Friday, March 31, 2017

What Was That?!

Shiksa version of the SJG
There I was, sitting at my desk, Sir Blakey by my side, when I heard a door shut upstairs. "Hello?" I said. Silly question. Automatic response, I guess. My heart went thumpity-thump. I was the only one home. I stood at the base of the stairs and looked up, expecting maybe the ghost of Passover past. "Hello?" I called again. No answer. Okay. Just my imagination running away with me. I went back to my desk. A minute later, I heard it again. A door shutting. I looked over at the Royal Rescue Pup for reassurance. Sir Blakey didn't seem too worried, but I knew, like any horror movie I'm too scared to watch, I needed to take action. I needed to go into the dark basement and have a look-see, so you could all scream at me, "Don't go down there, SJG!" Well, relax. I didn't go down there. I don't have a basement. But I did go upstairs, armed with, what else, pepper spray. "Hello? Anybody there? I've got pepper spray! I'm not afraid to use it!" I quickly found the culprits: two open windows on a windy day, rattling stuff, making doors shut, basically, effin' with the SJG.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

You Break It, You Pay For It

Dear SJG,
Last night I dreamt that I was at some fancy party and felt so out of place, I hid in the powder room. On the marble counter, next to the monogrammed hand towels, I found a miniature ancient artifact of Nike, the Goddess of Victory. Who keeps a mini Greek Goddess in a powder room? I mean, it's so show-offy, so "please enjoy our petite, highly valuable relic while you take a nice pish in our golden toilet." Well, I knew I wasn't supposed to touch Nike, she looked pretty fragile, but I couldn't help myself! I picked her up for a better look and, oy gevalt, her head broke off and rolled back and forth in the designer sink. I just stood there, feeling powerless. This morning, I woke up feeling like a loser and wondering how I'd ever pay to repair such a pricey tchotcke. What does it all mean?
Thanks,
Worried in Willowbrook

Dear Worried,
In simple symbolic terms, your dream means several deeply disturbing things:
1. You have trouble fitting in.
2. You're afraid to confront your fears.
3. Next time you're invited anywhere, hold it till you get home.
4. Even asleep, you're a klutz.
5. You are a loser.
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Knock It Off

Ding dong.
"Bark bark?"
"Coming!"
"Bark! Bark!"
"Blakey, hush."
"Bark bark!"
"Blakey, enough."
Ding dong.
"Oh for eff's sake..."
"Bark bark!"
"Hang on, hang on! Who is it?"
"Bark bark?"
"Mumble mumble.... mumble mumble."
"What?!"
"Mumble mumble.... mumble mumble."
"Bark! Bark!"
"Back! Back! I'm opening the door."
"Bark?"
"Hi, sorry, my dog's going crazy."
"He sure is."
"Bark bark!"
"Stay, Blakey, stay!"
 "Cute dog."
"Super cute."
"Looks strong."
"Super strong."
"Why are you here?"
"I'm Amanda  Lockbox... and this is my partner... "
"Josh Hardwood."
"We're your neighborhood brokers."
"From The Pooch Group."
"Bark bark?"
"He meant The Gooch Group."
"I was just joshing you."
"Josh, seriously."
"Never gets old."
"Bark bark!"
"You have such a lovely house."
"Super lovely."
"Great curb appeal. Beautiful front garden."
"Solar panels. Big plus."
"Are you interested in selling your house?"
"No."
"It's a great time to sell."
"Great time."
"Inventory is at an all-time low."
"Bark bark?"
"Here's a list of all the homes in your area that have recently sold."
"So you're not ready to sell?"
"No."
"Bark bark!"
"Do you know anybody interested in selling?"
"No."
"Bark!"
"Anybody interested in buying?"
"No."
"Great! Here's our card. We're Amanda and Josh."
"Bark!"
"Let us know when you're ready to sell."
"We're never leaving."
"Darling doggy. He must keep you busy."
"Bark bark!"
"I'm closing the door now."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Some Days

Some days, I wish I could go shopping with my mom for 
matching leopard coats.

