Thursday, October 31, 2013

Break Me Off A Piece Of That

I ate too much chocolate again.
To a short nervous Jew like myself, Halloween combines two of my favorite things:  Chocolate and Worry.  I love chocolate.  I'm a little bit prone to worry.  On Halloween, I worry about eating too much chocolate.  It's the perfect booty bag of dysfunction.  So tonight, once again, I'll try not to gorge on the candy that spooks me like a grandmother with a Ph.D in guilt.  "I made this Kit Kat special, just for you.  God forbid you should let it go to waste."  I'll try not to worry that no one will show up to claim the Snickers, the Reeses, the M&Ms.  Leftover candy is almost as scary as my former attorney, Jack O. Lantern III, who's still trying to burn my ass.  Tonight I'll remember the words of my Russian ancestors:
"A pumpkin is only a big fat squash with its eyes cut out."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Etiquette

1.  Resist temptation to take candy from trick-or-treaters.
2.  Disinfect trick-or-treaters with hefty douse of hand sanitzer.
3.  Verbally spank candy-grabbers who don't say, "Thank you, your highness."
4.  Reserve the right to refuse service to anyone wielding a bloody chainsaw.
5.  Clearly convey when you've run out of candy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sanity Is Overrated

Dear SJG,
Last night I dreamed I had a big fight with Kim Kardashian.  I couldn't figure out how to turn on the oven and she refused to help me.  I kept saying, "Come on, Kim, just show me," and she kept saying, "Touch it and die."  I woke up very agitated and questioning my sanity.  Is my oven haunted?  I didn't even know KK likes to cook.
Sincerely,
Heated

Dear Heated,
You don't get a tuchus like that without stepping foot in the kitchen. Trust me on this. Your dream can be interpreted on several levels. Mainly, it means Kim Kardashian is after your recipe for kugel.  She'll stop at nothing to get it.  Lock your doors.  Hire a bodyguard.  Stash the recipe in the safety deposit box. Watch your ass. And definitely, get a new oven.
You're welcome,
The SJG

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Mug Only A Mother Could Love

Today's coffee mug
Every day, a different coffee mug, depending on my mood.  Today, I'm feeling very Mom-ish.  Hence the Mom mug, purchased in the student store of UC Santa Cruz.  Neither son goes there any more, and yet, I'm still a mom, and since this is the only mug in my collection that signifies my long-standing job, it seems fitting, especially this morning. Did I mention I'm feeling very Mom-ish? The maternal engine revved up early, thanks to the live-at-home college son, up at six, spreading his cold germs throughout the house as he prepared to leave for campus. On a Sunday yet.  He's in charge of craft services for a student film.  By this afternoon, all the participants will have caught his cold.  By this evening, I'll have it.  Such is life as a Mom.  Hence the Mom mug, in case I forget the main reason I was put here on this earth. Tomorrow I'll grab the pretty blue mug.  I'll be feeling pretty blue, thanks to the cold I'll have caught from the live-at-home germ spreader. What mug are you using today?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What Is Your Intention?

Let me get back to you on that.
It's not often I find myself in a zone of New Age happy talk.  Old Age kvetchy talk?  That's more in my comfort zone.  This, I know from.  So I was a little thrown when I went into the ballet-inspired cardio class. The sign on the door was the first hint that maybe I'd wandered onto the wrong set:  "What is your intention?" All I wanted to do, in that moment, was use the free coupon someone left on my windshield.  The pretty young lady behind the desk took it without hesitation, expressed gratitude, and suggested I channel my highest energy.  Oy gevalt.  Was I signing up for a cult?  Should I stay or should I go?  Just then, I heard the pulsating music beckon me forward. These people knew how to get to me. I went inside the studio and got my first of many scares. I was surrounded on all sides by tall skinny young women, their fat-free midriffs exposed, their tattoos of flowers and butterflies in plain view. "Run," my inner-voice said.  "Run and never look back."  I didn't.  I stayed, and a moment later, the instructor appeared, a buff young dude with a microphone surgically attached to the side of his face. "What is your intention?" he asked.  No one answered.

