Monday, December 31, 2012


A year's review
For this short Jew
I ate, dreamt, wrote
Worked the remote
I took a chance
I danced a dance
Two steps forward
One step backward

Still full of hope
Tried hard to cope
Good days, bad days
Survived that phase

On New Year's Eve
I'm taking leave
I did my best 
Forget the rest
So now you know
It's time to go
Bye bye, Boo Boo

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Goals For 2013

1.  Join Ministry of Silly Walks.
2.  Win International Kugel-Off.
3.  Teach the world to dance the SJG Shuffle.
4.  Locate lost accordion.
5.  Trade self in for newer model.
6.  Find cure for chronic interruption.
7.  Train Dusty to scoop his own poop.
8.  Take SJG Big Booty Jeans global.
9.  Act taller.
10. Achieve oneness with my closet.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Admit One

Last night, I open my Kindle, and out falls a ticket from some other dimension:  Admit One.  Admit One where? Into the world of the wonderful book I'm reading: "Beautiful Ruins"?  Admit One into a world of less stress and worry?  Yes, please.  The SJG would like to go there, immediately.  As usual, I may be reading too much into this odd discovery.  And yet, as 2012 winds down, I can't help but wonder where this ticket might have landed me had I come upon it sooner.  Admit One into a happy land of make-believe, where long-gestating manuscripts and TV projects finally sell?  Admit One into a land of magical chalk boards, where you can erase dumb arguments, hurts, and illnesses of treasured friends?  Chances are, Admit One is just a lone ticket from an old Purim carnival or school concert, something that's been floating around my night table for years, slipping in and out of books at random intervals, for no particular reason.  Other than to remind me of all the places I still need to go, both imaginary and real.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Goodbye, Junior's Deli

A beloved deli, a sad SJG
My entire life, I've been eating at Junior's Deli, and trust me, that's a long time.  The news that Junior's is closing after 53 years on December 31st -- like Henry's Tacos, the victim of another lease dispute -- hit everyone I know like a brick of Halavah to the keppy.  Smack!  That hurts.  The SJG was just at Junior's on Monday, lunching with the high school gals.  Had I known this was goodbye, I would've stocked up on rugelach.  The bakery at Junior's is to die for; the parking lot, something to avoid at all costs, which explains why, historically, my family has always parked on the street.  But even that can be dicey. Take the time my brother John and the SJG were going to Junior's with my grandparents.  I think I was about 10 years old.  As my grandpa backed into a spot on Westwood Boulevard, a scary, high-risk maneuver, if I remember correctly, someone driving by gave him a loud honk of disapproval.  "BASTARD!" my grandpa called out, followed by, "Don't tell your parents I said that."  John and I looked at each other and tried desperately not to laugh.  Grandpa just swore!  To this day, we love to say "BASTARD!" to each other, whenever something goes wrong.  The closing of Junior's elicits a heartfelt cry of "BASTARD!"  The demise of this beloved institution  means deli-wise, what's left in West L.A. is Factor's, and this has my dad very worried.  He eats at Factor's every other Wednesday, and doesn't think the place can hold all the refugees from Junior's.  It's going to get crowded over there on Pico.  What's a Jew to do?  Complain.  Grieve.  Move on.  So zay gezunt, old deli.  See you in another life.  I'll miss your giant, chocolate-dipped Passover macaroons most of all.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five Shopping Days Left

I picked this out myself
Only five more shopping days till January 1st, and I can't decide what sort of birthday gift to buy for 2013.   Something tells me the coming year is going to need a lot of stuff.  Maybe a nice sweater to keep 2013 cozy?  And a warm blankie, extra large.  Every new year likes to be swaddled and burped and rocked back and forth like a baby.  This gift is really starting to come together.  I need to throw a few more items in the basket, so I don't look cheap.  I'd hate to insult 2013 right out the gate.  So.  What else should I give 2013?  I'm thinking a lucky charm.  No.  A whole bracelet of lucky charms.  Every year could use some luck.  Oh, and some shower gel.  No gift is complete without shower gel.  A large vat of peach blossom body wash to keep 2013 feeling clean and refreshed.  I'll pick some up at Costco, along with industrial-strength ibuprofen.  Chances are, 2013 will start off with a massive 2012 hangover.  I don't want 2013 to feel bad on any level.  I'll put in a bottle of cough medicine, and some decongestant.  God forbid, 2013 should catch a cold.  One sneeze and we'd all get infected.  I might as well include some chicken soup.  A big pot of it, with extra matzoh balls.  It couldn't hurt.  A few self-help books, too:  "How To Keep 2013 From Turning to Sh*t."  "Time Management Tips for 2013."  "Happiness Project: 2013 Edition." Something's missing from this gift.  It's not quite there yet.  Wine!  A bottle of the finest Napa grape.  Oh, hell, make it a case.  2013's going to need to chill now and then.  Some chocolates, too.  Dark and rich, imported from Sherman Oaks.  I sure hope the new year likes my present.  What are you going to get 2013?  Better hurry.  Only five shopping days left.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Xmas Miracle

