Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ode to a Fallen Scrunchie

Ode to all the fallen things
Discarded in the street
The Nike, the purple sock
The scrunchie and black chair
The sofabed, the slinky
The drumsticks and the snare

Ode to all the fallen things
I see from day to day
The sippy cup, the booty
The chew toy and gold chain
The toilet seat, the mattresss
Set curbside in the rain

Ode to all the fallen things
So quickly tossed aside
Stop by any time you like
And browse our Lost and Found
Take your pick, just help yourself
To stuff left on the ground

Friday, February 26, 2010

Look Out For The Bagel

Look Out for the Bagel!

At basketball playoffs the other night, my son's close friend JR was kicking major butt on the court.  My son was cheering him on from the bench.  Bench time is what my father calls "character building."  Let's just say it's been a long season.  The youngest is up to here with character.

Mid-way through the first period, as JR grabbed the ball from a much taller dude, his mother Kathi turned to me.  "Did you hear that?" "Hear what?" I asked.  "Look out for the bagel."  I hadn't heard a thing about bagels, I had to admit.  But sure enough, a few minutes later, JR had the ball again.  Across the room, an assistant coach yelled, "Look out for the bagel."  I grabbed Kathi's arm.  "I heard it that time."  Of course, we both knew what Look Out for the Bagel meant.  It was a slight against our people.  It was a deli-inspired diss!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Slice of Heaven

Mr. Hotness Himself

Sadly, the dudes didn't have the best night on "American Idol."  They either went too far with bizarre reinterpretations (Todrick, "Since U Been Gone"), went for style over substance (Tyler, "American Woman,") or just plain butchered it (Andrew, Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin' Down.") I think Andrew has major talent and will be okay.  There were many bum notes, many moments that made me hide behind my pillow, but there were a few high points.  Joe took on Jason Mraz' "You and I Both" and almost nailed it.  And then there's the woof-worthy Casey James, singing "Heaven," which has been DONE TO DEATH on "American Idol."  He's the break-out star, in my humble opinion, not just because he's gorgeous, in a Greg Allman kind of way.  He's talented.  I'm not loving the whole Kara the Cougar thing.  It's embarrassing and dumb.  Ryan had the best line of the night, when he mentioned she'd be in an HR meeting on Friday.  I only hope they don't milk the harassment thing too much more; it's already old.  So take a listen to Casey, he's the real deal and deserves some R- E- S-P- E- C- T.

                                       Casey James, "Heaven"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mama Needs A Bigger Paycheck

Crystal Bowersox

Season after season, I can't help myself, I'm still in love with "American Idol."  Let me count the ways:  I love it for the range of talent.  I love it for the cringe factor.  I love it for the so-called "artistry," or the lack there of.  I love it for the pitchy notes, the stellar notes and the notes that fall in-between.  I love it for the show it wants to be.  And I love it for the show it almost is.  I'm not ashamed to tell you that I'm into it, no matter how lame the judging gets.  Every week, I'll be throwing my random thoughts your way (whether you want 'em or not), and a tasty sound bite.  Ladies Night:  I'm loving Crystal, a total natural, so much more than a coffee house singer.  I'm liking Didi and Lilly, too.  I'm envying the girls with long legs.  Where can I order myself a pair?  I'm pondering all the piercings and studs.  What's up with that?  I'm tolerating Kara.  I'm digging Ellen.

She's So Shy

My favorite TV shows and movies always revolve around a main character typically portrayed as painfully shy, shy and troubled, shy and awkward or shy and nerdy. Apparently, shyness alone isn’t crippling enough. It goes hand and hand with other low self-esteem tags. The condition has additional social ills attached, guaranteeing personal and professional disaster… unless, of course, some fantastic miracle occurs that compels the star to overcome his/her extreme liability. Such divine intervention usually appears in the guise of a super-attractive, deeply longed-for, unattainable love interest, blissfully unaware of our shy hero/heroine’s existence until fate steps in, forcing a critical, well-timed collision of hearts and souls.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Or We Could Move

                                       That's a little harsh.

