Thursday, January 31, 2013

Droop, Droop

The 99 percent female audience screamed with laughter, as four gals on stage sang about the droop, droop, the hot flashes, the sleep deprivation, the fine lines, the mood swings, all part of the package deal called Menopause.  Two short writers, no names mentioned -- hint: the SJG was one of them -- chuckled and cringed and on the way home, reworked the entire show, as we tend to do, any time we see something that still, in our humble opinions, needs tweaking.  We're so happy to be of service. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lost Uterus

Has anyone since my uterus?  It's been gone a while now.  But every now and then, I wonder how it's doing.  I look back on my hysterectomy of yore and wax nostalgic.  How did I get through that unexpected stage, without my sweet mom standing by to hold my hand?  It wasn't easy.  First I had to make peace with the abrupt departure of Lucy and Ethel, those wacky ovarian best buds, warbling, “If you’re ever in a jam, here I am!” to each other from my left and right sides ever since I turned twelve.  Along with my dearly departed uterus, they granted me children.  They introduced me to water retention and off-the-chart mood swings, too. And even though the girlfriends were gone in the physical sense, I still felt their daunting presence.  They were phantom body parts now, in cahoots with my lost uterus to taunt me in the middle of the night:
“Why’d you get rid of us?” Lucy asked.
“We were still good!” Ethel said.
“Your stupid uterus was messed up! Not us,” Lucy said.
“Don’t call me stupid,” my former uterus chimed in.
“What’d we ever do to you, anyway?” Ethel asked.
“It’s what you might’ve done that I was afraid of,” I said.
“So you picked hormone replacement over us?” Lucy asked.
“Some trade-off,” my useless uterus said.
“Oh, shut the eff up!” I told them all.
We went a few more rounds, then I covered my head with my pillow and went back to sleep...

Tonight, two post-menopausal gals -- no names mentioned; hint - the SJG is one of them -- will go see "Menopause:  The Musical" to celebrate our lost uteruses.  Or, is it uteri?   Yes, I believe it is.  Either way, we're going, dammit.  Some things are worth singing about, even missing body parts.  Don't you agree?  Of course, you do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where The Action Is!

The SJG is spoiled.  Monday through Friday, the eldest drops by for breakfast on his way to work.  If I had my way, I'd keep this tradition going for the next 50 years.  But in a few weeks, he's selfishly swapping locales, trading in suburbia for the bright lights of Hollyweird. Why? Why? WHY? Because, he tells us, it's... Where The Action Is! Remember that '60s show on ABC?  Hot bands.  Hot people dancing on the beach.  I learned some of my best moves watching that show.  But the eldest isn't going in search of groovy folks in bell-bottoms and fringe vests.  He wants the nightlife, he wants "walkability."  So fine. Go and move.  Break your mother's heart.  "If we buy you a new couch, will you stay in Sherman Oaks?"  "No."  We bought him a new couch, anyway.  Why deprive him of a nice place to sit, even though he's withholding the joy of sharing breakfast with him?  Some questions can never be answered.  Such as:  Is it  beshert that he's moving down the street from a temple?  Does this mean singles mixers and Friday night services are in his near future?  Probably not.  A mother can dream.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Things We Yell

The Barker of Sherman Oaks
.... when Dusty barks at nothing and drives us batty:
1.  Doo - ster - no!
2.  Dooby - hush!
3.  Barky bear!
4.  Sheket!
5.  @#$%!!!!
6.  Enough!
7.  Shhhhhhhuuuuuuussssssssh!
8.  Shut-it!
9.  Stop!
10. Quiet on the set!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Young Vs. Old Woody

The young TV, which looks a lot like the old TV, but doesn't sound as good, brought us a newish movie I expected to dislike, intensely. Nothing depresses the SJG more than a bad Woody Allen film, and based on the reviews and the non-existent box office returns, I figured "To Rome With Love" was going to be a real stinker.  The night before, we'd watched "Annie Hall," so there was no way Old Woody could live up to Young Woody. Well, "To Rome With Love" was better than I expected, even charming.  Except for this guy:
Woody Allen, playing an old crank pot much like himself, made the SJG cringe. I don't like cringing at Woody Allen.  I cringed so much during the whole Mia vs. Soon Yi catastrophe.  I thought I was done cringing, Woody Allen-wise.  A while back, I decided to pick his art over his human eff-ups.  Wasn't that big of me?  But as soon as he appeared on the screen, I wanted him to slip quietly out of the movie.  He didn't.  He stayed.  I prefer Young Woody to Old Woody.  Young Woody is fidgety and charming, neurotic and lovable.  Old Woody is unlikable and unfunny, an epic curmudgeon.  Not that I judge. Okay.  Maybe a little.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Home Repair

