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unions:
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blackout:
grandma's window
underwater
state of mind

snow:
blizzard
sledding

hair issues:
my pink hair mistake
my purple hair mistake

family:
chinatown/little italy
thanksgiving 2003
nature

worklife:
moving day
our new digs
garden of stones

parties:
eleanor turns 26
halloween
deb turns 27
deb's birthday collage
susan's holiday party
new year's 2004
rich turns 30

happenings:
jenny miller in nyc
goldenbears
lakeland, fla
the unveiling

wallpaper:
zina and me
i and the matzo

randoms:
our ira visit
gators v. vols
ny state drivers license
the nobel manatee

Spring, 1997

04.29.04
For fun, and because this is my site, I am posting a poem I wrote for a college poetry class in the spring semester of 1997.

I hadnít thought about the poem in years. But then, several months ago, I was in the Krispy Kreme in Chelsea with college friend Eleanor Eichenbaum, and I had a weird sudden memory of someone stealing a line from my 1997 Krispy Kreme poem.

I became confused and flustered. I couldnít remember if it had been a dream or if I had gotten conked on the head and was experiencing a confabulation or if it really had happened. I said to Eleanor, "Did some notable poet recently write a piece about laughing at malformed Krispy Kreme doughnuts?" Eleanor just smiled sweetly the way you smile at crazy people when they say theyíve been speaking to Martians.

I have been haunted by memories of my ancient bad Krispy Kreme poem ever since. So here it is.

Fun Facts you should know about this "Poem":

  • It was turned in as an assignment for a lower-division poetry class.
  • I could only find a hard copy of the poem, so, like an idiot, I re-typed it, only altering one instance of italics and the placement of two punctuation marks.
  • I donít think I got a very good grade on this assignment.
  • But I would often read it aloud for giggles at local poetry readings.
  • Susan Johnson and Karen Scarth have heard it read at such venues. Ask them about it.
  • All persons, points of fact, or events contained in the poem are how I remembered them or found them on the Internet in the spring of 1997.
  • At that time, I apparently didnít understand very much about enjambment.
  • The attendant at Krispy Kreme was a soft-spoken quasi drag queen. This was not usual fare for the small southern town of Gainesville, Florida.
  • The Eleanor in the poem is Eleanor Eichenbaum, who now lives in New York City as well.
  • The Brian is Brian Geller, my then friend and now husband.
  • The Josh in the poem is Josh Haddad, who I believe is now at RISD
  • I mention that there are "five smiles," implying five people in our group. I have no idea seven years after the event who the fifth person was. I can only imagine I did not like the person very much, as I left him/ her out of my tremendous work.
  • There was a reason I did not pursue a career in poetry.

    04.27.04
    Telegrams are fun.
    My motherís parents died within twelve days of each other. My grandfather had not been kind or warm. I hardly knew him. This is because whenever we would visit, he would announce loudly to my siblings and me that ďChildren are to be seen and not heard.Ē Then he would talk about himself for several hours. When we would get bored, he would yell at us. He took what appeared to be absolutely no interest in any of his grandchildren.

    I received my last birthday card from those grandparents at age 16. Then nothing. My grandfather grew older and more demented and meaner and more limbless. After Brian and I had been dating for six months, we took a trip to New York and visited my grandfather in the hospital. He was so busy yelling at the nurse, he didnít even notice us. We had come all the way from Florida.

    I saw him again after my grandmotherís funeral. When I tried to talk to him, he turned his head and pretended to be sleeping. I whispered in his ear that he had alienated his family and the only thing his grandchildren knew of him was a mean selfish old coot. He died several days later.

    Aside from being a mean selfish old coot, my grandfather was also a packrat. When we were cleaning out the house after my grandparents died, we found collections of surgical scissors and used drinking straws and Life magazines and New York Times newspapers dating back to 1948. We also found this telegram. My grandfatherís mother Fanny sent it to her neíer-do-well husband before their daughter died of pneumonia. My grandfather kept in tacked to a cork board near his desk in the basement in their house on Long Island. So I took it. Because telegrams are fun.

