Sunday, July 31, 2016

Don't Throw In The Towel

"Everything's on sale today."
"That's why I'm here."
"Don't buy the Fieldcrests."
"Why not?"
"They're very disappointing."
"But they're so soft."
"Soft? Sure. Maybe too soft. They fall apart after you wash them."
"Huh. How do you feel about the Ralph Laurens?"
"I like them much better than the Hudsons."
"What about the Royal Velvets?"
"You can't go wrong with Egyptian cotton."
"I didn't know Vera Wang made towels."
"She should stick with the dresses."
"Wow. You've got a lot of opinions about towels."
"Much safer than politics."
"So you think I should go for the Ralph Laurens?"
"Personally, I lean more toward the Royal Velvets. Very plush. Nice absorption.  But you need to make your own decisions."
"I think I'm voting for Ralph. No offense."
"None taken."
"Well, thanks for your help. You really know your towels."
"I've been using them a long time."
"Can you keep these for me at the register? I need to look at sheets."
"Oh, honey. I don't work here."
"You don't?"
"No. What gave you that idea?"

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Unpretty In Pink

There was spilling and splattering and swearing. There was miscalculation and eye strain and major smudgery. There was contortion and physical pain and psychological damage. There was blame and remorse and back-pedaling. There was repetition of the following statement: "When will I ever learn?" There was the SJG on a Saturday morning, making idle threats. "I can do this. I can defy the odds. I can accomplish the unthinkable. There was an unhappy result, a flop, a failure. Throughout history, pundits have advised against it, they've said, "Don't go there, girlfriend," and "Walk away while you still can." Did I listen? No. For I'm the SJG. I'm short and I'm stubborn and I wanted what I couldn't have on short notice:  pretty pink toes.   did my own pedicure, people, and it was bad. I'm an unskilled laborer. I went outside the lines. I put polish in places polish shouldn't go. On the sides of my toes, on the bottoms of my toes, on my hands and under my nails. On the way out the door, I told hubby, "If I ever say I'm going to do my toes, talk me out of it." He glanced at my feet and said, "Done."

Friday, July 29, 2016

SJG Deodorant Schtick

You, too, call smell like this.

Let's face it, mine lovely peeps, it's hot. Why, just today in the S.O. we're going to hit 90 by noon. What to do? I ask you. What? To? Do? Well, if you're anything like me, and if you are, my apologies to your family, you'll want to spend the day smelling fresh as a chocolate babka that just came out of the oven. What's that? You don't want to smell like a time-honored Jewish bakery item? You'd rather smell fresh as, what? A daisy? Personally, I've always thought daisies smell like bubkis. But listen, if that's your journey, then you have my permission to stop reading this blog, immediately. On the other hand, if you're in the market for a long-lasting, sweat-preventing, yummy-smelling deodorant, then have no fear. The SJG has something just for you: my new SJG Deodorant Schtick. I call it SJG Fresh-As-A-Babka. The organic ingredients are top secret, of course, but I'll give you a few hints. Warm milk. Dry yeast. Sugar. Flour. Semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped). A dash of cinnamon. And butter (for that silky smooth feeling). Put it all together and you've got a natural, powerful odor-fighter that lasts all day (more or less). I'm telling you, this is the only sweat-deterrent you'll ever need. Why smell like bupkis when you can smell like babka? Exactly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Ups & The Downs

Dear SJG,
It seems your career has had its ups and downs. Which is more fun to remember, the ups or the downs?
Sincerely,
Career Watcher

Dear Career Watcher,
Hmm. Let me give it a good think and get back to you.
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Dear SJG,
What's your time frame for getting back to me?
Sincerely,
Career Watcher

Dear Career Watcher,
After deep, momentary reflection, soul-searching and laundry sorting, I've reached a conclusion. I'd have to say, definitively, it's more fun to remember the ups.
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Dear SJG,
How would you sum up the downs of your career?
Sincerely,
Career Watcher

Dear Career Watcher,
"They went another way."
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A History Lesson

