Monday, October 31, 2016

When Royal Sparks Fly

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle 

(Ye Olde England) This morning, Prince Harry issued the following statement regarding the origins of his budding romance with the lovely Meghan Markle. "I was sitting at home, watching telly, when this delightful Hallmark Channel movie came on. It was called When Sparks Fly and written by the Royal Family's dear friend the Short Jewish Gal of Sherman Oaks. You know the SJG is our go-to on All Things Jewish. She taught Wills & Kate how to do a proper hora at their wedding. She's shared her famous kugel with us on numerous holidays. When I saw the SJG's name pop up in the credits, I knew I was in for a fun romantic comedy with a guaranteed happy ending. And isn't that what the world needs now more than ever -- more Hallmark movies by the SJG?"

The SJG's Hallmark movie has made a royal match 

"Within seconds, this simply stunning actress named Meghan Markle appeared on screen and I was... what's the word the SJG always uses? Farklempt. My royal eyes bulged with intrigue, my royal heart went pitter pat, and I realized, blimey, I must meet her! I had my people call her people and in no time, I jetted, royally, to Canada and met Meghan whilst she filmed Suits. Can you say fireworks? Of course, the SJG has already reserved a spot under the chuppah, which seems a bit premature. But you know how the SJG gets ahead of herself. If you happen to see her, wandering the streets of Sherman Oaks, as she's prone to do, till the authorities remind her, 'No loitering,' be a love and tell her Meghan and I would like to thank her for making a worthy match. And should things progress, as they do in her charming Hallmark movie, she'll be the first to know."

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Playdate With The SJG

Doggy Date 

Blake, a sweet Lab-Boxer, or if you prefer Boxador, dropped by yesterday for a playdate with the SJG and hubby. He's deciding whether to adopt us. We're all for it, we've filled out all the forms. Blake seems pretty taken with us, too, or maybe it's just our backyard. The playdate went so well that he agreed to a sleepover. He slept well, I'm happy to report, when he wasn't standing up in bed, turning around, licking my face, licking hubby's face, licking himself, getting up again, lying down, spreading across the mattress... you get the idea. He's very rested and spunky this morning. And that's really all that matters. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Business Is Business


Hetty and Hannah hadn’t seen each other for some time when they bumped into each other at the Westfield Mall in Sherman Oaks.
"So Hetty, how is your grandson, the proctologist, doing?"
"My grandson is no longer a proctologist, Hannah. He decided to become a dentist instead."
"A dentist! Why the change in career?"
"Business is business, Hannah," Hetty said. "Let's face it, everyone starts off with thirty-two teeth but have you ever heard of anybody who has more than one tuchas?"




Old Avrahom was a poor tailor whose shop was next door to an upmarket French restaurant. Every day at lunch time, Avrahom would go out the back of his shop and eat his black bread and herring while smelling the wonderful odors coming from the restaurant's kitchen. But one day, Avrahom was surprised to receive an invoice from the restaurant for ‘enjoyment of food’. So he went to the restaurant to point out that he had not bought anything from them. The manager said, "You’re enjoying our food, so you should pay us for it." Avrahom refused to pay and the restaurant sued him. 
At the hearing, the judge asked the restaurant to present their side of the case. The manager said, "Every day, this man comes and sits outside our kitchen and smells our food while eating his. It is clear that we are providing added value to his poor food and we deserve to be recompensed for it." 
The judge turns to Avrahom and said, "What do you have to say to that?" Avrahom didn’t say anything but stuck his hand in his pocket and rattled the few coins he had inside. 
The judge asked him, "What is the meaning of that?" Avrahom said, "I’m paying for the smell of his food with the sound of my money."



The following was overheard at a recent ‘high society’ party:
"My ancestry goes back all the way to Alexander the Great," Christine said. She then turned to Miriam and asked, "How far back does your family go?"
"I don't know," Miriam said. "All of our records were lost in the flood."

