Monday, February 28, 2011

Make It Stop

Wake up, James Franco
All night, the SJG kept telling Cuzzy, commander of the remote control, to make it better, make it faster, make it stop. He gave it his best shot.  He pushed buttons and arrows and did some fancy high-tech maneuvers, but had no power over the Academy Awards.  Cuzzy couldn't make James Franco snap out of it, wake up and join the party.  JF looked so uncomfortable on stage, so get-me-out-of-here,  so-what-was-I-thinking, that I felt a little sorry for him, but not much.  Most of all, I felt tricked by all those funny promos that filled me with glee. I may have said the following:  This might be better than I thought.  Alas. The SJG was wrong, which is a very rare occurrence.  Anne Hathaway looked pretty in all her gowns, and tried very, very hard to overcompensate for her lackluster co host, but in the end, the whole dealio was a great big bombski.  Oh, it was painful on many levels.  Young demo, my tuchas.  Bring back the altacockers.  Bring back Billy Crystal.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Call From Santa Cruz

I kinda lost my jacket.
How do you lose a jacket?
I left it somewhere.
My friend's dorm.  In the lounge.
Did someone take it?
Maybe.  I don't know. 
That was a nice jacket.
It kept me really warm.
Did you try to find it?
I looked around.  It's not there.
So it's definitely lost.
Yeah.  I'm sorry.
How do you lose a jacket?
I was a little drunk.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

SJG Oscar Predictions

The SJG predicts the following may or may not happen at the 2011 Academy Awards:  Queen Elizabeth will present Best Picture.  Rooster Cogburn's horse will present Best Supporting Animal.  The Real Housewives of Sherman Oaks will present Best Supporting Bitch.  James Franco and Anne Hathaway will do a lengthy musical tribute to "Fiddler on the Roof."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Wear

Blunt Cards: snarky & hilarious
For my cuzzy's intimate Oscar gathering, I'll be wearing my inner-beauty.  Wrapping my heart in Vera Wang, pumping up my soul in Loubutins, detailing my aura in Tiffany. I'm schlepping the finery out of storage, hiring a stylist to bring out my love of humanity, my interior Mother Teresa.  Should the crew from "What Not To Wear" drop by, to trash the personal mishegas I've worked so hard to own; should the fashion police declare me too dated on the inside, too "last season," I promise you, I will bring them down.  You heard it here first, bitches. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Vocal Coach From Hell

"Bury her ass on stage!  Tap-right-dance on her tongue!" -- Peggi Blu, vocal coach from hell.  Definitely the new gal to hate, as mean and abusive as they come.  The SJG no likey.  She's just all kinds of wrong.  Here's hoping her journey on "A.I." ends soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tonight On NCIS: Sherman Oaks

Has anyone seen the SJG?
When classified Naval documents are uploaded to Short Jewish Gal, a popular blog site, "NCIS: Sherman Oaks" works really hard to stop some bad stuff from happening.  The handsome and super hunky stars track down the fetching owner of the blog site, Carol Starr Schneider, in her kitchen, cooking a nice chicken, but very miffed that someone used her site without asking first. The NCIS boys sit down and have a nosh and discuss what up with that.  After the commerical break, the dudes trade off dancing with the SJG in the living room.  One of them says, "Let's see those jazz hands," and she obliges. Delicious mandel bread and fruit compote soon follow.  The handsome and super hunky stars promise to show the baddies who's in charge, plus figure out top-secret such n' such before the end of the episode.  Best of all, they give the SJG their word they'll return for Passover.  "We hear you make a wonderful brisket," they say.  "I won't deny it," says the SJG, and sends them off with a care package in case they get hungry later.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


“First you must find... another shrubbery! Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must place it here, beside this shrubbery, only slightly higher so you get a two layer effect with a little path running down the middle. Then, you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest... with... a herring!” In honor of Monty Python, not to mention GW and the other prezzies, hubby cut down, not a cherry tree, but a heap of shrubbery.  What started as "a little trimming" turned into a whole lot of tsuris.  Short of a bonfire in the streets of Sherman Oaks, don't ask me how he plans to get rid of the branches, but then, this is not the SJG's department.  Why can't he just play golf like other dudes on their day off? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Look What Came In The Mail

RSVP:  Oh, hell yes!
The official Prince of Wales website confirms "the groups" that have been invited to the Royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.  The site also says that of the 1,900 people invited to the service, only "around 600" have been invited to the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace given by The Queen. And "around 300 people" have been invited to the dinner at Buckingham Palace given by The Prince of Wales."  The SJG can now reveal that I made the cut.  After all, I am their spiritual and cultural guide to all things Jewish.  Don't act so surprised, people.  I deserve to be there.  Trust me, I've worked hard for this.  With Passover just around the bend, do you have any idea how hard it was to teach these two the Four Questions in Hebrew? They still can't pronounce afikomen, but they do have some wonderful ideas about where to hide it.  So.  Look for me at all the royal festivities, handing out the challah and helping the couple find just the right moment to spring the big news:  "We've converted.  L'chaim!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Stay Married