"Please excuse Carol's hair. It has a mind of its own."

Some days, I wish I could ask my mom to write me a good excuse.

Some days, I wish I could tell her she was right about everything. 

Some days are just like that.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Next Big Thing

Pooping on Patio Chairs. In my backyard, this goes on for months. The birds of Sherman Oaks keep using my patio chairs as their personal porta-potties. Well. The SJG is not amused. I don't wish to look out and see bird crap on my patio chairs. I don't wish to sit on patio chairs adorned with bird crap. I'm so done with bird crap. Done, I tell ya. I'll have you know it's ruffling my eff'n feathers. Call me obsessive (you wouldn't be the first) but instead of working on my long-gestating bestselling Beach Read, my fun and uplifting, page-turning ouevre, I spend my time rearranging the patio chairs in an effort to dodge the afore-mentioned angry bird droppings. It is my private Titanic. I ask you:  isn't it enough that I must scoop Sir Blakey's poop into Doggy Duty recyclables on a daily basis?What am I, the maven of waste disposal? Maybe I wouldn't kvetch so much if they made a similar depository for birds, something scented with E-Z ties. Whoa. Hang on a second, sistah. I may have stumbled onto something huge.   can see it now: Birdy Booty Bags. A new eco-friendly product, courtesy of, who else, the SJG (patent pending). Oh, hell yes, I'm gonna make dollars off of bird sh*t if it's the last thing I doo-doo.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Artistic License

"You're a Jew?!"

What better musical for the Fearless Four to see than "An American In Paris"? "SJG: The Musical" is still in development, but only for the past 59 years. One day, it will happen. Once I get the tap dancing, the singing and orchestration down, see you at the Tonys. But back to "An American In Paris" and the Fearless Four. Make that the Fearless Three and Me. Fearless isn't the first word that comes to mind when describing the SJG. I'll take Formerly Fearful, Currently Managing. However you label us, we are four dancer gals who can't stop dancing. Dance-wise, we just can't help ourselves. We've been at it forever and as long as we're upright, we'll keep spinning. I'm just honored to spend time with Carrie, Nadine and Joan, a stunning octogenarian who has the best stories ever. "See that corner," Joan said, shlepping us through Hollywood because she loves to drive. Joan is the only person I know who loves to drive. "When I was in school," she said, "I was walking home from Hollywood High and a man in a Cadillac drove by and honked and waved hello. It was Dean Martin." "Did he want you to hop in?" I asked. "No! He just letting me know Dean Martin was driving by." "He wanted you, Joan, admit it." "He did not!"
To and from "An American In Paris," the four of us discussed so many things about Los Angeles and how much it's changed. Oh, and speaking of change, let's talk about "An American In Paris." The musical is "inspired" by the movie. To that they should add "loosely." The story has changed so much, the gals and I were a little confused. At intermission, we stared at each other. A bright and bouncy fantasy starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron has been transformed into a somewhat gloomy post-war romance whereby the Leslie Caron character is a Jew and three guys -- one of whom might be gay -- worship her. But which one is truly in love-love with her? Which one loves her out of duty? Which ones loves her for inspiring him? I believe there's a term for this. Artistic license. So there's that. But we went with it. As dancers, we're flexible, although not nearly as much as we once were. Personally, I would've kept the original story. But the ballet, the sets, the Gershwin songs are spectacular, so what's not to love?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things

When you're the SJG, an ongoing situation for me, sometimes you get asked a question whilst ambulating, and you must decide whether to answer, or keep walking, especially when the light's about to change and you don't wish to get toppled like an ill-fated cake. These are the hard choices I face. "Hey, SJG!" someone yelled out the window of a slow-moving Tesla. "What's your favorite word?" "Good question!" I yodeled, as I'm prone to do. "Yiddish or non-Yiddish?" "Both." "Favorite Yiddish word: Kvetch! I mean duh. Obviously." "Favorite non-Yiddish word?" Before I could answer, the slow-moving Tesla rear-ended a Prius. "Fiasco!" I called, as the drivers exited their vehicles and exchanged insurance information. "Everybody okay?" I asked, considerate gal that I am. "Go away, SJG," said the Tessla driver. "Go away, SJG," said the Prius driver. So away I went, letting them sort out their recent fiasco.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Petal Pusher

