Friday, November 17, 2017

Bitch or Byotch, What's The Diff?

Well! Thank you for clearing that up!
Some of you may wonder, where does bitchiness come from? Are you born bitchy? Does bitchiness evolve or do you wake up one morning and realize, I'm such a bitch! As always, the SJG is here to help illuminate, clarify and confuse. But first, you may wonder, why am I all up in your face today about bitchy this, and bitchy that? Why am I not focusing on all the oven-fresh goodness that life has to offered? If I knew that, I wouldn't be me. Now then. The other night, as I stepped, Capezio first, into the dance studio, I encountered a scary Dance Mom who gave new meaning to the word Bitch. My friend and I were in the hall, waiting for a class to finish on time, which they never do, because God forbid they give a crappola that there are other dancers on the planet who need to get their groove on (see what I did there? I went all bitchy without warning!). The Dance Mom opened the door of the smaller studio, so aggressively, that she nearly knocked my friend unconscious. The door came "this close" to ka-knocking her in the ka-noggin. How close? Really close. What, you think I carry around a measuring tape? I'm not an interior decorator. But I know a good one. You want measuring, call my mother-in-law. Why are you bothering me with this? 

So, as the Dance Mom barreled out, all territorial and outta my way, I channeled my overdeveloped maternal instincts, yanked my friend out of harm's way, and said, "Careful." I swear it was a very nice, "Careful," as opposed to an attitude-infused, "Careful." There was no imaginary "Bitch" at the end of my helpful statement, which, if I'm being honest, which I am most of the time, was directed more at my friend than the Entitled Dance Mom. But oy, did she give me a look. Instead of saying, "Oh, whoopsie, my bad, sorry, I apologize from the bottom of my tacky, knock-off, cheap-ass copy of an expensive running shoe,"  this raging fount of negativity said, "I didn't do it, intentionally," huffed over to the drinking fountain, flashing me the "die,bitch, die" look, stormed back into the studio and slammed the door. Really? Get a grip! And ex-squeeze me for living. But that, my friends, is a walkin', talkin' definition of bitchiness.

So, in answer to your earlier questions, bitchiness comes from deep within your messed-up psyche.  You are not born bitchy. No, you are not. Bitchniess evolves over time, due to your environment, how much bitchiness you're subjected to from an early age, and then, once hormones come into play, it's anybody's guess. You're just a time bomb of uber-bitchiness. Not that menfolk can't be bitchy, but I think they prefer another term: a-hole. "He's such an a-hole." Pretty much the same as, "She's such a bitch." Thus ends one in a series of SJG lectures on bitchniess, or if you prefer, byotchiness. You're welcome! And please, have a bitchin' day.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Turkey Etiquette

Dear SJG,
My office is throwing a Thanksgiving costume party on Friday. I'm thinking of going as my lame-ass boss, the biggest turkey on the planet. Thoughts?
Thank you,
Mable in accounting

Dear Mable,
Great idea. I say go for it. Maybe he's so dumb, he won't realize  you're rudely ridiculing him. Or maybe he's smarter than you think. Play it safe and put a box together of your personal belongings in case they escort you out of the building.
You're Welcome,
The SJG
Dear SJG,
This year, I'm shlepping from Burbank to Culver City for Thanksgiving. According to Waze, I should pack an overnight bag and leave now. But that's not even the main issue. The invite says "Sing For Your Supper." I can't sing for ka-ka and don't want to embarrass myself in front of my snooty-patootie second cousins, the Warbling Yentas.  Any thoughts on how I can save face?
Thanks,
Gratitude Challenged

Dear Challenged,
Here's what you do. Make a duplicate of the invite, but reverse the 'n' and the 'g' and bring it with you, along with your legal representative. When your host complains about the extra guest, just say, "This is Morty Epstein, my attorney. The invite says Sign For Your Supper. See? Morty brought along all the necessary documents. Oh, and he doesn't mind sitting at the kids' table."
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Nice Topping of Guilt

I rolled my cart over and waited. The elderly gentleman was blocking a shelf. He stood there, deep in contemplation. I hated to interrupt. He seemed sorta serene. "Excuse me, can I squeeze in there?" He glanced at the shelf in question, then gave me such a look, and said nothing. "I'm trying to get to the salad toppings." Another look, harsher this time. "I didn't think anybody bought that crap." It felt like a harsh judgment, given the locale. Gelson's is my personal homeland, my friendly, Zen-like grocery shrine of happiness. The first thought bubbling up in my keppy: "How dare you?" But I didn't go there. My parents raised me to emote, heavily, and verbosely, but only in the confines of their home, my home, your home, his home or her home. It's a home-based exhibition of feelings. Yell, scream, get it all out, but not, God forbid, in Gelson's. Not there!
Still,  if this guy wanted to condemn the gourmet tortilla strips, the crunchy garlic croutons, the crispy fried onions (lightly salted), the vegan baco bits, I figured, have at it, mister. I'm not a regular consumer of packaged salad toppings, so I didn't take too much offense. But he was just getting started. "Have you ever looked at the ingredients?" "Um," I said. "It'll kill you," he huffed, shaming me as he went on his way. Great. Leave me with a moral dilemma. Do I buy salad toppings that might kill my loved ones and myself? It might not be an instant death, just gradual, but do I need to feel responsible for that, too? Will a coroner one day declare, "Death by Salad Topping"? Well, I can't live with that sentence. So I spared my people. But in case I relapse, if you ever see me about to purchase croutons or some equally sinister salad fixin', please knock it out of my hand. Slam it to the ground. Stop me before I do further damage to my loved ones. Or myself. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Klutz Is Born

