Blow me

Los Angeles. What’s as ubiquitous as sunshine, douche-bags in convertibles, taco trucks and shitty drivers?

I’m glad you asked. Leaf blowers. Yes, leaf blowers.

It seems that every Mexican in Los Angeles County is required, by law, to carry one of these infernal devices on their backs.

Leaf Blower

And please don’t email me about being racist. In other parts of the world I’m sure white people, Asians and even Jews have these noisy, polluting pieces of shit strapped to their bodies, but we’re talking LA here.

Admit it. I’m right.

These sloth-inspiring, gas guzzling, smoke spewing, loud-as-hell machines merely move leaves and other garden debris from a highly visible patch of yard to one that is not so visible (perhaps the neighbor’s yard?) — the backyard equivalent of sweeping dirt under the carpet.

But sweeping is usually not loud enough to wake the dead. Leaf blowing, by contrast, is.

Strangely, among the customary gear that gardeners tote around is a rake — a quiet and efficient leaf control device used for centuries. Rakes, like brooms, however, stay in a pile of never-to-be-used tools.

Another maddening fact about leaf blowers is that they are not just for leaves any more. I live next to a Standard Parking garage (I have a list of grievances for that company!) and they now use leaf blowers to blow candy wrappers and cigarette butts from one part of the garage to another.

Again, they never touch brooms. Instead, the Leaf Blower Brigade blows crap around Standard’s two neighboring structures on Sunday nights between the hours of 10:00 PM and 1:30 in the morning, waking neighbors, causing pets to bark and howl and me to whine incessantly to 311.

Do leaf blowers suck or is it just me?

Let me know how you feel about leaf blowers. Log in and leaf a comment.

 

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Better but not good

I was listening to the news on NPR this morning and the anchor asked a financial analyst how the banks are doing with yesterday’s uptick in the Dow.

She answered,

“Better, but not good.”

I love that answer!

From now on I will, most likely, use that answer for everthing, particularly life’s most dreaded question: How are you?

“Better, but not good.”

Posted from my iPhone.

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Can’t kvetch without you

There’s so much to kvetch about yet I have been a no-show on ObJew lately. I think I’ve let the Los Angeles anti-kvetch automatons get the better of me.

I’m so sick of Ms. Pollyanna Purebread and her minions. How is it that their optimism is so fragile that my kvetching is a threat?  They get so damned resentful that this little heeb can, with a couple of well placed gripes, pierce their WASPY suits of  I-must-be-optimistic-or-cry armor. On top of that, they resent that I consider kvetching to be an art form — though admittedly, a dying art form. They don’t understand that there is comedy in kvetching!

An old friend named Blair recently used a quote from Eddie Hunt as his Facebook status. It read, “LA’s Fine. Nothing terribly bad or terribly good will ever happen here. In NYC amazingly good and amazingly bad things can happen.”

Oy, what a tumult it caused. A band of insecure LA anti-kvetches went ballistic, not realizing that one interpretation of the quote could be that LA is a heck of a lot more even-keeled than New York. New York’s extreme ups and downs — while perhaps tremendously exciting — are, for the most part, the urban cultural schizophrenia most Angelenos prefer to avoid. Angelenos, that’s okay.

Blair didn’t know what hit him when the anti-kvetches began to flame his status message. First there was (LA spokesperson, I guess) Robert C:

ugh…blair, you used to live in Los Angeles…you know better than to make such ridiculous statements. reveals a new york provincialism that at this point in history is just laughable. when new yorkers talk like this their insecurity is showing.

Our insecurity? Really? And, is it provincialism to say what we all know but just can’t say in Los Angeles (and — I know from experience — in San Francisco) that New York is the capital of the world? (It probably is provincialism but let’s move on.)

Of course, I had to take this on. Admittedly I was in a somewhat grumpy mood:

When New Yorkers talk like that it’s because it’s true.

