Wednesday, August 31, 2016

We Love You, Conrad

...  oh yes we do!
When it comes to comfort movies, "Bye Bye, Birdie" tops my list. I watched it again the other night and enjoyed every corny moment. I was only five when the film came out, and from that point on, wanted to be Ann-Margret, with the long red hair and killer bod. I wanted to live in goyisha Sweet Apple. I wanted to go steady with Hugo. I wanted Conrad Birdie to kiss me on "Ed Sullivan."  I wanted to slip into this cheeky song-and-dance fantasy, if only for a moment or two, and finally got my chance in junior high, when my friend Laurie and I performed "Kids!" for the Daddy-Daughter Dinner. You know it. You've sung it to your own offspring in one form or another:  "Kids!  I don't what's wrong with these kids today!" There we were on the big stage, Laurie and I, dressed in our dads' baggy pants, lip-synching to Paul Lynde's classic rant against "noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy loafers." Naturally, we rocked it.  The reviews were stellar. According to our dads, we were "fantastic!"
"What's the story? Morning glory?"

And while we're on the subject, a few months later, a bunch of us did "The Telephone Hour" for the Mother-Daughter Tea. It was a mini flash mob, as I recall. I can't remember how many of us were up there, or whether we actually sang, "What's the word, hummingbird?" or pretended to, but once again, the reviews were stellar. According to our mothers, we were "sensational!" Sadly, my budding stage career ended right there. I never lip-synched again, never grew up to look like Ann-Margret, never wore bright pink skin-tight pants, never got pinned by Hugo. But I'm alright with that, I've made peace with it. As long as I can watch "Bye Bye, Birdie" every now and then, I'm good. Who needs goyisha Sweet Apple, when you've got the wonder, the charm, the excitement of Sherman Oaks?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Gentle Genius

"If you're not gonna tell the truth, then why start talking?"

Back in 1975-1976-ish, I worked in a bookstore in Westwood Village. It was my dream job... except for the part where I had to stand for hours till my tootsies screamed in agony. But other than that, I was the happiest SJG (College Edition). Books over here. Books over there. What more could a girl want? World peace? Of course. But there's no room for that in today's blog. In the aforementioned book store, every now and then, a celebrity would waltz in and the SJG would get plenty excited, in a discreet, oh-my-eff-look-who-just-came-in sort of way. I was only 18. You didn't expect me to act cool, did you? 

In those glorious low-tech days, the famous ones could just show up in a book store and browse without getting stalked. For them, I'm sure it was nice. Some marched in like they owned the place. One time, Dustin Hoffman stormed through with a dog and two kids, slammed down a stack of art books, never made eye contact and broke my heart. Broke it! In two! Would it have killed you to smile, Dustin? Apparently. Other celebrities were menschier. Gene Wilder comes to mind. Shy and unassuming. Sweet and kind. So polite as he handed me seven or eight philosophy books to ring up. I wanted to say, "Nietzsche, Gene? Not Groucho?" I didn't. I wanted to say, "No, it's pronounced Fronken-steen." I didn't. I wanted to say, "Will you marry me?" I didn't. Future hubby wouldn't have liked that. If I'm being honest, which is a genetic condition -- just ask anyone who knows me -- meeting Gene Wilder, and yes, I consider it a meet-and-greet, was a high point for me,  a celeb encounter I'll always treasure. Wherever he is now, I sure hope he's with Peter Boyle, puttin' on the Ritz. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

How Much Is That Doggy On The Patio?

