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."

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Yiddish Zodiac

An uncredited classic, first sent to me by my sweet daddy, seven years ago. The SJG is a Blintz, which makes perfect sense. If I've told you once, I've told you plenty times. My blintz souffle is to die for. So, nice people. What's your sign?

1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
You're a healer, nourishing all whom you encounter. We feel better just being in your presence. Mothers want to bring you home to meet their children -- resist this at all costs. Compatible with Bagel and Knish.

The Year of EGG CREAM
1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
You've got a devious personality, since you're made with neither eggs nor cream. Friends find your pranks 
refreshing; others think you're too frothy. Compatible with Blintz, who also has something to hide.

1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
People either love you or hate you, making you wonder, "What am I, chopped liver?" But don't get a complex; you're always welcome at the holidays! Bagel's got your back.

The Year of BLINTZ
1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
Creamy and dreamy, you're rightfully cautious to travel in pairs. You play it coy, but word is that, with the right topping, you turnover morning, noon and night. Compatible with Schmear.

The Year of LATKE
1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
Working class with a grating exterior, you're a real softie on the inside. Kind of plain naked, but when dressed up you're a real dish. Compatible with Schmear's cousin, Sour Cream.

The Year of BAGEL
1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
You're pliable and always bounce back, although you feel something's missing in your center. If this persists, get some therapy. Compatible with Schmear and LoxLatke and Knish, not so much.

The Year of PICKLE
1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
You're the perfect sidekick: friends love your salty wit and snappy banter, but you never overshadow them. That shows genuine seasoning from when you were a cucumber. Marry Pastrami later in life.

The Year of SCHMEAR
1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
You blend well with others but often spread yourself too thin. A smooth operator, you could use some spicing up now and then. Compatible with bagel and lox. Avoid Pastrami -- wouldn't be kosher.

The Year of PASTRAMI
1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Brisket's hipper sibling, always smokin' and ready to party. You spice up life, even if you keep your parents up at night. Compatible with Pickle, who's always by your side.

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Kids love you, but make up your mind! Are you black or white? Cake or cookie? You say you're "New Age," all yin & yang. We call it "bipolar." Sweetie, you're most compatible with yourself.

KNISH (1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) Flaky on the surface, you're actually a person of depth and substance. Consider medical or law school, but don't get too wrapped up in yourself. Compatible with Pickle. Avoid Lox, who's out of your league.

LOX (1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014) Thin and rich, you're very high maintenance: all you want to do is bask in the heat, getting some color. Consider retiring to Boca. Compatible with Bagel and Schmear, although you top them both.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Everyone Should Look This Good...

... face planting.

At the ArcLight Sherman Oaks with the youngest and hubby, waiting for "Dunkirk" to start, there was a little pre-war drama, when a nice lady went boom. Don't worry, she made it to her seat in one piece. And yet, the haunting image stays with me, a lot more than the movie. At breakfast this morning, I felt compelled to relive the trauma:
"It's never good when someone face plants right in front of you."
"You didn't cause it, Ma."
"I know, but I can't stop thinking about it."
"She tripped, Ma."
"I feel terrible for her."
"She lost a lot of good popcorn," hubby says.
"She was okay, Ma. Remember that. She got up."
"Listen, physically, she's okay, except for a few bruises. But maritally, I'm not so sure."
"Didn't you hear what her husband said?"
"What he'd say?"
"Way to make an entrance."
"He didn't say that. She said that," hubby says.
"I know, but it sounds better the other way."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Little Projects