Sometimes the SJG simply must get a little artsy-fartsy. I must branch out. I must change my normal font. I must try something new. So I took this shot of the same tree I see every day on my walk with Sir Blakey. On Wednesday, I swear on a stack of matzoh, this tree was naked. On Thursday, it was in full bloom.
Isn't nature wonderful? How could I not capture this tree in all its majesty? What sort of person would I be if I didn't stop to breathe in the pollen, sneeze in appreciation and whip out the iPhone conveniently located in my right pocket? A lesser person. Why? I'll tell you why. 
Because life gives you yellow flowers one day, and the next, bupkis. Look. Already this nice tree is shedding. By tomorrow, the petals I've pushed on you may be gone.
In any event, better they should shed on someone else's grass. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who Knew?

Charles Heston was a Jew?

Oh, Passover, you are so involved, so detail-oriented, so three weeks away, you make the SJG want to hide like the afikomen. I turn around and you're back again so soon. Didn't I just set the table for you? This year, I'm doing Early Bird Passover (patent pending). Why wait till the first night when I can do it the night before the first night? Turns out, when it comes to Passover, I can pretty much do whatever I want. Turns out, I'm the boss of me.

If only I'd arrived at that realization a little sooner. Like elementary school. A while back, I was having lunch with my childhood pal Albert. I've known him since Warner Avenue, which probably explains why we act eight years old when we're together. We are silly and goofy and sometimes our memories of certain events don't quite sync up. He's still apologizing for that time he forgot to come to my birthday party -- he'd left the invitation in his desk at school. I have absolutely no recollection of his horrendous breach of etiquette, but I keep forgiving him, anyway. "It's okay, I'm over it.  Let it go. Let's focus on something else you did that was far worse. Remember when you served mushy matzoh brei at the 9th Grade Brainy People Brunch?" "That wasn't me." "It wasn't?" "No, it was you." "Oh, right. I tend to block out the incident that prompted my extended stay at Jewvy Hall."

After fressing at Art's Deli, we took a walk and decided how fun it would be to go back in time and take on the bad guys we once let walk all over us. Our late-50s, kick-ass attitudes would give us the confrontational chutzpah we lacked back then. Which leads me back to Passover, believe it or not.  Passover is all about escaping the bad guys. But then, so many Jewish holidays share a similar theme: "Run!" Let's face it. The bad guys are everywhere. Sometimes they're three dimensional, sometimes symbolic like a Seder plate. Either way, they enslave us. (See what I did there?) So this Passover -- only three weeks away, but who's counting -- I'm sending the bad guys, metaphorical and otherwise, on an exodus outta town.  There's no place for them at my table... or yours.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Shayna and The Accountant

Adam before Shayna enters the picture

Adam, an arrogant, careless young accountant, falls under the spell of Kvetch, a short wicked blogger who turns him into The Vildabeest after learning she owes a bundle in back taxes, thanks to his sloppy work. The spell won't be broken until he undoes the damage to her pocket book. Enter Shayna Maidela, a fetching accountant trainee from down the hall, who offers to help The Vildabeest sort through this self-made disaster. But first she screams a little -- he was much cuter without the furry pelt. 
Shayna to the rescue!

With the help of Felicity, an enchanted singing file cabinet, and Mrs. Glezel Tei, a tap-dancing Starbucks iced tea container, Shayna teaches The Vildabeest the error of his accounting ways. Kvetch, the short wicked blogger, no longer owes the government a penny. The real miracle? It all gets untangled before April 18 yet! In celebration, Shayna and The Vildabeest do a romantic hora round the conference table, and faster than you can say, "Kugel's ready!", the spell is broken. The unbecoming pelt gives way to well-fitting Armani. No question, sans scary CGI, Adam is a hot mensch. In the end, Adam and Shayna stare dreamily into each other's eyes. So, is love in the air? Or is that burnt popcorn from the office microwave/spy camera? You'll have to wait for the sequel. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Do You Remember?