Better late than never
An Xmas miracle:  The Chinese take-out the SJG ordered at 5 finally arrived at 7.  All I had to do was call up and repeatedly nag the stressed-out phone-answerer.  "We very busy," she said.  "Can you tell me if the food is on the way?" I asked at 6.  "Is on the way," she said, without checking.  "Are you sure?" I asked again, at 6:30.  "We very busy," she said.  At last, the orange chicken, the tasty shrimp, the chicken fried rice, appeared on the table. The sons rated the meal "so-so."  "We could've made you turkey burritos," hubby said.  "You can't have turkey burritos on Christmas," the eldest countered.  So fine.  We didn't.  We had lukewarm Chinese take-out because the Torah commands that Jews must consume Chinese food, at home or in a crowded restaurant, on December 25, or else, and trust me, you don't want to go against the Torah.  So fine.  We didn't, and we have the leftovers to prove it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Jew On Christmas

It's hard to be a Jew on Christmas... but have a good one, anyway.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh, Really, Tannenbaum?

The Short Jewish Gal of Sherman Oaks attempts to hang a tiny, talitted teddy bear on a tall tree.  The proud Bar Mitzvah  Bear isn't thrilled with the goyisha surroundings. "Get me down from here!" says the bear.  "Put me by the Torah, where I belong."  "I'm sorry, little bear, but this house doesn't have a Torah. I did notice a nice menorah over there on the hall table."  "Fine," says the bear. "It'll do.  But could ya hurry up?  This hook's pinching my yarmulke."   

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kvetch and Release

And don't forget to kvetch about it first.
Kvetch and Release:  a practice established by the Short Jewish Gal of Sherman Oaks, intended as a technique of sanity conservation.  After kvetching out loud about something substantial, such as that hideous Christmas sweater your neighbor is wearing, the intolerable burden you've been carrying around magically unhooks from your tortured psyche, which, let's face it, is crowded enough as it is, and returns to the atmosphere, so that you shouldn't suffer any additional mental exhaustion.  A well-made psychological hook, manufactured out of thin air by your last, most expensive therapist, makes it possible to kvetch and let go without ever vacating the premises, a good thing, considering all the miserable traffic you'd have to contend with at this time of year.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hair Today

Gone tomorrow?
"Renee, according to the Mayan calendar, this may be my last haircut ever."  "I know.  I'm feeling the pressure."  "It's a huge responsibility.  Are you up to the task?" "My scissors are ready." "I want to go out looking good."  "You know how your hair gets in this weather.  I can't make any promises."  "Thanks for reassuring me.  Let's do this!"  Well, as last haircuts go, I do believe this one gets me into the Post-Apocalyptic Ball.  It's important to look nice, no matter what the occasion.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


What fun is that?
So many cringers, eyebrow-raisers, hot messes and OMGs, I'm not sure which epic shanda of 2012 deserves first position on the SJG Scandalabra Scale.  This one:
General Cluster F***
 Or, this one:
"I'm looking through you..."
 After much personal reflection, I'm going with:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Important Holiday Resolutions