Hubby takes time out of his busy life to repair the TV.  Here he's putting in the power supply motherboard.  The results:  iffy.  The TV still goes on and off for no reason, proving the SJG's theory that the flat screen is possessed.  An 80-dollar experiment gone awry.  Sorry, hubby. You know how I hate to be right all the time.  His final thoughts on the matter:  "I'm buying a new TV today.  It was worth a shot."

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Is Giorgio

Hubby looked a little surprised when I walked in the door, accompanied by a sharp-looking Italian. "This is Giorgio.  He'll be my waiter today."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Moms Banned From Facebook

Effective immediately, Facebook has decided to block the accounts of mothers across the globe.  Sources close to the eldest son of the Short Jewish Gal reveal that, "He just can't take it anymore, and neither can the millions of other adult children victimized by their mothers' vapid maternal postings."  An international e-mail blast finally convinced Facebook to honor its original users -- young people.  "We had Facebook first, and then the moms took over and ruined everything.  It's not right.  It must be stopped," sources close to the eldest son of the Short Jewish Gal further disclosed. "On a typical Facebook day, mothers post enhanced images of their proud cooking accomplishments, they brag endlessly about guess-who-got-into-Harvard, submit Instagrams of neatly-folded, fresh laundry, offer unnecessary flashbacks to junior high, before Facebook and the Internet even existed, share random trips to Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico and Mammoth, and group photos of women at lunch, desperately trying to reconnect with the past.  These same mothers embarrass us, regularly, by friending our friends.  They recruit new members to all their important causes:  the Anti-Flatulance Support Group, the Canine Fecal Bag Grievance Society, the Whipped Cream Cheese Spreaders of America, The Holy Guacamole Gluten-Free Gangsters, West Coast Division.  All of this has been silenced, forever, thanks to the combined efforts of The Ashamed Children of Mothers On Facebook.  You're welcome."

Editor's Note:  The SJG did not write this blog.  The eldest son of the SJG grabbed her laptop, while she was otherwise engaged (doing his laundry) and posted this rant without her permission.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do It Yourself, Or Don't

Hubby and the SJG like to wax nostalgic about old television sets that lasted more than five years.  We sound like old farts, we know, but we can't help ourselves.  It's our version of "when we were your age, we walked a mile in the snow to school."  Our first TV was actually my first TV, a black and white Zenith that lasted 15 years, at least. Then we upgraded to a color TV -- you'll have to ask hubby which brand -- and that lasted at least 10 years.  Gone are the TV repairmen, those very serious Poindexter types, who'd show up at the door, lugging a big case of tubes, and spend hours buried behind the set, fixing it till it worked like new.  Today, TV repair's a dying art.  But that hasn't stopped hubby.  He's not willing to throw in the remote on the flat screen, even though I keep telling him, "Honey, it's possessed." Yesterday, he spent the day disassembling the thing.  Part of it rests on the kitchen table, the electronic brains, if you will, and the nice shiny cover tilts on the side, waiting for me to bump into it and make it shatter in pieces.  All day, hubby searched for capacitors online, convinced if he just replaces what looks like the motherboard, the TV will stop turning on and off.  "So, you'd rather potschke with the innards, then call an exorcist?" I asked.  His answer, simple and to the point, "Yes."  Can he fix it? Can he?  Stay tuned.

