and Where was Sunda on Thanksgiving?

November 30th, 2010

Well, I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing but I did do something good! Thanks to, Jamie Masada owner of the Laugh Factory I served meals and did a show for the homeless. Once again I’m standing next to Brad Garrett, Arsenio Hall and Dane Cook and you should have seen the people’s faces brighten up when served by these guys…me, not so much…not with my kids shouting orders for their “friends” as they call them. More turkey! More dressing! More SALT! Salt? If we were in NYC Mayor Bloomberg would close us down! My kids ran and gave food, lemonade and water to the homeless. A beautiful feeling to do this with your kids! Taking your precious time and sharing it!

I decided that this year, instead of cooking, I would do something… “Different” and went to Disneyland for Thanksgiving! OMG! I felt like I was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…. in NEW YORK! I was freezing like… nose running and you have no idea freezing!

Tovah’s one mouse ear went down from the wind and never came back up, again! I wanted to show my kids how great they were and reward them for great school behavior reports…instead, they looked like they were frozen in time but don’t think that stops a kid!! It’s about 34 degrees so they feel it’s a great time to get wet at Splash Mountain!

It’s only 7 o’clock but I’ve fed and told jokes to close to 300 people, and of course, had to keep my eye on my kids while they were helping the homeless. Note that I forgot to mention that they were very sensitive over people’s blankets…especially my youngest who will never forgive me telling the world that she still keeps hers “very close by” and so she was very understanding when people didn’t want to put their blankets down and offered to carry them and give them to ME because “MAMA will keep them safe.” OY!

It’s time to be thankful…Be grateful for the arguments you have had with family members, it means you have family. Be grateful for all the text messages that came in saying “Happy Thanksgiving” because someone was indeed thinking of you, even if it was a mass e-mail…you WERE included. Be thankful to be alive, have a roof over your head and never worry about where your blanket is.

Looking at the homeless through your Lexus windows is not the same as seeing that cold, tired hand reaching for a roll, devouring it and being grateful. It’s the Hollywood Homeless! It’s not a reality show, it’s the real deal and in our faces and lots of old people are suffering so dare to do something different! Visit, volunteer, buy a kid a toy but do SOMETHING for someone in need! Speaking of need…I need a favor….Don’t let me hear “It’s a Small World” for another year!

November 8th, 2010

AND THE BIRTHDAY GIRL IS…. TOVAH!

“Could time possibly have flown by so quickly?” That’s what people say to me when I tell them that “Little Tovah” is 8 today. I don’t know how to correct them when they say that statement because it didn’t fly by THAT quickly!

All mothers give me advice: “Enjoy them now as they will be out of your life forever, sooner than you think!” I guess they think that’s great advice but time isn’t flying by so quickly.

Tovah was born the year after her sister, Aviva. I don’t really remember life before having them. That could be directly related to the 80’s but I also don’t remember this “flying time” syndrome! Again, this too could be directly related to the 80’s but who remembers?

This I remember: Time hasn’t flown since the birth of Aviva! It’s been “hard labor” since she opened her eyes! Of course, Tovah came shortly thereafter and although I wanted to “feel” guilty over having them so closely…the pain of the C-Sections wouldn’t allow the guilt to have a chance to hit me!

People think it’s easy to entertain two girls 18 months apart but these little broads put me on the spot! We’re in the nail salon when Tovah starts quoting “pick a color!” from my act. Often uncomfortable yet ALWAYS hysterical my girls make me crack up and so I’m sorry, I can’t agree with the “time flying by so quickly” speech!

I’m told they need more playdates…. they play with each other and some friends from school but this playdate situation has escalated to a proportion I never knew could exist! Who has time for playdates every week after school? Maybe some Mommy and Me time would satisfy a kid’s yearning i.e. “jonesing” for a playdate!

Here are some playdate horror stories: My husband picks up my daughter and she and her “playdate” is stuck in a tree and the nanny if too short to get them and the mom is on computer.

My daughter gets locked out of a house in Beverly Hills because the 18- month old brother of the “playdate” did it by “accident. My other daughter is at ANOTHER playdate at the same time and has fallen over a speaker wire and the point of the speaker gives her a huge bump on the head.

What Black/Jewish neurotic mother has had these experiences and feels comfortable with the concept of ‘PLAYDATE?”