This morning, the SJG woke up full of Important Holiday Resolutions and couldn't wait to share them with hubby, as he stood in the kitchen, defrosting from his early walkies with Dusty.  "Can you keep the teeth chattering to a minimum please?  I have things to say."  He shivered in response.  "First, I want to light the candles every night, not just the first night. Eight nights of candle-lighting.  Second, for eight nights, I want to declare this house a no-kvetching zone.  No kvetching for eight nights.  I'm not sure this family of kvetchers can pull it off, but I think we should try.  Third, for eight nights, no swearing.  It's going to be hard, for gosh sakes, but in honor of Hanukkah, we should give it a shot.  Four, we buy tickets to see 'The March of the Toy Dreidel' --"  Here, hubby thawed out enough to interrupt me.  "One problem with your Important Holiday Resolutions."  "What?!" "Hanukkah is over."  "How dare you!"  "We're done with Hanukkah."  "Nah-uh.  If we're done, why is the menorah still sitting on the counter?"  "'Cuz we're too lazy to put it away."  "And by 'we' you mean me?"  "I didn't say that."  "But what you're saying is --" "Hanukkah came and went."  "We only observed one night. What the eff is wrong with us?"  "We don't have little kids anymore," he said, retreating upstairs to exercise, while I reflected on my Important Holiday Resolutions, and vowed to observe them next Hanukkah, if, by some miracle, I can remember them. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Tale of Tacos

Save Henry's!
Like so many in the Valley, we're worried about Henry's Tacos. It's a part of our family history.  We've logged countless hours there, waiting in line, sitting at the picnic benches, noshing on simple tacos.  The eldest had his only car accident (minor, thank God) turning into Henry's tiny-ass parking lot, the scene of many a fender bender or near-collision.  "I wanted to bring my kids here," the eldest said in a recent interview with the SJG.  "Now I can't.  They have the best @#$%'n hot sauce in the Valley."  The celebrity-driven movement to save Henry's has heated up, thanks to Elijah Wood, Aaron Paul and others in love with a humble taco stand where no one ever made a fuss about anything.  What it comes down to is this:
The owner of Henry's wants to retire, but keep the landmark going via a new owner.  The land owner doesn't want to renew the lease.  Hence, a nice taco hangout on Tujunga and Moorpark turns into a classic battleground.  What will happen?  Hard to predict, though at this point, it doesn't look good.  All I know is, it's a sad thing to say adios to Henry's Tacos.  Here's hoping we don't have to.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Something To Celebrate

And now
Today the youngest turns 21 and the SJG feels... what's the word I'm searching for... old.  Really, really old.  And proud.  Proud of the rapper known as Scott D, always on a quest for great music, to make it and find it. He's a committed fan:  Movies, video games, soccer and basketball.  When he loves something, he loves it with all his heart and soul.  The past year has been a challenge, a time of reinvention.  But it's all good.  He's on his way.  Tonight we'll celebrate at the King's Head.  Manchester United's most loyal supporter needs a shepherd's pie and his first legal beer, served at room temperature.  So Happy Birthday, Mr. Scott.  Happy b'day to you, and many more.  You're a joy to behold. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hit Escape

I've spent the last few days in self-protection mode.  I can only take a little bit of the news, before retreating again.  I do what I've always done when the world turns to absolute crap.  I hit my internal escape button.  I watch movies.  Lots of movies.  I'm a Hollywood baby, after all.  From a young age, I learned that entertainment is the best escape.  And while I love going to the local cineplex, at this moment, I'd rather stay home and not catch the flu from strangers, or be annoyed by talkers and cellphone users.  Lucky me, I'm blessed with a bounty of screeners, culled from various top secret sources, until I name them and risk instant jail time.  Like anything that brings unbridled joy, these screeners come with conditions.  You're not supposed to share them with anyone.  The legalese pops up before you get started.  You're told to break them in half, stomp on them, pulverize them the minute you're done.  Do not lend them out, bitches!  Do not go there!  Or what?  For starters, you'll be severely punished, fined, spanked and ridiculed.  I have it on good authority that few abide by this rule.  Still, we keep this contraband in the family, so we can dole out our own punishment should one of the sons forget to bring back "Zero Dark Thirty." The results are nasty.  Such negligence sends them back to repeat Hebrew school, and their Bar Mitzvahs, and guess who pays for the party this time?  Not us.  Them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What The World Needs Now...

... is love, sweet love... and divine intervention... and gun control... and better mental healthcare... and  oh, so many things, it's unfathomable. Maybe this great clip of Jackie deShannon and her very cool arm moves will make you feel better and soothe your soul. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

You Were Saying?

