Sunday, February 19, 2017

E-Ticket To Anxiety

Rocket to the moon? No thanks, I'll just stay here. 

"So, tell me, little Jewish person, when was your first experience with anxiety?" Dr. Freida von Shrinkwrap asks.
"It happened at Disneyland," I tell her.
"Disneyland? The happiest place on earth?"
"It wasn't my happy place."
"Tell me more, my little kumquat of angst. I'm fascinated by the roots of your neurosis."

"Take me to your leader."

"Well, Dr. von Shrinkwrap, it happened on a ride called Rocket to the Moon. I was probably around five. So, it was 1963-ish. I remember sitting next to my mom in what looked to me like a real rocket. We were in the Passenger Chamber. They should've added 'of Horrors.' "
"You're saying it wasn't your cup of Schnapps?"

The Passenger Chamber of Horrors.
My version of hell, Disneyland edition.

"I could've used a nice sedative. The whole thing felt pretty ominous. There was a big round screen in the middle of the floor, showing images of Earth. There were scary space stewardesses. And then the announcer said it was time to Blast Off! Into Outer Space! The images on the screen in the floor kept changing to make it look like we were really lifting off, there was a countdown, the whole thing, and I was a total wreck, a complete basket case. I kept saying to my mommy,  'Are we really going to the Moon? I'm scared. I don't wanna go!' And she did her best to reassure me. 'No, sweetie, it's just a ride.' But the evidence all around me proved otherwise. It was all right there, the sounds, the images of Earth getting smaller and smaller. It was the first time I really wanted to bolt, but I couldn't, it was too late, because we were on our way to the Moon, for eff's sake. We'd already left! I was terrified, Dr. von Shrinkwrap. My heart was pounding in my little chest, I could barely breathe. I had sweaty palms. High Anxiety! You win."
"What was the main thing you learned from the experience?"
"Even then, I knew I wasn't astronaut material, and clearly, NASA knew it, too."
"How did Nasa know such a thing?"
"Well, they never tried to recruit me."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Into Each Life...

... Some rain must fall. Yesterday in Los Angeles, it was more like Noah's Ark. Sinkholes. Fallen trees. Downed power lines. Plenty outages everywhere. SJG Lane looked like a river. A river, I tell ya! And don't get me started on navigating traffic when the traffic lights are out. It's kamikaze crazy. It's every gal for herself. Better I should stay home. And yet, out I must go, into the wet, wet world, using my finely-honed survival skills to make it from here to there in one piece. I think Ella and the Ink Spots sum it up best in this soothing schmaltz-o-rama:

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Miracle of Water

Morris goes to see Rabbi Levy. "How can I help you, Morris?" asks the Rabbi.
"I'm worried about my Hannah's temper, Rabbi," replies Morris. "Quite regularly now, she suddenly loses her temper for no reason at all and it really scares me. I just don't know what to do about it."
Rabbi Levy contemplates for a while, then says, "OK Morris, I think I have the solution. Here's what you must do. When Hannah starts to get angry, immediately take a glass of water and start swishing the water around the inside of your mouth. But don't swallow the water -- just swish it around and around your mouth until Hannah calms down."
"OK Rabbi," says Morris, "I don't know why that should work, but I'll give it a try."
Ten days later, looking fresh and relaxed, Morris goes back to see Rabbi Levy. "Rabbi," he says, "that was a brilliant solution of yours. Every time my Hannah started to lose her temper, I did what you said. I swished my mouth with water. I swished and I swished, and while I was swishing, my Hannah calmed right down in front of my eyes. It was a miracle, Rabbi, a true miracle. But why should a glass of water do that?"
"The water itself does nothing, Morris." replies Rabbi Levy. "It's keeping your mouth shut that makes it work."

Naomi is shopping in Bloomies, looking for a new dress. She sees something she likes and calls over a salesman. "See that pale blue and grey wool designer dress on that dummy over there?" she says. 
"Yes, I see it," he replies
"Well, how much is it?" Naomi asks
"Ma'am, that dress over there is $1,200," he replies
"Oy vey," says Naomi, "I could get the same dress at Minky’s Shmatters for only $120.
"But ma'am, " says the salesman, "our dress is 100% pure virgin wool, whereas I’m sure you’ll discover that the dress at Minky’s is made from recycled wool.
"So," replies Naomi, "for $1,000 extra, I should be caring what the lambs do at night?"

"If I live, I'll see you Monday, if not, Tuesday."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I Need More Memory

Dear SJG,
Oy gevalt, it's panic time. Why? We'll tell you why. Because your iBrain storage is almost full! You're running out of storage space in that place where you do your overthinking. You want to hang on to all the stuff that makes you you? You want to keep all that movie trivia, Hollywood gossip and useless knowledge safe and virus-free? Then you better hurry up, sister, and upgrade your iBrain memory for just $0.99 a month. Unless you're too cheap to spend less than a buck to back up all that mishegas you keep recycling. In which case, you best start deleting the data you haven't used  in years  -- piano lessons, guitar lessons, five quarters of college French, pretty much everything you learned in college -- before you officially run out of memory and then where does that leave you? Empty inside.
Eagerly awaiting your credit card,
The iBrain Team

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Many Benefits of Mud


On Valentine's Day, we checked in with Sir Blakey, a so-called Lab Mix of royal Jewish lineage, hailing from Your-Guess-Is-As-Good-As-Mine, to find out why he simply adores mud time, post-grooming:

1. Mud time eradicates the emasculating perfume that Alessandro the groomer sprays all over Sir Blakey to conceal his natural scent.
2. Mud time makes Sir Blakey smell like dirt and dog, as God intended.
3. Mud time is way more fun than getting Sir Blakey's tushy glands expressed.
4. Mud time ruins the stupid red bow that Alessandro clips on Sir Blakey's collar.
5. Mud time drives the short lady crazy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dancing In The Moonlight


On this Valentine's Day, may you go dancing in the moonlight...


... a la "La La Land"... 


... or Fred and Ginger.


On this Valentine's Day, may you remember that 
the most important thing in the world, according to my dad, 
the late, great Ben Starr, is love.
And now, a song to dance to, courtesy of King Harvest. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunset, Sunrise

photo by E. Schotz

As the sun sets on a long and lovely weekend of unbridled caloric intake and celebration, the SJG reflects from the balcony of dear friends who get to live at the beach, year-round. On what level is that fair, that they get to look out at a poetic expanse of water, while the SJG gets to look out at a pathetic expanse of mud? Fair? Who said anything about fair? It all comes down to how you look at the world. No matter your view, ocean or mud, I have it on good authority that the sun will come out tomorrow -- hey, good title for a song! -- and then it will set, and then... oh, you see where this is going. You saw it coming a few sentences back. A "Fiddler" moment. Sunset. Sunrise. Or if you prefer, sunrise, sunset. It's true what they say. Swiftly flow the days. Important to remember that. This thing called life. Isn't it great sometimes?