Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Latkes Roasting On An Open Fire

It's time again for the annual Christmas vs. Hanukkah Debate. I can't tell you how many of my Gentile friends think we Jews threw together a December holiday just to compete with Christmas.

First of all, there is no competing with Christmas.

It's not as if you're ever going to find yourself standing on line at Wal Mart listening to an endless loop of "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" playing from the PA system. There are no menorah flags hanging from lamp posts, no Stars of David attached to car grills, and you'll never squeeze into a crowd to watch a Hanukkah parade go by. Not even in Miami.

It's not like I have a problem with Christmas. Every year I have a Pavlovian reaction to Starbucks' red holiday cups because that means it's the season for eggnog lattes. And I love to visit my non-Jewish friends' homes in December just to inhale the piney smell of a Douglas fir.

But let's face it, Christmas takes over from September through December. While we Heebs are hunting around in every Judaica store for the right size Hanukkah candles that don't have to be hammered into Grandma's menorah, the rest of the country is swathed in red and green.

And, no matter how much we hope and dream, it's unlikely we'll ever see latkes popping up on the menu at Appleby's nor will we ever get the chance to win big playing dreidel at an Indian casino.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hail Mary (and Heather)

Mary Cheney, lesbian daughter of sharpshooter Vice President Dick Cheney, is pregnant. She and Heather Poe, her partner of 15 years, are expecting this spring. And wouldn't you know it, the Christian Right is all fatootzed about it. There hasn't been this much excitement about somebody named Mary having a baby without playing hide the salami in, I dunno, 2,000 years or so.

Carrie Gordon Earll, spokesperson for those geniuses at Focus on the Family said, “Mary Cheney’s pregnancy raises the question of what’s best for children. Just because it’s possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn’t mean it’s the best for the child.”

Okay, Carrie, here's the thing about gays and kids. A drunken one night stand between two homos will not result in someone getting knocked up. When we queers get pregnant it's because we really want to have a kid, and that lucky child will most likely be swaddled in the love of two people who've probably spent a lot of time planning for parenthood.

But hey, I guess if you're part of the Christian Right, what's love got to do, got to do with it?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

From The "WTF Were You Thinking?" Files

Yo, OJ. Years ago you were one of the most amazing running backs in the history of football. Then you tried your hand at a little acting. From there you went to wifebeating and finally became a crazy-ass murderer. So what makes you think you can write? And that title - "If I Did It" - come on, dawg, we know you did it. You can do better than that.

How about "Okay, I Did It. I'd Rather Go to Prison Than Face Another Rejection on Match.com."

From dumb to dumber. A guy in Arkansas tried to steal a guitar from a music store by sticking it into his pants. The store owner noticed a suspicious bulge in the would-be robber's clothing and managed to retrieve the instrument before anyone had to listen to any badly played Woody Guthrie tunes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Come Together. Right Now. Over Me.

John and Yoko had the right idea. Stay in bed for a week to call attention to the need for world peace. But Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffel have gone a step further; They've asked everyone in the world to have an orgasm (or more) on Winter Solstice (December 22nd).

Apparently after orgasm your mind is totally relaxed, and Sheehan and Reffel believe that if enough people think about world peace in a meditative state, positive change is possible.

Like we need an altruistic excuse.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thanksgiving - The Secular Passover

My two favorite holidays are Passover and Thanksgiving. When you think about it, they're very similar. At Passover we Heebs celebrate our escape from years of slavery in Egypt. We give thanks for our freedom and our control over the entertainment industry.

Similarly, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the good things in life and realize that, no matter what's going on, things could always be a lot worse. Kinehora.

What I love about each holiday is that they're both about sharing a meal with members of my chosen family. Now if I could only figure out a way to make pumpkin pie kosher for Passover.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ring! Ring! Pick Up The Fertility Phone

When one of my eggs steps on to its ovarian launching pad in preparation for a journey into the unknown, I feel a little twinge in my abdomen that lets me know that even though my uterus and I parted ways years ago, those frisky ovaries are still taking target practice.

But if your body doesn't send you subtle messages that it's time to procreate, now your cellphone can.

DoCoMo, Japan's largest cellphone manufacturer, recently debuted the FOMA D702iF mobile phone designed to keep us girls appraised of what's going on with our female plumbing. Shaped like a packet of birth control pills, and available in several attractive pastel colors, the new phone offers members of the fairer sex these fabulous feminine features:

* A "biorhythm memo" that will alert you three days before ovulation
* A database for storing recipes
* A fake ringtone to thwart off advances from unwanted suitors

I'm guessing they're working on the pregnancy test for next year's model.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Stay The Course

A man in Rudolstadt, Germany so diligently followed the directions of his car's on board navigation system that he drove on to a building site, up a flight of stairs and smack into a toilet hut, which must be the German equivalent of an outhaus.

The system commanded "Turn right now!" and this guy did exactly as he was told, even though there was no road to turn on to.

