Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nice Talking To You

"Litaface, it's Daddy."
"Daddy Who?"
"Daddy, the man who almost delivered you in the car, but the doctors beat me to it."
"Oh, that Daddy. It's wonderful to hear your voice. I miss you so much, it hurts. How goes it up there?"
"It's not so much an 'up' there. It's more of a 'there, there.'"
"So, how is it there, there?"
"Fine. What's there to complain about? The worst has already happened."
"I see your point. So, what do you do all day?"
"There is no day. There is no night. It's endless."
"Wow. That's a lot of time to fill, Daddy. How do you keep busy?"
"Oh, you know. Read the New Yorker. Nap. In 92 years, I never had a good night's sleep. I'm still a little tired."
"So you read and nap. Sounds fun. Anything else?"
"Eat. The food at this hotel is five-star. The bagels are lighter than air, not to mention the matzoh balls. Plus, I can nosh on anything I want and never gain a pound."
"I've waited my whole life for this."
"I know! How's Mom?"
"Terrific. She's getting her hair done."
"Grandma and Grandpa?"
"They're playing Gin."
"Kisses to everyone."
"Kisses back. How are you, sweetie?"
"Good... I mean, considering."
"Considering what?"
"They cancelled 'Revenge.'"

Don't count on it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Brief History of Dance

Simma down, you. It's International Dance Day. So please don't make a citizen's arrest when you see the SJG in the midst of my Hot! Hot! Hora! in the produce section of Gelson's. It's just how I roll, or should I say, grapevine, on this celebratory day I didn't know existed until Social Media informed me it's been around while. Not as long as the SJG's been around. But International Dance Day is a thing. So it seems fitting to regale you with my brief dance history, whether you're interested or not. At eight, I wanted to be a ballerina. But I didn't have the long legs. Plus, all that spinning made me dizzy. Adios ballet. As a pre-teen, praise Moses, I found Modern Dance.

Or Modern Dance found me. Either way, I dug it, sincerely. The fact that I got to go barefoot, too, made me so happy. I kept dancing in a thoroughly modern way all through college. One time, I found myself dancing all over UCLA like a lunatic. Exhibitionist? How dare you. I kept my leotard on. In emerging adulthood, a prolonged phase I'm not quite done with, I found jazz. Or jazz found me. And it wouldn't let me go. I kept doing it. I'm still doing it.

It's Fosse! Fosse! Fosse! for the SJG. So Happy International Dance Day, bitches. Get out there and move. Or stay home and dance like nobody's watching. Even though, chances are, they are watching and they're about to call the authorities. Keep dancing, anyway. Who gives an eff? I'll be right there with you, flashing the jazz hands and shaking the booty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mystery of the Universe Solved

The Original Sock Thief
For centuries, scientists and philosophers have pondered the age-old question: "Where do all the missing socks go?" Theories abound, drawing from a smorgasbord of quantum physics, behaviorial science, numerology, the I-Ching, and the Maytag Owner's Manual, circa 1969.  Despite all the brainpower, no one has yet to explain why it is that socks, much like their human counterparts, uncouple at alarming rates, only to be sucked into black holes, never to be seen, much less, worn again. But now, thanks to a generous endowment from Ross Dress for Less, a short Jewish gal from Sherman Oaks believes she has found the instigator of this worldwide shortage.  Over coffee in her palatial Mediterrean estate, the woman admitted that the guilty party resided at close range.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Man Who Straightened My Teeth

I don't know about you, because frankly, you haven't stopped by in a while, despite the free food and alcohol, but I read the obituaries. Not just some of the time, all the time. As in daily. I read the Obits for many reasons. I find them interesting and sad and illuminating. Each one is a tiny gem, a short short story of a treasured life. Sometimes I stumble upon a name of someone I know. Yesterday was one of those days. The man in charge of my teeth for more years than I can recall passed away. My memory is a bit sketchy on just how many years I went to the orthodontist we called Dr. Alfred T. as in "Tushy" Baum, but it certainly included all of junior high and a good portion of high school. I had braces forever and wore headgear at night, then I got a permanent retainer on the bottom and then... oh you get the idea. I didn't get kissed much in those years.

