Friday, August 18, 2017

Short Listed

I might as well just come right out and tell you. I'm a short list maker. This goes with the territory of me being me. If I were tall, I'd probably make nice tall lists and feel super organized all the time. Instead, I make short lists, and when I find them hidden in the oddest places, shoeboxes that once held my beloved clogs, address books from my misspent youth, the scribbled info tends to be revelatory in nature. Like this list I recently unearthed of five inspirational rock n' roll bands I worshipped in the days after I was ousted from the synagogue for "utter silliness." These rock gods got me through that difficult time, and launched me into puberty. What I would've done just to meet one of these musical mensches! I get an attack of shpilkes just saying their names:

1. Shlomo & The Heartburns
2. The Matzoh Breakers
3. The Kosher Grape Stompers
4. The Circumcizers
5. The Bitter Herbs
Oh Shlomo! Even today you make me sigh. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Favorite Near-Death Experience

What's for lunch?  The SJG on rye!

Any time someone mentions Yosemite, which happened just last weekend, when a delightful British family I adore told us about all the big fun they'd had schlepping around lost, I'm compelled to share the very disturbing tale of my Near-Death Experience at the hands of a Yosemite bear. Make that two Yosemite bears. Ask hubby. He was there. In Yosemite. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's the reason we almost died. I try not to bring it up too often -- only on special occasions. Birthdays. Anniversaries.  "Happy birthday! Remember when you almost got us killed?" "Happy anniversary, darling. Thank God we're here to celebrate." Why dwell on the past? That's my motto. Except we almost died!

Not everyone would describe me as "outdoorsy." Okay, no one would describe me as "outdoorsy." But this particular tale takes place in the mid-70s, when I had long hair and hiking boots. Back then, hubby was pre-hubby. What can I say? It was an arranged marriage. For the sake of this story, I'll call him the former boy scout. But I'm the only one who gets to call him that. If you see him on the street, please address him as "sir."  

Summer before college, the F.B. and the SJG, for some insane reason, decided to go backpacking in Yosemite. It sounded very romantic at the time, until the mosquitoes started to swarm and devour the majority of my backside. We set up camp somewhere secluded (bad move) and pre-hubby proceeded to do his boy scout thing. "See that tree over there? That's where we put the food." "Why would we do that?" "It's the only way the bears won't get our food." "And neither will we." I'd gone to camp in Big Bear, five consecutive summers.  Not once had I seen this nifty maneuver, but I decided to humor him.  I laughed my tush off as the F.B. lassoed a branch and strung up a cloth bag of dehydrated goodies. 

Early in the morning, we awoke to the sound of rustling. We had company. "Oh sh*t!" said the SJG.  "Oh f**k!" said the FB. A few yards away stood Mama Bear, and she looked hungry.  She eyed me. Too short. She eyed the FB. Too salty. She eyed the cloth bag in the tree. Just right! She climbed up, pulled the string and down came three days' worth of sustenance. She dragged it off, ripped the bag apart and feasted away, sharing every morsel with her baby cub. It was adorable. If only we had photographic proof of this event. But then, we'd probably be dead. Bears are notoriously anti-paparazzi. With no food, we had no choice. We had to hike all the way back to civilization. Ask me how many times I've been camping since. I think you can guess the answer. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Very Handsome Fitness Guru

