Who is Deborah Schwartz?
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Live Taping

03.30.06
Avery forwarded me an email advertising free tickets to a live taping.
The taping was of John Waters's new one man show, This Filthy Word.

This was extremely exciting. I enlisted fellow John Waters fanatic, Danielle Aronson, as well as my husband, and we all met at the theater at 6:45.

The show took forever to get started, and there was a mean old woman who kept screaming at the audience, "DON'T SEAT YOURSELF! YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST SIT DOWN ANYWHERE YOU WANT, BUT YOU CAN'T. I HAVE TO SEAT YOU. SO DON'T SEAT YOURSELF!"

About a half hour later, we were still sitting in the cramped little theater seats, when the mean old lady started in with a new line: "ONCE THE PERFORMANCE STARTS, YOU CAN NOT GO TO THE BATHROOM. IF YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, GO NOW. BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET UP TO GO TO THE BATHROOM ONCE THE PERFORMANCE STARTS. JOHN DOES NOT WANT YOU TO GO TO THE BATHROOM DURING HIS PERFORMANCE. SO PLEASE RESPECT HIS WISHES."

She did another lap with "NO CHEWING GUM! IT LOOKS AWFUL ON CAMERA," and then "YOU MUST TURN YOUR CELL PHONES AND PAGES OFF." For over an hour, we sat in those terrible little seats with that horrendous woman shrieking in our ears until the house lights finally went down.

John Waters was just as creepily charming as ever. The performance was very much worth it.

In the hour and change we spent with that shrewish hag howling warnings at us, Danielle mentioned that her brother, who is a SUNY student by day and a rapper by night, had made available to the public some of his music videos. The first was the very charming "Amon De Rey". Danielle noted the creative way her brother turned a gum wrapper into a grill.

After watching the video for "Amon De Rey", I saw The Making of Amon De Rey, which I loved even more. I think the story boards are just adorable. In case you were wondering, Danielle's brother is David Aronson, the one in the films who goes by the name "Zoots".


03.25.06
I got a new cell phone.

03.22.06
Everybody loves houseplants.
But not everybody knows how to get them.
If you are someone looking for houseplants, and you live in the New York City area, you are in luck! My husband, Brian Geller, works for the City, and he is moving to a smaller office space. He cannot take the plants in his office with him.

Please consider adopting a New York City Government Houseplant.

ALL PLANTS MUST FIND NEW HOMES!
Adopt one. . . or several.

They are all pleasant-looking, yet not at all ostentatious. They do not wear loud jewelry, use swear words, or demand designer jeans and expensive sunglasses. They are quite, docile, and oxygen-producing.

Though they are not fluent in Microsoft Office Suite or the finer points of the City's Charter, they do produce their own food by means of photosynthesis. And they are perfectly happy if you feed them tap water. They don't need any of that expensive bottled water. Why would they? They are just a bunch of really nice houseplants.

And they need a new home.

If you would be interested in adopting one of these New York City Government Houseplants, please email me at contact @ debcentral.com. All plants must find new homes by Wednesday, March 29th


Won't you help us . . . help them.

03.20.06
I walk loudly and carry a big purse.
I need a big purse, because I have many things to lug around with me everywhere I go. Some of these things are:
  • A key chain that looks like a fish, but it doubles as a small flashlight.

  • A pill box in the shape of a large pill. It contains a variety of over-the-counter pain relievers, as well as an Imodium and a Tylonol PM.

  • Hand lotion and hand sanitizer.

  • Two different kinds of dental floss.

  • A USB flash drive (new!).

  • Three different kinds of lip baum.

  • A small cosmetics bag filled with makeup.

  • A chamois for eye glass cleaning.

  • A polyurethane fish with a zipper up the back in which tampons are stored (every so often).

  • My cell phone charger. And my cell phone.

  • Several pens, as well as a Sharpie marker.

  • My wallet. In my wallet, among other things, I keep IDs dating back to 1995.

  • A book of matches.

  • A change purse that looks like an old wrinkled coffee cup.

  • Bottled water (sometimes).