But that's okay, I've made up for it. In those carefree days, before helicopter parenting came to be, kids navigated a safer world on their own. I walked to school by myself. I took the bus by myself. I shlepped to Westwood to see Dr. Alfred T. as in "Tushy" Baum by myself. I shlepped home by myself. It's exhausting to think about now. I spent the best years of my young life in that man's office. But I'm not bitter for the years of dental captivity. He was a nice man who straightened my teeth and always had Mad Magazine in his waiting room. My brother John, who also spent many, many years in the same office, on the other hand, feels not one iota of sentiment regarding the kindly orthodontist. He tells a shocking Shakespearean tale of lost retainers and the wrath of Dr. Alfred T. as in "Tushy" Baum. And yet, he never would've dredged up these dark dental memories had I not read the Obits and told him about the orthodontist's demise. So R.I.P. Dr. Alfred T. Baum. And thanks for all the sugar free gum.

Katy Perry?!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Cinderella?

Answer: You put on your best glass slippers, assuming your old lady inserts can fit in there, too, otherwise, you wear comfy shoes, and you go see your favorite show of all time, the Rogers and Hammerstein version you watched as a little SJG on TV every year, starring Leslie Ann Warren and Stuart Damon...

Only this one has "The Nanny's" Fran Drescher in it, and the story is tinkered with, and some of the songs are new, but you can deal with that, can't you? Of course. So you set your troubles aside, and you go with your brother John. You go and you have a great time, because how could you not, and then you come home singing, "Ten Minutes Ago I Saw You," over and over, till first hubby and youngest son threaten to make you watch a big, noisy sporting event if you don't stop singing. So you shut up and hum "Ten Minutes Ago I Saw You" in your head.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bring A Nice Coffee Cake

"I'm not sure I deserve this kindness from you."

What a rough week it's been for the SJG. First, I lost one of the biggest bitches on TV, Victoria Grayson of "Revenge." Spoiler Alert: She blew herself up last Sunday night... in her favorite chair... in the home she used to own but lost to her enemy... Amanda/Emily. This was one storyline the Revengers didn't project from here to the moon and back. They gave us no hints, no foreshadowing. In other words, it was a shocker, my friends. A shocker! Feel free to weep on my behalf. I'm not over it. What, you thought I spent my time over on PBS watching highbrow British telly? Puleeze. That was so "Downton Abbey" ago. I watched two minutes of "Wolf Hall" before my internal snooze button went off. 

McDreamy is McDeady!?

As if Victoria's explosive demise wasn't enough drama for one week, on Thursday night, uh, spoiler alert, Dr. Derek Shepherd bought it, big time, on "Grey's Anatomy." And he still had time left on his contract! What sort of cruel trick is that? Usually, the actor demands more gelt and they get rid of him. But in this case, the actor's demands were met. Unless.... the rumors of McDiva are true, and Shonda just got so fed up with him and his handsome ego, that first she sent him off to Washington, D.C., to think about his bad behavior, and then brought him back as a tease, and then sent him off for good to the Chapel of the Ungrateful TV Stars, a must-see next time you're touring Hollywood. Either way, true or not true, who gives an eff. I'm over here in the S.O., sobbing. 

So come. Sit shiva with the SJG. Help me mourn these epic TV losses and move on with my life. Bring a nice coffee cake. If you can't make it, send a platter. Join me in my grief. If I can't share it with you, what's the point?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shmutz Happens

I tried to shout it out. It didn't hear me.