This story strikes me as a metaphor for the decisions The Almighty Decider has made about Iraq. When the automated on board navigation system that seems to be running this country said, "Stay the course" that's what W's lemmings did. In fact, for the past six years they've been following the commands of some mysterious automated voice, and running into more than a few toilet huts, creating a nasty stench in the process.

Today we hear that our fearless leader will no longer use the phrase "Stay the course" when talking about the situation in Iraq. Apparently things aren't looking so good over there, and staying the course might not be the best idea.

"Turn left now!"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

P.S. Your Cat Is Gay

The Christian Right can't seem to leave us poor homos alone. Now it seems there's a big brouhaha about an exhibit at the Oslo Museum of Natural History called "Against Nature" that depicts (gasp!) homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom. One photo shows two giant erect whale penises rubbing together, while another exposes two male giraffes doing the horizontal, or I guess vertical in this case, hula.

In another part of the exhibit, two stuffed female swans are shown sitting on a nest of eggs. One is reading a copy of "Off Our Backs."

And, of course, this is all part of a plan spelled out in section 130-A of the voluminous Gay Agenda that explains how to recruit children on school field trips into the Gay Lifestyle. Those kooky conservatives are accusing exhibit organizer, Geir Soeli, of displaying pornography, and one of the angry pastors said that the museum directors should burn in hell.

Soeli retorted with, "Sexual urge is strong in all animals. It's a part of life; it's fun to have sex." In fact, he added, homosexual behavior has been observed in over 1,500 animal species.

And, just like your dog makes a conscious choice to chase your neighbor's cat, every queer animal in each one of those 1,500 species has made a conscious choice to indulge in a life of homosexual iniquity.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mrs. Kravitz is My Homegirl

Why is it so damn hard for people to pick up after their dogs? It's getting to the point where I almost wish each dog's excrement had its own unique identifyer so I could match the poop to the pup and then chew out the owner.

I do have one prime suspect, however. There's a woman on my block who marches up and down the street every morning with a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and her low rider Corgie follows behind her leaving his bidness wherever and whenever he feels the urge, which often ends up being my front lawn. Does she carry poop bags? Nope. That would mean giving up either the smoke or the caffeine. She knows I know, but she doesn't give a crap, so to speak.

And I don't buy that theory that animal defecation is better than Miracle Grow. Hell, if that were the case, I'd invite a few pandas over just to try to have a shot at the local garden club award. Pandas can poop as often as 40 times a day - go ahead, look it up.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rack-and-Pinion Steering Could Save Your Life

If you're considering breast implants, think big. You could save your life, not to mention a few bucks on car insurance. A Bulgarian woman with size 40DD breast implants managed to avoid serious injury (and possibly death) when her car was involved in a head-on collision.

Apparently, when the steering wheel crushed her on impact, her enormous silicone bazooms protected her vital organs and ribcage - just like an airbag. Unfortunately, both breasts exploded (ouch), which means her career as an exotic race car driver will have to be put on hold for a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm Becoming a Corporate Speak Geek

So I'm writing a case study for a high-tech company and I just finished interviewing the VP of Field Delivery.

For all I know the guy I just spoke to moves farmland around because after the first 10 minutes of the interview, I felt like I was waist deep in cow pies. I heard all about best practices and business elements that define world-class performance levels. I learned that this company is striving to be the best in their market-space, and looking to impove their metrics in customer satisfaction.

And their website is even better. These guys provide ECM and BCM solutions to help manage mission critical content. They also deliver processes to better manage highly scalable enterprise content and process management platforms using the full spectrum of connectivity by automating and streamlining critical tasks.


It's not that I don't know what they're saying, I just wish that I could write for them using easily understood language that doesn't make everything sound like a conversation between Captain Kirk and Bill Gates.

Monday, September 25, 2006

L'Shana Tova

I just wanted to wish all my Heeb brothers and sisters a very sweet and happy New Year.

I always go into a very thinky state during The Ten Days of Awe (the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). It's the time of year when I reflect on my strengths and weaknesses, look at my accomplishments and mistakes, and try to figure out how to make the new year a better year for me and all the people I love.

So, if you're being a thinky Heeb like I am, L'Shana Tova Tika Tevu. If not, at least it's football season.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Snacks On A Plane

Can I just say how annoying it is that airlines don't feel the need to offer us even the tiniest bag of pretzels anymore? And half of what I might want to bring on board as a nosh is now considered bomb making material. No water (that's just plain fucked up), no matzo ball soup, no tapioca pudding, no peanut butter, and no borscht.

Okay, I probably wouldn't want to bring borscht.

So now I'm packing a bunch of snacks that will be horribly dehydrating, and I'll have to chase the flight attendants all over the plane just to get enough water to fill an eye dropper. And, even though it'll feel like I'm flying on Air Sahara, I won't even consider drinking that sludge that comes through the lavatory sink. I think they recycle that from you-know-where.

This is one of the few times I wish I were retaining water.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Talk The Talk Or Walk The Plank

Avast, me salty dogs! In less than a fortnight you, too, can participate in International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Every year on September 19th crazy people from all over the world spend the day talking, and even dressing, like pirates. And I do mean all over the world. The official website offers pirate expressions in Swedish, German and Chinese. Since I'm about to go on vacation, I didn't want the three of you who read this blog to miss such an important event.