The moms tell me to relax and enjoy myself while my kids are in TWO separate places! If I have a playdate at my apartment (and I do, often!) I try to get a bunch of girls and their sisters together to do things other than look at the computer!

We make jewelry, do fashion shows, dance steps, etc. It is time consuming but must be done and I have to do it! And if I don’t, …time will fly!

Mazel Tov to Tovah! Happy Birthday my love, and time doesn’t fly…it just doesn’t wait! So don’t wait! Come see a show at the Laugh Factory before I go on tour with the Raging Jews of Comedy…always fun!

September 29th, 2010

YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

Okay, I’ve been busy…nuts in fact! School started which means playdates, homework and most important: PTA! Oh yeah, PTA is the mafia of schools and you have to be politically correct and “do the right thing” as we say in Jersey.

At the parents meeting I tried to hear what the Rabbi was saying, the President of the PTA was saying but all I could hear were what the moms were saying…on their cell phones! As a performer I’m well aware when people are talking during a speech but I’m also not capable of hearing over cell phones ringing and actual cell phone conversations! I’m deaf from having two little girls!

With THAT being said I return to my humble abode where I have neighbors who are possessed…by what? No answer.

Latest dwelling drama: A neighbor who lives in the maid’s quarters and NOT with his parents intimidates people by dressing like a Cholo…but he’s Persian and no, not Jewish. (THANK G-D!)

If you don’t know what a “Cholo” is…take a trip downtown LA. I didn’t expect this scene in my building on the lovely Wilshire Corridor! This guy is wearing a black “doo rag”, one sweatpants leg pulled up and drags his other leg like he’s wearing a brace.

Obviously, a friend of mine as a neighbor asks me if I know him. WHY would I know HIM? He’s lurking, chain smoking in the pool area and I’m WATCHING this scene from my balcony and trust me…at 113 degrees I did consider going into the pool and getting my hair wet but… maybe not!

He doesn’t talk. He stares and smokes. Our kind 1st floor neighbors invited us to Shabbat dinner for Sukkot and I’m thinking: Is there going to be a “hit”? I receive complaints constantly about my kids, those lil’ darlings! Biggest complaint is “splashing” in the pool. Odd…you can’t splash on cement but that’s not the point, here’s the point: I can’t be stressed out where I live! I have to write this column for Virtual Jerusalem or I’ll be fired! (Note to the editor?)

I’m supposed to RELAX here! Too bad I couldn’t be at the Board Meeting. It was held Erev Rosh Hoshana! I propose the next big meeting should be on Christmas Eve. With the amount of Jews living in my building, I shouldn’t be the only one speaking out.

But I am.

It’s 100 degrees and was thinking of getting my hair wet today but…I can’t be in the pool with my Middle Eastern Cholo. Call me CRAZY but I’m confused! In Jersey, Dominicans are converting to Islam and now a Muslim in my building is converting to “Choloism!”

You can’t make this up and I never do so find out more next week when you tune in to my Blog…hey..you never know!

ROSH HOSHANA MAMA DRAMA!

September 6th, 2010

HELP!  I’m just getting adjusted to LA time, again after spending time in New York and suddenly it hits me:  IT’S ROSH HOSHANA!  I’m talking like…NOW!

Oh yeah, over the summer that’s all the moms talked about is how it’s so early and how that’s a good thing, etc. etc.  Well that was a dream because the nightmare is coming quicker than Hurricane Earl!  I have a day trip to Disneyland tomorrow and all I’m thinking is HOW AM I GOING TO PULL THIS OFF?!!!  I have no time for Minnie and Mickey and if Minnie is Jewish, she’s stressing out as much as the rest of us!

Obviously my upstairs insomniac neighbor is prepared, she’s been dragging furniture all through the night and day so perhaps I should hire HER to get my house in order!

Women have such responsibilities that sometimes go unappreciated.  It really isn’t that easy to get ready for such a big holiday right after summer vacation.  I still have sand in my shoes from Jersey and haven’t unpacked and the anxiety has reached a whole new level:  I’M DREAMING of Rosh Hashanah mishaps!  Women reading this will know what I’m talking about…you put up the chicken and when you go to check on it, the oven isn’t on.  You burn the brisket because you had the wrong range on high.  You forget to MAKE the matzo balls because you were concentrating so hard on getting the fat out of the chicken soup.  For Jewish women these dreams cause real anxiety!

