Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fancy That

Someone I know is going to London. Someone I admire. Someone I - what's that? Oh, right. That someone is me. I'm so glad you pointed that out. Other someones are going, too. I'm letting hubby join me. I'm generous that way. Then there's the much-missed someone. The wandering, haggis-eating youngest Jew, gone six weeks, but who's counting, currently roaming the Lake District, behaving like a Certified Nature Boy. He'll meet us at the hotel, whereupon I shall smother him with ridiculous amounts of love and affection as only a mother can. Now then, if you're doing your math properly, you'll notice we're up to three someones. But oh, oh, oh, wait, there are more someones I'm related to, genetically and affectionately, on the London horizon. Brother John will be there. Cousin Andy and his lovely wife Allison will be there. Well, spank my arse and call me Ye Olde SJG, that's three more someones to keep track of and lavish affection on, lavishly.  By now you're asking yourself, coinky-dinky? Or well-planned family confab that took years to arrange? Total freakin' coinky! And yet, one question remains. What if I hit my affection limit at four someones? What if I run out of petrol, symbolically speaking? Oh pleez. Fat chance. I'm royally endowed with extreme, endless fondness for the afore-mentioned peeps. I'll do just fine. Unless I lose them all in a crowd. Whereupon I will panic and need medical attention. Thus ends Tuesday's blog. I still need to pack.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Check Please!

In my youth, a few months back, I had many fabulous part-time jobs. There was my very brief stint as a salesgirl. I quit when they made me clean the toilets. It's important to take a stand. I worked at a stationery store. I learned a lot about envelopes. I mean, a lot. There are many kinds. Who knew? I did. It was a long summer. There was a wonderful, prolonged stint, on and off, at a bookstore in Westwood. Remember bookstores? That's were they used to sell books. A lot of books. Gee, I loved that job most of all. Except the gift-wrapping at Christmas part. I didn't love that so much. But I can still wrap a book like nobody's business. And yet, the one part-time job I never attempted, and I think the world is a better place because of it, was waitressing. The universe took a vote and decided the SJG wasn't waitress material. A spiller and a dropper since birth, I didn't think these were good qualities in a waitress. So I never went there. And for that, and so much more, you're welcome. Thus ends my Monday morning blog. Check please!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Meanwhile In Scotland

"I'm off to find haggis." This from the youngest, currently in Edinburgh, enjoying the Scotch.

"What is it, exactly?" I asked, not sure I wanted to know.

"Sheep's heart, liver, lungs and stomach." "Gross," was all I could muster. A few hours later, an update: "It tasted really good, like chopped liver." "Tell Grandma. Maybe she'll whip up a batch when you get home." "It's banned in the U.S." "You're learning so much on this trip." "I really am."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

You Can Dance If You Want To

A conversation with my colorist on Friday:
"What a historic day!"
"Did you ever think you'd live to see this?"
"It's a big eff'n deal."
"Are you guys going to get married?"
"We're non-conformists."
"We don't need a ceremony."
"But I want to dance at your wedding."
"Come over. You can dance in the living room."

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Honor Is All Mine

It's true. Any time something extraordinary happens to a Jew, the worldwide community kvells. This is especially true in my adopted hometown of Sherman Oaks, where the following story made headlines yesterday: "She's done it again, bitches. The Short Jewish Gal has been named The Kvetchiest Woman Alive for the second time by Oy! Magazine." I know, I know. The honor took me by surprise, too. The first time it happened, I expected it. But the second time? It feels like bragging. Plus, I've already carried the mantle of Kvetchiest Woman Alive for an entire year. And now, I have to do it again? I'm exhausted just thinking about it. The tight gowns, the stilettos, the public appearances and ribbon cuttings that go along with the title? I'm not sure I have it in me. Can't they choose somebody else for a change? I can't be the only kvetch out there. Not that I'm ungrateful. It's nice to get recognized for something. Even this. So I'd like to thank Oy! for giving me a shout-out, yet again, and for embracing my love of complaining. It's a lifestyle. It's a choice. It's the SJG way.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good Night, Sleep Tight

To review, the youngest Jew has been traveling in Europe for the past month, and the SJG has been pretending not to worry too much. That, in itself, is hilarious. But the health updates from abroad haven't helped. First, the ears wouldn't pop, then the bad cold, then the chipped tooth, then the heat rash. And now, this, from Edinburgh: "I have a bunch of red dots on my arms." Followed by some lovely photos. Dr. SJG went into Google overdrive, and came up with the unhappy diagnosis. Bed bug bites, courtesy of the many hostels he's stayed in. Yes, I'm that neurotic good. "Go to the chemist/pharmacy, sweetie - it's called Boots. They'll give you something for it." I left out, "God willing." But I was thinking it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tea With The Queen

Dearest Your Majesty,
In under a fortnight, I shall arrive on your royal turf. What say I pop round for a spot of tea? Or perhaps you'd like to share a pint at Ye Olde Queen's Pub? I'd simply love to catch up. Ta!
Humbly awaiting your reply,
I remain, the SJG
P.S. Hugs to you and the whole royal mishpocha!