A minute later, "What is your intention?" he asked again.  "Why are you here today?  What are your goals?  What is it you want to achieve?"  "To make you shut the eff up," my inner voice said. "You want tight abs? You want tight glutes? You want to look like a goddess?  You have to work for it."  "If I give you a gluten-free cookie, will you zip it?" my inner-goddess replied.  "You can't just talk the talk," he went on.  "You have to walk the walk." I was tempted to walk out, but then, something happened.  Things got real.  One of the skinny young exercisers passed out.  One minute she was up, the next, she was down.  My Jewish Mother instincts kicked in, immediately.  "Oy veysmere, see what happens when you don't eat?" I said.  "Should we call the paramedics?" I went to get my phone. "Here, I have them on speed-dial, just in case." "She'll be fine," the buff dude said. "She doesn't seem fine to me. Everybody, stay put.  There's a deli nearby.  I'll get her some chicken soup.  It couldn't hurt." "Go back to the barre and tighten," he told me. All the other ladies were doing just that. No one made a move. Their intention was to keep going, no matter who dropped in front of them. The instructor offered the fallen goddess a sip of some protein juice box they sold at the front counter.  She started to regain her higher consciousness. Thank God. A few minutes later, she got up and floated out the door. Namaste. Smart girl.  I should've followed her, but at least, I'd finally figured out my intention. To never come back.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Deli Memories

There's just something about Beverly Hills that makes the SJG all fuzzy and nostalgic, especially when I'm with my dad.  Yesterday, we entered Nat n' Al's, and it all came back:  little me, staring up at all the goodies behind glass, while Dad ordered a Sunday morning feast.  Lox, bagels and cream cheese.  It was our Saturday afternoon tradition.  I always loved to tag along with him.  I still do, only now, I'm the one behind the wheel, searching for a parking spot.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lady of the Canyon

Today I will be a lady of the canyon.  I will run barefoot through the wildflowers and wear silver.  I will play my guitar and sing "Both Sides Now."  I will channel Joni and act bohemian.  I will wear a peasant dress and -- oh, please, no, I won't.  Today I will attempt to act like a lady while schlepping over the canyon, but chances are good that I will express unladylike sentiments as traffic creeps along.  I will curse Beverly Glen, the canyon in question, and wonder why I can't get over the hill between the hours of 9 and 10 a.m. in under an hour.  I will ponder my existence at least three times during my journey and try to hire a helicopter to come swoop me at Mulholland.  I will sit there, bumper to bumper, and feel myself aging rapidly.  Today I will be an impatient lady of the canyon.  Tomorrow I will stay home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dreams I Forgot To Chase

I would've added another skull
1. Creepy Cemetery Designer
2. Macy's Thanksgiving  Float Inflater
3. Canine Etiquette Trainer
4. Professional Excuse-Maker
5. Intergalactic Interior Decorator
"A pop of color changes the whole look of a satellite."  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bottom-Brainer

What's going on in there?  Too much.

The other night, at the nice Italian place where we celebrated my dad's birthday, I got a sign from up above.  Actually, it was from over my left shoulder. Out of nowhere, a bottle top whizzed by my earlobe, like a spiky mini-missile of doom, and landed right in front of me.  I couldn't help but wonder what this random, low-flying bottle top symbolized: The loneliness of the human condition? The arbitrary nature of the universe?  One minute you're soaring through the air, care-free, and the next, you're nosediving. Splat. Oh, the cruelty of it all.  What's that? Maybe I'm reading too much into this non-consequential occurrence? Could be. I wouldn't put it past me.  I do tend to over-think. At least, I'm not alone.  Far from it.
According to a new book, "Top Brain, Bottom Brain:  Surprising Insights Into How You Think," I'm a bottom-brainer, a "perceiver."  People like me sit on our bottoms and try to make sense of what we perceive (like a bottle top whizzing by). Surely, there's a better use of my time.  But nothing comes to mind. Forget right brain, left brain.  Say it loud, say it proud. I'm a bottom-brainer, always trying to get to, what else, the bottom of things. This explains so much about me.  I refer you to the bottle top in question. I needed to get to the source of this mystery, tout suite.  So, I turned my head and discovered from whence the wayward bottle top came -- the bar directly behind me. Whereupon I scolded the reckless Pelligrino-opener. I went all maternal on his ass. "Hey bartender, pay attention. You could've taken out an eye. You're lucky you're dealing with a bottom-brainer, and not a litigious, top-brainer."  I'm still waiting for a hand-written thank you note.
Look where you're going, bottle top!