Davee Youngblood, the myth, the legend

The other day, as I reached across the tower of bananas in Gelson's to find the loveliest bunch, the bottom of my BANGBALL tank top hooked onto a mischievous Chiquita, thereby baring my midriff. I was unaware of this southern exposure until my arch nemesis, Freida Schlepberg, cornered me. "Bitch! Where'd you get them rock hard abs?" "Listen Freida, you don't get a 12-pack like this sitting on the sofa, eating cheeseballs. These beauties are courtesy of Mr. Davee Youngblood, CEO and Emperor of BANGBALL FIT." "BANGBALL what?" "FIT." "What the bleep is that?" "Freida, stop yelling. I'm right here. BANGBALL FIT is the best new fitness craze to hit the Valley since the Thighmaster." "Is this Davee person paying you to wear that tank top?" "That's neither here nor there." "These avocados look ripe to you?" Freida asked. "Pay attention, gal," I said, grabbing a nice Casaba and flexing my biceps. "The BANGBALL looks nothing like this melon, I'm just using it as a prop. The BANGBALL is a weighted, football-ish curved three-dimensional thingy that makes miracles happen. You lift it up an down," I said, demonstrating with gusto, "this way and that way, you twist and shout and twerk it out, you run in place, jump, lie down and get back up again." Whereupon I did some squats, hoisting the Casaba over my head till the produce manager shot me a look. "You liking the strawberries?" Freida asked. "I'm liking the BANGBALL." "Seriously, how much did this BANGBALL boss man pay you for the free shout-out?" "That's none of your business, Freida." Whereupon I dropped the melon on her toes, unintentionally, of course. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

To Dream The Impossible Dream

Before you know it, as in next month, the Jewish Holidays will be upon us. And that can only mean one thing. Cooking. Okay, two things. Cooking and cleaning. Okay, three things. Cooking and cleaning and setting the table. But in this busy life we lead, who has time to cook and clean and set the table for relatives who are just going to come over, eat everything in sight, make a mess and leave? Is this the only reason we were put on this earth? To cater to everyone else? To put our own needs last? Of course, silly. Why are you even bothering to ask? And yet, there must be a way to get it all done without cutting into the day and robbing us of all the fun. Like watching the Barefoot Contessa make kugel, instead of us. She uses half and half and ricotta. Who knew?

Here's the good news, my friends. A new sleep aid is about to hit the market, courtesy of SJG Pharmaceuticals: ChoreWhorePM. A superior formula of top secret herbal ingredients and guilt allows you to do all your High Holiday tasks while you sleep. That's right. You heard me. Make a brisket while you doze. Make a pot of chicken soup while you catch some zzzzzzzz's. Make the house look nice while you Samba with the Sand Man. ChoreWhorePM is gentle yet effective. It helps you do your chores in record time, and still wake up feeling completely refreshed. You'll come downstairs in the morning and find the table set, the dust bunnies gone, the cooking done and in the fridge, wrapped tightly in foil, so no air should get in, God forbid. A miracle? You betcha, bitches.

ChoreWhorePM is available at your local pharmacy or temple gift shop. Supplies are limited. So hurry up, slow poke. Be the first on your block to tell your friends about the honey cake you made after you went nighty-night. Side effects may include inexplicable bruises, sprains, fork-related injuries, oven burns, weight gain and uncontrollable flatulence. But come on, isn't it worth it?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Early Shows, Late Shows & No Shows

As the eldest approaches marriage-hood, I thought it wise to school him on the finer points of society. Why haven't I done this before? Sadly, I've been remiss. It simply slipped my crowded keppy. And yet, he's done very well without my expert guidance. He tells me he's never been booted from a soiree by a burly bouncer, and I believe him. Still, I thought it best to offer up a list of the types of guests he and his  future Mrs. will encounter when they host their weekly, black-tie only receptions. Our conversation went something like this:
"Yes, Mother?"
"Honey, are you listening?"
"Must I?"
"I'm about to teach you something valuable."
"May I continue to text my beloved across the sea whilst you ramble on, incoherently?"
"You may not."
"Very well, Mother. Go right ahead and tell me something I already know."
"How dare you, eldest son!"
"I apologize, Mother. Forgive me?"
"I'll think about it. Now then, before you enter high society, you should know that there are two types of party guests. The Early Shows and the Late Shows."
"What about the No Shows?"
"Three types of party guests. The Early Shows, the Late Shows and the No Shows."
"Pardon me, Mother, but I believe you're leaving out a significant member of the gathering."
"Am I?"
"The On Times."
"Blimey, child, you are correct. We mustn't omit the prompt arrivals. A rarity in this traffic-laden locale we inhabit."
"Might I add one more to this all-important category, Mother?"
"Yes, son. Do!"
"The Uninviteds."
"Pray tell, what is an Uninvited?"
"I thought it was self-explanatory, Mother. Someone who crashes the afore-mentioned soiree is a rude-ass, unwanted interloper. Hence, an Uninvited."
"I do so love when you say hence."
"My goal in life is to make you happy, Mother."
"On this count, you have succeeded. So, shall we review our list, thus far?"
"Must we?"
"We must, lest I forget it and am unable to share it with the blogosphere."
"Allow me to enumerate. We have the Early Shows, the On Times, the Late Shows, the No Shows, and the Uninviteds."
"I do believe that covers it, my son."
"May I return to texting my beloved?"
"Text away, my son, whilst I sit here addressing the invitations."
"Would you like my help, Mother?"
"Unless your handwriting has miraculous become legible, no."
"How dare you, Mother?"
"How dare I, indeed."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Honey, I'm Home

