the history of debcentral



clare & stephen
amy & scott
andrea & jonathan marc & liza

grandma's window
state of mind


hair issues:
my pink hair mistake
my purple hair mistake

moving day
our new digs
garden of stones

zina and me
our ira visit
gators v. vols
eleanor turns 26

Sun Storm

Got the mustache, but not the dresser.
Brian is making us go back to Au Hasard Balthazar tonight. We were there about ten days ago, but since we missed the first 8 minutes, he is making us go back and do it over again. But we've got to get it right this time.

Last night I tried to make vegetarian paella, but instead make a gloopy yellow starchy mess. This is why I never cook. This is why I should be kept out of the kitchen.

Tomorrow begins my workplaces end of daylight savings time Friday early closing schedule. This means we get out at 3:30 every Friday. This is because the sun sets earlier in the winter time. And even earlier due to the ending of daylight savings time. This means we can all go out an begin conviviality at two hours early.

We are going to have some conviviality tomorrow. And then I'm going go home and put on my mustache and wig. I think Brian and I are going to look like too dumb people in wigs. We'll see. I'll try to get some pictures up. If we don't look too dumb. Or if we do, but we look so dumb, we cycle back to cool.

Maybe it's the solar storm, but my skin's a mess.
Brian and I spent the weekend in warm wet Clearwater, Florida. We mostly hung out with Brian's sister Jessie and his mother. Mostly, we sat around in our pajamas. This seems to be a common theme in our visits lately. I tried to convince Jessie that she should begin her own blog. She was underwhelmed by my suggestion.

The highlight of our trip was drinking beer with Dave and Heather Sobush and John Chittenden. John just got a new apartment, and across the unpaved street is a home with a broken down school bus, two broken down Cadillacs, a cat, a chicken, a rooster, a Vietnamese pot-belly pig, and a broken down RV. There might me some actual neighbors in there too. But we didn't see them. Ah! The south!

Brian and I have been invited to a Halloween party. Outright. We didn't even have to beg. Our costume idea does happen to pre-date our party invitation. Usually, I put on a wig and funny glasses and say I'm some aging diva, and Brian goes as himself (or the younger husband of the aging diva). But this year is going to be different. I think. We will both wear wigs, but neither of us will be aging divas. I think.

The weather is pretty foul outside. Probably related to those solar storms. But I am going hunting for a mustache this afternoon. Then I think I will try to order a new dresser. We have had the same Ikea dresser for three and a half years. It is entirely composed of particle board and plastic, and is presently relying on life support for the continuation of its existence. It has six drawers, and each drawer is simply sitting on the drawer beneath it. God forbid you should need anything from the boxers and yoga clothes drawer (that's the one closest to the floor). Genius me planned ahead. My underwear is in the top-most drawer.

I have not heard even a peep from my uncle since he was transferred. He must use a pay phone in the civil institution, and like most psychiatric patients who have been incarcerated for the past 7 years, Uncle Ira doesn't have any quarters on him. I keep thinking that if he calls, I'll give him my calling card number. I've only got about $12 left on it. But then he has to dial all these numbers in a certain order and only when prompted. I keep thinking about his shaking fingers and high temper. I'm not sure it will work.

He must be lonely. And still, I'm happy he's not phoning me several times a night like he had been. If only he wasn't in a psychiatric facility. If only he were at sleep-away camp. And then I could think to myself, "Well, since I haven't heard from Uncle Ira in over two weeks he must be having fun.

Gosh. It's so dark out. It's not even 5:30, and it's already blueblack night.

Mission Accomplished!
We were like ninjas last night. Cinema ninjas. Sam and his friend Talia moved with easy grace and soundless step from the end of one film to the beginning of another. Brian and I followed. Trying to learn their skillful movie ninja ways.

And it was a perfect match too. First we saw The Station Agent, which I thought was a right-fine movie about a little person in a little town. When the movie was over, we pretended to go to the bathroom, then stealthily made our way to Bubba Ho-Tep, which was wonderfully campy and elvis.