Monday, October 21, 2013

You Look Familiar

At the deli counter, I notice a woman smiling at me.  I smile back.  This is the SJG way.  I just can't help being friendly.  Unless you cut me off in traffic, flip me off, steal my newspaper, my parking spot, or the last good banana.  Then:  not so friendly.  But at this moment in time, I'm Little Miss Sunshine.  I've found a pair of jeans that actually fit.  A miracle.  Hence, Smiley SJG. "You look so familiar," she says.  I don't know about you, but I love when people say this me.  Love.  It.  The fact that I have a doppelganger out there in the world delights and alarms me on several levels.  "I do?" I say, faux-flattered, in my movie star voice.  I'm always ready to sign autographs.  You should know this about me.  I'm armed with a pen.  "Are you a psych nurse?" she asks. "No," I say, "but I feel like one most of the time."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eyes Not Open

Me, brother John, Howard, Billy, Scotty, Paula,
and the man of the hour, Ben
In our family, when it comes to picture-taking, the directive is always the same, not to mention, a little harsh.  It goes something like this: "Carol, try to keep your eyes open." I try, I try.  But the flash goes off and it's out of my control.  The result:  A loud groan.  And then, "Carol ruined it.  Let's take another one."  Historically, the photo with my eyes shut will be the best shot of everyone else.  The next one, with my eyes freakishly half-open in a sad effort to appease everyone else (a lifelong trend), will be remarkably worse.  Not only will I look possessed by evil spirits, but everyone else will look dumb. I've personally ruined Bar Mitzvah, wedding, anniversaries and birthday photos snapped by professional photogs. It's a burden, believe me. So today, I selflessly present the really bad shot of the SJG, with my eyes shut, and the fairly decent shot of everyone else, although why the youngest has his mouth open, I can't tell you. We're at a nice Italian place, celebrating my dad's 92nd. He regaled us with tales of his WWII days as a navigator, including a trip to Paris in search of... let's just call them ladies and leave it that.  He saved the best story for last.  Sure, we've heard it many times before, but it never loses its magic: The night before they were set to fly a mission over Berlin, he made it rain.  No mission, thank God. All these years later, a vivid memory that sums up my dad's chutzpah and gumption.  No photograph required.  It's all right there in his eyes.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Don't Do Calm

Exactly when did the SJG become a Jewish Mother?  It happened long before I gave birth.  It happened at birth.  My birth.  From the moment I popped out, I wanted to know if everyone was okay, if anyone needed anything, if I could do something to help.  My first complete sentence: "What's wrong?" The Caretaker Curse grabbed me, genetically, right out the gate.  When someone got hurt on the playground, I was the one hovering over the wounded and bleeding, asking the important questions.  "Would it have killed you to wear a helmet and some knee pads? To walk, instead of run for once in your life?" At home, I was always in the kitchen, making tiny treats in the Easy Bake Oven, trying to spread a little joy and fatten up the family.  I was the one waiting up for the parents to come home, and later, when they started driving, the brothers.  I was the designated worrier.  What I'm saying is this:  You don't just become a Jewish Mother.  All the signs are there from the start.  And then, the contractions kick in and the skills you've acquired all come together in a giant ball of angst.  They hand you the baby and say, "Good luck with this."

Off you go on a wild adventure, no travel brochure to guide you, no special shots to protect you from all those cute germs coming your way the instant the little people hit pre-school. Certain things, they neglect to tell you in Lamaze. "Oh, didn't we mention?  You'll never know another moment of peace." Motherhood.  It's non-denominational, the underpaid, under-appreciated, much-ridiculed role of a lifetime.  You study and rehearse, you audition, you get the call. "Mazel tov, you got the part, see you on the set." Lights, camera, action. All you can do is pray you get your lines right some of the time. Hope for decent reviews. Say kina hora, poo poo poo ad nauseum. And trust that the scars  (there will be scars) won't be too permanent.  Oh, and one other thing. Overfeed daily.  Give extra helpings of love, the more unconditional, the better, but please, you're not a miracle worker. You're a mother.  Let's face it, you're going to have bad days, bad years. God willing, they won't replace you with some other actress who looks better in an apron.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How To Make It To 92

