Monday, August 31, 2015

Minute Shrink Clinic

"Come in. Sit down. So, what's bothering you today?"
"Could you be more specific?"
"I'm feeling disappointed."
"Aw, well, that narrows it down."
"What should I do?"
"Lower your expectations."
"Expect less."
"Less of what?"
"So if I expect less, I'll feel better?"
"You can't feel any worse."
"But what if --"
"Sorry. Time's up."
"But it's only been 50 seconds!"
"What'd you expect?"
"A full minute."
"What did I just say about expectations?"
"I should lower them."
"Starting now."

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Tall and The Short of It

"I heard she's shrinking." "Who isn't?"

At the health club before class:
"I had a bone density test on Friday."
"How'd it go?"
"I'm shrinking."
"If you're shrinking, I'm in big trouble."
"I'm no longer 5'9.  I'm 5'8."
"Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?"
"I'm sorry for your loss of height."
"You don't seem sorry."
"When you hit 5'2, I'll send heartfelt condolences."

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Just One More Thing

"Here's your license and your insurance card back."
"Thanks. Just one more thing. Why am I hearing 'Happy Birthday' over and over again? Is it someone's birthday today?"
"Oh. Then I'm really losing my mind."
"You're not the only one."
"You're hearing it, too?"
"Actually, I'm hearing 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.' "
"So I haven't lost it, completely. I feel so much better now."
"Good. Have a seat. We'll call your name soon."
"Just one more thing. Why am I hearing 'Happy Birthday' and you're hearing 'Twinkle, Twinkle'?"
"It's not 'Happy Birthday.' It's Twinkle, Twinkle.' "
"Oh my God, you're absolutely right. I have lost it. How could I not know the difference between the melody for 'Happy Birthday' and 'Twinkle Twinkle'?"
"If you'd been hearing it for the past 20 minutes, I promise you, you'd know it's 'Twinkle, Twinkle.' "
"Twenty minutes? You poor gal. You're keeping it together, nicely."
"Thank you. Have a seat. We'll call your name soon."
"Just one more thing. Is there a reason 'Twinkle, Twinkle' is playing on a continuous loop? Is it office policy? A nice way to calm down the ladies before we get our boobies flattened like pancakes?"
"There's a little boy over there, waiting for his mommy. He's got a toy that plays 'Twinkle, Twinkle.' "
"Oh, well, that explains it."
"Yes, it does."
"Just one more thing. Do you think he'd mind if I 'borrowed' his toy and forgot to give it back?"
"I think he'd probably mind."
"Then I won't."
"Smart decision. Have a seat. We'll call your name soon."

Friday, August 28, 2015

If Women Ran The World

Selections from my morning mammogram: 
1.  "Ouchy."
2.  "Ooochee."
3.  "Ooocheemunga."
4.  "Owwwy."
5.  "Owza."
6.  "Oy."
7.  "Oy yoy yoy."
8.  "Ohhhhhhhh."
9.  "Ohhhhhhhhsh*t."
10.  "Over?"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

You Don't Say

"I never forget a face, but in your case, I'll make an exception."
- Groucho Marx
"Even a secret agent can't lie to a Jewish mother." -Peter Malkin
"There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior." -Fran Lebowitz
"Never waste good agony." -Jewish proverb
"Include me out." -Sam Goldwyn
"Kvetch as if no one's listening." -The SJG

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Moving On

A conversation with the eldest:
"What do you mean you're moving out on Saturday?"
"I'm not sure how I can make it any clearer, Mother."
"Very well. A moving truck will deliver furniture from one location to the other."
"Go on."
"They'll unload the furniture."
"And then what?"
"And then we'll live in the place with the furniture."
"I see. So what you're saying is the men will move the furniture from the storage unit to our house and you'll live here with us."
"No, Mother. That's not what I'm saying."
"Did I miss a step?"
"I see. So what you're saying is I drove you away by being too wonderful."
"No, Mother. You actually played a part in finding the apartment."
"I did what?"
"You spent an entire day Googling apartments till your fingers bled."
"I may have made a suggestion or two. I didn't think you'd take me seriously."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Oh, Cary!