Hubby and the SJG, there's a word for us. Homebodies. But what's wrong with that? The truth is, at home, we're very productive. At least hubby is. He's the busiest homebody I know. I mainly sit on the sofa and cheer him on. "Go, you!" Hubby is always doing something at home, always fixing something or trimming something. He's either up on the roof, scaring me, or down on the ground, pulling up weeds, or changing sprinkler heads or on the driveway, washing a car. This is how he relaxes. Right now, at this very minute, he's taking apart the patio furniture. I would bet a zillion dollars that your significant person isn't taking apart your patio furniture. But mine is, and he's enjoying himself. I go outside and notice that the glass center of the table sits on the grass. "Honey," I ask, sweetly, "what the eff are you doing?" "Making the furniture look new." "Why's the glass center on the ground?" "Don't worry, I'll put it back." "When?" "Soon."
Just between us, making old patio furniture, weather-beaten and pooped on by countless birds, look new sounds impossible. But I don't say that. I humor him. "It really does look new." "Look at that shine," he says, proudly.  Hubby's all about the shine. "Wowza," I say, "I can see myself!" "This sh*t really works. God only knows what's in it." God, if you're listening, I don't want to know what's in "Wipe New." Honestly, I can live the rest of my life, not knowing. Which leads me to this: When hubby talks about retiring, I get a little panicky, on account of his favorite motto: "Little projects. You can never have enough of them." And though I might argue with that logic, in many ways, he's got a point. We've been each other's little project for 37 years now, putting each other back together, trying to maintain our shiny exterior. Sure, I may poke fun at him (and vice versa), but all in all, not a bad motto to take you through this crazy thing called life.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Petal For Your Thoughts

After boot camp, a misnomer if ever there was one -- we don't wear boots or get to eat s'mores around the campfire -- the tradition is as follows. Thelda, a tall drink of unfiltered water, and I say that with love, continues to work out on the stairmaster. An hour of sweating just isn't enough for her. The SJG, on the other hand, the left one, to be exact, prefers to restrict the suffering to the designated hour. While Thelda climbs heroically, I try to stretch my sore anatomy back into working order. For 15 minutes, or until I need to take a dainty pish, we swap stories and philosophize. You think I go to the dark side? Thelda makes me look like Tinker Bell.
Thelda: "How's your week going?"
Me: "Fine. How about yours?"
Thelda: "No 911 calls. Yet."
Me: "That's something."
Thelda: "I did hear two horrible stories, though."
Me: "I don't want to hear them."
Thelda: "They're not that bad."
Me: "You just said they were horrible."
Thelda: "I'm downgrading them to bad."
Me: "I still don't want to hear them."
Thelda: "I forget you're a petal."
Me: "You got that right, sistah."
Thelda: "I need to be reminded sometimes."
Me: "Try to remember that, would you?"
Thelda: "I'll do my best. So, anyway, this woman I know from work collapsed at the nail salon and --"
Me: "I'm going now."
Thelda: "Wait. It has a happy ending."
Me: "See you Friday."

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ping, Ping!

I hear a ping and my heart wants to sing.
My hopes start to soar, I've felt this before.
I pick up my phone, a dog with a bone.
I drool, I pant, my Pavlovian chant.
I've got mail, woo hoo! I pray it's from you!
Like a big dope, I tap the envelope.
Expecting to see a message from thee.
Instead what I get says Adopt-A-Pet,
Or Shop It To Me, It's Time For A Spree!
From Kate Hudson's site, a tank top in white.
Amazon Prime selling books about crime.
Hulu and NetFlix, so many new picks.
I just want to scream, it's all a bad dream.
Green Eggs and Ham, I do not like this Spam.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Safe Travels

Wowza, I've been busy this summer. Thanks to the sons and their international sweethearts, I've gone to London, Nice and Paris. Coming up soon, Bruges, Amsterdam and Helsinki. Best part? I haven't had to pack a suitcase. And you know how the SJG hates to pack. Oh, wait. Ex-squeeze me so much. I did have to pack for Temecula. But mainly, I've been right here in my comfy palatial estate, compulsively viewing those adorably quick video stories on Instagram, very big with the young people, and by young people, I mean not only my sons and their lovely significants others, but also the daughters and sons of my closest friends, who've generously taken me to Japan and Hawaii. I am having the best time, too. No jet lag. No airport delays. No aggravation. No expense.
Who knew traveling could be so easy? In this way, I'm an accidental tourist, collecting cyber souvenirs of other people's adventures. Sad, you say? How dare you. Listen, I've been here and there. I've gone plenty places. I'll probably go places again. But right now, I'm traveling vicariously through others, and that suits me just fine.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Resting Cry Face

