Thursday, November 29, 2012

Underbred

Where have all the bread clips gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the bread clips gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the bread clips gone?
I have lost them every one
When will I ever learn?
When will I ever learn?
Where have all the twist ties gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the twist ties gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the twist ties gone?
Dusty ate them every one
When will I ever learn?
When will I ever learn?

Where have all the fresh loaves gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the fresh loaves gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the fresh loaves gone?
Gone stale early every one
When will I ever learn?
When will I ever learn?
(apologies to Pete Seeger)

Philosophy 101

The SJG has spent a lifetime studying the great philosophers. 
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening.  
But this wasn't it."


"Fasten your seatbelts.  It's going to be 
a bumpy night."
"Never go to bed angry. Stay up and fight."


But by far, my favorite philosopher is this guy right here.
"Be who you are, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Have truer words ever been spoken, by cat or human?  I think not. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Next Stop, Willoughby

A simple trip to the post office turned into a nightmare situation.  All I wanted to do was mail a letter.  One letter.  Just one.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently.  I turned on my humble bumpy street, a street requiring an all-terrain vehicle, snow tires and chains to make it across without destroying the SJG's suspension of disbelief.  (See, hubby!  Who says I don't know jack sh*t about cars?!) At the end of my own private Grand Canyon, there was a sign that said... say it with me now: Road Closed.  Of course, it was closed.  God forbid, it should be open.  The city was repaving the part of the street I don't live on.  You know how personally I take these things. Who said life is fair?  So, fine.  I turned around, cursing the street repair mavens, and attempted to turn on the next street.  Oh, but I couldn't.  There was a sign that said... say it with me now:  Road Closed.  Every street, same thing.  Road Closed.  The universe was playing a funny on the SJG.  Ha ha ha, universe.  Ha, ha!

Well, I don't know about you, but whenever I hit a road block, a giant WTF of inconvenience, I calm myself with images of Willoughby, "a peaceful, restful place, where a man [or SJG] can slow down to a walk and live his [or her] life full measure."  "A Stop at Willoughby" is one of my favorite "Twilight Zone" episodes.  Maybe you've seen it.  A stressed-out ad man dozes off on the train, and wakes up to find himself in 1888. Sweet!  He rambles 'round the happy little town and never wants to leave.  Can you blame him?  Driving in circles, hitting deadend after deadend, I wondered what the post office would be like in Willoughby.   Probably much easier to get to than my own.  But don't you worry.  I found a way. I disobeyed the signs.  I went rogue.  You heard me.  This Short Jewish Rebel drove past the detour. Ignored authority.  I made it to the post office, defiantly!  Take that, universe.  Ha ha, yourself.  I have no idea how I made it home, however.  I woke up in my office chair. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An "Everything" Bagel

Much like an "everything" bagel, some meetings are better left on the plate. A nice plain meeting, with a few simple ingredients -- come in, sit down, leave -- the SJG can handle.  But an "everything" meeting with too many unpredictable ingredients -- the sad-faced assistant who sits and stares, the executive who falls asleep while you're pitching, the 4.2 aftershock that rattles the building, mid-pitch, the ejector seat that spits you out when you're done -- I could do without.  Why am I bothering you with this?  Just be patient.  There's a reason.  The meeting I'm supposed to go to with the lovely Kelly is starting to feel a little half-baked.  They've rescheduled it 18 times in the past two weeks (slight exaggeration) and already I'm experiencing Pre-Traumatic Meeting Disorder. Reschedule a meeting with the SJG and the lovely Kelly once, fine.  Call at 9:50, when we're practically out the door for the 11 o' clock meeting, and tell us "we have to reschedule," not good for the wavering-esteem-writer psyche.  Not good at all.  Reschedule the meeting and postpone the @#$%'n meeting again, as happened yesterday, and the SJG and the lovely Kelly start to question our entire writerly existence.  Oh, Hollywood.  Can't you just behave for once?  Can't you be a nice bagel?  Must you be so seedy?  So full of sesame, poppy, onion, garlic, caraway, and salt?  So "everything"?

