Monday, January 31, 2011

Rap A Rap A Rap

They call them the rappers:  The K.I.D.S.
Over the weekend, the bearded college boy and his roomie performed once again at a house party up in Santa Cruz, and this one didn't get broken up by the police.  If that's not good news, what is? The K.I.D.S. (Kickin Incredibly Dope Sh*t) are in demand, recording their first EP this week.  What this has to do with obtaining a university education, the SJG has no freakin' idea, but I continue to kvell, nonetheless, and drop subtle hints about getting all his work done in-between gigs.  My son, the Rapper.  Next stop:  Anyone's guess.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Five Things I Won't Be Doing Today

1.  Brunching with Charlie Sheen
2.  Reciting my sons' haftorah portions
3.  Mastering the Art of French Cooking
4.  Showing off my curves in a tiny dress
5.  Recreating the finale of "Lost" in my living room

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Look, There's Your Idol

People, people who need people
The eldest stops by Friday morning and sees the Calendar section of the L.A. Times on the counter.  On the front page, a photo of the one, the only, the magificent Carole King, featured in "Troubadours:  The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter," a new documentary that just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  "Look, there's your idol," my son says, "Barbra Streisand."  The SJG begins to shake uncontrollably. "Are you kidding me?  Have I taught you nothing?  That's not Barbra Streisand.  That's Carole King.  'You've Got A Friend.'  'Natural Woman.'  'Up on the Roof.'"  He takes another look at the photo and shrugs.  "You need to be more informed," I tell him.  "I could care less," he says, and grabs a blueberry muffin.  First he mistakes Julie Andrews for Judi Dench.  Now this.  I can hardly wait till he mistakes me for Betty White.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Curious Case of the Sponge

That sponge didn't just get there by itself. Or did it?
Yesterday afternoon, I opened the fridge and found a sponge staring back at me.  I immediately called hubby at work and tried to force a confession.  For the occasion, I used my best British accent.  Everything sounds so much better in British.  "By any chance, did you leave the sponge in the fridge this morning, love?" "Why no, I don't think so," said hubby, matching my accent, "but might I make a suggestion?" "Oh, yes.  Please do."  After 30 years, hubby and the SJG still address each other with the utmost cordiality.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ow, My Arm Is Stuck

As interpreted by a kid.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bring Your Mother To Work Day

The employed son stopped by the other morning to investigate the breakfast offerings.  He lives half a block from the market, but my fridge is easier to navigate.  And free.  I was so ecstatic to see him -- it had been 16 long hours since I last laid eyes on him -- that I refused to let go of him.  Clingy?  I resent that.  When it was time for him to head off to the factory, I hung on for dear life. "Take me with you," I said.  "Do they have Bring Your Mother to Work Day?" he asked, terrified of the answer.  "No, but they should," I said. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'd Like To Thank The Academy

This is a very exciting morning for the SJG.  I've hit a personal milestone.  I've achieved the unachievable. For the first time in my life, I've seen every single movie nominated for Best Picture.  Woo-hoo.  Break out the bubbly.  It's party time in Sherman Oaks. BFD, you say?  How dare you!  How many of you slackers out there can say the same thing, huh?  True, the SJG has some advantages over you, specifically: a top-secret supplier of movie screeners, a great guy, a hero of mine, a dude who'd never want his name mentioned in connection with such a federal offense.  Those screeners are straight out of "Mission Impossible."  After viewing, they self-destruct.  But God forbid they don't self-destruct, due to technical difficulties.  They expect you to smash them into tiny pieces with your bare hands and sprinkle them over your matzoh brei.  Screeners or not, I challenge you to match my astonishing viewing record.  You have till 5 p.m.  Good luck.  The fact that I've seen most of these movies in the comfort of my home, as opposed to out there in theaters with germ-carrying commoners, may peg me as a snob.  Fine.  So be it.  I've been aiming for snobhood my whole life.  I do believe I've met my goal.  I'd like to thank the little people.  You know who you are.  Thank you.  And you.  And you.  Here's the SJG rundown of Best Picture Nominees.  Some I liked, some I loved, some I loved, loved, some left me scratching my keppy, some left me saying, WTF? 
'Black Swan' :  keppy-scratcher
'The Fighter':  liked it, didn't love it
'Inception':  WTF?
'The Kids Are All Right':  loved, loved it
'The King's Speech':  loved, loved, loved it
'127 Hours':  loved, loved it
'The Social Network':  loved it
'Toy Story 3': loved it
'True Grit':  sleep-inducer
'Winter's Bone': loved, loved it