In a week's time, we have seen five movies (also Run, Ronnie, Run on DVD on Monday) and two shows. I am pooped.

I find myself often making lists. I used to think making lists was evidence that I was a closet-organized person masquerading as a schleppy mess. But then we moved into Uncle Ira's pad, and I've found all sorts of random and often disturbing lists. Like his List o' Girlfriends. We have found lists of how much loose change he has on various and seemingly random dates, what he has eaten each day, and how many cigarettes he has smoked in a given time period. I think excessive lists=crazy. So I try to wean myself from them, cycling down into the lower depths of disorganization. But that's okay. It is at these depths that my husband resides, where piles of clothes swell, intermingling the clean with the unwashed in a rowdy and heterogeneous lump, where used drinking glasses hunker, hiding in the darkness beneath the couch, like so many cockroaches, where leftovers are placed directly in the fridge with no covering -- left to grown steadily more wilted and unattractive like an aging diva with a pill problem. Brian and I are growing ever-more alike.

Tonight I am headed to hear fellow ashtangi Maggie Estep read some racy content at Housing Works. I am trying to drag some co-workers with me. I think it should be good fun.

What to do?
I am supposed to go to yoga today, but co-worker Sam Neuman invited me to see a "double feature" of The Station Agent and Bubba Ho-Tep . "Double feature" is in quotes because I believe these movies are not in fact "billed" as a double feature, but they will "both" be "seen" with the purchase of just "one" ticket.

It sounds like such fun. But, it's not good to miss yoga. And Brian has class. He might come too, but would then have to skip class. And no class, no matter how boring, is worth skipping for an in-quotes double feature, right?

I can feel the seasons changing. I've been so sluggish lately. Like a slug. Shriveled by salt. Sitting alone in a messy, salt-spattered cubicle.

I received a very nice email this morning from someone named Maryann. She said:

Like Deb Central reader, Ken, I too was sucked into the happy vortex of your website while searching out submission guidelines. You are a clever one, which all made perfect sense when I read that you are a Scorpio. According to P. 726 of Linda Goodman's Love Signs, Did you know that you and Brian are influenced by the 2-12 Sun Sign Pattern. I don't know what that means, but I hope it's good.

Keep up the great work

What a nice message. But who is this Ken of which she speaks? Have I ever mentioned someone named Ken? Do I know a Ken? I wish I had a search feature on my site. Certainly, my memory on its own is not sufficient.

I do want to say that I adore fan mail. At the same time, it makes me nervous to think that just any old person can know the haps of my office goofings and my fetid gene pool craziness issues. My family members and friends are continually saying, "Don't write this in your blog, but . . ." My thought is Who reads my blog?. But I guess Maryann does. And maybe Ken, whoever he is.

I am getting business cards at work. My very own business cards. I'm not sure who I'll give them to, but still, I'm very excited.

My co-worker Mike played basketball until a large flap of skin on his foot became partially dislodged. Like an all-engulfing blister. He keeps taking off his shoe to show me.

My co-worker Sam has tipped me off about creating "surveys" in Outlook. You can send emails in which little buttons appear up top. You can make the buttons say funny things making fun of your workplace or other co-workers. This is just grand. I have already distributed two surveys. The results as of yet are inconclusive.

Soon, I will be heading to celebrate ex-co-worker Pam's birthday in her new residence. I believe it is a byob and pot luck sort of affair. These are my gallery friends. These are the people who, on the day before I was laid off, smuggled me up to the roof of our building to do shots of tequila. Pam even had tiny bags of salt and a lime on hand. Ruth, who is organizing Pam's party tonight, is the woman who put me in her movie as the "hussy". These are some of the best people I've ever known.

So what should I bring to the party tonight?

On Friday, my co-workers and I had a most-productive happy hour. It was so productive, I completely lost track of time and showed up 8 minutes late for Au Hasard Balthazar. Not only did we miss the beginning of the movie, we sat in the way back, right by the door, so as not to disturb our fellow movie goers. A couple of our fellow movies sat there as well, as did their loud ever-commenting mouths and their crunchy-munchy popcorn. Every time one of the character's hit the donkey, our couple would call out, "Aw! That's AWFUL!" Then they would commence slurping their popcorn. Brian is making us see the movie again, because we were robbed of the essence of the movie experience.

