Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Great License Plate Disaster, Part II

Sometimes, the SJG must dust off my reporter skills from decades ago and bring it.  So that's what I do.  Stir up some trouble.  Get a little huffy.  Make an enemy or two. The police confirm that a hit-and-run committed in Bellflower in 2011 comes up with my license plate.  Of course, the DMV has none of this startling info.  Over there, my record's clean.  Nearly-virginal.  Next stop:  the sheriff's department.  A lot of "go to the first floor in that building over there.  Now go to the second floor in the criminal building, stand at window 2 - 11 and wait."  I pick a window.  I tell my tale to the guy behind the glass speaking into a microphone.  It's very prison-like.  Except I'm up on tippy-toes trying to communicate through the glass.  At first, we're in sync.  And then, just like that. we're not.  He's getting mean.  Telling me I have outstanding parking tickets that have been sent to a collection agency.  He's treating me like I'm the one on the lam.  The SJG starts to snap.  A bit of snark escapes.  "This isn't me.  I'm not Carol T. Schneider.  I don't live at this address.  Check my license.  I'm the SJG of Sherman Oaks!  Why are you giving me this?  This isn't helpful."  "Then we're done here."  "What?"  "We're done.  If I'm not helping you, we're done."  "I want to see your supervisor."  "My supervisor?"  "Just get me your supervisor."  "Fine.  Go to window 1."  I go to the window.  And wait.  A nice man appears.  He talks to me through the glass.  Apologizes for the behavior of the other guy.  He helps me, to a point.  Hands me print outs.  "You have to talk to the criminal court in Bellflower, where the arrest warrant was issued."  "Can't you talk to them for me?" "No.  I'm so sorry."  He gives me a number.  By now, my head is spinning like a bad Purim carnival ride.  And soon I'm on the phone.  I'm not messing around.  I go straight to the D.A.'s office.
"... Not everything that meets the eye is as it appears."

I pitch my "Twilight Zone" episode.  A friendly lady tells me a deputy will get back to me.  And now I wait some more.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Don't Get Out Of The Car, Ma'am

Last night, the SJG leaves dance class.  I get in my car, I turn the key, I put on my lights, I signal.  Do I notice the car following me down the street?  Yes, ma'am.  How about when I turn down the alley?  Yep.  Am I worried?  Have you met me?  Of course.  The police lights flash.  I pull over.  I'm thinking, "Tail light?"  Two cops get out and make their approach.  I roll down the window.  "Don't get out of the car, ma'am," one of them says.  This is not the time to bring out the Woody Allen, "I have a terrific problem with authority" thing.  So I say nothing.  He asks for my driver's license, my registration, my insurance, my shoe size.  "I'm a six, six and a half.  What'd I do, officer?"  "Is this your car, ma'am?"  "Yes."  "How long have you had this car, ma'am?" I fumfer.  This is getting weird.  The specific dates elude me.  "Uh, well, we leased it and then bought it."  "Do you have current insurance?  This shows it's expired, ma'am."  Again with the ma'am.  Is this the universe's way of reminding me I'm old and getting older by the second?  I reach for my wallet in my handbag.  The other officer is on the passenger side.  "Will you roll down the other window, ma'am?"  I roll down the other window, take out my wallet, show them the current card.  By now, it's 9:45 p.m.  I want to get home in time to see "Smash."  I don't mention that.  He tells me there's a hefty warrant out for some guy I've never met in my life -- and my license plate number comes up with his name.  I want to say, "Are you sh*tting me, officer?"  But I don't.  I offer the more respectful, "Wow.  That's bizarre."  He tells me to get my tush to the DMV and let them handle it, and there's a fine for removing the warrant.  When I get home, I surprise hubby with the story of my brush with the law.  We spend the next hour obsessing, trying to figure out how this could've happened to me, the SJG, of all people.  Just the universe, effin' with me.  The mystery continues. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Questionable Fashion Choices