"Who was that short Jewish gal at the BBQ on Sunday?"
"I need a few more details."
"She was short."
"Yeah, I got that."
"She was bent over the whole time, talking to the ground."
"Oh, you mean the SJG. She wasn't talking to the ground, silly."
"She wasn't?"
"No. She was talking to the dog."
"What was she saying?"
"Silly things in a high-pitched voice."
"Like what?"
"Like, 'Well, hello to you! What's your name? Can I take you home with me?' "
"She wouldn't just walk off with someone else's dog, would she?"
"I hope not, but you know how possessive she gets. Once she sees a dog she likes, she starts professing love and offering treats and asking where she can get one just like it. Everyone kind of feels sorry for her."
"What does her husband think?"
"He's think they're not ready to get another dog yet."
"And does she accept that?"
"Have you met her?"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

SJG's Hair Fashions

Hairstyle Protective Hood for Air Hostesses, USA, 1965

Tired of worrying about how your hair looks?  Who isn't.  Sure, your hair might look okay in the moment you're standing in front of your mirror.  You might tell yourself, "Damn, my hair looks bitchin' today." I love that about you, the self-delusion, the complete denial.  And yet, what happens to your hair once you step outside? Nothing good, that's what. Unless you step outside in a protective hair bubble, you're screwed. Unless your hair is linked up to a Satellite Selfie Service, allowing you a global view, you really don't know how your hair looks at any given moment, do you?  Hey, I'm talking to you.  Why let life be one endless Bad Hair Day?  Why not let someone overly sympathetic since birth take charge of your 'do and oh-no-you-didn't?  At SJG's Hair Fashions, I'll tell you how your hair looks for reals. I'll give you the encouragement you need to get through the day.  I'll tell you whatever lies you need to hear, and you'll believe me.  I'm that good. Let me, the SJG, give you that spritz of confidence you can't get anywhere else.  Let me tell you to take your hair back to bed and call in sick.  Let me write you a doctor's note.  Better yet, I'll call work and pretend I'm your doctor. "Trudy can't come in today.  She's come down with the Follicle Flu.  It's very contagious. Trust me, you don't want her around."

On you, it works. 

What are my qualifications for opening my no-frills Salon de Sassiness? A lifetime of haircare disappointment. A sink full of tsouris. A cabinet of useless products. Ten photo albums of Horrible
Hair Choices.  You don't need a license for this sort of expertise. You need a hair therapist. I'm your gal. I'll analyze your needs in two seconds flat and send you on your way. It'll be the best $300 you've ever spent. Too much?  Fine.  Bring a coupon, I'll give you 50 percent off. So please, stop by SJG's Hair Fashions for an overpriced, but then, what isn't, assessment of your personal hair mishegas. Walk-ins welcome. And remember, it's not just what's inside that counts.  That's a lie, my friends.  First get your outside in order, then we can volumize your baby fine psyche.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Big Questions

1.  What is your current position on the presidential election?
Answer:  It can't be over soon enough.
2.  How much do you weigh?
Answer:  Some days more, some days less.
3.  Why did the sons move in together? 
Answer:  To narrow down the SJG Worry Zone. 
4.  Would you feel safe in a driverless car?
Answer:  It depends who's at the wheel. 
5.  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?
Answer:  Let me get back to you on that.
6.  If you were Ruler of Sherman Oaks, what would be your first big move?
Answer:  I'd move Wednesday to Thursday, I'd get rid of Monday and switch Saturday with Tuesday.
7.  What's it like to be a famous international blogger?
Answer:  It's a lot of pressure.
8.  Is it true that in a previous life, you were taller?
Answer:  If by tall you mean 5"3', then yes.
9.  Did you take your silly pill today?
Answer:  I doubled the dosage.
10.  Will you visit the sons in their new apartment?
Answer:  You already know the answer. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Little Farklempt

There are boxes in the hallway and lamps on the floor. A mountain of bent hangers. Bags of old clothes and shoes destined for Goodwill. Someone is moving out today. It's not the SJG. It's not hubby. Who could it be? Hang on. Let me think about it. Give me a second. You know I don't like to be rushed. It's still early. The caffeine hasn't caffeinated me quite yet. The brain is slowly cranking into operational mode. Let me take another look around and get back to you. Oh. There's a Kanye poster. A coffee maker. A Manchester U blanket. And albums. Excuse me. Vinyl. And a record player. Have I slipped back in time? No. None of this is mine. It's his. I think I just figured it out. The youngest son. He's the one moving out today. Moving in with his older brother. The two of them plan to make some noise on the Westside. That's right. Thanks for the clarification. I knew I could count on you. I'm a little farklempt. I'll take all the help I can get.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

You Know You Grew Up Jewish When...