"You have spots on your shirt."
"I know. This is one of my shlepadick shirts. Once I get shmutz on them, they land in the shlepadick pile."
"They must get there pretty fast."
"Thank you."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dream Interruption

"An interrupted dream is like a kick in the keppy." - SJG

This idea came to me in the middle of the night and I thought it was genius. This idea will make the SJG rich, rich, rich. I could hear Dan Aykroyd pitching it on SNL.  "New, from Ronco..." In the harsh morning light, however, I see that implementing this idea may be a little difficult.  This idea may require tiny electrodes embedded in my keppy. This idea may require backing from a giant Japanese electronics company.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Call Center From Another Dimension

"Hello. I am 'David.' That's D as in Dog. A as in Apple. V as in Victory. I as in... May I get back to you on that?"
"D as in Dog. How may I help you today?'
"My dryer isn't working."
"Your dryer isn't working. I see. What is your name?"
"I have many names, but why don't you call me SJG?"
"I will call you that."
"How do I spell that?"
"S as in Short. J as in Jewish. G as in Gal."
"I will call you Miss Short Jewish Gal."
"Tell me about your dryer, Miss Short Jewish Gal."
"It isn't working."
"Have you tried to unplug it, wait 10 seconds, and plug it in again?"
"Yes, David. My husband told me to do that. It didn't help."
"Have you checked the vent for lint, Miss Short Jewish Gal?"
"I sure have, David. It's lint-free."
"I do not understand."
"There is no lint in the vent."
"So you believe your dryer isn't working?"
"I believe that strongly."
"Is it getting hot?"
"Is it getting warm?"
"Maybe a little, not enough to dry my wet clothes."
'I see."
"Do you, David? Do you really?"
"Yes, I do, Miss Short Jewish Gal."
"Prove it."
"I will prove it to you. I will send someone."
"Can you be more specific, David?"
"Tomorrow between 8 a.m. and midnight."
"That's a long time to wait, David."
"Do you want your dryer fixed or not, Miss Short Jewish Gal?"
"Very much."
"Then you will wait till the repairman shows up at your door. What kind is it?"
"What kind of door?"
"What kind of domicile? An apartment? A recreational vehicle? A shack?"
"I live in a shack."
"Are there stairs?"
"Yes. Ten flights."
"Okay. I will send someone to your shack, Miss Short Jewish Gal. Thank you for calling Maytag. It has been my pleasure to assist you today."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Drought Shame In Sherman Oaks

Dear SJG,
Is it wrong to drought shame myself for using too much H2-Oh when I self-water? I do like to luxuriate in the bath, and yet I feel bad later.
Agua Waster

Dear Waster,
Drought shaming can be a helpful tool in your journey toward conservation, especially on the eve of Earth Day. I hereby sentence you to call the DWP and be put on hold for two hours. If that isn't punishment enough, you may only water yourself two times a week till the drought ends.
You're Welcome,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Gimme A Ticket For An Aeroplane

I had a hard time getting this shot. 

The SJG and the boys soaking up a little culture:
Keith Haring Sculpture, De Young Museum

 Serenity Now at Japanese Garden,
Golden Gate Park

Koi Sighting

Chasing the blues away at Biscuits & Blues:
Castro Coleman, aka Mr. Sipp, The Mississippi Blues Child

Quin-why did I order this thing? 
Answer: Penance for over-eating 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I Won't Decorate, Don't Ask Me

Overheard at the swanky San Francisco Hotel:
Bratty 20-something son in sport coat: "I don't want you to come out here to decorate my place."
Wounded Mother: "But I just want to help you unpack boxes. I won't decorate."
Bratty Son: "I don't want your help."
Wounded Mother: "Fine, you won't get it."
Oblivious Father: "I'll have another Scotch. "

The SJG version would be so different:
Enabling SJG: "Sit and relax, my love. I'll unpack, I'll put away."
Adoring Son: "Will you decorate too?"
Enabling Mother: "Like you even have to ask."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

No Blog Today

No blog today
The SJG's away
The blog is briefly gone
I'm hanging with my spawn

No blog today
The SJG's away
So people reading me
Will have to wait and see

No blog today
The SJG's away
The sons just want to play
Make fart sounds through the day

No blog today
The SJG's away
We flew here yesterday
And here my heart will stay

Friday, April 17, 2015

I Left My Son...