Then I took another swing. A New York right hook — right below the belt:

Face it. LA is a sleepy suburban sprawl that gets up late and closes early. It is a movie-set facade of a city that many people seem to enjoy. They say it takes at least 3 years of living in LA to actually like it. I’ve got two to go…

I thought that was funny. Ed, another one of Blair’s friends, did not. I was told by Ed to:

“hop back on that jet plane to NYC. (Stereo)typical New Yorker.”

Ed did not understand that kvetching = fun! I made up my mind to prove it to him.

To drive the point home, I told him I’d be staying in LA until I was done complaining. Ha! Anyone that knows me knows that that was code for me staying here indefinitely. Suck it Ed!

I also told him to think of my kvetching as punishment for not being able to find restaurants in LA open after 9:30 PM. Major LA kvetch! How can you consider yourself a major metropolis if everything shuts down by 9? Huh Ed?

Next came the Ms. Purebread ultimate (I left her spew unedited):

“we have ,sun,beaches,culture,fashion,film,radio,tv,top ranking colleges,desert mountains,green grass,clean city,oppurtunity,architecture,Inice people,beautiful beautiful people,1 recovery in the world,low stress,cars,every race possible,……LA is just the place for people who already figured out who they are,what they want,andwhere they want to be, and to do it in a beautiful atmosphere…….and don’t have to prove to everyone else………why struggle in the land of cement!!! carry stuff on your back,freeze your ass off,and it doesn’t matter how much money you have…..still complain. Love NYC,to visit,and then get back to real life!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why does everyone come here then complain,NYC is NYC,and LA is LA. Dig in and allow yourself to enjoy all that LA has to offer.

Already Ms. Calm-and-Collected LA Purebread is breaking a sweat and her low stress veneer is melting all over the beautifully manicured green LA grass. And, by its rambling nature, we know one thing for sure: She should put down the crystal meth pipe right away. Right away.

But never one to pass off an opportunity to infuriate a crackhead, I hammer my point home, again:

“I guess kvetching is just an art form that is undervalued and so misunderstood here in la la land…”

He shot back,

“…..we have just outgrown it.

Touche. Exactly my point. RIP New York Jewish cynicism, particularly when it rears its ugly head in LA.

One more volley from me:

“Yes. So advanced here. You need a light to tell you when to cross the street. Can’t figure it out for yourself?

Then Ms. Pollyanna Purebread snapped, choking on soured optimism. Oozing from her pores came doom and dread.

“at least the streets r not filed with rats…….clean,beautiful,and green grass. Is life about being advanced,or just the joy and gratttitude to be alive??????? Whats it like to be so advanced?????????? r u discovering any cures,or changing life?

The horror. The horror.

The movie set facade of her life had shattered. Her distaste of me and, by extension all kvetching New Yorkers drooled from her lips. We had pushed her over the pessimistic edge. Her life would never be the same.

I felt vindicated and alive!

And, of course, I felt some guilt. (It’s Jewish law.) Was I really just a pessimist curmudgeon that couldn’t enjoy LA?

During my hiatus from ObJew I pondered that very question. Should I too be an optimist? Should I embrace LA and all of its great attributes?

Nah.

I decided to embrace my inner, and outer kvetch. I decided to complain with gusto as if my life depended on it! I will not let the anti-kvetch automatons win!

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Jews on a Plane

“Jews on a Plane”

Created by Kent Victor Schuelke and Written by Larry Silverman

Here’s the script:

“Why can’t I carry my bag on the plane?”

“What, no meal? I paid $300 for this ticket and all I get is a little bag of peanuts and a package of Biscoff cookies. I can’t eat the cookies. I have to watch my blood sugar.”

We got better service traveling to the camps than we get on this airline.”

“Stewardess, can I get a blanket?”

“Stewardess, can I get a pillow?”

“Two dollars for some earphones? You cheap bastards. Just give me the fakakta Sky Mall catalog.”

“I didn’t see the seat belt sign. I was in the bathroom. Forgive me for having a small bladder.”

“I should have flown Eastern Airlines to Miami. Now that’s an airline!”

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The Folks Visit LA: The Exodus

The Folks Visit LA “The Exodus”

This is the content of my Facebook discussion about my status message posted early today.

