Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scream-Fest In Sherman Oaks

Oh, boy.  Oh, joy.  Tonight is "Scream-Fest/Spring Riot" in the home of the SJG.  Some big team is playing some big game.  The menfolk are very, very excited.  And, just between us, very, very loud.  Don't they know the SJG is a delicate petal, an anti-screamer, a quiet, unassuming human who tries not to get all that worked up about anything, unless it involves an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet?  In this way, I keep my blood pressure low and the vast assortment of recently-inherited tchotchkes in one piece.  But all hubby and the sons care about is Game 7.  Game 7.  Game... oh, you get the picture.  I think it has something to do with a puck and a stick, a net here, a net over there, and some dudes going back and forth on skates.  I can't remember the name of this game, but hubby and the sons are very, very, fond of it.  So fond that they will gather in a room downstairs, a room with the largest big screen TV in the personal history of two people who got married in 1980 and used my original black and white Zenith from the '60s till it finally crapped out in time for the '84 Olympics... they will gather tonight and they will scream and yell and make scary guttural sounds that will scare the be-Moses out of the SJG.

In the midst of this Geschrei-Fest, it will take the SJG a few minutes to remember that:
a) This is a televised sporting event, not a wrestling match between two brothers.
b) This is how the three of them release manly pent-up feelings they can't express otherwise.
c) This is a good time for me to flee upstairs to the safety of my private hotel suite and order a hot fudge sundae from Room Service.
d) Why isn't anyone picking up?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Few Humble Requests, New York

Shameless name dropping up ahead: 
Tony-nominated, SJG-pal Mr. Bryan Cranston
Oh, NYC, you make me blush. You know how much I love jumping on stage, and so you announced the Tony Award nominations today, in anticipation  of my arrival in two weeks.  Thank you for that, NYC. Thank you for nominating one of the plays I'll be seeing ("All The Way") and Bryan Cranston, who's already been warned that I may wave hi to him during his performance.  But NYC, you kinda snubbed "Bullets Over Broadway" for Best Musical, which I'm also seeing.  Why did you do that, NYC?
Tony-ignored for Best Musical
You know the SJG is all about awards and nominations and important accolades.  You know I live for recognition and parking validation. Why, NYC?  Why did you rob me of seeing a Best Musical nominee? What's that, NYC?  You don't actually control who gets a Tony nomination and who gets bupkis?  That's no excuse.  I like to group all of NYC together.  Aren't you all part of the same team over there? Of course, you are.  Which is why I'd like to know what happened with that parade you were supposed to throw in my honor last year?  I sent you all my flight info.  I told you my gate number and everything.  And yet, no parade.  Not even as much as a banner. I had to twirl my own baton (I always keep one handy) and march to my own drummer.  I'm still hurt, NYC.
Also, NYC, I'm putting my order in early for Precipitation Cessation. Not a drop, NYC.  Not a sprinkle.  Give me the weather I deserve and I'll be nice.  Now then, how we doin' with the scaffolding, NYC?  Every year, I make the same request. Get rid of it.  It's in my way.  And every year, it's still there.  Maybe this year will be different.  Maybe not.  But listen, NYC, I'm a very forgiving SJG.  I'm coming anyway.  I know you love me.  Sometimes you just forget to show it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Off The Market

Few people know the real reason George Clooney is officially "off the market."  All those beautiful girlfriends, and yet, George insisted he'd never marry again.  So what changed his mind?  Love?  Please.  It was a force much bigger than love.  It was a conversation with the SJG, and it went something like this:
"Hey, Georgie Boy."
"Hey, SJG.  How's it goin'?"
"Okay.  Pretty good.  Could be better."
"I know that tone.  What's up?"
"I'm feeling guilty."
"What else is new?"
"I feel like it's my fault you're still not remarried."
"Well, you did leave quite an impression on me, SJG."
"I know, I know, but it was only a two-minute conversation 20 years ago."
"You had me at 'nice to meet you.'"
"Georgie Boy, you have to get over me.  It was just a Hollywood party, not a lifetime commitment."
"But SJG, the way you looked at me... like you saw right through my soul... no one has ever looked at me that way."
"I have X-ray vision.  It's genetic."
"That is so cool."
"But Georgie Boy, it's time for me to release you from this all-encompassing spell."
"Please don't."
"Move on, Georgie Boy.  It's not healthy."
"But I can't."
"You can."
"But how?"
"Enough with the actresses and the models and the cocktail waitresses.  You need to step up your game, Georgie Boy.  You need a smart gal with her own identity.  You need an intellectual equal, not arm candy."
"Ya think?"
"I'm always right.  Just ask my sons."
"Okay, well, thanks for the call, SJG.  I feel a huge weight off my shoulders."
"You had to go with huge?"
"If I said tiny and adorable weight, would that work?"
"So much better, you have no idea."