An American, an Englishman and an Israeli are indulging in a bit of boasting.
The American says, "One of my ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence."
The Englishman says, "That's nothing. One of my ancestors was present at the signing of the Magna Carta." 
The Israeli quietly says, "You think that’s something? One of my ancestors drew up the Ten Commandments."
Two statues have been facing each other in some shrubs across a pathway in a park for over 100 years. One is of Morry, a famous Jewish benefactor and the other is of Naomi, his very kind, loving and supportive wife.
But then one day, an angel comes down from heaven and quickly brings Morry and Naomi back to life. "As a reward not only because you were both such good Jewish people when you were alive," says the angel, "but also because you have both been so patient during the last 100 years, suffering blazing summers and dismal winters out here in the park, I'm pleased to tell you that you've both been given an extra 30 minutes of life to enable you to do whatever you wish to do the most. So go do it now. Enjoy!"
Morry looks at Naomi, Naomi looks at Morry, and then holding hands, they go running behind the shrubbery.
The angel waits patiently as the bushes rustle and lots of giggling is heard. After 15 minutes of this, Morry and Naomi return, both out of breath and both laughing loudly.
"OK," says the angel, "you still have 15 minutes left. Would you like to do that again?"
Morry asks Naomi, "So, shall we then?"
Naomi eagerly replies, "Oh yes Morry, let's do it again. But this time, let's change positions. I'll hold the pigeon down, Morry, and you can kaka on its head."

www.awordinyoureye.com

Monday, July 25, 2016

All Kinds of Happy

A happy skateboarder. Go, dog.  Go! 
There's happy. And then, there's HAPPY. After a killer exercise class, I'm happy, in an exhausted, "Thank God, that's over" kind of way. However, this isn't the sort of happy that requires damage control via a slick publicist. "Yeah, so, the SJG got a little too happy. It happens. What are you gonna do? She hears Hava Nagila and loses control, especially if she's hit the Manichewitz hard. To all the nice people whose personal space she violated during her Hip Hop Hora at the Hollywood Bowl, she apologizes and promises to never get that happy again."
Hmm.  This skateboarder looks suspiciously Happy. 
The other day, I witnessed a new version of happy, the kind that deserves a capital H, on my way home from the afore-mentioned killer exercise class. Driving up Fulton Avenue, I saw a dude of indiscriminate age, doing a combo skateboarding-dance routine as he veered in and out of traffic. He was wearing headphones, bopping along, waving at everyone. That's an altered kind of happy bordering on wackadoodle. Not that I judge. Well, maybe a little. All I know is, the vision of this total Skateboarding Meshugenah, swaying side to side, is the kind of happy that's in short supply these days. Sure, this guy's happy may be medicinally-enchanced. Maybe I should've yelled out the window, "What the hell are you on and where do I get me some?" But before I knew it, his extreme Happy ramped up my humble happy and made me laugh. So thank you, Skateboarding Meshugenah, whoever you are, and please, next time you freestyle it through Sherman Oaks, wear a helmet.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Motherly Suggestions

A conversation with the eldest as he lounges on the sofa:
"Can I come to work with you tomorrow, honey?"
"Why?"
"I never get to see you do anything other than lay on the couch like the former Banana Slug you are."
"What's your point, Mother?"
"It's been years since I've been Room Mother. Why can't I be Work Mother? It'd be fun to watch you act like a grown up."
"That sounds awkward."
"Awkward?! Why would you say that, my son? Are you trying to hurt me?"
"No. It's just that no one else brings their mother to work."
"You can be the first to start a trend. Plus, there are snacks involved."
"Snacks? Go on."
"I'm thinking adorable little pb&j sandwiches."
"With the crust cuts off?"
"That goes without saying."
"What else would you do?"
"Why, I'd clean up after you, of course. I'm sure your desk is a total pig sty."
"That's hurtful, Mother."
"Am I wrong, my son?"
"No. Keep talking."
"I might make a friendly suggestion or two, like... tuck in your shirt, you look like a slob. That sort of thing."
"You know I never tuck my shirt in."
"It's about time you started."
"So basically, it's Bring Your Mother To Work Day."
"Only better. It's not just a day. Anyone can do a day. A Work Mother stops by as needed."
"With food."
"Bagels. Sushi. Cookies. Anything your heart desires, my son."
"Work Mother, huh? The concept has potential. Let me run it by our social media/marketing team and get back to you."
"I thought you were the social media/marketing team."
"You got me there, Mother."
"This is why you need me to drop by on a regular basis."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Moment Like This