I left my son in San Francisco... my eldest son, that is. There are worst places to leave a son, like the side of the road, with a hug and a "good luck out there, you'll need it." That's not the SJG way. I'm a  Certified Enabler from way back. Next time you stop by, I'll show you my certificate. It's from the American Society of Shrinks Who've Treated The SJG. It's embossed and everything! So if I want to see him, an urge that only comes over me every few minutes, I must away to San Francisco. Away, away. Unless I stay, stay, and wait for him to visit me and the other peeps in my house. That's right, my house. It's their house, too, but for the purposes of this internationally-acclaimed blog, it is my house and they share it with me. Where were we? Oh, yes. To visit, he needs a reason. Or, as the French say, a raison. Par exemple, which, along with raison, is about all the college French the SJG can recall on short notice -- stop pressuring me, would ya? -- the wedding of a friend, for his friends are getting married now, or the birthday of a friend, for his friends keep getting older, despite their best efforts to stay 18. This weekend, he has summoned us. His girlfriend is away, and he is lonely. Most importantly, he misses me and the other two (hubby and his brother, the soon-to-be college graduate), on a deep level. Works for me. In my parenting travels, I've learned so much. What it comes down to is this: When they ask you to come, you go.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Princess Is Awake

Sometimes the oddest things pop into the mind of the SJG, right when I'm getting ready to tell you something else. First, the big news: Looks like bookies and the British media are super confident, based on nothing but a hunch, that Kate and Wills are going to have a baby girl this time around, and even more confident that the royal couple, coached on all things Jewish by, who else, the SJG, are planning to name the little princess after me.

That's right. Finally, somewhere in the universe, there will be an official Princess Carol. Has there ever been a Princess Carol anywhere, other than my own childhood home? Princess Caroline, yes. Princess Carol? Doubtful.

Carole Middleton

Wait, what? Kate's mom is named Carole? Oh, that's good to know. So if they're going to name the baby after anyone, it's probably Carole with an "e" not Carol without an "e"? Hmm, I see your point, but I choose to ignore the sheer logic of it. I prefer to remain delusional, my go-to state of mind, but thanks for the tidbit, and that other thing you mentioned, that you read they're leaning toward Alice. I guess I'm okay with that. I happen to know a feisty Short Jewish Gal from Kansas named Alice. Alice is a nice Jewish name. Turns out, Jews are everywhere, did you know that?

Back to what popped into my brain. It's so freaking adorbs, I had to share it with you, whether you care or not, but odds are you do care, maybe you care too much, otherwise you would've stopped reading this blog and returned to your normal activities. Whatever those are, by the way, please share them with me in the comments section. I love to get comments. Please comment. Tell me what makes you so normal.

Either way, all this princess talk reminded me of a sweet song my sweet daddy used to sing to me. He made it up, of course: "The princess is awake, she's going to bake a cake."

Yep, that's the whole song, the one I've heard my whole life. Granted, it's a short song, but a winner, in my opinion. The fact that I haven't baked a cake since... forever is beside the point. Try to focus, you. When it's your turn to share, I'll let you know. Okay, now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don't Let Worry Kill You

Do I look worried to you?

And now for something completely silly, actual boo-boos from synagogue bulletins.

1. Don't let worry kill you. Let your synagogue help. Join us for our Oneg after services. Prayer and medication to follow. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our congregation.

2. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

3. We are pleased to announce the birth of David Weiss, the sin of Rabbi and Mrs. Abe Weiss.

4. A bean supper will be held Wednesday evening in the community center. Music will follow.

5. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the JCC. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

6. Rabbi is on vacation. Massages can be given to his secretary.

7. Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Rob, who are preparing for the girth of their first child.

8. We are taking up a collection to defray the cost of the new carpet in the sanctuary. All those wishing to do something on the carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper.