Alan Klein Today is the final chapter of The-Folks-Visit-LA. Why is it a moral imperative for Jews to find restaurants even while at other restaurants? 10:32am

Larry Silverman at 10:37am April 22
9:30 in the morning and they’re already planning dinner? Yeah, those are some Jewie parents.
 
Alan Klein at 10:41am April 22
Dinner?? Sure but they’re already planning tomorrow’s breakfast before they leave for the airport. And if they ask one more time how long it will take to get to Burbank airport….
 
Larry Silverman at 12:05pm April 22
Have they yet suggested a “dry run” to make sure you know how to get to the airport?
 
Lauren Kolman at 2:37pm April 22
they just have to be prepared…any meal could be the last one…
 
Michael Lavinger at 4:13pm April 22

while still attached to the web he’s swinging on, spiderman has to shoot his next web.

perhaps it’s related. after all, with great restaurants comes great responsibility.

Alan Klein at 6:12pm April 22

So we finally settled on a restaurant for tonight. Now, by settled, I mean they changed their mind about 3 or 4 times prior to ‘settling.’ I’m happy with the pick though.

And, they did ask about the trip to the Burbank airport again. Not once. Not twice but 3 times. They’ve been asking not only me, but Lee and friends how long it takes to get to the airport from their hotel from the moment they landed here in LA. I’m sure they will ask again at dinner tonight. I’m shaking thinking about it.

Larry Silverman at 6:48pm April 22
Hotel? You made your poor mother stay in a hotel? oy.
 
Alan Klein at 7:06pm April 22
OMFG! This is for their own good. Trust me.
 
Alan Klein at 7:07pm April 22
They dropped me off no more than 30 minutes ago and they’ve already called to check on the plans.
 
Valerie Nuanes at 7:17pm April 22
Ok, so i’m late w/comments, but, did they ask you which was the best way to get to the airport and when should they leave because of traffic? Did they tell you what the traffic’s like at that time of day at home?
 
Alan Klein at 7:27pm April 22
Yes, it was presumably about traffic. But it was asked and answered. Then it was asked and answered again. Asked and answered some more, then asked to several other people that answered the question. They asked their old friends. They asked me again. They asked Lee again. They asked the tour operator yesterday. When they met another friend earlier today, guess what they asked? And it was answered again. Then, in the car, just a little while ago, take a wild guess what came up? Not to be impolite, I answered. I’m going nuts because I can’t stop thinking that they will ask again, over dinner.
 
Lauren Kolman at 7:06am April 23
i had the same experience…..ive lived here 9 yeaers…but my restaurant recommmendation wasnt good enough….my stepmother had to call three freinds and confirm my choice…
 
Tom Leone at 2:23pm April 23 via Facebook Mobile
 
You should have yelled out “Burbank Airport? Where is that? (It’s now called the Bob Hope Airport). This would have led to another round of inquires and repetitive checking of tickets. 🙂
 
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Kill! Crush! Destroy! Shoot AIG Execs!

I left a Facebook Status Message suggesting that AIG executives that take bonuses be shot for the crime of high treason and here are the many comments I’ve received. Feel free to leave your own here.

 

Alan Klein thinks AIG execs should be publicly humiliated, then shot in a public square for high treason. Oh, and then they should be dismembered.

 
Alan Klein at 12:29pm March 15
Actually, dismembered and then shot!
 
Neal Fischer at 12:36pm March 15
I couldn’t agree more… but… what do we do with the people in our government who are, and have been for years, enabling them?
 
Alan Klein at 12:38pm March 15
They should also be tried for high treason. And, then of course, dismembered, shot and fed to vultures!
 
Alan Klein at 12:39pm March 15
(They shouldn’t go to waste!)
 
David da Silva Cornell at 12:42pm March 15
Why do u want to let them off easy? 😉
 
Alan Klein at 12:49pm March 15
LOL!
 
William Broberg at 1:02pm March 15
I think they should have to forfeit their bonuses to us for cocktail money!
 
John Magisano at 1:22pm March 15
Don’t hold back Alan. Tell us how you really feel!
 