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Has anyone seen a short girlish Jew?
She left the house with a tiara,
and wound up overly-accessorized.
Before she knew it, she was...
all dolled-up,
crazily fapitzed.
Suddenly, she had a feather boa
of many colors,
and Mardi Gras beads,
and a golden glittery mask.
Who fancied her up,
and wrapped her in faux finery?
Who told her she was in New Orleans,
not Calabasas?
See, it's right there on the sign
in the backyard:
Bourdon Street.
The French Quarter.
Have a beignet.
Have some gumbo.
Look at the cute little girls in costumes.
Look at Tiana from "Princess and the Frog."
Don't tell Disney, but...
she's got a tattoo on her back.
Who made the SJG
look even sillier than normal?
Kelly, that's who.
She's the guilty party.
She did this to me.
Good call on her part.
I've never looked more festive,
not to mention, mysterious.
Don't you agree?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Royal Attire Optional

Speak for yourself
It's the rarest of rare occasions when I find what I'm actually looking for in the SJG Disaster Zone, aka, my bedroom closet.  I'm still searching for those ruby red slippers, by the way.  If you find them, click three times and return them to me, no questions asked.  And, it goes without saying, but I'm saying it again, that the office where the SJG sits and stares into space isn't the most orderly locale, either.  The closet alone requires a hard hat.  So imagine my surprise when I found exactly what I wanted: the fake tiara I need to wear today.  When's the last time you needed to wear a fake tiara, or a real one?
Last week?!  Princess Kate, are you reading my blog again?  Welcome back, you.  I'm assuming you're peppering your conversations with a bisel Yiddish, like we discussed?  Shayna punim, I knew you could do it.

Oh, and speaking of Princess Kate, not to brag, but I'm invited to her birthday party today.  A different Kate, but just as deserving of the title. She's four now and seriously into dressing up.  Don't question me.  It's right there on the invite: "Gowns, crowns and Mardi Gras too... nothing short of a royal celebration will do..."  Hence, the need for a fake tiara.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

That's No Clown, That's My Brother

Julia Louis, baby and John
Google Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Clown" and up comes this: "Julia Louis-Dreyfus strips naked to simulate sex with a clown in GQ photo shoot."  And this: "What is nude Julia Louis-Dreyfus doing with that clown?" And yes, even this:  "Julia Louis-Dreyfus @#$%s a Clown For GQ."  But hey, that's not just any clown.  That's my brother John.  Yikes.  He's taken clowning around to an insane level, in a five-page GQ spread, no less.  Definitely his craziest gig to date.  I couldn't be prouder... even though, just between us, I may never get over the image of John on top of Elaine from "Seinfeld."
Yesterday, I called him to discuss the particulars: "You couldn't have told me I have a new nephew?  I had to find out this way?"  "It was either this, or a singing telegram." "He's adorable." "He's got my nose." "So tell me, when do I get to meet the love child?" "It may take a few years.  He's on the road with Barnum & Bailey."  "Haven't you heard of child labor laws?"  "Please, I'm still not over watching Julia Louis in labor."  "I can just hear Dad now.  'That kid's gonna have some very big shoes to fill.' "  Honk honk.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fastest Way To Drop 10 Pounds

1.  Stand in front of a bookshelf.  You still have one, don't you?  Or did you turn it into a wet bar?
2.  Find all the diet books that never helped you shed an ounce.    
3.  Remove them, one at a time, for dramatic effect.  All that bending and yanking.  Already, you're burning calories and feeling better about yourself.
4.  Make a nice stack on the floor.  Pile 'em high, girlfriend.
5.  Run upstairs and find the scale you hid behind the laundry basket.
6.  Run downstairs.  You just burned another 2,000 calories, give or take.
7.  Run back upstairs again.  You forgot the scale, silly.  I know, I know. It's a lot to remember.
8.  Come back down.  See?  You're so good at following instructions. Now weigh each diet book on the scale.  Total it all up.  Heavier than you thought, right?  Maybe the books are retaining water.
9.  Go outside and dump all the diet books in the trash bin.
10. Bam!  You just dropped 10 pounds.  Wasn't that easy?   I'm here to help.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Will You Shlep To Prom With Me?