You spent your entire childhood thinking that everyone calls roast beef brisket.
Your family dog responds to complaints uttered in Yiddish.
Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents.
You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.
You can look at gefilte fish and not turn green.
You can understand Yiddish but you can't speak it.
You know how to pronounce numerous Yiddish words and use them correctly in context, yet you don't exactly know what they mean. Kina hora.
You grew up thinking it's normal for someone to shout, "Are you okay? Are you okay?" through the bathroom door if you're in there for longer than three minutes.
You feel a sense of pride after seeing a Stephen Spielberg movie.
You thought that speaking loud was normal.

Four-year-old David is having lunch at his grandma’s. After he finishes his bagel and lox and almond Danish, he goes over to her and asks, "Bubbeh, how old are you?" With a smile on her face, his bubbeh replies, "I’m 42, darling - and holding." David thinks about this for a moment, then asks, "And how old would you be, Bubbeh, if you let go?"

One day, eight-year-old Melissa says to her mother, "Mommy, I’ve been thinking about us humans and I’m a bit puzzled. How did we first appear on Earth?" "That’s a very good question, darling," her mother replies. "God made Adam and Eve and they had children and then their children had children, and as a result, mankind began." Later that day, Melissa asks her father the same question. "Daddy, how did we humans first appear on earth?" "The universe was created with a big bang, and it took millions of years for mankind to evolve from monkeys and develop intelligence," her father says. Melissa is confused by this answer and goes back to her mother. "Mommy," she asks, "how come you told me the human race was created by God, yet daddy said we developed from monkeys?" "Well," her mother says, "I'm talking about my side of the family, and Daddy's talking about his."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Meet The Rabbi

Rabbi Kramer
The rabbi came straight out of Central Casting.  He looked like Moses.  He'd married Sammy Davis Jr.  His face was immortalized on the carton of Kosher Yogurt.  On top of that, he was a hyphenate.  Multi-faceted.  Not just a rabbi.  Historian, too.  Author.  Professor.  Lawyer.  Family counselor.  Actor.  Art collector.  Los Angeles institution.  Rabbi Bill Kramer, funny and wise.  We met at the office of his Burbank temple.  He looked at us, studied us one at a time, then said, "Weird." Were we brother and sister, he wanted to know.  He was liberal, but not that liberal.  We told him no, we weren't related.  We told him the date:  August 23, 1980.  He said he'd clear his schedule.  He wore a long white robe to match his long white beard.  We stood beneath the chuppah.  Your folks.  My folks.  Siblings.  Best friends.  The chuppah threatened to topple.  Rabbi Kramer cracked jokes and we giggled throughout.  We've been giggling ever since, in between the other emotional displays that come with marriage.  We've lived here, there and everywhere.  The one-bedroom apartment.  The two-bedroom apartment.  The move to the Valley, where we swore we'd never live.  We got our shots and our passports.  We never looked back.  The townhouse.  The "earthquake" house.  Like the chuppah, the chimney threatened to topple.  This house we live in now.  These sons of ours.  This life we've built.  A good one.  Very good.  So, happy anniversary, hubby of mine.  Thirty-six years of non-stop bliss.  Would we do it again?  Abso-freakin-lutely.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Move Along

This week the sons I lovingly birthed while intermittently screaming move in together. You probably think the SJG orchestrated this particular event. Well, you're wrong. So wrong, I'm embarrassed on your behalf. I had nothing to do with it. Fine. I may have aided slightly in finding the apartment. But don't tell the eldest that. He's taking credit, and I'm going to let him enjoy his moment, in much the same way I always let him win at Candyland. I'm blessed with sons who actually enjoy each other's company. They crack each other up. They speak their own language. The last time they had a fight was... I can't remember. It was probably during a basketball game on the driveway when they were six and 10. This week means an empty nest for the first time in four years. But I can still spoil them rotten, no matter where they reside.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


The Museum of Contemporary Food. Also known as Ralphs in 
Santa Barbara.  So what if the SJG mistook a market for a museum? What's your point? 

