Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's The Thought That Counts

That moment when your lifelong friend... 

Opens the birthday gift you so 
thoughtfully picked out... 

Only to discover that...

The security tag... 

Is still attached.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Passive-Aggressive Talking Car

Hubby's car likes to scold me. The second we pull into the driveway, the lady voice comes on to shame me. My car never says a thing. The only lady voice in my car is mine. I use my lady voice to sing along with "Hamilton," or yell at idiot drivers who shouldn't be on the road. But I yell quietly. I make sure the idiot drivers can't hear me.

The lady voice in hubby's car is passive-aggressive. The lady voice wants to keep baby in the car. As soon as I unfasten my seat belt, she takes offense. She orders me around in a sneaky and illogical, yet overly polite way.

She says this, and only this:
"Please fasten your seat belt."

Whereupon my lady voice offers up a lengthy and passionate response:
"Listen, you, I just unfastened my seat belt and now you want me to re-fasten it?"

Whereupon hubby stares straight ahead. He has heard this one-sided tiff more times than he cares to remember. Hubby keeps his man voice in check. Nice hubby. He knows this is a no-win situation.

"Not to mention," I continue, "I can't get out of the car if I remain fully fastened. What part of this equation isn't adding up for you? I can't vacate hubby's auto if I'm tied down by your nonsensical rules. I'm happy to fasten my seat belt when I'm en route to somewhere wonderful, like Gelson's, or better yet, an exotic vacation to Freedonia. But the fact that you insist I stay fastened and constricted when I'm already home is unacceptable. You are trying to hold me back, and to that, I say no, no, no. I have come too far in my life, I have logged way too many hours in therapy, to let you bully me. I'm evolved and self-realized, more or less. So, what have you got to say for yourself?"

Here's what she has to say. Nothing. She prefers to secretly laugh at me in silence. Like I said. Passive-aggressive.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Filter Yourself

Ever wonder why your coworkers walk away while you're talking, refuse to sit with you in the lunch room, act like you have a contagious disease and/or spontaneously combust in your presence? Chances are it's time to change that iffy internal filter. But how? Are we talking surgery? Partial lobotomy? Personality transplant? Don't be silly. The nice people at SJG Enterprises have come up with Sheket Bevakashah!, a user-friendly device that's strictly ornamental, not to mention, electrically-charged to zap some sense into you. So, how does it work? Well, if you'd kindly sheket bevakashah long enough for me to get a word in, I'll tell you. Just slip on Sheket Bevakashah!, which comes in every color except puce, and each time you open your mouth, you'll get a harmless, low-voltage zetz that reminds you to filter your comments and shut up, please before you say another stupid, hurtful thing you'll regret. Comes in three sizes and frequencies: Occasional Tongue Slipper (one mild zetz'll do ya), Daily Offender (two medium zetzes) and Off-The-Chart Oversharer (three jolting zetzes) Retails for only $899.99. Hurry. These won't last forever. But your ability to alienate others will last a lifetime.
Such a lovely accessory. Fits most wrists.
Perfect for all occasions that involve talking. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Doctor's Feeble, Tacky Excuse

To Whom It May (or May Not) Concern,

Please excuse the Short Jewish Gal from posting her intergalatically-acclaimed blog today. I apologize on her behalf for the inconvenience and heartache that the absence of her blog may (or may not) cause today. But she cannot blog today. Don't ask her. Why? I'll tell you why. I went to medical school. I just examined her petite personage and found she is suffering from an alarming condition that gets little attention: Broadway Theater Withdrawal. She hasn't seen a big splashy musical in over a week and the pain is unbearable. Throw in the nasal difficulties that continue to taunt her, the lingering jet lag and the nonstop questioning of her existence, and she's a medical mess. There is no known cure, I'm afraid, but God willing, with a little rest and some more time spent listening to "Hamilton," she'll be well enough to blog tomorrow.

Thank you for understanding (or not).