So thus began our weekend of culture. My parents were back in town ever so briefly, and we all went to see the Mikado. Susan Johnson came too. This is the third time I've seen the Mikado in four years. It's fun!

My parents left on Sunday afternoon. Brian and I went to get his and hers haircuts. Then we met Alison Adleman downtown for the I Am Not a Freak Show, which was half comedy improvisation and half performance piece. It was a strange creature. The actors wore prosthetics to appear deformed, and spit on the floor and danced around, harassing the audience members. They even gave you free beer. What could be better?

While my parents were in town, my mother weighed in that she does not like it when I talk about dreams. She apologized, but said she finds talk of dreams wholly uninteresting. She likes my fiction stuff better. I will try to do more of that in the future.

Last night, Brian and I watched Roger Dodger. Brian's sister Jessie and her boyfriend Tyler had both recommended it, and I had heard good things about it.

And yet . . . . I thought it was awful. All characters in the movie seemed two-dimensional. None of them were likable. An entire cast full of mean, spiteful, shallow, and poorly fleshed out characters. The protagonist, as the movie suggests, is named Roger, and he is referred to as a "ladies man." This means he sits around at bars all night and acts slimy and obnoxious, and occasionally gets the ladies to go home with him. I kept thinking to myself, Was this written by a woman, because the character seemed to be a poor guess at what the life of a "ladies man" is like.

Now it can be told. The movie was directed by "indie" person Dylan Kidd, who, unlike his name would suggest, is neither a kid--like, nor Dylan-like (Thomas or Bob). He looks oldish and schleppy and balding and bespectacled. Like he would have no personal insight into the life of a "ladies man", and would be drawn to create a character which he both hated and envied. Half man's man, half used car salesman. All pomade all the time.

So why do so many people think this movie doesn't suck? I was really hoping my old man would get on the horse and blog about it. Alas, nothing yet.

My new office digs leave something to be desired in the way of privacy, so email/zonkboard checking has been reduced to a minimum. Co-worker "Spider" has been phoning me up and give me the skinny on the zonkboard gossip. This is both sweet and bizarre. Thanks you, Spidy for keeping me connected.

My parents are back in town this weekend. We're all going to the Mikado. Evil Grandma included.

I have bad news and bad news.
Uncle Ira phoned last night asking, "Did Mother [aka Evil Grandmother] tell you the good news?" No, I told him. "I'm being transferred to Manhattan State tomorrow."

My uncle is of course thrilled about being one step closed to roaming the streets of New York. I am of course less than thrilled. I think most New Yorkers who use the streets share my opinion.

He will most likely be released from Manhattan Psychiatric Center in about two years, at which time, he will assume his apartment in which we are currently living. Even before that time, though, he will receive day and weekend passes to help re-acclimate him into society. I very much no don't want to be living in his apartment when he comes for a weekend visit. I actually would rather be living somewhere entirely different, and I would rather my uncle not have my new address.

My uncle has a 37 year history of escaping from mental hospitals and civil psychiatric facilities. He also has a history of getting off his medications and getting into trouble.

In a recent conversation with him, he complained about the perceived weakness of another family member. He said, "I have been to hell and back, and I am still standing. I am still here. And when I couldn't walk, I crawled. On my hands and knees. I dragged myself on my hands and knees through the muck and mire. And did I complain? Did I cry about it? Well . . . sometimes. When it got real bad. I'm not made of stone. Sometimes I cried and sometimes I let people know that I wasn't feeling too good." Then he quoted some sentimental lyrics of doo-wop song.

For the record: I have never known my uncle to do anything else but complain. And sing doo-wop. He calls me several times a week and screams complaints into my ear for upwards of 40 minutes. If I'm lucky, he'll sing to me about Dotty or Donna of having one's heart broken at a dance. Just for the record.