In the mall, a billboard for the live action "Beauty and the Beast." 
I start to sing, "tale as old as time... song as old as rhyme... Beauty and the Beast." 
The eldest smiles.
He's used to me breaking into song. 
"Do you remember when we took you to see 'Beauty and the Beast' "?
"Not really."
"You were almost four. You sat on my lap. I was very pregnant with your brother. It was your first movie. You stayed for the whole thing. That was a big deal."

"Why?"
"Cuz before, you never wanted to stay. You hated the noise in movie theaters." 
"My ears were so sensitive."

"Do you remember when I took you to see the musical of 'Beauty and the Beast' "?
"Not really."
"I shlepped you to the Shubert in Century City. You were seven, I think. I brought candy and kept giving it to you, just plying you with sweets." 
"Did it work?"
"You stayed for the whole thing."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Good Talk

"HONEY?"
"YES?!"
"WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING!"
"RIGHT NOW?!"
"YES!"
"WHAT?!"
"WHERE DO YOU WANT YOUR ASHES SCATTERED?!"
"MY ASHES?!"
"WHERE DO YOU WANT THEM SCATTERED?!"
"CAN I GET BACK TO YOU?!"

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Crazy People, Running

The L.A. Marathon of Crazy People
Today is the L.A. Marathon, an event I've never trained for, or even understood. The thought of running and running and running some more, from one end of the city to the other, a big sprawling city, no less, seems completely insane and misguided, but best of luck to y'all who are out there doing it right now. Keep running. You've got a long way to go. If it's all the same, the SJG will stay home and not watch you run. For watching you run will bring back the trauma I endured a few years back, when the gals and I unknowingly scheduled a birthday lunch on the day of the Marathon. The Westsiders made it to the Ivy with little tsuris. The Valley gals? We got stuck and rerouted and dramatically delayed. I left my car somewhere on Doheny above Santa Monica Boulevard and started walking. It was the only time I've ever seen real marathoners out there doing their marathon thing, huffing and puffing and ready to plotz, and I'd be lying if I told you these people looked happy.  They looked a little bit deranged, a little bit, "Why did I think this was a good idea?" But please, don't let my lack of enthusiasm keep you from running or watching people run and run some more. There are some things I'll never understand, and this is definitely one of them.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Where Things Go

The moment I walked into Schvitz! I was on a mission. In my hand I held a banana peel and the wrapper of a rapidly-consumed tasty protein bar. Is there anyone out there who doesn't love a tasty protein bar? If so, what's wrong with you? A protein bar is basically a delicious candy bar masquerading as a healthy choice. Normally, I don't like to enter any venue carrying garbage. It's beneath me. But I didn't want to come back to a car stinking of banana peel. Banana Peel Stink in a hot car is not my go-to aroma. So, into Schvitz! I walked, with the afore-mentioned evidence of my "protein" snack, and spotted a trash can by the door. Well, lucky me. Except there was a sign over the trash can that said "Towels." A long-ago college grad of moderate academic achievement, I knew instantly that tossing the wrapper and peel into this particular receptacle would be, how they say, a No-No. The thought of getting kicked out of Schvitz! on my can for a trash violation was too much for my keppy to contain. I wasn't about to go there. I just wasn't! So I took a few more steps and there was another trash can, but with no sign. No sign! I looked straight at the can, then at the nice lady at the front desk, and with great earnestness, asked, "Is that a trash can?" She bit her lip, trying not to laugh at me. "Uh-huh." "Wow, I bet that sounded stupid. I mean, duh, obviously, it's a trash can. But in this gym, there are trash cans marked Towels,"trash cans marks Recyclables,"and for actual trash, there are no signs. Which trash can is this?" 'It's for a trash." "Thank God," I said, depositing my trash in the undesignated trash can. In this mad, mad world, every now and then, it's important to know where things go.