Visit the website and you'll learn how to Captain Hook-up using pirate pick-up lines. My personal favorite is "Yo, Ho! (Ho.)" I guess the second "ho" is implied.

So now I'm wondering what a Jewish pirate, you know, someone like Long John Silverstein, would sound like.

"Arrrrgh! Welcome aboard the Jolly Kvetcher, me heebies. We're expecting a rough crossing, so if your timbers tend to shiver, bring a little sweatah."

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Hissing of Summer Yawns

I know I ranted about that moronic movie "Snakes on a Plane" last month, but the more I read about it, the less I understand the appeal. What's up with all these gross-out movies? I've never had the need to watch a bunch of idiotic teens violate the classic "Don't Go Into the Basement" rule, only to find themselves made into sashimi by a maniac in a hockey mask wielding a set of Ginsu knives.

In "Snakes on a Plane" several characters are offed in grisly detail. Let's see, some are impaled, others lose their heads (literally), and way too many become snack food for the slithery stow-aways. And audiences are, um, eating it up.

Pass the Dramamine.

Personally, I'd rather be forced to watch hours of film strips from my 6th grade science class while stuck on a flight that's endlessly circling O'Hare during a thunderstorm.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fly the Surly Skies

Okay, this whole new airport security mishegoss is making me very shpilkesy. First of all, I never, ever check luggage. Even when traveling to Europe for two weeks, I pack everything I need in a small roll aboard suitcase and a backpack. Granted, I don't usually take floor-length gownless evening straps or patent leather hip boots when I go abroad (those items are saved for road trips). I figure if I'm running around busy airports or schlepping through Venice on foot with bags in tow searching for my hotel, I don't think a 16-piece set of matching Louis Vuitton luggage, including a steamer trunk, is all that practical.

But now we have to pack gels and liquids in our checked luggage, so my no checking, no hassle travel plans have gone the way of free in-flight meals and extra leg room. And I know it's not all about me, and making my life easier. Trust me, I'd much rather lose my checked luggage on a flight to China and be stranded with just a toothbrush, a clean pair of underwear, and a lame Chinese phrasebook than be blown to bits in midair.

So now I'm thinking, what's next? My fear is that eventually we'll all have to fly barefoot, dressed in nothing but those drafty paper outfits saved for humiliating experiences like a trip to the OB-GYN. And that's gonna suck when I visit family in Buffalo during December.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Shop Till You, Um...Er...

I absolutely abhor shopping. It always reminds me of my mother dragging me to some farkarte department store to shop for school clothes as well as the requisite itchy, uncomfortable outfit to wear to shul during the High Holy Days. I guess I didn't get that recessive gene that allows most women to hear cute shoes calling from afar. About once a year I'll drag myself to the mall if I need something that requires trying on, but if I must shop at all, I prefer doing it online.

Apparently, Danish clothing company, Shaiware understands that it takes a lot more than cute shoes and Euro Trash chic to lure reluctant shoppers like me to their website. They're utilizing the ultimate marketing tool - porn. If you visit the Shaiwear website, you'll find much more than a few bored looking models standing around in trendy outfits. Instead, you can watch them take off each other's clothing, and then perform a well choreographed horizontal hula. (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart or the easily offended.)

Oh yeah, and don't forget to check out the clothes.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Let My People Show

So today we find out from the NBC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay area that there's a guy in El Dorado Hills, CA who saw the image of Jesus on a cooked shrimp tail. Jesus seems to be popping up all over the place.

In the mountains of southern Mexico, locals claim to have seen an image of Jesus on a rock. He's also appeared on a piece of sheet metal at a hardware store, on a fish bone in Oklahoma, on a some guy's plaster wall inside a shower, and two sisters saw his image on wall in the kitchen of their childhood home while they were in the midst of renovations.

So how come we Heebs never see images of Moses on a matzo ball or Abraham on a bagel? And what about Sarah, Leah and Rachael? Shouldn't we see at least one of them on a piece of halvah or in a bowl of stewed prunes?

And I thought we were the Chosen People.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Silent But Deadly

I just bought a Prius. It's the coolest car and has all kinds of George Jetson gadgets that I still don't know how to use. One of the things that fascinates me is the electric motor. Every time I stop the car, and sometimes when I'm moving, it switches from gas to electric mode and goes eerily silent. I can't hear myself driving, and that's really, really weird. It's sort of like I'm running errands under water.

In fact, I'm so stealthy that pedestrians don't hear me either.

So I was thinking that maybe the Prius should come with some sort of warning accessory that's not as rude as a car horn. I don't want to scare the crap out of someone when I'm in stealth mode, but I don't want to flatten them either. I'm considering a few options for my early warning system. There's always the pleasant, bucolic clang of a cow bell, or I could play "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the kazoo, or maybe turn the bass waaaay up on the sound system and blast a little Tupac. Or Carl Kasell.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Little Schmaltz

The moon must be singing Barry Manilow tunes to my ovaries again because I've been feeling kinda schmaltzy lately. But I went into full-blown PMS mush when I read a quotation from an interview in Oprah magazine where Oprah and her best pal Gayle defend their close friendship and insist that they're not gay.