    They are fun to imitate. It fills me with immense joy to write emails like:

    HELLO STOP HOW ARE YOU STOP WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND STOP DO YOU WANT TO HANG AND GO TO THE MOVIES STOP YO STOP DEB STOP.
    What joy! And what could be better than to create your own telegrams? In them, you could rectify passed ills and inspire new hope for the future. Try it! Itís fun.

    My next assignment: Write your own telegram. Email me the results. Yo!

    04.26.04
    You go, Girls!
    In response to the pro-choice march on Washington, the president said nothing because he was away for a change. Luckily, White House spokesman Taylor Gross was available to give this insightful and non-hypocritical statement: "The president believes we should work to build a culture of life in America."

    www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com by way of wonkette.com. Thanks, Brian, for keeping me both informed and potty-mouthed.

    Belle has made the New York Times. I am so excited, even if they didnít interview me. The Tribeca Film Festival will be showing the film on May 1st and 7th in a program of shorts called "Beyond Manhattan". Brian and I have already purchases 5 tickets online.

    More wonderful news: I finished another short story! Deadlines are a many splendid thing. Today I passed out my story to my writing class at the Y. I finished writing it about 11 PM on Saturday night, which sent me into a state of tremendous shock. I had been working on the story in one form or another for over two years, and I had three previous drafts of the sucker on various disks strewn about our apartment.

    I did it before and Iíll do it again. If you would like to request a copy of my most-recent story, please contact me at: contact @ debcentral.com.

    Also, I noticed how many people responded to my last request for guestblogs. Even my own husband hasnít responded. Never mind that. Iíll send you my story if you send me yours. Write something fun. Hereís your topic: Garbage. Hereís your deadline: Now. Submit to the aforementioned email address. Get on it.

    04.24.04
    My recent exchange with Dell Technical Support:

    From: Delltechsupport
    To:'deborahschwartz @ excite.com'
    Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 16:35:53
    Subject: ~ Follow up on your Tech Support Call ~

    Dear Richard:
    This is a follow-up email regarding your recent call to Dell Technical Support. My name is Kristine and I am the supervisor of Mary Angeline Bac , the tech you spoke with on the phone. I am writing to make sure your problem has been completely resolved.
    If your problem has not yet been resolved, please respond to this email and let us know a good time to call you back as well as the best contact number to reach you. It is our number one priority to make sure our customers are completely satisfied, and that is the reason for my follow-up email.
    If your problem has been fixed, that is great. Dell has very high standards for customer satisfaction, and I'm glad we were able to help you. Your satisfaction is ultimately how we are all evaluated at Dell, myself included.
    Thank you for being a Dell customer,
    Mary Lou Schnermacher [the name has been changed to protect the innocent]

    From: Deborah Schwartz [mailto:deborahschwartz @ excite.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 6:37 PM
    To: Delltechsupport
    Subject: RE: ~ Follow up on your Tech Support Call ~

    my name is not richard. my name is deborah schwartz, as the email address suggests. I did recently call dell tech support. please correct your data.
    -deborah schwartz

    Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 19:05:11
    From: Delltechsupport
    To: 'deborahschwartz @ excite.com'
    Subject: RE: ~ Follow up on your Tech Support Call ~

    Hi Denise,
    Thank you for your time in responding to my email. I do apologize if we miscopied your name. The correction has been noted for future reference. For further inquiries and concerns, please free to call us in our hotline at 1-800-8228965. Our highly qualified technicans will be very much willing to provide you with the support that you need.
    We would also appreciate your reply to the email survey that we might be sending you. I encourage you to fill it out and send it back to us so we may know the things that you would like us to improve on so we could serve you better.
    Thank you for choosing DELL.
    Sincerely,
    Mary Lou Schnermacher

    From: Deborah Schwartz [mailto:deborahschwartz @ excite.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 3:39 AM
    To: Delltechsupport
    Subject: RE: ~ Follow up on your Tech Support Call ~

    Not Denise. Deborah.

    Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 11:04:49
    From: Delltechsupport
    To: 'deborahschwartz @ excite.com'
    Subject: RE: ~ Follow up on your Tech Support Call ~

    Hi Deborah,
    Thank you for your time in responding to my email. I do apologize if we miscopied your name. The correction has been noted for future reference. We are sending this email to make a follow up on the previous call that you have made to Dell. We would appreciate your response so we may know if you are still having some issues with your Dell System.
    Looking forward to hear from you.
    Sincerely,
    Mary Lou Schnermacher

    04.22.04
    Touching Lives
    by Heather Scott

    Loyal readers of debcentral, let me introduce myself. I know some of you already, I'm sure. You might remember me as Brian Geller's prom date, Countryside High prom of 1994. You can see that I once resembled a newborn giraffe. Since those glory days, I have evolved into a high school biology teacher in East Harlem. My students do me the favor of telling me daily who I most resemble.

    The first, and most far-fetched (though widely accepted), was Stephanie Tanner from Full House. I was referred to as "Tanner" from October through January. I'm not sure where the similarities begin, but it might have something to do with having white skin. The fact that the actress Jodie Sweetin was five when the show began seems to have no bearing on her striking similarity to me at age 27. You may also ask, why are today's teenagers watching Full House? It's timeless.

    On St. Patrick's day, while wearing a green shirt with brown pants, I earned a new nickname -- "the Female Shaggy." I give my students credit for this one, because I feel much closer to Shaggy (of Scooby Doo fame) than I do to any child star on a sitcom from the late eighties. Unfortunately, this never stuck.

    Today my ever-vigilant students pointed out a celebrity look-alike that I am certain nobody else on the planet would have found: Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. My male twin, separated at birth, only he's 6'9" and a millionaire. I was slow to decipher the hints being tossed my way late this afternoon, when a few kids started asking how I liked Dallas. They then started passing back and forth a crumpled piece of paper which read "Miss Scott, aka Dirk Witkoski of the Dallas Mavericks, 6'9"." I think this was supposed to be the title of a piece of artwork that was interrupted before coming to fruition. Our similarities seem to be messy hair, and a glazed stare with mouth hanging open. He may also have "no ass", which is my number one figure flaw in the eyes of the scholars at Urban Peace Academy. They (thankfully) ignore my spare tire and prefer to constantly berate me for an insufficient ass.

    All good blogs should come to a witty conclusion, or a good moral, like a He-Man cartoon. Unfortunately, I'm exhausted. It's not easy starring in NBA games by night and educating our country's future leaders by day. A girl/guy's gotta sleep!

    04.21.04
    I think I have fallen out of love with my Grapefruiter.
    Itís true. It was so much fun at first. I think the problem is with me.

    Most of my grapefruit consumption takes place within a half hour of my waking. And I am a relatively low-functioning person within the first half hour after I wake up. When I say ďrelatively low-functioningĒ I mean ďI sit and stare at the wall and drool and am sometime seen dropping things and breaking them.Ē This is the reason I must set my alarm for almost two hours before the time I need to be out of the house.

    This is why my new grapefruit-sectioning device and I were not meant to be. To work it, one must have the semblance of coordination. I think the Chefín company assumes that its users will be mid-to-high-functioning. Heavens! Who else would buy an $11 grapefruit knife that looks like a wacked-out beaky nutcracker but some high-toned society person or fruity intellectual?

    If two hours have passed since Iíve awakened and one squints and awful lot, one might mistake me for a fruity intellectual. But within the first half hour after waking, I look more like an 80 year old emotionally disturbed person wrapped in a blanky, hair matted, repeatedly stabbing a grapefruit with what appears to be a nutcracker with a knifey beak at end.

    For the past several mornings, my grapefruits have been turned to pulpy messes as I employ the grapefruit sectioning device using the wrong end or being overzealous or underzealous or downright primitive in a pounding fruit sort of way. While I am never particularly gracefully, in the mornings, as I jab my gadget into a grapefruit, I maintain the hand-eye coordination of an athritic manatee. Sad. Very sad.

    I have noticed that my guestblog program never really got off the ground. Never fear. My 6-8 week trial is in itís 7th week and shows no sign of letting up. This is your big chance! When was the last time you had an opportunity like this? When was the last time I asked you to write a guestblog for my website because I was on perpetual jury duty?

    Never mind that. Hop on the wagon. Get on the boat. All aboard. Itís the crazy psychedelic schooner of civic duty, itís out of control, and itís heading for you!

