Thursday, June 22, 2017

Never Let Go

Here's the SJG, clinging to my life raft, my sweet brother John, never wanting to let him go. Sure, I may be just an adorable toddler with a very questionable hairstyle -- as I've said 8,000 times before, hair issues start early -- but I know a good thing when I see it. John has always, always been a good thing, always there for me, always making me laugh, always a sympathetic ear in difficult times. We love so many of the same ridiculous and wonderful things, but most importantly, above all forms of entertainment, we love each other, as only the best of siblings can, unconditionally. Today we'll celebrate his birthday at a swanky establishment, and we'll try to behave, but given our track record for public outbursts of supreme silliness, we can't make any promises.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

That Doesn't Add Up

"Did you see that piece they just did on TV?"
"You'll love this. Some study says left-handed people are better at math than right-handed people."
"Oh, so I'm supposed to be a math genius?"
"No one said anything about genius."
"Don't you get it, handsome? If that study had come out 50 years sooner, who knows what I might've become. A little more encouragement, a little more, "Hey, short leftie-gal, mathematically speaking, you're a winner!" and I coulda been somebody, instead of a math bum, which is what I am, and it's all because those bastards shoved me in Algebra Slow after I got one stinkin' C. Now I have to rethink my whole life."
"Forget I mentioned it."
"Is it too late to re-take my SAT's?"
"I'm going to work now."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

As A Wise Man Once Said...

As a wise man named Nathan Lansman once said,

a man who was somehow a cousin of my Grandma Shorty,

or maybe he was a second cousin,

I can't remember...

All I know is he was a tiny relative I could look in the eye

when I was eight,

and he said it at my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary.

The idle chitchat had ground to a halt,

and Nathan Lansman looked at my father,

sighed a little,

and said the words that would become Starr Family Lore.

Say it with me now:

"Life is life."

You can't argue with that, now, can you?

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Key To Happiness

Some nice people I've known a very long time.

According to a lifelong study conducted by the SJG Institute of This, That & The Other, the key to true happiness and well-being isn't how much gelt you make, what fancy position you hold, where you stand or squat politically, or the number of Netflix series you binge watch in one weekend. Although mazel tov to those of you who got through all 17 seasons of "The Worst Housewives of Sherman Oaks" in one afternoon. We're talking serious commitment.  

Some other nice people I may or may not be related to, 
and one I was smart enough to marry. 

Turns out, the key to true happiness and well-being is... drumroll please... the right kind of relationships (as opposed to the toxic kind) with family, friends and spouses. Father's Day, lovingly hosted by my brother Juan, was proof of a terrific collection of happiness-providers. I am, as they say, One Lucky Lil Jew. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Favorite Super Hero

When the SJG was a little gal, my father convinced me he was a very strong man. Stronger than Tarzan.
Stronger than Jack LaLanne. 
When the SJG was a little gal, my father convinced me he could move the house all on his own. He'd say, "Watch this, Daddy's going to make the house move." He'd push against the wall and grunt.
I totally bought it.  
Then one day, before remote controls, he got out of the car and went to open the heavy wooden garage door. The little SJG figured he wasn't just going to move the house, he was going to lift it right off its foundation. How many daddies could do that? Mid-lift, his back went out. He was frozen in pain. "Go get your mother," he said. "Hurry." So I ran and got my mother. "Daddy got stuck moving the house!"
It took me a while to question the whole house-moving scenario. About four years ago, I finally broached the subject. "Daddy, when did I stop believing you could move the house?" "On your 45 birthday." "How did I take it?" "Not well." Come to think of it, I'm still not over it.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy. You'll always be my favorite super hero. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nice Earrings

"I love those earrings you're wearing."
"Thank you."
"They're so pretty."
"I know, right?"
"Where did you get them?"
"I'll never tell."
"It's a secret."
"Did you get them in New York?"
"Just tell me."
"Would you like a hint?"
"You gave them to me."
"I did?"
"You gave me this bracelet, too."
"It's lovely."
"You have great taste in jewelry."
"I really do."
"And friends, too."
"That goes without saying."

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Next One

For Father's Day, I was thinking of renting a Luxury Winnebago and visiting all of my daddy's favorite hang-outs. The restaurants and movie theaters he loved so much. But then I realized I didn't need a Luxury Winnego to do that. Plus, chances are my feet wouldn't touch the pedals, a lifelong issue. I might as well stick to my own car, full of dog hair and a few items I still can't identify. Crumpled Kleenex? Protein bar wrapper? Hard to say. So today, on my way over to the Westside, I'll drive past his number one favorite hang-out, maybe even park in front. Cuz I'm pretty sure they won't let me in, unless I pretend to be a UPS driver with an important delivery. At this point, all I can deliver are sweet memories of my dad in his condo, where he felt most at home. He'd sit at his computer for hours or watch TV and doze off. Or linger in the kitchen, drinking his hot black coffee and reading the newspaper. No question, he was happiest at home, where no one bothered him. He was never bored. Never boring. Although he might disagree. There was the one time at the very end, when he said, "Sorry I'm so boring." Daddy, you were never boring. You were interested in everything. You never stopped wanting to learn. It didn't matter the topic, cooking corned beef or fixing a leak, you wanted to tackle it and wouldn't give up until you did. Wherever you are, I'm sure of one thing. You're reading a great book and can't wait to start the next one.