Don't ask again, you're embarrassing me.
(Breaking News) A Sherman Oaks student is in deep doo-doo for asking the Short Jewish Gal to prom during a question and answer session at Haftorah High. Eighteen-year-old Shlomo Abramowitz received a three-day in-school Suspension of Disbelief for Uncontrollable Chutzpah. The senior stood up and popped the question, then walked to the stage with a slice of kugel.  "I made it just the way you like it," Shlomo said.  "I followed your recipe and everything."  "I'm already kvelling," the SJG said.  "So, will you shlep to prom with me?" Shlomo asked. "It's at the Wailing Wall this year.  I can get us a deal on Expedia like you wouldn't believe.  Say yes, SJG." The audience cheered and clapped and broke into a spontaneous hora that lasted 10 minutes.  The SJG joined in, of course.  It would've been rude not to participate. Post-hora, the internationally-acclaimed blogger and occasionally-employed TV writer told Shlomo, "Listen, honey, I'm flattered. My own sons never asked me to go anywhere that didn't involve the drive-thru at In-N-Out. But I came here to plug my blog, not score a date."  "Can't you make an exception just this once?" Shlomo begged. "Well, I'll have to check with hubby first." But before the SJG could call her husband and get the okay to shlep to prom with Shlomo, school officials carted the boychick away.  "Sorry for this epic shanda," Principal Moses Bupkis told the SJG later.  "Shlomo is obsessed with you.  We warned him not to bother you during the Q &A, but he ignored us."  "Don't be too hard on the guy.  The heart wants what the heart wants.  The stomach, that's a whole different organ."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Signature Scent

I got the call while I was outside watering my bone-dry begonias. Naturally, I was honored, not to mention surprised. When a top perfumery asks to bottle your scent, it’s nothing to sneeze at.  Every celebrity on the planet has a signature fragrance. It’s about time a major non-celeb such as myself got a crack at that multi-billion dollar market.  I’m still not sure how the folks at Odeurs Unlimited got wind of me, but clearly they smelled a winner from afar.  “I would like so much to spend zi day with you,” declared Madame Pheromone, Senior V.P. of Toiletry.  "You want to come here?” I gasped, imagining the hellish hours of housework ahead of me.  “Mais oui,” she answered Frenchly. “How else can I collect your essence?”

Friday, April 18, 2014

Say It With Shmaltz

Dear SJG,
What should I do with the the leftover gelfite, brisket, charosis and chicken soup crowding my fridge?
Had It With Horseradish
Dear Had It,
"Plant your leftovers in the garden, get a fresh crop of guilt next spring." It sounds better in Yiddish.
You're welcome,
Dear SJG,
The dry cleaner destroyed my favorite Easter Yarmulke.  Any idea where I can get another one before Sunday?

Dear Egghead,
If I knew I wouldn't tell you.
You're welcome,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Hairdresser Is In

(Photo courtesy of John Starr) 
Tired of worrying about how your hair looks?  Who isn't.  Sure, your hair might look okay in the moment you're standing in front of your mirror.  You might tell yourself, "Damn, my hair looks bitchin' today." I love that about you, the self-delusion, the complete denial.  And yet, what happens to your hair once you step outside? Nothing good, that's what. Unless you step outside in a protective hair bubble, you're screwed. Unless your hair is linked up to a Satellite Selfie Service, allowing you a global view, you really don't know how your hair looks at any given moment, do you?  Hey, I'm talking to you.  Why let life be one endless Bad Hair Day?  Why not let someone overly sympathetic since birth take charge of your 'do and oh-no-you-didn't?  At Carol's Hair Fashions, I'll tell you how your hair looks for reals. I'll give you the encouragement you need to get through the day.  I'll tell you whatever lies you need to hear, and you'll believe me.  I'm that good.