"So. I hear mazel tov is in order."
"You heard right."
"Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this."
"It feels like it took a lifetime."
"What was it? Six months?"
"More like seven, but who's counting."
"How did you find out? Tell me they didn't text you. What is it with all the texting? Is it so hard to pick up a phone?"
"We had to call. Every few weeks, we called. They put us on hold. We called back. They wanted to keep us in suspense."
"I'm not such a fan of suspense."
"That makes two of us, doll."
"How did you finally pry it out of them?"
"We said, it's us again. Is it in yet or what? We've been waiting forever. And they said hang on, we'll check. A few times, we got disconnected and had to call back."
"Oy. I would've had a coronary."
"So then we all agreed on Saturday."
"Well, I'm so happy for you, I could scream. May you never have to use it. But it's good to know it's there."
"All I care about is that it works, even though I hope I never have to put it to the test. But let me tell you, driving around with a faulty airbag that might explode in my face and take out an eye isn't a good feeling."
"So, now you'll drive around with new."
"New is better."
"Generally speaking, it is."

Friday, July 22, 2016

She's Here, America!

Kerry Fisher alert: She's here, America!

Last summer, I went to London and got to meet the hilarious and brilliant Kerry Fisher, author of so many terrific books that I better mention them at some point in this blog, lest I offend her. And now, America, she's here and I'm rejoicing. I get very British when I'm around Kerry. I start saying things like, "Bloody hell!" and "Ta!" Her Britishness is infectious, but in a good way. No antibiotics required. A glass or two of wine goes better with Kerry, heightening her hilarity. I'm not making this up. She's fun. The way she views the world, and everyone in it, makes me giggle. And a giggling SJG is a good thing. I even forget to kvetch when I'm around her. Just kidding. I still kvetch. And she's so freaking prolific, I'm in awe. This gal writes and writes and writes, and wonderful books happen: The School Gate Survival Guide, The Island Escape, After The Lie. Any additional mention of Kerry's impressive oeuvre and I may require reimbursement. So listen, America. Forget your troubles. Kerry is here. What more do you need? 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How Many Does It Take?

Q:  How many SJGs does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Two. One to stand on a wobbly chair and change it, and one to say, "Oy gevalt, be careful up there."

Q:  How many SJGs does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  You already asked me that. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Unleashed

(Sherman Oaks) Neighbors got a little concerned on Tuesday when they spotted the SJG walking down the street with an empty dog leash, talking to the sidewalk. "She kept saying stuff like, 'Who's a sweet puppy! Don't eat that! Nice poopy!' " said Joe Shlabotnick, who lives eight doors down from the SJG. Or maybe it's nine doors. "So I went up to her and said, 'Have you lost your mind?' And you know what she said? 'Pretty much.' So I told her alcohol helps, and walked her home. You know what she did when we got to her house? She patted my head and said, 'Good boy.' "

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Reading of the Will

"The Reading of the Will." One of my all-time favorite routines from "You Don't Have To Be Jewish." Enjoy, sweetheart. Enjoy.
 

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Fun Family Outing

We needed a family outing. At least we thought we needed a family outing. Was this the family outing we needed? Maybe not. But just between us, it's the eldest's fault. We got so swept up in his enthusiasm. His overall glee was contagious. It was the email that started it, at least the parts he decided to share. The email from his current apartment manager said there was a two-bedroom apartment available on Overland Ave, managed by the same big company that manages his current building. But why, why, why would we leave the calmness of Sherman Oaks to travel to Overland Ave, a hectic freeway of traffic and noise in Palms? I'll tell you why. Because the sons have decided to live together, which involves them actually finding a place to live, with maybe an assist from their mother, the Enabler.

So over the hill we went, with hubby at the wheel. "You don't want to live on this street," he said, driving up and down Overland  in search of an elusive parking spot. He went on to further condemn the property in question and utter many bad, bad words. "Look! Guest Parking!" the eldest yelled. Hubby pulled into a hellish place only suitable for your worst enemies. There were no spots there, either. He double-parked and invited us to get out of the car and go look at the two-bedroom without him. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the website depiction of this large apartment complex was seriously misleading. The paradise with the pools and the Zen garden and the great fitness center was in reality a rundown spread under repair.