So Sol comes home. He's a traveling salesman. He's been gone eight months. He looks at his wife. She's four months pregnant. He says, "Who is it? Is it Marvin?" She shakes her head. "No." "Is it Sidney?" "No." "Is it Moishe?" "No." "What's a matta? My friends aren't good enough for you?"
-- courtesy of Maura K. Resnick, who heard this gem at temple

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Lawn People

The neighbors arrived two by two, planted themselves on our front lawn and didn't budge till the big budget movie was over. We should've monetized the situation, sold popcorn and lemonade, we could've cleaned up. But back then, pre-microwaves, popping Jiffy Pop over the stove to feed that many lookie-loos would've taken an eternity. All those lawn people. My poor daddy. He had a thing about the lawn. He was always yelling at kids, "Get off the lawn." It didn't boost our popularity in the neighborhood. The kids he yelled at did the opposite, stomping on the lawn, riding bikes on the lawn, egging the lawn on Halloween. Daddy and his lawn. A big issue. Huge. Not this time, though. He wouldn't dare boot anyone off the lawn. Not when they'd found a front row seat to all the action. He was a Hollywood writer, after all. He appreciated the cinematic moment.
There was so much real-life drama that day. Sirens blaring. Firetrucks. Big burly heroes in uniform, bravely trying to save a house from ruin. But in the end, the fire won. The house directly across the street burned right to the ground. The lawn people kept asking, "Was anyone home? Did anyone get hurt? Did the family get out in time?" Maybe the captain said, "No one was home. Show's over, folks." Maybe he didn't. They say it in movies all the time, so it would've made sense that day. I can't remember what started the fire, it was so long ago. But I do remember how sad I felt, watching the house collapse and the smoke fill the sky. And then the curtain came down and the lawn people went home. And weeks later, the construction crew arrived. They carted off what remained of the old traditional house and put up a new one, an ultra-modern one that didn't look like the other houses in the neighborhood. It was the late '60s. Things were changing, even houses. I don't remember how long it took to build the new house, or when the family moved back in. But I do remember the day the lawn people came to watch a house burn down. And I remember thinking, "I hope that never happens to us."

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Inner Child's List of Demands

Today, the SJG received the following text from my inner child with her latest list of demands: "An ice cream sundae from Wil Wright's..."
"A Barbie clothes-shopping spree...."
"Mini-Betty Crocker Mixes for my Easy-Bake-Oven..."
"And a pink princess telephone. I promise to be a good girl and never pout about anything ever again.  xo Lil SJG."
I texted back: "Hey, Lil You. I'd like to remind you that Wil Wright's closed a long time ago, so forget the sundae. I gave away our Barbie doll collection. My biggest regret in life. Barbie-wise, we have no one to shop for. As for the Easy-Bake mini-mixes, did you forget that anything baked in that mini-oven never tasted very good? About that pink princess phone... your nostalgia seems misplaced. Our parents never let us have our own phone, pink or black, even though all the other girls had phones. Our childhood was phone-deprived. xo More-Or-Less Adult SJG"
A moment ago, I received another text from my inner child. "You're no fun. I'm going off to pout in the corner. xo Lil SJG."
What about my needs?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Decorating Tips From The Great Beyond

"I can see the ugly wallpaper in this pan." 