Friday, October 28, 2016

That's Personal

Mine, too.

As a thin-skinned gal since, oh, 1958, a gal whose feelings get bruised if you look at me the wrong way, a tender soul who takes things a bit too personally -- because, um, I'm a person, so what are my choices? To take things robotically? -- I've spent a lot of time trying to toughen up. No really, I have. I've attempted to depersonalize the situation. I've tried to take myself out of the equation. But guess what? It hasn't panned out. I'm still part of the scenario. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm still just a petal. It all comes with the territory of being the SJG. Which is why I'd like to stay on the topic of thin skin for just another moment. Unless you have to rush out and have a life. In which case, ba-bye. Okay, for the rest of you who stayed, I'd like to mention the total irony that my metaphoric thin skin now matches my actual skin. It's thinning out, people. Thinning as we speak. Did someone put my skin on a diet? In terms of skin, some layers have gone missing. This seems terribly unfair. My epidermis is showing, and quite frankly, I'm not sure I like it. So ends Friday's blog. Thanks for sticking around. I hope it was worth it. If it wasn't, don't tell me. You know how thin-skinned I am.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bittersweet Trick-Or-Treat

Who am I?*

Most childhood Halloweens mush together in the SJG brain. I vaguely remember a princess stage, a Hobo stage, and that's about it. I'm sure I dressed up, I'm sure I ate too much candy, but the rest is a big Abba Zabba blur. I'm more sentimental about my extended door-answering phase. As a teen SJG, I loved handing out candy. Loved it. The cute kiddy costumes. The parents waiting at the bottom of the steps. This was my idea of pure gooey fun. Still is.

Memories of opening the door on Halloween stick with me more than anything else about the holiday. I'm sure this has to do with the fact that the SJG is a giver. A giver, I tell you. How many times must I remind you? I like to give. Candy. Unsolicited advice. Directions. Easy-to-return gifts. Extra helpings of kugel. But back to Halloween. My favorite memory of all time? I was in 11th grade. It was 1974. I opened the front door, expecting a few trick-or-treaters. What I found instead was this:
The Uni High Marching Band 1974
 Steve Kaplan, second row, long hair, with drum mallet
The entire Uni High Marching Band spread out across our front lawn. And there was my cousin Steve Kaplan (alav hashalom) grinning back at me. I think of Steve every Halloween. If only I could open the door and find him there in his band uniform, smiling at me. That would be sweeter than any Snickers Bar or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

(*spooky ex-governor of Alaska)

(10-29-12)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ready Or Not

It happens a lot in life. You do something biggish and within two minutes, the well-meaning ones want to know what you're planning for an encore. You graduate college and the nice people want to know when you're getting a job. You date a mensch and the nice people want to know when you're getting hitched. You bring home a baby and the nice people want to know when you're getting Baby #2. And don't even get me started on the sad stuff, the losses that life throws your way. The nice people sometimes say the wrong things. They try to give you a gentle nudge to move on. Maybe you don't want to move on. Maybe you want to linger a while. Sometimes there are no replacements, no substitutes. Sometimes the encore isn't an encore at all, but a baby step in the right direction. Ever since the Eccentric Elderly Pup departed, the nice people want to know when we're getting another dog. My answers vary depending on the day. The nice people ask a lot of questions, offer a lot of opinions. What kind of dog will you get? Will you get another Lab? I always say, "I don't know." Or sometimes I get all Zen on them, which really baffles them. "I'll know when I know." Oddly enough, the other day, sooner that I expected, suddenly I knew. That happens a lot in life, too. One day you don't know. The next day, you know too well. In a few days, we'll meet the dog we hope to adopt. It's a slow process. Baby steps. A meet-and-greet. An overnight. And maybe, if this sweet little guy likes us, and vice versa, adoption. The nice people call it a forever home. Sounds about right. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get rescued.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In The Words of Mine Russian Ancestors

"A pumpkin is only a big fat squash 
with its eyes cut out."