I'll give you that spritz of confidence you can't get anywhere else.  I'll tell you to take your hair back to bed and call in sick.  I'll even write you a doctor's note.  Better yet, I'll call work and pretend I'm your doctor. "Trudy can't come in today.  She's come down with the Follicle Flu.  It's very contagious. Trust me, you don't want her around."

What are my qualifications for opening my no-frills Salon de Sassiness? A lifetime of haircare disappointment. A sink full of tsouris. A cabinet of useless products. Ten photo albums of Horrible Hair Choices.  You don't need a license for this sort of expertise. You need a hair therapist. I'm your gal. I'll analyze your needs in two seconds flat and send you on your way. It'll be the best $300 you've ever spent. Too much?  Fine.  Bring a coupon, I'll give you 50 percent off.

So please, stop by Carol's Hair Fashions for an overpriced, but then, what isn't, assessment of your personal hair mishegas. Walk-ins welcome. And remember, it's not just what's inside that counts.  That's a lie, my friends.  First get your outside in order, then we can volumize your baby fine psyche.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gonna Take A Sentimental Journey

The photos.  Boxes and boxes of life stories captured in a split second. The Russian grandparents at 16 and 17, stony-faced, staring at the camera, afraid to blink. My grandfather in uniform.  A young married couple. A daughter arrives. And then my dad. Cute baby. Cute little boy. Look, he's playing street hockey in Brooklyn.  He's growing up fast. Here's his bar mitzvah photo. And the menu for the reception.  A big selling point:  "mayones."  

And now they're in Los Angeles.  The money ran out. Photos of the first apartment.  Life stories in boxes, everywhere I turn.  There's my mom as a little girl getting a big hug from her daddy.  Probably the last photo they took together.  He died in a car crash when she was five.  Photos of my mom and her brother, growing up in Chicago without a dad.  Raised by my grandmother.  Everyone on the beach getting too tan. My mom and her handsome brother on horses. Living a privileged life. And now my mom's in college.  She's a sorority girl.  She's got flowers in her hair. She looks genuinely happy.  Then life rudely interrupts.  The timeline stops.  No photos of the move to California. The money ran out.

Why does money do that?

Now I find the best stuff.  Except it makes me cry.  Photos of my young parents, before and after the wedding.  There's Jerry Lewis under the chuppah.  And a roomful of crazy radio writers overstaying their welcome in the honeymoon suite.  Look, the funny ones are throwing snowballs at my parents, instead of rice.

There's the first house, the one my parents built up on Beverly Drive. My mom is pregnant.  Here come the baby photos.  Baby butts.  Baby steps.  More baby photos.  An expanding family.  And then there are three.  Two brothers and the SJG. In every photo, I'm smiling and giggling.  

Everyone looks so happy in photos.  Maybe in that moment, they really are happy.  I like to think so, anyway.

Box after box, I watch myself grow up.  I watch my brothers get big and strong.  I watch my cousins, too.  Two young boys growing up without a dad.  History repeats itself in the strangest ways. All the joy and celebration, the sadness and grief.  And here I am, graduating junior high... high school... college.  My parents are getting older.  We're all getting older.  Getting married, too.  Having kids of our own.  There are birthday parties and vacations to exotic locales.  My parents in Russia and Israel, Greece and Italy.  Here they are on a cruise to Alaska.  All the trips to London to see plays. All the journeys they took together. All the fun they had. It's right there in the photos. Their love story.  Almost 50 year's worth.  Boxes of the life they shared.

Finally, it's too much for me to take.  I'm sobbing on the floor of my office.  Sorting through photos and more photos.  It's getting to me. I'm reliving every moment, every loss all over again.  I need to put a pin in it.  Put it on pause.  I make room in my closet for the memorabilia.  A scaled down version of many wonderful lives well-lived.  I'm not trying to open a museum.  I'm trying to manage insurmountable grief.  I'm throwing my own stuff away, stuff I've been saving.  Saving the way my dad saved everything.  Out it goes.  In the plastic bag and in the trash.