To be honest, I don't give even the tiniest bissel dreck whether Oprah is straight, gay or having a hot polyamorous relationship with a herd of goats. But when she describes the way she feels about her closest friend, I gotta admit I got more than a little verklempt.

"I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it - how can you be this close without it being sexual? How else can you explain a level of intimacy where someone always loves you, always respects you, admires you? Wants the best for you in every single situation of your life. Lifts you up. Supports you. Always! That's an incredibly rare thing even between the closest of friends."

Oy, that Oprah's like buttah. Talk amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Ad?

There's a new trend in marketing that just, er, cracks me up. Eggvertising. Apparently CBS is having messages printed on more than 35 million eggs to attract viewers to their televsion shows. And who knew there were companies like EggFusion that specialize in egg coding?

Starting this fall, we won't be able to throw together a simple frittata without finding such pithy phrases as "CSI, crack the case on CBS" when we open a carton of extra large grade A eggs. And that's just what I want to see when I'm making breakfast - a reference to a really gross televison show about scraping blood samples off dead people.

Now I'm waiting for Godiva Chocolates and Motrin to place ads on tampon applicators.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Cuckoo for Sudoku

Let me just start out by saying I am not cuckoo for Sudoku. But a lot of people I know are just plain addicted to this puzzling pastime. It sort of reminds me of the Rubik's Cube craze 20 years ago. I'm told Sudoku has nothing to do with math, but it's all about numbers and logic, and to me, that's like being math's first cousin.

And I'm someone who thinks cooking (the combination of calculating complex oven temperatures while measuring using the metric system) is equivalent to cracking the launch codes for those *secret* missile silos in Nevada, so anything even remotely involving numbers is, well, not my idea of relaxation.

Plus, I barely have enough RAM in my little keppe (that's "head" for you non-Yids) to store all my PINs, passwords and account numbers now. There are too many numbers in our lives as it is. Come to think of it, every Hebrew letter has a numeric equivalent. It's amazing Moses didn't invent the compass and get our people out of the desert years earlier.

So will someone please explain to me the allure of putting a bunch of random numbers in little boxes and having them all add up to the date of your grandmother's birthday? I just don't get it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Sharper Image

A few months ago one of my good friends finally made the switch from the Evil Empire (Windows OS) to Mac. She bought a MacBook, Apple's latest and greatest new laptop. Finally, I thought, she'll see why the rest of us love our Macs to the point of obsession. The new MacBook has all the bells and whistles that make geeks like me go all drooly and glassy-eyed. And, like all Apple products, this laptop is one sharp-looking machine.

In fact, if you saw "The Devil Wears Prada" you may have noticed that on every desk in the too-chic-for-real-life offices of "Runway" magazine sat a sleek white iMac. The only desktop computer slender enough to wear a size zero.

But the new MacBook not only looks sharp, it feels sharp, too.

Its edges are so sharp in fact, they rival deli meat slicers, and avid Mac users are complaining to Apple about bruised wrists. Some online forums offer suggestions like sanding down the sharp edges or wearing wrist bands. Other people are trying to get refunds or (gasp) switching back to their klunky old PCs. It surprises me that a company with the design savvy to come up with the iPod Nano could overlook such a simple element of user comfort.

Monday, July 03, 2006

All-A-Merkin Girl

Thanks to my good friend and word maven Martha Barnette I now know the meaning of the word “merkin.” It’s a pubic wig.

But it gets better.

How about a hands-free merkin flashlight? Just think how convenient this would be on a camping trip when you’re looking for a place to pee.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Air Medusa

It’s time for all those so-called summer blockbuster movies to come out. And next month a much-anticipated film with obvious Oscar potential will hit the multiplex. It’s called “Snakes on a Plane.” And, as much as I wish that title were some clever metaphor, what you see is what you get.

In a nutshell, two FBI agents are escorting a protected witness from Hawaii to L.A. In order to prevent the witness from testifying, a couple of bad guys smuggle a crate full of poisonous snakes of varying sizes on to the plane and let them loose during the flight.

But what really kills me is an article in today’s LA Times that credits fans with influencing the writer and director to ratchet up the sex, violence and bad language to garner an R rating rather than a wimpy PG-13. Apparently, dailies were posted on the web and fans weighed in on the film’s progress.

The result? An additional week of shooting to add more nudity and extra blood and gore. And the script got a makeover too - a boatload of profanity to fill in the gaps in the story.

Can’t wait for the sequel - “Rats on a Train.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Woo Hoo! Rock and (2-ply) Roll!

For those of you who can’t part with your iPod, even for a moment on the throne, here’s the perfect gadget for you. It’s called an iCarta, costs about $99 and is designed to “enhance your experience even in the smallest room.”

Personally, I like my small room experiences to be quick and productive. No musical accompaniment necessary.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Holy L-Bat!