Monday, January 24, 2011

Face Time With Jack

The SJG's secret to beauty, courtesy of the great Jack LaLanne.  RIP to the original fitness maven.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sports Talk

This morning, I ask hubby, "What time does your football begin?" "At noon," he says.  I decide to impress him with my vast knowledge of football:  "It's your New York Jets vs your Green Bay Packers." He starts to laugh.  "Love the enthusiasm, but you've got your teams wrong.  The Jets are playing the Steelers." "Who are the Packers playing?" I ask, feigning interest.  "The Bears."  "Like I said, Jets vs. Steelers. Packers vs. Bears.  I can't wait to be out of the house while it's all going down."  "If the Jets win and the Packers win, they'll play each other in the Super Bowl." "So I just predicted the Super Bowl teams."  "Only if they both win." "Oh, they're winning."  "We'll see."  "I'm calling it right now.  Jets vs. Packers in the Super Bowl.  Care to make a wager?"  Hubby asks, "What's the spread?" "It's between chopped liver and herring."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dr. Mom

Quit complaining and eat it. Number one, chicken soup is
good for the flu -- and number two, it's nobody we know
The college boy ever-so-casually mentions that he's not feeling well.  It's a bad cold, bad cough situation.  Hearing this pains the SJG on many levels.  I tell him to go to Student Health.  He reacts as if I've just told him to board a spaceship to Mars. "It's just a cold."  I try another approach.  "Are you taking anything?" "That stuff you packed for me."  "What stuff?"  "The cough medicine and the inhaler."  "Which inhaler?"  "I don't know the name."  Part-time asthma specialist that I am, I pursue this line of questioning. "Is it Pro-Air?"  "I don't know."  "Honey, please look at it and tell me which one it is."  On the other end, he issues a very sarcastic groan. I hear him get out of bed and cough.  Days, months, years pass before he comes back.  I could have driven there, taken care of him, and changed his sheets.  "Symbi- something."  "Symbicort?"  "Yeah."  "How many times have you used it today?"  "Four."  "That's too much.  It's not a rescue inhaler."  "What's that mean?"  "It means you're only supposed to use it twice a day, in the morning and at night." From here, I tell him all the things he should be doing, and he pretends to listen.  "Have you taken your temperature yet?"  "No."  "Take it."  "I don't have a thermometer."  "Yes, you do.  I packed one."  "I can't find it."  "Have you looked for it?"  "No."  Oh, if only my friend Elena and I had actually launched that business we always talk about whenever our college kinder get sick. We'd call it The Mamalas, a nationwide dorm-to-dorm service that delivers chicken soup and smothering hugs to ailing undergraduates.  "Honey, I want you to find the thermometer and take your temperature, okay?"  "Uh-huh."  "And if you're not feeling better, I want you to go to Student Health on Monday."  "Uh-huh."  On Monday, I'll remind him.  Or get on a plane and tell him in person.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Asphalt Envy

Some people envy the wealth and good fortune of others, their champagne lifestyles and caviar dreams.  Hubby and I are above all that.  We're simple folk, really.  We envy streets that are as smooth as a baby's tushy.  We long for asphalt that doesn't threaten to swallow us whole.  We dream of a street free of potholes and bumpy terrain, a street that doesn't require off-road vehicles and graduation from the Bob Bondurant School of Defensive Driving.  It takes courage and navigational fortitude, not to mention a nice helping of mazel, just to make it down our street without throwing our cars out of alignment. 

We want what we can't have, but that doesn't stop hubby from trying.  He is our pothole vigilante.  He goes out and covers the holes himself.  He's that kind of activist.  And when he gets fed up, which is often, he calls and badgers Street Maintenance yet again.  "Yeah, your street's in failed condition," they tell him.  No sh*t!  "Your street's been in the repair queue for 30 years." Thirty years.  Is that all?  Our street is so eff'd up, it needs a total rebuild.  Unless we'd like to pay for it ourselves, we'll have to wait another 30 years, and by then, we'll be to old to care. 