Monday, January 21, 2013

You're Invited... With Conditions

The Presidential Inaugural Committee
requests the honor of the Short Jewish Gal's presence 
to participate in, but not disrupt, the
inauguration of Barack H. Obama
as President of the United States of America
and by disrupt, we mean:
no spontaneous interpretative dances
no Ethel Merman impersonations
no day-glo signs advertising your blog
no noshing of bagels and lox
during the ceremony
unless you've brought enough for everyone.
If you can follow these simple rules,
we'll save you a seat on the aisle,
because we know all about your bladder issues.
If you can't follow these simple rules,
please don't show up and embarrass yourself,
your family, and everyone who knows you,
on Monday, the twenty-first of January
two thousand and thirteen
in the city of Washington

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oh, Poo

You know you've been married a very long time when the first thing you discuss with your husband in the morning is the status of your dog's poop.  "What's the Poopy Report?" I asked hubby today.  His answer:  "Good form."  You may wonder why I even care about my dog's poop.  Shouldn't I be more concerned with the state of the world?  No.  I already know the world turned to sh*t ages ago.  I don't need any updates.  But Dusty's poop is always in flux.  What could be more fun than tracking it daily?  Many things, I'm sure.  Still, you can learn so much about a dog by reviewing his kaka at length.  I didn't know this when I first got a dog.  No one said, "You'll talk about poop a lot when you get a dog."  Instead, it was, "Expect $5,000 worth of damage, if not more, within the first few months of puppyhood."  That estimate?  Too low.  Of course, I didn't know I'd be talking about poop when I had babies, either.  If someone had told me, "Babies poop a lot.  It's one of their earliest accomplishments.  You will become obsessed with how often, and what it all means, and brag about it to your friends," the SJG might be childless (and dogless) right now.  I might be living in a Downton Abby-esque castle, ordering the servants around.  But I'll take this version of my life, poop and all.  At least we never run out of things to talk about.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My TV's Possessed, How's Yours?

It has recently come to the limited attention span of the SJG that the downstairs TV is possessed.  A ghostly TV-loving spirit  from the great beyond has taken up residence in the flatscreen, a la "Poltergeist," and refuses on principle to go toward the light.  Said spirit is a bit of a prankster, and indecisive, to boot, turning the TV on and off, on and off, numerous times, just to eff with the SJG.  As everyone knows, effing with the SJG is easy these days.  I'm so very vulnerable.  It doesn't take much to throw me.  The possessed TV is having a field day on my behalf.  Here's how it plays out daily.  I pick up the remote, I turn on the TV. The TV goes on, then it goes.  Off, on, off, on, over and over.  Then its stays on for half a second, just to tease me, then it goes off again.  At some point, the TV stays on, once the ghostly spirit finds a show worth watching.  Naturally, hubby has all sorts of logical explanations for this otherworldly phenomenon.  He is far too healthy to give in to a "Twilight Zone" take on the situation.  The problem, he says, is electronic, a bad connection, a faulty coil, the result of static.  There, I have to agree.  Static from another dimension, perhaps.  "Point the remote away from the TV when it's not on," he tells me. What this achieves, I have no idea, but I'm going to do it, anyway, because, despite what hubby says, I'm convinced that my TV is possessed.  How's yours?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Words of Wisdom

Words of SJG wisdom, imparted to the youngest son, as he heads out the door to start his second semester at the tiny liberal arts college where he studies film, even though he'd rather major in Hip Hop:  "Just remember, honey.  A new beginning... is a new beginning."  "I'll keep that in mind, Ma."  Okay, fine.  Not quite as profound as, "Life is life," my family credo, but it's right up there.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Here's A Plant