Monday, November 26, 2012

By George

"Do you ever get down on your knees and thank God you know
me and have access to my dementia?" 
A recent near-celebrity encounter with an Alec Baldwin lookalike brings back memories of actual celeb sightings, some more fulfilling than others.  The time I saw Jason Alexander in a Studio City gift shop named Emerald Forest reminds me of one such moment that proved less than enchanting.  It happened years ago.  Imagine the SJG looking at the greeting cards.  But not just any greeting cards.  A line of Seinfeld greeting cards!  And then, as if by magic, I spot George Costanza, checking out the jewelry!  Come on.  What are the chances of a coinky-dink that epic?  I couldn't let this golden opportunity pass.  I had to do something.  It just seemed so bashert, so meant-to-be.  The comedy gods would've been deeply disappointed in the SJG if I'd just stood there like a lox, and said bupkis.  Plus, I would've regretted it for the rest of my life.  So.  I tapped into my daily allotment of chutzpah, picked up the card with George Costanza on the front and walked right up to him.  "Here's something you might want," I said.  Oh, I was so proud of myself.  I felt so clever.  I expected a big grin, maybe a chuckle from the sitcom star.  But, noooooooo.  All I got was a pointed look of, "Go away, you're invading my personal space."  Well.  Exsqueeze me, Mr. Alexander, sir!  Exsqueeze me for living!  I sulked away in shame.  A letdown like this, you never get over.  I still can't watch an episode of "Seinfeld" without remembering how very un-George he was to me. Look, maybe he was having an off-day.  It happens.  Still.  As George himself might say, would it have killed him to be nice to the SJG? That's all I'm askin'.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eat!

A new Thanksgiving tradition:  hand-me-down cranberry sauce, yams, gravy and creamed spinach.  What could be better for a Short Jewish Cook with an overdeveloped instinct to over-mother, than to redistribute the leftovers to loved ones?  I always make too much, and then it sits there in the fridge, three days after Thanksgiving, tempting me.  So this year, I foisted containers at the relatives.  Take some of this.  Take some of that.  Take the pies you brought.  Take the chop liver.  Take it home and eat it there, so I don't eat it here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This Show Will Change Your Life

It's not often that the SJG forces the sons to sit still in the name of theater.  Before we even arrived at the Pantages, they wanted to know when the play would be over.  And then we got there too early, which displeased the sons, but made hubby happy.  Give the man a freeway he can navigate easily and a primo parking spot and he's practically delirious.  "I told you it would only take 15 minutes," the eldest said, as we got out of the car.  We had an hour to kill.  In the opulent lobby, I regaled the menfolk with tales of previous shows I'd seen at the Pantages.  A few seconds into my spontaneous performance of "Fly Me To The Moon," I lost them all to their iPhones, even the visiting nephew.  They wanted to know how the Lakers were doing.  (Not well.)  Finally, we sat down and waited.  And then, the show began.  They forgot about the Lakers.  They laughed their tushies off.  But then, they're big fans of "South Park."  Any musical as outrageous as "The Book of Mormon" was bound to win them over.  They all loved it, thank God.  It was my second time with "Mormon."  I'd seen it in New York when it first opened -- a non-stop laugh fest that seemed impossible to match.  I knew all the jokes about maggots.  I couldn't wait for "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream."  It was big fun all over again.  Still, two trips to "Book of Mormon" is plenty for the SJG.  "Fiddler on the Roof." "How To Succeed." Five nights in a row wouldn't be enough.  But then, I'm a little stuck in the past, in case you hadn't noticed.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Basting Away