This week in particular has been hard for us.  Our asphalt envy runneth over.  My good friend Trixie's dainty little street just two blocks away is getting the royal street repair treatment.  A total rebuild.  A major makeover.  No fair.  Yesterday, I opened my investigation by hurling accusations.  "So, Trixie, who'd you have to sleep with to make this happen?"  "Make what happen?" she asked.  "To get your street repaired."  "How dare you suggest such a thing!" "Don't play innocent with me, missy. You either slept with the mayor or greased the palm of a street maintenance mucky-muck.  Which is it?"  "I'm sorry.  You've reached the wrong number."  "Oh, I've got your number, baby."  "Back off, bitch!"  "Spill it, Trixie, or I go public with this." She couldn't take the pressure and caved.  "When it comes to my street, I'm a slut.  I'll do whatever it takes."  "Does Morty know?"  "Who do you think suggested it?"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Those Lips, Those Eyes

The SJG's instant temperature read on the premiere of "American Idol":  Well-done!  I couldn't quite believe it.  I expected disaster.  I was banking on it.  But Steven Tyler's crazy elastic face, moppy hair, oogly eyes and gigantor inflatable lips add up to refreshing, unforeseen hilarity.  The dude from Aerosmith knows his sh*t.  He took the lead judge's position early on and ran with it.  Randy, the Dawg, at least at this stage, just doesn't bring leadership to the table.  His routine needs a major reboot.  I hear he gets tougher later on, which I hope is true, because as of now, he's dullsville and defers to the others.  J.Lo is far more likable and less diva-ish than I anticipated.  It really pained her to say no. As we say at SJG Institute of Snap Judgment, I look forward to watching her evolve.  Last night's contestants remain a blur, although I loved Tiffany Rios, the Snooki girl with the silver stars on her ta-tas.  She is definitely the one to hate if she makes it through Hollywood Week.  The Japanese girlish guy who sang "Party in the USA" made me scream with laughter, as did Achille Lovle, the Ivory Coast gal who sang "Dress You Up in My Love."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tiger Vs. Chicken Soup

One day, you'll play the violin and
get straight A's, or else
The Chinese Mother: "Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable — even legally actionable — to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, 'Hey fatty — lose some weight.' By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of 'health' and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image."-- Amy Chua, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother"
The Jewish Mother:  A lot of people wonder how Jewish mothers manage to raise such hilarious and entertaining kids, even though they're imperfect, use the f-word, never edit themselves, chew with their mouths open, refuse to write thank you notes for gifts under $1,000 and never make their own beds.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let The Cringe Fest Begin

I've barely recovered from the mean-spirited, sinister cringe fest that was the Golden Globes, and now I have another one to look forward to:  "American Idol:  The Remix."  J-Lo.  Steven Tyler.  Randy Jackson in first position.  Oh, dear God, the SJG can't wait.  I only wish it were tonight instead of Wednesday.  And yet, if a brief survey of my nearest and dearest serves as any indication, I may be the only one watching the agony unfold. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Day After

Why thank you!
Hubby informs me that today is no longer my birthday, that I must lock away my bejeweled crown, send the marching band home, put away the banner that proclaims, "It's my b'day, bitches," and stop forcing people to sing to me.  On Sunday, it was cute.  On Monday, not so much.  All day yesterday, I answered the phone, not with my customary "Y'ellody!" but "Hit it!"  My dad and brothers seem to be the only ones who understand this annual command.  They break into the most wondrous renditions of "Happy Birthday" you've ever heard.  Other callers just sound perplexed, not to mention hostile, like the lady from the Red Cross. "Hit what?" she said.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Put Another Candle On The B'day Cake

That's right, you heard correctly. Today the SJG advanced in age. I'm another year older today. I'm the birthday bitch. All day. This means I get to do whatever I want today. If I want to do nothing, I'll do nothing. If I want to eat chocolate, stand back. If I want to parade down the block waving a banner that proclaims, "It's my b'day, bitches!" don't get in my way.  I think Sheriff John put it best, don't you?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Son, The Rapper

Scott D and Dmac:  The Kids
When he's not studying about flatulence and philosophy, the college boy, aka Scott D, is very busy rapping and laying down tasty tracks with his roomie, DeJon, aka Dmac.  I kid you not.  They are the Kids:  (K)ickin
(I)ncredibly (D)ope (S)h*t.  Hubby and I just sampled a few of their raps: "Dmac on the mic and we killin' it.  Scott D on the mic and we killin' it."  Subject matter ranges from hot ladies and lighting up, to lighting up and hot ladies.  No mention of going to the library, doing the laundry, making the bed or eating healthy food.  The SJG thinks these are excellent topics, too.  The EP drops in Feb.  Stay tuned.  Tonight they're performing at a house party in Santa Cruz.  I'm still waiting for my invite.  Good luck, Kids.  Kill it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Zodiac Attack

Bad Capricorn:  Sounds about right for the SJG
Just in time for my birthday, Zodiac panic has swept the nation.  Like 99 percent of things in life, I take this personally.  I see it as karmic comeuppance.  Long ago, I'm talking 1979ish, my first job out of college was at 'Teen Magazine, headquartered on Sunset Boulevard.  As an editorial assistant, I had many important tasks to perform.  I answered phones, I walked the publisher's dog, I made coffee, I sorted through truckloads of mail, and -- brace yourselves -- I made up the horoscope column.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ladies At Lunch