Alan Klein at 2:59pm March 15
With the size of their bonuses we could have two cocktails!
 
Andrew Miller at 6:45pm March 15
You’ve got this all wrong. With their bonus policy, we should all be trying to get a job there….
 
Valerie Nuanes at 7:35pm March 15
yes, yes and yes.
 
John Webber at 12:41am March 16
As co-owners of their business we taxpayers get to fire them, right?
 
Gi Park at 1:47am March 16
Here here.
 
Jonathan Vehar at 9:44am March 16
Can’t we shoot them instead?
 
Alan Klein at 11:23am March 16
They should be shot, but only after they return any previous bonuses to the US Treasury — back to us taxpayers!
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Disgusting Words We Hate

More “Disgusting Words We Hate”

Many months ago I told you how I hated the words ‘moist‘ — horrible and disgusting unless used to describe cake; and, ‘primordial soup’ — always disgusting. Always.

At ObsessiveJew.com, we never rest (we’d like to rest but of course we can’t. Why you ask? Because we’re trying to please you!) and are constantly compiling lists of annoying habits, complaints, extremely Jewy names, and yes, disgusting words we hate. (This list is still in formation, and will, most likely, never be complete. For that I feel terrible. Guilty as hell. Now I wish I hadn’t even brought it up.)

Instead of merely listing words that annoy me, I’m going to list words that annoy my dearest friends. The act of doing so might entertain others but will certainly further antagonize and alienate my friends — with whom I already have a tenuous relationship.

Again, I feel horrible about this but, as they say, if you can’t take a joke, get out of the kitchen!

Maria’s Most Hated Words: 

  1. Moist (We’ve covered this before.)
  2. Horny
  3. Box
  4. (Just an observation, but taken in order, 1, 2 and 3 do make for a perfectly disgusting trio!)

Jill’s Most Hated Word:

  1. Phlegm (Brilliantly disgusting! Brava Jill! This one, incidentally, is on my list too.)
Lee’s Most Hated Words:

  1. Panties
  2. Moist Panties (An interesting combination of two truly disgusting words and a term I’ll be adding to my list immediately!)
Drew G’s Most Hated Words:

  1. Vomit
  2. Mucus (Great variation of Most Hated ‘Phlegm.’)
Ggreg’s Most Hated Words:

  1. Cilantro (Ggreg hates this word because he has no taste buds. I don’t understand either.)
  2. Reggae (He says this about Reggae: “Actually reggae makes me cranky and squirmy, though not ska for some reason.”)
John’s Most Hated Word:

  1. Felch (This is just plain disgusting. Thank you John!)

Let us know your Most Hated words by leaving us a comment!


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Postmaster of Death

FacebookFacebook recently invented the Web 2.0 version of a Chain Letter. I remember how ticked off I would get as a kid when, upon hearing a bundle of letters being pushed through the mail slot in the front door, I would rush to get the mail only to find that some nebbish of a friend had mailed me a “copy-and-mail-this-letter-to-ten-friends-or-you-will-die” chain letter!

I guess someone complained to the lord of evil — the Postmaster General of Chain Letters — about the “you will die” threats because, all at once, without warning, a non-fatal, “you-will-suffer-bad-luck” version of the old favorite emerged. Thank goodness. Sigh of g-d damned relief! Only my prosperity and long term success is being put in jeopardy. Thank you oh evil Postmaster of Chain Letters for making this critical, and perhaps life-saving change!

As email began to replace snail mail, the email version of the chain letter was invented. What an incredible advancement! And, due to the ease in which most people deluged their so-called friends with “this-email-made-me-laugh-sooo-hard emails,” that, of course, never made you laugh, the high-tech chain letters came fast and furious.

Chain emails stuffed inboxes and inspired fantasies involving weapons of mass destruction for their recipients. Yet the friendly fire SPAM kept on coming, clogging my inbox for what seemed like an eternity.

Now, in its infinite wisdom, Facebook has given the Chain Letter a pretty Web 2.0 face. The latest rage sweeping the Facebook set is a Chain Letter entitled: “25 Random Things About Me.” Your “friends” write a Facebook note on which they write 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about themselves.

