Friday, October 31, 2014


Dear SJG,
I'm a little worried that a bunch of random zombies, princesses and garden variety monsters may show up at my door tonight for no reason, like they did the year before, and the year before that, and well, you get the picture. These greedy ghouls and goblins seem to want something, but I can't for the life of me figure what. Why are they ringing my bell and why won't they leave me alone?

Dear Spooked,
There's no explanation for this rude behavior. It's a head scratcher. If that went on in my neighborhood, I'd call in the National Guard. But I tend to overreact. The best thing you can do is turn your lights off and don't answer the door. Ever.
You're welcome,
The SJG 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Skeletons In The Closet

In search of shoes

I stop by to say hi to my neighbor Mindy, as she puts some last minute Halloween decorations up.  "Ew, spooky," I say, re: the giant spider web hanging by the front door. "You want to know spooky?" Mindy asks, adjusting the witch's hat on her head. "Bring it." "So the other day I look down at my feet." "Calluses?" "No." Mindy is a dance teacher.  It must be dance-related. "Bunions?" "Will you let me tell the story?" "Who's stopping you?" "So I look down at my feet and I notice that my right foot is suddenly like an inch longer than my left foot." "What the eff?" I say. "I know, right?" "But why?" "I have no idea.  Hormones?" "Hormones, or lack of hormones?" I ask, looking down at my dainty size sixes. "I've never heard of feet growing out of freakin' nowhere. During pregnancy, maybe. But not long, long after."

"I'll take one in an 8, and the other in a 9."

Mindy gives me a look. "You had to add an extra long? Long, long after?" "It's a fitting metaphor for your situation, don't you think?" "I think I'm sorry I brought it up." "Too late to take it back now.  So what the hell is going on with you?" Mindy shrugs.  For some reason, she seems annoyed. "All I know is, one day, my feet are the same size. The next day, one is significantly longer."

At this point, I'm laughing.  I can't help myself.  I'm wondering if it's time to contact Ripley's Believe It Or Not, or the Guinness people. There could be some money in this for me.  Mindy reaches over to smack me, but I'm too quick.  She clips the skeleton, instead. "You think it's funny?" "It's hilarious." "You wouldn't think so if it happened to you." "But it hasn't." "Imagine going into your closet and putting on your favorite shoes and the right one doesn't fit anymore.  Not so funny, is it?" "Not funny if it happens to me, but funny, really funny, if it happens to you." "You've got a sick sense of humor, SJG." "This is new information?" "I've always suspected it, but to see you in action up close, it's pretty disturbing." "Aren't you glad I stopped by?" "Not really.  Happy Halloween, sicko," Mindy says.  "Happy Halloween, Big Foot."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quick Thinking

Three women -- two young ladies and a considerably older one -- were sitting naked in the sauna. Suddenly, there was a soft beeping sound. One of the young women pressed her forearm, and the beeping instantly stopped. The other two looked at her. "That was my pager," she explained. "I have a microchip embedded in my arm."

A few minutes later, a phone rang. The second young woman lifted her palm to her ear and had a short chat. When she had finished speaking, she hastened to explain. "That was my cell phone. I have a microchip inside my hand."

The older woman felt very low-tech and out-of-date. Not to be outdone, she decided that she had to do something equally impressive. So she stepped out of the sauna and went into the bathroom.          

Moments later, she returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from her rear end. The other two raised their eyebrows and stared at her. Finally, the older woman explained. "Well, will you look at that... I'm getting a FAX!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Know What You Diddly-Iddly Did...

... last Halloween, and the Halloween before that. Dr. Alfred T. (as in Tushy) Baum, the man who gave you those fetching braces, he knew, too. One look at that mouth of yours. One gooey delight was all it took to destroy years of orthodontic miracles. And you, SJG, that's right... you. You vowed not to eat too much candy, diddly-iddly-n't you? Year after year, empty promises. Year after year, you've gone to the dark chocolate place. Will this year be any different, SJG? Will the Peanut M&M's, the adorable Hershey fun-sizes, the call of the peanut butter cups, get the best of you? Or will you stay strong? Let's think about that, shall we? Let's ponder it a mo' or two. Yeah, we kinda doubt it. But please, give it a shot and let us know how that works out for you. We'll be over by the candy bowl, watching you.
Welcome, SJG. We've been waiting for you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Just Checking In

