Monday, October 31, 2011

Adventure on the Red Line

We're off to see Sinatra
When you think of the me, the SJG, as I hope you do daily, every 15 minutes or so, I'm sure what comes to mind is this:  "Oh, that SJG, she's always up for adventure."  Followed by, "Gee, I wonder which Harley she's taking out for a ride today."  What's that?  These are not the things that come to mind?  Well, I'm a little hurt.  I am too up for adventure!  Take yesterday.  Yesterday, I took the Metro for the first time.  Can I get a woo-hoo?  Of course, I took along my bodyguards.  I'm not crazy.  The lovely Nadine, Joan and Carrie, dear friends from dance class, stood by me every step of the way, shielding me from harm, guiding me through the purchase of my ticket, showing me where to wait for the Red Line, telling me when to get on -- "Wait till the doors open!  Good girl!" -- and when to get off.  It was all so helpful.  The ride to Hollywood and Vine was incident-free, just the way the SJG likes it.  We brunched, we saw "Come Fly Away," at the Pantages and it was all fabulous.  Then we crossed the street and went back down to the Metro and got followed by a whacked-out guy dressed in black.  As we bought our tickets, he stood near by, mumbling creepy stuff, like, "Hey, you like Sinatra?  I can sing better than Sinatra.  You want me to sing for you?  It's a dollar."  We did our best to ignore him, but someone, I think it was me, said, "Uh, no thanks."  Then he started swearing at us, and saying rude things and left.  We got back on the Red Line and that was enough adventure for the SJG.  I can now cross taking the Metro off my bucket list. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Broadway Star/Squirrel Expert

Connie Ray in "Next Fall"
It's always good to have a star in your menagerie of close, personal friends. You never know when someone of such grace and stature, such talent might come in handy.  Sure, Connie Ray has appeared on Broadway, television and the big screen, but underneath all the glitz and glam and tight-fitting couture, is really just a humble farm girl from North Carolina.  A kugel-loving, lanky ginger who knows the weirdest stuff imaginable.  When in need of earthly advice, I turn to her and she never lets me down.  "Help me, Connie," I said the other day, "help me, please, I beg of you."  "What is it now?" she asked.  "The evil squirrel is back.  In fact, he never left."  "I already told you what to do about him." "You told me what to do when he destroys my potted plants.  Cover the soil with rocks to stop the little bastard from digging."  "And did you do it?"  "Not yet."  "Carol!  That was years ago."  "I know, I know, I'm weak."  "So what's the problem now?"

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Early Works of the SJG

Like skeptics Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud and Charlie Chaplin, 87-year-old social scientist S. Calum Gilfillan believes that William Shakespeare was not the real author of the famous works which bear his name.  Gilfillan became a doubting Thomas in 1920, when an English schoolmaster, J. Thomas Looney, published Shakespeare Identified, "the greatest detective story of all time."  According to Gilfillan, Looney concluded that the only person who could have written the plays was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. --  UCLA Daily Bruin, 1976
And now, some 35 years later after I exposed this wacky theory to my fellow students, and tried to disprove it by interviewing David Rhodes, my English professor (smart move on my part), they've gone and made a hot, bodice-ripping movie called "Anonymous," based on my brilliant early reportage.  It opens today.  Call me deluded, but I fully expect a fat check in the mail, plus a hearty acknowledgement in the credits:  "Had the Short Jewish Gal not written about the Earl of Oxford back in the pre-Internet days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the filmmakers would've been forced to make up stuff."  You're welcome.  Now, pay up.  Oh, and as for Willy the Shake, and where this former English major stands on the controversy, let's just say, I've been to Stratford, capiche?  I've seen the thatched roof.  I've seen the folios.  I've lived in the promised land of Shakespeare, okay?  Shakespeare is Shakespeare.  The real deal.  How do I know this?  I just do.  I don't care what the others say.  I love him.  I love him for his plays.  I love him for his sonnets.  I love him for the man he was and the man he wanted to be. He compleats me.  (Shout out to ye olde English majors everywhere.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Easter Bonnet Or Gynecological Diagram?

