Thursday, July 22, 2021

Tiny Houses, Big Dreams

"Can't you see I'm on the phone?"

Only 14 months old, and my granddaughter Claire has already moved into her own tiny home. Just between us, it seemed a bit early, but I said bupkis. Rather than ask her parents, "Where's the angel girl going to sleep in this place?" -- too judgy -- I praised my daughter-in-law for realizing her design vision, kvelled over the paint job and offered to stock the non-existent fridge. 
Claire's first pilgrimage to my personal homeland went well. Every aisle of Gelson's sparked extreme joy, as she reached for this jar, that box, giggling, pointing, and exclaiming, "Dat! Dat! Dat!" Of course, the giant Winnie The Pooh mylar balloon at the checkout stand thrilled her the most, and can you blame her? As first outings go, this one was epic. I'll treasure it forever. I can't wait to cook with her on her new stove. Electricity? Who needs it. Just plug in the imagination and away we'll go. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Cute Is Cute

Just the other day, please don't ask which day, because I never know for sure, as I walked the Royal Rescue Dog of Questionable Lineage, I thought I heard Robin Williams calling out to me from the great beyond.


And he was saying, "Fosse! Fosse! Fosse!" just like he does in "The Birdcage." I turned my head ever so gently, careful not to wrench the delicate neck parts, and saw a little unleashed dog. I yanked Sir Blakey, assertively, off to the side, for he's not a fan of the Unleashed, but then, who is? Then I heard it again. "Fosse! Fosse! Fosse!" A dog named Fosse. How cute is that? Unless the woman chasing the lil dog was actually saying something else. Something along the lines of... 


"Fauci! Fauci! Fauci!" "You named your dog Fauci?" I asked. "Yes," she said, scooping him up in her arms. "How cute is that?" "Pretty cute." A nice neighborly exchange, and what's better than that? Nothing comes to mind. But then, some days are like that. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

What Freedom Means To Me

Recently rediscovered essay entered in statewide contest:
"What Freedom Means To Me" 
by Carol Starr, 5th grade
Warner Avenue Elementary School

To me, freedom means that I should get to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without getting grounded ever. If I want to talk on the phone with my friends for more than five minutes, I should get to do that without my mom or dad picking up the receiver and saying, "Carol, get off the phone," which embarrasses me and makes me an instant social outcast. All my friends get to talk on the phone for as long as they want. Why shouldn't I have the freedom to do that, too? I don't get it. What's the big deal? 

To me, freedom means that I should get more allowance every week. A lot more. One dollar isn't enough to buy all those groovy glow-in-the-dark Flower Power stickers I need to make my life complete. To me, freedom means I should get to go in the cool hippy head shop in Westwood and buy the longed-for groovy glow-in-the-dark Flower Power stickers without getting caught by my mother and officially grounded till I'm 30. I don't get it. What's the big deal? 

To me, freedom means I should get to pout all day if want to, and not be told to smile. Maybe I don't feel like smiling. Maybe I feel like pouting. I should have the freedom to make whatever super-mean facial expression I want. To me, freedom means I should get to whine and complain and refuse to come out of my room for days and not be told I'm acting like a big selfish doody-head. If I want to act like a big selfish doody-head, I should have the freedom to do that. This is America. Happy 4th of July. Whoopee. 
Recently rediscovered rejection letter for "Write An Essay About Freedom/Win Cash Prize":
Dear Miss Starr,
The Committee for Freedom has reviewed your essay, "What Freedom Means To Me." The Committee for Freedom feels you've missed the point by about a zillion miles. The Committee for Freedom hereby bars you from ever entering another essay contest for as long as you live.  


You should be ashamed of yourself,
The Committee for Freedom 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Empty Driveway

Early this morning, longtime hubby wandered into the bedroom, post-walkies, accompanied by Sir Blakey, and updated me on a D.D.D. 

A Deeply Disturbing Development:

"Are you sitting down?"

"What does it look like?"

"From where I stand, it looks like you're sitting."

"Spill it. I can take it. I'm one semi-tough SJG."

"The driveway is empty."

"Don't tell me that."

"I can't hide it from you."

"Are you sure?"

"I've checked 10 times."

"Ten times?"

"Okay. Two times." 

"You're saying there's nothing on the driveway." 

"That's what I'm saying."

"This is outrageous."

"It really is." 

"Did you call them?"

"Um. No."

"Why didn't you call them?"