"Break me off a bissel KitKat."

"May you eat candy corn till your arteries clog."

"I don't care if it ruins your costume, 
put this sweater on."

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm Monday, Damn It!

"Hello?"
"Is this the SJG?"
"Speaking. Who's this?"
"This is Monday."
"Monday? Shut the front door. Is it really you?"
"Is there another day called Monday?"
"No, you're the only one."
"Then it's me."
"Hi, Monday. What up?"
"I understand you're not a fan."
"It's nothing personal."
"It's plenty personal. This day is all about me. It's not my fault that I come with more baggage than the other days."
"Poor Monday. Tell me about your baggage. I'm here for you, gal."
"I come with the leftovers from Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, you eat and drink, you relax, you stay up too late, maybe you see a movie, maybe you see some friends. Then you wake up on my day, the first day of the week, and you go, 'Oh, hell, why did I eat so much this weekend? Why didn't I sleep more? I look like crap. Thanks a lot, bitch.'"
"Wow. You've given this a lot of thought, haven't you, Monday?"
"Yes, I have. I'm tired of being blamed for Saturday and Sunday's transgressions. I'm really a very nice day, once you get to know me."
"Well, Monday, thanks for calling. Now, if you'll excuse, I need to haul my tush out of bed and start you."
"Spread the word, SJG. I'm just as good as the other days. I'm Monday, damn it! I deserve some respect."
"Monday?  What part of I gotta go aren't you getting?"

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Holiday Horrified

Dear SJG,
Color me confused, but which dang holiday comes first: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas? In my neighborhood, I'm seeing cemeteries and witches, pumpkins and skeletons. In my market, I'm seeing turkey basters and stuffing. In Macy's, I'm seeing Christmas trees. Menorahs? Nowhere to be found. Did someone cancel Hanukkah? I turn to you for guidance during this challenging time.
Frantically,
Holiday 'Ho

Dear Holiday 'Ho,
Let me clear this up, immediately, and put your frazzled keppy at ease. According to my calendar, courtesy of Temple Beth Sheket Bevakashah, the only holiday happening right now is Sukkot. If you're smart, you'll gather up your fun size Hershey bars, your pilgrim hat, your dreidels and your candy canes and hide out in your homemade hut till the whole thing blows over.
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Music Box Always Plays Twice

"To Lana, Love, Johnny."
"What?!" I ask hubby's father.  "Back up.  Start over.  This is amazing."  "It's just something that happened," he says over dinner.  "You want stories?  I've got lots of them."  "Hang on, I'm getting a pen.  I've gotta write this down.  Okay.  What year was it?"  "What year?  I don't know.  Maybe 1950's. "  (It was 1958 to be exact.  April.  Good Friday.  Or, as hubby's father calls it, Good Shabbos.)  "Go on."  "Johnny Stompanto comes into the store."  (And by store, he means, his picture framing business on Pico.)  "He was a gangster-enforcer for Mickey Cohen.  A very charming gentleman, very pleasant.  A handsome son-of-a-gun.  Tall, over six feet. Meticulously dressed.  A bon vivant. He lived at the Del Capri on Wilshire."  "Oh, right near where I grew up."  (Important to insert myself into the story, don't you think? Of course you do.)  "He owned a little shop in Westwood, the Myrtlewood."  "Wait.  He was a gangster with a gift shop?"
Johnny and Lana, in happier times
"He liked nice things."  Here, hubby's mom chimes in, "It was a mob front!"  "How old was he?" I ask.  "I don't know.  A young man."  (He was 32.)  "So, he comes into the shop in the late afternoon, and he's got a European music box that's got damage to the top.  He asked if I could repair it in two to three hours.  He was going to the airport to pick up his girlfriend Lana Turner, and he wanted to give her the box.  I said I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I'd try.  A few hours later, he comes back.  I've fixed the box.  I tell him, 'I don't know what to charge.'  He hands me two crisp hundred dollar bills and goes off to the airport.  That night, he was dead."  (Lana Turner's daughter Cheryl allegedly stabbed him.  She was 14 at the time.) "It was in the paper the next day.  I was shocked."  "The daughter was never charged," adds hubby's mom.  "She probably had a thing for Johnny.  She was jealous of her mother," hubby's father says.  But the SJG doesn't buy it.  "That's crazy!  She was a girl!"  I whip out the iPhone and start Googling right there at the table.  I should've just called my brother John, the authority on all things Hollywood.  (This morning, he tells me, "Everyone always knew that Lana did the stabbing. The daughter took the rap because they'd known she'd get off.")  "Do you think it was the music box?" I ask hubby's dad.  "Maybe Lana didn't like it?  Maybe she noticed the repair job you did and wasn't happy?"  He laughs at that.  "They'll never know what happened," he insists, unwilling to take the rap.  "But you saw him on his last day," I say.  "I lost a good customer," he says, and takes a bite of cake.
(1-17-13)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Not That Story Again