Translation:  Kiss my tush
Some Yiddish proverbs and sayings the SJG has never heard before, and yet, I love them all the same. Courtesy of:

1.If they give you--take; if they take from you--yell!
2.Charge nothing and you'll get a lot of customers.
3.Don't spit into the well--you might drink from it later.
4.Do not worry about tomorrow, because you do not even know what may happen to you today.
5.If one person tells you that you have ass's ears, take no notice; should two tell you so, procure a saddle for yourself.
6.You can't chew with somebody else's teeth.
7.If you spit upwards, you're bound to get it back in the face.
8.You can't dance at two weddings at the same time; nor can you sit on two horses with one behind.
9.Had you gotten up early, you wouldn't have needed to stay up late.
10.One who has the reputation of an early riser may safely lie in bed until noon.
11.For dying, you always have time.
12.When a fool is silent, he too is counted among the wise.
13.Silence is the fence around wisdom.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blame It On Your Mother

The SJG understands blame.  I've medalled  in blame.  I'm an eight-time international champion Blame Gamer.  Spend a little time in therapy, however, 10, 15 years, and you learn that blaming others gets you nowhere.  This is a lesson I'm trying to pass on to my sons, but yesterday, I hit a snag. The eldest pointed his finger at my head and went on a 10-minute rant.  He's unhappy with his hair, and believes I'm the source of his ongoing disappointment.  Naturally, it's all my fault.  Is anything NOT my fault?  You see, he inherited my baby fine thin ka-ka hair, as opposed to hubby's thick, luxurious mop.  His brother, lucky boy, scored daddy's hair -- the definition of unfair.  "I apologize from the bottom of my DNA," I said, before veering off, rabbinically.  "But tell me, son, do people walk by and point at your hair?  Do they call you a fool?  Do they scorn you in public?  Flog you in the town square?"  He paused to reflect.  Clearly, I'd triggered some heartfelt reflection.  "I'm ridiculed daily," he said. "Every 15 minutes, someone walks by my desk and laughs at my hair." "I feel your pain, my son.  How you have suffered.  It hurts me to my very core."  "You have no idea what I go through," he said.  "It's been awful." Here, I took offense, I must admit.  "I have no idea?  Are you kidding?  I've been walking around with the same pathetic baby fine thin ka-ka hair, much longer than you, my son." "And whose fault is that?" he asked, respectfully.  "My mother! May she rest in peace.  Who do you think gave me this sh*tty excuse for hair?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And Now, The News

Unconfirmed news
Uncensored news
Unsettling news
Unspeakable news 
Unbearable news  
Unimaginable news
Enough already with the news

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hanukkah Etiquette Revisited

Back by popular demand!  (That's right, bitches.  I'm re-posting from a few years ago... as if you'd even remember.  Lazy?  How dare you!  Go to your room and don't come out till next Hanukkah.)
1. The Office Party:  Nosh and drink plenty, but never mix Schnapps with Dr. Brown's Cream Soda.  You'll get a bad buzz.  Don't overindulge on the latkes; they'll go straight to your ass.  Don't do that striptease hora you've been rehearsing.  Save that for your nephew's bar mitzvah.
2. Hanukkah Cards: Fine, send a Hanukkah e-card to people you could care less about, but it's nicer to slap on some postage and send a real card to the few friends and family you're still willing to tolerate, and vice versa.
3. Re-gifting: The high-risk recycling of unwanted Hanukkah presents is a major no-no.  Never forget that karma's a bitch.  Re-gifting that talking yarmulke will come back to bite you, big-time. 
4. Hanukkah Tipping:  Always welcome.  The SJG takes cash, credit cards, all-expenses-paid European jaunts. 
5. Mind the Menorah:  Never use a lit menorah to set the mood.  A menorah isn't a marital aid.  Remember, the oil may have lasted eight days, but that's the only miracle you're looking at here.
6. The Perfect Guest: For once in your life, arrive on time, and bring a little something. A bottle of wine, some Star of David cookies, potpourri.  Don't sit on your butt.  Offer to help. You went to college. You can find the kitchen.
7. The Perfect Host:  Be welcoming, organized and sober, at least at the beginning. Hide your valuables. Lock up your children. 
8. Don't be a Nudnik: Just because Hanukkah conjures up bad memories of when your parents denied you that Ultra Susie Bake Double Oven Deluxe you wanted, try not to ruin everyone else's good time. Embrace the fun, even if it kills you.
9. Perfect Presents: Pretend you like the gift. Act surprised, no matter what crap you've been given. Remember that someone took the time to choose and poorly wrap a sh*tty gift for you.  So take the time to be gracious.  Later, you can weep. 
10. Thank Yous: Thank your hosts throughout the evening. Thank your hosts after you leave.  Call them from the car and gush.  What a great evening!  We had the best time!  Lie if necessary.  Go overboard.  Go home and write them an email praising the delicious food, sparkling decor and entertaining company.  Promise to reciprocate, and actually do it. Call the next day, and lay it on thick.  If you want to be invited back next year, show the love, or next Hanukkah, you'll be playing Dreidel in the dark.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Step by Step

