish) lemon drops.  The bar was in Ocean Beach, the flip flop mecca of San Diego.  Jeans, flops and t-shirts are evening attire.  Which is AWESOME.  Except when you're wearing a brides maid dress.  And have an up-do that could rival Audrey Hepburn's in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I sprinted through the bar, saying to everyone who looked me up and down "I was in a wedding!  Wedding!  Don't normally dress in a shiny, brownish, purplish, polyester blend!  My flip flops and jeans are in my suitcase!  I'm a San Diego native for GAWD sakes, I'm just pale because I live in the Northwest now!  STOP LOOKING AT ME!"  I sat in a corner outside and chain smoked (WHAT?!  It was an EMERGENCY!) with a couple of guys who found me HILARIOUS (which, let's face it SSG thinks she's WAY funny when she drinks).  Though I think the guys secretly liked being around all the ladies that came up to compliment me on my dress, accessories and share their own bridal party horror stories.  And then I drank more lemon drops.  Because ... well, um, yeah.

So the next morning you can probably imagine how great I was feeling.  AND how late I was to catch my flight back to Portland.  I threw on some clothes, smoothed out my hair and took off running to the airport.

Everything was fine.  Until I went through security.  And set the alarms off.

It took me a while to figure out what was wrong since SSG has her airport routine DOWN.  And always wants to punch those people who walk through the metal detector and are like "Oh yeah! $10 of change in my pocket, would you look at THAT!"  And then again "Oh darn it!  Cell phone!"  And then again "Oopsie, my watch!  Wait, what do you mean you can't carry on liquids.  You're not going to throw that away, are you?"  (SSG's head EXPLODES.)  

Wait ... where was I again?


So this time I was the douche setting the metal detector off, wondering WTF?  And that was when I remembered my hair.  And the 1,000 bobby pins that were still in it.  


I looked at the TSA guy, smiled and pointed to my hair.  "Um, wedding? 1,000 bobby pins?  NO WAY I can get them all out before my flight leaves?"

He laughed and motioned for a female security lady to come over.  Crisis averted, I sighed as she waved her beepy wand (is TOO what they call it) over me.  Sure enough it went crazy as she waved it over my hair.  I giggled.  She didn't. 

Ms. No Nonsense continued to run the wand down the right side of my body.  It beeped again.  I paused for a second wondering if a bobby pin had fallen down my shirt and then realized it was the under wire in mah braw.  No Nonsense didn't seem to think it was anything to worry about and so I waited as she ran it up the left side of my body.

When she got to my left boob, NO BEEP.  She looked puzzled and ran it over my left boob again.  And it still didn't beep.  She ran it over my right boob which DID beep.  WTF?  I started to sweat a little when I realized what was wrong.

"Um, the under wire came out of one side."  I bit my lip, trying not to laugh and wondering HOW ON EARTH they would handle this.  Was I going to show up on the cover of San Diego Union "Possible Terrorist Gets Arrested at Airport for Improper Bra Usage!"

TSA lady looked me in the face and said simply: "Oh honey, I have a DRAWER full of those at home.  Go on and get to your gate now."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

SSG is on The View!

Just kidding!  But she IS being interVIEWed.

(Little known SSG fact:  She'd LIKE to be on The View, but as a host ... or a guest on Good Morning America.  SSG LOVES Diane Sawyer.) 

So I volunteered for an interview with Ms. Molly over at Molly Blogs.  One, because I love her and want to move into her neighborhood (it's so southern and colonial and charming ... and I imagine there are a lot of weeping willows and men in linen suits--please don't tell me any different) and two, because I never think it's too early to practice these things! SSG has a HARD time opening up and talking about herself.

What's so funny?

So thanks Molly!  Anyone who wants to help me hone my "View" interviewing skillz, there are some directions at the bottom of the post.  

(Edited to add:  You might want to get yourself a canteen of water.  This baby is LONG.  Or you can scroll to the end because the link alone is WORTH IT.)

Question #1
It's clear from your blog that you are a wonderful communicator and probably a perfect dinner guest.  So if you could invite 3 people from any time in history to a dinner at Chez SSG who would they be and why?

(SSG blushes.)  Why THANK YOU!  I do love a good dinner party and exercise my 'perfect dinner guest' muscles regularly.  I'm not a very good direction follower though, so I'm going to pick 6.  I started crying any time I had to hack one of these guys from my list of invites.

1)  My Gam - First and foremost, if I'm cooking for the next five people, I'm going to need someone to calm my ass down.  She was also great fun and gave the following toast at Every. Single. Family. Dinner.  Even when she was 96 and didn't have her short term memory, she managed to remember this beauty:  "Here's to Eve, the mother of our race.  Who always wore a fig leaf in the proper place.  And here's to Adam, the father of us all.  Who was johnny on the spot when the leaves began to fall."  (Now you see where SSG gets it.)  So our dinner party will FOR SURE start out with that GEM.