Sounds innocent but here’s the evil part: They are instructed by Facebook to choose 25 people to be sent their self-indulgent missives. But wait, there’s more, the person that received the all-about-me Chain Letter must then write their own 25 Random Things and send theirs out to 25 of their friends, including the original SPAMMER or SPAMMERS. I received no less than 5 of these from friends in just one day!
25 Random Things About Me

At that point I felt I had no choice but to write my own 25 Random Things About Me — just to get these people off my back.

Here they are:

25 Random Things About Me

1. It was difficult growing up in a show business family but it taught me so much about dealing with the downside of fame: reporters and photographers dogging you at all times.

2. Sometimes I imagine I’m a child-of-show-business-parent lesbian, most likely Chastity Bono.

3. When I had hair I lived a life of “bad hair days.”

4. I had a ‘Jew-fro’ through all of the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s.

5. My father told me that the constant blow-drying my hair (I did so every day: 70’s part in the middle and attempting the Farrah-inspired feathered back look) would cause me to lose it. He was kidding, of course.

6. My best friend’s step-mom once told me that taking Chlortrimeton would make me gay. That freaked me out because she knew something I had already secretly — or so I thought — figured out and didn’t want anyone else to know.

7. I once kicked in the pane glass window of a restaurant. I had received extremely poor service.

8. When in summer day camp, I was always picked last (sob) and my team was always ‘shirts.’

9. When in summer day camp, I liked watching the boys on the ‘skins’ team.

10. I was not allowed to preform in the summer camp play during the 4th grade. The punch line was “she was wearing a fur coat.” Apparently my thick Long Island accent caused the words ‘fur coat’ to become much too vulgar for 4th graders.

11. In public school in Queens, my first grade teacher heard me — the class clown — making fun of anyone that would volunteer to be cast as a tree in the school play. So, she cast me as a tree. There were two trees, one on each side of the stage. When it was time for the curtain call, everyone came to center stage. The other tree stood up to take a bow. I tried but I could not get up. My legs had fallen asleep.

12. I have a short fuse, but a long candle.

13. I used to think pasta grew on trees.

14. Growing up I wasn’t sure if my people’s soup was matzo ball or wonton.

15. Due to the harsh economic conditions, I had to fire myself.

16. I miss watching Sue Simmons and Jack Cafferty on Live At Five.

17. I was never on Wonderama — but my sister was. (ABBA on Wonderama)

18. I LOVED Mr. Rodgers (especially Trolley!).

19. I once turned my basement into the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

20. My sister once dressed me up as “Jeannie.”

21. I once created my own Dewey Decimal system for all of my books. Only my sister used my library. She signed out books she wanted to read. I charged her late fees if books were not returned on time.

22. I am not a geek.

23. I shave my head just about once a week.

24. I’d rather talk than write.

25. I like dreamin’ cause dreamin’ can make you mine. I like dreamin’, closing my eyes and feeling fine.

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My big fat colonoscopy

Jaffe's Colon
I’m currently not eating in preparation for the procedure. I’m not sure why they call this a fast when each moment without food feels like an eternity. Also what makes them think I want to be asleep when they shove something up my butt. They really don’t know me that well. Just kidding.

Actually I’m a top. As I say in my act — a Jewish top — a dreidel. Once a year someone takes me out and give me a spin.

A Jewish Top

Also in reference to the joke about Jews and abortion: Not only is it not wrong to have an abortion, a Jewish mother is technically allowed to nag the child to death until he’s 35.

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More KvetchLibs

Kvetchlibs are Madlibs for people (Jews) who always complain. Fill in the missing words to customize your own personal kvetch:

I just had a colonoscopy.  The doctor took one look at my ________ and said “I’ve never seen such a ________!”

I’m terrible in bed. Every time I ________, I ________.

My poor aunt Sylvia. She went to the hospital. They found a ________ in her ________.

We went on a tropical vacation. The weather was so hot, I thought my ________ would ________.

Last year we all went to  ________ and got ________ from eating ________.

My ________ is such a crook! He charged me ________ for ________.

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