You know the feeling. You're on the phone. You're having coffee with a friend. You're out to lunch. And then it hits you, a dejavu-ish-I've-said-it-before moment. You've already told your friend this story and that story, but the nice friend you're inhumanely boring to death is too much of a mensch to say, "Oh, dear God, if you tell me that story again, I will lose it." Relax. Now there's a way to stop you from spiraling into the same deadly details no one wants to hear, with the SJG's YouSaidIt, a stylish electro-shock watch that will zetz you every time you re-launch into an anesthetizing anecdote. Extra features include BoreTrackPlus for multi-monotony tracking. Automatically monitor how many times you've told that same story with instant text and calendar notifications and humiliating emoji faces. Customize with a variety of zetzes -- Strong, Extra Strong and Emergency Room. It's everything you need to salvage what's left of your social life. Retail: $79.95. Friends and family: $69.93.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Oh, It's On!

"You're the puppet!" "No, you're the puppet!"       
                                     
In anticipation of our lunch today at Islands, our favorite giggle spot in the S.O., Shelley D. made the following suggestion via text: "Should we stage a mock debate? I'll be the Donald." "You know he doesn't like to be mocked," I texted back. "Is that a no?" "I didn't say that."


"Scared of losing?" she needled. "How dare you!" "So it's on?" "Oh, it's so on." Is it ever. What Shelley D. doesn't know is how seriously I've taken this challenge. I've flown in experts on my private SJG jet. I've read stuff. I've cooked up some tasty zingers. I'm ready to rumble as our next president, God willing. I'm planning to dress the part, assuming I can find a flattering pants suit in time. Let's do this, girlfriend. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Winner takes all the fries. That's right. You heard me. All of them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

You Can't Take It With You

From what I gather, there are no cell phones in heaven, a zip code that, Torah-wise, gets no mention. Still, it's nice to think of a nice place where nice people go when the meter runs out and they no longer have to search for a parking spot. Speaking of which, my dad, the birthday mensch in absentia, always had the greatest parking karma. He'd just put it out there -- "I'm going to find a great spot right in front of the restaurant" -- and more often than not, it would simply materialize. Toward the end, finding anything -- wallet, keys, jacket -- brought him such aggravation. Finding his cell phone -- that was the worst. There were long searches through the condo, long land-line conversations. "Daddy, did you check in the den?" "I checked." "Did you check in the kitchen?" "I checked." "What about the bathroom, Daddy?" "The bathroom? Hmm." And there it was on the bathroom counter, the cell phone, charging.