My stylist said this was a good look for me.
The SJG tries to hold on to the Oscar hoopla for as long as humanly possible.  It's just so hard for me to let it go and return to normal.  I love it so much:  The pre-show crap, the show itself, the post-show crap.  I listen intently to the fashion mavens dishing the diva gowns, and I'm so incredibly thankful that I'm not the one strutting the red carpet.  I can only imagine how they'd rip apart my choices:  "Oh.  Dear.  Gawd.  In.  Heaven.  Check out the SJG!  Chartreuse?  Really?  Not her color.  And what's with the edible jewelry, in case she gets hungry and needs a nosh?  Doesn't she know it's not cool to nibble her bracelet, even if it's full of chocolatey goodness?  And that weird feathered headdress!  Puh-leeze!  That's so last year.  Oh, and don't get us started on her V.P.L.  Visible Panty Line.  Hey SJG!  We can see your Spanx!  It's time for the SJG to fire her stylist, because this year's Oscar look is an epic shanda."  Ouch.  That's so hurtful.  Better to remain humble and unknown than to get torn apart, accessory by accessory.  So.  I'd like to thank the Academy for the complete lack of recognition on every level. I look forward to more of the same non-abuse next year.  I don't think I'd hold up well under all that scrutiny.  The SJG is just too sensitive.  For I am this:
But then, you knew that already, didn't you? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stair Fall

Oopsie!
For a fun night watching the Oscars, make sure you watch with fun people.  No matter how lame and boring the show might get, it doesn't matter when everyone in the room makes you laugh.  The SJG and the menfolk, the hubby, the two sons, schlepped to a nice part of town, where the Cuzzy dwells in splendor with his beauteous wife and magazine-ready children.  Also present for the festivities:  my brother and his boyfriend, my aunt and the Cuzzy Who Caters.  As a general rule, always invite a caterer to an Oscar party.  Even if she's not catering, she still brings food.  It's win-win.  As a group, we laughed and cringed, we groaned and applauded.  We feigned surprise.  We pondered the abundance of random musical numbers.  We critiqued the bounty of gowns and cosmetically-altered faces.  Some in the room were harsher with the commentary than others.  No names mentioned.  (John.)   Once Adele sang "Skyfall," we couldn't stop singing the tune, attaching it to every movie and nominee throughout the rest of the very long show.  When Jennifer Lawrence took a tumble on her way to glory, the Cuzzy belted, "Stair Fall."  It was that kind of evening.  We kept the party going, even when it stalled on TV.
Self-fulfilling prophecy:  Skewered by critics

Sunday, February 24, 2013

If Kids Ran The Oscars

Based on these brilliant kiddy reenactments, the SJG predicts "Argo" will win best picture tonight. Double click for full hilarity.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Creative Differences

(Sherman Oaks) This just in:  production on horror movie "The Unwanted" shut down yesterday, due to "creative differences."  According to the producer, a short Jewish gal who wishes to remain anonymous, in case Sasha Fridge, the temperamental star of the 3-D fright fest, turns litigious, "You wouldn't believe how quickly Sasha went into Diva Overdrive when she saw the tiny space we carved out for her in the garage.  She kept saying, 'Nobody puts Sasha in the corner.'  I did my best to reason with her.  'Come on, Sasha, it's nice and cozy.'  But she refused to cooperate.  'I can't act under these sub-zero conditions.  I quit.'  With that, she stormed off the set.  What a bitch!  Remind me to never work with her again."  The anonymous SJG went on to say that last-minute negotiations to salvage the film broke down late last night.  "We couldn't meet her demands for a bigger trailer, a makeup artist and wardrobe consultant.  So, 'The Unwanted' is kaput.  Sasha Fridge should grow like an onion with her head in the ground." The actress was last seen in an empty apartment, waiting to relocate to "a new chill spot" in the mid-Wilshire area, where she'll put on her one-fridge show, "Unplugged!" for her new owners.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Just For Kicks