So now Brian and I are looking for a place that is reasonable, yet still metro-accessible. And most importantly, a difficult place to find if you are a certifiable angry schizophrenic with a penchant for both doo-wop and fire-setting. Please send all suggestions to contact @ Thank you.

Our office has Sleepytime Tea in the cupboard. This means something. I pointed this out to a co-worker, and she said, "What! We were not supposed to have Sleepytime Tea anymore. It's against policy. It lowers the workers morale. This apparently was the actual policy. We both giggled.

I posted some pictures. Here are some shots of my new office digs, complete with co-workers. I made me to be black and white for dramatic effect and also because I thought my coloring looked splotchy and I couldn't Photoshop it away.

The second set of photos were taken this past Sunday evening. The first picture was taken in Ferrara's, the second in Chinatown, and the next two in my parents' rental car. I enjoy riding in non-taxi cars, as I don't get to do it too often here in the city. So I took a couple of pictures. Aren't my parents cute?

My co-worker Mike found a tape gun and has taped my filing cabinet shut. He is now taping another co-worker into his cubical. It is so close to quitting time, I can taste the tape.

My parents were in town this weekend. I had a wonderful time. Though, if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to say so, as my mother reads my blog.

My parents arrived in Saturday afternoon and we all met up for an early dinner with my grandmother, who considers 6 o'clock to be a "late dinner". On Saturday, my father came with me to visit his brother in the nut house. My father's presence made the visit as enjoyable as it could possibly be. My uncle was is very good spirits, as he will be transferred to a civil facility shortly. Neither me, nor any of my family (my grandmother excluded) are not sure of how he will function in greater society, but we are all a little nervous.

Later that afternoon, we visited New York’s own Tenement Museum, which was kind of odd but very fun. My grandmother is presently mostly deaf, and after the tour guide would make a point, she would raise her finger thoughtfully and say, "Ah-ha! But you didn’t say [INSERT POINT JUST MADE HERE]." It was kind of funny but also kind of embarrassing.

We later went to Chinatown for dinner and then to the famous Ferrara’s for dessert. While we were snacking on our yummies, Brian overheard my mother’s sister (who had joined us for dinner) saying, "How does Debbie keep her nice figure?" My grandmother responded, "Don’t worry. In a couple of years she’ll be as fat as a pig!"

I thought this was odd and oddly mean. I believe the word is schadenfreude

I am a Florida child.
Today at lunch we sat outside and pelted the pigeons with Fritos. Ben said, "One time, I saw a pigeon gobble down this big piece of a potato chip, and then it started to choke. It was weird."

I said, "Yeah. I remember when the mean kids in high school would feed the seagulls Alka-Seltzer and their little birdy stomachs would explode. Those were the same kids who tied lizards to firecrackers and set them off."

Everyone looked at me like I was crazy, then continued eating.

I think I was poisoned. I think they slipped MSG in my mozzarella sandwich. Bleh. I'm so tired. I feel like I'm underwater. People keep calling me and asking me questions and I don't know the answers. Maybe I'm going deaf. Maybe I'm drowning in minutia. I'm ignoring my phone now.

This is such an incredibly boring post. Jenny has nudie pictures of California's new governor on her site. That's kind of fun. I hate him, though.

Yesterday, I had to attend a phone tutorial workshop. Today, we are having an "Office Warming" party in the conference room. That's funny, because it's actually unbearably warm in my office right now . My new cube faces the setting sun. Ack! I'm sweating and falling asleep. Or maybe that's just the MSG sandwich talking. I'm told there will be beer at the "Office Warming". I guess it could be worse.

I sat beside a heavily snoring woman this morning on the train. At 14th Street, she all of a sudden woke up, bolted up, and ran off the train. This made me happy.

Reading is educational: I am presently working on a tattered 1961 copy of the 1934 classic The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Characters in this novel are always inquiring whether their compatriots are "tight". I have learned the hard way that this means "intoxicated". Most of the characters in the novel are often quite tight. I think this is cool. I like new old slang. It's sexy.