Today I will be a lady at lunch, as opposed to a lunch lady, serving up gobs of hot mush to screaming kiddies. Today I will dress nicely and do my best to behave, although I can't make any promises.  You know how I get when I'm excited.  Today I will lunch with my wonderful, gorgeous, gifted friend Carla.  We are celebrating the miracle, the magic, the quizzical blend of genetics that makes up the SJG.   It is my birthday all week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

South Park 101

The college boy couldn't be happier.  He's up in Santa Cruz, studying the intricacies of flatulence (a topic he's well acquainted with) and satire, as it pertains to "South Park" (a show he worships). If that's not higher education, what is?  For your enlightenment, I give you an excerpt from "Flatulence and Philosophy: A Lot of Hot Air, or the Corruption of Youth?" by William W. Young III.  Study it carefully. There will be a short quiz afterwards:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Guide To Women

We're really not that hard to figure out
The following Hormone Guide is another anonymous gem: "Every woman knows that there are days when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his hands.  This is a handy guide that should be carried like a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, co-worker or significant other."
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lights Out

SJG to the rescue
Mid-way through the warm up at dance class on Sunday, the lights went out in the studio.  A chorus of ladylike cursing soon followed. Our fearless dance teacher Doug went down the hall to work the fuse box, to no avail.  Naturally, the SJG stepped in to save the day.  "I'll help you.  I'm good with this stuff," I said.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Early Years

"I'm the boss"
Just the other day, I was watching him swing from the monkey bars.  Today he's 23 and going to bars.  How did that happen?  In honor of his birthday, a few of our favorite Billy-isms from the very early years:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Call Me Mommy

Ever since the eldest moved out and the young-est retreated to Santa Cruz, I've been looking for something new to obsess about, and I do believe I've found it.  Are the rumors true?  Is John Edwards, a disappointing human on many levels, really engaged to that bitch Rielle Hunter?  What's going on there?  I can't sleep at night.  So this morning, I couldn't stand another minute of uncertainty and placed a call to Alan Duncan, Hunter's attorney.  "This is the SJG," I said.  "Who?" Duncan asked.  "Short Jewish Gal, Pulitzer-prize winning blogger and long-time resident of Sherman Oaks."  "What can I do for you, ma'am?"  "You can tell me if the rumors are true about John and Rielle tying the knot so soon after Elizabeth Edwards died.  It's so beyond tacky, I could toss my matzo brei." "Promise to keep to it yourself?"  "Abso-tively." "You won't blog about this?"  "Hell, no."  "Alright. I do not believe it to be true." "Even though The National Enquirer said Edwards proposed, you're saying it's total b.s.?"  "I believe I've answered your question, Short Jewish Gal." "Please, call me SJG."  "I'm hanging up now, SJG." So there you have it.  Edwards and Hunter are NOT engaged.  Until, of course, they hire me as their personal wedding consultant.  And when that happens, you'll be the first to know.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Protect and Serve

History has shown us that Labrador Retrievers make excellent workers. They hunt, detect, guide, schlep and write abstract poetry.  In this amazing action shot, Dusty protects the SJG from a runaway lion that appeared in our yard early this morning, to sip from the pool, nosh on grass and consume an entire patio set.  While we wait for the Disney attorneys to come and claim Simba, Dusty has tricked him into thinking our fence is Pride Rock.  Simba's up there right now, singing "Hakuna Matata," ad nauseum.  Enough already.  What's worse, every time Dusty tries to join in, Simba threatens to charge royalties. Dusty's weekly allowance won't cover it.  What to do?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Don't Panic

My favorite motto
Go ahead.  Ask me about my origins.  Ask me why I'm a certain way, and wait for a deep, psychoanalytical answer.  Or talk to hubby, my personal biographer, who knows all the dirt. The other night, I was reading an intense scene in Caroline Leavitt's wonderful new book, "Pictures of Me." (Read it.) There was rain and lightening and asthma going on, and I was so into it, so on the edge of my tush, that when hubby came through the bedroom door, I actually screamed.  Hubby didn't even flinch.  He's used to this behavior.  He walks into a room too quietly.  I don't hear him.  I startle easily.  I scream.  But it's not my fault.  For a full explanation of why the SJG is so freakin' jumpy, so prone to panic, hubby will hand you a copy of my (as yet) unpublished masterpiece, "I Felt Good About My Butt Back Then."  Basically, it starts with how the SJG entered the galaxy. Way back in the sweet, innocent late '50s, when Mom was in her last trimester with baby me, she got chicken pox, courtesy of Bro' 1 and Bro' 2. Complications ensued.  She became so sick with double pneumonia, that her gynecologist – “that man who almost killed me three times,” as she decribed him – kept her out of the hospital so she shouldn't spread germs.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Josh Groban Sings Kanye