"I had a mole removed," my friend told me. "I hate these new parking meters," I responded. "You need a degree to figure them out." She gave me a look. "It was biopsied," she said. I nodded. I could see her lips moving, but for the life of me had no idea what she was saying. And yet, it would be rude not to keep the conversation going. "Someone should invent a napkin that doesn't leave lint all over your black jeans," I said with a laugh. Once again, her lips started to move. "The doctor said it's benign." A pocket of quiet allowed "doctor" to escape. "Oh," I said, ever the concerned pal. "Did you finally get that mole looked at?" Now she lifted a stale bread roll and hurled it directly at my head, splitting my brain in half. (Not really, but I think she wanted to hurt me at this juncture.) "I just told you I did!" Since she's not one to fabricate, I believed her. "Sorry, hun, I can't hear a freakin' thing in this (insert juicy expletive here) noise factory."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Don't Throw That Rock At Me

Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks: One of the funniest routines ever.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Hobbit Helps Out

Celebrity encounters in L.A. tend to be strange.  It's rare that you get to exchange a word with one of them.  Usually, you get to stare and eavesdrop on their conversations, like the time I saw O.J. Simpson in a store up on Beverly Glen, and he was excited by a certain display case:  "Oh good," said O.J. "You have the Swiss Army Knife line.  I'm a big investor."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Hot Dog Makes Her Lose Control

I was very young during the very manic ’60s, too young to make much of a political statement, although I did my best. My Barbie doll and I both went bra-less, and I already knew instinctively (and because the poster on my wall said so) that war was not healthy for children and other living things. But there were certain things that were good for everyone. Take TV. It paid the bills.  My dad Ben Starr wrote TV shows (films and plays, too.)  Even better, it was the peacekeeper in the family. We sat in front of that box for hours, not caring whether the signal was fuzzy or clear. We watched, we laughed – especially during “Mr. Ed,” one of my dad's shows – and best of all, no one yelled, for the most part. True, there may have been some sisterly whines, some brotherly elbowing.  One of us probably got sent to our room for misbehavior. To miss one show was manageable. To get TV taken away was a near-death experience. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Post Valentine's

Valentine's Day, we courted at Joe's
Bought shallots and shrimp with hard-earned dough.
Valentine's Day, we parked in the lot.
They open at nine, wait, they do not.
Valentine's Day, they opened at eight
We found long stems for our son's big date.
Valentine's Day, you took a long nap
Glad Ohno won in the final lap.
Valentine's Day, I went off to dance
Tabled the plans for some hot romance.
Valentine's Day, you cooked us dinner
Pasta and prawns, always a winner.
Valentine's Day, now over and done
I can hardly wait for next year, hun.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Must Be Love

Phil Collins sings "This Must Be Love," a personal fav

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rent Me

The youngest son informs me on Friday that he's been rented by his girlfriend, in honor of Valentine's Day.  Call it heartfelt, call it a school fundraiser.  I call it twisted.  As usual, I'm compelled to look at this situation from various angles.  That my son is now part of an elaborate rental agreement means many things, each more disturbing than the next:  He's growing up.  At 18, he's rentable, whereas at 10, his heart was non-negotiable.  It belonged only to me.  But now there are others who want a piece.  What's up with that?  Back in preschool, pre-K, pre-adolescence, he'd hand out chocolate hearts and tiny cards that said "Be Mine,"  but his heart wasn't in it.  He did it because he had to, and if he wanted his own stash of chocolate, he had to play along.  On Valentine's Day, boy or girl, every kid got candy.  But now he's buying roses and jewelry and making dinner reservations for two.  A new chamber has opened in his heart, making room for Cupid.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Follow Those Hips

I sit in the lobby of my dance studio, an old copy of People on my lap.  Footsteps clomp up the stairs.  I overhear the following conversation, between my dance teacher, Doug Rivera (DR) and a new student (NS) who hasn't taken much jazz before.  Poor gal.  She's struggling. 

NS:  "It's hard to follow the little blonde in the front.  I do better when I follow the girl that stands in the middle."

DR:  "Which girl?"

NS:  "The short one, with the hips."