    I know what you need. You need an assignment. Okay, then, hereís your first assignment. Someone write a piece about a grandparent (figuratively or literally). Do it! I really mean it this time. Donít make me come in there (contact @ debcentral.com).

    04.18.04
    My uncle has been accused of not showering often enough.
    When we went to visit him last week, he talked about how hard it was to get a shower, and how the workers were always trying to discourage him from taking too many showers. Today on the phone he said that he was yelled at by one of the staff members for not showering enough. He said he usually showers twice a week, but this week he had only gotten around to doing it once, and someone accused him of being unhygienic.

    "Why do I need to take a shower more than once a week?" he said. "I change my shirt three times a week, I change my pants twice a week, and I shower once a week. Whatís wrong with that? There are people here who pee on themselves and the staff doesnít make them change their pants or shower more than once a week. But they yell at me! Do you see what Iím telling you?"

    I believe what he is telling me is that:

    1) He is not the most hygienic person in the world, and
    2) Some people in the crazy house pee on themselves and are okay with it.
    These facts coupled with a general feeling of repulsion is what I gained from our conversation.

    We met Heather Scott for brunch on the west side yesterday. Afterwards, we went to Zabarís and I bought a Grapefruiter. I am forever on a quest for new and more interesting instruments to aid my consumption of grapefruits. A couple months ago, I purchased a special curved graprefruit knife. But my new gadget is more fun. It looks like a nut cracker with a sharp knifey beak. Brian and I have already consumed five grapefruits since acquiring this appliance.

    Brian thought it looked like a torture device that might be used by an evil drug lord to take out the tongues of snitches. He re-enacted the exchange with me as the snitch and himself as an evil drug lord called Pablo Neruda. When I refused to have my tongue removed again with the grapefruiter, Brian made me get a out stopwatch and time him as he used it to section a grapefruit. When he didnít like his time, we went out to buy more grapefruits, and he tried it again. I think he is down to 15.8 seconds, which is still over the 12.4 seconds the website boasts.

    We went out this morning and purchased another half-dozen grapefruits. Weíre going to keep working on it. With the highest technology in grapefruit sectioning, my coaching, and a whole gang of hope, I think Brian could even make it to the finals this year.

    04.14.04
    The internet is so weird.
    One of the oddest teasers Iíve ever seen

    LAUGHING DRIVER KILLS WOMAN, 86
    By PATRICK GALLAHUE and ANDY GELLER
    A tow-truck driver accidentally backed into and killed an 86-year-old Brooklyn grandma yesterday - and then laughed, joked and urinated in the parking lot where the woman died.
    Also, this is my roommate from my freshman year of college. Crazy, no? I lived in the same tiny dorm room with her for a year, and I never even knew she liked to sing.

    In other news, I almost got into a tussle with some random jurors this morning. There is often quite a line to get through security and into the courthouse in the mornings. The Lexington line was experiencing technical difficulties, and I was already late for jury duty. I pushed up through the line (as I was told to do) displaying my yellow juror card in the air for all to see. When I got to the entrance door, an older woman blocked my way. I said, "Iím sorry. Iím a juror on a trial. Iím already late for court."

    "That doesnít mean you can just cut in front of everyone in line."

    "I was told I should show my card and move to the front of the line." I said.

    She said, "Iím a juror too. Weíre all jurors here. Get back in line like the rest of us." Then a large shtarker of a woman in back of her said, "YEAH. GET TO THE BACK OF THE LINE."

    So I did. The line went all the way back to the curb, and was moving slowly. It took a million years to get through security. When I finally got to the magnetometer, the police officer there said, "Youíre a juror. Why didnít you move to the front of the line?"

    I spoke at length ratting out the two mean ladies that had threatened me. The officer said, "They donít know anything. Next time someone says something like that to you, get an officer to escort you up through the line to security."

    Ha!

    When I got on the elevator, the evil shtarker was on there too. It was very crowded. I pressed the button for the 11th floor. I wondered if she had heard me complaining about her to the officer. The elevator crept up to the fourth floor, and then all of a sudden started heading down again. Then it sat in the lobby for another couple of minutes before the doors closed again. It crept up to the fourth floor again and stopped. Oh god, I thought I am trapped in an elevator with this evil mean juror who heard me complaining about her, and she will surely come over here and bop me on the head.