Dear SJG,
You remind me of a man.
-Cary G.

Dear Cary,
What man?
-The SJG

Dear SJG,
The man with the power.
-Cary G.

Dear Cary,
What power?
-The SJG
Dear SJG,
The power of hoodoo.
-Cary G.

Dear Cary,
-The SJG

Dear SJG,
You do.
-Cary G.

Dear Cary,
I do WHAT?!
-The SJG
Dear SJG,
Remind me of a man.
-Cary G.

Dear Cary,
What man? Oh, for eff's sake, never mind.
-The SJG

Sunday, August 23, 2015

I'll Drink To That

"Happy 35th, honey."
"Happy 35th, sweetie."
"For our 50th... kina hora, I'm going to make you grill 50 chicken breasts."
"That's not happening."
"Okay, then we'll go out."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bedmaker, Bedmaker

Bedmaker, bedmaker
The bed is made just by the touch of your hand
Bedmaker, bedmaker
Make me some beds, make all the beds look made

Bedmaker, bedmaker
The bed is made, the sheet is so smooth
It's been tucked by the maid
Bedmaker, you know your work's never done

(apologies to Traffic)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Things I Should've Said To Jon Voight

And vice versa: "Hang on! Is that... oh my God... it's the SJG!" 

It's not often I see a major celeb at Gelson's. The other day, there he was, pushing his own cart like a real person: Mr. Jon Voight, tall and dapper in a navy blue sport coat, happy to be recognized. I'm telling you, he would've talked to anyone, even the SJG. And yet, I played hard to get, preferring to think about the things I should've said, but wisely didn't:

"Alas, Jon Voight! I saw you play Hamlet at Cal State Northridge in 1976. You bore me to death a thousand times, and how abhorr'd it was! But you were super cute. I'll give you that."

"Mr. Voight, not that it's any of my business, but when has that stopped me before. How are things with Angie? Did she ever resolve those pesky abandonment issues?"

"Mr. Voight, I hear you're an honorary member of the tribe. I make a wonderful kugel to die for. So delish, it'll make your dreidel spin. What's your address? I'll drop off a Pyrex."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Who Put The Ape In Apricot?

The Great Dried Apricot Debate:
A merchant bought a sack of dried apricots from a distributor, only to discover upon opening the bag that they had begun to spoil. He marched into the distributor's office and demanded his money back, but the man refused, claiming the apricots were fresh when he sold them. The dispute escalated until finally, they called in the Rabbi to settle things once and for all. The Rabbi pours out the sack of dried fruit on the desk and carefully examines the contents. He picks up an apricot and pops it into his mouth, taking his time chewing. He nods. Then he eats another and shakes his head. And another and another, sometimes shaking his head, sometimes nodding, until the entire sack is almost empty.
"So, rabbi," asks the merchant. "What do you think?" Placing the last apricot into his mouth, he looks at both men and shrugs his shoulders. "How should I know? I'm a rabbi, not an apricot expert." 
The phone rings at KGB headquarters, sometime in the 1960's.
"Hello, is this KGB?"
"I'm calling to report my neighbor, Hershel Yankovitz is an enemy of the State. He is hiding undeclared diamonds in his firewood."
"This will be noted."
The next day, the KGB sends their hoodlums to Hershel's tiny house. Out back, in the shed, they violently break every piece of firewood in their search for contraband. They find nothing. Angry and cursing, they leave. 
Ten minutes later, the phone rings at Herchel's house.
"Hello, Hersh, did the KGB show up?"
"They just left."
"Did they chop up your firewood?"
"They certainly did."
"Good. Now it's your turn to call. My vegetable patch needs plowing."
The Second Flood:
A volcano erupts with a colossal explosion. Scientists predict that within three days, the ensuing giant tsunamis will flood the entire earth, and put all land under water. 
The Pope appears on television and encourages everyone to accept Jesus Christ so at least their immortal souls will be saved.
The head Muslim also goes on TV to recommend that everybody immediately convert to Islam, so they may spend eternity with Allah.
The Dali Lama appears on TV and urges everyone to become Buddhist, so they may reach Nirvana.
The Chief Rabbi of Israel goes on national TV and says, "We have three days to learn how to live under water."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Think of Lavender