I won't burden you with the awfulness of the apartment that David, the assistant manager, took us to see, an empty one-bedroom that was just like the two-bedroom that would be available at the end of August. "Just picture another bedroom on the other side of the living room," he said, "and that's what it looks like." As we scrambled to leave the premises, David told us about a two-bedroom unit with a great view that would soon be available, too, right next to Susan, the building supervisor, "but she's a little picky about who lives next door." Sounds perfect unless you tend to break a few rules now and then. I refer you to my sons.

On the way home, I looked at the eldest, lovingly. "Can you read me the email your manager sent you about this sh*thole?" He read it out loud, leaving the best part for last. "... By the way," his current manager said, "Susan, the building supervisor, thinks I'm a blithering idiot." "So we just shlepped to a place where if you'd mentioned your current manager as a recommendation, it would've worked against you?" "What's your point, Mom?" "That."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jewish Angst

Dear SJG,
Jewish Angst. What is it and how do I get some? Two of my friends have enough to power a small planet. I feel left out.
Sincerely,
Freakishly Calm
Dear Freaky,
I'm so glad you asked. And a two-parter yet. Even better. Already I'm excited. Jewish Angst is an existential state of mind. A life sentence of constant agitation. A festering clump of mounting complaints. A never-ending search for the right temperature, the right deli, the right doctor, the right --- oh, you get the picture. Jewish Angst is an overdose of the Human Condition. How do you get some? You don't. Jewish Angst is not something you can order online. Jewish Angst doesn't come in a bottle. Jewish Angst is something you're born with, meaning you're genetically predisposed to a lifetime of annoyance, impatience and worry. Go ahead and convert. You still won't get it. Jewish Angst is not something you can catch, like the intestinal flu. There is no shot, no antibiotic, no cure. Consider yourself lucky and move on.
You're welcome,
The SJG

Saturday, July 16, 2016

All The Goodbyes


All the goodbyes
whispered and sent off
with such tender souls

All the goodbyes
tearful and inscribed 
with such sweet sadness

All the goodbyes
spoken and unsaid
with such grieving hearts 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Always A Good Napper

Dusty at eight years old

No question, this was my easiest pregnancy. There was no morning sickness. No heartburn. No weight gain. No elastic waist bands or built-in pouches to conceal my bulging belly.  And talk about an easy labor. No contractions. No cries of “Get this thing outta me now!” No need for an epidural.  All hubby and I had to do was throw wads of money at a strange woman with lipstick-stained teeth, and the bundle of joy landed right in my lap.

Unlike my sons, whose arrivals inspired flower baskets and mini-muffins and a mention in Variety, Dusty's birth 14 years ago slipped by, unnoticed. We thought about registering at Petco, but changed our minds. Too tacky. So fine, there was no puppy shower, no mono-grammed chew toys. On the plus side: no thank you notes to write.

During the lengthy puppy phase, we tried not to get too worked up when Dusty did his business indoors, left bitemarks on our skin, and pretty much destroyed the premises. "Expect $3,000 in damage,” said someone I stopped talking to, mainly because her estimate came in low. The pup literally gnawed through the carpeting on the stairs, straight to the wood, while we were out one afternoon. Dusty certainly showed us who was boss, didn't he? Still, we've loved him no matter what. It's always been unconditional... on his part and on ours.

Ready to move on

Getting Dusty has been the best decision our family has ever made. In the past few days, we've had to make the toughest decision. I have no idea where dogs go, or people, for that matter, when they've officially run out of steam. I hope it's wonderful. All I know is this. We're not ready to say goodbye to the Eccentric Elderly Pup today. But it seems he's ready to move on to the next adventure. He's taught us so many things, and this final lesson has been the hardest one to comprehend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Eccentric Elderly Pup Show

Dusty prepares for his new show

Coming soon to SJG-TV, "The Eccentric Elderly Pup," a talk show for dogs, hosted by, who else, Dusty, the SJG's hilarious, oft-times inappropriate, slow-moving labrador. The show will explore such controversial canine topics as, "Chase After Your Own Balls, I'm Tired"; "Crap, I Did It Again"; "I Won't Run, Don't Ask Me"; "Bitch Be Like, Shut Up, I'm Shedding" and "Go Away, I'm Napping." The roster of guests will include Bradley Pooper, Khloe Pomeranian and Donald Trumpdog.