A conversation with my 91-year-old dad:  "Hello?" "I want a new pair of tennis shoes." "Don't let me stop you." "My whole life, I've worn white tennis shoes."  "What's wrong with that?"  "Isn't it time for me to wear something other than white?"  "I guess.  But I'm looking at hubby right now, and he's wearing white tennis shoes.  He always wears white."  "I want something more interesting." "You want me to take you?"  "No."  "Oh, okay."  "Name some colors."  "Black.  Navy."  "I should go to one of those big places, where you walk around and there are shoe boxes everywhere."  "You mean like an outlet?"  "Exactly."  "Like DSW?"  "I'll go there.  Thanks."  "Hang on.  Let me see if there's one near you."  "I'll find it myself."  "Hang on, Daddy.  I'm looking online.  There's one in the Marina."  "Forget it.  I'm not going to the Marina."  "Hollywood?"  "No." "There's a big one near me in Sherman Oaks."  "I'll ask my shoe repair guy."  "What about Nordstrom's?"  "Nordstrom's.  That's a good idea."  "You sure you don't want me to take you?  It'll be fun."  "No."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Can We Talk?

It's all over the morning news.  The anchors are doing schtick about it.  But the SJG isn't surprised to learn that girls talk more than boys.  The only time I ever got in trouble in school was for talking. The Today Show says it all comes down to something called "language protein."  Gals have more of it than guys.  One point for our team!  So.  We have more to say.  However, I think the study left out an important component.  Based on my own lifelong research, gals talk more with other gals when no guys are around.  Once a dude enters the picture, the chitchat quotient changes.  Four gals at lunch:  Gab-a-rama.  Two gals at lunch:  Gab-a-tosis.  Two gals and two guys:  Yo-Gabba-Gabba.  The gals talk softly, about Deep Important Stuff.  The guys talk loudly, about Surface Stuff, drowning us out. Life is a major gab-fest, no matter whose mouth is moving more. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Unwanted

"The Unwanted": A new horror movie coming soon to Sherman Oaks.  Really soon.  As in Thursday.  Friday at the latest.  The anticipated scream-fest unfolds in the garage, as father and son attempt to shove The Unwanted Fridge into a tiny space.  For weeks leading up to The Dreaded Move, when the eldest son cruelly abandons suburbia for the bright lights of Hollywood, we've been debating what to do with his eff'n fridge, the one we bought him two years ago.  He can't leave it in the old apartment.  His new apartment comes with a fridge.  So naturally, the eff'n fridge becomes our problem.
Every day, the discussion goes something like this:  "It's not going to fit."  "It'll fit."  "No way."  "I'll just move some things around."  "Forget it.  Let's give it to charity."  "I'll use it as a wine cooler."  "A wine cooler?!"  I'll let you guess where the SJG stands on this pressing matter.  Hint:  In another county, if possible.  I could barely get through "The Exorcist."  I'm not sure I can sit through "The Unwanted."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Look Out For the Lorry!

Spoiler Alert!  The SJG is about to kvetch about the season finale of "Downton Abbey."  If you haven't seen it yet, go away.  Now that we got that settled... I was too busy co-starring in a low-budget masterpiece to watch "Downton" Sunday night.  I had to wait till Monday morning.  All season, I've obsessed over Matthew, ever since I read Dan Stevens, the actor who plays Matthew Crawley, wanted out of the series.  Trust me, one day, he'll look back on this decision and realize what a huge stupid schmucky thing he did, forcing creator Julian Fellowes to kill off a beloved character in such a lame manner. Every episode, I wondered how Matthew would meet his maker.  I watched for hints and major foreshadowing.  The finale offered 800 possibilities.  Hunting trip?  Of course!  Matthew's going to get "Cheneyed," as in Dick, who shot his buddy by accident.  Didn't happen.  Fly fishing mishap?  Of course!  Matthew's going to get tangled up and... Didn't happen.  Then I thought, oh wait, I've got it now.  Edith's publisher-admirer, the older guy with the meschuggie, institutionalized wife, is so distraught that he can't get a nice divorce and marry Edith, he'll try to off himself, Matthew will intervene and... Didn't happen.  Then Mary goes into early labor while Matthew is still in Scotland.  Car accident? Rushing to the hospital?  Of course!  Didn't happen. They milk it  a wee bit longer.  Matthew meets his new baby boychick.  The happiest moment in his life.  He drops dead from joy.  Didn't happen.  On the way back to Downton... hang on, he's going back?  Couldn't the family schlep to the hospital while he stays put?  This makes no sense.  Except it's a Plot Complication.  Whatever.  So Matthew's on the road, staring dreamily at the sky and listening to the chirping birds and not watching the road when CRASH, BOOM, BAM!  Double oy vey!  He collides with a lorry.  The final shot of Matthew lying in a ditch, with blood running down his handsome punim?  Not terribly original. Done before. Kinda pedestrian.  Matthew deserved a more interesting death, don't you think?  Weigh in, Downton lovers.  I need to hear from you.  (Shout out to Nancy Levens for posting the fabulous cartoon I immediately stole because sometimes, I'm a taker, not just a giver.)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lights, Camera, Kugel!