The plant looked exactly like this.
On my official birthday, which was yesterday, in case you missed the press release, I regaled hubby and the eldest with tales of birthdays past.  Not that they asked, but on my b'day, I get to talk about whatever I want, dammit, hopefully without having to say, "Can I just get through this story?  It's my eff'n b'day!" more than once.  So, whether they wanted to hear about it or not, I told them the moving story of my miserable 15th birthday, when it rained, torrentially, and one of my closet friends surprised me at school with a very large plant.  I believe her direct words were, "Here's a plant, happy birthday."
Correction.  It looked exactly like this.
I couldn't put it in my locker.  It would've died.  So I had to schlep the big-ass plant around all day in the rain, which made it impossible to carry an umbrella.  I'm not that good at juggling.  So I spent the day sopping wet, hugging a plant, and getting weird stares and comments.  "Carol, why did you bring a plant to class today?" asked every one of my teachers.  "What plant?" I said, as it dripped water and dirt onto the floor.  By the time I got on the crowded bus, I'd had it with the plant, and my birthday.  When I got home, I found my parents, trying to salvage the family room, which was completely flooded.  "Happy birthday, grab a mop."   Fast forward 40 years to this:
The Polo Lounge, where I lunched with the lovely Carla and Cami.  Let me just say, it was divine in every way.  A Hollywood producer came up to me, and said, "Excuse me, are you the SJG I've heard tell of?" And I said, "Duh!"  He signed me to a three-picture deal, right then and there.  Look for "Flying Down To Rio:  The SJG Story" coming soon to a theater near you, or maybe not at all.  Hollywood types can be so flighty.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hey B'day Girl

Oh, Ryan, you always know how to make the SJG giggle like a school girl.  Thank you for showing up at my door in your tuxedo, early this morning.  The bouquet of roses, the fresh-baked kugel, and the nifty way you recreated the tap dance scene from "The Notebook" in my front hallway, while my dog barked incessantly, nearly ruining your timing, hit me on a deeply spiritual level.  I sure wish you could've stayed longer.  But hey, Ry, I understand, you're a busy, handsome guy.  Maybe next year, you'll help me blow out the candles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Take My Advice

Dear SJG,
It's my birthday tomorrow.  Is it tacky to walk up and down Ventura Boulevard wearing a sandwich board that declares:  "It's My Birthday, Bitches"?
Just wondering,
Almost B'day Girl

Dear Almost,
It's never tacky to celebrate yourself in public.  I say, why stop at a sandwich board?  Why not include a billboard on Sunset?  You only get this chance once a year.  Go crazy!  You've earned it.
You're welcome,
The SJG

Dear SJG,
It's my birthday tomorrow.  Is it tacky for me to throw myself a surprise party at my favorite restaurant? I've already bought the decorations and reserved the room.  Plus, I've been perfecting my over-the-top look of, "Oh, Sh*t, I'm So Surprised!" for 55 years now, and think this is the year to unveil it. What are your thoughts on this delicate topic?
Just wondering,
Almost B'day Girl

Dear Almost,
It's never tacky to throw yourself a party, just don't be surprised when your friends all claim they left their wallets at home and make you pay for your own surprise.  There's no such thing as a free lunch.
You're welcome,
The SJG

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'd Like To Thank...

"First, I'd like to thank everyone who believed in me."
... the Hollywood Foreign Press for giving me this well-deserved award for Best Home Viewer.  I'm so honored, so deeply touched.  I've been training for this my entire life.  While other kids were outside playing, breathing in fumes of gas that was still leaded, the SJG was taking intensive courses in hand-clapping, mock disappointment and head-scratching.  I learned to say, "Oh, no, he was robbed!" to no one but myself, for one day I sensed I'd be the only one watching the Golden Globes, that one day, I'd have a family of my own, a testoserone-driven bunch who'd rather watch basketball than a classy awards show where tipsy actors get up on stage and ramble.  While other kids went to movies and ice skating parties and sleepovers, I learned about wardrobe malfunctions.  A glamourous home viewer has to be ready at any moment for unforeseen catastrophe.  A loose thread on a well-worn pair of sweatpants can unravel an entire evening.  While other kids rode their 10-speed bikes through the neighborhood -- without helmets! -- the SJG's lowly 5-speed stayed parked in the garage, as I mastered the art of staying awake and emotionally-riveted during  long-winded Cecil B. DeMille awards that may move drunken audience members in the Grand Ballroom, but leave home viewers going, "WTF was THAT?" Oh, they're signaling me to wrap it up.  Hang on, bitches, this is my moment to shine and I'm going to soak up every moment.  In closing, let me just say... since I'm being confessional here, that watching the Golden Globes at home in my comfy slippers, is the highlight of my mundane life, and I plan to keep doing it for many years to come, so thank you, thank you one and all, from the bottom of my heart.  I couldn't have done it without myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gift Exchange