"French fries are the devil."
Josh Groban sings the best tweets of Kanye West.  "Fur pillows are actually hard to sleep on." "I make awesome decisions in bike stores." And many, many more.  For full screen, double click, yo.  Enjoy.
"I love me!!!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The After Hours

You know who you are!
Anne Francis, aka "Honey West," died the other day at the age of 80.  She starred in my favorite "Twilight Zone" episode ever, called "The After Hours." The first time I saw it, I was babysitting and wanted to hide behind the couch.  But I didn't.  That would've been unprofessional.  So I sat there and quivered in my desert boots.  All these years later, "The After Hours" still scares the SJG.  In the opening, Anne Francis wanders from counter to counter, not a care in the world.  Rod Serling tell us: "Express elevator to the ninth floor of a department store, carrying Miss Marsha White on a most prosaic, ordinary, run of the mill errand. Miss Marsha White on the ninth floor, specialties department, looking for a gold thimble. The odds are she'll find it, but there are even better odds that she'll find something else, because this isn't just a department store. This happens to be the Twilight Zone."

Oy vey, I'm a mannequin  
Miss White, you see, was due back yesterday, but she forgot.  How selfish can a mannequin be?  And now the other mannequins are pissed-off.  And they're coming after her! "Marsha... Marsha... Marsha!"  Run, Marsha.  Run!  At the end of the eppie, she's posed on a platform,  lifeless, a plastic smile on her face.  Rod Serling tell us: "Marsha White in her normal and natural state…But it makes you wonder, doesn't it? Just how normal are we? Just who are the people we nod our hellos to as we pass on the street? A rather good question to ask, particularly in the Twilight Zone."  A rather good question to ask in Sherman Oaks, too.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Way To San Jose

The college boy sleeps upstairs. The dog barks at nothing.  The SJG sips coffee.  Ah, nice morning.  Quiet.  Except the barking.  Peaceful.  All is right with the world.  The phone rings.  It is the eldest.  He lives far far away now, several blocks away.  "I eff'n overslept.  My eff'n iPhone alarm didn't go off. Eff, eff, eff."  Welcome to Monday.  The eldest and hubby still plan to carpool to work. The eldest needs to get his tush over here pronto.  "I'll make you a bagel," I say.  He arrives, he eats.  Off they go.  Problem solved.  It's quiet again.  Except the barking.  Peaceful.  All is right with the world.  The SJG settles in to write.  Minutes go by.  Ah. This is good.  Me likey.  The college boy calls downstairs. "Mom!  Why didn't you wake me?" "Was I supposed to?" "I'm leaving this morning, remember?"  Of course.  How could I forget.  We rush around.  We are late.  Very, very late.  He barely makes the plane to San Jose.  Whoops.  Bad SJG.  I will do better next time.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


SJG drank here last century
What day is it?  I have no idea.  If you know, please tell me.  I'm so confused.  The whole holiday thing has eff'd with my brain, a delicate instrument under the best of circumstances.  I need to get back to something resembling a schedule.  The day after whatever today is seems like a good start.  This is when the college boy heads back to Santa Cruz for winter quarter.  This is a good thing for all concerned. The visit home has provided many highs and lows regarding all those highs.  Generation Text loves to party.  It's like a competitive sport.  I get it (sort of).  I refer you to the infamous Hofbrauhaus Incident, Munich, December, 1977, when the SJG and future-hubby were so farshikkert, strangers had to help us to the train station, one block away.  Still, when it comes to my boys, I prefer that the partying takes place off-camera, far away from the SJG.  In another city, another universe, where I don't have to see or smell the evidence. If that's denial, bring it. I could use a stein or two.  Skol!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pasadena Rejects SJG

Once again, the parade passed me by. The goyim of Pasadena rejected The SJG Float, made entirely of onion bagels, cream cheese and lox imported from Costco. Early this morning, security stopped me at the gate. "Hey, this float's made of flour," I shouted. The guards stared at me. "Wrong kind of flower, ma'am."  "But I schlepped all the way from Sherman Oaks to be part of the Tournament of Moses."  That's when they grabbed me.  "Let the SJG go!"  So they did.  They let me off with a warning.  Oh well, there's always next year.