The last time I was in my dance studio, a mere week ago, the room was a lovely lavender. It's been this color for a long time. How long? How should I know? You'll have to trust me on this. Years and years of lavender. I'm used to seeing myself bathed in lavender while I master my quadruple pirouettes and flash my jazzy jazz hands. When I think of dance, I think of lavender. And yet... last night, I thought I was in the wrong studio. I was discombobulated, and then some. Where lavender once bloomed was now a wall of white and dark gray. Make that three walls of white and dark gray. Was I back in school? Or prison? Then I turned around... something I shouldn't have done. I wasn't ready. I hadn't fully processed this institutional palette change. But I turned around, anyway, and got a pop of color that shocked me to the depths of my being. You're right. I probably should've medicated myself first. What's that? Doubled my normal dose? Fair enough. The wall with the mirror was coral.
It was a WTF of the highest order. It was a "Coral Is The New Lavender" moment. I felt transported to Hawaii. I was snorkeling again. (The SJG snorkeling? Hey, it happened once.) It was beachy and serene. I could almost hear the waves. I started looking for my cabana boy. I needed an emergency tropical drink. On top of which, I look so good in coral. I just bought a dress in coral. I paint my toes coral. And my lips and my... oh, you get the picture. I'm all about the coral. Not necessarily an entire wall of it. But still. Of course, I wasn't the only one thrown by the shifting of the colors. Every dancer who stepped in the studio fell down the rabbit hole. It was fun to watch.
Some came back in time to start class. Others are still down there having a tea party with the Mad Hatter. I think I'll miss them the most.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Authority Figure

Because I said so.

Dear SJG,
What makes you such an authority on everything?

I just know stuff.

Dear Anonymous,
If not me, then who? You? Please.
You're welcome,

Monday, August 17, 2015

SJG Shvitz Report

I'm melting...
So today it will be hot. Tomorrow it will be hot, too. After that, don't ask. To sum it up: God's a/c is on the fritz. If you're smart, you'll stay put, have an ice cold glezel tei and shvitz in silence. At some point, maybe months from now, it'll turn chilly and you'll need a sweater. You're welcome.
Free refills

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Spin, Spin, Spin

I've taken up spinning. 

It takes a village of sporty gals to get the SJG ready for spinning. There are things in life I need help with, and I'm not ashamed to ask for it, in no uncertain terms: 
"How the eff do I get my shoes strapped into these @#$%'n pedals?" 
"Can someone help me adjust this @#$%'n seat?"
"What if I don't want to climb the @#$%'n hill?" 
"Can someone call the paramedics?"
"If I plotz, will someone contact my family?"

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Hidden Advantage

An early morning conversation with the eldest:
"Guess what day it is today?"
"What day is it, Mother?"
"It's our special day, honey. A day devoted just to us."
"Is it Fart Day?"
"God forbid."
"Give me a hint."
"What am I doing right now?"
"Waving a pen at me."
"Which means?"
"It's Pen Day?"
"Uh, no."
"Wrist Day?"
"Oh, for @##%'s sake!"
"Just tell me. I have to leave for work."
"Okay. Here's a big clue."
"It's... Hand Day."
"Could you be more specific?"
"Left hand? Is it... Left-Hander's Day?"
"Two hours later, yes."
"That is exciting. See you tonight."
"Hang on. I'm not done with my blog."
"You have to blog about this?"
"You have to ask?"
"One more question then I'm going."
"Fine. How has being left-handed affected your life?"
"It hasn't. Bye."
"Wait. Not even a little?"
"Not day to day. Except scissors. Scissors are the enemy."
"So true."
"I'm leaving."
"Hang on, you. Give me a plus about being a lefty and I'll let you go."
"It's given me an advantage in sports."
"I love that. How?"
"People don't expect you to be left-handed in basketball. You can pretend you're a righty and go right then switch to your left and fake them out."
"I think I'll try that today at Gelson's with my cart."
"You'll cause a scene."
"Always the goal."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Gigglers Anonymous