I think we can all agree that life has its fair share of disappointments.  Yesterday, a spectacular one arrived via the US Postal Service.  My fake Princess Bea hat is a dud.  A letdown.  A cautionary tale. Unless I tilt my head just so, don't walk, don't move, don't eff with gravity, the thing simply won't behave.  It's a flip-floppery disaster, sliding this way and that on mine keppy.  That didn't stop me from emailing this silly photo of silly, silly me to my nearest and dearest for instant commentary. Cheryl wondered, "Is that an octopus or a uterus on your head?"  Both, I believe.  Carla asked if she could borrow it for an upcoming event.  Connie told me I looked royal.  I told her to curtsy when she sees me this afternoon.  Still, I have a plastic tiara on reserve and a long strand of pearls as backup, in case my fake Princess Bea hat just can't keep itself up for the Halloween party.  Or maybe my brother will make me another balloon crown.  Hint hint.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Princess Is Awake

Mine came first
Coinky-dink?  I think not.
Going once, going twice . . . one world-famous royal balloon fascinator, sold! The bow/pretzel-shaped balloon extravaganza worn by the Short Jewish Gal for no reason other than silliness went for major bucks in an Ebay auction that ended on Tuesday. An anonymous winning bidder snagged the historic piece of balloon millinery for a staggering $130,000.  All the money raised from the 10-day auction will be donated to good causes through the SJG Initiative. "The hat, designed by my brother, the renowned balloon artist Mr. John Starr, has its own personality, and I am so happy that we have raised the most incredible amount of money and can make an even bigger change for the lives of those less fortunate than the royal moi," said the SJG.  "Clearly, my fanciful headpiece has inspired several notable rip-offs since I first wore it doing errands in Sherman Oaks.  No names mentioned, but a certain ginger-haired princess wore a shockingly similar, fallopian-themed fascinator to a certain wedding, without giving me or my brother credit.  Bitter?  Just a tad.  Nonetheless, I'm willing to let it go, as long as the princess in question loans me her shameless copy for Halloween."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Costume Clue #2

I made my film debut in The Young Victoria (2009).  I had a minor, non-speaking role in a number of scenes. I like to think I stole the movie from Emily Blunt.  Who am I?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who Am I?

My brother's Halloween/10th Anniversary with Tim celebration comes up on Saturday.  What to wear?  What.  To.  Wear?  The bloody screwdriver sticking out of my cheeks?  The bloody knife sticking out of my neck?  I've done that so many years in a row.  Such fun scaring the sh*t out of the young'ns at the front door.  But you know how I hate to repeat myself.  This year, for the party and the impressionable trick-or-treaters, I'm going classy.  No blood, no gore.  This year, I'm aiming for a whole other kind of spooky.  I've placed my order and while I await the arrival of my haunted apparel, I'm going to give you a few hints:  I want to use my position to help others.  I've volunteered as a sales clerk at a department store.  I have plans to start my own fashion label.  In 2010, I competed in a marathon.  Who am I?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Do You Have This In My Size?