In the corner of my recently-soaked, coffee-stained laptop screen, a little window just popped up. I don't remember ever seeing it before, but there it is, a one-word open invitation to do what I do best: Complain. Where to begin? Is the universe asking for feedback, in general, or is it just Google, wanting to know what's up? Either way, I will answer succinctly, and with feeling: So much to kvetch about, so much to be grateful for. Just trying to keep it all in perspective. Thanks for checking in with the SJG.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ten Ways To Feel Older

1. Click "senior discount" when purchasing two movie tickets online.
2. Announce to hubby, "I bought us senior tickets."
3. Ignore his shaming logic when he says, "That's terrible. We're not seniors. We've got a few years left."
4. Then say, "I know, but wouldn't it be fun if they stop and ask us for I.D. to prove we're seniors?"
5. Pretend you don't hear him when he says, "What's fun about that?"
6. Go to 11 a.m. showing of "Gone Girl" on a Friday morning.
7. Announce to hubby, "Isn't this great? There's no way I'm going to fall asleep during the movie."
8. Bring a snack in case you get hungry.
9. Yell this at the elderly woman still on her cell phone when the trailers start: "I say, you there, in the front row! Didn't your mother teach you manners? It's very rude to talk before, during and after the feature presentation. Be a dear and take it outside."
10. Make sure you remind hubby to wake you up "during the naughty bits."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Make It Work!

"Channel your inner winner."
I'm trying, Tim. I'm trying.

It took a while, but eventually, I got hubby hooked on my favorite program. We don't always share the same viewing habits, as I may have mentioned.  He's upstairs watching "CNBC." I'm downstairs watching "The Today Show."  He's downstairs watching the Watch Channel. I'm upstairs watching "Revenge." But a few years back, I said to him, "Just watch this. Give it five minutes. If you hate it, I'll go upstairs and watch it." In this way, I enabled hubby.  Now he needs his weekly fix of "Project Runway," or he starts to shake, involuntarily.  He's got it bad, poor guy.  He walks around quoting Tim Gunn. "Make it work, bitches!" "Honey, he doesn't say 'bitches." I always have to correct him on that one, sometimes in public, yet. But not when he channels Heidi Klum. "As you know in fashion one day you're in, and the next, you're out."

And last night, he knew just what to say when I started weeping, uncontrollably. It was the Season Finale and when it comes to "Project Runway," those always make me howl like a baby with a wet diapy. "I wanted Amanda to win. She's so brave. She came back and look what happened. She made it to Fashion Week. Everyone deserves a second chance," I sobbed. "There, there," hubby said. "And... and... and.... her brother's in Maroon 5! He's so busy and he came to Fashion Week! Wasn't that nice?" "So nice." "Sean was good, but come on. Too much with the fringe.  It should've been Amanda." "But it wasn't." "Waaaaaaahhhhh."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ina In The House

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in the waiting room, minding my own retina, watching "The Barefoot Contessa" on The Food Network. Have you noticed she's never actually barefoot? What up with that? Just then, as opposed to later, it occurred to the SJG that the powers-that-be usually have the TV tuned to a certain inflammatory news network that drives me insane. "Oh, boy, they're keeping it neutral at the House of Retinal Issues," I said to no one. And just as I was settling in, watching Ina do something fabulous with flour, a coupla altacockers came in, loudly. One look at the Contessa and the husband went ballistic. Maybe he forgot he wasn't in his own living room, but a waiting room full of folks with Eye-Related Tsuris.

"Would you look at that!" he hollered. "They've got a cooking show on! No wonder Americans are so fat. They're always watching cooking shows." His wife, poor thing, turned borscht red and tried unsuccessfully to shush him. "It's nice to watch people cook," she whispered. "Cooking shows!" he yelled again.

Well, the SJG was outraged. Outraged, I tell ya. There were so many, many things I wanted to say to this opinionated fella. Such as, but not limited to, "How dare you! That's the Barefoot Contessa up there on the flatscreen, mister. She's Cooking Royalty. Plus, better to watch a cooking show than a bunch of nudnik commentators who wouldn't know a chanterelle from a shiitake. Good day, sir. I said good day."