Next month DC Comics will re-introduce its Batwoman character as a 5-foot-10 lipstick lesbian with long red hair and a form-fitting outfit that leaves no room for water weight gain.

The original Batwoman was introduced in 1956 and then killed off in 1979. The new super heroine, also known as Kathy Kane, will be a blue-blooded Gotham socialite with a past – a former romantic connection to detective Renee Montoya. Everybody knows you can’t have a lesbian character without an ex lurking around somewhere. Who else would take care of her cat when she goes on vacation?

So this is what progress looks like. We can come back from the dead and save the world, but we still can’t legally marry.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

I don’t want a mobile phone with a camera. I want a phone that’s used primarily to make and receive calls. Is that too much to ask? Apparently Verizon thinks so.

I went to replace my phone yesterday and found that 99% of the new models come with cameras. Look, I’m happy with my digital camera, and I don’t need a pimped out phone with a bunch of extra appliances. Even if I had the option, I wouldn’t want a phone with a blender or a coffee maker or a hair dryer. Okay, maybe a hair dryer.

And I don’t intend to check email, do a Google search or watch The Godfather on a screen that’s smaller than a packet of sugar. I just want to call other people and have other people call me. What I really need is a couple of tin cans with a virtual string.

Hey Verizon, can you hear me now?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How Very Tongue in Um, Cheek

Apparently the stodgy alter kockers of snooty Scottsdale, AZ have their Depends all in a knot about the upcoming opening there of a new restaurant, the Pink Taco. The Las Vegas-based chain’s tagline reads, “Eating out never tasted so good.” Oh my.

I guess Scottsdalians consider the premise of the new eatery in bad taste.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Eau No!

I think the whole damn fragrance industry is smoking crack. A British company has introduced a perfume that smells like Stilton cheese, and toymaker Hasbro is debuting Eau de Playdoh. Yep, you too can reek of modeling clay. Just like a four-year-old.

Okay, unless you’re looking to have a three-way with Gumby and Pokey, why the heck would you wanna smell like the arts and crafts corner of a pre-school on a rainy day?

And Eau de Stilton? What are those Brits thinking? This is a Very Stinky cheese. And what about the other four food groups? Nothing like the scent of a sizzling burger behind your ears, or maybe a hint of Bermuda onion on your wrists and the essence of mixed nuts on the back of your neck. And don’t forget about day-old fish. That’s always a crowd pleaser, especially in warm weather.

I’m just waiting for the next trend. Animal excrement.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Could Jesus Be My Relative?

The movie “The Da Vinci Code” is about to hit theaters across the country. Now there's all this additional brouhaha about the premise of the story. What if Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they started a family that still exists today?

The way I see it, stranger things have happened. Two years ago the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. And recently, my mother finally began to refer to my girlfriend of eight years as my partner rather than my friend. So you see, anything’s possible.

And this got me thinking, what if I’m related to Jesus? I, too, come from a Jewish family with an identity crisis. We celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, Easter (the part with the candy) and Passover. We even ate pork and shellfish. But we always attended Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.

My father was born a Jew but didn’t really stick with the program. Jesus was born a Jew but didn’t really stick with the program either. It kinda makes you wonder.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Polly Wanna Gerund?

Birds can learn grammar. Okay, maybe you won’t find a bunch of crows sitting on a wire conjugating verbs, but according to a recent study,
certain starlings can distinguish between a regular birdsong “sentence” and one containing a clause or another sentence of warbling.

And it took UCSD researcher Tim Gentner just one month to train the birds to make the distinctions. So why does it take most Americans years to figure out the difference between “lie” and “lay” or “who” and “whom”?

Friday, April 21, 2006

I’m the Intolerator

Dear President Bush,

Now that you’ve declared to the world that you’re The Decider, why don’t you stop being such a stubborn schmendrick and decide to learn to speak proper English?

We all know that you’re as dumb as a box of hair, but since you’re the guy leading the free world, and we have almost three more years of living under your Deciderism regime, it would be great if just once you could decide to pronounce the word “nuclear” correctly.

NOO-klee-er. See, that wasn’t so hard was it?


The Mispronunciation Intolerator

That Rumsfeld decision? Not such a good one.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Geezer Pleasers

Okay, will someone please explain to me what’s so hot about shtupping an 80-year-old guy who’s hard of hearing and hangs out in his jammies all day? Apparently Hugh Hefner’s personal bevy of blonde bunnies has been reduced from six to three because there was just too much jealousy and competition.

You’re kidding me, right?

I get that being one of Hef’s hand-picked shtuppettes gives a girl a little more, um, exposure but it’s hard for me to believe that these women are actually fighting with each other for the privilege of a few wheezy moments of Viagra induced boning with a guy who's old enough to be their grandfather.

I guess they’re just a bunch of Electra-lites. Great taste. Less Filling.

Happy Tax Day

For all of you in the eleventh hour of finishing your taxes, I wish you unlimited mental clarity followed by a really good bottle of pinot noir.