I will try to start using the term "tight" in my daily routine. I can say things like, "Hey, Mike. Your look tight this morning." and "Gosh, it's stuffy in here. I think I'll run downstairs and get tight." I'm sure my friends and co-workers will think this is good fun and not bizarre and disturbing.

More in the new word vein: there's a section in the novel in which Nick and a policeman are chatting about the crime. The policeman says, "Of course these junkies are likely to do anything . . .", and Nick's wife Nora asks, "What's a junkie?" The answer is, "Hop-head." Hop-head? Fancy that

Good news or bad news, depending who you are: I just got a call on my cell phone from my grandmother. She says that Uncle Ira passed his hearing, and can look forward to being transferred to a civil facility within the next couple weeks or months. I guess I just didn't pray hard enough. But then again, neither did the citizens of California. The world is going to hell in a hand basket.

Lastly:Friendster has reunited with me with college chum Angie Brammer. She's apparently living in Japan. She has a blog. Friendster can be more fun than googleing your co-workers.

All that's new:
My office has officially moved. I took some pictures on Friday. That was fun. On Friday evening, Brian and I saw Yossi and Jagger and it was sad. Then we went to Eleanor Eichenbaum's birthday party, and schmoozed with people who have wonderful personal style and good taste in food and beverages.

On Saturday, I can't remember what I did during the day, but we spent the evening at a wine and cheese gathering at the Park Slope residence Andrea and Jonathan Rowanhill. There was plenty of wine but not quite enough cheese. Oh well.

On Sunday, we made an aborted attempt at Kol Nidre services, and our not getting in made me very depressed. I went to bed at 8 o'clock.

On Monday morning I felt better. Brian and I went jogging around the reservoir. We went about 12 feet, and now my legs are sore.

I posted a couple pictures of our new Garden of Stones and found a long lost childhood friend on

Brian and I met Brian's cousin Simon for Indian food and searched friendster for some more long lost friends. Then I chatted with my long, not lost friend Amy about the separation of church and hospital. Then we made fun of people.

This morning, long lost friend Erin wrote me back and was not weirded out that I stalked her on friendster. Then I ran around the office taking pictures of our moving process. Zina, if you're reading, have a good chuckle. Because it is all too funny. Ha-ha.

Uncle Ira has his hearing tomorrow. Then we'll see how fast they'll be transferring him. Jenny has another sassy update. Lastly, re: my two paragraphs of a story, Mr. Brumfield writes, “it is, of course, very important that this character now vomit--vomit sorbet.” Thank you, Mr. Brumfield.

My entire office is moving.
We are moving into the brand new wing of our Museum. So brand new, it is not actually fully developed. It is being born prematurely. I lose my computer tomorrow at noon and am supposed to get it back Tuesday morning. This is causing me a slight amount of consternation.

Last night, my place of work held its inaugural concert in its new theater. It was quite fun.

A couple of nights ago, Brian and I went to the Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown. This was also quite fun. Especially because it was cheap. And because I could eat everything on the menu. And almost did.

I must get back to packing my office. I hate hate hate moving.

Has anyone yet made a joke conflating Jesus contemporary Pontius Pilate and the mind-body exercise Pilates?? I personally don't know too much about either, but I think it seems ripe for entendre.

I wrote two paragraphs of a nothing this weekend. Then I stopped. This is what it looks like:

I imagined I would exercise. Which is why I brought my running shoes with me, running shorts and a sports bra, a tank top and yoga pants. I brought my swimsuit with me, because I imagined that after exercising, I would be hot, and would want to jump into the pool in the back.

Instead, this weekend, I moved like a reptile in the sun. I was sluggish. I rarely moved out of my bed clothes. Often, I felt the need to keep perfectly still for fear if crying. Or vomiting.

This is, of course, not autobiographical. Even though neither this first-person narrator nor I did much exercise this weekend. So. Now what? Write me. contact @ Or don't. Whichever.

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