Friday, March 17, 2017

It's Not Easy Being Green

Pass.

Dear SJG,
According to the leprechaun who lives in my backyard, today is St. Patrick's Day. What is the etiquette regarding green on this holiday? Am I obligated to eat a green bagel? Must I wear green, too? If I don't wear green, will I get pinched? Green isn't a good color for me. I'm so confused. Please help me.
Sincerely,
Rather Be Blue

How you doin'?

Dear Blue,
Calm down, you. Have I ever steered you wrong? Feed the green bagel to your leprechaun. You don't want him to stop with the four-leaf clovers. And I've seen you in green. You look like an overgrown ficus. Stick with blue. Chances of anyone pinching you aren't too high. But who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky.
You're Welcome,
The SJG

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Queen of the Night

(Sherman Oaks) The SJG was spotted sniffing the air, waxing poetic about how good her neighborhood smells - heck, how good the valley smells, post-rain. "Pray tell, what is that heavenly scent?" she asked herself in her most Shakesperean way. "Is it... could it be... why, of course, it's night-blooming jasmine! That glorious perennial shrub I wisely, if not, brilliantly planted in my own backyard, only to be copied by so many others in the vicinity. But then, they say imitation is the menschiest form of flattery, don't they? Yes, I believe they do." Whereupon her nudnik neighbor Frieda von Strudel wandered over and interrupted her, rudely. "Uh, hello, you didn't plant it, your gardener did." "Go away, Frieda, I'm waxing poetic." "Wax on, wax off. I had my gardener plant night-blooming jasmine first and you copied me." "Fine, Frieda, whatevs, you win. Even you can't spoil my mood today, as I take in the intense, romantic, not to mention, intoxicating tubular white bloom." "Oh, excuse me, Little Miss Botanist." "You're excused. By the way, snooty face, I prefer Queen of the Night, in honor of this celestial perfume wafting hither and thither." "I see the time change's really gotten to you. You are losing it." "Get lost, Frieda. Skedaddle, would ya. Get you goin'. Be gone with you, before I drop a house on you, metaphorically. You are harshing my night-blooming jasmine buzz in the biggest way." "You're a nut bag, SJG." "Takes one to know one, Frieda. Takes one to know one."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

May You Win The Lottery

May you win the lottery - 
and spend it all on hospital charges.

May you sell candles for a living - 
and then may the sun never set.

May you become world famous - 
in medical records.

May your wife eat pieces of matzoh in bed - 
and may you lie in the crumbs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Wise Woman Once Said...

1. Coffee comes first.
2. When in doubt, bring a nice cake.
3. Stay away from magnifying mirrors.
4. Don't expect much.
5. Never operate heavy machinery while medicated.
6. Talk till they hear you. 
7. It's better than the alternative.
8. This hurts me more than it hurts you. 
9. Kvetch, and the world kvetches with you.
10. Take a sweater.

Monday, March 13, 2017

You Wanna Talk Disturbing?

The SJG has seen many disturbing sights during my humble time on Earth:
1. A runaway blue garbage receptacle making a break for it during a torrential rain.
2. An abandoned soccer ball squashed by a big rig on the 405 south. Or was it north?
3. A mean-spirited squirrel stealing a dog's favorite chew toy right out from under him and dragging it over the fence. Over. The. Fence.

Oh, the cruelty of it all.

But yesterday... dear God... yesterday, I witnessed something so alarming, so downright wrong on every level, that I couldn't wait to share it with you so that you could suffer along with me. I told you I'm a giver. So. What oy what did I witness? There's no nice way to put it, no formal name. I've coined a psychological term in hopes that others will come forward and share their similarly scarring experiences. In this way, we can bond, share a group hug and move on.

What I saw... and can't unsee... was...well, there's no way to sugarcoat it: Birthday Cake Interruptus. You heard me. Birthday. Cake. Interruptus.