Just one more bureaucratic step and my future gorgeous daughter-in-law/future mother of my future adoring grandchildren gets to move here from France. Why would anyone forgo the Eiffel Tower for the Hollywood Sign? Amour, silly. Plain and simple. Amour! Somehow the SJG and hubby managed to produce the kind of son who could lure a beauty away from her homeland. How did we do it? We planted the idea early, pre-Bar Mitzvah. "One day, you'll marry someone wonderful." We left it at that and let him figure out the rest. My dad, however, offered a slightly different approach: "Make sure you marry someone with money." Fast forward to now, as we await her arrival, sanctioned by not one, but two governments. If that's not romantic, what is?
"I'll just sit here till the wallpaper goes away."

This: The eldest is now looking for an apartment, a love shack for a new life built for two. I can only imagine the advice my sweet daddy might offer. Something along the lines of, "Pick a place with the ugliest wallpaper you can find. That way, you'll know if she really loves you, despite your terrible decorating sense." Turns out, wallpaper was a big issue when my folks got hitched. According to my mom, their very first apartment had the most hideous wallpaper in the kitchen. She didn't just hate it. She loathed it. It was a thing. My father knew she hated it, but there was nothing he could do about it. When it came to this cruel decorative crime, he was powerless. But then, an option appeared. A way out. An opportunity  to put some real distance between my mother and that nauseating wallpaper. He found a job as a comedy writer for Jack Carter and moved my mom to New York. But he went there first to find an apartment. The place he found was terrific. Except for one little drawback that didn't even register with my dad until my mother stepped foot in her brand new digs and let out an epic geshrei. The kitchen in New York had the exact same hateful Los Angeles wallpaper my mother detested with every inch of her being. She stood by him, anyway, for almost 50 years. If a marriage can survive ugly wallpaper, it can survive anything.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Moody Hues: Deeply Disturbing Designer Paints

(Sherman Oaks) Well, if this isn't exciting news, we don't know what is. The SJG has just released her first line of Deeply Disturbing Designer Paint, simply called, "Moody Hues." "Forget reading the tea leaves to see what the future holds. Why not read the paint chips, instead? Why not splatter your feelings all over the estate?" she said in an interview with The Balabusta Bargaineer. "The best part is, much like cheap hair dye, the color washes away within 24 hours of application. Just spritz the wall with a bissele H2-O, and away it goes. Genius, or what? The truth is, and this may sting a bit, your family isn't listening to you, anyway. So let each room speak volumes. After raising the kids, maintaining a semblance of a career, cheering on your spouse and catering to canine demands, isn't it time for some pointed self-expression? You bet your tuchas it is! Every room deserves a different shade of hostility, fragility and/or instability that tells your peeps, 'Back off, Mama's having a day.' "
The SJG generously shared her first five "Moody Hues," and we just have to say, "Wowza." Trust us, our enthusiasm has nothing to do with the full-page ad she took out in the Bargaineer:

DISCOMBOBULATION: An ugly hodgepodge of blue, green and yellow that will look decidedly wrong on any wall, but even more hideous on a doorway or accent area.

ANGSTY AFTERNOON: A walk-in closet becomes its own padded cell, thanks to this cracked eggshell white, perfect for those moments when you need to scream a lot.

UNHINGED: Add a kvetchy touch of dark purple despair in your master bathroom, then go ahead and cry while staring in the mirror, counting your lost dreams.

NEGATIVITY TIME: The most depressing gray backdrop in a bedroom or living space ever. Two seconds with this cloudy hue and you'll be reflecting on your sad excuse for a life, not to mention, removing everyone from your will.