Well, I’m done.  I’ll get through these next few days somehow, some way if someone let’s me borrow their “hooves” because trust me, after walking through Disneyland, I’m going to need them to prepare for Yuntif!

My biggest challenge is that this year I got the “good news” from my Temple that they are changing the High Holy Day Prayer books.  I just bought new ones LAST year! I’m hoping that the only change is in the font! Every year I’m convinced I’m going blind, as the print seems smaller and me being a three time Hebrew class dropout…I’m always behind everyone when we pray and of course, everybody always asks ME in the loudest whisper “WHAT PAGE ARE WE ON?”

As much as I kvetch I look forward to spending time with my family and friends and of course can always count on those extra pounds, which I convince myself will “evaporate” after Yom Kippur but there I go, dreaming again!

L’Shana Tovah to all my fans and readers.   A healthy and sweet New Year to each and every one of you!  That reminds me…. I forgot to put honey on my grocery list!

DON’T FORGET TO STAY TUNED TO “JAMES AND SUNDA” EVERY THURSDAY ON JEWISH LIFE TELVISION!  www.JLTV.tv

It’s been a loooong day!

July 25th, 2010

I went to a birthday party for a 3 and 1 year old and I feel like I’m 90.  How do kids not get tired?  They don’t need Red Bull or coffee…just the anticipation for the birthday cake gets them going!  My kids go to Debbie Allen Dance Academy and it’s like a huge family.  My kids get away with nothing and everybody watches out for everybody’s kids.  Somehow I got bathroom duty.  I always get this job!  I was taking girls to the bathroom, making bathing suit changes and started thinking about the birthday cake, myself!  It was well worth waiting for!  I hate myself for not having a 4th piece!  Hey…you don’t get cake like this all the time…homemade and delicious!  It was so kind of Ms. Allen to host this party for two kids.  One was turning one and the other was turning 3 and I was turning to a crisp in the sun!  Now it’s time for bed so I will say good night to all of you and remember….parties are calories, too!  Remember that when you’re eating cake!

Enjoy what’s left of your summer!

s-

July 6th, 2010

SMOKE AND MIRRORS

I’m a “Jersey Girl” transplanted to LA.  Living in a perpetual state of  “culture shock.” We live in a predominately Iranian community…I’m cool with it.  In Jersey my friends are Linda, Faye, and  MaryEllen…here it’s Fariba, Mitra and Mahasti. Names, like Iranian culture is different from where I come from in Jersey.

In Jersey…you ask your neighbors to tone a party down after 2:00 AM and they’ll take it down a “notch.”  Here they continue to party…. even louder!    My Iranian friends have tried to help me with this cultural issue:    “Sunda Joon, Persians are FUN people!  You have to get to” know” them!”   Know them?  I LIVE with them! Believe me…they’re the closest group of people I know that look like me so they are my BFF’s here in LA!

My noisy neighbor is drilling, (hopefully it’s not a saw!) directly over my desk while playing Persian music…imagine how loud?  The “drilling”…. to cover the voice of the SINGER!  I try to be “Persian hip” but I’m “Jersey Square!”   Unlike the Bon Jovi “Jersey Sound” I grew up to, in my building where I live now the music sounds like somebody crying!  My friend further explains:  “Sunda, understand, we like music and stay up all night enjoying our friends! Before the Revolution we always partied hard! It’s not “personal!”

Fariba:   “With all due respect…. It IS personal! “DAYANU” with the noise!

Two Shabbats ago I’m jolted by the emergency loudspeaker:  THERE’S A FIRE!  TAKE THE STAIRS!! I woke my husband who immediately said: “It’s a party. Go to SLEEP!”    I opened my door, neighbors were running with pocketbooks, laptops and I’m thinking, they’ve got their  “real purses”…this is a REAL FIRE!   I didn’t even THINK of my pocketbook!!  I ran out with my kids, their coats and shoes…and a plastic hanger!  Don’t ask.

We come to an abrupt halt going down the stairwell.  An obviously shaken, older man is taking ONE STEP AT A TIME causing the delay. I give my kids to a neighbor and help this dude right away!  I think he’s going to fall!  Taking his left arm I’m leading him to the right from the center of the stairs so people can move on the left.  Looking closely at him I realize: OMG!  It’s “that” upstairs neighbor’s husband!  “I have to help him!  He’s alone!” I thought…but I was so wrong!