A mother and eldest son, residing somewhere in Sherman Oaks:
"What can I get you for your birthday, Momba?"
"Nothing.  You already gave me something, sweetie."
"I did?  What?"
"The same nasty-ass cold you had on your birthday."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Not Too Late

A mother and youngest son, residing somewhere in Sherman Oaks:
"What's your E.T.A.?"
"E.T. what?"
"Estimated time of arrival."
"Not too late."
"Can you be more specific?"
"Not too late."
"Not too late isn't a time."
"Not too late o'clock."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Return Policy

The SJG arrived with a few extras
not on the order form
A goodbye hug at the door:  "Thanks for letting me be your daughter, Daddy."  "You're welcome."  "You could've picked another daughter."  "But we didn't.  We picked you."  "Did you get everything you ordered?"  "Everything and more."  "I think they threw in a few extras, to see if you were paying attention."  "It's possible we may have missed a few things.  We were a little tired, chasing after your brothers."  "So, you probably didn't mean to ask for an overly-sensitive, anxiety-prone, extreme worrier."  "I don't remember checking off those boxes. It was 55 years ago."  "54 for another week." "You want me to go back and find the order form? I'm sure it's in a file cabinet somewhere." "Are you kidding?  Of course!  I'd love to have it for the SJG Library." "Well, just so you know, we've always been  happy with the model they gave us."  "That's good, 'cuz it's probably too late to return me to the factory."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Strongest Shirt Ever

"The strongest eff'n shirt ever."
Officially 25, as of yesterday, the eldest son considers his birthday a national holiday.  He took the day off in celebration of himself, and spent part of it with me, his mother, the gal who gave birth to him, which proves, once again, that he was worth the nine months of morning sickness, not to mention the heartburn and borderline gestational diabetes.  But who wants to dwell on that?  The SJG, of course, but only on his birthday.  To kick off his next quarter century, we went to Art's Deli with his younger brother, the rapper.  In between checking his many Facebook birthday greetings, all of them verbally abusive, mean-spirited and in very poor taste -- "Happy birthday, you cross-eyed little prick.  When I see you, I'll kick you in the sack" -- and trading vicious, yet loving, insults with his brother, he managed to scarf down a couple blintzes and a bowl of matzoh ball soup.  Wednesday's outing was a huge step up from past meals at Art's, when I'd have to coax him out from under the table, or beg him to stop leaping from one booth to the next.   And that was just last week -- ba-dump-bump.  After Art's, it was on to the book store, the only one left in the area. What could make a mother happier than buying books for her sons?  Buying a nice mother-of-the-groom dress.  (Yeah, I went there.  He's 25.  Let's get this party started.)  Next, we dropped the rapper off at home, and proceeded to the mall, to exchange a sweater and buy new basketball shoes.  (I've outgrown my old pair. ) As a child, I can't stress how much he hated to shop.  Hated.  It.  The worst may have been shopping for bar mitzvah clothes.  Let's just say we were barred from Rudnick's for life, and leave it at that. But now he kind of likes shopping, as long as he's in and out of the store in under 10 minutes.  "This is the strongest eff'n shirt I've ever seen in my whole life," he said, regarding something black and vintagey.  While the sales guy rang up this object of euphoria, the eldest asked him, "Isn't this the strongest eff'n shirt you've ever seen in your life?"  The question stumped the Macy's employee.  "Uh... yeah?" he answered.  Not exactly the endorsement the eldest had in mind.  But at 25, he doesn't care what anyone thinks.  All that matters is what he thinks, and, when it comes to this particular purchase, his adoration speaks for itself.  He believes, with every ounce of his being, that it's the strongest eff'n shirt ever.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Attack of the Glamazon Women