Now and then, the people come up to me and ask, "SJG! When you gonna write that book?" This question generates numerous reactions, ranging from casual weeping to utter and complete despair. Do they not understand how many books I've attempted to write? Find me a writer who hasn't written a book and I'll eat my yarmulke. I haven't given up the dream, not yet, anyhow. Why? I'll tell you why. Because you never know, you know. So here are some potential titles for my next attempt at greatness. Please weigh in on which titles scream Bestseller or Bargain Bin:

"Constant Cleavage: The Search Continues"

"Oh, Eff That: The SJG's Book of Intolerance"

"Bitch, Please: The SJG's Anti-Aging Tips"

"Better You Than Me"

"I Know You Are, But What Am I?"

"Leave and Never Darken My Towels Again"

"When The SJG Met Sir Blakey: A Love Story"

"An Oy Vey A Day Keeps The Doctor Away"

"Oy vey, I'm stuck."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Request Denied

Approximate size
I went into this Facebook thing with an open mind.  I knew there was some weirdness out there, some debauchery n' stuff, but I figured, hey, I am the SJG, I can handle it.  Bring it.  Throw it at me.  Hit me with your best shot.  Take me into the unknown.  I'll survive.  Game on.  Like everyone, I've had some intriguing friend requests, from people I don't know, but they know people I know, or they know the people of people of people I sort of know.  So, generous gal that I am, I accept their requests because it's all about the numbers.  When it comes to getting new readers for my humble blog, I'm a big 'ho.  Still, the other day I got a friend request I simply couldn't accept, and here's where I'd be remiss if I didn't say Parental Discretion Advised.  This is a family blog, doncha know.  I force members of my family to read it, whether they want to or not.  The other day, I had a friend request from some random dude.  I clicked on his page and looked at the photo.  Big mistake.  I will not tell you exactly what I saw, for I am a lady who just attended a ladies literary luncheon.  But I will drop a giant, euphemistic hint.  It was a big ol' you-know-what!  An X-rated something-something!  I screamed, "Oy vey!  Oy eff!" I went tearing through the house, unhinged.  (I tend to overreact.)  I ran down the street in terror.  I warned the neighbors.  I warned all of Sherman Oaks.  Then I came back and rejected the request.  Good thing this situation didn't last longer than four hours, or I would've needed medical attention.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Meditate On This!

Even though this is a dude, it might as well be the SJG, although I'd like to think I wouldn't pick an open road as my happy place to meditate and be mindful and all that chill stuff like that there.
Believe it or not, depending on your belief system, I've always been very big on meditating. Not that I've always been good at meditating. But I have been very big on it, extolling its virtues, so that should count for something. 
I started back in high school. I paid good money I'd earned babysitting and part-timing it at a stationery store run by absolute lunatics to attend the Transcendental Mental Institute of Extreme Mellowness. 
They gave me my mantra, and no, I didn't forget it. Yay, me! I meditated a lot in college, then I got into the real world and was too anxious to meditate, what with all the crap jobs I kept getting, the nutty bosses, the bankrupt newspaper, the bouncing checks, the -- why are you making recount this? 
Then I started doing self-hypnosis, listening to tapes that kept telling me to breathe already. I thought I was breathing. Turns out, I'd been breathing wrong, but only for my entire life. 
Fast forward through my glamorous days as a borderline crazy (yet effective and powerful and oh-so-loving) mama bear, my exciting TV writer days, and my challenging decade as an Existential Loss Expert (list of losses available upon request). Keep fast forwarding to today, to my elegant and bejeweled late-late 50s, where I've achieved some kind of Zen, don't ask me how. On second thought, ask me how. 
I simply live in the moment, except when I forget to live in the moment, and I breathe better, except when I don't, and I become mindful that I'm not living in the moment, or breathing the right way, and then I either go back to living in the moment, or breathing the right way, or, as has been prescribed by my favorite Muppet, I say "eff it" and eat a cookie. 
Yep, that's how I roll, baby. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Let Me Get Back To You

She resented her walker.