Tell me again how buttons are made

Hubby and I have very different ideas about home entertainment.  He's happy to watch hours of the most mind-numbing programming ever created.  It's his way of zoning out.  The SJG demands an engaging plot, top quality acting, a big splashy musical number, and at least one studly specimen with tight abs, to make it worth my while.  Hubby will watch a show about plumbing.  I will watch a show that features a hunky plumber (like Mike on "Desperate Housewives.")  Hubby will watch a show about how buttons are made.  The SJG gets bored sewing a button on.  But that doesn't mean I can't feign interest.  I'm good for about five minutes and then my brain goes elsewhere. Hubby feigns interest in things that interest me, too. While one of us expounds on the exciting topic at hand  -- why the Bruins suck, or why Jennifer Aniston can't find a man -- the other one nods, smiles and says pithy things like, "Oh, really!" and, "Wow," and, "Do tell!"  In this way, and many others, we stay married.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Meet The Spa Concierge

Spa Concierge No More
Holy sh*t, Batman, this one's a keeper.  Dang, if Steven T. and J-Lo haven't scouted some kick-ass talent for "American Idol." I know most of my peeps aren't bothering to watch this very entertaining season, due to burn-out and more important philanthropic endeavors, and yet, the SJG would be remiss if I didn't share this yummy goodness with you.  Meet 23-year-old Jacob Lusk.  Dude's ready for his career-massage. But please, the SJG begs you to can the weep-o-rama.  Suck it up, brutha, you've just hit the big time.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Neighbor Boy

Come to think of it, he did seem a little off
Here's a short piece I wrote for the current issue of
Hot Valley Writers about a scary little boy who had it in for my youngest son.  It's called "Kill Kotty."

Nothing prepared me for a scary little barefoot boy named Josef, who moved to the neighborhood with his huge Orthodox family. He liked to stand at the top of our driveway, watching Scotty, my then-eight year old, play basketball. Josef would tilt his head and say, in a freaky Damian-like slur, “Kill Kotty! Kill Kotty!” I wasn’t sure whether to take these death threats too seriously. But I couldn't just ignore them. The kid was a notorious rock thrower, and rumor had it he was capable of strange feats of strength, like bending back metal latches with his hands. Late at night, he'd crawl out of his second-story window, slide down the roof and ride his bike, barefoot, down busy streets.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Meeting of Two SJGs

Here I am with the lovely Caroline Leavitt at the ladies literary lunch.  The SJG has a slight height advantage over the NYC SJG.  The heels of my boots were higher than the lift of her red cowboy boots.  Even though I towered over her, in my usual intimidating way, I was unable to convince her to take up residency in my humble abode, and serve as my own private literary fairy godmother, sprinkling magic dust all over me on a daily basis.  Oh, well.  I tried.  But I did wrangle an autograph and a cute drawing of a tea cup.  So I'm good.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ladies Literary Lunch

Caroline Leavitt
Today I get to meet the lovely and talented Caroline Leavitt, author of "Pictures of You," at a ladies literary lunch.  Any man who dares to crash the ladies literary lunch will be forced to wear high heels and a hat and speak in alliteration.  Or so I'm told.  I could be wrong about that.  I'm excited to dress up like a lady, if only for today, to lose the sweatpants and comfy slippers, put on my suede boots and say hey, in person, to my online writing teacher from UCLA Extension's Novel 1.  She's a sophisticated, tortoise-loving New York gal, still shaking off the snow, and I'm hoping that once she sees the sights of Manhattan Beach, it will be so easy to convince to her to forget NYC and take up literary residence in the home of the SJG.  What could be more rewarding than holding my hand while I finish my novel, which has only been gestating since 1958.  Everyone agrees it is taking me too eff'n long to complete, but maybe Caroline can point me toward the light.  I'm sure her mispocha back home will understand that staying with me, indefinitely, is for a good cause. 
NY Times Bestseller