Before I could openly emote in defense of Ina Garten, my retina was summoned into Exam Room 2, and inspected as gently as a rare and delicate white truffle. "Retina-wise, you're good to go," the eye doctor said. "See you in six months." "Not if I see you first," I said. "By the way, love the Food Network in the waiting room, instead of that other horribly divisive channel you usually have on." "The Food Network was on? That's a mistake. Heads are gonna roll. The nurses must've put that on during lunch and forgotten to switch it back. I'll make sure that doesn't happen again."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Don't Cry

... over spilled coffee unless it lands on any or all of the following:
a. You.
b. Your laptop.
c. Your Tempurapedic bed with the impossible to remove-zips around the entire mattress-cover.

By some miracle, the following survived:
a. My shaky grasp of reality.
b. My splattered-upon laptop (thanks to fast-acting hubby).
c. My title as Queen Klutzadora, 1958-present.

Gee, I guess I should pay more attention when I do stuff. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

All I Want

... for Hanukkah is this Heisenberg action figure. The mere existence of a toy meth dealer has stirred up quite a fuss:

Bryan's twitter response 

Of course, all of this just makes me wish there were a Short Jewish Gal kugel-making action figure. I bet the Florida Mom wouldn't have a problem with that. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Get Hip To This Timely Tip

Tim Hauser 

The sad news that Tim Hauser passed away sent me back to the first time future hubby and I heard the Manhattan Transfer. Let's just say we were still in high school. One listen to "Java Jive" and we were fans for life. We saw them perform at the Roxy on Sunset. We bought every album. We adored them on every harmonic level. So imagine how ferklemp I got when I learned that Tim Hauser was a dad at the preschool the eldest attended. After a school event, hubby and I spotted him walking to his car. In typical SJG fashion, I blurted out, "I love you! Your music, I mean." And he smiled, humbly and said thanks.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

For Me?

"For me?'

I'm not sure when he started it, I forgot to ask him, but based on this photo, taken when he still had hair, it was most likely in the blissful marital stage known as B.K. Before Kids. Photos. Home movies. My whole life, he told us to say, "For me?" As in, "You mean all this attention is for me? Bring it! I deserve it." "For me?" says delight and surprise and Ed McMahon at the door with big news: "Mazel tov, you've just won Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!" But we didn't need Ed McMahon at our door. We already had our grand prize. We had Ben Starr, a sweet, funny daddy who kept us laughing daily.

For you. Always. 

Happy birthday, Daddy. Wherever you are, I hope it's wonderful.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Small Town Withdrawal

Ladybird Diner, Lawrence

(Sherman Oaks) The blog must go on. A case of jet lag, an inexplicable urge to yell, "Go Royals!" and free-floating confusion jeopardized the Short Jewish Gal's ability to write her blog this morning.  There were reports that her aging pup named Dusty might step in and lend a paw, but then he heard about her love of Lucy the Spaniel from Lawrence, and refused to help. Then her concierge allergist, who lives two blocks away, stopped by for $250 an hour, and diagnosed her with a rare form of STW. "She's got Small Town Withdrawal," the doctor said. "A minute ago, she couldn't stop talking about the ease of finding a parking spot, the restaurants where you never wait more than five minutes, and that cute diner with the cheesy grits. To shut her up, I gave her a nice big shot of something wonderful and told her to stay away from pollen. She's fine now, I think, but with her, you never know. Just don't ask her about the artisan Oktoberfest beer she had the other night. She might go over the edge and never come back." After her doctor left, the SJG stood on her imaginary front perch, and babbled incoherently about blueberry pie.

Don't worry, I didn't eat the bacon.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lucky Charm

Dear SJG,
Hope you had fun in Kansas. You were certainly quite the good luck charm for our Royals!
See you next time,
Cathy's Hubs

Dear Hubs,
Some people just bring the juju wherever they go. I'm so happy I could help the Royals advance to the World Series for the first time in... uh... wait, it's coming to me: 29 years, bitches!
You're welcome,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The SJG In The Library With The Wi-Fi