The Faux Kugel
It's always an honor to co-star in an Oscar-caliber short, especially one a son of mine directs.  The youngest is majoring in film at the tiny liberal arts college in beautiful Burbank.  On Sunday, he called on a devoted cast of untrained actors to carry the entire movie... all 60 seconds of it.  Naturally, I made a list of demands.  A luxury trailer, a makeup artist, a wardrobe bitch.
The director and his able assistant 
"Not happening," the director said, shooting down my requests. "I'm sensing this is a low-budget situation?"  "You're catching on."  The SJG provided my own costume, makeup and even handled props.  The kugel in question wasn't a real kugel, but a strange mushy hybrid I threw together.  Butter, eggs, milk, noodles, raisins.  When I stuck it in the oven, one section started to rise and bubble in a freakish, lopsided manner. I removed it just moments before it took the oven hostage, and flattened it with a spoon, like a good kugel master.  Then we took our places. Hubby on the sofa.  The SJG off-camera.  The eldest outside at the door. And action!  "Can he ever be on time?" hubby said.  Cue the SJG.  "The kugel's ready!" I said, in a whiny voice.  Then we paced and crossed to the window, per the director's instructions, to show our mounting agitation.  Ding dong!  Hubby answered the door.
The Uninvited Scottish Warrior 
In stormed a crazed young man in costume, wielding swords.  "I'm Robert the Bruce!" he yelled. "The re-inactment's next door," I said. Then he swore at us, in weird made-up Scottish, and retreated. "Schmuck!" hubby called after him. The End. All done in a single "locked" shot.    

Sunday, February 17, 2013

When You're In Love...

... The Whole World is Jewish.  But then, you knew that already, didn't you?  Of course you did.  Maybe you grew up listening to "You Don't Have To Be Jewish" and its sequel "When You're In Love..."  Maybe you never heard these hysterical albums.  If so, the SJG could weep on your behalf.  I feel sad for you.  You should go out right now, travel back in time and sit in my living room and give a listen, with my grandparents on the sofa.  I promise you'll plotz with laughter.  Or you could buy the CDs.  Or you could go see the show at a nice theater on Fairfax, where Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" fame has brought the old Borscht Belt schtick back to life, with varying degrees of success.  Listen, everyone's a critic, including the SJG.  I'm not sure why Georgie fiddled with the rhythm of some of the greatest classics ever, but then, he didn't ask my opinion.  I waited for the punchlines, only to find them altered.  This to me was the ultimate shanda.  When Barry Gordon (you remember him... the boy in "A Thousand Clowns") appears as the jury foreman, and tells the judge how the jury deliberated, "pro and con, and backwards and forwards," he's supposed to say, "Your honor, we've decided we shouldn't mix in."  Instead, he says, "We shouldn't get involved." I practically had to be restrained, I was so agitated.  "That's not the line," someone in the audience said a little too loudly.  (I think it was me.)