In the meantime, I recently got my tax refund check from the State of California. A whopping $2.00. When I was nine, my parents gave me a $2.00 weekly allowance for cleaning the kitchen after meals and making the perfect vodka tonic. In 1965, $2.00 was a big deal to a nine year old (as were good bartending skills).

But today I have to admit I’m a little disappointed. My bartending skills are still pretty good, and my kitchen is spotless. You’d think that Conan the GirlyMan, famous for his Neanderthal forehead, wandering hands, and lack of fiscal fitness would have found it in his heart to send me a bigger refund check. After all, I think I grossly overpaid this guy.

Time for the Terminator Tea Party.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Let My People Kvetch

Oy. Uncle Saul and Aunt Rose have been reincarnated as Easter candy.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Buy Gefilte Fish

“Have you accepted Moses as your personal savior?” Okay, maybe that’s not how we Heebs approach the unaffiliated (Jews who don’t belong to a synagogue), but after reading an article in today’s New York Times about “temple recruiters” hanging out by Passover food displays in supermarkets, I’m trying to imagine what the Jewish version of Jehovah’s Witnesses would look like.

A group of Hadassah bubbes is camped out by the matzo display at Ralph’s. With laser-like accuracy, they spot you, the twice-a-year-plus-Passover-Jew, at a hundred paces. You’re the one reaching for the egg matzos.

Bubbe #1 hands you a temple pamphlet touting Shabbat Yoga, comedy shows, and Torah cocktail parties while Bubbe #2 replaces the ’97 Bordeaux in your shopping cart with a bottle of Mogen David Concord Grape.

Next year in Riverdale.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

No Bogus Apostrophes, Dude

Apostrophe. It sounds like the title of a Greek tragedy. Apostrophe was Antigone’s sister; you know, the possessive one.

But what’s really tragic is that so many people treat apostrophes like maraschino cherries, adding them to words whether they’re needed or not.

I see examples like this all the time:

• Back in the 60’s
• Apple’s - 3 for a dollar
• Womens’ restroom

Here’s how they should be spelled:

• Back in the ‘60s
• Apples – 3 for a dollar
• Women’s restroom

I know, I sound like an anal retentive, nitpicky cuckoo clock, but bad punctuation makes me all fatootzed. Sure, I have my own love-hate relationship with commas, but that’s another story.

And when I master the comma sutra, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Monday, March 27, 2006

When Do We Eat?

“When Do We Eat?” is new film about a Jewish family coming together for Passover. What’s the premise? Angst, dysfunctional family dynamics, and food. Like you had to ask.

Why is this film different from all other films? Because in this film, just prior to the beginning of the Seder, the family patriarch is slipped a tab of Ecstasy. Dude, this horseradish is so intense.

It opens on April 7th in LA, Orange and Riverside counties. Looks like we San Diegans got passed over.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

And Your Little Dog, Too

My plumber recently told me that the guts of my office toilet are held together with Elmer’s glue and dental floss. He suggested replacing it with a Toto. Huh? The only Toto I’d heard of was a small, yippy dog that helped turn Judy Garland into the patron saint of gay men.

After a little research, I learned that Toto is the largest manufacturer of toilets in the world, producing more than seven million toilets annually.

But it gets better. I took a look at their products and nearly plotzed. They don’t just make toilets; they also make washlets. Who knew relieving oneself had become so evolved?

A washlet is sort of like a combination toilet, bidet, and sprinkler system. The Toto Washlet S300 features a heated seat, an automated lid, an aerated rinsing system with temperature control, a warm air dryer, and a self-cleaning system. And it comes with its own wall-mounted control panel and remote, so you can alert your commode to your arrival, and have the seat and spritzer set to your preferred temperatures.

Save me a prune Danish.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Just a Little Off the Top, Please

Here in SoCa, getting a nip here and a tuck there seems almost as common as getting an oil change. I see evidence of boob jobs and facelifts almost every time I leave the house. But a recent article in the LA Times described a disturbing trend in the quest for The Perfect Body – labiaplasty.

That’s right; women are going under the knife to create the perfect Porn Star Vagina.

Look, I’m all for making the land down under more attractive. And I’m totally down with the whole pubic hair as topiary idea. You wanna turn your unruly Bermuda Triangle into the gardens at Versailles? Grab a beard trimmer and have at it. But slicing up your labia, that’s another story.

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “tight-lipped.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Passover Candy Update

So I searched for Passover candy and found one resource. The Source for Everything Jewish offers a dark chocolate Seder plate and a box of chocolate plagues.

The Gentiles get jellybeans, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, and those ubiquitous pink and yellow marshmallow Peeps. We get plagues.

We escaped slavery in Egypt, parted the Red Sea, spent 40 years in the desert, and we get rewarded with what? A box of chocolates depicting locusts, boils, lice, flies, bovine disease, frogs, hail, darkness, dead babies, and a river of blood.

Better get an extra box for Elijah.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Which Came First, the Schnecken or the Egg?