On Sundays, while the menfolk watch sports and do other manly things, the SJG goes dancing.  At 4:15, I leave SJG HQ in search of rhythm and music.  The need to flash the jazz hands overwhelms me.  I simply must dance the week's worries away.  I can't help myself.  And yet, much as I love my late afternoon dancecapade, there's still one subject that must be addressed.  Dinner.  Sometimes, okay, most times, I leave Sunday dinner up to hubby.  He calls in an order, or he picks up, I arrive home and its on the table. This is my definition of bliss.  Last night was different.  It was the second night of Hanukkah and what sort of SJG would I be if I didn't prepare something outrageously delish for my people?  So I prepped the meal early, as they say on TV.  I marinated, I made this and that, and then, I wrote out a complicated set of instructions.  Step 1.  Preheat oven.  Step 2.  Take chicken out of fridge.  Step 3... oh, you get the idea.  I like to make it easy for hubby, because he's got enough to think about already.  When I left for dance class, he was thinking about plumbing,  He was determined to find The Leak.  There was no way I could go over my step-by-step Hanukkah meal instructions while he was staring into the toilet tank.  That's just icky.  So I grabbed the eldest.  He loves to cook, always has, and I knew this assignment would speak to him.  "Okay, honey, here's what you do. Step 1 " -- He yanked the list from my dainty hand.  "Got it.  No worries.  Go dance."  Off I went, and when I came back, I'm proud to say, he'd done everything on the list.  Well, except one thing.  He hadn't reheated the spinach souffle.  "@#$%!" he said in shame.  "It's fine.  We'll just give it a zap," I said.  We zapped, we sat, we consumed massive quantities of yum.  All in all,  a resounding success... once I made them turn off the Lakers and told hubby, "Let's not discuss the plumbing thing over dinner." 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Don't Tell Dad

Hush, little doggy. He'll never know... 
 unless the SJG blogs about it.
The door opens before I've even turned the key.  A woman looks at me, weirdly.  A tiny white fluff ball of a dog comes barking down the hall to greet me.  Instant SJG discombobulation.  Major Talking Heads moment.  This is not my dad's place!  This is not his beautiful condo!  Well...How did I get here?  I'm pretty sure I made the trek from Sherman Oaks, that's how.  I'm on the hunt for "screeners," as we show biz folk like to call 'em.  Dad's my contact.  We have an arrangement.  He won't be home, but I can come by and pick up the contraband.  Hush hush.  But my dad doesn't have a dog.  He lives alone.  So, what's with the dog and the lady at the door?  Am I in the wrong building?  The wrong dimension?  Oh, hang on.  It's coming to me.  Right condo.  Same as it ever was.  Whew.  The gal is his housekeeper.  The dog belongs to her.  I start laughing and playing with the cutest maltipoo ever.  "Hello, there.  Who are you?" "He's Max."  "Max, does my dad know you're here?"  "No," the housekeeper says.  "I don't think he'd like it," I say. "But he's trained."  "Doesn't matter."  "I only do it once in a while.  He's my son's dog."  "Let's keep this between us." "Okay."  "I won't tell my dad.  Promise."  I leave with the coveted DVDs, laughing my tush off.  I'm not going to tell my dad about this.  Are you?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Save Me A Latke

Save me a latke
The last one on the plate
Save me a latke
It's time to celebrate
Save me a latke
The crispy one looks nice
Save me a latke
The burnt one will suffice

Friday, December 7, 2012

Nice Jewish Boys Singing

... and making random Jewish references in a Hanukkah song.  You know the SJG is going to keep milking this holiday.  What else do I have to talk about?  Enjoy.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Eight Nights of Hanukkah

On the first night of Hanukkah my true love gave to me
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the second night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
2 Kosher pickles and Lox,
bagels and some cream cheese

On the third night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
3 pounds of corned beef,
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the fourth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the fifth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the sixth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
6 pickled herrings
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the seventh night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
7 noodle kugels
6 pickled herrings
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the eighth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
8 Alka- Seltzer
7 noodle kugels
6 pickled herrings
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