9. If you enjoy sinning, the choir is looking for you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Commercial Breakdown

I think she's whistling "Call Powell Electric"

The snappy little song at the end of a certain commercial is driving me insane. The snappy little song is my ultimate ear worm. Yesterday during the local news, the snappy little song played approximately 18 times. And guess who sang along every time? That would be me. Just ask my people. I sang, "Call Powell Electric" while cooking dinner. I sang, "We'll fix it in a flash," over and over. In just under an hour, I practically turned that snappy little song into a Broadway musical. I sang it a la Ethel Merman. I did a Barbra Streisand take. I even took it to temple. "Baruch atah Adonai elohanynu ... Call Powell Electric! melech ha' olam." The snappy little song has played at least four times since I started today's blog.  I need help, my friends. A lot of help. I'm having a commercial breakdown. Could someone please call Powell Electric and fix me in a flash?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Oy oy oy
Sleep sleepy sleep sleep sleep
Coma, coma, sleep sleepy sleep sleep sleep
Waking up is hard to do

Don't take my sleep away from me
Don't you leave this Jew in misery
If you do then I'll be blue
Cause waking up is hard to do

Remember when I slept so tight
And I slept well all through the night
Think of all that I've been through
And waking up is hard to do

They say that waking up is hard to do
Now I know
I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of waking up I wish that I was dozing off again

I beg of you don't make me rise
My love of sleep is no surprise
Come on baby, let sleep this Jew
Cause waking up is hard to do

(apologies to Neil Sedaka)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hoopless In Sherman Oaks

Turns out, the lifespan of the lifetime in-ground basketball system isn't quite as enduring as we'd hoped. A mere teenager, the metal b-ball pole is dangerously corroded, filled with water, and according to first hubby, might fall down any second and smash someone's keppy in two. Ouchy.

So on Saturday, first hubby made an executive decision. "It's coming down," he told the boys. "Say your goodbyes." All the eldest could muster, via text, was a mournful "Noooooooooooo!" The youngest, however, waxed nostalgic about the many hours he'd spent, playing basketball on the driveway. Every day after school, he'd be out there, making free throws and three-pointers, all while announcing an entire NBA game at the top of his lungs. Had it not been for the Great Sewer Line Debacle of 2007, which forced us to rip up the driveway and resurface with pavers that made dribbling a challenge, God only knows what sort of lucrative NBA career the youngest might've enjoyed. But post-pavers, he quit playing ball on the driveway and never looked back. Of course, he's still a bit weepy about the demise of the lifetime in-ground system. You'd be weepy, too, I bet, if your father destroyed all your wonderful memories just because of a little corrosion and the possibility of head injury. Me? I'm already over it. I'm not too sentimental about inanimate objects. It's the animate ones that get me.

Hoopless in the S.O. This thing's getting real. Next up: power tools.

All that remains. Sniff, sniff. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

What The World Needs Now

... is silliness.

Dear SJG,
Have you always been this silly or did you work at it?
Too Serious

Dear Serious,
I'm one of the lucky ones. I was born silly. Who pops out on the ramp of the hospital? That's just a silly way to arrive on the planet. I'm a firm believer that what the world needs now is more silliness. If you're not naturally silly, don't worry, there are ways to get there. For starters, surround yourself with silly people. How to identify silly people? It's pretty easy. Silly people like to laugh at dumb things. Silly people like to make weird faces and noises that mimic bodily functions. Silly people often dress silly. They wear silly clothes and hats and shoes. But it's not just the wardrobe that makes you silly. It's the attitude. It also helps to think silly thoughts. And a daily dose of "Monty Python" will up your silliness quotient, significantly. Soon you'll be walking silly and talking silly and before you know it, people will start saying, "Crikey! She used to take herself so seriously. Not anymore. Now she's the silliest person I know. I wonder what she's taking and how do I get some?"
You're welcome,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sleep Talkin'

Hubby:  "That's so funny!"
Me:  "Wha--?"
Hubby:  "Hfuhruhurr."
Early morning:
Me:  "Guess what you said last night?"
Hubby: "What?"
Me:  "That's so funny!"
Hubby:  "I did?"
Me:  "Yeah.  You woke me up."
Hubby:  "Sorry."
Me:  "I'm dying to know what was so funny."
Hubby:  "I can't remember."
Me:  "Try.  I could use a good laugh."
Hubby:  "A rabbi, a priest and a Short Jewish Gal walk into a bar..."
Me:  "That's funny!"