I grew up in the Land of the Mixed Message, so when I was very young I got an Easter basket every spring. I had no idea Easter wasn’t a Jewish holiday. I thought it was an addendum to Passover. After sitting through two very long dinners and eating matzo for a week, it made sense to be rewarded with jellybeans and chocolate eggs.

And then I went to Hebrew school and the Easter baskets stopped. But every March I still have a Pavlovian reaction to pastel colored foil. Don’t get me wrong; I love Jewish sweets. I mean, who can resist gooey schnecken or chewy rugelach or Zabar’s chocolate Dalancey Swirl Cake?

But there’s no actual Passover candy. (And those squishy kosher gum droppish things don’t count. My grandparents ate them year round.) I want something that says “Passover.” Something I can find at any supermarket or drugstore.

Let my Peeps go.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Your Windsong Stays on My Mind

German fragrance manufacturer Vivaeros has decided that the scent of a woman’s vagina belongs in a bottle. Their latest offering, Vulva, is supposed to remind you of “an authentically natural vaginal flavour.”

Since when has all womankind been reduced to one scent? And if my vagina has a “flavour," it’s most likely Cherry Garcia.

So, girls, if those personal ads aren’t working out, simply spritz yourself a few times with Vulva, and jump on a crowded subway.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sigalert Stigmata

If you’ve ever spent any time in SoCA and listened to a traffic report, you’ve probably heard the term “Sigalert” once or twice. The official California Highway Patrol definition of a Sigalert is "any unplanned event that causes the closing of one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more."

It turns out that Sigalert was named for Loyd C. Sigmon, a broadcast engineer and co-owner of KMPC-AM radio in Los Angeles. Sigmon developed a shortwave receiver and tape-recording device that would activate when it received a special tone sent out by the police dispatcher. When major accidents occurred, radio stations could record the information and then relay the news to their listeners. The first "Sigmon traffic alert" was broadcast over Labor Day weekend, on September 5, 1955.

But what really fascinated me about Sigmon is that he's a native of Stigler, Oklahoma, and in World War II was assigned to the Army Signal Corps. Coincidence? I don’t think so. In fact, I think Sigmon, originator of the Sigalert, was phonetically stigmatized.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Why We Neuter Our Pets

This is what happens when we don’t snip our male dogs. Especially if they can hold their breath, swim underwater for long periods of time, and are attracted to shellfish.

Actually, this cuddly little creature is a recently discovered species of crustacean called the Kiwa hirsuta. The name comes from Kiwa, the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology.

Who knew treyf had its own deity?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Follow the Bouncing, er...

Leave it to the Brits to create a sports bra advertisement that doubles as soft-core porn.

And after being mesmerized by the demo, my “girls” were thinking the same sorts of thoughts that regular dogs think when they watch the Iditarod.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

By the Baitzim

While driving to yoga this morning, I was subjected to another sort of enlightenment. Red, plastic pendulous baitzim hanging from the back of a truck in the next lane. Before you run off to FreeTranslation.com, baitzim is Yiddish for balls, nuts, scrotum. You get the idea.

This I didn’t need at 6:00 a.m.

Buddy - FYI - even without the added baitzim, your huge, black, jacked up Ford F-250 with those three foot tall tires and tacky silhouettes of busty women on your back windows already screams, “Big schmendrick. Keep back 300 feet.”

There's really no need to advertise your shortcomings.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Much Ado About Drizzle

Note to all SoCa meteorologists: Lighten up! Just because a drop or two of rain is in the forecast, don’t go all Chicken Little on us by screaming “Storm Watch!” every minute.

We had a lousy 12 hours of light rain. Not a downpour, not an El Nino, not a monsoon.

Granted, there hasn’t been much precipitation around here since last August, but that doesn’t mean you need to get us all fatootzed with your meshuggeneh predictions. And what the heck am I gonna do with a bunch of sandbags, duct tape and plastic sheeting? Build a sukkah?

Stick to what you know: partly cloudy with a high of 72, surf 2 to 4 feet.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Some Like it Hot

I used to spend three hours a day at the gym sloshing through puddles of nasty sweat left by big, hairy guys who thought carrying a towel around was for sissies. My trainer kept me on a diet so Spartan, that if I even thought about olive oil I’d get zapped with a Taser. On top of all that, I ran four miles a day.

And then I found nirvana.

We Heebs spent 40 years wandering the desert so it made perfect sense to me to start practicing Bikram yoga. Each class is 90 minutes long and conducted in a room heated to 115 degrees. The first half-hour is a series of heart-pounding standing poses during which you’re not allowed to drink anything. What’s not to like?

And four days a week you’ll find me at the 6:30 a.m. class shvitzing my kishkas out and reliving the exodus from Egypt. I think they should call it Stretch and Kvetch.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

From Bad to Worser

I was listening to “These Days” on KPBS this morning and heard Tom Fudge use the word “worser.” My immediate and visceral reaction was, “Dude, that’s so not a word.”

But I was wrong.

Hearing “worser” makes my ears roll up but - get this - it’s listed in three dictionaries! How can that be, and why didn’t someone tell me? And what the heck is happening to "good English"?