The battered feet of the SJG got a workout yesterday, trying on high heel strappy sandals in a big warehouse store.  Any shoe with a heel makes me feel like I'm playing dress-up in Mom's closet.  Any heel over two inches makes me feel like I'm on stilts.  Any stiletto makes me feel like a streetwalker.  This is problematic, considering every freakin' shoe out there these days is Heidi Klum high and getting higher.  Every shoe on the market makes you tower over the world like a Glamazon.  And that's just standing still.  Walking in them?  That's too advanced for the SJG.  So, you wonder, why must I torture my soles with this nonsense?  The explanation is simple.  I have three parties to attend in November.  For the SJG, who never goes anywhere but the market and the gym, this is a big deal.  There's the Bar Mitzvah back east.  (New York is still deciding whether to let me back in, after all that kvetching I did over the scaffolding, but I'm pretty sure it's a lock.)  There's the fancy dinner at the Hilton honoring my big shot cousin, Mr. Andy Kaplan.  There's the black tie wedding at the Four Seasons.  That's a lot of dress-up for me.  I have enough trouble finding my workout clothes in my closet.  Three outfits and fancy shoes to go with?  If they're in my closet, they're outdated, uncool and qualify me for the Fashion Hall of Shame.  Not to worry.  I've met my wardrobe needs. I basically cornered a nice lady at a boutique in Studio City and said, "Help me, I'll pay retail.  Help.  Me."  She was so gifted, this fashion maven, putting outfits together, teaching me I can still look hip and happening and bohemian chic, that I hugged her until she told me to stop.  But what about the shoes? There she was of no help, whatsoever.  Off I went to the afore-mentioned warehouse, after bombing out at the department store, where they carry nothing in my size, and served myself at the shoe buffet.  I tried one of these and one of those.  As usual, I tried on too much.  Sandal after ridiculous sandal.  I strutted through the store, waving at strangers, just to see if I could hold my own without falling down and/or crying in agony.  One pair of glittery Hooker heels almost made it to the register, until I heard weeping and realized it was coming from me.  Finally, I settled on some really boring black satin sandals to see me through the Bar Mitzvah-thon.  If I can stand, walk and dance without spraining an ankle, I'll have accomplished something substantial in my life.  If I can't, eff it, I'm wearing flats to the other two events.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mazel Tov, You've Made The Olympics!

(Sherman Oaks, CA) – The exciting sport of women’s kvetching will make its Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Games, and the 24 American kvetchers who will vie for a spot in London have been determined after six months of qualifying tournaments. Eight women in each of the three Olympic kvetch divisions (Flyweight Complainers, Lightweight Moaners, Middleweight Whiners) will compete in the first-ever U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Kvetching in early 2012. “The 24 women who have qualified for the first-ever Olympic Trials are all outstanding kvetchers who will represent our sport and country in a first-class fashion,” said Carol Starr Schneider, USA Kvetching president. “They have each dedicated endless hours surrounded by annoying family members, friends, coworkers, movie-talkers, gum-snappers and rude people, in general, to perfect their skills.  It's one thing to kvetch.  It's another thing to kvetch and make everyone else feel your pain.  There's an art to it.  Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.  These ladies have made tremendous sacrifices to chase their Olympic dreams.  God only knows how many people they've permanently alienated to compete in this historic event. Mazel Tov to all of these world class kvetchers who have qualified for this once in a lifetime event.  And, might I add, if they need any extra support, they can call the Short Jewish Gal hotline, open 24-7:  1-800-WHY-MEEE?”

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tantrum on Ventura Boulevard

The SJG reacts to parking ticket

I got back to the car two minutes after 4 p.m.  Oh, fine.  It was more than that.  Three minutes.  Four tops. And there he was, the parking officer slipping the dreaded envelope under my windshield wiper.  I turned on the charmed.  "Hi!  Hey!  How you doin'?  Nice uniform!  Look, I'm here, no need to ticket me."  "I already did, ma'am."  "But... but..." He moved swiftly to his car.  I followed him.  "Wait, what's this mean?  Obstructing traffic?  I didn't obstruct traffic."  He got in the car and rolled up the window.  I dropped the charm act and gave him the famous SJG look.  Trust me, you don't ever want to get this look from me.  Hands on hips.  Hard eyes.  Scary stuff.  He rolled down the window.  "No parking after 4 p.m, ma'am," he said, clearly frightened of me.  I looked at the fine.  "Five million dollars?!  I don't have five million dollars." I started haggling.  "I can do two million. 2.5 million, but that's my final offer." "Take it up with the city, ma'am," he said, and rolled up the window.  "Hey, come back here!  Nobody effs with the SJG!"  He drove off mid-tantrum.  Heartless bastard.  In other news, all weekend, I'll be holding a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks.  Live music, dancing, All-U-Can-Eat Kugel Buffet.  Feel free to stop by and help me pay for my ticket.  Do me a mitzvah.  It'll make you feel good about yourself.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top Three Idle Threats