"You're so much better at calling."

"It's one of my gifts." 

"So you'll call?"

"Hell, yes, I'll call. They're going to be sorry I called." 

"Go get 'em, tiger."

With that, he hits the treadmill, and I hit the phone. 

"Is this a delivery issue?" asks the pre-recorded voice. 

"I'm calling, aren't I?"  

"There's no need for sarcasm. Press 1."

"You press 1." 

"We're sorry for the delay."

"Sorry, my tush."

"Would you still like your paper delivered?"

"Sure. Fine. Whatever." 

"Press 1."

"Hang on a minute, Missy. When will it be delivered?"

 "Eff if I know. I'm only a machine."

Click. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Newly-Revised Dress Code

"Dinner!"

After much deliberation and legal counsel, the Upstairs Management of the SJG Palatial Estate has decided to up its game and revise its long-standing Dress Code. Just this morning, the team informed all occupants to, "Dress for the occasion, or face the consequences. Pretend you're going somewhere, even if you're not, which, knowing you, is generally the case." The list of intolerable attire includes: Drawstring daywear, denim nightwear, infamous footwear, wrong-headed hatwear, inside-out shirtwear, and offensive sockwear. After 4 p.m., formalwear is now mandatory. All occupants, vaccinated visitors and canines must abide by the rules or face immediate expulsion. Children under two are exempt. Thank you for your cooperation. 
"What part of 'bring up the sleeves' didn't you hear?" 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Skip This Month


Today I received the dreaded email that wants to shame me on the first of every month. Sure, I could've unsubscribed from this monthly guilt fest years ago. But God forbid I should miss a big discount on celebrity workout clothes that might make me feel and look celebrity-adjacent. Today I decided to spruce up my attitude, reframe the email's not-so-hidden agenda, make a healthier choice. I called forth the Second Shot Euphoria. I proved that all the therapy I've endured in the past has been worth it. This morning, when the celebrity workout website asked me if I'd like to buy some super slimming, life-changing, discounted body-hugging leotard, I didn't even hesitate. I clicked,"Skip this month!" And when the second opportunity to rethink my dumb decision appeared, complete with photos of highly-toned gals who look good in anything tight, and asked, "Are you sure you want to skip this month?" I clicked again, damn it. I clicked with unbridled glee. Embedded in my two-step clickery is my own empowering message. This isn't just the chance to skip this month, bitches! By clicking skip, I'm skipping the guilt, the tsuris, the chazerai that comes with the package. I'm making a bold statement here, not just to the celebrity workout website, but to myself. I'm immune from the shaming, the fear, the uncertainty of a missed discount I may regret, and so much more. One day, I may work up the courage to unsubscribe from the celebrity workout website. But not yet. Not when I've just discovered the joy of clicking, "Skip it!" Not once, but twice. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Double Jeopardy!


The other night around 7:12, I asked the cute guy in the nice leather recliner, "Did you see that?" "See what?" "Oh my God! You didn't see it?" "Can you be more specific?" "I don't think it's ever happened before." He nodded, supportively. His longtime wifey was in the midst of processing. It might take me a while to form a declarative sentence. This is the newish me, Pandemic Version. Most stories start off well: "Honey, I wanted to tell you..." Then I drift off. Sometimes I reclaim whatever it was I wanted to tell him. Sometimes I don't. But the other night was different. I hadn't forgotten. I was just dragging out the suspense, waiting for Anderson Cooper, the guest host of "Jeopardy!" and my personal favorite of the guest hosts in rotation, to acknowledge the typo on the big blue board. That's right, you heard me. The Typo. The answer in Potpourri for $200 began: "Aafter..." Two A's. Come on. If that's not Double Jeopardy! what is? But Anderson said nada. On a rare occasion, the "Jeopardy!" host comes back aafter a boo-boo, and says, "Hey, viewers, listen, we really eff'd up, it happens, and we're sorry."  Not this time. There was no oops, no shout out to the SJG, possibly the only human in the known universe to have caught the afore-mentioned "Aafter." I can picture the legend himself, A. Trebek, looking down from his heavenly perch in dismay. As you can see, I'm still not over it. I may never be over it. Anytime I make a typo, it hurts my soul. But a typo on "Jeopardy!" is a whole other kind of personal trauma. My spouse, however, has moved on. Which is why, from this point on, I'll keep reminding him of the typo. But only every time we watch "Jeopardy!"