"Oy gevalt, they're all so tall and glamorous!"
Last night, dance class took a double turn when a stampede of long-haired Glamazons in high heels and short skirts stormed the studio.  There were 50 of 'em, at least, maybe more.  A cloud of clashing perfume descended on us.  It was hard to breathe.  The SJG flashed the jazz hands in self-defense.  "Back, back!" I cried.  "We're not done with class yet!  We still have five minutes left!"  "You're done now," said the leader, a lanky blonde goddess, in fluorescent pink paisley leggings and scary-ass stilettos.  I looked over at our teacher, hovering in the corner by the stereo.  "Protect us!" I yelled.  "I can't," he said.  "There's too much estrogen in here.  I may need a pacemaker.  I'm too old for this."  "Who ARE you people?" I asked, "and what do you want?"  "We're pageant girls, and we want the room.  NOW."  "Pageant girls?  You mean -- ?"  "That's right.  We're rehearsing for a beauty pageant. You got a problem with that, shorty?"  She took a threatening step toward me, and then another.  I couldn't help but notice that her timing was off.  I decided not to mention it.  "It's all yours," I said, grabbing my dance bag.  "Good.  'Cuz we got a group number that's looking like a hot mess.  See that little dude over there?  He's Justin Bieber's choreographer.  He's here to help us."  "Wow," I said.  "I bet you could stomp him to death with your heels."  "Don't think I haven't thought of that.  He makes a move on one of us, he's history."  "I'm a  Bieblieber!"  "You should be.  Now scram!"  "This is me, scramming," I said.  And scram I did, all the way down the stairs and out the door to Ventura Boulevard.   Later, I realized I should've gone back and saved the teacher and my fellow dancers.  That was selfish of me. I sure hope they made it out alive.  I'd hate to take class all by myself.  What fun is that?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Who Said It?

"Moderation is a fatal thing... 
Nothing succeeds like excess."
Oscar Wilde?  Or...
The Dowager Countess
of Grantham, after viewing 
the above extravaganza?
Answer:  Both.
Not to quibble, but during the Season Three premiere of my beloved "Downton Abbey," the Countess omitted the first part of the quote.  I'd call that a bit of a sticky wicket, wouldn't you?  Did she intentionally half-cite Oscar Wilde and pass it off as one of her own clever observations?  Was the SJG the only ex-English major with too much time on my hands to catch this literary coinkinky? More importantly, if you spill sherry on the rug, leave a bar of soap under the tub, poison a pie, or hide a stack of dress shirts, and no one sees you, did you do anything wrong?  Don't be silly.  Of course not!  Either way, the truncated Oscar Wilde/Countess quipster is now my official saying for 2013.  I plan to utter it often, a la Maggie Smith, for no apparent reason, other than it sums up the way I want to live my life.  "Nothing succeeds like excess" will be my go-to sentiment, as opposed to my usual retort when things take an unexpected turn:  "Out of my way, bitches." 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

To Kvell Is Divine, To Brag, Not So Much

Kvell:  To be delighted, to well up, to gush over your children briefly, or maybe a close relative, or even a spouse, before pointing out their flaws:  "Sure, he got an A in biology, but just once, could he put a glass in the dishwasher like a normal person, instead of leaving it on the floor, where I can trip and sprain an ankle?"
Brag:  To talk boastfully, till people can't take it any more and run screaming from the room.  "And then I did this, and then I did that, and can you blame me for going out and buying a Rolex to celebrate the wonder of me?"

In life, the SJG firmly believes, there are two categories of humans -- kvellers and braggers. Kvellers are more comfortable praising others, without going overboard, than extolling their own accomplishments. Braggers go on and on till you pretty much want to slap them upside the head and say, "Enough."  Kvellers tend to downplay, braggers, inflate. Kvellers are humble, braggers, a bit... what's the word I'm looking for? Narcissistic.  The SJG is a kveller of children, spouses, siblings, friends, neighbors, countrymen, canines, total strangers in line at the market.  "That scarf brings out the green in your eyes.  Now, could you stop talking on the cell phone and pay for your quinoa?"  I tend to surround myself with fellow kvellers who understand the boundaries of kvelling.  It's a quick visit to a land of guess-who-got-accepted-to-medical-school/film school/pick-a-school?  Guess-who-got promoted/got-inducted-to-the-Kvetchers-Hall-of-Fame?