SHOCKER! His wife was already OUT of the stairwell! Note to men married to younger women:  They will leave your tuchus on the stairwell!

Helicopters, TV cameras are out…I’m FREAKING out! (No hair or make up person on set for me!) Smoke is pouring from the building and I’m screaming at the  “hottie firefighter” “GIVE ME THE HOSE!  YOU ARE WAY TOO SLOW!” So many firefighters….nobody moving!  Just swaggering, looking good.

Well this is only the beginning of my summer….Enjoy your summer! I know mine has already started…. I’m surrounded by smoke and mirrors!  Thanks for reading ‘Hoodzpah!  Only available at www.virtualerusalem.com

Victory….or not?

May 14th, 2010

Below is a Statement issued by the attorneys of the Plaintiffs who sued me sent to the “Today Show”. ( Talk about publicity hounds!)  Sent by:

Himelman, Wertheim & Geller, LLC.

Old Bridge, NJ

“Prior to initiating the lawsuit, my clients repeatedly asked Ms. Croonquist to refrain from identifying them by name and other personal information in her act and internet blogs; unfortunately, she refused.  At issue was her failure to use fictionalized names in her fictitious anecdotes and false statements, as is a common practice by entertainers. In my clients’ opinions, her disregard for their concerns is indicative of her desire to advance her career at their expense and sadly, has irreparably damaged the relationships between the families. Additionally, they believe that Ms. Croonquist continues to seek additional publicity at the expense of their privacy and to the detriment of the family, which is unfortunate.”

Can’t imagine what the LLC stands for…it should read LOL! Do these people REALLY think I’ve advanced my career at their expense? I DIDN’T marry into the Seinfeld family!  This statement is NOT true.  When did the “clients” repeatedly ask me to refrain from identifying them by name?  Not almost 14 years ago when we last were together laughing at a tape of my performance at my sister in law’s house…. well that’s when we were “talking.”

Could it have been at the last wedding…NO!  Wasn’t invited to that.  How about the last Bar Mitzvah?  NO!  They wouldn’t talk to my family and we were not asked to be in the photos nor were we invited to sit with them. Couldn’t be at Pesach. Never was  invited since my second child was born.

I’m receiving so many e-mails that I’m behind in my blogs! People ask: “WHO is your brother in law, why did HE sue you?  Why haven’t we EVER heard about him in the Act?” For once, I am baffled.

“…they believe Ms. Croonquist continues to seek additional publicity at the expense of their privacy and to the detriment of the family which is unfortunate.” Sorry to burst to mash their matzah balls but they WERE private until THEY publicly sued ME!  As Jews, they should be embarrassed.

I’ve received so much anti-Semitic mail: ”Jews sue!” “Jews love money” “Only Jews would do this!”  It has been a humiliating not a victorious year.  For those of you who saw the Today show, it’s interesting to note that this is the ONLY time a Statement has been issued. Why, now after the case is dismissed?

Three people suffered most: My mother in law who was dragged into this and her grandchildren, my daughters.  I lost work, was embarrassed and ONE call could have solved everything.  Note: They never call me Mrs. Sunda Zafrin in any of the legal paperwork…. they haven’t caught on:  I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!  SUNDA IS HERE TO STAY!  And I hope YOU stay!  Glued to SUNDALIVE where I tell you like it is…and like it was!  And it WAS one heck of a year!  Thank you all for your support!  PS:  I’ll keep you posted!

Exhaustion!

April 17th, 2010

My neighbor upstairs has lost her mind! This time…with a hammer! I woke up today at 6:17 on a Saturday morning to hear her “hanging” something. I hope it wasn’t someBODY! This woman is definitely fodder for material but I can’t sleep and I have to tell you it must be some type of Iranian torture that they practice in Iran! She never sleeps and is too old to be on coke so I can’t figure out what her bag is! She turns on one bathtub…and then, the other. I wonder if she even bathes! I live in such a “high society” building that is full of old kooks! The management wants you to STAY HOME for WATER DELIVERIES! Everybody is retired or should be and like to have things to stay home to wait for during the day. I think they’re nuts and I wish they would stop bragging that Jim Nabors used to live here. I can understand bragging about Beyonce or even Sally Fields but it gets ridiculous. I promised one neighbor that I would blog about the antics for the frustrated KKK members that run the Home Owners Association. Being a Jew and Black … I’m a target but I’ve got something for them! I promise to give you more of an update in my life but right now, gotta get ready to go to the Laugh Factory to work….instead of reading this blog..you should be there too! Showtime is 8:00 PM and I’ll keep you posted with the Poisonous Persian Pig upstairs who can’t stop walking, pacing and dropping stuff on the floor all day and all night.