A conversation with a certain recent birthday gal who'd throttle me if I revealed her name, so to protect my delicate anatomy, for our purposes today let's call her Patty:
"I feel so old."
"Because I am."
"You're beautiful."
"I'm old."
"You look amazing."
"I'm older than you."
"You certainly are."
"Don't remind me."
"You brought it up."
"See? I'm forgetting things."
"What did you do on your birthday?"
"I was surrounded by millennials."
She was starting to feel old.

"Oh dear God, Patty. No wonder you feel ancient. The first rule of anti-aging is to never hang out with people born after 1982."
"I had to."
"I was employed. They came with the scenery."
"Let's try to look at it another way."
"What other way is there?"
"How nice to spend your birthday employed. That must've made you feel good."
'It did. Until I realized I was so much older than everyone else."
"I don't think I've ever been employed on my birthday."
"Poor you."
"I've noticed you're not as empathetic as you once were."
"That's because I'm old."
"You left out bitter."
"It's implied."
"Old people are plenty empathetic."
"Give me one example."
"Let me get back to you."
Still, she managed to smile now and then. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Deep Reflections

I stared, astonished, my eyes popping out.
I got excited, I wanted to shout.
My hips, my thighs, my tush all looked thinner,
Despite carbs at breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
Bagels and lox, chardonnay and ice cream.
When I step on the scale, sometimes I scream.
But my reflection told me, "Buy the dress!"
And the shop owner urged me, "Just say yes!"
"I'll take it," I said, "whatever the cost."
"Without this dress, I would surely be lost."
Back home, I tried it on, I stood quite still.
I scratched my head, I started to feel ill.
Like bricks it hit me; couldn't be clearer,
That I'd been tricked by a skinny mirror. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Special Orders Don't Upset Us

Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us. Except maybe an order like this:
"I'd like a bupkis burger."
"Excuse me?"
"A bupkis burger."
"You don't know from bupkis?"
"No, ma'am, I don't."
"It's Yiddish for nothing."
"So what you're ordering is -- ?"
"A bupkis burger."
"Let me get Freida, the manager."
"You do that. But hurry. I'm starving!"
"Hello, I'm the manager. Is there a problem?"
"I hope not, Freida. All I want is a bupkis burger."
"A what?"
"A nothing burger."
"Nothing in the burger?"
"Yes. As in, 'where's the beef?' Not in this burger, baby. Nothing burgers are very big in Washington. They're always saying, nothing burger this.. nothing burger that. I like to keep up with the trends, Frieda."
"So... just a bun with nothing in it?"
"Nada. Zilch. Bupkis."
"Would you like fries with that?"

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bring A Bucket

"I forgot to tell you.  Bring a bucket.  I'll give you some succulents."
"I'll give you some clippings to plant in your garden."
"Wonderful.  I don't remember asking for succulents."
"Who is this?"
"Who do you think it is?"
"Oh my God.  I meant to call Bobbie."
"You called me, your daughter-in-law."
"Bobbie's coming to dinner tonight, with Arthur."
"Does that mean I don't get any succulents?"
"You can have as many as you want."
"I'll take three and a half, extra juicy."
"Bring a bucket."
"When should I come by?"
"Any time."
"How's Tuesday at midnight?"
"I'll be up."