Lawrence Public Library

It's been a while since the SJG has stepped foot in a library. When it comes to fact-finding, or a close approximation, I'm a digital diva, a Google gorger.  Lazy? How dare you. I'm hurt by that.  Aren't we judgy? Just calm down. On Tuesday, I changed my ways, mostly because Cathy Hamilton, my hostess with the mostess, my cohort in play-writing, said the Lawrence Public Library was the coolest, most ultra hip and modern place to hang out and work. "Prove it," I said. You know how I get when I've only had three cups of coffee. It takes till the fourth cup for me to behave in a semi-human fashion. Once inside the newly-renovated architectural wowzer, I became a believer. This particular library is a thing of beauty. I'm afraid this Lawrence library has spoiled me rotten, with its high-speed Wi-Fi, it's glass-encased study rooms, its sparkle-plenty environment. I'm inspired to finally build the SJG Library of Higher Kvetching. Fundraising begins the second I touch down on my home turf later today.
People who work in glass study rooms sparkle with brilliance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lucy, I'm Home

This is Lucy, my new dog. Isn't she cute? She follows me around my house in Lawrence, Kansas and -- what's that? Sorry, I can't hear you over the melodic wind chimes. This isn't my house? Oh, right, I live in Sherman Oaks. Good looking out for the SJG. And wait, did you just say Lucy isn't my dog? Lucy belongs to the Hamiltons? Oh, okay. I forgot. It's just that she's so fluffy and portable. She hops on the sofa next to me and -- what's that? Remember Dusty, the 12-year-old pup you think you gave birth to, but let's face it, that would've been a really trippy pregnancy? Okay, so, to review: This is Lucy, Cathy's dog. This isn't my house, but Cathy & Co. have made me feel so much at home, I got a little confused. It happens. Good thing I'm going back to my real home tomorrow, just when I've finally adjusted to the time change and can get farmisht all over again.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Play's The Thing

Nice people gathered round to read "It's All About The Hair" 

Things that were said about our play at the reading in Cathy's dining room: "Shakespearean in its depth!" "Broadway-ready!" "Can I play Hamlet?" "Where's the dance number?" "What happened to my solo?" "I laughed, I cried, I emoted." 

Things that were actually said during our play at the reading in Cathy's dining room: The painful butchering of various Yiddish words, including "L'chaim!" ("La chawm?") "kugel" (what's a kewgell?) and "Bubbie" (Boobie). 

Things that were actually said after our play reading: "Funny." "It worked." "Needs work." "It's commercial, and that's a good thing." "Where's the bathroom?" "You've hit the mother lode, ladies." "There's my ride." "Wine? Yes please." "Can I take this enchilada to go?" 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fresh Cream? Shut Up!

You get fresh cream here? Shut up!

Turns out, shlepping across an entire airport to catch a connecting flight to Kansas City isn't as much fun as I expected. And yet, it was highly aerobic. Silly me, I thought I'd have a little extra time to visit the gal's room and maybe buy a quick nosh. I was feeling so confident, I even texted Cathy, the original Boomer Girl, my plans. "I'm in Phoenix!" Insert all sorts of emoticons that express my glee: Happy face. Hearts. Kisses. Clapping Hands. "I'm going to get a snack." Then I saw the long-ass line getting ready to board. "No, I'm not." Insert all sorts of angry emoticons. Mean face. Thumbs down. A parade of WTF's symbols. I really need to get a handle on this temper. So into the line I went, along with my fellow travelers, and boarded the flight to Kansas City. And what a flight it was, full of the most interesting folks. A whole big group going to Boston to catch a cruise ship up the New England coast to watch the leaves change. "A cruise?" I asked again, thinking I heard wrong. A leaf-watching cruise? Sign me up. Now please, unsign me. That was a mistake. I'm not going on any cruise, leaf-watching or otherwise. Can I still get a refund? Well-bred lil bitch that I am, I wished them all a fabulous time without me.

Fast forward to my arrival in the home of the Kansas City Royals. Yes, they've made the play-offs for the first time since... forever. Very big deal in these parts. No sooner had Cathy and I arrived home, with bags full of barbecue from Arthur Bryant's, than I was strapped in and forced to watch almost an entire game. "Hey," I protested, "I just spent many hours strapped into an airplane seat. And now this?" No response. "Who knew sofas came with seat belts. I feel surprisingly secure. When does the unfasten the seat belt sign go on? Just give me a hint. I need to wee-wee. Three hours? Four? Baseball games are so freakin' long. Hello?"