Dear Short Jewish Gal,
I'd rather not.
Royally yours,
Elizabeth R
P.S. I resent the implication that I'm olde.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ninja Worrier

SJG:  "I'm worried about you."
Object of Worry:  "But I don't want you to worry about me."
SJG:  "Why not?"
Object of Worry: "Because then I'll worry about you worrying about me."

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Partner In Silliness

"There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born 
and the day we discover why." - William Barclay

My brother John was born to entertain. He's been dancing his way into people's hearts ever since, swaying to a wonderful beat all his own. Spend a few minutes with him and you'll wind up laughing, guaranteed. You may hear a show tune or two. You may learn a little movie trivia, too. He's a magician, that much is true. You just never know what trick he'll pull out of his top hat. He'll keep you on your toes. At any minute, he may twirl you around the room. But you'll never know when. He's got the gift of surprise. Did I mention, he's delightful? He just can't help himself. Happy 60th to my partner in silliness. Happy happy and many more. xo

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Flying Baby Alert

Here's the flying SJG, in the neighborhood of one, not quite ready to come in for a landing. Can you blame me? Just look who's helping me soar: Mr. Ben Starr, the eternal optimist of the Western World. Today of all days, I can't mail him a card. He didn't leave a forwarding address. But I can still say thank you... for the pep talks, the side-splitting laughter and the endless emotional support. I can still say thank you... for holding me up in those moments I thought I might crash and burn. But he wouldn't let me. He kept saying, "Onward." So onward I went. I'm flying solo now, moving in the right direction, keeping myself airborne. I'm holding my own, just like he taught me. So Happy Father's Day to my hero, my mentor, my ongoing inspiration. I miss you every day.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Last Request

Rabbi Cohen was saying his goodbyes to his congregation after his Sabbath service, as he always does, when Esther Glickman came up to him in tears. 
"What's bothering you so, dear?" inquired Rabbi Cohen. 
"Oh, Rabbi, I've got terrible news," replied Esther. 
"Well, what is it, Esther?" 
"Well, my husband passed away last night, Rabbi." 
"Oh, Esther," said the Rabbi, "that's terrible. Tell me Esther, did he have any last requests?" 
"Well, yes he did Rabbi," replied Esther. 
"What did he ask, Esther?" 
"He said, 'Please, please Esther, put down the gun...'"
The visitor: A Martian runs into some turbulence over Earth and makes a rough landing in Sherman Oaks. After he pulls himself out of his space ship and dusts himself off, he sees that one of his wheels is broken. Not far away are some shops, so he starts to walk towards them to see if he can find a replacement. By good luck, he comes across a store with a sign showing a wheel, and a bunch of wheels in the window. 
He enters the store, gets the attention of Moishe behind the counter, and says, "Excuse me, I'd like to buy a wheel."
"Wheel?" says Moishe. "We don't have wheels here."
"Then what are those things in the window?"
"Oh, those aren't wheels. They're bagels."
"Gee, they look just like wheels. What do you use them for?"
"We eat them," says Moishe and hands a bagel to the Martian.
The Martian takes a taste, chews thoughtfully, and lights up. "Hey," he says, "I bet these would go great with cream cheese and lox!"


Friday, June 19, 2015

Take One Baguette And Text Me In The Morning

A nice place to chip a tooth.

"MAAAAAA! My cap fell off eating a baguette."
"Oy vey, honey. What a pain. Get it?"
"Pain is French for bread."
"So what'd you do?" 

Le pain in zi tooth

"I found an Asian-French dentist who spoke English. He fixed it for only 59 Euros."
"A bargain."
"Luckily I had the cap so he just reattached it."
"God willing it stays put."
"We had the same glasses. Meant to be, I guess."
"Yes. It was beshert that you should massacre a tooth on a baguette in Nice."
"At least I found a place. Three clinics turned me down."

Not the photo he texted me. 