SINISTER SCENARIO: Sure, a bold black border makes a statement, but why not go for broke and paint the entire downstairs an inky, murderous charcoal, turn out the lights, and let the accusations fly. A hue that Agatha Christie would undoubtedly endorse.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Introducing The Short Jewish Robot

Today's blog will be co-written by the SJR, my recently-acquired Short Jewish Robot. I pre-programmed her last night. Easy-peasy. All I have to do is press the touchscreen and let her kvetch. Okay, SJR, take it away:


Hang on, this is so embarrassing. She seems to be stuck. I'll just do a little tinkering.


SJR! Get your @#$% together, sheesh. I'm looking for a complete sentence. I'll just rewire your insides, being the tech goddess that I am, and.... and... okay, SJR, let's try this again.

"Let's dance, mutha bitches."

Just bitches, SJR.  I thought we discussed that. Whatever. Let's go in another direction.

"What am I, chopped apples?"

Not apples, SJR. Not. Apples.

"What am I, chopped walnuts?"

Liver, SJG! Liver! Moving right along...

"Matzo top!"

Oh, you silly robot. It's "mazel tov."

"I'm kvelling on yourself."

Er... that's "on your behalf." But close enough.

"Is it too farty in here, or is it me?'

Hot, SJR. Hot. Although, in my house, farty also works.

"I can feel myself rapidly kvetching."

Rapidly Aging. But hey, kvetching works too. Well, I can see the SJR needs a little more finessing. But I really think I'm onto something huuuuuge and globally significant. Either that, or of no absolutely no consequence whatsoever.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Amicably Yours

Dear SJG,
Why do I react so strongly when celebrity couples split "amicably"? Has any couple in history ever split "amicably"? Is it only the famous people who know how to split "amicably"?
Tabloid Junky
"Hollywood is the only place in the world where an amicable
divorce means each one gets fifty percent of the publicity." 
- Lauren Bacall 

Dear Junky,
Amicability is in the eye of the beholder. Or is that beauty? I forget. Personally, I don't think anyone has ever split in a nice friendly way since Cupid retired back in Something-Something B.C. Or is it A.D.? I forget. Famous or not, multi-zillionaire or discount shopper, a split is a sharp splinter that can't be removed by tweezers. It's a knife in the heart, a romantic rupture, a breakup of hopes and dreams. What I'm trying to say is this: When couples split "amicably," it's a pretend PR spin on a sad event. Soon there'll be fighting and name-calling and plenty tsuris. There'll be accusations up the wazoo. But why not start off "amicably" before it all goes to kaka and turns ugly?
You're Welcome,

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Short Yet Meaningful Quiz

1. People you've given birth to continue to make fun of your ancient email address. Do you...
a. Disinherit them next week?
b. Disinherit them next month?
c. Disinherit them next year?

2.  People you've given birth to continue to travel to exotic locales while you stay home and go nowhere. Do you...
a. Guilt them for traveling without you?
b. Guilt them for having fun without you?
c. Guilt them for forgetting to pack a sweater?

3. People you've given birth to continue to raid your refrigerator.
Do you...
a. Buy extra everything so they shouldn't go hungry?
b. Buy extra everything so they should keep coming back?
c. Buy extra everything so they should take home the leftovers?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Strike A Pose

The Regal, not to mention, Royal Rescue Pup
(of questionable lineage) 

There are times in a pet owner's life that are, shall we say, humbling. Times that put you in your place. Times that tell you, "Hey, get over yourself. Stop hogging all the attention." But you know how much the SJG loves attention. It's what I live for, it's why I was put here on earth. I mean, why else would I make sure my social media mavens leak my daily whereabouts? As in, "Psssst... the SJG's en route to Gelson's!"  "Psssst... the SJG's en route to the deli to pick up bagels and some nice lox." 
"All the attention! It's so overwhelming!" - SJG 