    Then the elevator lurched again, and was about to head down, when everyone screamed and began madly hitting the buttons for the higher floors. It stopped. Lurched again. And finally began to move up. I was almost a half hour late.

    It was gray and rainy out today. Several of the other jurors on my trial said they had had similar evil juror experiences on their way in this morning.

    This was an extremely boring story. Iím sorry.

    04.13.04
    What youíve all been waiting for: Google Search Terms.

    =people having fun brooklyn pictures 2004
    =pitchers of Helen Keller
    =+"richard ramirez", +"sean penn", +letter
    =Daddy Warbucks bodyguard
    =comparing charmin with other toilet papers
    =thinking back through our mothers Schwartz
    =nude yoga -dvd -video brooklyn
    ="Google image search", fired
    =typhoid mary AND jew
    =anyone+with+Anya+Schwartz+pictures
    =is blood heterogenous or homogenous
    =my moist keds sneakers
    =party nude charlottesville
    =loss of teeth
    =Tied her to the bed news court
    =nose picking problem co-worker
    ="tip a 40 to my"
    =Deborah Kent I need facts about her
    =SARS bus to Boston from Chinatown New York
    =yoga pretzel picture
    =smart question & stupid answer
    Enough of this silliness. Just keep up with the good work of finding debcentral.com.

    Jenny Miller has been feeling a bit down. So drop her a line and cheer her up.

    Also, I am still accepting submissions for guest blogs. I am in my sixth week of jury duty, and as a famous man once said, "Ainít done yet." Itís true. I have no idea how long we have left, but it has suggested that we shouldnít dream of being done before May.

    So take out your cyber-pens-of-the-future and tell me about your crazy family. Iím all cyber-ears-of-the-future.

    PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM.

    04.11.04
    Some days are grosser than others. Because today was Easter Sunday, my uncle was convinced the visiting room would be packed, and he repeated over and over that we should arrive early to secure a good table.

    We did arrive early, and were surprised to find that the room was not only not very packed. In fact, it was quite empty. There were moments in our nearly two-hour visit when we were the only people in the visiting room. It was at these moments that my uncleís voice would rise considerably, causing chewed-up hamburger to projectile out of his mouth and bespatter his protruding stomach, the table, and us.

    He was very angry about a lot of things. One of them concerned his having requested a special Passover meal for the first two days of Passover. Manhattan Psychiatric Center has a rabbi-at-large who drops by once a week to offer patients spiritual support. He conducts services, and has been known to bring my uncle coffee and a Danish from time to time. I donít know if it was the rabbiís responsibility to secure special Passover meals for patients at the institution, but my uncle perceived it to be so. Instead of getting his first special meal on Monday night, Uncle Ira didnít get it until Tuesday afternoon. When he saw the rabbi on Wednesday, he told me, "I gave him a real piece of my mind."

    "You yelled at the rabbi?" I said.

    "You bet I did. Heís an asshole and a fraud and he screwed up my special Passover meal entirely."

    Later in the visit, my uncle remembered his Haftorah portion from his bar mitzvah to be the Veahavta, which is a basic Hebrew prayer chanted or sung at nearly all Jewish services. Then he recalled a stirring Hebrew hymn they used to sing at the synagogue near an old apartment of his. He slapped the table to keep the beat and crooned:

    Shabbat Shalom (slap)
    Shabbat Shalom (slap)
    Shabbat, Shabbat, Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom (slap, slap, slap)
    Shabbat Shalom (slap)
    Shabbat Shalom (slap)
    Shabbat, Shabbat, Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom (slap, slap, slap)
    This went on for about seven minutes. Of course, his mouth was dispensing particles of chewed up food the entire time, and he drooled so much, it pooled on his belly. Brian looked at the floor and I focused on a spot on the table. We were both thoroughly disgusted.