I could blame the mix-up on the wine. 

I could blame it on this inflatable reclining Buddha,
but he looks too serene. 

I could blame this non-communicative window washer,
who wouldn't answer me when I asked, "Hey, mister, where's the 
Museum of Contemporary Art?"

I certainly can't blame hubby, who took me to Santa Barbara
to celebrate our 36th anniversary. Blaming is never healthy 
in a long-lasting marriage. Trust me on this. 

After much reflection, I've decided to blame it on the bossa nova, 
which I'll be dancing tonight, in celebration of the end of the Olympics. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Little Clingy

This week, a lot of public schoolers schlepped back to school. In August yet. This seems cruel on many levels. Why are they schlepping back to school so early? The SJG can't tell you. It has something to do with something. Maybe the parents got together and held a secret meeting. "We can't take another second of summer vacation. They're driving us insane. Take them back early, please. Take them back, we're begging you." Maybe the powers-that-be said, "Okay, calm down, already." This much I do know: I get a nervous tummy just thinking about going back to school, something I haven't done in a very long time. Once the nice people handed me a degree -- "Here, take this piece of parchment, good luck, there's the door, English Major" -- I thought my nervous school girl days were over. There was no reason to get anxious about going back to school ever again.  I was 21. What did I know? That I'd have two little nervous boys of my own one day? Little boys I'd have to schlep back to school? No, I didn't know that.

Here's what back to school meant for the little nervous school boys. The eldest starting preschool. That didn't go well. He hung on to my leg until the teacher had to pry him off.  He screamed hysterically as I left. I cried all the way home. The eldest starting kindergarten. That didn't go well, either. I had to drag him out of the car and force him into the classroom, while he screamed hysterically and swore at me. I cried all the way home. Who do you think taught him those words, anyway? The Mother of the Year Committee ignored me that year, too. The youngest at preschool.  That didn't go well. A bad case of separation anxiety. On my end. The youngest starting kindergarten.  That didn't go well, either. For an entire year. I let him wear sweatpants and a hockey jersey every day. One more fight over what he was going to wear and I would've been carted off somewhere. Where, I can't tell you. But I might still be there. Every year, for years and years, another Back to School nervous tummy. Another visit to Staples for school supplies. And then, the inevitable readjustment. Okay, gang. We're back. We're in school again. Let's make the best of it. We're all in this together.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"What We Need Now Is Hope & Courage"

The soft-spoken Canadian mensch

I don't think I've ever been to NY without thinking of "The Out-of-Towners," one of my favorite movies from the 70s, a classic Neil Simon comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis.  Everything goes wrong in hilarious fashion, and everything gets lost - luggage, hotel reservations and above all, dignity. When it comes to Arthur Hiller, it's hard to pick his best movie. There are just too many. "The Americanization of Emily." "The In-Laws." "Silver Streak." "The Hospital." "Love Story." Arthur and my dad met in the early days of live TV, and remained great friends for over 50 years. Arthur's wife Gwen passed away just six weeks ago, and now he's gone, too. Who knows? Maybe the Hillers and the Starrs are sharing a nice table at some celestial hot spot, where it isn't too drafty and the service is heavenly. Double click, people, for full hilarity.

"You mean to tell me I was mugged while I was sleeping?"