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gift Ideas

What did hubby give me this year?
Hubby walks into the Lingerie Department of Macy's. He tells the saleslady, "I would like a Jewish bra for the SJG, size 34B." With a quizzical look the saleslady asks, "What kind of bra?" He repeats, "A Jewish bra. She says to tell you that she wanted a Jewish bra, and that you would know what she wanted." "Ah, now I remember," says the saleslady. "We don't get as many requests for them as we used to. Most of our customers lately want the Catholic bra, or the Salvation Army bra, or the Presbyterian bra." Confused, and a little flustered, hubby asks, "So, what are the differences?" The saleslady responds. "It is all really quite simple. The Catholic bra supports the masses, the Salvation Army lifts up the fallen, and the Presbyterian bra keeps them staunch and upright." He muses on that information for a minute and says,"Hmm...I know I'll regret asking, but what does the Jewish bra do?" "Ah, the Jewish bra," she replies, "makes mountains out of molehills." (Big thankie to Sandy Russell for sending this hilarity to me!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Step Away From The Toaster

Burnt croissant:  what happens when the
SJG doesn't pay attention
Another example that I am, in fact, human, as opposed to a visitor from another planet, popping into Sherman Oaks on a temporary leave.  I was so busy watching the story of a nice Jewish boy from East L.A. (Mr. Herb Albert), married 37 years to his own SJG (Lani Hall) on "Sunday Morning," and dancing around to the contagious tunes of the Tijuana Brass, that I forgot all about hubby's slow-roasting breakfast. His only comment:  "Crispy."  Good thing we had another croissant on standby, in case of catastrophe.  Wisely, I put him in charge of round two with the toaster, and he won.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Advice

Dear SJG,
Every year, I try my best to look gorgeous on Valentine's Day.  I pull out my finest fishnets, my skintight couture, my sky-high stilettos.  I slap on my purple eye shadow,  smear on my shiny red lipstick, rouge my cheeks and tease my hair into a fetching beehive, and wait for romance.  Still, no takers.  What am I doing wrong?
Confused in Sherman Oaks

Dear Confused,
You're welcome,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gift Time

The story of a cucumber left hubby unimpressed
For hubby's b'day today, I gave him a pretty, geometric prism-like acrylic sculpture thingie.  Not that big, not that small, just right.  Rest assured, the SJG didn't just admire it, pick it up and walk out of Sculptures-R-Us without paying.  I'm not that absent-minded.  I'm not a klepto.  I kicked that habit a while back.  Hubby has spent the morning moving his gift from room to room, in search of a perfect spot.  I couldn't be happier.  This means he likes it.  I think.  Gift time can be challenging when it comes to hubby.  This year, I believe I scored, unlike other years, when hubby has feigned excitement upon receiving yet another sweater.  There was a big fiasco a few years back, one that involved a horticulturally-correct rendering of a sprouting cucumber.  The future pickle got no love, just empty stares.  Hubby couldn't even pretend, he was so dismayed.  Where had I gone wrong?  Everywhere.  The SJG trekked her butt back to the fancy gallery and begged. "Take back the pickle, I beg you."  Begging works!  They took back the pickle but they barred me from the store.  Today hubby is a year shy of senior discounts.  He is 54, with a full head of hair and plenty of attitude to go with.  He's older than me.  Older by a year.  Happy b'day, happy b'day to you, hubby.  You are the birthday boy today.  Milk it, honey.  Tomorrow it's back to normal. 

Hubby picked Vasa over Vlasic

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Transformer Guy

The SJG feels compelled on a deep, spiritual level to share this A.I. clip with you.  I laughed like a freakishly-possessed hyena when I saw it last night.  But I'm crying on the inside, wishing I'd thought of it first.  There is just no end to the talent pool in our fair nation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The First Time

SJG: Late bloomer
The SJG was a late bloomer.  I didn't do it till senior year of college.  Even though everyone else had already done it, I wasn't in any rush.  I figured, I'll do it when I want to do it, and not a second before.  But finally, the big day came when I couldn't live with myself anymore.  I knew if I ever wanted to get anywhere in life, it was time to break down and do it, get it over with, bite the bullet, insert your favorite cliche.  Future hubby was so patient with me, too.  He never pressured me.  He said, "When you're ready, I know a guy in Culver City, my dad's cousin.  He'll give you a good deal."  And so, off we went to C.C., with my hard-earned cash, the accumulation of baby-sitting gigs and numerous part-time stints at College Book Store in Westwood.  After walking to UCLA for two years, spending a year abroad, and biking everywhere till my thighs deserved their own flag; after bumming rides, taking the bus and borrowing my mother's tank and denting it more than once, it was time to buy my first car, forever referred to as the crappy tin can that couldn't go over 50 mph without overheating.  But I loved it so, that white Datsun, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.  I loved it with all my heart and soul, even though it cost me a bundle to keep it running.  You always love your first one.  You forgive all the shortcomings.  You forget the bad stuff.  Like the way the gaskets blew and the windshield clouded up when it rained, making visibility nil.  And you treasure your last time with your first one, how smoke engulfed it, entirely, as you drove it, slower than slow, down Santa Monica Blvd. to its final resting place.  The mechanic wanted it, flaws and it.  He wanted to buy it, restore and call it his own.  Crazy romantic.  I couldn't deny him such joy.  By nature, I'm a giver.  It's true.  No matter how many cars you own or lease, damage or resell, you never forget your first car.  I know I didn't. So tell me, what was yours like?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Old Man