(author unknown, but suffering from severe indigestion)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Royally Preggers

So, the royal Kate, the Duchess herself, is preggers (mazel tov) and puking up a storm (oy).  Poor girl.  My stomach goes out to her.  The mere mention of morning sickness makes the SJG queasy.  Of course, I'm over-empathizing with the situation.  When I was carrying the royal eldest, I set some sort of record: nine months of morning sickness.  Why they call it morning sickness, I'll never know.  It's more like 24/7 sickness.  For nine months, I upchucked daily.  It made leaving the house difficult.  Add heartburn to the scenario.  On the day the boychick was due, I stood in the bathroom doorway and informed hubby, "I've had just about enough of this."  Two days later, after a long, agonizing labor, during which I laughed hysterically at one point for no reason at all, out came a tiny, gooey screamer.  Ba-bye more morning sickness.  And then, four years later, I was preggers again.  But this time, I only endured five months of pukiness, followed by heartburn.  The SJG certainly knows how to milk things. So, the royal Kate, the Duchess, take care.  And know that: This Too Shall Pass.  When?  Good question.  Best answer:  At some point.  God willing, soon.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My First Hanukkah Christmas Ornament

Not that I judge, but... that's just wrong.  

This, too.

But thisThis is funny!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


If there's a greater day of the week than Sunday, the SJG would gladly sing its praises.  But there's no day as great as Sunday.  I'm not all that ga-ga over Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, but I get through them just fine.  I like Thursday.  I like-like Friday.  I have an intense crush on Saturday.  But Sunday?  I blush just thinking about the way Sunday makes me feel.  I'm deeply, madly, hopelessly in love with Sunday.  This isn't  a recent development, I might add.  I've had a thing for Sunday since I was an even shorter SJG.  Childhood Sundays meant fresh bagels for breakfast and visits with my grandparents.  Every Sunday, without fail, ding-dong, there they were, the Russians:  my very tall grandpa and my very short grandma.  We gathered in the den, ate pretzels, sipped soda and spent an hour or so just talking, laughing, playing checkers and Gin Rummy.  Sometimes we listened to "You Don't Have To Be Jewish" or Nichols and May or Allan Sherman.  Sometimes, Steve and Eydie.  Sometimes my grandparents told stories about their early days in America, when they spoke zero English.  Every visit, my grandma said this, as she rose off the "fofa," her nickname for sofa:  "Give me a push, lover."  My grandpa would give her a gentle shove and send her on the way to the powder room by the front door.  When it was time to leave, I'd hide in my grandpa's coat.  "Where's Carol?"  "Has anyone seen Carol?"  And then I'd emerge from his coat.  "Oh, there she is."  Sundays in the home of the SJG still involve bagels and the occasional visit with grandparents.  Mostly, though, it's just us, taking it easy.  Later in the day, the eldest travels a block or two to join us for dinner and TV.  Tonight:  "Homeland" and the finale of "Boardwalk Empire."  Oh, Sunday.  Seriously, I love you so.  Don't ever change. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Meeting Adjourned

You'll be happy to know that at no point during the very brief Hollywood meeting, did the SJG do any of the following:  Burst into tears.  Laugh uncontrollably.  Spontaneously combust.  Recite a random Shakespearean soliloquy.  Dance Gangnam style.  Break out the Weegie Board.  Perform a seance.  Channel Ethel Merman.  At no point during the very brief Hollywood meeting, did the lovely Kelly have to tell me to pay attention or quit texting my sons or stop playing Angry Birds.  At no point during the very brief Hollywood meeting, did the SJG misbehave, roll my eyes, burp, twitch or demonstrate any of the standard quirks I must work hard to keep under wraps.  At no point before or after the very brief Hollywood meeting, did I try to steal the fetching silver Menorah in the lobby.  As very brief Hollywood meetings go, it was a nice bagel.  No unforeseen ingredients. No threats to call security.  The SJG has learned a few things over the course of my long, semi-prestigious career.  I did everything I was told.  I curbed my constant urge to swear like a sailor.  I wore my sticky Visitor tag with pride.  I sat on the fluffy sofa next to the lovely Kelly and did my best not to embarrass her too much.  In the end, we pitched our pitch, we got a few laughs, a few smiles, and left with our complimentary bottles of water.  Roll credits.