DR: "Oh, you mean Carol?"

NS:  "That's the one."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's Always Another Way Inside

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Diving for Dollars


I don’t like to talk trash, it's beneath me, but as I pull into my driveway, I can't believe what I'm seeing.  I get all farklempt. I can hardly breathe. The lower half of a man juts heavenward out of our big blue container. He’s half-man, half-trash can. His legs flop around as he digs for aluminum.  He's on a bender for recyclables.  He's going green all the way. There's a mountain of soda cans in there, contributed mainly by the Coke-loving youngest son.  Even so, I can't stifle a dainty WTF?!  Once Big Blue lands curbside, does it cease to be private property?  More importantly, if the upside down dude banks some dollars, am I entitled to a piece of the action?  Ten percent of the profits?  Fifteen?  I'm so torn.  Like most on the planet, we're up to our lids in bills.  A little extra dough wouldn't hurt.  I idle on the pavers, debating my next move. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hubby's Super Bowl Chili

How much?!

Super Bowl Sunday means different things to different people.  For some, it's a reason to live.  For others, it's a reason to leave the house.  Every year, hubby makes a big pot of turkey chili.  His parents come over.  They gather in the living room with the youngest son, and shortly thereafter, someone is yelling.  Someone else is swearing.  Someone is pacing.  Someone is dropping chips and guacamole on the floor.  The Short Jewish Gal makes a guest appearance, feigns interest in the game, tosses out a generic "Go, team!" and slips out to dance class.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Don't Go There, Girlfriend

Step away from the hottie!

As a long-time celebrity watcher, it is my duty to dish out sound advice to famous gals in the midst (or on the cusp) of romantic turmoil. I like to intervene as early as possible, in hopes that they'll actually listen to me and take my words to heart. Today I offer a double dose of wisdom to Jennifer Anniston and Taylor Swift. Jennifer, according to various tabloids, you've asked notorious ladies man Gerard Butler to move in to your Beverly Hills mansion. Are you completely meshuga?  Did you not learn anything from your previous ladies man, John Mayer?  So, fine.  You had a summer fling with Gerry, as I like to call him.  Mr. Hot Stuff with the cute accent.  You couldn't resist.  I get it.  Then you reconnected promoting a movie, and now, it's drool-time all over again.  Hear me out:  Don't go there, girlfriend. This is a bad decision.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Me watching "Lost"

Flash-sideways.  Parallel universes.  Oy vey.  Talk about lost.  Like a lunatic, I spend all Tuesday preparing for the season premiere of "Lost."  This is the sixth and final season of my favorite show.  EVER.  I want to be ready.  I want to be a little less confused.  Ha.  So I revisit the Season Five Finale.  I re-read Doc Jensen's theories on Entertainment Weekly's fab and addictive website.  I warm up like an athlete, preparing my brain for all the hurdles and mind-benders up ahead.  At 8 p.m., I begin my long-awaited (eight months of waiting!) journey.  I board my flight to god-knows-where.  The first hour offers a tempting overview, in the unlikely event that prospective fans might care to enter the crazy end zone of "Lost," this late in the game. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You Have A Nice Face

"You have a nice face," says the lady at the Chanel makeup counter.  "Not everyone does."  Well said, m'lady!  If there's a better way to get this short Jewish gal to unload obscene amounts of dinero, I have yet to hear it.  Of course, she catches me at a vulnerable moment.  I'm looking for the Prescriptives counter.  This is meant to be a strike attack:  Get the foundation powder.  Get the lipstick.  Get out of Macy's alive. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lost in Lost

Imagine a magnificent island full of polar bears, smoke monsters, decade-hoppers, untrustworthy souls, ageless dudes and grungy crash survivors who maintain their sex appeal, year after year. Picture a twisted dreamland in a magical time zone, where subversive references to all things biblical, literary, mythological and scientific make you question the worthiness of your college degree.   On Tuesday night, "Lost" returns, and two seconds in, I’ll be feeling dumb again. Walk by the bedroom door and you’ll hear me shouting at the TV, sounding like hubby when the Bruins are losing. In other words, certifiably nuts.