2)  Frances Mayes - Frances Mayes wrote Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany among others.  I have never had envy get in the way of my reading before, but many times I wanted to throw her books across the room I was so jealous of her life.  I read Under the Tuscan Sun six or seven times and could never bring myself to read the last chapter.  It felt too final.  I finally let myself read the last chapter only after I had purchased Bella Tuscany.  That way I could go immediately into her voice again.  She is, everything I want a writer to be.  Funny, poetic, complex and likes food and cooking as much as I do.  I still get chills whenever I crack open her books, though most I can recite from memory.

3)  Leonardo Da Vinci - I think this man had more talent than any other person in history.  I have seen his artwork and his sketches/journal thingy (known in some circles as the "Codex Licester") in person and I am pissed he lived so long ago.   His creativity, intelligence and sheer genius blows my mind.  He is more godlike to me than whoever the person was that invented coffee.  No doubt, it was probably him too.

4)  Alice Walker - I saw the movie The Color Purple when I was 12.  I have never been so riveted to a film.  It WRECKED me and still to this day I can cry if I think about certain scenes for longer than 3 seconds.  I immediately read the book and it remains in my top 5 books of all time.  I have been lucky enough to see Ms. Walker speak on a couple of different occasions.  I managed to hold it together long enough to introduce myself and have her sign my copy of The Color Purple.  She is an incredible person ... and she likes Netflix and staying in bed as much as possible.  A girl after SSG's very own heart.

5)  Jackie Robinson - In a word ... I admire his STRENGTH.  I get chills every time I see old footage of him on a baseball field.   He is a constant inspiration to me that following your talent levels any playing field, no matter how strong the opposition.  (Interesting side note:  Dig's dad has a baseball signed by all of the Brooklyn Dodgers the year they won the World Series.  It has one EXTRA signature though.  One so special, no one else's ball has it.  Digs dad signed that ball when he was 8.  I know any collectors are probably raising their fists to the heavens, but I find it adorable.)

6)  Doris Kearns Goodwin - I LOVE smart people and this lady is AWESOME.  Historian, former Harvard professor and lover of baseball.   If Bella Della's mom wasn't already adopting me, I'd ask Mrs. Goodwin if she could.

Question #2
As children, we often have favorite clothes we want to wear all the time.  Do you have any favorite garments as an adult and what are they?

I'm actually not a clothes fiend AT ALL.  I CAN'T STAND shopping, so I'm usually in and out of the mall in an hour.  But I do like looking nice and semi stylish.  I LOVE Anthropologie, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor but I'm way too cheap to shop in any of those places.  I mostly wear dark jeans, fun flats with a cute shirt and some type of fitted jacket.   

Question #3
You went to France last year and did a series of fab blog posts (which is how I found you). What is it about travel that appeals most to you?

Ok, everyone is going to think I wrote these questions because they're way too complimentary.  Somehow I don't think Joy Behar is going to be as sweet.  But traveling!

1) I like to MOVE.  

Cars, boats, planes, trains ... I like going faster than our bodies can on their own and ending up somewhere different than where you originally started.  

2) I dig on details.

 I am intrigued by the small details that make up peoples daily lives.  What they eat, what they read.  Where they do their grocery shopping and how they spend their weekends.  I am always looking for ways to incorporate traditions into my daily life to make it richer and more fulfilling. 

3) "Found" moments.  

You can plan your entire trip (and SSG likes that), but most of the time the stories that get told over and over happened serendipitously like having a clarinet played for you by a famous New York musician in the middle of a rainy Provencal evening or getting pot handed to you by a New York City cab driver. 

4) It's a Small World After All

Traveling makes you realize that we're all in this together ... and that we're not all that different from each other.

Question #4
Tell us, if you will, about your most triumphant moment.

This is a hard one for me.  I have had amazing moments in my life.  Times where I've won something, or been recognized for something.  Where I've been swept off my feet and loved so deeply that I can hardly breathe.  Where I've met a milestone I had been striving for or everything came together far better than I could have planned.  The most triumphant part of my life however, is not a time but a feeling.  And it has been a shift that has happened fairly recently.  Without getting too deep into it ...  I have essentially been on my own since I was 13 years old.  As if that wasn't difficult enough, some pretty bad stuff happened along the way.  I boxed all of that up when I turned 18 and set off to college, determined to build a life for myself that was positive, free from pain and that was 100% mine.  Over the last few years, I've had to unpack that metaphorical box--take out all the pieces and look at each one again.  It has, in a way, been harder than originally going through those experiences.  Luckily I've had support but it's still a road I walked alone.  Though not quite at the end, I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.  To not only still be standing, but thriving?  Is the triumph of my life.