1. Threatened to boycott Grammy Awards when "SJG:  Songs I Sing" scored zero nominations
2. Threatened to boycott Academy Awards when "SJG: A Spiritual Journey" scored zero nominations
3. Threatened to boycott Tony Awards when "SJG: The Musical" scored zero nominations

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moses, Meet Steve

My friend Mick, Warner Avenue homie/Michigan-based surgeon/fellow blogger, sent this wonderful cartoon to me, in celebration of my new relationship with my iPhone.  I feel upgraded in ways I never expected.  Who needs Botox?  Mr. Style makes me feel youngish again.  I order him around, tell him to do stuff and he complies:  Find me a smiley face app.  Done.  Send this photo of Dusty to my sons.  Done.  Update me on useless info.  Done. Normally, I shun any sort of product endorsement.  Cigar-chomping, whiskey-swilling newspaper gal that I never was, I do recall many ugly, protracted fights with the ad department of the illustrious Century City News.  They were all about synergy, although no one called it that back then.  Buy an ad, get a feature, was their motto.  Mine was a little different:  No eff'n way.  For two minutes, I was the editor, the powerful honcho, the chick in the flimsy cubicle calling the shots (sorta kinda not really).  I tell you this for a reason, one that escapes me.  Oh, wait, it's coming back to me.  I would never use my blog to endorse a product, and yet, here I am, extolling the virtues of the iPhone.  Am I doing it so that Apple will forever send me, the SJG, a resident of Sherman Oaks who has little if any influence over anyone, a new iPhone every time it comes out? How dare you excuse me of such a thing.  That is beneath you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Love You, Man

The good news:  I'll never be bored again.  The bad news:  I'll never get any work done again.  It was easier to feel above it all before I had one, easier to extol the virtues of my ancient relic.  Hey, it took care of my basic communication needs.  Leave me alone.  But now that I have my own iPhone, mine, all mine, I get it.  It's freakin' wonderful.  And I'm in love.  It's a chemical thing.  A festival of endorphins. I'm all giddy and nervous when I turn it on.  I want to impress it.  I want to give it a special name, like Slim or Sleek or Mr. Style.  If an iPhone has a gender, mine's a man's man, a Harvard grad, a raconteur, an explorer. If an iPhone has a gender, mine's Cary Grant.  Suave and debonair, well-heeled, fully-loaded.  A guy who sail.  A guy who owns a little winery up in Napa.  A guy with his own jet.  I'm over the moon.  Ga-ga.  Meshugana.  I hold it in my hand and babble, incoherently.  I say the following: "Tight apps."  "Sweet apps." "Nice apps.  You been working out?"  My iPhone has everything a girl could ever want.  Instant recipes from the best chiefs in the world?  Oh, hell yes.  Instant fitness tips from some random dude I've never heard of?  Why not.  He must be good, cuz he's got his own app.  I want my own app, too.  Instant Short Jewish Gal.  Clearly, I'm in trouble, people.  Yesterday, I sent a photo of my feet to the college boy.  "Someone's having fun with her iPhone," he texted back.  Oh, I'm texting now, too.  I'm on Twitter.  I'm out of my mind.  Addicted.  I need a new outfit.  I want to look hot for my iPhone.  What's wrong with that?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hillary's Hair