It happened again during another personal favorite, "The Reading of the Will."  A lawyer reads the will of a very generous man.  He gives a million to his son, a million to his daughter "Jayne... with a Y..." He gives his wife two million, plus whatever else she hasn't already taken.  He gives the Picasso, too.  Whereupon, a relative is supposed to say, "The Picasso from back of the store... and everything."  Instead, he adds on items where he shouldn't.  "The Picasso from back of the store... and the Blue Tooth and..."  Once again, I had a conniption and needed to be sedated.  It was Painful with a capital P.  The experience reminded me of that time I went to a Bobby Zimmerman concert, many years ago -- How many?  That's none of your business. You know I don't like to date myself.  Although, I think I'd make a wonderful dinner companion -- anyway, he sang a reggae version of "Blowin' In The Wind" and I had to be escorted from the venue, in handcuffs.  Still, "When You're In Love..." has its funny, laugh- out-loud moments, so go see it, already.  Or don't, so when I bump into you on the street, I can say, "Does that mean you're not coming?"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cupid Calls It Quits

The day after Valentine's day, and Cupid's nowhere to be seen.  I'm thinking, early retirement.  Thousands of years shooting arrows, that's got to lead to some kind of tendonitis, not to mention, overall dissatification. The day after Valentine's Day, and Cupid's off to therapy for the body and mind.  Thousands of years trying to make a shidduch and the chubby little dude's done with the matchmaking. Even Cupid needs to kvetch now and then. Let's listen in on today's session with his shrink. "Seriously, I've had it with this job.  I'm exhausted.  My arm hurts.  I look stupid in this costume.  I thought I was applying for the bookkeeper gig, and before I know it, I'm in diapers and wings and they're telling me where to aim the arrow.  Personally, my goals are a little loftier than flying around, trying to get people to notice each other.  Do you think even once, I get a thank you note?  Where are my chocolates?  I could use a little love too, you know.  But year after year, I get bupkis.  I quit.  I resign,  I -- " "I'm sorry, Cupid, but time's up.  Let's pick this up again next year."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In The Cards

A first, this morning.  Hubby and the SJG exchanged identical Valentine's cards.  If that's not the definition of beshert, what is?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bedding From Beyond

Brian Keith: Uncle Bill on "Family Affair"
Maybe you saw the news update.  The relocating eldest needs an upgrade in bedding.  It's time to toss the PCS (Post-Collegiate Shabby) and usher in the SWD (Sophisticated Working Dude).  Who better to orchestrate this important merchandising search than the SJG?  After all, I'm always happy to put my children's needs above my own, and induce guilt later at random intervals.  Like a good little consumer, I schlepped the aisles until I came upon an astonishing discovery.  Honestly, I had no idea that Brian Keith, Uncle Bill, has his own line of comforters.  Did you?  My God.  The man has exceptional taste.  What's that you say?  Take a closer look at the label?  Alright.
Not to be confused with Bryan Keith, bedding designer
Oh.  Bryan Keith.  Not Brian Keith.  I see your point.  One letter can make such a big diff.  Still, why can't Uncle Bill have his own line, brought to you by the SJG?  Bedding From Beyond.  Yes, I like the sound of that.  But I won't stop there.  I'll include other TV icons of my youth. Beloved Boomer Bedding from Beyond.  Catchy.  Who doesn't love alliteration?  It shouldn't be too hard to contact these folks.  Didn't I read somewhere that when TV stars pass on, they take their publicists with them?  A couple calls to the Psychic Network, a couple milly in funding.  I can get this baby up and running in no time. Here's hoping Davy Jones picks up my vibe. Chances are the Cute Monkey has some groovy design concepts for pillow cases, sheets and duvets.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Brief B'day Reign

This morning, I had to break it to hubby, gently.  I don't like to startle him too early in the morning.  I like to wait till he's had his first cup of coffee, nice and hot, thanks to the newest of the new coffee makers, which delivers java just this side of scorching... per the SJG's specific temperature request.  "Honey, it's time to take off the Birthday Crown."  "Nah-uh."  "Uh-huh."  "I won't do it."  "You have to."  "Why should I?  It looks good with everything." "You're no longer the Birthday Boy."  "I don't understand."  "Let me explain.  You're only the Birthday Boy for the day of your birth."  "That's disappointing."  "I know." "So, no one's going to hand me a cupcake today?"  "No."  "Or sing to me?"  "No."  "No gifts or cards or long-distance calls?"  "Afraid not."  "That's eff'd up."  "But I saved you the cake candles." "Thank you.  That was thoughtful."  "Thoughtful's my middlle name."  "I thought your middle name is Susan."  "I changed it to Thoughtful sometime in the '90s."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Flashback