Maybe it's a good thing cell phones aren't allowed in heaven. Who needs to spend eternity looking for a mobile device? Just the same, I wish I could call him up today. I wish he could answer. But you know what? I may just sing to him, anyway.
High school graduation, 1975. What I wouldn't 
give to get a hug like that again. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lactose Intolerant

Step into the SJG Time Machine with me -- don't worry, we serve coffee and bagels -- and let's return to the early '90s, when I found myself in a room full of men at a network meeting. I'd just given birth to the youngest only weeks before and was wearing the only non-maternity dress that fit. It was my first TV movie gig. I was associate-producing. I needed to sound coherent in that room. One hour in, I was on fire. I had it going on. I couldn't quit articulating about this, that and the other. All the dudes were nodding in agreement. Uh-huh. Hmmm. Oh, yes. Good point. At least, that's how I remember it. This is my flashback and if I say I conducted myself, professionally, I darn well did. 

Until the second hour, when my twin lactation specialists needed a word: "We're filling up with milk." "I can't hear you." "Deny all you want, but this is going to be a situation." "I'm in a meeting here. I'll call you back later." "What part of 'an  explosion is imminent' aren't you getting?" "I'm begging you, no leche, por favor." "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature." "Can you at least stall her?" I started to fidget. I prayed really hard. "Dear God, don't let me have a letdown and spray this room full of men with breast milk. It will be very bad for my career, God. Very bad. Hello? Are you listening up there? We're talking 911 emergency."

The rest of the meeting is a blur. At some merciful point, it ended. At some point, I stepped onto the elevator. I made it to the parking lot, and as I hurried toward my car, the floodgates opened. I proceeded to have a biblical letdown of epic proportions. The entire front of my dress turned soggy with milk. But no one was there to witness the SJG, fully drenched, and for that, and so much more, I'm eternally grateful.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Personal Space Invaders: Studio City Edition

(Studio City) Police officers descended on a local fitness gym called Schvitz! to break up a vicious, verbal altercation between a short Jewish gal and a quiet yet buff, tattoo-covered man, over the placement of his cell phone, car keys and eco-friendly water bottle during Bang Ball - a challenging boot camp-style class guaranteed to make all participants strong and physically attractive. As the cops locked her up in Gym Jail for a time-out, the SJG shouted in self-defense, "But he put his personal stuff in my personal space!" The quiet yet buff man could be heard in the background saying, "I didn't know! I didn't know! I'm just a guest here. Someone should've told me she was severely territorial." At which point, the handsome, ab-baring Bang Ball instructor, a Mr. Davee Youngblood, intervened. "Dude, I told you that's where she put her towel and water bottle." "Oh no you didn't!" said his now ex-friend. "Oh yes I did." "Attica!" the SJG hollered from behind a stack of protein bars. "Attica!" When the new manager of Schvitz! threatened to revoke the SJG's membership, she settled down, admitting, "Sometimes I overreact."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sleep Talkin'

He told me to call. 

Bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, this morning, I ask hubby, "Would you like to know what you called out in the middle of the night?" "What?" "You were in a total panic." "What did I say?" "You were projecting complete and utter despair." "What did I say?" "CAROL!!!!!!! CALL THE LAWYER!!!!" "I did?" "It sure sounded like a Major Legal Emergency." "Huh." "Any idea why you wanted me to call the lawyer?" "No idea." "Are we about to get sued and this is your way of telling me?" "No." "You sounded so afraid, like, this was a major litigious situation. I kept thinking, 'Why do I have to call the lawyer? Why is this on me? And we only have one lawyer. Our wills are up to date. Should I call her now, anyway? It's 3 a.m. I don't have her home number, but I could leave a message at her office.' " "Sorry I woke you up." "That's okay, honey. I don't need to sleep anymore. I'm done growing."

Friday, October 14, 2016

Another Mental Mishap

"Your mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves entirely."

There's a reason I've had this cartoon pinned to my bulletin board for at least 10 years. It so aptly describes the SJG state of mind, it's spooky. Why, I have only to mention yesterday's mental mishap to illustrate what goes on up there in my clogged keppy: 

"Hi, I'm here for my appointment with Lenny. I'll go grab a smock."
"What time is your appointment?"
"11:15."
"Lenny doesn't get here till 12."
"Oh."
"Your appointment is tomorrow at 11:15."
"It is?"
"Yes."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive."
"Well, spank my butt and call me Charlie."
"Uh, okay. See you tomorrow."