My mom and the Birthday King on his 65th
"Obviously the hardest part of turning 92 is getting to be 91. In addition to all that, you realize you absolutely need a young body.  You gotta buy a young body to replace your own, because your own, if you've lived your life properly, is completely falling apart at 92.  If you're perfectly healthy at 92, then you're sick."   -- the one, the only Ben Starr.  Happy 92nd, Daddy.  If you've said it once, you've said it at least a thousand times in the past month alone:  Getting old is no fun.  But somehow, you still manage to make me laugh on a daily basis.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Twelve Again

I've decided to be 12 today.  I'm pretty sure 12 was a pretty good age.  Hang on, I'll check with one of my former shrinks.  "Hi.  Me again.  Was I happy at 12?"  "Come back to therapy and let's explore it."  Never mind.  I'm going with yes.  At 12, I could eat whatever I wanted and still fit into the smallest pair of jeans in the Tiny Miss department.  At 12, the doctor predicted I wouldn't get my period till I was "at least 13."  Well, I showed him.  I got my period six weeks before I turned 13.  Up until that big life change, I  didn't know from PMS.  No one knew from PMS.  Back then, it was just called B.A.B. (Being A Bitch)  Gosh, I miss those simple times.  I miss my long hair.  I miss my bell bottoms.  I miss my desert boots.  I miss all the boys I had crushes on.  I miss walking to Westwood with my friends.  I miss Westwood.  What happened to Westwood?  When I was 12, Westwood was cool.  Did that mean I was cool, too?  No.  I was never cool.  Not one of the "cool kids." Cool is overrated, anyway.  So is youth.  It's wasted on the young, as they say.  I can't think of any age I'd like to be again, can you? On second thought, I've decided to be 55 today.  I'm pretty sure 55 is a pretty good age.  Think I'll  be 55 today.  Tomorrow, who knows?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Erma Knows Better

"One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is."  Erma Bombeck

Another thing they never tell you is that for the rest of your life, you'll have to remind your children how old you are, and your date of birth.  They will never know the answer.  The other day, I took the youngest to get a flu shot at SCH  (Seventh Circle of Hell).  The nurse at the More-Than-A-Minute Clinic asked him his father's date of birth.  His father is the primary insurance cardholder.  I am the primary reassurance provider.  The question, a simple one, you'd think, elicited a blank stare.  "You don't know Dad's birthday?" Whereupon he looked at his iPhone, as if the answer lurked within.  "This isn't something you can Google.  You're on your own." He started pulling random numbers out of his tush. I was embarrassed to be seen with him. He got the month right, but not the day or year.  Not even close.  "Do you know my birthday?" I asked, certain he would know it by heart.  He knew the month, but that was it.  When we got home, I asked his older brother, busy resting on the sofa, if he knew his father's birthday.  The month and day, he nailed.  The year, he completely botched.  "1954?" he guessed.  "1954?  How self-involved are you?" As for my birthday, he got the month and day right.  A personal victory.  My year of birth?  He was only off by six.  "I wasn't born in 1952, for @#$%'s sake.  I'm younger than dad."  "1955?"  "No."  But listen, it's okay.  It's fine.  I shouldn't be so sensitive.  I was put on this earth to take care of their every need, their every birthday, and not the other way around.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What-Iffers Unite