Stop giving me sh*t about my hair
Cheryl and I discuss many important issues as we walk Scout and Dusty round the 'hood.  We cover the big life stuff, health, children, global warming, the disappointing turnout for Occupy Sherman Oaks, the state of the economy, the state of potholes on my street -- altogether egregious.  Cheryl's street looks great and newly paved,  by the way, mainly because, and this is just between us, I think she bribed an official.  On a recent stroll, we were all farklempt over the state of Hillary Clinton's hair.  What is going on there?  "Why is her hair so long and schleppy?" I asked Cheryl, who always looks nicely-coiffed for our walkies.  "It's like she's given up," I said.  "Madelyn Albright always looked put together," Cheryl said, "with her pins and her perfect hair."  "True, but Madelyn Albright conveniently forgot she was Jewish," I argued.  "Look, Hillary is tired of caring what people think.  First, they gave her sh*t over her cankles, so she wore the hideous pantsuits, and now she's Secretary of State, she's too busy to do her hair."  "I love that you said cankles," I said.  "That's because you don't have them," Cheryl said.  Also true.  "A bad hair day, I can understand. Every day's a bad hair day, for me.  But Hillary, come on, she can afford a stylist to make herself look nice before the United Nations," I said.  "Unless she's got more important things on her mind than her hair," Cheryl said.  Call me shallow and superficial, but what could be more important than good hair?  I can't think of a single thing, can you?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Secret

My dad and the lovely Paula
"The secret to longevity is staying alive," Ben Starr, turning 90 on Tuesday

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skip The Doritos

You never know what might be in there
"Mom, you'll never guess what just happened."  "What?!" "There's this liquor store I go to during my lunch break, right near work.  So I go there today to get a cold drink, and Mike, the guy I always kibbitz with, who runs the place, is standing outside and he says, 'Billy, the place is under new management.  I don't want to go in there.  Here's a buck. Can you buy me a bag of Doritos?  So I go in and get my drink and the Doritos and hand it to the guy behind the counter.  And he looks at the Doritos and goes, 'Oh no, not another one!' Then he dumps the Doritos on the counter and this huge scorpion crawls out."  "A scorpion?!"  "Yeah."  "A real Scorpion?"  "Yeah.  So I step back and go, 'Whoa,' and the guy in back of me is freaking out and says, 'I'm not shopping here,' and runs out of the store.  The guy at the counter is acting all shocked and calling for help, and I go, 'Is this a prank?''  "Oh my God!"  "Then Mike appears and he's laughing at me, he's in on the whole thing, he's set me up to look like an asshole.  So now I'm screaming at him, 'You, mutha@#$%a!"  "The typical Schneider response."  "The guy behind the counter says, 'Go sign a release form, Billy, you're going to be on The Tonight Show.'"  In early November, the eldest will make his national TV debut -- since he has yet to hear back from "Wipeout," as Scorpion Doritos Dude.  I can't wait to count how many times they bleep him out.  If that isn't reason to kvell, what is?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Infamous Milkshake Disaster

My dad is turning 90 next week, and even though he has the best memory of anyone I know, it's fun to challenge him, now and then, just to see if he still remembers some of his finest moments in parenting the SJG.  I can usually tell within seconds if his instant recall has kicked in or not.  "Daddy, do you remember the Infamous Milkshake Disaster?  Circa 1967?"  He starts laughing.  "On Lindbrook?" he asks.  "I had this special milkshake maker thingy," I say.  "You poured the milk and the chocolate powder into the cup, and put the funny top on and shook it up and down and voila, instant milkshake.  So I decided I was going to do it myself, like a big girl.  Check me out, I'm making my own milkshake.  I shook it up and down and the top flew off and the milkshake went everywhere."  "On the ceiling. On the walls, on the floor.  All over the fridge," he says.  "And you were so nice about it.  You didn't get mad."  "Why would I get mad?  You didn't do it on purpose," he says.  "You got up on a chair to get it off the ceiling and the cabinets," I say.  "We didn't want Mom to find out," he says.  "I'm sure she found out anyway," I say.  "Not from me," he says.  Great secret-keeper, too. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Ringy Dingy