I told you it was disturbing. I tried to warn you, didn't I? But then, weird things happen when you're sleep-deprived. Even... for a waiter. You see, this waiter, who'd already pretty much botched my salad order, was so fermisht, so spring forward exhausted, that when he brought out the sparkler-lit birthday cake and the two birthday gals were off waiting in a long ladies room line, he froze in terror. "Wait, stop, they're not here!" my friend and I commanded.  "Blow it out! "Blow it out! We have to wait for them!" He stood and stared, bit his lip and fought back tears. Finally, he put out the sparkler and set the plate down and went off to ponder his pipik in private. And then the birthday gals returned to the table. "We saw our birthday cake go by." "Yep, you did." We sang to them, anyway, but come on, without a lit candle or sparkler on a birthday cake, what do you have? You have Birthday Cake Interruptus, that's what.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sleep Writing In Sherman Oaks

(Sherman Oaks) Reporters, sleep specialists, a film crew and random early risers in search of fresh bagels gathered at SJG Palace this morning to watch the SJG sleep write her more-or-less daily blog from the comfort of her royal bed. "This is very exciting," Dr. Shirley Shluffstein whispered. "Sleepwalking, we've seen plenty of, but sleep writing? That's a whole other bowl of kreplach. If the snoozing blogger can pull this off, and I can take all the credit, I could finally win the highly-coveted Winken Blinken Fellowship I've been trying to snag since 1994." It was all quiet in the boudoir as Dr. Shluffstein positioned the lightly snoring SJG with pillows, opened her laptop, placed the writer's dainty yet unmanicured fingers on the keyboard and waited for the magic to happen. "Shush, people, especially you in the back, chewing gum. The SJG can't sleep-blog if she's annoyed. It's hard enough when she's awake." Just then, the SJG's fingers started to schlep across the keys. "Are you getting this?" Dr. Shluffstein asked the camerawoman, who didn't answer. Apparently, she'd nodded off. "Wake her up, this is important." "She can't help it," an assistant said, "she lost an hour of sleep last night." "Who didn't?" Dr. Shulffstein said. "Give her a good nudge." A gentle shove and the camerawoman woke up in time to capture the miracle that could change the course of sleep research, and God willing, go viral on OyTube. "What's she writing?" a reporter whispered. Dr. Shluffstein leaned over the laptop and smiled. "Stupid... eff'n... daylight..." "Go on," someone said. "That's it. Just 'stupid... eff'n... daylight.' You see what the SJG did there? Rather than curse the darkness, she cursed the daylight. Let's face it, even asleep, she's got a potty mouth."

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Map To The Starrs

The SJG was a shy girl, growing up in a humble little town called Westwood. I was never one to crave attention, unlike now, when I'll take whatever attention I can get. In elementary school, when the teacher called roll and said, "Carol Starr?" I whispered, "Here." Starr sounded like such a boastful, look-at-me name. "That's right, I'm a Starr.  What's it to ya?"  I didn't have the confidence to match my last name.  To be a Starr, I needed to feel like a Starr, and act like one.  I needed to get up out of my chair and grab the microphone. Sing and dance. Bring it. When people asked if Ringo Starr was my father-brother-uncle, I wanted to say, "Hell yes, and he's leaving me all his money." Instead, I giggled. Hee hee. That's funny. Never heard that one before. At UCLA, the more mature, coming-out-of-my-shell SJG entered into a serious reporter stage, writing for the Daily Bruin. I went from Beatle knock-off to Brenda Starr. This suited me better.  I was more comfortable as a cartoon character than a drummer from Liverpool.
Full disclosure: The thing is, my last name isn't really Starr. Well, it is, but it isn't. It's a truncated version of a long Russian name -- Starratiefsky. When my grandparents arrived at Ellis Island, the judge said the name was too long, and shortened it to Starr. By the time I got married, I loved the boldness of Starr so much, I couldn't let it go. Carol Starratiefsky Schneider would've been too long a byline. Carol Starr Schneider? Just right. To this day, I love my maiden name so much that whenever I see Starr somewhere, it feels like a personal shout-out.
You can only imagine the thrill I experienced several years ago when I read Alice Hoffman's book "The Red Garden," which traces the history of a small town in the Berkshires. One of the founding families: The Starrs! Then I went to hear her speak, and when they turned it over for questions, up went my hand.
"This is totally self-serving, but I'm wondering why you chose the name Starr? It's my last name, and it's not that common." Alice Hoffman smiled at me, patiently. Actually, Starr was a fairly common name in colonial times and that's why she used it. "Well, I just wanted to thank you for using it. I get such a kick out of seeing my name in your book." "Uh huh," she said. "Next question?