"Well, it doesn't look too terrible, honey."
"You can see where it split."
"True. But it gives you character. Makes you look gangsta."
"Thanks, Ma. It's been a ridiculous day."
"Let's hope the French guy did a decent job."
"They have dentists in Barcelona, Ma."
"Not to mention, bibliotecas."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Two James Taylors On A Seesaw

I've seen James and I've seen Jimmy, but never on a seesaw together. I do believe my life is complete.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How To Misdiagnose, Internationally

"Hi, Ma. I'm waiting for my luggage at the airport in Nice."
"Yay! Was the flight okay?"
"Yes, but my ears were killing me on the descent. Ouchhh."
"Uh oh, that's not good. Are you congested?"
"A little sniffly."
"Head hurt?"
"Good. How are your ears now?"
"Still really funky."
"I hope you don't have an ear infection. You'll need antibiotics. Do you have nasal spray?"
"Not on me."
"Get some at the pharmacy in Nice."
"You might need a decongestant, too."
"Should I take another vitamin C lozenge?"
"Sure. Sounds like you're fighting something."
"Seems that way."
"I'm concerned about your ears. This happened to me when we flew to Seattle. Double ear infection. I had to go to the ER. Remember?"
"No. I was a baby."
"You left out cute and cuddly."
"I'm alright, Ma."
"American Express has a hotline for travelers who need a doctor."
"I don't need a doctor."
"The hostel will know a doctor who speaks English."
"Don't worry. I'm fine."
"Here's some emoji chicken soup. It couldn't hurt."
"You know slurping drives me crazy."
"What doesn't?"

Monday, June 15, 2015

Everybody Troika

Vlad, Zoya and Vossie

Dear SJG,
I am Vlad. I am president of SJG Fan Club in Kiev. It's a small club. Just me, Vlad, my cousin Vossie and my sister Zoya. We like you too much. We play drinking game when we read SJG out loud. You say, "kvetch," we drink Vodka. You say, "oy," we drink Vodka. I am very drunk right now. Can you tell? Ha ha. You say "kugel," we drink Vodka. You worry, we dance the Troika. We understand you dance, too. You should dance the Troika. It is fun and burns the fat a lot. Sherman Oaks sounds pretty. We visit you and maybe move in, too. You live in a palace, no? Plenty room. We teach you the Troika. See you soon.
Za zdrovie!
SJG Fan Club, Kiev Chapter

Dear Vlad,
A drinking game in my honor? I'm kvelling, intensely. This makes me so happy. But to clarify, when I say palatial estate, I'm exaggerating too much, which is my right as a silly American. Sadly, there's no room at the SJG Inn for you, Vossie and Zoya. It's going to be a full house this summer. The eldest son and his lovely girlfriend are moving in with us "temporarily." A year in San Francisco and he's back where he belongs. If I have my way, they'll stay with us forever. That's just between us, Vlad. Don't spread it around the Kremlin.
Za gezunt!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

London Calling

London is all abuzz with the news, and why shouldn't they be? A semi-celebrity/internationally-acclaimed blogger will arrive, shortly, and by shortly we mean she's barely 5'1 and can't reach the top shelf even on her tippy toes. Can you guess her name, bitches?

No, not Yentl.
Some clues:
1. She taught Will and Kate how to do the hora at their wedding.
2. She majored in Kvetching at UCLA.
3. She's the living example of Worrying as an Art Form.

No, not Yenta.

4. She's a little obsessed with the people she loves.
5. She makes a lovely kugel, so delish you could plotz.

Give up? It's the Short Jewish Gal, you ninny. Yes, yes. And yes, again. The SJG is finally getting back to London after, what, 37 years, but who's counting? We tracked her down at her palatial estate in Sherman Oaks to find out why she waited so long to visit. Over bagels and lox, she told all. "I've been a little busy."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Who's Awesome?

At the gym that used to be for women only but now lets dudes in, the Israeli owner guilts me as I'm leaving:
"So, that's it? You're done?"
"'That's it'?! I just did two hours. Spinning, then yoga."
"We don't give medals today."
"Well, you should. I'll take mine in chocolate."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Overheard At Gelson's

Overheard at Gelson's, by everyone in the market -- two women at the counter, Shirley and Joyce (random SJG name selection).

Shirley: "GET ME A DIET COKE!"
Joyce: "Where?"
Joyce: "They only have Vitamin Water."
Joyce: "I'm not seeing it."
Joyce: "It's Vitamin Water Zero."
Joyce: "It isn't. It's Vitamin Water Zero."
Joyce: "Vitamin Water?"
Shirley: "YES!"
Joyce: "Which flavor?"
Shirley: "CHERRY!"
Joyce: "They don't have cherry...."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Doggy Rights

If people can go shopping for beds... 

I firmly believe with all my heart... 

That dogs deserve the same rights.

Otherwise, look what happens.