But it does get exhausting, this business of always being on, always looking stunning every time I leave the house, always confirming I have nothing in my teeth before I flash my pearly whites. Remember the infamous SJG Spinach Shanda of 2002? To stay grounded, now and then, I must fade into the background. Take yesterday, for instance. Late afternoon. I'm walking the pup when a workman exits a house. I like to be friendly with the people, so I issue a proper Sherman Oaks hello. He looks right at Sir Blakey. "Hello, beautiful." A brief encounter. A reminder that sometimes you just have to step aside and let others soak up the glory. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Glad We Cleared That Up

This morning, I get an email from my cousin Andy, who's on safari in Africa with his family. All it says in the subject line is: "WHAT?!!!!!!" No content, no explanation. So I write back, "What do you mean WHAT?!!!" He writes back (from Africa!), "The eldest's FB post." So I check Facebook and see what the soon-to-be-married person posted last night. 


"Baby. B-a-b-y. Baby."  

My cousin has commented, "Wow! Congrats!!!!"

Our close family friend Dan has commented, "OMG! Mazel tov!!!!!" 

There are surprised comments in French from his fiancee's friends. General confusion is the theme. 

But please, let's take a pregnant pause here. Of course, I know my sons went to see "Baby Driver" last night and that's what he's talking about. So I've spent the last 20 minutes clearing up the fake news and text-shaming the eldest for sending the family into conniptions of joy, followed by a painful letdown. Not that I'm not ready to be a Bubbie. Oh, dear God. Bring it. But first, let me do Mother-In-Law. 

Did Anyone Ever Tell You...

..."You look like Alice Ghostley?" -- Marty in the Men's Department at Bloomingdales.
"Uh, no."  -- Me, too stunned by the comparison to say much.
"You know Alice Ghostley?  From 'Bewitched'?"  -- Marty, a little worried by my reaction.
"Uh huh." -- Me, picturing the klutzy, bumbling witch-nanny Esmeralda.  
"You're like a younger, prettier Alice Ghostley." -- Marty, starting to back-peddle just a bit.
"Um, thanks?" -- Me, shrugging, still confused.
"So, no one's ever told you you look like Alice Ghostley?" -- Marty, already in possession of my credit card, going for broke.
"No.  You're definitely the first."  -- Me, laughing now, figuring the comparison could've been worse.
"You don't look anything like the SJG, Esmeralda."  
"The SJ-Who?"

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meanwhile Back At The Gym

I stumble inside, craving cold, cold air,
The front desk guy shoots me a frozen stare.
"Hate to tell ya, ma'am, A/C's on the fritz."
"But I could dehydrate! And over-schvitz!"
"I came here to spin! You want me to die?"
"Nah, ma'am, that's why, we got medics close by."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Some Jewish Sayings

"Genius is 10% inspiration and 50% capital gains."

"It's not the gelt, it's the principal and the interest."

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, 
and a lot of the people some of the time, 
but you can make a schmuck of yourself anytime."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Open Door Policy

Hey, you. Yes, you. Do you know the etiquette when it comes to opening doors? The SJG didn't think so. But don't panic. I'm an expert on this subject. I learned the hard way that you simply must open the door for anyone older than you, even by a month, or risk being filled with guilt for eternity. And I speak from personal experience. I'm still apologizing to my late great mommy for that one time I didn't open the door for her at the late great Bullock's Westwood, circa 1980. I was 22 and a little self-absorbed. What did I know from opening doors? Oy, did I get an earful, a lecture, a scolding, a shaming, a ... please, I beg you, don't make me go on, it's too painful. How much do I need to suffer in this lifetime? Ever since that Epic Westside Door Opening Debacle, I've been opening doors for people I know and people I don't know, and I'm telling you, it's the mitzvah that keeps on giving. You open one door and then another door and people smile and say thank you and before you know it, you're up for Sainthood, or whatever the Jewish equivalent of Sainthood might be. Let's go with Martyr.  Martyr SJG has a nice ring to it. I'm made for this title.
Plus, I guarantee if you open a door for someone entering or exiting anywhere, you'll never hear, "How dare you open this door for me, you brute!?" Unless it's the door to a shower or toilet stall, in which case you may be accused of stalking, invading someone's privacy and/or trespassing, and the next door that gets opened is the one to your new home: Jail. So please, people, for once in your life, use some common sense. Keep opening doors for other people you know and don't know, and they'll think you're such a mensch, and maybe, just maybe, they'll reciprocate and open the door for you, and your faith in humanity can be restored, if only momentarily, but given these questionable times we live in, where manners have gone out the window, express gratitude. Would it kill you to say thank you?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Did Someone Say Outdoor Dance Party?