A short Jewish gal walks down the street, giggling, uncontrollably.
A police officer stops her. "Excuse me, ma'am. I could use a good laugh. What's so funny?"
"Absolutely nothing," she says.
"Then why are you giggling like an unhinged hyena?"
"It's better than the alternative."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Look It Up

Long before info was a keystroke away, in those ancient pre-Internet days when the SJG was a shy school girl, I had to find answers the hard way. I had to look it up in a book. Imagine the hardship. Open a heavy tome with my tiny delicate hands? Even then, there must've been a better research tool. And there was. I liked to consult the walking encyclopedia known as Daddy. Geography, history or God forbid, math, he'd have the answer. But get a load of this, people. He expected me to find the answer on my own. Or at least try. Trying was big with him. "Look it up, Lita," he'd say. Lita was short for Carolita, as in "little Carol." I know. So cute I could weep right now. But I'm trying to stay strong for the blog. So. What was this "look it up" thing about? Was he trying to drive me insane? No. He didn't want me to take the easy way out or give up on myself, which was my inclination, especially when it was tough. He believed, wholeheartedly, that I was capable of solving the problem on my own. Sometimes his strategy worked. I'd trudge back to my room, resentfully, and figure it out on my own. The moment was kvell-worthy, I admit, and "character building." Other times, the exercise became futile. It backfired. He blamed my stubbornness. I blamed the movie star governor of California (what, you think Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first?) for ruining the educational system.There were tears. Door slamming. More tears. Man, I really hated when my daddy cried. But I got the message. I kept looking it up. Sometimes I found the answer. Sometimes I came up blank. Either way, I learned something. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

What's That Sound?

Could it be the early morning geshrey of the blue birdy, screeching its wakeup call?

Or could it be the rip, rip, rip of the sticky blue tape, tearing off the roll, telling us Nacho has arrived, better late than never, to finish the paint job hubby couldn't stop himself from starting?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

You Think You've Got Problems?

On Saturday, the paintner didn't show. What's that? Why do we, and by "we," I mean Jews of a certain generation, refer to those who inhale fumes for a living as "paintners"? Because our parents did. Lame answer? How dare you. You can be so insensitive at times. The one expert elderly Jew I could've consulted on the matter has left the paint store. So I'm taking an educated guess. Let's just say that newly-arrived Jews in America like my Russian grandparents who struggled, linguistically and otherwise, added an extra "n" and somehow it caught on. Anyway, back to my Update from Kvetch Central. It's been a trying few weeks, as I may have mentioned, what with the bamboo and the chronic noise, the re-piping and the city inspection that earned an F (twice), the Singing Dry Wallers who serenaded me for two days with Oldies - actually, their version of "Help Me, Rhonda" wasn't half-bad - and now, the phone call from Nacho, owner and executive paintner of Nacho's Paint-For-Less: "Mrs. Carol? I can't come this weekend." "Why not?" "I'm working." "Here. You're working here." "No, Mrs. Carol. I come on Monday." "Today, Nacho. Today." "I see you Monday, Mrs. Carol." "Don't do this to me, Nacho. Nacho?! Nacho?!"

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Five Bad Ideas In Dog Training

Why can't Dusty do this?
1.  Laundry Maintenance. Trying to teach Dusty to fold his own laundry = epic fail. How many times must I say, "The underwear goes on your tush, not your head, silly."
2.  Toilet Training. Thirteen years. Thirteen years I've been working on this with him. I've finally come to the conclusion that he prefers the backyard.
3.  Home Improvement. I give him a  brush and a bucket of paint. I point to the wall. I command him to paint it. The work is sub-par. What was the point of sending him to Paris to study painting?
Dusty can't do this, either.
4.  Cooking. Not very agile with the egg beater, the spatula or Cuisinart. Can't boil water to save his life. Very good at licking the bowl and stealing the oven mitts.
5.  Household Chores. Vacuuming. I plug in the Dyson. I point to the piles of dog hair he's left all over the house. I say, "Get busy, Mister." I wait. Nothing. What am I doing wrong?
Maybe if I buy him an apron.