I get home and check the calendar on my bulletin board, conveniently located to the left of the afore-mentioned comic. Yep. It's right there, written clearly in ink: Friday, 11:15. What a goof ball. Maybe next time I make an appointment, I'll be all tech-savvy and such. Set up a calendar alert on my iPhone. Throw in a blaring horn sound. AWOOGA! AWOOGA! Assuming I can remind myself to remember to do that, which, just between us, seems doubtful.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I Want To Hold Your Yarmulke

Random news delivered during delightful break-the-fast-even-if-you-didn't-fast:
"My friend's friend saw Paul McCartney at temple today."
"WHAT?!!!"
"WHERE?!!!"
"He was at Temple Emanuel."
"@#$%! I used to go to that temple, a million years ago."
"How do you know?"
"My friend's friend sat next to him."
"NEXT TO HIM?"
"Well, one seat away."
"Close enough."
"Just the thought of it... you look over and there he is! Sir Paul!"
"I'd start screaming."
"You wouldn't."
"I'd lose it. I would."
"I'd have to be carried out by the ushers."
"I'd pay to see that."
"He's married to a Jew."
"Duh."
"Barbara Walter's cousin."
"Do you think he fasted?"
"Sir Paul? No."
"Maybe."
"He only eats vegetables, so how hard would it be to give up broccoli for a day?"
"How do you play it cool when Paul McCartney's right there in shul?"
"It's not humanly possible."
"Did someone ask him to sign their tallis?"
"Or their prayer book?"
"Excuse me, Sir Paul? Could you sign my yarmulke?"
"The only celebrity to ever show up at my temple was either Mary-Kate or Ashley."
"Which one?"
"Who knows? One of them. She was dating a handsome Jewish boy and came to services."
"So, that must've been pretty exciting."
"Not on the level of Paul McCartney."
"Talk about a nice way to start the new year."
"Gut yontif, Sir Paul!"
"Shana Tovah, Sir Paul!"
"Next year, come to my temple."
"I'll save you a seat."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On The Fringe

Rosh Hashanah was over and there was time until Yom Kippur, and Abie needed his tallis cleaned. He called his friend Max to ask what dry cleaner to take it to, and Max said, "I always take my tallis to Moishe the dry cleaner on W 4th. He only charges $4.00" So Abie goes over to Moishe's and finds that the ownership has changed. He asks the new owner, Mr Jones, if he meets the old prices.  Mr. Jones assures him that he does. Three days later, Abie goes to get his tallis and is given a bill for $24.00. He storms at Mr. Jones. "I thought you met Moishe's prices?" "I did," said Mr. Jones, "$4.00 for the tallis, and $20.00 to get all the knots out of the fringes!"

http://www.haruth.com/jhumor/jhumor4.htm

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nice Kitty

There are a few things I know for certain: I'm not a good candidate for leopard adoption. To those of you who've helpfully suggested I ignore my cat allergies and welcome one into my home, I say thank you, but no.
Another thing I know for certain: Love makes the world go 'round. To those of you who've helpfully suggested I circle the globe solo to prove this theory, I say thank you, but no. 
Of course, there are a few things I don't know. I'm still learning. Here's something I just discovered, something I could've gone my entire life not knowing, but given the rapid decline of civilization, I'd like to share it with you before we all become extinct. 
I learned that this gal right here, Mrs. Trump III, is wearing something called a pussy bow, much like the bow tied 'round the neck of kittens, cats, the occasional leopard or tiger. Had it not been for current events, I never would've known about the pussy bow, and maybe you wouldn't have known, either, and isn't it great to learn something new?    

Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't Be A Stranger

A few years back, one of my neighbors used to call during the High Holidays and leave a long rambling recorded apology. It went something like this: "Hi, this is Ed from across the street, the one you always ignore. Perhaps I've offended you somehow. I don't know what I did, but I thought I'd apologize, and then you can call me and apologize for ignoring me, like you're some big epis, and then we'll be even. If I've upset you in some way, I'm sorry. If I've been an inattentive neighbor, I'm sorry, even though I think I've been a pretty great neighbor. Remember that time I took out your trash cans? No thank you note, no gift. That's okay. It's Yom Kippur. Time to let old grudges go. Speaking of which, I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive me for whatever the hell I did to piss you off, although for the life of me, I can't figure it out. I'm a terrific person, even if you don't think so. Just thought I'd open up a dialogue. I wish you and your family a gut yuntif. Don't be a stranger."
Clearly, Ed expected me to call back, but I never did. This week, I'm going to atone in temple for not leaving the following long rambling recorded apology: "Uh, yeah, hi, Ed. It's the SJG. Just because I drove by you that one time without waving hello doesn't mean I intentionally ignored you. I was trying not to run over a squirrel. Still, let me take this time to apologize to you, from the depths of my being, for not killing the squirrel so I could say hey, neighbor, and not hurt your feelings. If we're being honest here, I never asked you to take out our trash. You did that all on your own for that Unsolicited Mitzvah Day you inflicted on the entire neighborhood. I'm still trying to locate our trash cans. Where did you take them, Ed? Give them back. It would be a blessing if you'd lose my number. Gut yuntif to you and yours."

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Space Expands, Time Slows Down!


Last night on the way to my brother's early Halloween party, my Mother-in-Law said this from the backseat, a sentiment that came out of nowhere: "I'm not voting for the marijuana." Hubby smiled and let me take the wheel, metaphorically. I turned around and looked at her. "What?!"


"I tried it once," she said. "I didn't like it." "So you don't think it should be legalized?" "No." "It doesn't mean you'd have to do it again." "Good. I felt lightheaded and strange."

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Half-Full, Half-Empty

Some say the kiddish cup is half full. Some say it's half empty. What's the big deal? If it's half empty, ask for a refill. Seriously, people. Is the amount of wine in a pretty chalice a good measure of the way we view life? The SJG says nyet. A better indicator is how we came into this world. Was the arrival peaceful, or in my case, hectic?
When you're born in the backseat of your daddy's oldsmobile in the hospital parking lot, something tells you, from a very early age, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
I'd like a refill, please. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

My Chart of Adorable Persistence

Some may call it pushy. Others -- as in the two people I've given birth to  -- naggy. But I like to think of it as adorably persistent. That's the SJG in a matzoh box. Adorably persistent. In this weird, no rules universe we currently occupy, it's hard to get anyone to respond in a timely fashion. A gal who clings to the borders of neurosis could start to feel a wee bit insecure. Rather than sit back and feel ignored, I take action. I turn to my Chart of Adorable Persistence. I monitor when I sent the last unrequited email reminder of my existence. More than two weeks? Hello, I'm back. Sometimes I come right out with, "Hi, it's me, guilting you. What am I, chop liver?" I blame my father for this ridiculous approach. He never gave a crap what anyone thought and wanted me to be the same way. When I was first starting out in show biz, he'd advise me to write outrageous notes to TV producers. His logic: "You have nothing to lose." The note that stands out, because it actually worked once or twice: "Hire me or you'll never work in this town again, and this comes from someone with absolutely no influence whatsoever."

These days, instead of sending notes, I write a silly email: "I know you can't stop thinking about me. I have that effect on people." Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. At least I gave it a shot. In a perfect world, I'd pick up a phone. But no one does that anymore. Too old school, right? Well, yesterday I gave it a shot. I called a wonderful human who's busier than anyone I've ever met in my life. I figured after two emails and a text, what's the worst that could happen? He lets it go to voicemail? He blocks my call? In my career, I've been through much worse than that. So I called. And... brace yourself... he answered. "I'm not ignoring you!" he said. "So you don't mind me being adorably persistent?" "Not at all." Boy, is he in trouble. He just gave me permission to stay adorably persistent till I run out of steam, which, according to my calculations, is a few years from now, when I downgrade to exhaustedly tireless.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Swearing: It's Good For You!