Pre-prom, 1975
He took me to the prom.  He met me in Paris at the train station. He said goodbye in London. He said hello in West Los Angeles.  He waited under the Chuppah.  He drove me to the hospital.  He held my hand. He's escorted me to any and all occasions, joyous, sad and in-between. He's still my high school sweetheart.  So happy b'day, hubby. Happy b'day to you.  And oh, so many more.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Last Volvo

Today we say goodbye to the last Volvo, the 16-year-old S90 that hubby bought 13 years ago and drove for eight years before giving it to the youngest five years ago.  (Who says I can't do math?) We've always been a Volvo kinda family.  Hubby's' first car was a Volvo. Mine was a tin can of a Datsun.  But eventually, he brought me over to the Volvo side.  I'm not sure what I loved the most about my early Volvos.  The spectacular turning radius?  The rear-wheel drive?  The boxy shape? The spacious trunk?  The practical design?  The Volvo was never a "look-at-me" car.  It was a car that said, with a Swedish accent, "Roll with me, I'll get you where you need to go in one piece."  I gave my favorite Volvo to the eldest when he started to drive, and upgraded to a newer Volvo, a bluish beauty that took me safely to my destination. Over time, however, the Volvos lost their luster, the overall Swedishness that hooked us from the start.  The features we loved the most faded away. The Volvo started to resemble all the other cars on the road. The Volvo lost its Volvo-ness.  The SJG was the first to swap keys.  I went Japanese, and slowly dragged the rest of my peeps with me.  Today we say goodbye to the last Volvo. Happy trails to you, my friend.  Let someone else drive you into the ground.  Be well, old Volvo.  Turn, turn, turn.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Simple Gal Wth Simple Needs

The needs of the SJG are simple.  I'm not one of those gals making crazy demands for sparkly jewels and Prada-level merchandise.  Go on.  Take me to Target.  Take me to Costco.  Find me a great parking spot and I won't complain.  What will I complain about?  Things of greater importance.  Things that would rile up any humanitarian of my ilk.* (*First time appearance of Ilk.  Welcome to my blog, Ilk.  Stick around, I may use you again.)  Like I said, I'm an easy-going byotch. Easy-going until something irks* me.  (* Irk, meet Ilk.  Maybe you're related?  You sound good in the same paragraph.)  Once the SJG gets irked, look out.  This week, I'm agitated about the new coffee maker.  The new coffee maker is a huge letdown on a deeply personal level.  All I want out of life, other than a good bagel, and a good dog by my side, is a steaming hot cup o' joe.  Universe:  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently.  Hubby and I both feel disappointed by the fancy java contraption that was on sale.  Half-off.  How could we resist?  We studied the image in the newspaper.  "Oh, look, hubby, it's finally on sale.  Why don't you go buy it for me and I'll act surprised and delighted."  "Very well, m'lady," he said.  And he doesn't even watch "Downton Abbey."  That's how well-trained he is.  Sometimes he speaks "Grey's Anatomy."  Sometimes he speaks "Smash," breaking into song for no reason.  This morning, he's howling like a wolf, his way of apologizing for making me watch "The Grey," a movie where everyone gets torn apart by vicious wolves.  Did I say everyone?  I mean every freakin' one.  The man will do anything to appease me.  Anyway, let's get back to this riveting tale, shall we?  So... the well-trained hubby trotted off to buy the fancy coffee maker with the thermal carafe, guaranteed to keep the SJG's cup of joe steaming hot.  "This coffee isn't very hot," I said on Monday.  "Why isn't this coffee hotter?" I said on Tuesday.  "Does this coffee maker have a secret temperature setting we haven't discovered yet?" I said on Wednesday.  "Oh, eff this coffee," I said on Thursday.  "The other coffee maker was better," I said on Friday.  "This new coffee maker is for sh*t.  Can we return it?" I said today.  All part of several recurring SJG themes and life lessons I like to share with you, because, as we've established, I'm a giver.  Here's what I want you to take with you, as you start your day, which will probably be more interesting than mine, because I don't do much but sit around and worry.  It comes down to this, my fellow travelers on life's poorly-maintained, underfunded highway of mixed metaphors:  Sometimes you pour the coffee and it isn't hot enough.  What can you do but kvetch and release?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Good Boy