Good thing the Royals won. I was rewarded with a trip to the local brewery and fresh cream for my coffee this morning. Things are looking up in Lawrence, Kansas. And the accommodations, aside front that oddly-equipped sofa, are top notch. Three bagels on the SJG Judgmental Scale. I think I'll stay a while. Unless I get booted for bad behavior. That's always a possibility.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Follow, Follow

Follow the red brick road. That's the plan. But I can't just get to KC by clicking my dainty heels together three times. That would be too easy. I've got to take two planes to get the SJG tush over there today. My heart may be in Sherman Oaks, but the first official reading of the play I wrote with the one, the only Cathy Hamilton, "It's All About The Hair," is going down in Cathy's living room in the charming college town of Lawrence. Or maybe in the dining room, depending on how many actor-types we can squeeze around the table.

Of course, there have been a few glitches to get to this off-off-off Broadway preliminary stage. The reading was supposed to be on Monday, but then the Royals made the play-offs for the first time in --(you don't expect me to know that, do you?) and well, the rest of its a blur. All I know is this: The SJG's about to get sucked into the royal madness. I may even become a crazed fan. Or I may catch up on a year's worth of sleep. Either way, Cathy's husband (aka The Hubs) is threatening to make me watch a lot of baseball while I'm there. We'll see about that, won't we? Go team!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Before Kristin, Amy and Tina...

... there was the brilliant



Thursday, October 9, 2014

SJG Travel Tips

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."
-- Confucius

"No matter where you go, there you are."
-- Buckaroo Bonzai

"No matter the airport, there will be a neck pillow for sale." -- The Short Jewish Gal

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Lot Like Goldilocks

Run, Goldie, run!

The SJG is always looking for the right one -- the right shoes that don't hurt my feet, the right jeans that don't make my badonkadonk stop traffic. In this way, I'm a lot like Goldilocks, looking for the right chair, the right bowl of porridge, the right -- oh, you get the picture. This doesn't mean I break into houses like that little fairytale thief. I don't just walk right in and help myself to whatever is available. That, my friends, would be wrong. But finding the right anything takes time. Some might say the fun is in the search. These are Zen-like people I tend to avoid. The SJG begs to differ with this meditative approach to life (maybe because I've never mastered it). Let's face it. The fun is in the finding, which doesn't happen enough, in my humble opinion. Sometimes I just don't find the right fill-in-the-blank. I search for the shoes, the flattering jeans, and I go home with bupkis. What's fun about that? In these moments of disappointment, I realize that once again, I must rejigger my expectations. Sometimes there's no right anything. And sometimes it's better to settle for what fits okay, more or less... to accept this version of me right now. These days, the SJG doesn't need three bears for a teachable moment. I have only to step into a fitting room and I'm up-to-speed on yet another life lesson.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

All About That Base...

... 'bout that base, 'bout that baseball 

Last night, I called downstairs: "How are the Dodgers doing?"
Up came hubby's less-than-glowing response: "They aren't making good decisions."
Whereupon I started laughing and went to console him.
"Why are you laughing?" he asked. I could tell he was a little wounded by my cruelty. But I meant no harm. Once again, I had a deeper thought rolling around the SJG keppy.
"Honey, you just summed up the entire universal dilemma in one sentence."
"I did?"
"Imagine a world where people made good decisions all the time. There'd be no wars, no conflict of any kind. There'd be peace on earth, good will toward men. It would be an on-going Christmas card out there."
"Maybe. But it would make sports pretty dull to watch."
"Some of us already find it super dull. What's the diff?"
"If everyone made good decisions, there'd be nothing to get worked up about, and no one to root for."
"And my life would be so much quieter."

Monday, October 6, 2014

You Look Familiar

I get that a lot

At the hamish book-signing party for my friends on Sunday, pre-reading, a nice woman said this to me: "You look so familiar." I hear this line a lot. I've got one of those punims, apparently, a punim that reminds people of their aunts, cousins, college roommates. And yet, I'm never any of those alleged people. I hate to disappoint, but I'm only me, not alas, the cousin you once visited that time you went to the place and then got back on the plane and came home. One time, someone came up to me and said, with absolute certainty, "I met your sister!" The shocking reveal that I don't have a sister didn't go over too well. "Of course you do." "Nah-huh." "You have to. She looked just like you." "Sorry." When in doubt, apologize, even though I'm not sorry I don't have a sister. Sometimes, being the only girl in the family comes with extra perks. Sometimes.