Every few years, a report resurfaces that swearing is good for you. It helps relieve pain and suffering, helps you bond with co-workers. I just heard about a new study, but actually, it's an old study. The Brits, known for such colorful expressions as, "Oh, Blimey!" and "Bloody hell!" and "Bugger off!" are responsible for the pain study, first mentioned in Time in 2009: "Psychologists at Britain's Keele University recruited 64 college students and asked them to stick their hands in a bucket of ice water and endure the pain for several minutes. One group was allowed to repeat a curse word of their choice continuously while their hands were in the water; another group was asked to repeat a non-expletive control word, such as that which might be used to describe a table. The result was that swearing not only allowed students to withstand the discomfort longer, but also reduced their perception of pain intensity. Curse words, the study found, help you cope."
Well, the SJG doesn't need to stick my hand in ice water to figure that one out. But anyway, back to the experts. Richard Stephens, a psychologist and lead author of the 2009 study, says, "Swearing increases your pain tolerance." Duh! How do you think I got through labor? "Swearing reduces the perception of pain more strongly in women than in men. That may be because in daily life men swear more than women." Oh, eff that! In this house, I'd say we're about even. Either way, I'm happy to embrace any study that says swearing is good for you. This is important sh*t, people! It helps justify my existence in so many ways.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The SJG Cure For Insomnia

Last night I try everything to get to sleep. All my usual tricks. I try counting "Seinfeld" episodes.  "Serenity Now!" makes me laugh, so I stop counting "Seinfeld" episodes. I move on. I start counting backwards from 100. But there's something about 92. I hit 92 and I question myself. Did I already say 92? Should I say it again? 92! 92! Not helpful. I move on. I picture a soothing waterfall. Ahh... Uh-oh. The thought of water triggers an urge to tinkle. I get up. I get back in bed. Now I'm wide awake. What. The. Hell. Then it hits me. Insomnia. I have insomnia. Who wants insomnia? Not the SJG. What to do? What. To. Do? Oh, wait. I know. I'll think of all the words that rhyme with insomnia. That'll put me under. That's the anesthesia I need. That's the ticket, bitches. Then it hits me. In-what-nia rhymes with insomnia? Bupkis, that's what. Nothing rhymes with insomnia. So instead, I isolate parts of the word. "Momma... has... insomnia... Insomnia makes Momma... a.... zombia. Zombia... isn't a word... What the eff else rhymes with..." At this delicate rhyming juncture, I doze off. A miracle. Clearly, I've discovered the cure for insomnia. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Finders-Keepers

Dear SJG,
My hubby's Eccentric Elderly Aunt joined us for Rosh Hashanah dinny and left her funky retro sunglasses behind. I only discovered them this morning, stuck between the sofa cushions. Just for fun, I tried them on, and oh my G, I look so cool, so mysterious, so, dare I say it, gorgeous, it's criminal. My question to you has to do with etiquette. When someone leaves something behind at your house, are you obligated to tell them, or is it more of a finders-keepers/losers-weepers situation?
Thanks,
Feeling Shady
Dear Shady,
The answer to your question lurks within the pages of my new bestseller, "The SJG Will Judge You Now." In this instance, it's important to ask yourself whether it's kosher to hang on to the Eccentric Elderly Aunt's sunglasses and wear them so they don't go to waste, or, whether it's okay to say, "What sunglasses?" when she calls up, crying hysterically, and asks if you've seen them. Do you want to be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year, or rot in hell for eternity? The High Holidays are the perfect time to explore these difficult issues.
You're Welcome,
The SJG