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Delete, Delete

It used to be fun to get mail. There was the promise of an actual hand-written letter, maybe a post card from some exotic locale. The last time I received an actual hand-written letter or post card was... I have no idea. I think I still had braces. Not so fun getting mail anymore. I open the mail box, only to find bills and catalogues and, God willing, nothing that says Jury Duty.

It used to be fun to get email. BF (before Facebook), there was the promise of communication with long-lost friends. BT (before texting), there was the promise of communication with an estranged relative. These days, my early morning email is full of highly questionable growth opportunities, financial and otherwise. Schlong Enlargement? Really? Delete. Delete.

It used to be fun to answer the phone. There was the promise of an agent calling to say, "Someone actually wants to hire you. I know! I'm as surprised as you!" These days, I thank God for caller i.d. I can see who's calling, and usually, it's someone I don't know trying to guilt me into giving money. This is a variety of guilt I don't need. So please, all you greedy anonymous emailers and cold callers, leave the SJG alone. Don't ask me for anything, and I won't give you anything, not even a credit card, and that way, no one gets disappointed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


"Excellent day for licking the patio." 
- The Eccentric Elderly Pup

"I hope I'm becoming more eccentric. 
More room in the brain." 
- Tom Waits

"I'm from the Delbert Home for the Unusual." 
- Jonathan Winters

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Don't Cry

"Don't cry, SJG. Don't cry."
"I wanted it to be over. I wanted it to be over so badly."
"It is over, SJG. Duke won."
"So that's it? No more March Madness?"
"Not till next year, SJG. Not till next year."

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happiness Is...

... leftover Passover food.

Well, what's an SJG to do? It happened again. The Easter Bunny didn't show. Neither did Elijah. The basket remained bereft of chocolate eggs. The cup of Passover wine runneth over.  Good thing there's plenty of leftovers to keep me happy. Except wait... hang on a sec there, you. What's going on here? Why are the the highly-coveted chocolate macs boxed up and ready to go elsewhere? "I'm taking them to work," hubby revealed this morning. "Excuse me?" "They're going to work with me." "Why, hubby? Why? You know what I went through to procure those on the black market! Why must you deny me?" "You know what will happen if the macaroons stay here." "What?" "We'll eat them." "And that's bad because --?" "Because last night we polished off the cheese cake with the matzoh crust." "It was so good." "I know.  And if I don't get these out of the house, we'll eat them tonight." "So you're doing this for our own good?" "Yes." "Protecting us from caloric indulgence?" "Uh-huh." "Helping us stay healthy?" "Yep." "Nice hubby. Just leave me one macaroon." "No." "Just one?" "Negatory." "How about half?" "Sorry." "A quarter?" "See you tonight." "Mean hubby." "Bye."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Reviews Are In

Hubby's aunt had this to say about the SJG's brisket: "I've been alive 89 years. For 89 years, I've never liked brisket. Not only do I not like brisket, I hate brisket. Eighty-nine years, I've never liked brisket. Until tonight. Your brisket is the best I've ever eaten. What did you do differently?" "Nothing I haven't done before." "No, you did something different." "I just did the wine and the onion soup mix and -- " "You did some kind of magic." "You've had my brisket before." "I'm 89 and I've never tasted brisket like this." "I'm glad you liked it." "Not liked. Loved." "You crack me up." "Why?" "You just do."

Scotty, John, Dan and Char about to sample the magic of the brisket. They loved it, too. My work here is done. See you next Pesach.