And yet, braggers can be very entertaining.  Every now and then, they bring out the kvell.  They manage to aim the spotlight on others.  To oversimplify -- why stop now when I'm on a roll -- braggers are lively folks, fun to have at a party.  They keep things moving and upbeat.  "And then I leaned over to Larry... Olivier... maybe you've heard of him?  British actor?  Knighted?  And I said, Larry, really, your Hamlet was much better than my Hamlet.   Oh, don't you dare contradict me." Braggers know how to command a room. Kvellers make good listeners. Above all, braggers are amazing self-promoters.  There are times I wish I had a little more of the bragging gene.  Braggers tend to be more self-confident than kvellers, even if it's based on delusion. Kvellers like to put the focus on others.  So, pardon me while I sit back and kvell over you.  I guess what it comes down to is this:  I'd rather gush than blush.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book 'Em, Dusty

Resting after a good read
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” -- Groucho Marx

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Importance of Pouty Pink

Not that anyone asked, but the SJG is now going to throw myself, lips first, into a Hot Topic, courtesy of the NY Times: The power of the rouge pot. Does wearing makeup make a big diff in a gal's life?  Is makeup a political issue?  A socio-economic issue?  A self-esteem issue?  Hm...  allow me to think on this just a mo'.  If the SJG life philosophy were to be summed up in a simple, yet elegant phrase, it would come down to this, my people:  "It's important to look lovely."  At least for me.  And by lovely, I mean, it's all about the lips and cheeks, as opposed to the hair, which I've pretty much given up on, if I'm being honest, and when am I not?  Without lipstick, I pale in comparison to myself without lipstick.  I'm pale enough to begin with, now that sunning is such an epic, life-threatening no-no.  Naturally, I spent my formative years worshipping the sun, bronzing myself, getting good and crispy, just like all California gals, and years later, have paid the price with sunspots and weird patches of oh-no-not-another-one.  The cruelty of it all!  These days, I slather on half a tube of the SPF AB (SPF for Aging Bitches) before I even go downstairs, in case I accidentally catch a few rays beaming through the front window.  All this overzealous skin protection helps me achieve a nice diluted pallor, just this side of sickly.  Pre-sunscreen mania, I was olive-toned, vaguely Mediterranean and, while traveling through Europe, oft-mistaken for Italian, Greek or Israeli.  That is, until I started talking and only mangled English came out, which pretty much pegged me as just another Loud American. Now I'm never mistaken for anyone but myself, a former Westsider who could use a little blush, even when I'm wearing it.  So, to get back to my point, assuming I have one:  The SJG aspires to look lovely, mainly because I don't want to scare myself or an innocent bystander. And yet, I applaud any gal who can walk around without makeup and not look like she needs an emergency blood transfusion.  In truth, wearing a minimal dab of makeup has never given me a sense of power, a leg-up, an advantage of any kind.  When I was younger, a little pink lipstick and rosier cheeks did accomplish one thing, however.  It stopped my sweet mother from bringing up "the makeup thing" again, which I believe may have been my main goal all along.  Make Mom happy.  So, Mom, if you're monitoring from up above, I'm wearing a lovely shade of coral.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's Only Rock n' Roll

Ever wonder how Mick Jagger has survived 50 years as a rock god? The SJG hasn't given it much thought, either. I just assumed he made some sort of weird pact with the devil.  But here are his Top 10 golden rules.  Let's all try to follow these in 2013.  Oh, come on, it'll be fun.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Awake At Midnight, Barely

I'm desperately trying to keep my eyes open 
For the first time in years, the SJG was awake at midnight, and so was hubby.  The trick to staying awake:  spend New Year's Eve at someone else's house.  We went door to door, until someone finally let us in. Turns out, people are nicer in Encino.  "Hi, can we spend New Year's Eve with you?" I asked the lady who opened the door.  "Sure, come on in." Lucky us.  We wandered into a grown-up evening of highbrow conversation -- at one point centered on gherkin pickles and ice sculptures -- delicious food and a late-night viewing of "Life of Pi." "You'll be asleep before the tiger appears," I whispered to hubby.  "I'm wide awake."  "Now... but wait till the movie starts."  Wonder of wonder, miracles of miracles.  He made it through the entire film, all two hours of it.  I was the one who could barely keep my eyes open. Somewhere after midnight, I dozed off.  But don't worry, I woke up in time to get utterly confused by the ending.  "What happened?" I asked hubby, on the way home.   He wouldn't give it away.  "You'll have to watch it again, if you can stay awake."  Touche, hubby.  Touche.