Friday, December 19, 2014

No Exit

"Ma! What happened? I thought you'd be home by now."
"Me, too."
"Did you get lost?"
"In the parking lot."
"Sadly, yes."
"Who gets lost in a parking lot?"
"They wouldn't let me out."
"What'd you do?"
"You assume I did something?"
"I did nothing, Son."
"Come on, Ma. You did something."
"I tried to leave."
"That's it?"
"That's it."
"Walk me through it."
"I went down the ramp to the ground level."
"Go on. This is riveting."
"Hang on to your tallis, honey, it gets better."
"I'll be the judge of that."

Thursday, December 18, 2014


You wanted a funny parody on Uber? Here it is. Enjoy. And please, remember to take a sweater when you go outside. It's chilly. Double click for full schlep.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Birthday Mensch

Today a boy becomes a man. Today a boy reads from the Torah like he understands what he's talking about. Today a -- sorry, what's that? That was so 10 years ago? That's crazy talk. Look, it says right here on his birth certificate that -- oh, you make a good point. Maybe the SJG is just a wee bit stuck in the past. Let me try this again. Today a young man becomes a slightly older young man. The film student/rapper/frequent-glass-user/fellow-caffeine-aficionado/mensch-of-the-highest-order turns 23. How this happened... how 10 years zoomed by... well, it's completely beyond me. But in any event, today this delightful son of mine, who keeps me laughing, who updates me hourly on all newsworthy events, who feels passionately about the world, no matter how eff'd up it gets, today this former Bar Mitzvah achiever, is, quite simply, the birthday boy. To me, he'll always be the birthday boy. Chronology has nothing to do with it. Today we plan to celebrate his wonderfulness, accordingly. Whether or not we dance the birthday hora will depend on the size of the venue.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The SJG Hanukkah Harmonizers

Wrong group

The Short Jewish Gal Hanukkah Harmonizers will perform in the parking lot of Gelson's this evening to celebrate the first night of you-know-what. Brisket-shoppers and Prius-owners will be treated to an upbeat medley of such holiday classics as "Gimme Latkes," "Stop In The Name of Hanukkah," "Hey, Judah," "You Can Leave Your Yarmulke On," and "Your Gelt Keeps Lifting Me Higher." So come, bring your dreidels, your menorahs, your gifts for the SJG, and let's get crazy.  Or stay home and watch the televised special. Either way, as my favorite rabbi used to say, "Happy Hanukkah, Bitches!"

Also wrong group

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pre-Approved Hanukkah Behavior

Back by popular demand! Hanukkah Etiquette! (That's right, bitches. I'm re-posting from a few years ago... and a few years before that... as if you'd even remember. Lazy? Tired? Old? All true. And yet, how dare you! Go to your room and don't come out till next Hanukkah.)

1. The Office Party:  Nosh and drink plenty, but never mix Schnapps with Dr. Brown's Cream Soda.  You'll get a bad buzz.  Don't overindulge on the latkes; they'll go straight to your ass.  Don't do that striptease hora you've been rehearsing.  Save that for your nephew's bar mitzvah.
2. Hanukkah Cards: Fine, send a Hanukkah e-card to people you could care less about, but it's nicer to slap on some postage and send a real card to the few friends and family you're still willing to tolerate, and vice versa.
3. Re-gifting: The high-risk recycling of unwanted Hanukkah presents is a major no-no.  Never forget  that karma's a bitch.  Re-gifting that talking yarmulke will come back to bite you, big-time.
4. Hanukkah Tipping:  Always welcome.  The SJG takes cash, credit cards, all-expenses-paid European jaunts.
5. Mind the Menorah:  Never use a lit menorah to set the mood.  A menorah isn't a marital aid.  Remember, the oil may have lasted eight days, but that's the only miracle you're looking at here.
6. The Perfect Guest: For once in your life, arrive on time, and bring a little something. A bottle of wine, some Star of David cookies, potpourri.  Don't sit on your butt.  Offer to help. You went to college. You can find the kitchen.
7. The Perfect Host:  Be welcoming, organized and sober, at least at the beginning. Hide your valuables. Lock up your children.
8. Don't be a Nudnik: Just because Hanukkah conjures up bad memories of when your parents denied you that Ultra Susie Bake Double Oven Deluxe you wanted, try not to ruin everyone else's good time. Embrace the fun, even if it kills you.
9. Perfect Presents: Pretend you like the gift. Act surprised, no matter what crap you've been given. Remember that someone took the time to choose and poorly wrap a sh*tty gift for you.  So take the time to be gracious.  Later, you can weep.
10. Thank Yous: Thank your hosts throughout the evening. Thank your hosts after you leave.  Call them from the car and gush.  What a great evening!  We had the best time!  Lie if necessary.  Go overboard.  Go home and write them an email praising the delicious food, sparkling decor and entertaining company.  Promise to reciprocate, and actually do it. Call the next day, and lay it on thick.  If you want to be invited back next year, show the love, or next Hanukkah, you'll be playing Dreidel in the dark.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hanukkah Hodgepodge

Morty's mother gives him two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time he visits her, he makes sure to wear one.  As he walks into the house, his mother frowns and asks, "What -- you didn't like the other one?"

Last year, just before Hanukkah, Sara, a grandmother, was giving directions to her grown up grandson who was coming to visit with his wife. "You come to the front door of the condominium complex.  I am in apartment 2B." Sara continued, "There is a big panel at the door.  With your elbow push button 2B. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right.  Get in, and with your elbow hit 2.  When you get out I am on the left.  With your elbow, hit my doorbell." 

"Grandma, that sounds easy," replied Jonathan, the grandson, "but why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow?"

To which she answered, "You're coming to visit empty handed?"

Admiring the Christmas trees displayed in his neighbor's windows, Nathan asks his father, "Daddy, can we have a Hanukkah Tree?"

"What? No, of course not.' says his father.

"'Why not?" asks Nathan again. 

Bewildered, his father replies, "Well, Nathan, because the last time we had dealings with a lighted bush we spent 40 years in the wilderness."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Three Things I Won't Be Doing Today

1. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. However, I may hike Ventura Boulevard, from Laurel to Coldwater. Then again, I'll probably drive it, instead.

2. Performing an interpretative dance in honor of 12/13/14.  However, I may sit on the sofa at exactly 12:13 and pretend I'm 14.

3. Attempting a festive nautical updo. However, I may weave a menorah through my hair, unlit, most likely.