Be well,
Dr. Mordecai Mezuzah
Private Concierge Physician to the SJG

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Ultimate Cliffhanger

The search for the ultimate cliffhanger is serious business in TV. 
Without a good cliffhanger, the audience might not come 
back next season to find out...
I'm pretty sure it was...
Bing Crosby's daughter. 
But what happens when the nail-biter... 
Never gets resolved? Because they cancelled "Nashville"?
And now you'll never know if Juliette won an Academy Award! 
Or God forbid plotzed in a plane crash!
What the Harold Hecuba do you do then?
What she said. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Great Escape

It occurred to me early this morning that life is a series of escapes. When we're kids, we can't wait to escape into adulthood. We think grown ups have it going on. Then we get to be grown ups, and we wonder what the hurry was; this grown up thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. For starters, you have to pay for stuff. Where's the fun in that? So we long to escape back into childhood, when it was simple and easy and all we had to do to get money was make the bed and do a few chores and our parents handed us an allowance every Sunday. But we're grown ups now, and without a workable time machine, we can't escape into the past. We can try, but the thing is, we're grown ups with responsibilities. Then we take it up a notch. We have kids of our own. They're so adorable and lovable and we can't wait for them to go the eff to sleep so we can escape for a while. Then we take it to the next level. We go on quests to find the perfect babysitter so we can escape for a few hours.  Getting out of the house becomes a mental health requirement. We beg our parents to "watch the kids" so we can sneak away for a few nights and remember why we got married in the first place. "Oh, yeah. Hi. You're nice. It's all coming back to me now."

And then our kids become teenagers and can't wait to escape from us. They stay out all night and worry us sick. They enroll in colleges that are far, far away. They don't get in, necessarily, but it's healthy to dream. Maybe they only escape a few hours away, but they're out there in the universe, aren't they, pretending to be grown ups for a while. It's a dress rehearsal. They're not adults yet. They're emerging into something else. And then they graduate college and all that escaping leads them right back to the beginning. They move back in with us and plan their next big escape into the real world of employment and paying the rent and all that fun stuff we've been handling for them since birth.

These days, I'm trying to escape from reality, a few moments here, a few moments there. Every day, I'm collecting my frequent flyer miles, planning my next big escape, even if I don't leave the house.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Professor SJG

She's an occasionally-employed TV writer, an adorably neurotic dog owner, an internationally-worshipped blogger, and soon the Short Jewish Gal will have another role to add to that list — professor.  The SJG will join the London School of Kvetchonomics in the fall as a visiting professor, teaching a new master course called "Mothering Millennials: How To Text With Intention." She's expected to give lectures and take part in workshops related to: "Enabling Via Emojis," "Abbreviated Nagging" and "Parenting Young Adults In 140 Characters Or Less." "I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students as well as to sharing my own experiences as an overprotective mother of not one, but two very handsome millennials who sometimes listen to me, which is better than nothing," the SJG said in a statement. But are students looking forward to the SJG's stint as a professor, too? "I think it's gonna be a weird class, sitting there with the Short Jewish Gal," one student told NBC News with a laugh. "I mean, she's the Guilt Expert of the Western World. If it were me, I'd come in armed with her favorite Pepperidge Farm cookies and a gallon or two of Peet's Coffee, with room for cream." Another student remained optimistic, saying, "If she makes us kugel, it's all good."

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Art Collector

Last night at my father-in-law's 88th birthday celebration, he shared this joke, and now I'm sharing it with you, because why shouldn't you smile, too:

Leo fancies himself an art collector. One day, he buys a painting and invites his old friend Sammy to come see it. Sammy walks in and sees a plain white canvas with one black dot. "So, what do you think?" Leo asks. "I like it," Sammy says. A few months later, Leo buys another painting and invites Sammy to come see it. Sammy walks in and sees a plain white canvas with two black dots. "So, what do you think?" Leo asks. "I like it," Sammy says. A few months later, Leo buys yet another painting and invites Sammy to come see it. Sammy walks in and sees a plain white canvas with three black dots. "So, what do you think?" Leo asks. "I don't like it," Sammy says. "Too busy."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Driving At The Speed of Guilt