Question #5
People frequently will say that they hear an old song and are transported back in time to a specific moment.  What's on the soundtrack to SSG's life?

Man, A LOT.  Musicians are some of the most important artists of our time.  My tastes constantly change and are pretty diverse.  There isn't much I don't like.  As a kid I remember roller skating around and around the garage in circles with ABBA blasting in the background.  I rode horses the bulk of my adolescence, so country is in there for sure.  Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis is still a favorite.  High school brought Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin and rap was just coming onto the scene.  You haven't SEEN pictures of Paris until your slideshow is playing in the middle of a party and Eazy-E comes on your I Tunes in the background.  Pearl Jam was THE soundtrack of my college years for sure ... along with Van Morrison, Bread and Cat Stevens.  I went to college in the 90's but apparently we had a thing for the 70's.  After college is when I started getting into Miles Davis and Chet Baker.  And now I can't get enough of Ray LaMontagne, The Waifs and EastMountainSouth.

Thanks so much Molly, I feel oddly cleansed ... like a colonic but way less gross!

If  YOU'D like to be interviewed by SSG:
  • Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me."
  • I will send you 5 questions (I get to pick.  Mwaaa haaa haaa.)
  • Update your blog with answers to the questions.
  • Include this explanation and offer to interview others.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed you will say "HELL NO."  Just kidding, you'll send them 5 questions !

And as a present to anyone who is still reading this (dude, THANK YOU) SSG fell of her couch watching this last night.  Patience through the commercial, lovlies.  It is WORTH it.
Click on this bad boy and have some toilet paper handy, you might find you have to pee a little:  The Today Show

(P.S. All day today SSG has been saying "and pulse it and pulse it ... and punch it out and punch it out.")

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chez SSG Gets a Makeover

When I was home for the month of December I watched A LOT of HGTV.  I think this is what prompted SSG's confessions on Thursday ... that and everyone staring at my naked walls when they come over.  I started having home image issues.  (Pasty walls can make even the skinniest houses look fat!)

HGTV makes it look SO easy.  They repaint, rearrange and redo virtually every surface.  SSG LOVES Divine Design.  She loves it so much that she doesn't even mind Candace Olson and her guests saying "aboot" instead of "about."  Or the fact that Chico, the electrician, has a ponytail.  (Okay, that's kind of a lie, SSG closes her eyes whenever "the ponytail" is around and makes whoever is watching it with her tell her when he's off camera.  Kind of like she does during scary movies.)

Where was I again?


So SSG said to Fisher: "I could SO do THAT."  

That enthusiasm lasted about a half hour, which was enough time to go around the house and make a list of everything she wanted to do.  Which was exactly enough time to realize that home improvements take A LOT longer than a half hour and that more money is probably exchanged on those shows than with a high priced hooker.

So then she took a nap.

But after a few days SSG started thinking about how much money she had.  And maybe breaking down the projects into smaller pieces, working with what she already has and instead of spending entire DAYS, spending an hour or two here and there.  SSG is a firm believer that small efforts add  up to big results over time.  (This is why SSG exerts as SMALL an effort as possible in her daily life.)

So she checked her piggy bank.

And realized there was probably about $50 in it.

So she decided she'd start at the first place she sees when she comes home each day.  Her front door.  She had a couple of pots in her garage that had been collecting some dust for a couple of years and figured she could throw some plants in there and call it a day.

Places like Home Depot and Lowe's FREAK SSG out.  She gets overwhelmed and starts sweating.  And usually has on the WRONG attire whenever she goes there.  Like last time.  When she had on a pair of peep toe leopard print flats and one of the guys that was helping her cut some lumber for a project she never finished said "nice shoes."  But instead of being complimentary, she's pretty sure it was judgey and so she complimented him on his steel toed work boots and said "yeah, I left my pair of those at home."

So this time she decided to go to a nursery.  Because it sounded like the kind of place where babies hang out.  And since SSG is kind of a baby when it comes to gardening, she hoped that it would be super elementary and dumbed down.

But then she walked into this.

And started hyperventilating.

But then she saw this and it was kind of what she wanted.

But then she started hyperventilating when she saw the $500 price tag.

So she grabbed a bunch of stuff, threw it in her cart and walked out of the store for $40.  

She's going for English Cottage ... boxwood, primrose, ornamental grass and some kind of rosemary in the back?  (Whatever, it was cheap and small.)  

All of you gardeners out there are laughing, I know.  I can hear you.

Are you even supposed to plant stuff in January?  The parking lot WAS kind of empty. 

So this is SSG's front door before.

And this is her front door after.

And that cute mat was only $12 at Target. 

Bonjour!  May I offer you a lemon drop from my pasty white kitchen?