Leader:  The Association of What-Iffers will now come to order.  Who'd like to go first?  Don't everyone raise their hands at once.  Well, if no one is going to volunteer, I'll just pick someone.  The short one in the back.  Come on up, stand right here, where everyone can judge you, harshly and start over-sharing.  Hang on, don't talk yet.  Let's make sure the spotlight illuminates all your flaws.  Okay, go.
Participant:  Hi, I'm the Short Jewish Gal.
Group:  Hi, SJG.
Participant:  I'm not very comfortable with public speaking.
Leader:  There are only five of us here today.  Get over yourself and start talking.
Participant:  What if I can't think of anything to say?
Leader:  That's never stopped you before.
Participant:  What if you get bored?
Leader:  We're already there.
Participant:  What if you get so bored you fall asleep and start snoring? Then I won't be able to concentrate.  What if I just stand here, staring out into space, and you get so freaked out, you call the paramedics, but the paramedics never show up, and I spend the rest of my life as a zombie?
Leader:  Zombies are very big right now. Maybe someone will build a TV show around you.  Short Jewish Zombie.  Maybe you'll finally find that dose of fame you've been craving your entire life.
Participant:  I've never craved fame, just a little recognition, just a thank you now and then.  Is that too much to ask?
Leader:  Yes.  Well, this has been truly riveting, SJG. Next?
Participant:  I have one more question. What if I never stop what-iffing?
Leader:  Then you'll keep showing up to our meetings and renewing your membership, which, by the way, you're past due.
Participant:  What if you give me something resembling helpful advice?
Leader:  You want some advice, here it is.  I stole it out of a book on anxiety.  "Turn your what-ifs into so whats."
Participant:  That's it?
Leader:  Yes.
Participant:  Hey, that's pretty good.  As in, so what if the earth opens up and swallows me whole? So what if I get hit by lighting? So what if I wake up and discover I've grown an extra toe?
Leader:  Next.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Nu?

"Nu?"
"Eh."
"What?"
"Nothing."
"Tell."
"Oy."
"Oh."
"Yeah."
"Lunch?"
"Please."
"When?"
"Today."
"Noon?"
"Perfect."
"Where?"
"Marmalade."
"Frittata."
"Yum."
"Okay?"
"Better."
"Good."
"Thanks."
"Later."
"Bye."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You're Not Invited

What is it with my neighbors trying to bribe me with candy?  Do I project "chocoholic tendencies" as I back out of the driveway?  Maybe if I walked out normally, facing the street, as opposed to tush first, the neighbors wouldn't draw their own conclusions:  "Give her chocolate and she won't call the cops on us." What am I talking about?  I'm so glad you asked.  Another alarming note from a neighbor arrived with candy attached.  It went something like this:  "Hi, neighbor.  We're having a big loud annoying party tonight.  It's going to be so freaking, eardrum-busting loud you won't be able to sleep. We plan to rage non-stop in celebration of our son's one-year wedding anniversary. We haven't invited his wife. We're not very fond of her, so please, keep this between us. Even though you're not invited -- we've heard about your dance moves and would like to keep this party G-rated -- we're hoping you'll accept this tiny bag of candy -- we're only giving you four pieces, you don't need any more -- and not report us to the police for disrupting your precious evening. Thanks so much, your neighbors next door."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Today's Fashion Tips

Look out, Sherman Oaks.  I may leave the house today.
Exciting developments in the wardrobe of the SJG.  The summer schlep-wear has been replaced by the fall schlep-wear.  Slightly-stained tank tops I should be ashamed to wear out of the house, or even in the house, have given way to aging Gap T-shirts I should've tossed or cut up into rags.  Unflattering drawstring shorts have been callously shoved aside by faded sweatpants that do my figure no favors.  The secret to looking this schlumpy?  If I tell you, I'll have to kill you, and at this point, my criminal record is more-or-less clean. The main thing is, don't think of your personal lack of style in negative terms.  Think of your crappy-ass clothes as casual wear that's seen better days. Today's fashion tips: Stay comfy, my friends. Make warm in the house. Rotate the schlep-wear so you don't bore your family. Keep them guessing what you might blindly throw on your body this morning. Never look at yourself in the mirror. Never. But if you accidentally catch a glimpse of yourself, keep the screaming to a minimum. You don't want to scare the dog. And remember, by the weekend, the temperatures will climb back up into the '80s.  Welcome back, drawstring shorts.  Come to mama.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Life Is Life Alert

It took a little convincing, but my dad, who will tell you he's 92, even though it's not official till next week, or up himself to 93, depending on the day, finally agreed.  Okay, okay, fine.  Set up the Life Alert thing.  So hurray.  He now has one of those buttons to press if, God forbid, anything happens.  I think I've said, God forbid, at least 82 times over the course of this particular addition to his swinging elderly lifestyle.  In times of worry, I get very religious.

Most of the conversations have gone something like this:
"Tell me again why I need it?"
"You need it so that, God forbid, you fall, or God forbid, you don't feel well, you push the button and talk to someone and they come and help you."
"Nothing's going to happen."
"God willing."
"So, let's just forget it."
"No, Daddy, let's not forget it."
"Okay.  When are they coming?"
"I'll let you know."
"Are they coming today?"