Outside, I hear the garbage truck pulling up to take it away.  It's time to let go of some things, whether I want to or not.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Macaroon Fever

I'll be honest with you.  I find little about Passover irresistibly delish. Would I miss the gefilte?  No.  Lox, I would miss.  I would cry from lack of lox.  But gefilte, not so much.  Would I miss the crunchy stuff spelled fourteen different ways, because Jews can't agree on much? Not really. Put something on  matzoh, and immediately that matzah is going to taste better.  Butter, cream cheese, peanut better?  That's a serious matzo upgrade. But just between us, I wouldn't miss a year without matza.  I'd survive. In fact, I could probably go many years without noticing an absence of unleavened anything.  Give me gluten and I'm good.  Call me untrendy.  I was raised on bagels.  In terms of matzoh, I'm not that sentimental. The one thing I'd miss, foodwise: macaroons. Chocolate-covered macaroons, to be specific.  A year or two without a chocolate macaroon would make for a bitter, withdrawn SJG.  So now the secret is out. What I love about Passover (and this year, there wasn't much to love without my favorite old Brooklyn Jew seated next to me), what I honestly adore?  A nice chocolate macaroon.  I'm so glad I have a few left over. Correction: had a few left over.  As of this morning, they're all gone.  Hmm. I guess I'm not the only one in the house who prefers macaroons to matzoh.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Passover Miracle

(Sherman Oaks)  A charosis-related incident broke out Sunday morning, around 10-ish, in the palatial estate of the Short Jewish Gal, when she lost her grip on a jumbo bottle of Manishewitz and splattered sweet sticky wine all over the kitchen counter.  Spillage in the home of the SJG is a near-daily occurrence, but the spillage in question was different from other spillages, in that the nice new laptop took a cup intended for Elijah.  "Eff!  Eff! Eff!" echoed throughout the neighborhood, as she  attempted to mop up the Great Early Bird Passover Mishap of 2014.  "Clean up on aisle 5," her husband yelled, heroically, swabbing the nice new laptop with rubbing alcohol.  By some miracle, he saved the MacBook Pro from a trip back to the Genius Bar and a made-up story that wouldn't fly under the best of circumstances: "Listen, it worked, and then it didn't work.  Only God knows why."  In this case, it seems God decided to bless the SJG's nice new laptop with a splash of Passover wine, so it should bring her health and happiness, creativity and monetary gain, kina hora.  "The lesson here is obvious," the SJG told her family, mid-Gefilte.  "Don't cry over spilled Manichewitz." L'chaim to you and yours.  Happy Passover.  And please, keep the cap on the Manichewitz.  It's safer.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

In Search Of A Nice Brisket

You can't fail with foil
"Brisket hotline.  What went wrong?"
"Nothing yet."
"They why are you bothering me?"
"I just wanted to know how long to cook a six pounder."
"It depends."
"On what?"
"So many things, you have no idea."
"But you do?"
"I answered the phone, didn't I?"
"Can we get back to my brisket?"
"If you insist.  Why is your brisket different from all other briskets?"
"That should be the fifth question."
"Tell me about it."
"I put mine in about four hours ago, wrapped in foil, with the onion soup mix, the ketchup, the Manischewitz, at 325 -- "
"Call me again after it's been in eight."
"Eight?  That's crazy."
"It takes a meshugana to know a meshugana."
"I'm sensing you're a little burnt out on this job."
"Hmph. What makes you such an expert?"
"What makes you one?"
"I got the job and you didn't."
"Good point.  So, you think I should leave my brisket in another four hours?"
"You could cook it ten hours, no one would know the difference."
"I'm looking to serve a tender brisket, not a radial tire."
"Good luck, doll face."
"But how will I know when to take it out?"
"Put a fork in it.  If you can remove the fork without wrenching your back, it's done."
"You've been a big help."
"I try."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Deep Thoughts on Doggies

"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult." Rita Rudner

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." Ann Landers
"Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul -- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!" Anne Tyler
"A dog that waits for a nice warm sock to fly into its mouth must wait a very, very long time." The SJG

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Twisted "Facts of Life"

Last night's episode of "Glee" would've made my dad smile.  Not the part about hate crimes.  The part about "Facts of Life."  He created the character of Mrs. Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes," and co-developed "Facts."
Here's how Sam (Chord Overstreet) explained "Facts of Life," his new obsession: "It's about this old redheaded lady who runs this boarding school for lesbians.  And then I think the lesbians' school burns down, so now the old redheaded lady opened up this pot dispensary called Edna's Edibles.  They all work there."  I can hear my dad chuckling from up above.  He always thought Charlotte Rae, who played Mrs. Garrett, was a pain in the tush.  He'd probably think Edna's Edibles would've made her more manageable.