The indignity of it all.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Coaster For Your Keppy

"The weather is hurting my keppy."
"Time to get a new keppy."
"Where would I purchase such an item?"
"Amazon.com. They have everything."
"Including a new keppy?"
"Well, spank my butt and call me Chana. They sell Keppy Beer and Ale Bar Coasters."
"Sweet. How much?"
"A four-pack costs $15.95. Free shipping."
"Go for it."
"How will Keppy Coasters help my keppy?"
"They won't. But they'll help the coffee table."
"No more annoying rings from bottles and coffee mugs?"
"You think a certain ring-maker, currently in Europe, sampling beer, would actually use a coaster?"
"He might."
"I'll text him and find out."
"Don't bother him."
"I'm not. He loves to hear from me."
"It's 4:30 in the morning in Prague."
"What's your point?"
"I don't have one."
"You got that right, mister."
"Feel better?"
"Not till he answers my text."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lose It Fast

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 lost 10 pounds fast! Wasn't that easy? I'm here to help.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Can A Dance Move Save Your Life?

Here comes trouble.

Take a nice Sunday afternoon in Beverly Hills. Take two short Jewish gals, post-brunch. Take one BIG ASS ESCALADE, turning left and not seeing us in the crosswalk. Take action, or splat.

If you're the SJG, you grab your lifetime friend, you wrap your arm around her, and you do a life-saving, Tina Turner "Proud Mary" back-up routine, right there at the intersection of Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Blvd. You haul your sweet tushies way, way back, with rhythm and style, before the Big Ass Escalade hits you. And then, when your life-saving "Proud Mary" moves are no longer required...

You yell this at the dumb-ass driver of the Big Ass Escalade, a gal who didn't even know she nearly flattened not one, but two SJGs: "YOU EFF'N BITCH!" And then you thank God, and Tina Turner, and go back to your regularly-scheduled life.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

In The Jungle

In the jungle, the mighty jungle of Sherman Oaks, the Queen palm trees rustle in the tropical breeze...

Depositing pretty little dates in our yard...

Orange jewels that tempt a certain jungle beast and later wreak havoc on his delicate digestive tract...

Prompting hubby, half-hidden in the jungle, to climb up, up, up... and try in the manliest way to chop down the offending fruity fronds... with limited success. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Happy Teeth

Teeth are always in style.

Dear SJG,
Your friends at Happy Teeth would like to thank you for letting us take care of your dental needs. We hope you enjoyed getting your teeth cleaned yesterday with one of our many talented hygienists. Next visit, we're getting those X-rays, whether you like it or not. We want you to know we'll be there for all your dental emergencies as you get older and everyone you know starts backing away, in horror, aware that you're certainly not the looker you once were. Your close personal friends at Happy Teeth don't care how ugly you get. We'll take care of you and make you presentable again. 

When your teeth loosen and fall out at inappropriate times, who loves you, baby? Happy Teeth. When your gums give out, we promise not to laugh, like the other people in your life. We'll fit you in, even if we have no appointments. That's how important you are to us. When you lose your dentures in the bagel bin at Gelson's, we'll make you another pair, for free. Just kidding. We're not that generous. We'll charge you, but we'll be fair. Let's face it. Your close personal friends at Happy Teeth care more about your well-being than anyone else in your life. We hope that one day, you'll leave us all your money, if we haven't taken it all already. Dental care is expensive. So please, SJG, remember this: no one loves you like we do. No one.  
Dentally yours, 
The Nice People at Happy Teeth

Friday, June 5, 2015

Shut Up

... And dance with me, metaphorically, if you like, or stop by SJG Headquarters and we'll get down with our bad selves. A while back, I saw this mash-up of every movie dance move ever (well, a lot of movie dance moves) and wanted you should see it, because, say it with me now: I'm a giver.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Proper Care and Feeding...

... of the Eccentric Elderly Pup is a curious thing. Nearing his Bark Mitzvah - please don't ask me how his Torah Portion is coming along - Dusty no longer eats out of a doggy bowl. That's too common for him. He prefers to be hand-fed while roaming, aimlessly. It's hard on the back, my back, and the soul, my soul. Was I put on this earth to cater to his needs? Apparently. A hand-feeding may start in the kitchen, but it ends elsewhere, as I follow him, lovingly, down the hall, watch him circle the living room, and try to re-route him back to the kitchen. Here's how I coaxed him this morning, with limited success: "Come here, you. Back here. No, not there. I'm not feeding you on the living room rug. We just had it cleaned. What's up with your GPS? Make a left... Left! That's it... Wait, where are you going? You're dropping it everywhere. Ew, slobber. I'm not cleaning that up, you know." It only took about 20 minutes. But hey, what else have I got to do?