(Studio City) On Saturday, the LAPD pulled over the Short Jewish Gal and gave her a nice ticket for an illegal guilt maneuver. "Is it the hair, officer? Is that why you had to sound your fancy siren and give me a heart attack?" "No, ma'am." "Just admit it, officer. You don't like the hair." "Driver's license, please." "Sure, officer, in a minute. You think I should've gone shorter, right?" "License, ma'am." "I went too short last time. The sides stuck out. It was a little too Bozo. So I told my gal, 'Less Bozo, more chic.'  She started to weep. I feel bad about that, I do, but sometimes, officer, you have to be honest with your people." "Insurance." "If it's not the hair that you think deserves an expensive fine just to help keep the city running, what is it, then? Wait, don't tell me. Is it the face?  Did I make the classic SJG Face at you when I drove by? This wouldn't be the first time I got busted for that offense. I once got sent to the Girl's VP in 7th grade for making the face in Girl's Glee. Nothing gleeful going on in that class, believe me. But hey, it's my face, officer. Aren't I entitled to use it any way I want?" "Registration."
"Coming right up, officer.  If it's not the hair and it's not the face, why are you pulling me over, when I'm not feeling great? Did I mention I have a cold? I'm a little run down. You have no idea what I've been through lately. I go out of town for two minutes and suddenly, the youngest is talking about moving out. Is this a moving violation? I'm pretty sure I was driving at the speed of guilt. Slow and deliberate." "You were driving while jet-lagged, ma'am." "Oh, that." "You don't even know what time zone you're in, do you, ma'am ?" "You got me there, officer." "You shouldn't be out on the road, ma'am. You need to go home and nap. I'm letting you off with a warning. Don't get behind the wheel till you're on West Coast time." "You're a mensch, officer. Your mama raised you right." "Thank you, ma'am." "When's the last time you called her?" "I can't remember." "Shame on you, officer. Shame on you." "Are you trying to guilt me, ma'am?" "Maybe." "It's working."

Saturday, May 21, 2016

New York, Look What You Gave Me

New York was so sad to see the SJG go home that it gave me some lovely parting gifts. A lovely sore throat. A lovely cough. As a lifelong blamer, I blame you, New York. I blame you and yet I love you.  Some might call our relationship dysfunctional. But that's okay. I can live with that. Every time I hack, New York, I will think of you with equal parts adoration and deep-seated resentment. Let's face it, New York, you have a lot of coughers. They cough in museums. They cough in theaters. They cough as though they have a right to cough wherever the eff they feel like coughing. In Los Angeles, we share feelings. In New York, you share coughs. That kind of generosity I can do without. Till we meet again, New York...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Celebrity Hugs

Fitz and the Tantrums perform "HandClap" at the CW Upfront Presentation at City Center. Somewhere in the audience, the SJG claps wildly, per the instructions of the song. I always do what I'm told, except when I don't.

Rachel Bloom ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend") and Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") entertain the ad-buying troops. Later, they meet the SJG and hug me. Celebrities always hugs me. They just do. Who am I to stop them?

From Ian Somerhalder ("Vampire Diaries"), I get not one, but two hugs. I hug him back, and call him my boyfriend. Good thing hubby isn't the jealous type. If you ever meet me, you'll probably hug me, too. I just have that effect on people.

Well, not all people. The film crew for "Rebel In The Rye," a movie about the young J.D. Salinger, dispenses no hugs in Central Park. They hush all the looky-loos like yours truly, who stop by to "spectate," as the New Yorkers say. The 40s period clothes are "faboosh," as my New York friend Fabreze Schwartz might say.

Today the Carousel of Upfront Madness stops spinning. (See what I did there?) Hubby and the SJG return to Sherman Oaks, to resume kvetching, locally.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Broadway Baby

Brian d'Arcy James and Christian Borle in "Something Rotten!" -- hysterically funny show about the birth of the musical, Shakespeare and most importantly, dancing omelettes. 

The SJG on the Broadway stage of "Waitress." 
That's right. I know people...

... People like Broadway star Connie Ray, who got me on stage after "Waitress," a lovely musical about pie. The lobby smells like pie. The theater smells like pie. They sell little tastes of pie at intermission. 

Connie Ray and QVC star Debbi Fuhrman (aka Bubbles).
Aren't they cute as pie?

Did I mention the curtain looks like pie? 

Connie Ray, Keala Settle (incredible as Becky in "Waitress") and someone who reminds me of me, on stage after the show. Check out the prop pies behind Connie. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

For You, Some Dancers

Weren't we just talking about Edgar Degas? Or was that just me? Either way, I guilted hubby into taking 20 minutes away from his crazy-intense Upfront prep stuff to escort me to "A Strange Beauty" at MoMa, a very cool exhibit of Edgar Degas' monotype process. A monotype, as opposed to a neurotic type, involves drawing in ink on a metal plate. Degas started with a monotype as an experiment, to get his artistic footing (see what I did there?)...

