Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ready To Walk

WGA Strike, CBS Radford, 2007

"What are you doing?"
"I'm walking."
"It looks more like you're pacing."
"There's a difference between walking and pacing."
"Go on."
"Walking requires intention. Pacing is a back-and-forth exercise in futility. With walking, you burn calories and get things done. With pacing, you burn brain cells and accomplish bupkis."
"So just now, what was your intention?"
"I was practicing."
"Practicing what?"
"My purposeful picketing."
"Does that mean what I think it means?"
"Yes. In a little while, I'll start chanting."
"Do you have to?"
"It's been 10 years since I chanted. I need to warm up."
"I can hardly wait."
"Hey, hey, ho, ho... something, something.... I forget the rest."
"Your chant needs work."
"I know."
"But you're good with the walking."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Flop Dress

In my mom's closet, there hung a spectacular, sleeveless gown, white and beaded, perfect for Cinderella.  As a very little girl, I'd visit the Cinderella gown and wonder when I'd get to wear it to the ball.  One day, I asked, "Is that the dress you got married in?" "No, honey, that's Mommy's Flop Dress."  Wait a minute.   That wasn't the right answer. It didn't sound like something out of a fairytale.  "What's a flop dress, Mommy?"  "I wore it to the opening night of Daddy's Broadway play. The play flopped.  So we call it the Flop Dress." The Flop Dress hung in my mom's closet for many years.  I'm not sure if she ever wore it again. I have no idea what happened to it.

At some point, Cinderella's gown disappeared altogether.  But the Flop Dress, as it's known in my family, taught me so much about life's crazy ups and downs: I learned it's important to look incredible for all important occasions, and to celebrate the moment with all you've got, because here's the deal.  Even though you might not know it at the time, that moment may never come again.  In my dad's case, one day you've got a play on Broadway -- a huge accomplishment, don't you think? -- even though the audience howled, the critics panned it -- bastards! -- and the next, you're packing up to go home.  Sometimes the dream is just getting there, getting to a coveted place you may never visit again.  So you might as well enjoy it while you can.

I'm pretty sure everyone has a Flop Dress hidden in the closet, a fab garment that takes on symbolism the longer it gathers dust. I've worn some pretty spiffy outfits in my time.  Some of them, I kept, some I gave away, but they're still hanging in my imaginary closet, reminding me of all the moments I still treasure, hit or miss. (4-9-13)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pet Lag

Sir Blakey at rest 

Definition of pet lag : a daily disruption of sanity and humanity, characterized by extreme fatigue, spontaneous napping and incoherent babbling, occurs following repeated 5 a.m. wake up calls, head butts and punim pawing, courtesy of a demanding yet lovable canine that needs to go potty and refuses to learn how to use a toilet.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Milk It

Throughout the day, the eldest son, just back from France, as opposed to his mother, just back from Gelson's, kept declaring, "I don't have any jet lag." This surprised me, a champion jet lag sufferer. Why suffer just a bit when you can suffer a lot? When given any opportunity to kvetch, I say milk it, baby. Why? I'll tell you why. Because if you don't milk it, someone else will come along with something more kvetch-worthy than jet leg, and your sad little issue will be minimized, and dare I say, overshadowed. Where's the fun in that? In response to his jet lag free declaration, I offered my congratulations. "I thought you'd be a zombie, honey, good for you." But I wasn't about to give up. I wanted to offer him a few more opportunities to milk it. Around 3, I asked again, "How you doing with the jet lag?" "I don't have any jet lag." Around 4, I inquired once more. "How's it going?" "No jet lag." "Wow. You must be superhuman, honey." "Mmmm..." "Huh? "Ummubba..." "What's that?"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

SJG In Retrograde

When things go wacky, why not blame Mercury in Retrograde? Everyone else does. For the SJG, this week has been what the astrologers call a mixed bag of bupkis. I've decided to blame Mercury in Retrograde, because according to my highly placed sources, it's happening right now! But what does it all mean, anyway? I'm so glad you asked. I'm the only one you know who's qualified to answer this, for the SJG is a former fake astrologer.
Maybe you know this about me.  Maybe you don't.  But I used to make up the horoscopes for ’Teen Magazine.  I was just out of college, a humble editorial assistant. When I wasn’t walking the publisher’s dog, making coffee, sorting through mail and answering the phone, I was concocting the anonymous monthly horoscope column. They pawned it off on the absolute lowest gal on the editorial food chain. You could not get any lower than me. I was the consummate flunky in every sense of the word. Every month I consulted a pile of worn-out astrology books for inspiration. Say I read that Sagittarians must tame their restless energy and need for personal independence. ’Teen readers would get a dose of the following nonsense:  “Good news! Success awaits you… as long as you don’t let that restless energy lead you astray. Stay focused and your smallest efforts will be rewarded!” After awhile, I got pretty good at it. My horoscopes weren’t half-bad. Letters poured in praising my astonishing accuracy.  One month, I even got it right for an entire class of fifth graders. That’s a lot of zodiac signs to tackle. I had hidden powers. Who knew?
So here's what the SJG knows about Mercury in Retrograde.  The planet slows down and appears to stop (spoiler alert:  optical illusion!) and move backward.  If you buy into this mishegas, you may feel totally meshuggah.  But just in case...  Don't leave your house.  Don't answer the phone.  Don't do anything.  Don't sign your name to anything.  Don't turn on anything electronic.  Don't talk to anyone. Just sit there like a big lump of angst and wait till it passes.  You're welcome. I'm here all week. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

How We Got Here

In honor of Earth Day, I'm re-sharing with you my sweet daddy's theory of how the Earth came to be. One month before departing for the Big Deli in the Sky, where they serve a bottomless bowl of matzoh ball soup and corned beef to die for -- see what I did there? -- he finally figured it all out, after reassuring us he wasn't going anywhere for at least 20 years: 

"So, how did we get here? Who decided, okay, I'll make a place and we'll call it Earth?  Maybe he was the producer, the money guy. And then someone else in the room, one of the writers, said, 'Earth?  Why are we calling it that?'  And the producer, said, 'Why not?'  No one had a good comeback, so the producer kept going.  'We need some people on Earth. How are we going to get people?  Hang on, I know. We'll start with a fish.' And then the same writer who thought Earth was a dumb name, said, 'A fish? Why a fish?' 'Why not?' the producer said. 'So this fish was swimming around in the sea and said, 'I'm tired of being a fish,' and walked out of the water and became a man. Wow. Then one day the former fish got lonely. So the producer, let's call him God, said, 'Listen, give me a rib and I'll make a woman for you.' And the former fish said, 'Why do I have to give you a rib?' 'Because I said so,' God said. 'You can give me a rib or I'll rip it out. Your choice.'  So the ex-fish said, 'Fine, I'll give you a rib, just make sure the woman is pretty.  I'm not giving up a rib for a dog.' And God said, 'I'll see what I can do. But I'm not making any promises.'" -- the late great Ben Starr

Friday, April 21, 2017

Where You Lead, I Will Follow

Just Blake and his shadow 
out for a walk on a very blustery day.

See how he humors me?

See how he poses with the roses?

@#$%! There goes my hat again. 

Don't worry, I got it back.