Monday, July 10, 2017

All The Buzz

The SJG in costume
Sometimes it's freaky how in sync I am with my closest friends. The wonderful Connie Ray, star of stage and screen, somehow sensed that in the past week, the SJG has been eaten alive by mosquitoes.  Every day, a new bite. (I can only assume that in the bug world, I am delicious.)  This morning, Connie sent the following email: "I dreamed last night that you were the star of 'MOSQUITO - THE SWAMP MUSICAL!'  I didn't see you perform, but it was all the buzz." Always busy as a bee, and she's taking time out of her hectic NYC life to fit me into her dreams. I'm so touched! Not to mention: What a fabulous idea! The SJG as a mosquito, buzzing around the stage, singing show tunes like "I've Got You Under My Skin." Can you say box office boffo! I don't know about you, but I smell a Tony.  I'd like to thank Connie Ray, for putting these jazz hands to work. Oh, and one more thing.  Happy b'day, gal. (7-10-12)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Family Tree: Who Knew?

"Mishpocha!" Coming soon to SJG-TV: Just days into her ancestral search, the Short Jewish Gal discovers a truly legendary ancestor. With a little help from some nice underpaid researchers, she traces her roots all the way back to the early days of television, and oy, does she get a big shock when she learns of a great uncle on her father's side.
"Holy crap! I'm related to Uncle Martin!" she exclaims on Episode 1, popping a sedative to calm down. "I always knew I was Russian-American. But to find out I'm part-Martian just blows my keppy! After all these years, I finally understand my retractable antennae, my ability to become invisible, how well I can communicate with Sir Blakey, and don't even get me started on the levitation thing. To find out at this stage in life that my dad, Mr. Ben Starr, only wrote episodes of 'My Favorite Martian' to glorify his secret Martian roots? It's a game-changer. I was just a little SJG when the show got canceled, but I still remember Daddy sitting shiva till he got another job. Now it all makes sense. He was grief-stricken that he'd never see his Uncle Martin again, unaware that his favorite relative would be back in animated form for a brief stint in the '70s. I'm so excited, not to mention overjoyed, to share this ratings-worthy discovery with the world and finally let my Martian flag fly, I could plotz. And it's all thanks to 'Mishpocha!' " Tuesdays this fall on SJG-TV.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Eternal Question

Dear SJG,
It's not even 9 a.m. and it's hot. Why is it so hot? Why must I endure such discomfort? Why is this happening to me?
Schvitzing in the S.O.
Dear Schvitzing,
A quick, underfunded, unscientific study reveals that the heatwave is in fact related to something you said back in 1967 while playing dodgeball at Warner Avenue Elementary School. As the ball hit you in the tummy and you went flying through the air, you exclaimed, "Why me?" Ever since then, and even before, things have been happening to you, and this includes the weather, along with the good, the bad, the WTF, and the in-between. Why? I'll tell you why. Because that's just the way it is, bubbala. So make chilly in the house, get the kvetching under control, and remember what your No-So-Great Aunt Gertie said once as she slurped a nice big bowl of Borscht: "This too shall pass." And then, she burped.
You're Welcome,

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Visitor

I walked into the bathroom and there it was on the floor, big as a Buick. "Oy vey," I said, and backed out, quietly, on dainty tip toes. I'm sorry, what's that? You think I said something a little stronger than, "Oy vey." Fine. You know me too well. "@#$%!" I yelled, and ran out of the room in terror. "Honey," I called downstairs. "Can you come up here please? We have a visitor." "What kind?" "The creepy crawly kind." "Be right there." "Hurry. And bring something to capture it."
The visitor waiting to be captured.