In preparation for the arrival of my pretty new iPhone, I'm devoting myself to selecting a ringtone that suits my personal lifestyle.  A ringtone that defines the SJG.  For the past five years, I've had a snappy calypso track on my ancient relic of a phone, a tune that makes me shimmy and tells the world I'm a certified goofball.  The message my peppy ringtone conveys:  I have no freakin' clue how to download a real song.  This morning, in an effort to help with the selection process, and openly offend me, the eldest traveled down memory lane, regaling me with some delightful ringtone stories from his youth.  Here's the only one I can share, for legal reasons.  Freshman year of college, he had "Do You Think I'm Sexy?"  "That was before I dropped my phone in a cup of Vodka."  "What's your ringtone now?" I asked.  "Call me."  "Call Me by Blondie?"  "No.  Call me so I can tell you."  "Time to cut back on the alcohol," I suggested, before calling him.  His insane, cackling ringtone came on and Dusty hid under the table in fear.  "What the hell is that?" "Lemonade by Gucci Mane."  "It's hateful," I said, and made the mistake of asking him to suggest a hip, happening ringtone for me.  He rattled off the following artists:  Al Jolson, Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Paula Abdul.  Hmm.  Paula Abdul, a fellow SJG.  That might be fun.  Strutting down Ventura Boulevard to "Straight Up"?  Could be very retro.  Or very stupid.  Been there, done that.  So now, I turn the floor over to you, my bloggies, my peeps, my Internet mishpocheh, for guidance.  I need a theme song.  What should my ringtone be?  And if you say "Short People" by Randy Newman, you know me too well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Can You Top That?

Why, yes, I believe I can!
What could be more fun than swapping scary eye stories in the waiting room?  Pick any other activity.  The SJG sat there in horror, wanting to scream, Too Much F'n Information, or as the texters call it, TMFI.   But I'm far too polite to scream at strangers, unless absolutely necessary, so I half-listened to Tales of the Retina I could have lived my entire life not knowing.  I didn't know you could have a mole in your eye.  I do now.  I did my best to convey empathy.  "It must suck to have a beauty mark no one but your eye doctor can see," I said.  I nodded my head in support,  but not too much.  Head movement is a no-no for me, at the mo'.  My orders are to keep my head up, which may explain why I'm wearing one black strappy sandal and one sensible white Reebok.  Meanwhile, all of this over-sharing raises some deep questions about life, in general:  Why do people always feel the need to top your story with their personal catastrophe?  Why can't they just nod their head in support, but not too much, lest they dislodge a retina?  If you have a car accident, God forbid, their car accident is worse.  If you have an operation, God forbid, their operation is worse.  If you lose someone near and dear, God forbid, their loss is worse.  Did the cavemen play "Can You Top That?" too?  As in, "You think it's bad to lose your beloved wife of four days to a hungry grizzly bear?  Well, boo-f'n-hoo.  Try losing all your poker buddies to a rowdy mob of hunter-gatherers." Oh, that does sound bad.  But I could probably top it, if I were so inclined.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Milking It