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ten Things You Don't Need To Know Today

1.  It's not even 8 a.m. and I'm on my second cup of coffee.
2.  The universe is tired of expanding.
3.  I'm thinking I might eat some toast.
4.  Then, again, maybe a bialy.
5.  I'm feeling bad about my lawn again.
6.  Congress is poised to scrutinize the SJG, as details of another career mishap are made public.
7.  Why the "new you" isn't any better than the "old you."
8.  The SJG will represent herself today at Gelson's.
9.   It'll be the SJG versus the SJG in the SJG Olympic Impatience Finals.
10.  I may take a nap later.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The SJG Life Coach Clinic

(Sherman Oaks) The Short Jewish Gal is pleased to announce the opening of the SJG Life Coach Clinic. "Here's how it works," she said in an exclusive interview with "You come in, you spend the next 58 years with me, maybe longer, depending on whether you're a fast learner or a slow poke, and reap the benefits of all the therapy I've had, not to mention, the tsuris. You sit in a comfy chair, we drink coffee, maybe have a nosh of homemade kugel, and I teach you how to encourage and lovingly reprimand your future life coach clients. Who knew there were so many creative ways to tell people they're screwing up their personal lives and/or so-called careers? At last count, I've discovered 92 ways, but by next week, it could grow to 100. What's that? You don't have 58 years to invest? Fine. I'm happy to help you in 29 years, for half the cost and half the results. No matter which plan you choose, at the end of the program, you get a lovely embossed certificate and the SJG's permission to go out there and help all the messed up people you can find, and be rewarded, monetarily, assuming the messed up people you find can afford you." 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Top Five SJG Olympic Events

Yesterday, I polled my sweet, supportive family to find out which Olympic events they think I would qualify for, should I decide to "go for it" in 2020. Here are just five of the suggestions they came up with in record time:
1. Free-Style Kvetching
2. Indoor Venting
3. Individual Sighing
4. 100-Meter Obsessing
5. Neurotic Hurdling

Sunday, August 14, 2016

All I Really Need To Know

... I learned in dance class:
Show up on time.
Practice the steps.
Follow the teacher.
Stand up straight.
Do your best.
Don't be hard on yourself.
Be wary of slippery surfaces,
Try not to get discouraged.
Try not to run into others.
Take up space,
But not too much.
Find your balance.
Turn, turn, turn.
Don't forget to spot.
Stop when you're dizzy.
Catch your breath.
If you don't get it, try again.
Remember to count.
Reach higher.
Suck in your stomach.
Act like you know what you're doing.
Dance like you mean it.
Keep coming back.
(apologies to Robert Fulghum)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bagel Protection Policy

Dear SJG,
This morning, I nearly over-bageled an egg bagel. Had it not been for the SJG Burnt Bagel Detector I recently installed in my toaster oven, breakfast would've been ruined not just for myself, but also for the man I married on a whim, 36 years ago.
Thank you,
Still Wed in Waco

Dear Waco,
You still owe me money for the afore-mentioned invention. Don't make me come to Waco and collect it.
You're Welcome,

Friday, August 12, 2016

SJG's Latest Sports-Related Shanda

Identical caps!

SJG-TV's resident sports announcer, the SJG, made an epic blunder last night during the Olympics, when she mixed up Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte’s lanes. She went on to call the entire 200m individual medley as if Lochte won the race by nearly three seconds. Phelps took the gold, and Lochte finished fifth. At the moment, the SJG thought she was calling a monumental accomplishment in Lochte’s career, but once the race ended, it was silence on SJG-TV as the embarrassed sports announcer realized the error. "Oy vey, I couldn't tell the difference between those swim caps. They're identical. In my defense, I'm not exactly a sports maven. It's not my forte, okay? Ever since my regular sports announcer Hailey Mary, a lovely Catholic gal, bolted for another sports network, I've been treading water. No question, my Phelps-Lochte eff-up deserves a Gold Medal of Shame. It's right up there with that time I confused the Stanley Cup with the World Cup. I may have been schnockered on Manischewitz, but that's no excuse. If you see me in temple come Yom Kippur, please don't talk to me. I'll be busy atoning for this, that and so much more."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What I Did For Beauty

Not this. Whatever this is.

 Or this. Although it does look fun. 

But plenty, plenty this: The SJG Beauty Lineup. Elixirs. Hydrators.
Age-Erasers. Sun-Protectors. De-Puffers. Skin-Plumpers.
The result? Nothing short of miraculous.