Yes, fine, I can't deny it. I've been a klutzy SJG since I tumbled into existence in the backseat of my father's Oldsmobile. Not exactly a ladylike arrival. It's pretty much been downhill since then. I broke my collar bone at three, rolling out of bed onto the floor. When a big rubber ball hit me in the stomach, I went flying into the air and landed on my butt for everyone on the schoolyard to see. Kids gathered around me, staring, waiting for me to cry. But I didn't cry. I'm the SJG! I don't cry in public. I laughed and then everybody else did, too. Thanks to my mother, a natural born klutz if ever there was one, I just associate klutziness with laughter. My mother delivered klutzy comic relief in the kitchen on a regular basis. I can still see her walking toward the table with a carton of sour cream -- back then, we put sour cream on everything -- and dropping it splat on the linoleum. A big blob of white went everywhere. She looked down at the mess and started howling with laughter. We joined her. How could we not? I can still see her sitting on the formica phone shelf that jutted out of the wall next to the dinner table. She could've used a chair; there were five of them only two inches away. But no, she preferred to sit on the shelf while gabbing with her friends -- until the shelf broke with her on it, sending her to the ground in a heap of hysteria. So I've followed in her klutzy footsteps, with the tripping and the breaking, the dropping and the spilling. 
Some days, it's a miracle I remain upright. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

What A Joke!

Two kids are in a hospital, each lying on a stretcher next to each other outside the operating room. The first kid leans over and asks, “What are you in here for?” The second kid says, “I’m getting my tonsils out. I’m a little nervous.” The first kid says, “You’ve got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep and when you wake up, they give you lots of jello and ice cream. It's a breeze." The second kid then asks, “What are you in here for?” The first kids says, “A circumcision.” The second kid replies, “Whoa, good luck, buddy. I had that done when I was born and I couldn’t walk for a year."
A Jewish father was very troubled by the way his son turned out and went to see his rabbi about it. “Rabbi, I brought him up in the faith, gave him a very expensive Bar Mitzvah and it cost me a fortune to educate him. Then he tells me last week, he’s decided to be a Christian. Rabbi, where did I go wrong?” The rabbi strokes his beard and says, “Funny you should come to me. I, too, brought up my son as a boy of faith, sent him to university and it cost me a fortune and then one day he comes to me and tells me he wants to be a Christian.” “What did you do, Rabbi?” “I turned to God for the answer,” replied the rabbi. “What did he say?” asked the man. "He said, Funny you should come to me..."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

On The Cover of Moses Magazine

"Honey, are you excited about Tuesday?"
"What happens on Tuesday?"
"I know you know what happens on Tuesday."
"I don't know. Scout's Honor."
"Should I tell you or do you want to be surprised?"
"Give me a few hints."
"You, on the cover of a magazine. Maybe."
"Me?"
"You."
"Why?"
"You're in the running for something."
"What?"
"People's Sexiest Man Alive."
"We both know that's not true."
"Sorry, I got that wrong. I meant Moses Magazine's 'Sexiest Over-60 Boychick Still Breathing.' "
"How did that happen?"
"You have to ask?"
"You nominated me?"
"Guilty as charged, your honor. Feel free to make a citizen's arrest."
"I thought this is a family blog."
"What the eff gave you that idea?"

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day, 1938

Dad goes to war

This morning, an email from John, the historian of the family: "Veterans Day, 1938: 79 years today, Grandma and Grandpa and Dad drive into Los Angeles." There's a sister in this story too, but as my family lore tends to go, she's forever referred to as "the ex-sister." Don't ask.

It's a classic Depression Era story: the Starrs descending on Los Angeles, via Brooklyn, broke and looking to start over. Dad is 17, one year of City College under his belt. Grandpa -- "I'm in textiles" -- has lost the schmata store and is working out of his car. Someone breaks in, steals the fabric and they change locales, shlepping to California, where relatives offer to help them get settled. I have no idea who these relatives are, but thanks for the help, nice people.

I never saw him eat one of these.

Grandpa and Dad go to work at a donut factory, Grandpa driving a truck without brakes, and Dad making donuts. He eats so many donuts, he vows to never eat one again. Slowly, the Starrs, formerly of Brooklyn, get back on their feet, as the saying goes. Grandpa opens a tiny closet of a store to sell fabrics from, somewhere downtown. Dad goes to UCLA and in the summer, works with Grandpa. Dad is not meant for textiles. He's majoring in accounting. He's not meant for that, either. Slowly, Grandpa grows his textiles empire, eventually opening a number of stores and building a nice big house on Highland Avenue, while Dad is off at war, fighting the Nazis.

Dad, top row, third, with his squadron 

The Distinguished Flying Cross 

He comes home a hero, lives in the nice house for awhile, starts writing short stories and radio skits and sells something to Jack Benny. He meets a nice girl...

Under the chuppah with Jerry and Sheldon and Gloria June

Variety mention

A classic story, and it all started on Veterans Day, 1938. Something I always forget. Once again, thanks for the reminder, sweet brother. Where would I be without you?
(11-14)