"You're deported!"


Dusty's favorite band, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, will perform between feedings and bathroom breaks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Seal With It

Talk to the hand.

"The sounds you were making this morning."
"What sounds?"
"We could hear you downstairs."
"I was just yawning. Revving up the ol' engine."
"That wasn't yawning. It was so much more."
"Go on."
"It's otherworldly. Like a seal barking. Or a coyote howling. You sound like this..."



"So you're saying I'm an otherworldly, barking coyote seal?"
"Pretty much."
"I've been called worse."

Monday, July 11, 2016

Where There's A Smoke Detector...

Sleep. Who needs it? I mean, seriously. What's the big deal with sleep? You don't accomplish all that much while you sleep. You can't cook a kugel while you sleep. You can't jog in place. What else can't you do? That's all I got. I'm a little groggy this morning. More like a total zombie. Why? I'll tell you why. Because the smoke detector went off at 4 a.m. Did you know smoke detectors are very, very loud? Well, they are. They are louder than loud. So loud they could bust an eardrum. I guess that's the point. If they weren't loud, you'd keep sleeping. And so, when one of the smoke detectors went off, God only knows which one, hubby and I spun into action. "What the eff?" hubby said, jumping out of bed, heroically. "What the eff is that?" I said, slowly sitting up. When he didn't answer, I repeated myself, something I do a lot these days. "WHAT THE EFF IS THAT?" "IT'S THE SMOKE DETECTOR!" "OH, EFF ME AND THE HORSE I RODE IN ON!" Then we got busy with the investigating. Hubby explored the upstairs region of the palatial estate. In the role of fetching sidekick, I took the downstairs. I'm happy to report that our crack detective team of two quickly concluded that the smoke detector had detected absolute bupkis. It just went off because it could. Such an important lesson in life. If you want to be heard, you've got to make some noise.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Whole Lotta Swiping Going On

So, there's a whole lotta swiping going on these days. The youngest son is on an app-related quest. He just wants to meet a nice girl. That's all. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. Conversations start and stop. There's the promise of "grabbing a drink." Then there's radio silence. Or should I say, cellular silence. He plants himself on the sofa and gets to work with the swiping. The SJG remains mystified, and maybe a little too invested. "She was pretty. Why'd you swipe left?" "You swiped right for her? Have you no taste?" For some reason, these observations don't go over well. He swipes left on my commentary and tells me to mind my own business. McCuse me? In my own home, where he swipes, swipes, swipes out in the open, for my aging eyeballs to see? And by see, I mean I have to lean in closely to get a good look. "Back up, Ma." This is the response I get as he swipes the day away. May I be honest with you, courtesy of a very long sentence? For a concerned, well-meaning mamala, a short person who met hubby in 8th grade when I'd already achieved full height, a gal who wouldn't even be here if my parents hadn't been fixed up on a blind date, the best part of this frantic swiping isn't the potential to find a match worthy of a song in the updated version of "Fiddler on the Roof." No. Not even close. The best part is listening to him dream up ways to woo his cyber soul mate, via text. This week's favorite, delivered with a thick Brooklyn accent: "Hey, how you doin'? Name's Shlomo. I'm a part-time mohel. What do you do for cash?"

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Overheated in Sherman Oaks

She was very fond of her cooling system. 

Dear SJG,
Our fancy-schmancy A/C that we blew most of our children's inheritance on, is, how they say, on the blink. As in, a red light is blinking, and that's not good. Not good at all. What have we done to deserve this punishment? Why is this happening?
Thanks,
Overheated in Sherman Oaks

Dear Overheated,
You want to know why? I'll tell you why. Because if things were perfect, you'd have nothing to kvetch about. You'd lose your entire identity. Kvetching is the thing that makes you... you. So stick your head in the freezer and deal. Soon the A/C will be fixed, and something even more troubling will happen, either to you, or someone you know, or someone you used to be related to, but still get overheated thinking about, because if you didn't, who would you be? Not you, that's for sure.
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Friday, July 8, 2016

Semi-Inspirational Quotes

"It is during our darkest moments that 
we bump into things."