Yesterday, they came.  Let's find out how that went:
"The installation guy talked so fast, I told him to slow down."
"But he set it up?"
"Yeah, he set it up, then he left, and two minutes later, the phone rings and it's someone else wanting to ask 800 follow-up questions."
"Fun!"
"It was the strangest conversation I've ever had in my entire life.  The guy wouldn't stop talking.  At a certain point, I said to him, 'I'm hanging up in 30 seconds.'  And guess what?  That's exactly what I did. I hung up while he was still talking."
"Daddy, you are hilarious."
"The guy on the phone didn't think so."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thank You For Noticing

It's true.  Any time something nice happens to a Jew, the worldwide community kvells.  This is especially true in Israel, where the following story made headlines yesterday: "A Jewish American blogger known as the Short Jewish Gal has been named the sexiest woman alive for the second time by Esquire, the men's lifestyle magazine said on Monday." I know, I know.  The honor took me by surprise, too. The first time it happened, I expected it.  But the second time? It feels like bragging. I'm embarrassed by my own fabulousness. Plus, I've already carried the mantle of Sexiest Woman Alive for an entire year. And now, I have to do it again?  I'm exhausted just thinking about it. The tight gowns, the stilettos, the public appearances and ribbon cuttings that go along with the title? I'm not sure I have it in me. I haven't christened a yacht in a while. I hope I remember how.  Not that I'm ungrateful.  I'm plenty grateful. So I'd like to take the time to thank the boys at Esquire for giving me a shout-out, yet again, and for overlooking a few flaws that come with middle-age.  I will do my best, although now and then, I may have to take a nap.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hi, Monday

"Hello?"
"Is this the SJG?"
"Speaking.  Who's this?"
"This is Monday."
"Monday?  Shut the front door.  Is it really you?"
"Is there another day called Monday?"
"No, you're the only one."
"Then it's me."
"Hi, Monday.  What up?"
"I understand you're not a fan."
"It's nothing personal."
"It's plenty personal.  This day is all about me.  It's not my fault that I come with more baggage than the other days."
"Poor Monday.  Tell me about your baggage.  I'm here for you, gal."
"I come with the leftovers from Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday and Sunday, you eat and drink, you relax, you stay up too late, maybe you see a movie, maybe you see some friends.  Then you wake up on my day, the first day of the week, and you go, 'Oh, hell, why did I eat so much this weekend?  Why didn't I sleep more?  I look like crap.  Thanks a lot, bitch.'"
"Wow. You've given this a lot of thought, haven't you, Monday?"
"Yes, I have.  I'm tired of being blamed for Saturday and Sunday's transgressions.  I'm really a very nice day, once you get to know me."
"Well, Monday, thanks for calling.  Now, if you'll excuse, I need to haul my tush out of bed and start you."
"Spread the word, SJG.  I'm just as good as the other days.  I'm Monday, damn it.  I deserve some respect."
"Monday?  What part of I gotta go aren't you getting?"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

No Pulp, Please

It's so rare to hear someone make a positive proclamation in public these days. The sort of proclamations I generally hear are more of the invective variety. (First time usage of invective. Welcome to my blog. Stay a while, won't you?)  Such hostile sentiments usually come either from myself or hubby, any time one of us gets behind the wheel. "You mutha-eff'r!  Could you eff'n signal?"  "You wanna drive, sh*thead?  The light changed."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Walkies

The early afternoon walkies with Cheryl and Scout have finally resumed after a lengthy break.  You didn't even know we'd taken a break, did you?  Don't get huffy. I can't tell you everything.  Some things are semi-private.  But I can tell you this: the SJG didn't instigate the break in our beloved routine.  I didn't do diddly.  I didn't do anything to embarrass Cheryl, at least not intentionally.  I didn't break into my daily song and dance routine in front of her (and you have no idea how much self-control that requires).  I didn't harshly critique her so-called "landscaping" in the front yard, which, believe me, would've set her off, big time.  I didn't secretly volunteer her for a reality show called "What Not To Wear During Walkies."  I didn't spout my extreme dog-raising theories at the top of my lungs.  Cheryl has raised more dogs than the SJG.  I've raised one.  She's raised... I've lost count.  When it comes to canines, she went to Harvard, I went to junior college for half a semester.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pumpkin Paranoia