The whole experience makes me feel, well, worser than I thought.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back in the Stirrups Again

Just had my annual pap schmear (for Jews, it’s always a schmear). Of all the services I willingly pay for, this has got to be the most humiliating.

I strip down to everything except socks and then put on a pink (oy, it’s always pink) two-piece tissue paper outfit that shreds the moment I touch it.

So, there I am, sitting on the table covered in shredded pink tissue paper feeling like a badly wrapped gift, with one foot in New York and the other in LA.

My doctor breezes in, inserts the Jaws of Life into my woo-woo, giving all my internal organs an opportunity to squint from the light. Then, from that vantage point, tells me it looks like I may have a sore throat.

And my insurance company has the nerve to ask for a co-pay.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Kvetch Not Often

We all kvetch about silly things. For example, nothing in my kitchen appeals to me for lunch. Woe is me.

But at least I don’t have to choose between love and faith like the three women in the documentary “Keep Not Silent.” After seeing this film, I don’t feel justified to complain about anything going on in my life. And I come from a long line of uber-kvetchers.

“Keep Not Silent” features three Orthodox Jewish women living in Jerusalem who identify as lesbians. All are deeply devoted to their faith and are trying to make sense of the complex relationship between Orthodox Judaism and homosexuality. Every rabbi consulted seems to have a different opinion, but all agree that sex not resulting in procreation is against Jewish law.

One woman lives openly with her partner but is shunned by her family, except for two siblings. Another lives with her husband but has a clandestine relationship with her girlfriend whom she sees a few times a week, and the third, married 20 years with 10 kids, has been longing to be with a woman for years, but tries to pray away the urges.

I live openly with my partner and we belong to a Reform synagogue that accepts and respects our relationship. Suddenly, everything in the refrigerator looks delicious.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ever Have That Not-So-Fresh Feeling?

Yesterday a friend and I visited the San Diego Zoo. It's a great place to take a walk and get very, very lost. Of course, we had to stop by the panda enclosure to see the adorable panda cub, Su Lin.

Sure, she was cute but pandas do not have the best personal hygiene.

You wanna cuddle that bear? Wear a gas mask, or even better, a hazmat suit. Not that we had the opportunity to get that close, but we did go through the interactive educational area adjacent to the bear lair and learned a whole lotta panda trivia. Like they can make a screeching sound reminiscent of a pissed off crow, and they poop up to 40 times a day.

And they don’t smell so good.

Yep, you can even have your own pungent panda olfactory experience. The interactive area offers a sort of scratch-n-sniff place where you can stick your nose into a hole and imagine what it would be like to nuzzle one of those cuddly creatures. And you won’t be reminded of freshly cut bamboo on a rainy morning. I didn’t actually savor the aroma myself, but my pal did and made a face that told the whole story.

Memo to zoo personnel: TMI.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Oh, You Can't Get a Man With a Gun

That may have been true for Annie Oakley, but in the new Broadway musical "Cheney Get Your Gun" the outcome is a little different. With the price of a ticket, theatergoers are given souvenir orange safety vests to wear during the performance.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Toto, I'm Afraid We're Still in Kansas

I love the thesaurus as much as the next word nerd. Finding a big, juicy synonym for an overused word can make my day. So I was very confused when I read that Kansas Attorney General, Phil Kline, was trying to make a case for "rape" and "mutual consent" as synonyms.

What started as an effort to toughen sexual abuse laws has turned into Kline's wacko legal interpretation requiring "all health-care workers, doctors, counselors, social workers, and others to report every single instance of intimate contact between consenting teens under 16, on the theory that each such incident constitutes a rape, regardless of the parties' mutual consent."

Clearly this guy's a product of intelligent design.

I don't know about you, but the last time I checked the word "rape" in my thesaurus, I didn't find "mutual consent" among the synonyms listed. Rape is an act of violence. Even in Kansas. And when a couple of high school kids choose to grope each other in the backseat of a Buick, it ain't rape.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

You're vs. Your. Learn it. Live it. Spell it Frickin' Right

Call me crazy, but I hate it when people confuse "you're" and "your." And I see it everywhere. Are people just lazy? Is putting in the apostrophe and the "e" just too many keystrokes? I'm sorry, I just don't have the patience for this kind of sloppiness anymore.

Your: A pronoun meaning belonging to you.
You're: A contraction for You Are.


Vice President Cheney, next time you're out hunting , if you're unsure of your target, you may want to make sure you're aiming at something other than one of your buddies. On the other hand, Bambi, Thumper, Donald and Daffy truly appreciate your myopia.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I've Got Shpilkes...

...who could ask for anything more?

Shpilkes: Yiddish for nervous energy.

What is it with all these "cultural" Jews who can't be bothered to attend shul once in a while but want to reap the benefits of 5700 years of angst? What, you don't believe in G-d but when someone asks why you complain so much you answer, "Because I'm Jewish"?

Fine. But when you marry that shiksa and your offspring crave Wonder bread and Miracle Whip instead of a bagel with a schmear, don't come kvetching to me.