Here I am, basting away.
Did the SJG baste?  Oh, hell yes.  I basted and basted.  Every half hour.  Baste, baste, baste.  I watched my two turkeys like a mother hen.  I waited for the little pop up thingies to go pop, pop.  I even stuck a therMOMeter in the thigh to make sure it was 165 degrees.  Ouch.  Who knew my internal temp ran that high?  To review:  This year, I'm happy to report there were no disasters of any kind.  It's a Thanksgiving miracle.  My turkeys were delish.  My stuffing was OMG.  My yams were heaven.  I fed 18 tummies.  No one tripped on a chair.  No ambulances were called.  No appliances broke.  No one insulted anyone.  (Well, as far as I know.)  No one declared, "That's it, I'm never coming back here again."  So.  A big success.  A tired, yet spiritually fulfilled SJG.  Hope yours was fab, too, and you can still fit into your jeans.  And now, onward.  Next stop:  latkes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Is Thanks Living


'Twas the night of Thanksgiving, I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned - The dark meat and white
But I fought the temptation with all of my might,
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of that snack was infatuation.
So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
'Til all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
with a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
But, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees,
"Happy eating to all, pass the cranberries, please!"
May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump.
May your taters and gravy have nary a lump,
May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs.
(author unknown)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dress Casual

Dear SJG,
The invite said:  Dress Casual.  So, I put my evening gown aside, my diamond tiara, my faux mink stole, my shiny party shoes, and selected something Casual.  'Cuz the invite said:  Dress Casual.  I'm a rule follower.  If an invite says:  Dress Like a 'Ho, out of respect to the hosts, I'll dress like a 'Ho.  But if the invite says:  Dress Casual, I will do just that.  Dress Casual.  Even though grammatically, I should Dress Casually.  The invite said:  Dress Casual.  So that's what I did.  Nice jeans, pretty top, ankle boots.  I thought I'd achieved the afore-mentioned Casual Look.  I showed up at the party feeling good about my fashion choices.  Until the hostess opened the door looking anything but casual. She had ignored her own directive.  She was all sparkly and glittery, all primed for New Year's Eve when it was just supposed to be... what's the word I'm searching for... casual.  I thought, okay, fine, she's the party-thower, she needs to look better than the guests.  I get it.  But the other female attendees had also ignored the "mandatory" dress code.  They were all sparkly and glittery, too, whereas I, on the other hand, was not.  As for the men, they got the memo.  They were casual.  But so what?  They're men.  Men can get away with casual.  Women can't, especially not when they're alone in their casualness.  So I spent a miserable evening, cursing my casual self, feeling like the underdressed elephant in the room. How can I avoid this sort of humiliation in the future?
Signed,
Casually Enraged

Dear Enraged,
I'm absolutely mortified on your behalf.  I don't know how you even have the courage to show your face in public.  I think you might stay inside until the shame abates and the mean-spirited gossip about you quiets down.  The Dress Casual thing is one of the SJG's major pet peeves.  My best advice to you is to ignore any invite that tells you to Dress Casual.  I've come to the conclusion that Dress Casual means the exact opposite.  Whatever you do, don't dress Casual.  Just don't. Better you should err on the side of fancy.  Also important to ignore:  the whole "No Gifts" thing.  That's another sneaky misdirect.  "No Gifts" means the exact opposite. Always bring a gift, always, always, or you'll be the only cheap-ass who arrives empty-handed.
You're welcome,
The SJG

Sunday, November 18, 2012

House Hugger


"Keep driving."  "You have to see it."  "I don't want to see it."  "Why not?"  "I don't want to have my heart broken."  The SJG and Gail, my real estate wing girl, 2000.