So yesterday, at the cozy book-signing for "Expecting," by Ann Lewis Hamilton (what, you didn't think I'd mention you in my blog?) and "Hollywood Digs," by Ken LaZebnik, when the nice lady told me I looked so familiar, I didn't have the energy to pursue it for fear of disappointing her. And I didn't want to say, "Listen, I've never met you in my life." That would've been rude. So instead, I rolled out my standard response: "You've probably seen me at Gelson's." I didn't specify which one. There are Gelson's everywhere. I figured Gelson's was a safe bet. Before she could ponder this possibility, the reading began.

Ken read from "Hollywood Digs." Ann read from "Expecting." And somewhere in the middle of this literary nirvana, it hit me. I remembered that indeed, the nice lady and I did know each other. The connection popped into the SJG Brain like a lost kernel of Orville Redenbacher (Butter Flavor). I wanted to leap across the room and tell her, but I thought this might not go over well with Ken and Ann. So I waited till they were done (I wasn't raised in a barn in Westwood), and then leaped across the room.

"Guess what? I know where we met."
"You do?"
"I'm 100 percent positive."
"Where did we meet? Gelson's?"
"Whole Foods?"
"Trader Joe's?"
"No, we didn't meet at a market. We met in Physical Therapy."
"At --"  insert mumbled name of place I didn't go to for P.T.
"No, at -- " insert mumbled name of place I did go to for P.T., about 12 years ago.
"Oh my God, that's right."
"We were next to each other, kvetching about our backs."
"You'd had the accident."
"Right, and you had the sciatica."
"Everything good now?"
"More or less. You?"
"Fine, for the most part."
"Happy New Year."
"You too."
"You too."

Case solved.  Next?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Good Seats

Not to be confused with these seats.

It all comes down to the seats, am I right? Wherever you go in life, you hope for a good seat. Sadly, it doesn't always work out. Sometimes, you get a terrible seat that hurts your back. You can't see or hear anything. You sit there in your crap seat, bemoaning your existence, wondering why all the people in front of you managed to get the good seats.

There are two, and only two reasons, why people get the good seats. Wait, I just thought of another one. There are three reasons why people get the good seats in life:

1. They got there early. Case in point: temple. Get there early, a good 30 minutes before the service starts, and you get to sit close to the bima and the rabbi and the choir, where all the action is, and aren't you a happy Jew? In my temple, the good seats aren't just about the view. They're about the comfort level. The good seats are the newer, reupholstered seats with the extra padding for your tush. You sit down and go, "Wowza, it pays to get here early and get the good seats." Yesterday, by some miracle of timing and planetary alignment, I arrived at shul early with substitute family members Candy, Joe and Colin, who, unlike my own family, actually go to temple with me every year. Also arriving early, my temple hubby Phil, who, unlike my own hubby, likes to go to temple with me. I'm a lucky Jew to be in temple with these mensches. Candy and I spent half the service in a State of Awe. "We got the good seats!" "I know, right?"

2.  Someone saved them a good seat, or at my temple, an entire row. "Sorry, this row's taken." "Sorry, this section is saved." Just to lay it on thick, they often use props to save seats. A shawl stretched across four seats. A tallis draped around two seats. A handbag, a yarmulke, a cell phone (on vibrate) on three seats, to signal "Taken," like a Liam Neeson movie, but only the seats have been kidnapped.

3. They paid extra for a good seat. Paying extra is the universal way to guarantee the good seats just about anywhere. A plane, a play, a concert, a ballgame. You want luxury? You want the aisle? You want the front row? You want the center? You want first class treatment? You have to pay, bitches. You. Have. To. Pay.