    Whatever spirit was moving my uncle must have infected the homeless men on the bus ride home. One man had pulled the back of his jacket up over his head and sauntered up and down the moving bus, saying, "Hisss, Hisss. Iím the cat lady." Another gentleman grew increasingly more agitated as we neared Manhattan, slapping his knees, jumping up and down, singing, and performing what appeared to be a free-style rap about his endeavors in New York City. He said charming things like, "No Remorse (heh, heh). Iíll be baptized by the god of the horse (heh, heh)," and "Donít worry about a thing. Iím Mr. Chicken Wing." Many of his verses referenced the lottery and its ability to turn poor immigrants into rich Americans.

    Yesterday, the weather was gorgeous. Brian and Susan and I sat in the grass in Central Park and admired the sky and the clouds and the breeze and the people near us doing headstands and falling over and rolling down the hill. It was all so nice and bright and verdant. I suppose there might be a little bit of karma in it. For every beautiful crisp spring day spent in the grass on a hill, one has to pay up with seven ounces of chewed up hamburger meat, an ear-full of fervent nonsense singing, and an unlimited supply of drool.

    04.08.04
    We have gotten though three whole days of Pesach, and so far as I know, I have not yet slipped into the land of the leaven. It should be noted that I have adopted the ways of the Mediterranean Jew and am saying okay to legumes, corn, and other such benign and seemingly unleaven fanfare. This is in part because I am a vegetarian, and in part because I am lazy.

    In honor of spring, of this holiday, and of the Israelites release from bondage, I am making available for the first time seasonal wallpaper for your computer.

    Another seasonal occurrence is Tax Day. Brian and I are proud to say that our tax returns are completed and ready for our pal, the IRS. This is because we had someone else do them.

    Last year, I insisted on doing our taxes myself, and this resulted in them being still largely undone the day before they were due. I had worked for several weeks to come up with relatively random numbers that I had then scratched into the blanks on the federal form. When it came to our state taxes, I completely collapsed, and Brian had to remove from our paper work the sobbing, wilted lump that was me and resume where I had left off.

    This year, I vowed we would pay someone to do our taxes in order to save money on my future mental health counseling. And thatís exactly what we did. Hip-hip-hooray for random accountants!

    I visited my the ever-pregnant former co-worker Aiesha yesterday, and was disappointed that she was not, in fact, bigger than she actually was. Her stomach had certainly expanded to such proportions as to be able to fit a small human inside. But I had envisioned something more supernatural. Sometimes, I think could match wits with a six year old on the subject of child birth. I seem to ďnot get itĒ. I am always asking expectant mothers questions that make them glare at me and ask me whatís wrong with my head.

    I asked Aiesha, who is a mere two weeks from delivering, whether she could ever see the babyís hands or feet pushing against the skin of her belly, like in those horror movies when an alien who has been gestating inside its unwilling human host tries to make a break for it. From the look I received, Iím guessing it was an idiotic question.

    Brian and I have been discussing my memoirs about jury duty, which I will invariably write once the trial is finished. I thought we might call it ďMy Day in Court: the Deborah Schwartz storyĒ. Brian suggested the title ďI Made a Duty!Ē. We both deserve each other.

    04.07.04
    We did it! Brian and I took public transportation all the way back from the airport. I had heard from people at work that the AirTrain was so speedy, it had crashed a number of months ago (before it had opened to the public). This led me to assume that the train would travel at high speeds.

    In fact, we were constantly being lapped by the cars on nearby roads that were visible from the window. Brian maintained that the train traveled faster than he or I might walk, but Iím not so sure. Maybe faster than we could saunter.

    Once the short slow jaunt from the airport was finished, we descended into the earth to wait for the dirty E train at itís penultimate station in Jamaica, Queens. Much akin to Jan and Deanís Surf City, where one can find two girls for every boy, the train held two homeless people for every one clean civilian rider.

    We left the airport for the AirTrain at about 10:50 PM and finally reached our apartment via the 6 train about 12:30 AM. But we saved some $34. And this was before the taxi fare hike.

    The other big news: Belle is up!

    04.06.04
    Weíre still in Florida, but weíre heading home tonight.
    My first Passover Seder in the Tampa Bay area was something short and sweet and filled with food, which is as much as anyone could ask for.

    I have been eating for four days straight, and now I feel very gross.

    In another couple of weeks, I will have a new story due for my class at the Y. I have a couple paragraphs so far, and these are the same couple paragraphs Iíve rewritten on three separate occasions. The story promises to be a great success.