Shout out to Dan Harrison for giving me a head's up on last night's eppie.  "Make sure you watch "Glee."  But the SJG needs no reminder. I'm a long-time Gleek and I'm not afraid to admit it.  I don't care how silly it gets.  Give me a show where people break into song and I'm there.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Goodbye, Old Friend

As of today, the SJG has been notified that I'm too old to operate securely.  I'm unworthy of support.  I'm at risk.  I'm vulnerable to all sorts of tsouris.  Any second now, my decrepit O.S. could permanently unboot.  Oh, dear God.  Must I consciously unplug myself?  What did I do to deserve this?  Nothing, you say?  Go on, you've got my attention. What's that?  The SJG isn't in danger of annihilation.  Gee, that's good news.  You're saying, I'm not the problem, it's my PC?  Well, why didn't you say so in the first place, silly? Turns out, Windows is denying my XP protection from vicious hackers and cyber criminals, starting today. That's a big eff you right there.  I guess I could ignore all the doomsday warnings and carry on.  I guess I could wait for my PC to crash.  Think of the suspense!  Or the SJG could say kaddish for my XP O.S. I could get with the program. I could seriously upgrade.  I could conform and be like everyone else on the planet.  Well, everyone except those of us still using creaky old XP, and we number in the zillions.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Grins and Growls

Here's a gem I discovered in a dusty box that had been sitting in the condo storage bin for 37 years:  A poem my dad wrote to the editor of the UCLA Daily Bruin.  One month shy of 20, he's already disgruntled about writerly mistreatment.  A familiar theme throughout his life.
It appeared on September 23, 1941.  More than a little spooky, that date. My mom died on September 23, 1999. In 1941, they hadn't met yet...


Dear (?) Editor:
I wrote a poem the other day
And sent it in to you.
It seemed to me the right size
But what did you go and do?
From a perfect 16 line poem
Which I thought it to be
You cut it down to 12 --
And brought me misery.
Of course I'm no Bill Shakespeare
But that's no reason why
I should no more couplets write
At least a guy can try.
So hereafter, Mr. Editor,
Or be it Miss instead,
Please print my stuff as is --
My public must not be mislead.
-- Ben Starr

My dear Ben Starr:
We got your song
Upon the "dink" *
We thought it much too long.
We cut it down
To not waste ink.
We still don't think we're wrong.
Now you'd behead
Ye Ed because
Your public's been misled.
Don't worry 'bout
Your public's claws.
It's long gone, long been dead.

P.S.  Henceforth Pote Starr will have to submit his works in person, to receive consideration. -- Ed.

* A quick visit to Wikipedia explained this cheeky reference to "Dink's Song," an America folk standard revived by Pete Seeger, and later Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk.  Also featured on the soundtrack for "Inside Llewyn Davis."  "Fare-the-well... my honey." 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


My storage locker looks nothing like Walt's.
Public storage.  There's something I never knew about growing up as a delicate Jewiss in West L.A.  At no point did my parents sit me down in the den and say, "Honey, we're putting a few things in storage, including you.  We're a little tired of the mood swings.  We'll take you out when that phase passes."
Cluttered closets and drawers?  Those, I knew from.  Still do.  I have an office closet full of I-have-no-idea-what. One day, I'll deal with it all. One day soon, in fact. I need to make room for some things. I've got storage to deal with, people.  Public storage. The kind you pay money for, or, if you're Walter White, hide your money in.  Every time hubby and I go to our rented storage locker down the street, I think of "Breaking Bad." I can't help it. I associate public storage with criminal activity. In my brain, public storage is a Major Plot Point.  How long till they find the money/body/stolen jewels in storage.
And yet, down the street, there's quite a parade of literature boxed up. Down the street, there are plays and novels. Old scripts from "My Favorite Martian," "Dobie Gillis" and "Petticoat Junction." Entire seasons of "Diff'rent Strokes." "The Birth of the Baby" from "All in the Family." "Our Man Flint" and "Texas Across the River." "The Pad" and "How To Commit Marriage." All written (or co-written) by Mr. Ben Starr. There's so much history crammed into one storage locker, it's mind-boggling.  All I can say is this:  Oy gevalt. What to do with it all? Procrastinate?  I like that idea very much.