But not always. Sometimes, like yesterday, you don't have to pay to get the good seats. But a nice donation is always welcome.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Looks For Fall


The dismissive look

The "oh snap, you just got dissed" look

The "mazel tov, you just got 
dismissed from jury duty" look

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Suspense Is Killing Me

Suspense. I don't like it much. I'm going to put it right out there. Not a big fan. Unless, of course, I'm watching something fabulous. Give me a good cliffhanger and I'm a happy SJG. Give me a crappy cliffhanger and I'm ready to throw a tomato at the screen, an act that hubby discourages. He's still trying to get the seeds off the flatscreen after last week's "Under the Dome" finale. It was so dumb, I just had to hurl something. It was almost as dumb as "Extant's" season finale. Why do I keep watching dumb shows with dumb cliffhangers? Perhaps this is a question for my rabbi. Perhaps I'll pose it on Friday night. "Excuse me, Rabbi, sorry to interrupt on Kol Nidre, but --" This is when the ushers will usher me out the door. So better I should wait. With my luck, I'll be running late on Friday, anyway, thanks to... oh God, it pains me to even say it... Jury Duty. A brief summary of my pre-JD week. Every day, a few minutes after 5, I get a knot in my tummy the size of...

... a hot pretzel. I turn to a higher power to see me through. "Papa, can you hear me? A little divine intervention, please. Remember the scary three-week gang trial, Papa? The police escort to the car? We don't want me to have to go through that again, do we?" I sit at my computer, I type in the info on my juror badge -- this badge matches nothing in my closet, by the way -- and the suspense mounts. Monday and Tuesday, my plea works, nicely.

Papa, can you hear me?

Wednesday, not so much. Here's the personalized message I receive on my JD portal: "Oh, come on. You didn't think we'd let you off the hook all week, did you? Show up on Thursday at 9:30 and try to behave yourself. And don't wear the T-shirt that says, 'We shouldn't mix in!' like the last time you were picked for jury duty. We let you off with a warning, but this time, SJG, we mean business."

So today, in I go. I know, I know, it could be worse. Much, much worse. I could be the one on trial for my crap attitude and overall lack of civic enthusiasm.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sidewalk Jewish Geography

Put two gals together, neighbors meeting for the first time - thanks to their labs sniffing each other's butts -- and you've got yourself a game of Sidewalk Jewish Geography:
"Your daughters went to Ranch Dressing Drive? My sons went to Ranch Dressing Drive."
"How old are your sons?"
"Twenty-two and 26."
"Mine are 22 and 28."
"I bet the 22 year olds are friends on Facebook."
"Does your  youngest know Shlomo Weinberg?"
"Does he know him? Shlomo is his best friend since pre-school."
"Get out of here. Which pre-school?"
"Temple Beth Kreplach."
"Both my daughters were bat mitvahed at Beth Kreplach."
"Both my sons were bar mitvahed there, too."
"So you must know Amy Plotkin?"
"I haven't seen her since last Rosh Hashanah."
"She's my second cousin."
"Nice lady. How is she?"
"She finally divorced that idiot she was married to."
"She's better off without him."
"If you know Amy, you probably know Susan B. Seltzer."
"I just ran into her at Gelson's. She's claiming whiplash."
"That explains why she wore the neck brace to the Mahjong Tournament."
"I didn't think my cart was going that fast."
"She tends to overreact."
"Who doesn't?"
"Medication helps."
"So much! Oh, by any chance, did your youngest go to high school with Brian Schmendelbaum?"
"Of course. They dated for two weeks."
"So you heard what happened to him?"
"No, what?"
"He converted."
"He's no longer Jewish?"
"He's no longer a Bruin. He's in grad school at USC. He's a Trojan."
"It happens. I'm in a mixed marriage, myself. I'm a Bruin. My husband's a Trojan."
"What happens when they play each other?"
"I leave town."
"Smart. You want a ride to services Friday night?"
"No, thanks. We let our membership lapse at Beth Kreplach, after the girls got confirmed."
"Listen, I'm the only one in my family who still goes. I've got to atone for everyone. It's a lot of pressure."
"Hey, by any chance are you related to the Minskies?"
"The Minskies, no.  I'm related to fewer and fewer people."
"What about your dog?"
"He's like a son to me."
"He looks a lot like Dexter, the Minskie's lab. I thought maybe they were from the same litter."
"Dusty's from the Bernstein litter, 12 years ago."
"Get out of here. Barkley's from the Bernstein litter, five years ago."
"So Dusty and Barkley are cousins. How crazy is that?"
"Well, I've got a kugel in the oven. Stop by some time. I live one street over, on SJG Lane."
"Maybe I will."
"Happy New Year, neighbor."
"To you, too."