    The price of a taxi ride is rising in New York City. This really breaks my heart. I just love traveling in taxis. Especially late at night, when I know riding the subway home with take a hour and a half, but a trip in a taxi will be a cool 20 minutes.

    Once, Brian and I had to return a video in the snow to the store which was five blocks from our apartment. We came very close to finking out and taking a taxi. We didnít though. We hoofed it the whole way there and back, but we spent our walk trying to imagine even more frivolous taxi rides than one to the video store five blocks away. Brian finished with ďIíd like to take a taxi from our apartment to our apartment.

    Now, all this is changing. The base price for cab fare is going up and there will be an additional $1 fee for riding during rush hour. The fare from JFK will increase from $35 to $45 dollars (not including the $4 toll). Our stupid taxi fantasies have been squelched.

    We have been considering taking the new AirTrain home tonight. Taxis are just so much faster. And when youíre sitting in a taxi, no one tries to punch you in the face for rolling your suitcase over their foot in a crowded subway car. There are an untold number of advantages to riding in taxis.

    04.02.04
    Jury duty has taught me a whole knew language.
    My favorite terms are those used for objections to testimony. I have learned phrases like "asked and answered", "basis of knowledge", "relevance", "compound", and "hearsay" (not to be confused with "heresy".

    I asked Brian (my very own law student) if he knew how many differnt terms there were for objections. He wasn't sure, but speculated there were probably many. There may even been some that have fallen out of use over time.

    We imagined the follow scenarios:

    ATTORNEY: Objection, your Honor!
    JUDGE: Pray, tell, Counselor, on what grounds?
    ATTORNEY: Your Honor, my objection is based on the defense counsel's misuse of mustache wax.
    JUDGE: I see. Very good. Objection sustained.
    Or how about:
    ATTORNEY: Objection!
    JUDGE: On what grounds?
    ATTORNEY: Exposure of pantaloons!
    JUDGE: Objection sustained. [turning to defense counsel] Counselor, please advise your client that if I should see even so much as a pinky finger's length of pantaloon, he will be immediately ejected from the courtroom forthwith.
    Or maybe:
    ATTORNEY: Objection!
    JUDGE: On what grounds?
    ATTORNEY: Utter Nincompoopery!
    JUDGE: Objection sustained.
    And then there's always:
    ATTORNEY: Objection!
    JUDGE: On what grounds?
    ATTORNEY: Heresy!
    JUDGE: Objection sustained. Bailiff, please escort the witness to the lake. Bind him hand and foot, then toss him into the water. If he sinks to the bottom, he is an honest man. If he floats, he is a witch and should be burned at the stake.

    We're heading to Florida tonight in honor of Passover. Happy Pesach/Last Supper. It's all about the springtime/rebirth holidays. Let's all eat some eggs and crackers.

    04.01.04
    The cookies went over pretty okay.
    By the end of the day, the batch made for my fellow jurors was gone. Even one of the court officers ate some, despite their unsavory appearance.

    Before I left the courthouse, I received a call from Aiesha saying she had a migraine and was feeling too ill for my visit. I went home with my second batch of cookies intact.

    Today, Brian and I broke into the stash. I may bring them to work tomorrow. Iíve got to get them away from me before I eat them all Ė out of pity and a lack of self control.

    Despite the fact that my mother dislikes when I talk about my dreams, I will talk about my dreams. Last night, I had a vivid dream that it snowed again. In all the commotion, I left my purse on a set of bleachers. Iím not sure why I had been sitting on bleachers, but Iím pretty sure they were located inside a mall.

    I ran back for my purse, and found it, but it was empty. My wallet turned up sometime later, and my credit cards and cash were just where I left them, but all my photo I.D.s were missing. I was annoyed, because I had been so thrilled to have a new nice-looking New York Drivers License and feared I would have to re-take the photo. But I was most bummed because my University of Maryland student I.D. as well my old Florida I.D. were missing as well. Now I would no longer be able to lie and get into cultural places at student rates.

    All day today, I kept re-experiencing surprise and relief when Iíd look in my wallet and find both my old student I.D.s as well as my drivers license present and accounted for.

    Iím getting a little taste of the joys of dementia.



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