Friday, August 7, 2015


"Morning, my son. How was the walkability from the guest bedroom to the downstairs kitchen?"
"I'd give it a score of 62, Mother."
"Please, call me Mumsy. Why such a low score? Are you trying to hurt me?"
"Never, Mumsy. But there were a few dangerous and deadly obstacles in my path. Hence, the sub-par score."
"Heavens to Betsy. What obstacles?"
"Let's start with the lamp, the paintings, the autographed Lakers basketball encased in Lucite, the fourteens boxes and the piles of shoes I nearly tripped over in the hallway."
"Well, don't toot in your knickers, child. All that clutter shall be gone soon."
"Do tell, Mumsy. How soon?"
"When the Singing Dry Wallers are done."
"Why must they sing so loud, Mumsy?"
"Ask them."
"Look at the time. I must away to work, Mumsy."
"By the by, my son, what's the walkability from here to work?"
"Welcome back to L.A."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dusty's Torah Portion

Shalom, and thanks for coming to my Bark Mitzvah. I'm officially 13, which means you need to buy me something nice, and I'm not talking about a ballpoint pen or a football. I want something tasty and delish, and maybe some bling. A collar with my name spelled out in diamonds would be gangsta. Nothing too showy, of course. If you didn't bother to get me anything (cuz you're cheap or you were raised in a barn) don't worry, I have my own PupPal account. We'll figure something out. Anyway, it's really cool that you made time in your busy schedules to join me on this important day. As luck would have it, my Torah portion comes from Deuteronomy: Blessings for Obedience. What does obedience mean to me? Not much, as it turns out, except when it comes to food.
Here I am, obediently accepting my birthday donut. 

But does that make me a bad boy? Not even. My mommy loves me, unconditionally. She never stops calling me silly names and making kissy sounds and calling me a good boy, even when I do things I'm not supposed to, like poop in the house (which I haven't done recently, I swear). In my puppyhood days, obedience was more of an issue. I'd steal socks and shoes, destroy personal property, eat through the carpeting on the stairs, scratch and jump on people. My mommy took me to Obedience School and I learned how to walk beside her and listen to her commands. I graduated with honors, and then proceeded to forget everything I learned. Did I mention I'm a dog? These days, I don't have the energy to stir up trouble. I hardly get off my doggy bed. It's so comfy, why should I make the effort? Let's face it. For the past 13 years, I've brought my family nothing but joy. I'm done chasing after balls and entertaining them. Still, I should probably thank them for the party. There is going to be a party, isn't there? I didn't learn Hebrew for nothing. Okay, so, this is the end of my Torah portion. L'chaim, bitches! And please, leave some hors d'oeuvres for me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fingers Crossed vs. Kina Hora

Dear SJG,
Since you're the authority on everything, more or less, I'm wondering if you could help me out. What's the diff between crossing one's fingers, knocking on wood and saying kina hora poo poo poo?
Very Superstitious

Dear Superstitious,
Aren't you a smarty to ask. Pull up a chair and rest your butt, this may take a while. As a Jewiss of semi-import, I've used all three, depending on the situation, and with slight adjustments. I tend to say "fingies crossed" when wishing other people good luck. So, if a close friend is up for a job, a part or something that, just between us, has no immediate relevance in my life, whatsoever, I'll say, "I'm keeping my fingies crossed on your behalf." Fingers crossed is pretty much a Christian reference about asking God for protection, so I reserve it for my extremely goyisha friends.
There are exceptions, of course. When I'm dealing with the one and only Connie Ray, farm-raised star of screen, telly and stage, I'm required to "dance around a chicken bone" if something good is on the horizon for her. What Connie doesn't know, fingies crossed, is that there are only so many lines I'm willing to cross. But I pretend I'm doing it, which is all that matters.
As for knocking on wood and saying kina hora poo poo poo, both are about warding off evil. I like to combine them for double protection. I'll say kina hora and spit three times, while knocking on my wooden keppy, or maybe a table, just in case evil is lurking around the corner (God forbid) or I want something good to happen for someone I adore, obsessively, and tend to enable and/or smother whenever the mood strikes (which is often). Sure, it may be overkill, but when has that ever stopped me?
Dude, you're overdoing it.