But no, I need to deal with it. I need to get 'er done.  There's more donating and shlepping in store for the SJG. Am I up for it?  Uh, no. Not really. It's tempting to freeze time, to put it all on hold.  But something tells me (in the form of a steep monthly bill)  that I need to pull into that long cold driveway, and try to remember the code that opens the gate.  With hubby by my side, I'm going to check inside those boxes one more time, and figure out what the eff to do with all that treasure behind the bright orange door.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

When The CIA Tried To Recruit Me

Sometimes it's important to remember why I didn't become a CIA agent when I had the chance.  Sure, they tried to recruit me once. One day in the parking lot of Gelson's, a man approached me as I was loading the groceries in the trunk. "You look like the type of gal who can keep a secret," he said. "You ever think about becoming a government agent?" "Not really," I said. "I don't think I'd do that well under torture. I'd probably cave within seconds." My honesty impressed him. He handed me his card. "You ever change your mind, ma'am, give me a call."  With that, he disappeared under cover of dark sunglasses. "Hey," I called after him, "don't call me ma'am."

Last night, hubby and I saw a promo for an NBC show called "Crisis," and the memory of what might have been came rushing back.  "We need to lock down the capitol," a CIA gal says, in a serious actressy way.  I looked at hubby. "I can say that line better than she just did." "Give it a shot." "Honey, we need to lock down the capitol."  "Try it again, without the 'honey.'" "Sweetie, we need to lock down the capitol."  "Say it just like this:  'We need to lock down the capitol.'" "Very convincing," I said. For the rest of the evening, we tried out the line with various accents and intonations.  Yiddish, Irish, Scottish.  Texan, Parisian, Sherman Oaks-ian.

Turns out, "We need to lock down the capitol" sounds pretty awesome no matter how you say it. But hubby does it with far more authority.  If he told you to lock down the capitol, you'd do it, no questions asked.  If I told you to lock down the capitol, you'd call the authorities. "Yeah, there's a Short Jewish Gal pretending to be a CIA agent. You should probably lock down the capitol as a precaution.  She looks dangerous." So I guess I still have some work to do before I lock down the capitol. But I'm going to keep trying until I get it right.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Creative Calorie Burning Activities

Dear SJG,
I may have eaten a little too much on my weekend trip to Santa Fe.  Any suggestions on fun calorie burning activities?
Blue Tortilla

Dear Blue,
Of course you stuffed your face.  You were on vacay!  That's not a time to cut back.  It's a time to indulge, and word on the street is, you indulged plenty.  Did you really need that second margarita on the plane?  The folks over at Shlepwest Air are still trying to figure out how much to charge you for all that airborne damage.  Guess no one ever told you that standing on the wing and shaking your expansive booty mid-flight was a no-no.  Who raised you, anyway?  I hereby sentence you to one hour of aerobic pacing, two hours of high-impact regretting, and three hours of emotional landmine jumping. These calorie-burners should rejigger your shluffy metabolism and help you shed some of that extra tonnage everyone's been talking about behind your back.  People can be so hurtful.  Screw them.  Have another cookie on me.
You're welcome,