 ... and then worked up a gorgeous painting of dancers. Some guys have all the talent. Hubby was very happy to see the lovely exhibit, and then leave, quickly.

Later I guilted the very same hubby into taking 80 minutes out of his crazy-intense Upfront prep stuff to see Jesse Tyler Ferguson dance his way through "Fully Committed," a frenetic, fairly funny one-man show about the hell of answering the reservation line at a fancy foodie establishment. Today, you'll be pleased to know, I'll be on my own, guilting myself. I'm so good at that. Stand by for details.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SJG Soundly Rejected In NYC

Met Bubbles (aka Debbi) and her dog Rambo. Pitched brilliant idea for jewelry that dogs can put on themselves: "I Did It Myself, Bitches." 
Soundly rejected.

Stopped by Radio City.

Auditioned for Rockettes. 
Soundly rejected. 

Tried to purchase fancy Met Gala party dress. 
Credit card soundly rejected. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

We're Here Because We're Here

We're here. Why are we here? I'll tell you why. We're here because hubby needs to be here for the Annual Network Upfront Thingy. I'm here because I'm tagging along and he needs me. He just does. Needs me to occupy myself, as opposed to Wall Street. I'll leave that to others. I'll occupy Broadway and demand that my New York friends keep me occupied. Here's hoping they answer my calls and texts. Once the jet lag lifts, I'm pretty fun. By Thursday, I'll be up for anything. By Friday, I'll be heading home. Two seconds here and it's colder than we expected, which means that once again, I've packed wrong. The much-derided puffy coat hangs in Sherman Oaks when it should be here with me. When I brought the puffy coat here in December, I didn't need it. Now I do. Isn't life funny?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Shopping For Furniture

"It's not that pink."

Two guys overhead at the gym:
"She wants me to go pick out furniture with her."
"I'm like, why?"
"Dude, don't do it."
"I told her she should go. It doesn't matter what she picks. As long as it's not pink."
"Dude, it just has to be comfortable."
This is where I start laughing and they both look at me:
"Why is she laughing?"
"Dude, why are you laughing?"
"You guys are hilarious."

A pop of pink never hurt any marriage. 

"I've been married 35 ... almost 36 years. And we've always picked out furniture together."
"Pink furniture?"
"Do you get into fights?"
"Not about furniture."
"Dude, I was married 10 years. We never picked out furniture together."
"I think maybe that was the problem."
"Dude, talking was the problem. If I ever get married again, I'm not going to talk. I mean I will literally say nothing."
"Well, I wish you both the best of luck when it comes to women."
"Why is she still laughing?"
"Dude, why are you laughing?"

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Look Says It All

Dusty peers into the unknown. 

This dog of mine. This elderly pup. This once-spunky Labrador. This unsteady stepper. He seems to know stuff ahead of time. See the look? The look says it all. The look says, "Don't try to hide it. You're going somewhere." There's no evidence. Not a suitcase in sight. And yet, he senses it. The abandonment. The betrayal. He knows without knowing. He's psychic that way. He tells the future with his eyes. See the look? The look says it all.  The look says, "Where are you going? And when will you be back?" 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Now Hiring: Insecurity Analyst

Position Available
Junior Insecurity Analyst
Location:  Sherman Oaks
Company: SJG International

Job Description:  Research trends in uncertainty. Reinvest personality portfolio. Restore objectivity. Redistribute self-worth. Affinity for neuroses a plus. Long hours. Some travel to inner depths of the soul.  Salary: Meh. Benefits: Iffy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hello, It's Me