It was so nice of some nice ladies to throw a Sunday b'day brunchie-lunchie in honor of my dear friend Shelley, and even nicer to invite the Notorious SJG, unaware that when the word dance was floated as a possible activity, I would take it to a whole new level of "Who the @#$% invited Her?"
A bit blurry, but you get the picture. I'm literally airborne. 

Clearly, these elegant gals didn't understand what they were getting into when they included me in this She-Shed Shindig (explanation available upon request) high in the hills overlooking more hills.
Other than Shelley, the party-givers and goers didn't know me from Eve. Sometimes semi-anonymity is a good thing. Add a DJ to the mix and I tend to shake, shake, shake like I don't give a sh*t.
Despite the heat stroke potential and the dripping sweat, I really let loose when the DJ cranked "Love Shack." I couldn't help myself. 
But I do believe it was this move that got me booted from the festivities. Live and learn. Or learn bupkis and keep the booty twerking like it's your last day on Earth. To twerk or not to twerk? These are the tough choices the SJG faces whenever somebody says Dance Party -- outdoor or otherwise. I just listen to my tush and see where it takes me. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reverse Thinking

Over here at Chez SJG, where we serve kugel and Rose, nice bagels and lox all day, we embrace a philosophy that may or may not catch on, but just between us, we really don't give a hoot and a half. All we know is, it seems to work for us. Rather than project good ol' fashioned positivity, rather than embrace the lovely yet unproven notion that things will in fact work out, we do the reverse. We project reverse positivity into the universe, and in return, we get pretty wonderful results now and then. This is why kvetching is part of our collective DNA. Kvetch, we say. Kvetch with feeling and good things may or may not happen. For example: The eldest arrived home from France full of complaints about the @#$%'n visa situation and that tiny clerical error regarding his lack of a criminal history. The kvetch-a-thon began Friday afternoon and continued through Saturday morning. Once in a while, I interrupted with an acknowledgement of his suffering. "I know it's hard, I know it's --." That's as far as I got, but still, the impact of my empathy left its mark. By the time he got back to his apartment, the letter he'd been waiting for had arrived: "Mazel tov, your petition for a fiancee visa has been approved, more or less. Next it goes to the NCDLC (National Center for Driving Lovebirds Crazy). Then if you're lucky, it gets stamped there -- when? who's knows -- and then it goes to France! Bon jour! You're welcome." So. A few more hurdles to go, but all that reverse positivity seems to be working. Why stop now?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yoo Hoo!

I left my sweater on the plane,
my kugel in the rain,
my lipstick at the disco,
my heart in San Francisco.

I left my sweater on the plane,
my shoes with Mary Jane,
my iPhone at the chateau,
my ego on the metro.