I'm married to an older man.  Much older.  Not everyone knows this, because I don't like to lord my youth over him.  I don't like to make him feel less-than-wonderful.  I'm not that cruel.  I want him to feel spry, like a lad of 50.  Remember 50, honey?  But once a year, I can't resist laying it on thick.  Hubby is older than the SJG.  Much older.  How much?  It's really none of your business.  Some things are personal.  If I were to tell you his real age, he might get overly-sensitive and start to pout, as he tends to do.  Oh, wait.  I'm the one who gets overly-sensitive and pouts.  He's the one who yells at the TV and fixes stuff.  We've been together so long, sometimes I get a little confused about our personality traits.  On Friday, hubby gets even older.  Naturally, I plan to regale him with wine and song and a Fosse-style dance number I hope to perform at his office in the middle of an important meeting, assuming I can get past security.  They don't always let me in, especially after the stunt I pulled last year on his birthday.  Let's just say it involved a zebra, a goat and the SJG in a revealing ensemble, and leave it at that.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Roll Over, Beethoven

The man, the myth,
the legend
It was a weekend of famous people effing up their lines.  First Jane Fonda in "33 Variations," a long play all about Beethoven, Beethoven, did I mention, Beethoven.  And then Christina Aguilara, in "The Star Spangled Banner."
Willy the Shake, or Ludwig Van?

Rather than feel superior to these wonderful gals, the SJG did a fair amount of gasping and OMG-ing.  In Jane Fonda's case, no one said a thing in public.  In private, the four of us who witnessed the boo-boo screamed and howled and will milk this till the end of time.  In Christina's case, switching "O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming" with "what so proudly we watched at the twilight's last [unintelligible lyric]" was a Super Bowl shanda of epic proportions.  It will live on and on and haunt her.  She's already apologized.  She was devastated.  Leave her alone, people.  Can you hit those notes?  I didn't think so.  Get over it.  That girl can sing.

Everybody screws up now and then, even the Oscar and Grammy winners, and yes, even the SJG.  Back to Jane.  I checked her blog and all she said was that Saturday's matinee went well and the audience was receptive.  No word about the big mix-up at the end.  In her last lecture, as a musicologist obsessed with Beethoven, Beethoven, Beethoven, she dropped in a shout-out to a dude from a whole other century.  She said "Shakespeare, er, Beethoven."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Return of Super Bowl Chili

Every year, hubby makes his famous Super Bowl Turkey Chili.  Today I ask, "What's the game plan?"  "Chopping, slicing, dicing, simmering, stirring, savoring, scarfing."  "You left out the most important part," I say.  "Oh, right.  Drinking.  I'm going with a red wine, a good bottle of Stag's Leap Cab.  Most people like beer and it will be available.  But I like wine with my chili."  Far be it from the SJG to deny him his wine.  Back by popular demand, here's his recipe.  He is, after all, a Jewish cook, which means exact measurements don't apply. You use "a little" and "a little bit more" and "a lot." In other words, he pretty much makes it up as he goes along, but year after year, it's delish (if not a little too hot):

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hit The Lights

Oh, the SJG has been feeling so smug, watching all the news reports about scary blizzards and hellish political hot spots. In recent days, the SJG has uttered the following smug sentiments: "Aren't you glad we're not back east?" and "Cancel the trip to Cairo."  Thursday night, all that smugness came back to bite me in my well-endowed tuchas.  Let's face it.  Karma's a bitch.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aging With Dignity

Last night at dinner, Trixie launches into a lengthy discourse on aging.  She lists the women she knows who've had work done, the eyes and breasts, and other parts I didn't know you could even fix. She moves on to the women who aren't aging well and reviews the reasons: the sun, the genetics, the wrinkle-depository we call children.  That Trixie.  She has much to say about aging, so many thoughts and theories, such pointed commentary. "You know," Trixie says, grabbing a large magnifying glass out of her Prada knock-off, and aiming it my way, "you haven't aged at all." Here she pauses and leans in closely, getting a good look at the SJG. "Well, that's not true.  You have aged, but not that much."  Oh, Trixie.  You make the SJG blush.  Your faint praise flatters me so, I'm going to go dunk my punim in that Olay Regenerist Resurfacing Elixir you gave me for my b'day, and pray you come down with laryngitis. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yiddish With Dick and Jane

Funny book by Ellis Weiner & Barbara Davilman.  Funny video.  Enjoy.  Have I steered you wrong yet?