It was love at first sight, at least on my end.  I'm not sure how it felt about me when I stepped inside and started cooing.  I called hubby from the master bathroom. "I'm in our new house."  Of course, it was at the top of our price range.  The economy was iffy.  There was a bar mitzvah coming up.  We weren't sure we could afford it.  (We couldn't.)  We weren't sure we could sell the other house.  (We couldn't.  But then, a nice rabbi stepped in and rescued us, after it sat on the market, empty and unloved, for six months of agony.)  We weren't sure of anything.  Except we had to have this house.  So we took our chances.  We begged.  We borrowed.  We moved in 12 years ago, today.  No love story comes without complications.  Plumbing disasters.  Carpeting Issues.  Neighbor issues.  But here were are, all these years later, more in love than ever.  This house still makes us happy.  It understands our needs.  It's a good listener, a steady companion, a true homie.  So, happy 12th anniversary, house.  You're holding up well.  You still look great.  Keep up the good work, hon.  Here's to another 12, and God willing, 12 more after that.  We were meant for each other.  We knew it from the start.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Do You Sleep At Night?


What position do you sleep in at night?  That’s a little personal, don’t you think?  Not that it’s ever stopped me before.  The SJG will gladly reveal how I sleep – poorly – if you tell me how you sleep.  I’m a fetal sleeper/thinker.  I sleep curled up on my right side with knees tucked in.  According to a British study, this position is favored by worriers (big surprise!) and reveals a desire to return to my comfort zone after a stressful day. What else?  I’m so glad you asked.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Love Pentagon

Double click on chart for full scandalous effect!
Join me now, for another episode of "General's Hospital," starring Stephen Colbert and the SJG's all-time favorite, Miss Susan Lucci!
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
General's Hospital
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And Then There Were Three

The delivery was a little rough.  The third one came from North Carolina, found online after extensive Googling.  And then came the phone calls, the urgent emails with the warehouse in North Hollywood, the unusual requests.  "Can you send me a photo?"  "Hmm... okay."  At first, the original two were fussy about getting their photos taken.  They demanded frequent breaks.  They weren't happy with the lighting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Phone Time With Dad

"I found another inappropriate communication!"
"How you doin' today, Daddy B?"  "Fine.  I just unpacked five bags of groceries."  "Five?!"  "Trader Joes.  Vons."  "I admire your commitment to marketing."  "Thank you."  "So, what else is going on?"  "Petraeus."  "Isn't it the best?"  "There's already a new twist."  "There is?!  What? What?  What?!"  "I don't know."  "Why not?"  "You called right when CNN was about to tell me."  "How rude of me!  But aren't we loving this story so much?"  "The women are both sluts."  "What about the generals?"  "They should be... CNN's back.  I gotta go." "Oh.  Okay, then.  Bye." 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

General Confusion

"I've always loved a man in uniform."
On last week's episode of "The Generals," a pretty biographer sent threatening emails to a pretty philanthropist, which set off a sh*t storm of tsouris and are-you-kidding-me worldwide.  Adultery. Resignations.  Cancelled 40th b'day bashes.  Angry spouses.  And a major feeling of "ew, icky."  Today, the plot thickens!  Now there's another general in this head-scratching sex sandal.  More emails.  Or, as some prefer to call them, "inappropriate communications."  The pretty philanthropist who got this wacky ball rolling stars in this latest episode. 
"I'm humiliated this much."
Well.  Nothing gets the SJG more excited than a possible infraction of military rules!  This is some juicy stuff right here.  This is some twisted telanovela.  I won't lie to you, peeps.  I'm into this tale, big time.  I needed this new obsession.  I'm rapidly becoming an expert on all the sordid details.  Just ask the menfolk in my house, who don't seem quite as invested.  They're more worried about the Lakers and why the Zen Master didn't get the gig.  Personally, I can't wait for the HBO version of "When David Met Paula."  I'm already casting it in my brain.
Steve Buscemi as Petraeus!
Angelina J. as Broadwell!
                                                        

Monday, November 12, 2012

Closed On Monday

In observance of Veteran's Day, several important agencies that oversee the SJG will be closed Monday, including the Supreme Court of Dysfunction, the Office of Enabling, the Library of Guilt, the Complaint Department and the Bank of Obsession.  The Post Office that delivers the SJG's daily dose of worry and regret will also be closed. On a happy note, the Collection of Canine Ka-ka will remain open. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Celebrity Sighting