Yes, we can

I said it eight times on the way home from the market.  I wanted to perfect the accent before I reenacted the scenario for hubby.  Once inside, I continued to say it another, I don't know, 15 times.  Then I had him saying it too, but, just between us, he never quite nailed the accent.  Before I walked Dusty, I said it a few more times.  "I have to get it out of my system, then I'll stop," I promised. But I wasn't done yet.  Later, the eldest called and I had to say it again, and make him say it.  He grabbed it and made it his own.  I grabbed it back. I thought I was done saying it, I really did, but this morning, I rebooted and now I'm back to square one, and I need to make you say it too.  So here's what put me in this dicey mental zone.  It went something like this:  I was in the parking lot, putting my recyclable earth-friendly super cool billboard grocery bags in the trunk of my car, when I noticed a woman standing off to the side, staring at me.  I shut the trunk and she stepped closer.  My mind started to race.  Uh-oh.  What up?  I looked at her.  She looked at me, and said, in a very thick Spanish accent: "itakeit."  I said nothing.  She said it again: "itakeit."  I smiled, stupidly.  It's not often you're faced with such a run-on sentence.  I started to move my cart. She took a step closer, and said, slower this time, "I take it."  Lightbulb moment!  She wanted to take my cart, as opposed to something else, like my left shoe or one of my recyclable earth-friendly super cool billboard grocery bags, which she'd have to fight me for, and she'd lose, because  I love those freakin' bags.  Love. Them. So. Much. Now that I understood her goal, I sent the cart her way.  I wanted to say, "Take it."  But I didn't.  I didn't want my own tired-woman-on-the-brink accent to tarnish hers.  Then I got in my car and said it over and over, emphasizing different words till I got it just right.  "I take it."  "I take it."  "I take it."  Finally, I settled on smushing the words together, till they made no sense.  I offer this phrase to you now, free of charge.  I'm hoping by this afternoon, "I take it" goes viral.  Let's do this, people.  Take it away.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Inscribe Me

... in the book of meritorious acts
For the sin that I have committed by stealing socks
For the sin that I have committed by stealing towels
For the sin that I have committed by stealing toast
For the sin that I have committed by barking at nothing
For the sin that I have committed by barking at neighbors
For all these sins, O God of forgiveness, bear with me, pardon me, forgive me!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Atone Phone

Call 1-888-OOPS-JEW and apologize today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Get Smart

Early cell phone
Recently, we were out to dinner with our friends Andy and Kathi.  My cell phone sat on the table, with little on its mind.  "What's that?" Andy said.  "My cell phone," I said.  "Let me see that," he demanded.  Reluctantly, I handed it over.  Andy inspected it like an ancient relic.  "Does it even work?"  "Of course it works," I said.  "Can you Google on it?"  "No."  "Can you play Angry Birds on it?"  "No."  "Can you watch True Blood on it?"  "No," I said, hurling a chopstick at him.  Kathi stepped in.  "Leave her alone.  Stop bullying her."  She reached over and touched my hand.  She's a nice person.  Nicer than some people I know.  Andy turned on hubby next.  "How could you let her walk around with this sad excuse for a phone?  Aren't you ashamed?"  Hubby shrugged. "Not really.  We've tried to bring her around.  The boys and I, we've  shown her all the cool apps.  We've shown her how to text.  Her eyes glaze over.  We've done our best to enlighten her.  She's not interested."  Andy gave me my phone back.  "One day, this thing is going to give out, you know.  Then what?"  "Oh please, this thing is going to run forever."  Unless I drop it down the sink or back over it with my car.  Yet, in the past few days, phone-wise, I've had a change of heart.  It's all about respect now.  It's all about paying homage to a genius.  The universe is mourning Steve Jobs.  In his honor, I will finally Get Smart.  I will join the ranks of gazillions.  I will get me an iPhone. I'm not saying I'll figure out how to use it.  But I'll have one, and that's the main thing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Horse Is A Horse...

In the early 60s, my dad, the one, the only, Mr. Ben Starr, wrote 42 episodes of "Mr. Ed."  The other day, I reminded him about Mr. Ed's 50th birthday.  "Yes, I know, I sent him a card."  "That was thoughtful." "I used to talk to Ed, you know.  On the set, I'd wait till no one else was around and I'd whisper to him, 'Ed, it's me, Ben.  Talk to me, I know you can talk.' And he never did.  And I realized why later.  Ed only talked for money."  Smart horse.  Smart daddy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Table For One

Can you say cranky?  In the past two days, I've elevated cranky to an art form.  Self-pity to an Olympic Event.  I've medaled in Kvetching.  Welcome to the SJG Casa de Complaining.  A whole lotta groaning going on.  From somewhere up above, my mother is whispering, "Enough already.  Get over yourself."  So today, I'm downgrading to light whining and intermittent sighs.  By tomorrow, the pity party ends early.  I'm moving out of Cranky Town.  It's on to happier things. Like what to wear to temple.  I like to look nice while I atone.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