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Matzoh Denial

When my brother John asked me what he should bring for Passover, I went into Instant Matzoh Denial.  Passover?  That's so far away.  So I wrote back, "Let's talk about it when it gets closer."  Then I checked the calendar, something I like to do now and then, in case I get to cancel something I don't feel like doing.  Like Passover, which is soon, people. I better set the table. I better make some decisions.  Except, I want to stay in Instant Matzoh Denial.  Passover involves loved ones gathered around the table, fressing up a storm and editing the Haggadah down to the basics:  "On this night, we recline.  Let's eat."  But how can I do Passover without my dad?  Every year, he told the story of being a little boy at Passover and waiting to eat.  Patience in a restaurant was never his forte, and his boyhood memory always reminded me why.  In Brooklyn, his family and assorted relatives would read the entire Haggadah before anyone ate as much as a matzoh crumb.  It took hours.  Guests would faint from hunger.  Passover was an endurance test, not to mention, the source of my dad's lifelong impatience when it came to food.  At our Passovers, no one has to wait very long for anything.  No wonder he loved this holiday. I think I'll set a place for him anyway.  Something tells me I can squeeze in another chair.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's Never Too Late To Kick Up Your Heels

Joan Pierce and personal dance guru Doug Rivera
In honor of my new role model, Winnie of the Fishnet Stockings, I tried to demonstrate her signature moves in dance class last night for Joan, my former role model.  Winnie and Joan are in the same octogenarian mindset of "I'll do whatever I want, I made it this far." I'd like to stress, however,  that Joan, a glamorous actress, is a much classier version of Santa Fe-based Winnie.  If only I'd taken a photo of Winnie, mid-interpretative dance, I could show you what I mean, but then this blog would spill over into a type of pornographic terrain I try to avoid, after the last warning I got from the nice folks in charge of my personal blogosphere.  The shaming went something like this:

 "Dear SJG, that last post featuring your bare ass made us rather uncomfortable.  Please refrain from posting future naked shots of yourself, or anyone else, or we'll have to shut you down, thereby disappointing your ginormous worldwide readership.  Love, Blogger."
The tush shot:  My parents had this photo 
blown up in honor of my 40th.
The fact that the photo in question happened to be a baby pic of the SJG was beside the point.  So, no, I'm not showing you Winnie's ho-ha*-revealing leg lift (*first time usage of ho-ha, a term I stole from Cathy without asking her permission).  But this will give you an idea of how limber Winnie is:
Not Winnie, but this is the exact move I'm still milking 
I'm afraid today's post has gotten off course. What the ho-ha did I want to tell you today? Aw, yes.  Last night, I copied the first portion of Winnie's spontaneous Ode to Spring right down to the arm flailing. And then I got to the crazy leg extension and couldn't lift mine past my hip bone. Joan gave my re-creation a thumbs down. "That's it?" "Sorry, Joanie, that's as far as I can go, but you get the general idea." "Not really," she said.  "You're just mad that I found a new role model." "Actually, I'm okay with it. All those daily phone calls were starting to get on my nerves." "But Joanie, I thought you liked my phone calls." "I was just pretending." Hmm.  I wonder if Winnie's number is listed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oh, The People You Meet

Oh, the people you meet while shlepping your deep-seated baggage to the airport, through the airport, onto the plane and off the plane. So many people out there in the travel universe. Who knew? The SJG likes to stay in my comfort zone most of the time, where no one orders me to put my plot devices on airplane mode, tells me to shove my personal mishegas under the seat in front of me, or forces me to eat little salty packets of oily nuts I don't even want.  But listen, if you put it on the plastic tray, chances are excellent that I'll eat it. That's just how I roll.

Throughout our fun weekend in Santa Fe, Cathy and I would discuss our levels of hunger, in between pithy discussions of what overpriced must-have item I should consider buying.  Now, as you already know, or don't know and really don't care, which offends me, but I'll get over it, I come from a far away time zone two hours behind my Kansas companion.  In Santa Fe, we split the difference. I was one hour ahead. Cathy was one hour behind.  Hence we never knew what time it was, or whether we were actually hungry.  Not that it mattered.  We managed to eat whatever the nice Santa Fe people offered us at any time.

In this way, we're highly-flexible middle-aged gals, and I don't mean flexible like that elderly Rockette from the piano bar.  We're still not over Winnie of the Fishnet Stockings, but we certainly hope that by the time we reach her age, God willing, we can get out of a chair without assistance, let alone raise a leg in the air to prove we've still got it, and whoomp, there it is.  Already I miss my friend, and yet, I'm happy to be home in Sherman Oaks with the basketball-loving menfolk I insanely adore.  I don't know how they managed without me, but based on the condition of the house and the empty beer bottles in the recycle bin, they did just fine.