Dear SJG,
Everywhere I go, I see pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins.  Some are real (I think).  Some are inflatable, like the giant one on my neighbor's roof. I think it's staring at me. Why are these pumpkins following me?  Did I do something wrong?
Sincerely,
Deeply Confused

Dear Deeply Confused,
Relax.  You're not as eff'd up as you think.  You did nothing wrong, other than open your eyes in the morning.  That's where the trouble starts. Stay in bed. No pumpkins. Leave the house.  Pumpkins. The pumpkins are haunting you for a reason. There are some pumpkin-related festivities coming up.  Please don't ask me the names of these commercial events.  I'm not an encyclopedia.  Does anyone have an encyclopedia anymore?  Good question.  Let me get back to you on that. Where was I?  I think these events involve candy and turkey, but that's all I can come up with, I'm tired.
Here's what I suggest:  Just ignore the stupid pumpkins.  Don't look them in their cut-out eyes.  Don't try to pet them, especially if there's a lit candle inside.  Walk away from the pumpkins, and at some point, maybe in December, I can't make any promises, people forget to throw them out, they abandon them on doorsteps long after they've expired, it's disturbing, but trust me, at some point, the pumpkins will fly south for the winter and you'll be free.
You're welcome,
The SJG
"I never know if pumpkins are right to bring to a meeting."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Way You Look Tonight

Ronan (formerly Satchel) and mom Mia
... tells me you might definitely be the son of Ol' Blue Eyes, not the son of Woody.   No DNA test required on this one.  The resemblance is remarkable.
Why am I so obsessed with this bombshell?  I'm so glad you asked.  It transports me out of my mundane life.  What could be more fun than picturing this unlikely love triangle: a short, bespectacled nebbish, a hot tempered crooner, and an actress famous for one of the worst hairstyles ever.  I can't think of a worse hairstyle than this one, and I've spent time on it.  What's that?  Shallow?  How dare you.  Just because I focus on the superficial details doesn't mean I'm not capable of pithier commentary.  I can be plenty pithy.  You want an example?  Fine.  Last night, I put my obsessing on hold, dug a little deeper into my soul, and took time to briefly, not to mention concisely, reassure hubby. "Don't worry, honey.  The boys are yours, not Frank Sinatra's."  He seemed relieved. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SJG Museum of Impatience Forced To Close

Thanks to the government shut down, the SJG National Museum of Impatience has been forced to close its doors, turning away long lines of visitors who'd traveled great distances just to walk the halls of the famed Sherman Oaks Tuscan-style institution. "I came all the way from Reseda to see the Automotive Birth of the SJG," Sadie Rothstein complained. "I'd heard the SJG was born in a car, but to see the actual exhibit of how she came to grace us with her presence, well, it's been a personal dream of mine since last Tuesday, when I first read they'd be giving out free kugel at the door.  But now, the yo-yo brains in Congress have squashed my dream, and quite frankly, I'm a little bitter." Other exhibits Rothstein said she'd been looking forward to seeing included the SJG Eyewear Collection, the SJG Hairstyle Retrospective and the SJG Interactive Wing, designed to test the patience of those, much like the SJG, who can't stand to wait in line for anything. "I wanted to buy a mug that said, 'Have you kvetched today?' at the SJG Gift Shop,"she said, before climbing  into her Volvo for the long shlep back to Reseda. "I wanted to have a nosh at the SJG Cafe.  Let's face it, my day is ruined.  I'm so disappointed, I could weep, uncontrollably.  But it's okay, I'll live.  Maybe.  I put a call into my shrink to up my meds. God willing, she'll get back to me before Hanukkah. It's early this year, you know."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Out To Lunch

"Why couldn't they give us a booth?"
"They were all reserved."
"Where's the waiter?"
"He's coming now."
"Where's my tea?"
"On its way."
"Where's the food?"
"We just  ordered."
"What's taking so long?"
"They have to make it."
"They forgot our food."
"Here it is."
"It took long enough."
"How was it, Daddy?"
"Not great."