I still look like this.
Give or take five decades. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Will You Still Fit Me Tomorrow?

Tonight you're mine, completely
You hang so well, so neatly
Tonight this dress still zips up in my size
But will you fit me, tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure?
Or just for Goodwill's pleasure?
Can I believe this vest once made me sigh
Will I still wear it tomorrow?

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that you're the only jeans
But will my heart be broken
When my waist no longer looks lean?

I'd like to know that your size
Is one I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won't ask again
Will you still fit me tomorrow?

(apologies to Carole King)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Ride Debuts At Six Bagels Over Sherman Oaks

Abandon all hope. The People-Pleaser is finally open at Six Bagels Over Sherman Oaks. It took 58 years to develop, but according to its designer, the Short Jewish Gal, it was well worth the wait. "Basically, everyone on the ride gets to sit in a colorful, comfy seat, except you, of course. For you, this ride is no-win. So hang on for dear life as you teeter, precariously on a shaky, unreliable track that may plunge you into a Shame Spiral at any moment. Risk your self-esteem while you cater to everyone else's needs. But wait, the fun is just beginning. God forbid you spill a refreshment or drop a cookie into the Pit of Despair! You have two seconds to retrieve it or you're sent back to the beginning of the longest ride in amusement park history. That's right. It never ends. Pretty scary, huh?  You may come up short, but you'll find a way to overcompensate. What choice do you have?"

Monday, August 8, 2016

When Sam Met Sally

Sam and Sally in happier days.

One day, Sam "Slow in the Saddle" Schwartz was steering his mustang Sally down the dirtway, taking his time, because in 1888, what was the big hurry, when, out of nowhere, Hank "Hard Hat" Hannigan came galloping by on his trusty steed Lemon Drop, and, in an early example of road rage, aggressively cut in front of Sam, forcing horse and rider off the path. As Sam and Sally landed in a filthy disgusting ditch, courtesy of Hank's reckless maneuver, Sam yelled out, "Veysmere, doesn't anybody signal anymore?"

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Amazingly Lifelike

Amazing Lifelike! So plush! 
On Saturday at the gym, I told my friend Genie, a retired school shrink, my "brilliant idea" to help me through my Dusty-related grief. "I know exactly what I need." "Would you like to share it with me?" "A fake dog." "Let's explore that." "I'm talking about a low-maintenance pup." "Here are some crayons. Would you like to draw me a picture?" "Not really. I suck at drawing." "You might feel better." She pulled a pack of crayons out of her handbag that she keeps for emergencies. "What color?" "Gimme a yellow Crayola." She hovered over me while I drew something resembling a dog. "Very good, Carol." "Thanks, Genie." "Do you feel better now?" "Not on any level." "Maybe you need to give it a tail." I drew a tail and showed it to her. "It's lovely and low-maintenance. Now go home and put it on your fridge." "I feel like you're not understanding me, Genie." "Let's explore that." "I need something with a little more dimension." "I see." "Do you, Genie? Do you?" "I'm visualizing it now." "Visualize a fake dog." "How fake?" "So fake it doesn't eat, poop or get older." "Go on." "You know those gals who walk around with the pretend lifelike baby dolls?" "Uh-huh." "Why can't I walk around with a pretend lifelike dog?" "You could, but people might think you're meshugganah." "So what else is new?" "Carol, why don't you just get another dog? A real one?" "I'm not ready, Genie. Stop pressuring me." "Let's explore that after Boot Camp on Monday."

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Strut, Strut, Strut

I look good here. 