For example, here's something I said yesterday, while tapping on my noggin: "Of course, you'll find a nice big apartment you can afford, one with two parking spots, which would be a miracle, but why not, an updated kitchen, a dishwasher, a swimming pool, a gym and a laundry facility, in a safe neighborhood with great walkability, in a location your devoted mother can reach without taking 18 different freeways, kina hora, poo poo poo."
Hope this helps clarify things.
You're welcome,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bad Hair Decade

The uber-coiffed SJG (second from left) brings 
new meaning to the phrase, "What was I thinking?"
Imagine my surprise when I saw myself tagged in this photo, circa early '80s, by my friend Eric. I literally went into shock and had to be revived by a team of emergency hair stylists.  I'm surrounded by my longtime friends Wendy, Helen, Linda and Maddy.  Check out the major fro' and the pseudo-smile on my punim. I look like I'm the target of a haircare intervention, the theme being, "Say no to the next perm." (Of course, really good friends would've stopped me before the first perm.) My ridiculous poof-fest is just all kinds of wrong. What's worse, there appear to be flowers crowning my mop top of shame.  Isn't the SJG brave to share this with you?  It's my way of saying, "See, I make mistakes, too." Big ones. Huge.  Notice how the other gals look like they've got it going on, style-wise, whereas I look like I've been abducted by Barbra Streisand's former hairdresser/boyfriend Jon Peters. Oh, and check out my clothes. The red, the white and the blue of it. Clearly, I'm going through a patriotic stage.  I'm all about "my country tis of thee." But why? Why? WHY? My friends should've laid down the law, don't you think?  I mean, if they truly loved me, they would've taken me shopping, but noooo, look at them, just smiling away, relishing my bad fashion choices. So please, go ahead and laugh.  Be my guest.  But I doubt you'll laugh any louder than my eldest, who's still doubled over in hysterics, and can't stop saying, "Mom! WTF!" WTF, indeed.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Almost Paradise

When the universe, or whatever force your prefer, throws a few curve balls your way; when life smacks you in the tush and wreaks havoc with your pipes, your walls and your floors, and I'm not just speaking metaphorically; when everything swiftly turns to ka-ka before your eyes and you're left asking, "What the eff up with that?" the SJG has discovered a miracle cure to lift you out of your funk. Actually, if I'm being honest, which I try my best to be, it was the eldest's lovely girlfriend who hand-delivered the solution via remote control. "Let's watch 'Bachelor in Paradise,' " she said. As a family unit, we protested, loudly, for just under 30 seconds and then said, "We're in." We couldn't decide which was more shocking: the giddy horror of attractive, liquored-up young men and sobbing, drunken women in scanty bathing suits, humiliating themselves on national TV, or the fact that the eldest recognized many of the cast members from previous seasons of "The Bachelor"and "The Bachelorette." What sort of mother am I that I didn't know he'd become an expert on the oeuvre? In any case, this may be the best of the worst TV I've encountered in a while, and for that, I'm so grateful. I'm not sure I have the stomach to watch any more crap episodes of this terrible show, not that I judge, but two hours served as a fabulous escape from reality.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

For The Maritally Inclined

Isaac is on his deathbed with beloved wife Esther sitting with him.
He says: “Esther, when I was twenty and I failed my driving test, you were by my side."
Esther: “Yes, my love."
Isaac: “And ten years later, when our house burned down, you were there by my side."
Esther: “Yes, my love."
Isaac: “And then when our shop went bust, you were still there, by my side."
Esther: “Yes, my love.”
Isaac: “And when I slipped on the sidewalk and broke my leg last year, you were there, by my side."
Esther: “Yes, my love."
Isaac: “And now here I am on my deathbed and you’re still here, by my side.”
Esther “Yes, my love.”
Isaac: “Esther?”
Esther "Yes, my love."
Isaac: "You're a jinx." 
(courtesy of