I left my sweater on the plane,
the blue one with the stain.
Bought a cashmere at J.Jill,
Found the lost one at Goodwill.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Say My Name, Say My Name

Thanks to the sum-sum-summertime, it's been too darn hot to walk the Royal Rescue Pup (of questionable lineage) in the midday sun. The scorching pavement could toast his tender tootsies. Does the SJG strike you as intentionally cruel? Of course nyet! Don't be a nar, as Mr. Ben Starr used to tell his children on a daily basis. And by nar he meant fool. What else did my blunt-talkin' mensch of a daddy say to his offspring? Hmmm. So many colorful things. Oh, here's another favorite: "Kids, don't embarrass me." And now, to awkwardly segue into the point of today's blog, assuming there is one: Growing up, and on into adulthood, I've rarely been called by my given name. Instead, I've been known as Carolita, Lita, or Litaface. My brother was always, always Johnny, until one day, he sent out a press release that said, "I'm no longer Johnny. Call me John." Well, that was a hard habit to break, let me tell ya, but with a lot of prayer, a lot of trial and error, I haven't called him Johnny in about a week. Progress!
And yet, despite my best efforts to act like a grownup, I just can't help it. I have nicknames for everyone I adore. This includes hubby, my sons, my tiny extended family, my dearest friends, and of course, my dogs. I have pet names for them all. (See what I did there?) The Great Late Dusty was never just Dusty. He was Dusty Bear. Dusty Boy. Duster. Dusty LaRue. Doo. Dooby... What is wrong with me? Please let me know when you figure it out. Others have tried. (List of shrinks available about request.) And the boy who came to us as Blake has acquired many wonderful pet names, too. Blakey Man. Mr. Sweetface. Stinky Boy. And yet, hubby prefers his given name. A case in point: Last night, as we walked Cookie Punim in the coolish early evening, we stopped to say hello to neighbors. "I always forget your dog's name," she said. In perfect sync, hubby said, "Blake." And I said, "Blakey." Her husband looked at her. She looked at him. Then, she said, "So it's Blake?" I shook my keppy. "It's Blakey." Hubby said, "It's Blake." "No really, it's Blakey," I insisted. Hubby pointed to the doggy name tag. "Blake." The husband said, "Have a nice evening." The wife smiled. They exited, sidewalk left. But our debate continued all the way home. We called it a draw. But just between us, his name is Blakey. Formal name: Sir Blakey. Glad we cleared that up.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Ministry of Mumbling

"Could you hear the dialogue in 'Dunkirk'?"
"No, dear. But if you tell anyone, you're out of the will."

It's really true what they say. Except when you can't hear them say it. Then you've got trouble. And my hearing is good, people. Too good, if you want to know the truth, which I assume you do, because, let's face it, the truth is out there. Except when you can't hear it. And I'm the kind of gal who hears everything. I'm prone to saying things like, "You don't have to scream, I can hear you." In real life, my hearing is kvell-worthy. It wouldn't be unusual for someone to say, on any given Sunday, or in this case, Thursday, "Gee, if only I could hear as well as the SJG, my life would be so much better." But don't over-admire me just yet. You wouldn't be filled with envy in my presence if we went to the movies together, or even sat in my palatial estate watching TV. Case in point: "Dunkirk." Amidst the bombs dropping and the sinking ships and the general Chaos of War and the soundtrack, now and then, a character would mumble something. "What did that guy with the oil on his face just mumble?" I whispered to the youngest. "I couldn't tell ya, Ma." So, it's not just a condition of the rapidly aging. This is a universal ish! As in issue! I also can't hear all the mumbled dialogue on TV. Last night, we were watching "Broadchurch," a fabulous series filled with indecipherable mumbles. "Any idea what he just mumbled?" I asked hubby #1. "No." So to all of you actorly members of the Ministry of Mumbling, enough already. Just stop it. Speak up. Enunciate. Say it with feeling, and make sure the SJG can hear you. Embrace your outer dialogue. Sing out, Louise! Thank you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Incredible Shrinking SJG

Yesterday my gynecologist, a nice gal who delivered my uterus 14 years ago, casually informed me, "You're shrinking."
"How much?"
"Half an inch since last year."
"Are you kidding me? I'm no longer 5'1?"
"You're 5 feet and a half."
"What gives?"
"Gravity's to blame?"
"Gravity's dragging you down."
"Eventually, gravity will drag you six feet under."
"Wow. You really went dark on me."
"Slide forward and put your feet in the stirrups."