Dear New York City,
Hi, it's me again. The SJG. Every year right around this time, we have a long talk about the weather, and you completely ignore my requests. I'm still a little resentful, but even so, I thought I'd give it another try before I arrive in your city that never sleeps and never removes scaffolding. Once again, I'd like to remind you that precipitation makes for a soggy, cranky SJG. So, NYC, please, for once, would you just listen to me? I give so much and ask for so little. I don't need a parade down Broadway to welcome me, although it would be nice. I understand that's hard to coordinate. I don't need your permission to get up on stage and dance. I'm doing it with or without your blessing. All I need is five days, rain-free. Five freakin' days. Can you do that for me, NYC? Can you put your own selfish needs aside, just once? What must I do to make this happen? Is some sort of payment involved? Do you take VISA, American Express, the SJG Gold Card? Just tell me, NYC. Must I pay in full or can we do this monthly? What sort of interest are we talking? Come on, NYC. Don't be chintzy with the info. You've got four days to get your sh*t together. I anxiously await your reply.
King Kong Hugs,

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Five Stages of Laundry

DENIALDenial is the first of the five stages of laundry. In this stage, laundry becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Laundry makes no sense. You are in a state of shock and denial. You go numb. You wonder how you accumulated so much freakin' laundry. You try to find a way to simply get through each day without washing anything, including yourself. 
ANGERAnger is a necessary stage of laundry. Be willing to feel your laundry anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more your hatred of doing the laundry will dissolve. Underneath anger is pain, your pain, from lifting that heavy laundry basket and shlepping it up and down the stairs for what feels like eternity. Anger makes you shout, "Enough already with the eff'n laundry!" The anger becomes a bridge to the open washing machine that you must fill. The anger is something to hold onto as you sort the whites from the multi-colored schmattas that never seem to get clean, what with the stains and the wear and tear of life itself. 
BARGAININGBefore doing a load of laundry, or, who are we kidding, five loads of laundry at least, it seems like you will do anything to spare yourself the loss of your precious time and whatever sanity you have left. You start to make a deal with the Big Girl upstairs. “Please Goddess,” you bargain, “if you make someone else do the laundry, I will never kvetch about it again. Just let someone else do the laundry, Goddess, please. Goddess? Are you listening? Hello, it's me, the SJG. I'm telling you I will devote the rest of my life to doing other people's laundry if just this once, you make someone else do it for me. Stop laughing. I'm serious."
DEPRESSIONClearly, no one is coming to do your laundry. You feel empty inside, disappointed and depressed, and who can blame you? But don't worry. Your laundry depression isn't a sign of mental illness. It's the appropriate response to all that stupid laundry you're facing. Why do the laundry at all? Everything you wash will just get dirty again. What's the point? No wonder you feel depressed by the futility of laundry. Depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way. If that laundry's going to get done, you're going to have to get down and do it, eventually. But not yet. You're not ready. 
ACCEPTANCEAcceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with all that laundry that awaits you. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK doing the laundry. But this stage is about accepting the reality that your laundry needs doing, and it won't kill you to do it. You don't have to enjoy this reality or make it OK. But accept it, already, and stop bitching about it. You must put a positive spin on it. You must learn to reorganize the delicates that need their own setting, and the sturdier items that can stand a stronger cycle. Instead of denying your laundry, you can accept it and roll with the High-Efficiency Tide. You can begin to do laundry again. This is a good thing, people. Rinse and repeat.

Monday, May 9, 2016


"Please don't go, I'll eat you up, I love you so."

(Sherman Oaks) The SJG, internationally-acclaimed blogging sensation, gathered a motherless minyan of press types to her home on Mother's Day to share some earth-shattering news worthy of the worldwide web. "Today I plan to fress like there's no tomorrow. I've spent the last year losing some unsightly tonnage that accumulated without my written permission. Today I plan to undue all my hard work and attempt to regain much of it. Won't be easy, but I'm up for the challenge. I'll start with the blintz souffle, eat my way over to the cheese strata, consume an entire bagel with a generous schmear of cream cheese -- not reduced fat, regular! -- and let's not forget the over-the-topping of lox imported from Costco. After that, I'll spend a brief moment digesting, and then get busy with the desserts. Rugelach, alligator cake, nothing will be safe in my presence. I'm done being good. Calorically-speaking, I'm going ape-sh*t today. Why? I'll tell you why. Because I've made enough sacrifices as a mother to last a lifetime. It's my day. Mine. I'm sacrificing bupkis. Do you hear me? Bupkis. If I want to gorge with reckless abandon, embarrass my loved ones, risk the expansion of my waistline and wake up Monday morning filled with unbridled regret, all I can say is, 'Stand back and watch me.' "