"Somewhere, someone is doing something stupid."

"It is never too late to call your neighbors 
and complain." 

"Nothing is impossible if you're highly delusional." 


"If the world seems cold to you, make it a sweater."

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Yenta Alert


I'm in line at the mini-post office inside the pharmacy, when the yenta in front of me sees a nice young couple preparing a stack of boxes to send out.  They're standing off to the side, minding their own business.  "What are those?" she asks.  "Wedding invitations," the groom-to-be tells her.  "Really?  They're so big for wedding invitations."  The bride-to-be smiles.  "They're bottles.  The wedding invitation is inside."  "Oh.  Very clever,"  the yenta says.  "So when's the wedding?"  "Soon," the young man says.  "Fine. You don't have to tell me when. And where is it?"  "Hawaii," the young woman says.  "Why don't you invite me?  I'm a lot of fun at weddings."  The couple laughs awkwardly.  I roll my eyes at the post office lady.  We share a non-verbal "oy vey" as the yenta goes on.  And on.  "Marriage is a lot of work, you know.  It's all about communication and trust.  It takes two to tango."  I can hear "shut up, already" perched on the tongues of everyone in line.  The urge to shove this yenta into the big canvas cart marked US Postal Service overtakes me. For once, I show some restraint. The not-that-happy couple is now conversing in a foreign language, probably debating who gets to tell this woman to get lost. "Well," the yenta says, "Congratulations.  I hope your marriage lasts.  Mine didn't." With that, she makes her exit. "Don't listen to that crazy lady," I tell the future Mr. and Mrs. "Of course your marriage will last.  Mine has.  Thirty-five years of uninterrupted bliss.  Thirty-six in August, but who's counting.  Mazel tov!"  They hand me one of the boxes.  "We hope you can make it."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Drive, He Said

The local traffic report calls it Holiday Light, as in very few cars on the road. But hubby, a former valet parking attendant (and proud of it), views it a little differently. Any cars on the road, one or two even, are too many, because chances are, those drivers will be automotively challenged. If only people could follow hubby's revolutionary road rules, he'd be a happier driver. I think. His revolutionary road rules are pretty simple, too: Just drive your eff'n car. That's all. Just drive. Your eff'n. Car. And so, on the 4th of July, he exercised his right as an American to drive maybe a tad too independently. "Honey," I said, gently and supportively, "I think maybe you're driving a little fast." To which he replied, "It's a car. I'm driving it."

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day In Sherman Oaks

Independence Day in Sherman Oaks means many different things to people I don't know or want to know. For the SJG, the holiday is a day to get closer to finishing that macrame flag I've been crafting since I first went to camp in Big Bear back in 1968. Only 42 stars left and I'll be done. Also, it's a day to spend with whatever family members I'm still talking to, and vice versa, competing in heated watermelon seed-spitting contests. Whoever wins cleans up the mess. If that doesn't scream fun, stay home. And, while we're on the subject, it's a day to recite the Declaration of Independence in Yiddish while dancing the hora to the 1812 Overture. You think that's easy? Try it and get back to me.  Above all, July 4th reminds us that without question, the very silly, quasi-revolutionary ideals as expressed in this here blog are the only ones you should embrace. If the SJG's kugel hasn't set you free by now, you might as well surrender your quest for personal happiness. And let's face it. No other blogger in modern times understands the significance of a good bagel more than the SJG. Throw in some nice coffee cake and your festive barbecue is complete. Am I right? Of course I am. On top of which, no other blogger understands the Art of Tolerating The Ones You Love on national holidays better than the SJG. All it takes is a few beers and self-ejecting patio furniture that lets your people know, in no uncertain terms, it's time to leave. And so, on behalf of, who else, me, Happy Independence Day. Let freedom ring, but please, not too loudly. I may be napping.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Thirteen Discoveries of Old Age


1. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
2. My wild oats have turned into prunes and bran flakes.
3. I finally got my head together. Unfortunately, now my body is falling apart.
4. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
5. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
6. If all is not lost, where is it?
7. It’s easier to get older than to get wiser.
8. It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.
9. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
10. It's not hard to meet expenses--they're everywhere.
11. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
12. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I’m hereafter.
13. I am unable to remember if I emailed this to you before.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Along For The Ride

"If I knew where I was going, I'd already be there."