This morning, the eldest appeared, as he often does, for breakfast.  In a few weeks, he plans to move over the hill, which means these cherished early visits will end.  Am I sad?  Distraught?  Weepy-kins?  Please. Have you met me? I'm keeping it together.  So together, that when he stepped into the kitchen, I handed him a nice doggy treat and patted him on the head. "Thanks, Ma, but I think I'd rather have a bagel." "Good boy," I said, and offered the treat to Dusty, instead.  As I sliced an onion bagel and popped it in the toaster oven, I stated my case, calmly. "Don't go!  Stay!  Stay in Sherman Oaks, where you belong, where you have people who love you, people who do your laundry and feed you, daily, without charging you a dime."  "Sherman Oaks is for old people," he said, and took out the cream cheese.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Oven Theory

A waiter at a Japanese restaurant in New York once inadvertently summed up this thing called life so wisely, I must share it with you again, for it remains my favorite go-to metaphor:  "I opened the oven and there was no fish."  He was trying to explain why the fish my dear friend Connie Ray had ordered had yet to appear, and wound up saying so much more.  Sometimes you open the oven, expecting something wonderful, but instead, you get bupkis.  What you thought you'd find has gone fishin'.  (See what I did there?)  I believe Mick Jagger was thinking along these same lines when he sang, "You can't always get what you want...." Whether it's a nice piece of fish or that hot pink Porsche you've had your eye on, it's just not meant to be, or maybe, if you're more of an optimist, it's meant to be at some point, but you'll never know when.  One day, the universe will surprise you.  One day, you'll open the oven, and the salmon will be there, cooked perfectly, just the way you like it. Then again, you may never get the salmon, which is eff'd up, but that, my friends, is life. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lasso This!

The bi-annual meeting of L.A.S.S.O. (Loud-Ass Sneezers, Sherman Oaks) will now come to order.  As you know, Allergy Season is upon us, and reports of decibel-topping, ear-drum busting Lady Lassoers clearing out the Arclight Theater on Ventura Boulevard, not to mention, Starbucks on Woodman Avenue, Gelson's on Van Nuys Boulevard, and, of course, Solley's Deli, just north of the market, continue to flood our Inbox.  Naturally, we couldn't be happier.  In celebration, we've decided to appoint a new self-promotion expert to get the word out there that LASSO-sufferers are the nicest noisemakers you'll ever meet.  We don't mean to disrupt the movie, or drown out the hilarious Maggie Smith line.  We just can't help ourselves.  We're born to sneeze, and sneeze we must.  We come in all sizes, shapes and denominations.  We carry different brands of tissue, although Kleenex still remains the most popular, because those cheap generics tend to fall apart, mid-honk.  And now, please give a loud-ass round of sneezes to the Short Jewish Gal, a life-long Lassoer.  She'd like to say a few words on her own behalf.  "Gesundheit, one and all.  I'm so excited to be the new self-promoter for LASSO, you have no freakin' idea.  Every time I sneeze, I get the worst looks from everyone, even members of my own family.  Just the other day, my own son said, 'Christ, Ma!  You scared the @#$%'n sh*t out of me!' My neighbor called at 3 a.m. and said, 'Your sneeze just woke the baby.  Thanks a lot, bitch.'  I'm tired of apologizing for my loud sneezes.  It's time to spread the word that Lassoers are people, too.  Thank you again for this exciting self-appointment.  It's the job I was born to do.  I promise I won't... uh oh... hang on... here it comes... it's gonna break the sound barrier.... ah-ah-Ah-AH-AHHH-CHOOOSY... let myself, or you, down."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Short Jewish Jokes

The Harvard School of Medicine did a study of why Jewish women like Chinese food so much.  The study revealed that this is due to the fact that Won Ton spelled backward is Not Now.
There is a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until it graduates from medical school.
Jewish mother's telegram:  "Begin worrying.  Details to follow."