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Bris Is Still A Bris

Some need a sip of warm milk before bedtime. Some need a shot of brandy. I need a shot of "Seinfeld." Most nights, I can't fall asleep without spending a few minutes with Jerry and Elaine, George and Kramer. It's my comfort show. Last night, I saw one of my favorite episodes, "The Bris." When Jerry and Elaine agree to be godparents, Elaine hires the worst mohel in history, a psychotic nudnik with shaky hands. Poor Jerry has to hold the baby, and gets the tip of his finger sliced off. "You flinched!" the mohel says. In retaliation, Jerry calls him "Butcher Boy."
I howl every time I see "The Bris." My sons had non-catered, hospital circumcisions, both performed by a doctor named Milka Torbarina. "When they grow up," she said, post-snipping, "make sure you tell them a woman did this to them." I'm still waiting for the right time to break it to them.
I've only attended two brises. The first bris, I had the honor of holding the boychick, and much like Jerry, was a nervous wreck - shocking, I know - terrified of flinching and/or dropping the baby. Good news, I came through like a mensch. The second bris felt more like a wedding party than the typical bris n' brunch. I showed up with my toddler-eldest, both of us wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. Under my arm: bathing suits. Everyone else was dressed for a fancy reception. Apparently, I had misunderstood the invitation. "Uh, we'll be back in a little while." We rushed home and changed. My greatest social faux pas ever.
Am I proud of this? Maybe just a brisel. (See what I did there? My first Yiddish pun. A bisel. A brisel. Let's call the hold thing off.)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

You're Doing It All Wrong

"Gottenyu!" as my Russian grandparents taught my Brooklyn father to say, and then he passed it on to me. With all the shockers flying around the Twittersphere, I wasn't sure I could take any more disturbing updates. But this morning, this investigative report on peanut butter shook me to the core of my being. Why? I'll tell you why. Because I'm all about the natural peanut butter. My obsession with natural peanut butter is a thing. I eat a tablespoon every day. Ok, fine, maybe a little bit more than a tablespoon. What I'm saying is peanut butter is my go-to lunch. Peanut butter and a banana give me enough energy to face the day without screaming. Sans peanut butter, a nostalgic holdover from childhood, who am I?  A peanut shell of my former self.  And the fact that my daddy's nickname growing up was Peanut just ties it all together in a neat little bow. Are you listening, people? I'm not breaking up with peanut butter (reduced fat) and you can't make me. Even if... oh, this is hard...
even if... according to the so-called experts, I've been storing it all wrong. All. Wrong. You're supposed to store it upside down so that the oil is distributed evenly. Some part of me knew this deep down in my soul. It makes sense. But who has time to turn peanut butter jars upside down? Will the P.B. Police come and make a citizen's arrest? Should I leave the back door open so they can come in and cart me off to jail? I think it's well established I wouldn't do well locked up in a cell. Next you're going to tell me everything in my life should be alphabetized. How many times must I tell you, I'm not that organized. I'm still searching for proof of my existence. I'm pretty sure there's a form hidden somewhere in a drawer. And now you want me to turn peanut butter jars upside down? That's a big ask. But I'll try. I need a new hobby. I'll give it my best shot and let you know how it goes. Wish me luck, nice people. I'm going to turn this around... excuse me, upside down, if it's the last thing I do. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Yee-Haw!

Yee-haw! I'm goin' rogue!