Sherman Oaks super blogger the SJG, who doubles as hubby's wife, made her inevitable entrance at the Opening Ceremonies, strutting down a catwalk in a spectacular silvery schmatta with a slit that threatened to expose her pipik. The SJG entered to the iconic song “The Girl Originally From Westwood,” as she strode toward a large photo of Davy Jones, the Monkee she loved for longer than she cares to admit. The SJG had retired from shlepping the runway last year, but she was coaxed out for this colorful, head-scratching event.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Time Me

Sometimes the SJG forgets I'm not in training for the Olympics.  Competitive gal that I am, I forget that no one's about to hand me a medal or play Hava Nagila on my behalf.  Ever the athlete, striving for perfection, I forget that how fast I climb the stairs or speed walk through the supermarket is of no consequence to anyone.  And even though I sometimes call out the following commands --  "I'm making dinner.  Time me!" "I'm doing the laundry.  Time me!"  "I'm re-writing something. Again. Time me!" -- doesn't mean anyone in the universe cares how fast or slow I accomplish the task at hand.  All the things I attempt to do on a daily, weekly, yearly basis are going to take however long they take.  What's the rush?  Schedule your life according to a carefully thought-out plan, and there's going to be a delay.  Sometimes we get in our own way.  Sometimes it's hard to step aside and let ourselves through.  Listen, if life ran on time, we'd have nothing to kvetch about, and kvetching, as all the best philosophers know, is how we stay sane.  To vent is human.  To suppress buys you an ulcer.  So take your time, people.  Take as much time as you need to shuffle the deck, reflect a little, and complain.   You'll get there when you get there, guaranteed.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A New Olympic Event

Synchronized Worry Circle
(Sherman Oaks) In honor of the Olympics, famed blogger/kugel maker the SJG, will host a special competitive event in her sprawling estate, beginning at 2 a.m. Friday morning, and lasting at least till Saturday afternoon, maybe longer:  "It's called Synchronized Worrying," the SJG told Sports Illustrated.  "It's a complicated hybrid of hand-wringing and fretting, while performing elaborate choreographed pacing in the kitchen and front hallway, accompanied by Klezmer music. Synchronized Worrying demands advanced over-thinking, gastrointestinal fortitude, endurance, crisis management, flexibility, artistic traipsing and precise timing, as well as exceptional sighing and breath control while bent over, cleaning spots on the floor.  It's taken me years to perfect this sport. I've basically been in training since birth. I can't wait to compete with myself.  If anyone deserves a Gold Medal for Worry, it's me."

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy Yoga To You & Yours

Grandma Shorty, is that you?

My Russian grandma was many things. A funny storyteller. A matzoh ball soup-maker. A skilled Gin Rummy player. A Yoga teacher? Let's think about that. The only exercise I ever saw her do was pace with worry. Back and forth on the driveway she went, obsessing about this, that and everything else. "Where are they? Why aren't they here?" In this way, I'm very much her granddaughter. But yoga-wise, Grandma Shorty doing Downward Dog? It's hard to wrap my brain around. And yet, yesterday, the family historian (my brother John) sent me a snapshot of a program guide listing "Happy Yoga With Sarah Starr" on the schedule. "How did you get this?" I asked. "I'm not telling," John said. "Tell me!" "Make me." "You tapped into a program guide from Heaven, didn't you?" "Maybe." "Admit it." "Make me." I guess I'll never know how he procured this celestial intel. My brother works in mysterious ways. All I know is, the thought of my Russian grandma Sarah Starr teaching yoga in the Great Beyond, while dispensing her classic wisdom -- "Everything is old, including me" -- makes me smile. Wherever you are, Grandma Shorty, namaste. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Next Guest!

"I'll take a tall, hot blonde." -- Dude at Starbucks
"You used that line yesterday.  Order denied.  Next guest!" -- Barista
"I'll take a short Jewish gal."  --  Offspring Enabler
"Remind me what that is again?"  -- Barista
"An un-tall iced coffee with room for disappointment."  --  Frequent Kvetcher
"You want that sweetened?"  -- Barista
"I'd prefer a teaspoon of guilt." -- Cognitive Therapy Drop-Out

Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday, Monday

Monday starts with a shrug, a sigh, an ugh.
A feeling of dread, a kick in the head.
But Monday isn't that terribly bad,
Not compared to some other days I've had.