Soon hubby appeared with his trusty assistant Sir Blakey. They were all over "The Cockroach Situation," a sitcom coming this fall to SJG-TV. "That's a big eff'n cockroach," hubby said. "I came in to brush my teeth and there it was. I may have panicked." "Woof," Sir Blakey said, thinking it was a treat. "Get it," I commanded, "before it gets away." But honestly, where was it going? Whomp! Down came the plastic container. The cockroach started running in circles. A sad sight indeed. Very... what's the word I'm looking for? Kafkaesque. (BTW: Do you know how long I've been waiting for the right moment to use Kafkaesque in my blog? So long!) 
"Cockroach Under Plastic," an exhibit coming to the SJG Contemporary Art Museum in 2022, was an abstract expression of modern day captivity. "Now what?" I asked. "Now I need something to slide under the container." "Of course you do!" I grabbed the ancient alarm company sign that resides under the bathroom scale -- why? I have no idea -- and watched in amazement as this man I married a while back skillfully slid it under the container, the temporary residence of the afore-mentioned GIANT COCKROACH, and proceeded downstairs, the Royal Rescue Pup (of questionable lineage) by his side. "Careful, careful," I coached from a safe distance, "don't drop that mother-eff'r." Moments later, hubby, a lover of all living creatures (except certain occupants in Washington, don't get me started) and freed "The Massive & Scary Insect That Nearly Destroyed The House," a horror movie in pre-production over at SJG Pictures, like the true Boy Scout he is, and life as we know it over here in Sherman Oaks returned to normal.   

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Great Shower Cap Debate

As we gathered in Temecula for the rehearsal dinner, where I was called upon to rehearse nothing, thank God, there was still one thing very much on my keppy, an issue of such import that I had to discuss it immediately with Kyle, Val and their daughters. Yes, I admit, it was a girly issue. But it was something I needed resolved.
"Did your room have a shower cap?" I asked, in my most plaintiff tone. "I looked everywhere and there was no shower cap anywhere."
"I bring my own shower caps when I travel," Val said.
"You're so smart! I would never think of that."
"Why do you need a shower cap?" Kyle asked.
"So my hair doesn't get wet," I said.
"I wash my hair every night. I don't need a shower cap," Kyle said.
At this point, her daughter Meryl weighed in. "Mom, you shouldn't wash your hair every day."
"Why not?"
"It dries it out."
"No one looks good in a shower cap," Val's daughter Lauren said.
"But I need one. I need one badly."
"You can have one of my mine," Val said. A true friend.
"Really? You'd give me one of your shower caps? Do you know how much that means to me?"
"A lot?"
"So much, I could cry."
I think I saw Kyle rolling her eyes. I'm not sure. A gal who never wears a shower cap just can't relate to this dilemma. Meanwhile, my true friend Val had a plan involving texting her the minute I got back to the room and we could do a shower cap exchange. She'd give me a shower cap, I'd give her a big hug and thank you. True friendship in action.
"First I'll check with the front desk and see if they can help me out."
"We'll be praying for you," Kyle said.
"Sarcasm?" I said. "At a time like this? Only someone with such magnificent hair would be so cruel. I need a drink!"
"Come back!" Kyle pleaded.
I turned on my heels. "I'll see you bitches later."

If only she'd had a shower cap.

Fast forward a few hours to the front desk at the hotel. "Hi," said the front desk gal. "Can I help you?"
"Do you have a shower cap?"
"Not on me."
"I need a shower cap!"
Here hubby offered his commentary. "She really does."
"I'll get housekeeping to bring you one."
"When?" I asked, fighting hysteria.
"Uh... in a few minutes?"
"Thank you. Thank you so much."
"You're welcome?"

Who says no one looks good in a shower cap?

As promised, the shower cap arrived in a cute little box. I put it on and did a happy dance into the shower. It's the simple things in life that make me happy. But here my story takes a sad turn. The next day, the crappy plastic shower cap was gone. Gone, I tell ya! Tossed into the void. I turned to hubby. "What do I do now? What will become of my hair?"
"Don't worry, my love, I'll go get you one."
What a guy! And sure enough he did. He got me two, just in case tragedy befell the first one. And so ends my shower cap story. Maybe you have one of your own? Spill it!