(Sherman Oaks) The SJG, self-appointed domestic goddess of kvetching, has just announced ahead of schedule so she shouldn't forget, that she's officially going rogue and refusing to obey the Laws of Daylight Savings Time come Sunday. She explained her lack of logic while sitting on the porch of her Sprawling Southern California estate, sipping a mint julep at 7 a.m., which seems a little early for her to hit the booze, not that we're judging her. "So listen, my whole life, I've been dealing with this daylight savings hazarai. Fall back, spring forward. It's a lot of activity, not to mention, dangerous. In either direction, you could hurt yourself. Are you listening? You could break a bone. You could put out an eye as you tumble into the abyss. Even worse, you could bump your keppy on a rock and it's lights out, folks. Shalom and no more pleasant tomorrows. The rest of you, go ahead and risk bodily injury, exhaustion and clockwise confusion. Just don't stop me on the street and ask me what time it is. Why? I'll tell you why. Because I no longer give an eff. From now on, I'll be observing SJG time. You heard me. I'm calling the shots. I'm done pleasing the world. I'll either be early or late, depending on the season, so don't wait for me, don't try to reason with me, I've had it. I can't afford to lose an hour of sleep, capiche? I've been through too much sleep deprivation. I need all the sleep I can get. I'm tired of compromising, tired of taking orders, tired of keeping up with the times. So, go ahead, nice people. Spring forward all you want. But the SJG is staying put, behind the times, where I belong."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Napping Is Good For You

How wonderful to find out that napping is good for you. But then, I've always sensed that napping wasn't a negative activity. You can't annoy anyone when you're napping, let's start with that. When we were kids and napped in kindergarten, we got gold stars. There's your positive reinforcement right there. Take a nap, get a reward. Sweet. Of course, no one naps in kindergarten anymore. Budgets cuts and all that. Maybe in preschool, the teachers nap in shifts. "I'll power nap for five, while you read to them,  then you power nap, while I show them how to glue their mouths shut. Just kidding. Not really." The SJG never thought much about napping till I had my own little nappers. I relied on their daily naps. It was the only time I could get any work done. If they didn't nap, I got cranky. Naps were important in the SJG home. My mental state depended on the napping of others.  Personally, I haven't been much of a napper since kindergarten. Or so I thought. These days, I doze off without even trying. I make no announcement. It just happens. It's unplanned. All I have to do is sit down around 4 p.m., with a book in my hand, or a magazine, or a show I've recorded, and I'm out. Then my head snaps back and I wake up, stunned and disoriented and a little bit refreshed. I'm an accidental napper.  If you see me napping on a park bench, or on a sofa, or in a waiting room, give me a gentle nudge. And a gold star. And maybe a cookie and some juice. Thank you in advance.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Singing The Blues

Toilet Paper Roll Art
"Are you okay, honey?"
"I think so."
"Did you sleep at all?"
"Not much."
"How are feeling this morning?"
"I just want to get it over with."
What activity is hubby referring to?
a) His speech before the Sherman Oaks Committee for Fewer A-holes
b) His audition for "A Coupla Jews Singing The Blues"
c) His colonoscopy this morning

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spy Gal

SJG in "Allied." Okay fine, it's Marion Cotillard

Last night, rather than prep for our annual polka competition, as we do most Saturday nights, hubby and the SJG watched "Allied," starring the very glamorous Marion Cotillard and the still handsome, currently heartbroken Brad Pitt. Is it a great movie? Who cares. It was pure escapism and in my case, a potential game changer. After watching Marion Cotillard strut around in one gorgeous period costume after another, I reached a logical conclusion. "I could do this," I told hubby. "Do what?" "Be a spy." "You think?" "Absolutely. You get to wear pretty clothes and once in a while, raise a gun and shoot a bad guy. What's so hard about that?" "You have to keep a secret under pressure." "How much pressure?" "A lot." "Is pain involved?" "Could be." "So maybe I wouldn't make a good spy." "Maybe not." "But I can still dress like one." 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Telltale Sneezinal Signs


Your eyes begin to burn and sting


Your nose begins to do its thing


Your skin begins to itch full swing


Your dog calendar says it's Spring