Pardon me, but what exactly does that mean?  It sounds like a country western lyric, probably because it is, but honestly, I thought I'd made it up until I Googled and found out, others before me have said it.  Damn.  I could've sworn it was an original SJG.  Still, I love it so.  It could apply to anything, anytime.  It would look nice on a bumper sticker, or the side of a bus.  Yes, especially a bus.  But then it might frighten the passengers, who need to believe the driver will get them wherever they're going.  Only, here's the thing.  Sometimes the driver gets lost.  Sometimes the driver has no clue where the eff he's going.

Am I right?  Of course, I am.  I'm always right when I'm speaking metaphorically.  This is the story of life's twisty turns.  Let's take me, for example.  We could take you, but then, this blog is about my favorite neurotic.  Me.  Get your own blog.  I've always been driven.  I've always wanted to be a writer.  Why?  Because I'm a glutton for punishment.  God forbid, I should pick a simple career, like archery.  I would've made a great archer.  Thanks to all that time at summer camp, I'm something else with a bow and arrow.  I'm all about the bull's eye, people, or a close approximation.  Which means I'm probably pretty good at darts, too, not that I've tried it.  I invite you to name one short Jewish person who picked archery for a career, or, while we're at it, darts, and get back to me.

Pipek-gazing: The SJG Career Strategy

Not that you asked, but here's the zig-zaggy trajectory of my humble writerly life:  At 15, I started writing bad poetry, an elongated Sylvia Path/Anne Sexton stage that lasted more years than I care to admit.  When I wasn't contemplating my pipek, I was reporting on other people's pipeks for the high school paper, and then in college, the Daily Bruin.  (Meanwhile, what a great title for a novel:  "Other People's Pipeks."  Maybe if I ever finish the novel I've been writing for longer than I care to admit, I'll write it.)

Then I worked for a magazine and made up the horoscope column for teenage pipek-gazers.  Then I worked in fabulous show biz for two seconds.  Then I went back to journalism.  Then I wanted to write sitcoms, like my daddy Ben Starr.  I got one assignment.  One.  That was it.  Then I started writing after school specials. Then I wrote TV movies.  Then I couldn't get arrested.  The tale goes on and on.  I tried this, I tried that.  I had many dry spells.  Did I say many?  I meant:  many, many.  Two years ago, exactly, not that I'm counting, my first TV movie in years aired. A miracle.  Since then, I've been trying to get another TV movie assignment, which is a lot like banging my keppy against the wall. Repeatedly. In the meantime, I wrote a play with my dear friend Cathy. I'm living proof of the above quote.  I've never really known where I was going, career-wise.  I've always just been along for the ride.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Oy Vey, Can You See?

.... how predictable this is?

If you're like the SJG, you're probably wondering what to wear this holiday weekend, as you regale others with your presence at various 4th of July soirees.  It's such a burden, isn't it, trying to top yourself, year after year.   How patriotic must we go?  What could be more predictable than red, white and blue?  I ask you:  where's the element of surprise?  Once you've paraded down your block in your Stars-and-Stripes-Forever hotpants, and been asked not to attend the block party ever again (and there's a court order to keep your distance) you must reach for a whole new color scheme, just to save face.  Why not salute America with some beautiful hair color?  Trust me just this once.  No one will expect you to show up rockin' a purple wig like Katy P...


A clever nod to...


Purple mountain majesties.


Or how about a wavy amber Raquel 'do..



In honor of amber waves of grain.


Maybe pop a basket of fruit on your 
keppy like Carmen Miranda...


To remind us of America's fruited plain.


Whether you perk up your look, or play it safe this 4th of July, have a good one, why don't you?