  • In the back pocket of my purse, I keep:
  • The book I'm currently reading

  • Two free passes to see the Darwin exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History.

  • A brochure I took on the new subway rules.

  • Ladies and gentleman, you may have a smaller purse than me. You may walk around with only the necessities. You may be light of step with your chic, trendy absence of excessive baggage. But when the terrorists attack (again), guess who will be quasi-prepared?

    And if the terrorists spare only the American Museum of Natural History's Darwin exhibit, well, by gum! I'm home free.

    03.14.06
    Before the summer of 2002, I did not know what a blog was.
    But by early that fall, Brian convinced me that I needed to have one. I thought it was terribly dorky, but I agreed, as my site was already falling into disrepair.

    Here I am, three and a half years later, still plugging away like a little self-obsessed turd. And loving it. The rest of my site is still in a state of disrepair.

    I was certainly not early on the blog bandwagon (or blogwagon, as I like to call it -- oh! what a funny!). But our civilization has come quite a long way since even September of 2002. Keeping a blog has become as easy sending out a mass email. Even though the hovercar and the "pneumatic tube to the moon" are not yet a reality, posting pictures of your butt for the Internet-connected public to see has become simply easy-cheese.

    Bravo, Internet! Yours is a proper name, and so I must capitalize it. You've done it, Internet. You've cracked it wide open!

    While I was exiting the subway, I nearly knocked into my cousin's fiancÚ, Leo. He invited me back to their place for a drink. I had known since December that Leo had a blog. His blog is called The Accuser, and I must say, there are not nearly as many fun pictures on the site as I would like. Back at the apartment, we talked about web stats, a most enthralling topic. During this conversation, it came out that my cousin, Jen, has a blog as well. Her blog is called New York Toilets, a subject much closer to my heart. And there are visuals as well, which make the site both educational and easy on the eyes.

    If you are a relative of mine and you have been keeping a blog, please let me know. I would like to link to you, Relative. Except if you have posted pictures of your butt. Then I really would rather not know that you have a blog, as it would make me very uncomfortable to see pictures of one of my relative's butts posted on the Internet. Anyway, I need to re-do that stupid links section on the side.


    03.13.06
    Brian hates our bank.
    We bank with Washington Mutual, and Brian hates them with a white hot passion. Though he has trouble explaining to me why he hates them so much. When pressed for answers, he will say things like, "They charge us for using other people's ATMs." I say that all banks do that. He will say that he hates their various ad campaigns. And that when he needs a deposit slip, he can never find one. This is true. We once traveled to three separate WaMu ATMs to deposit a check, but could not find even one deposit slip.

    Still, I don't hold a grudge.

    On Friday evening, we went to see the dress rehearsal of the Inner Circle show. A woman got up to introduce the program, and at the end of her short speech, she thanked a number of individuals, as well the program's sponsor's, "Without whom this show would not be possible." One of the sponsors was Washington Mutual. Then the house lights went down, and I heard some yokel close by scream out "WASHINGTON MUTUAL SUCKS!"

    I was leaning in to whisper to my husband, "What an a-hole," when I realized the comment had in fact come from my husband. When I realized this, I scolded him loudly and somewhat corporally. Brian didn't tell me at the time, but the woman on the other side of him scolded him as well, saying, "That's terrible!"

    I believe that Brian was sufficiently embarrassed. But he still maintains that "they deserved it" because they "really do suck."

    I have a joke I like to tell. When I feel that first drop of rain, I say, "Either it's raining, or a bird just pooped on me."

    This is not a funny joke, and I don't know why I say it. Except out of habit. This weekend, I was walking with Brian, enjoying the unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon, when I felt a drop hit my hand. I started to say, "Either it's raining, or a bird just pooped on me . . ." when I realized that the drop had been an unseasonably warm drop. And a singular one as well.

    That's when I knew that a bird had actually pooped on me. I held out my hand like it had been contaminated. How foul! I remembered once more why it is that I am always trying to kick pigeons.