Bearded Alec Baldwin
There he was, leaning against a store window in Beverly Hills, looking casual, looking like he belonged.  The SJG didn't even notice him.  I'd just met up with the lovely Nancy.  We were both on our way to Nate n' Al's for breakfast with friends.  Nancy spotted him first.  "I think that's Alec Baldwin," she said, out of the corner of her mouth.  I glanced at the bearded man, briefly.  When it comes to celebrity sightings, I never gawk.  Gawking is a no-no.  "I think you're right,"  I said, and gave Nancy a look of, "Be cool, we can do this."  Not that I wasn't jazzed.  I've adored Alec Baldwin since his "Knots Landing" debut.  I've never seen him up front and personal.  We were just inches away from him.  Thrill City!  And suddenly, he leaned forward to talk to us!  The star of "30 Rock"!  Oh, happy day.  "Got any spare change?" he said.  So.  Not Alec Baldwin.  Not even close.   But wasn't it pretty to think so?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nora's Last Meal

A hot dog from Nate n' Al's
Today I'll go to Nate n' Al's for breakfast, a deli worth schelpping to, and while I'm there, I'll think of Nora Ephron, who once said this on Charlie Rose: "When you are actually going to have your last meal, you'll either be too sick to have it or you aren't gonna know it's your last meal and you could squander it on something like a tuna melt and that would be ironic. So it's important ... I feel it's important to have that last meal today, tomorrow, soon."  So what did she want her last meal to be?  A hot dog from Nate n' Al's,
with some Gulden's mustard and some sauerkraut or relish. Why Nate 'n Al's? "It's the greatest hot dog."  I wish I could agree, but I'm not from the hot dog lovers.  My last meal would be a toasted onion bagel with cream cheese and lox from Nate n' Als.  I was raised on it.  I'd want to go out on it.
My last meal
In honor of Nora, I'll order my last meal today.  She'd want me to say, screw the calories, you only live once.  Unless you know something I don't.  In which case, please share, immediately. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Drizzle, Drazzle

Tooter Turtle
Every time it starts to drizzle, as it did yesterday afternoon, the SJG says:  "Drizzle, Drazzle."  But why? Why do I say this?  Don't ask me.  I have no idea.  It sounds so cartoony.  Probably cuz it's part of a line that comes from a very old cartoon.  Which cartoon, you ask?  Pardon me while I Google.  I prefer to Google in private, if you don't mind.  I'm back.  Did you miss me?  Of course you did.  Turns out, there was a turtle named Tooter.  Full name:  Tooter Turtle.  And this turtle couldn't hold down a job.  He was inept.  Always trying out new occupations, going from lumberjack to taxi driver, from pre-historic times to the moon.  And whenever he got in trouble, all Tooter had to do was cry, "Help, Mr. Wizard!"  Mr. Wizard would say this magical chant: "Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome, time for zis one to come home!" 
Help, Mr. Wizard!
Just like that, Tooter Turtle, part of "King Leonardo and his Short Subjects"animated series (which aired in 1960!) would arrive safely, shell in tact.  Well, this concept appeals to the SJG on many levels.  How great would it be to call for help and have a lizard save your tush with a wave of his wand?  Personally, I think it would be spectacular. I could've used a "drizzle, drazzle" more than once to get me out of a jam.  What about you?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Denial App

The SJG likes to joke that they left out the denial gene when I arrived in the parking lot of County General.  Maybe if I'd been born in the hospital, and not in an Oldsmobile, I'd have the all-important  denial button necessary to survive in today's meshuggie world.  But it was a rush delivery, and the factory forgot to install it.  Not to worry, peeps.  There's good news to share.  I've gathered a few software mavens, I've raised the necessary funds, and coming soon to an iPhone near you:  The SJG Denial App!  One touch and here's what you get:  An unconscious defense mechanism that helps you avoid emotional conflict and anxiety!   Plus, the chance to bury all those unpleasant thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses, or facts you find intolerable!  Only $1.99.  This is the only app you'll ever need.   Enjoy!  And, as always, you're welcome!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Feet

