Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hanukkah Latke-Off

Dear SJG,
My neighbor Trixie Van Schwartz (so competitive!) just challenged me to a Hanukkah Latke-Off, to be held in her fancy-schmancy remodeled kitchen, and streamed live on Facebook. But here's the thing. I haven't made a real latke since the early '80s, after my electric potato peeler went rogue and took off a layer of skin on my right middle finger. Should I turn Trixie down? I'll never hear the end of it.
Latke Loser
Dear Loser,
It really depends on whether you want to end the year as a total failure, or face your spud-related fears once and for all. Here's what I suggest. Every day leading up to the Latke-Off, pick up a potato and a peeler - a normal one, not a nuclear-powered one, for Mose's sake, don't be a nudnik - and peel a bisel skin, the potato's - not your own. Then peel a little more on the next day, and keep going, one behavior modification at a time, until, check you out, you've peeled an entire eff'n potato without causing bodily harm. Mazel tov. By the time this competish goes live, you'll have mashed those fears like a short order cook at Maven's To Go-Go. You'll be ready to take that Trixie bitch down and lord it over her for years to come. If defeating your enemy doesn't scream Hanukkah, what does?
You're Welcome,
P.S. Maybe have a medic standing by, just in case.

Monday, December 11, 2017

I Can Hardly Wait

A conversation with my sons:
Eldest: "I don't want you to go anywhere."
Me: "Now? Or forever?"
Eldest: "Now. Stay home."
Youngest: "Don't go to dance, Ma."
Me: "You'll be asleep on the sofa."
Eldest/Youngest: "True."
Me: "I'll be back at 6:15."
Youngest: "Don't go to dance, Ma."
Me: "When I'm old, I won't go to dance."
Eldest: "You'll dance at home."
Me: "I'll dance with my caregiver."
Eldest: "By then, they'll have robot caregivers you can dance with."
Me: "By then, I may be too tired to dance. I'll just watch."
Youngest: "Ti-ti-time for your ene-ene-enema, Mrs. Schnei-schnei-schneider."
Eldest: "Ti-ti-time for your sponge bath, Mr. Schnei-schnei-schneider." 
Me: "Ti-ti-time for your Depends."
Youngest: "Ti-ti-time for your nappy-kins."
Eldest: "We're getting you a robot caregiver."
Youngest: "We are so doing that, Ma."
Me: "That's very generous, boys. I can hardly wait."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hard To Handle

earth friendly & lavender fumed
without you by my side, i'm doomed
so strong, wide and recyclable
you never break, you're pliable
despite your charms, i must admit
there's just one thing i can't acquit
you don't open at my command
i coax, cajole and reprimand
i try this and that, you won't budge
and it's hard not to hold a grudge
i bend to scoop, start to grimace
When I can't fetch my dog's bizness 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hanukkah Handout

Check out what I discovered early, and I do mean, early this morning, in the upper right hand zippy of my cute puffy jacket with the orange lining: A ten-spot. Call it my personal Hanukkah handout. My mystery gelt. Well. How did it get there? How long has it been there? Beats the kaka out of me. I'm not one to hide mula from myself. I like my cash in my wallet, not the secret compartment of a rarely-worn mini-Michelin.
The only photo I have of myself in the afore-mentioned fashion statement is this one, taken in Lawrence, Kansas on November 6, 2015, by today's celebrity birthday gal, Cathy J. Hamilton. It's quite possible the crumpled bill has been hiding in the pocket ever since. Not anymore. And I owe it all to Sir Blakey, the Royal Rescue Pup of Questionable Lineage. Had he not needed an early-early morning walkie, I might not have donned my puffy jacket... unzipped the secret compartment in which to hide my key from myself, so that when I returned, I could experience a moment of "where'd I put the key?"... found the long-lost $10 and turned into this decorative Hanukkah Hamilton.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Another Life Lesson

It's true, life offers so many lessons. 

Every day, another lesson. 

Today, a lesson in humility.

If you want toast

Make sure

The toaster oven

Is plugged in.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Extreme Worrier

Extreme worrier that I am, in the past two days, I've elevated my award-winning worrying to new heights. I've been so worried about the fires and the toxic air that I haven't left the house. Like 99.9 percent of Angelenos, I've been glued to the TV, watching parts of the city ignite. I flit from channel to channel, getting different views of the wind-driven flames. Yesterday, it hit a little too close to home. Not my home, but the Westside homes of my in-laws, my dearest friends, my cousin, my aunt. That's when the tears started. The proximity of it all was overwhelming. There were evacuations and near-evacuations, cars packed with belongings. My in-laws walked (slowly) around a house filled with beloved tchotchkes and art, wondering what they'd take and what they'd leave behind. Good thing they didn't have to decide. Just between us, I don't think they'd ever reach a decision. Too many memories. Too many things that mean too much. One friend wasn't allowed back in his house. Others slept in their own beds last night. Today I'll venture out, trying not to breathe in the smoky reminder that life is incredibly fragile. All we can do is proceed with caution and hope for the best.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Carols For Meshuganas

Schizophrenia -- "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
Dementia -- "I Think I'll Be Home for Christmas"
 -- "Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me"
Manic -- "Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and . . ."
 -- "Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me"

Social Anxiety Disorder -- "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate"
Personality Disorder -- "You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why"
Attention Deficit Disorder -- "Silent Night, Holy OOOOOOOOh look at the Froggy, can I have chocolate, why is France so far away?"
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder -- "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells..."