    03.08.06
    I am in love.
    I am in love with the abandoned 18th Street subway station.

    If you ride the Lexington line's local train and you press your face against the grimy glass of the window, you can see it. As the train moves between 14th and 23rd. It is very dark. But you can see the old platform. Covered in grafitti. The turnstyles are gone, but you can still see the posts and the recessed area where the booth used to be.

    The dim subterraean light, dark decaying walls smeared with graffiti, there is surely present a dream-like aura. And the seeming impermance, the mutability born of passing it slowly, unable to stop, but still searching hard in the dark for more details, more clues, it is only so much more like a place one visits in dreams.

    I've been thinking I want to get a job with the MTA. Something where I can work on the tracks, side-stepping rats, breathing in that particle-laden air. So I can see my love. I have been romanticising it in my head. But I'm sure if I were to really get a job doing this, I would fall out of love quite quickly. It would not be a mystery anymore. It would be work.

    And what is less romantic than work?

    I just wish I could get a good picture. Anybody have one?


    03.05.06
    I think my hearing is lousy.
    Mostly, I can hear things loud enough, but more and more often, sounds are becoming a garbled mess. I can't extricate individual words. Then I have to strain and watch people's lips, and the whole thing makes me very uncomfortable. Sometimes, when there is a pause, I assume someone has just finished telling a joke. So I laugh. Sometimes I guess wrong. This makes everyone uncomfortable.

    Last June, Brian bought me an ipod shuffle, which I really enjoy. But when I'm listening to it in public, it makes me even more self-conscious about my hearing. With the earphones in my ears, I can't hear announcements over the P.A. system in the subway or the sirens of fire trucks. I worry about this. Mostly because I like to worry.

    I was waiting on the subway platform at Bowling Green and I had my earphones on, plugged into some easy listening, for sure. My eagle-eye spotted a young woman chatting with a middle-aged gentleman. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but their body language suggested to me that the middle-aged man was not as engaged in the conversation as the very animated young woman. I turned off the music, but left the earphones in as a cover. I still couldn't tell what the young woman was saying, but the middle-aged man's response was to turn away from her, pulling his newspaper up close to his face.

    She approached another person and began talking again, but he turned away as well. I noticed her cheeks were flushed and she was giggling. Soon, she began clapping her hands. She stepped back and spoke to the wall for a spell. Then she turned around again, clapped her hands some more, and ululated loudly. Something was not quite right.

    This young woman--a girl, really---was clean and well-kempt. She was wearing a bright red sweater with an American flag embroidered on the front. She had on jeans and sneakers. Her hair was brushed. And she was now clapping her hands again and shouting (even I could hear now) in a sing-song voice: "GONNA GET ME A JOB! GONNA GET ME A JOB! GONNA GET ME A JOB! WHO'S GONNA GET ME A JOB? YYYUUULLLUUULLLUUULLLAAAHH, YYYUUULLLUUULLLUUULLLAAAHH, YYYUUULLLUUULLLUUULLLAAAHH, YYYUUULLLUUULLLUUULLLAAAHH!"

    She was ululating again. Some people peeped over their books or newspapers to observe. Many turned away, looking blank or annoyed. Because this poor girl looked so outwardly normal, so mid-western fresh with her American flag sweater and her rosy-cheeked smile, she appeared possessed. By some evil spirit that made her clap her hands and shout and ululate. It was painful to watch. But I couldn't turn away. I may have been wearing earphones, but I was quite obviously staring.

    When she walked toward my side of the platform, I too turned away. I rifled through my bag, pretending to look for something. She walked right passed me and began talking to an MTA employee. Both her sweater and her cheeks were bright red. I wondered if she were running a fever. I wondered if she were having a bad reaction to a medication. She giggled some more, shouted some more nonsense, and then once again began ululating. Such a big noise from such a small person. My heart broke in a thousand pieces, but I couldn't dream up one single thing I could do to make the situation better. So I just stared dumbly. And when she came towards me again, I again pretended to look for something in my bag.

    A train pulled up, and I got on. The girl remained on the platform. The doors closed, and I could see she was talking again. To no one in particular. Talking and laughing. I could not hear anything, but I was fine with that.



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