Here's hoping we can come together. In the meantime, Steve Martin gets Happy Feet. Let's join his silly dance. Let's shout and hug it out. And remember this today:  Thanks God it's over!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Good Thing To Say Today

Oy.  Say it with me now.  Oy.  Add a Vey now.  Vey.  Put them together.  Say it loud and clear:  Oy Vey.  Add an explanation mark.  Oy Vey!  There, do you feel better?  The SJG always feels better when I say an Oy, followed by a Vey.  It's one of the great expressions of my lifetime.  Oy vey!  There are variations, of course.  Growing up, I heard a lot of Oy Veysmere.  I heard plenty of Oy Gevalts, too. Personally, I prefer a nice Oy Vey!  Oy vey sums it all up, whatever it is.  If you're tired and frustrated, give an Oy Vey and you'll feel a little less so. If you're worried, give an Oy Vey and your worry drops down a notch.  If you're pissed off, disgusted, had it up to here, give an Oy Vey and you can deal with life again.  If today isn't an Oy Vey kind of day, I don't know what is.  It'll go one way or another.  It'll be a barrage of tallies and inaccuracies, of guesses and geshreis.  It'll be a nail-biter for sure.  What it won't be is a slam dunk, a landslide, an easy call.  It'll be a very long night of Oy Vey.  So, please.  Say it with me now.  Oy Vey!  There, do you feel better?  I'm so glad I could help.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Origin of Cheese

... courtesy of the 2,000 year old man.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tap, Tap, Smash

Much like the bowl of tempting Halloween candy, much like the maniacal squirrel bent on destroying the yard, the lil birdy who drives the SJG cray-cray is back.  I know, I know.   It's not the same lil birdy from last year, the tiny guy that perched, semi-permanently, upon the window, and issued the following query:  "Are you my mother?"  That lil birdy finally got the message and went bye bye.  And now another lil birdy, maybe a baby brother, maybe a cousin, has returned to drive me cray-cray.  Tap, tap, smash.  Tap, tap, smash.  Seriously?  So tell me.  Is it the SJG's karma to deal with annoying creatures that come in fun size?  Is there a lesson to be learned here?  One about tolerance?  Am I supposed to accept that life is just one cosmic test after another?  That I should just deal with it? That it could be worse?  Much, much worse?  That maybe the SJG should just chill, for a change, as the young people say?  Okay, maybe I'll try it.  I'll try chillin'.  Maybe later.  After I flip the bird.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Message In A Telethon

Lots of good-looking celeb rockers n' wailers came out last night for NBC's Hurricane Sandy Telethon.   Every performance gave the SJG chills, especially this one.  Double click for full Mary J. effect:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Goin' Nuts

Every year, the same conversation with Filiberto, the devoted gardener of the SJG.  Filiberto's been schlepping with us, house to house, for a while now.  He knows what ticks me off.  "Filiberto, the squirrel's back.  He's destroying the lawn."  "It's not a squirrel.  It's a raccoon."  "Filiberto, we have the same discussion every year.  I say squirrel, you say raccoon."  "A squirrel couldn't do all this damage."  "You're right.  This time, we have two squirrels.  The big guy, and his protege.  He's teaching him how to destroy our lawn."  "It's a raccoon," Filiberto says, stomping on the dirt with his big dude gardener boots.  "Filiberto, you're doing the Dance of the Squirrels.  I haven't seen that since last year."  "It's the Dance of the Raccoons," he says. Squirrel or raccoon, what's the diff? The SJG is still ticked off. What do do?  What.  To.  Do?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ice Ice, Baby

Best Costume:  Vanilla Ice

You know it's a light turnout when the best dressed trick-or-treater shows up first thing in the morning looking like his idol Vanilla Ice.  The SJG handed the first born a candy bar and sent him on his way to work.  Halloween.  Done.  Next holiday.