Hopefully, she’ll read this and like my In-laws will try to sue me…I will sell recordings of the noise she makes every night! This is one broad who should go back to where she came from…not Iran…a mental institution!

Enough for now…I want to take a nap! But now she’s playing Persian music….G-d help me! I wanna go back to Jersey!

later,

s

“Uncle Junie” You were always right and Rest in Peace!

March 31st, 2010

As everyone who knows me or my act remembers…my Uncle Junie was a part of my act as much as he was a part of my life.  I’m so saddened by his death as he was my mom’s only brother and whenever she was scared or sick, she called him.  I called him for everything and he always had an interesting take on life.  He taught me not to trust everyone so quickly and wow!  He was always right.  I don’t have time to go into this and I will at another time but how many tears can patter over a keypad before you no longer have the vision to type?

It’s just that bad.  Yes, Uncle Junie will forever remain in my heart and in my act.  Unlike my in-laws, he didn’t sue me for using him by name or identifying where he was from.  He was proud and flattered and disgusted that I was being sued by my husband’s family.  He told me something is wrong with them and to forget them and move on and so I have.  That is why I must move on and remember the good things in life and not those things that make you physically and mentally ill.  It’s just not worth it.

It’s Passover and with a grandmother who is still alive, my children enjoyed their Seder with memories of their grandmother’s cousin Cele.  It was she and not their grandmother who used to come out every Passover before she lost her battle with Cancer.  With G-d’s grace, they will forget the family that has chosen to forget them.  They will be so much better off in the end and I have to be strong like my Uncle Junie for as he said:  ”It’s family….no matter what!  For someone to go public like that to go out to get you, something must be wrong with them!”  I mention this only because it’s ironic that he passed away over Pesach and the memory of the stench of the lawsuit is also passing and that part of life feels good.

Uncle Junie, rest in peace.  You were so very young and it is too soon to say goodbye but G-d wants you with Him now so….the show must go on!

Thank you everyone for your food platters, cards and condolences.  As you all know …family means a lot to me and we’re a very close family on my side of the fence.  My heart goes out to my husband who has no one because he married the “wrong” girl.  We have our own family and his family has to deal with their humiliation that they brought upon themselves by suing me.  I’m sure this Pesach they are happy but I know in my heart of hearts that my mother in law is in pain.  She was dragged into this but…she’s a big girl and she should have said NO!  NO! NO!  She should only know what she is missing with my children, her grandchildren growing up beautiful and talented and it is her loss but….my gain!

Tune in to JLTV (Jewish Life Television) which is on Time Warner/Direct TV and see my new show:  ”The James and Sunda Show” with James Harris and America’s most loved daughter in law…ME!  The first episode I talk about my Uncle Junie as he was well at the time and you better believe had he lived to see it….he wouldn’t sue me!

Happy Passover and Happy Easter!  Enjoy life and avoid poisonous people.  Even if it’s family.  Thank G-d I have a great one!

Love to you, all!

Pesach Paranoia!

March 27th, 2010

One more day before the cooking frenzy begins!  My kids are driving me crazy wanting to bake cakes and they KNOW it’s Passover!  No way can I handle it but I will!  I  have 31 people coming and no, I don’t live in a mansion but the beauty of love is that we will make it happy and fun for everyone!  My kids are the light of my life and the light of my pocketbook!!!!  They spend without realizing  how much they spend!  Aviva lost three pairs of ballet shoes in one month.  Actually, she told me she only lost ONE today, so it doesn’t count as a pair.  Anyway it still costs MONEY!   I could be buying a pair of shoes for me!  Oh, how selfish!  But better selfish than shoeless…that’s all I’m sayin’!

I haven’t written for a while because I am working on Virtual Jerusalem’s blog and was doing the Twitter Blog for Twitter Moms “Housewives of NY” so I’ve been busy but…I’m back!  Tonite at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood…8:00 PM.

BE THERE!  And I promise to be here, more for you!

Love to all of you!

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all!