... with a chance of eyeballs
There are those who Google medical issues.  There are those too afraid to Google medical issues.  I'm a Googler.  If anything, I over-Google.  When it comes to Google, I'm fearless.  A few years back, after a nice round of Googling, and wondering why I was looking a little yellow, I went to my doctor and gave my diagnosis: "It's my gallbladder."  It's not always fun to be right.  In the past few weeks, I've been Googling "black spots." I went to my doctor.  "It's low blood pressure, " I told him.  He took my blood pressure.  "That's not it," he said.  "So what is it?"  He examined me.  "I think you should have your eyes checked."  "I just had my eyes checked."  "Where?"  "Lenscrafters."  He nearly laughed me out of his office.  "That's like going to Disneyland to get your eyes checked."  "How dare you," I said.  "They have a full optometry thingy at Lenscrafters.  They know their sh*t."  "You're going to my eye doctor. Today."  "Fine."  "You think I'm crazy?" he asked.  "Little bit.  Cuz I just had my eyes checked."  "At Lenscrafters," he reminded me. Fast forward to oy vey: two tears in my left retina, emergency laser surgery yesterday, and don't worry, I'll be fine.  But I may have to rethink my plans to Google my way to a medical degree. 
The stylish-yet-mysterious SJG

Monday, October 3, 2011

Friends In High Places

Hubby and the SJG on vacation.  Oh wait, we're not on vacation.  We're pretending we're on a vacation.  The big umbrellas, the lake.  What sort of trickery is this?  We're in Westlake, where the three B's reign supreme.  Balanced budget!  Balanced planning!  Balanced future!  At least according to this tall guy right here, Mr. Ned Davis, the Mayor of Westlake.  He's running for reelection to City Council.  We can't vote for him, but we can support him.  I've known Ned since Warner Avenue and can vouch for his character.  No one sings "Up, Up With People" like this dude. 
Mayor Ned Davis agrees to back the Short Jewish Gal Mall of Self-Promotion

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Don't Make Me Shush You

Open "The SJG's Behavior Manual," my personal bible (you know how I don't like to cross the line), go to page 13, and you'll learn how to conduct yourself properly in a movie theater.  You're probably thinking, "How hard can it be?"  Plenty hard, if you ask me.  You may think you know the etiquette, but unless you were raised by champion shushers, you don't.  At an early age my brothers and I learned not to talk during TV shows and award ceremonies.  Talking during commercials was okay, but then, it was back to "Sheket b'vakasha" (silence please).  Movie-going also meant no talking.  Theater-going, same thing.  The underlying principal: respect.  Respect the people forced to watch the TV program or movie with you, respect the people who made the TV program or movie you're watching.  Be considerate of others and they'll be considerate of you.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this didn't quite hold up in the real world.  Many people are inconsiderate a-holes. Such a rude awakening for the SJG.  It made me wonder:  if others get to be a-holes, do I get to be one, too?  According to page 52 of "The SJG's Behavior Manual," no. So when hubby and I go to the movies, as we did yesterday, we sit there and whisper before the lights go out.  If we need to say something during the movie, we whisper.  People around us?  They don't whisper.  They talk loudly. Why do they do this?  See earlier reference to a-holes. But don't you worry, the SJG knows how to handle the talkers.  Like those before me, I'm a champion shusher.  I shush and people listen.  One shush from the SJG and you'll never talk in a movie again.  I'm that powerful.  During "50/50," a fine movie that made me weep and smile, weep and smile, I let loose with a force 3 shush that silenced every theater at the Arclight.  "Nicely done," hubby whispered.  "I thought so," I whispered back.  Mess with the SJG?  You're gonna get shushed.