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Pop of Color

I'll try, but I can't make any promises
While Beyonce electrified at half-time, the SJG set off some sparks of my own over in Sherman Oaks, when I arrived at dance class in a glaringly bright... okay fine, let's call it crazy fluorescent, orange top.  The general consensus:  Wowza!  But was it a good wowza, or a bad wowza?  I'd say it was a wide-eyed, what's-gotten-into-you wowza.  As in, "Wowza, SJG, we're not used to seeing you in such insanely loud colors. Hang on while we put on our sunglasses.  Ah, that's better." Well listen up, bitches.  I'm not used to seeing me in such insanely loud colors, either.  There must be an explanation for this boldness.  It's all part of a vast color-correction conspiracy.  For my birthday, a few of my friends got together in a secret location, and made an executive decision that went something like this:  "Enough of those crappy, worn-out tank tops from the GAP, with the ancient olive oil stains and God knows what else.  She should be ashamed to step outside in those nasty things.  Time to snap her out of her sad little rut with a major pop of color."  Hence, the electric pink, the orange, the wild striped number from that fancy Lulu store. My dance teacher had this to say, once he calmed down.  "You could work for Caltrans in that orange top." A good opportunity to tell him the truth, at last.  "Oh, Dougie, I'm actually part of a prison work-release program.  Could we start class already?  I'm due back to pick up trash on the side of the freeway in an hour."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Brother, The Clown

My brother, the clown
For the SJG, the main draw of the Superbowl is the commercials. When I was a little Jew growing up in the humble berg of Westwood, if someone had told me that one day, far far in the future, I'd see my very own brother John on a Superbowl commercial, I would've said, "Well, spank my butt and call me Charlie."  But guess what?  Today my brother John will, in fact, appear in a "Got Milk?" commercial, with none other than The Rock.  Watch carefully, my friends.  John is the clown running by, spilling balloons.  Got kvell?  I do.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ricky Raccoon, Rocky's Troubled Brother

Ricky Racoon, looking for trouble
Plenty talk today about some dude named Punxsutawny Phil predicting the weather.  Plenty talk today about some bros coaching some big game on Sunday. But nothing about Ricky Racoon, Rocky's lesser-known brother, currently haunting the neighborhood of the SJG. The emails have been flying back in forth, full of dire warnings.  

First this:
 "A neighbor saw a HUGE raccoon tonight.  We're keeping our dog inside and our doggie door locked!  We had one try to get into our doggie door in the middle of the night one time."  

And then this:
"There are families of racoons that visit the neighborhood twice a week and the adults are large.  About the size of a small German Shepherd.  Don't leave anything edible in your yard and close up as many openings in your fences and gates as you can.  They climb well and are smart but will ignore your yard if things are difficult and unrewarding.  They're all over my security videos.  Possums too."

And finally, this:
"I have seen groups of as many as five raccoons roaming the neighborhood at night."

All I can say is triple oy vey.  Is it wrong that the only thing I'm worried about, raccoon-wise, is our grass?

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'd Tell You, But It's Forbidden

Once in awhile, the SJG steps out of the culinary box and tries something new.  Historically, this tends to be a bad idea, one that leads to internal disruption.  The other night, silly me, I did it again.  I was so excited to be in an actual restaurant, a trendy hipster spot in NoHo, no less, that I forgot all about my delicate constitution and ate something forbidden. What did I eat?  I'm so glad you asked.  It shows you care.  I ate... Forbidden Rice.  They call it Forbidden because... oh, eff, I don't know why.  Hold onto your iPhone, I'll check. Okay, I'm back.  It's called Forbidden because, according to my close peeps at Wikipedia,"in ancient China, black rice was considered the finest grain and only served to the Emperor. 
"Therefore, it sometimes is called forbidden rice, as it was off limits for the general public." And based on my generally iffy intestinal track, off limits for me, too.  Turns out, the exotic rice is a "super food"... super hard to digest.  Next time, I'll pass on the forbidden.  Sometimes, it's better to stick with the predictable food groups I know won't upset me.  Like this:
And this: