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

chinatown/little italy
thanksgiving 2003

moving day
our new digs
garden of stones

eleanor turns 26
deb turns 27
deb's birthday collage
susan's holiday party
new year's 2004

jenny miller in nyc
lakeland, fla

zina and me
our ira visit
gators v. vols
ny state drivers license


Spalding Gray is still missing.
This makes me infinitely sad. They say he suffered from depression. I only hear about it now. He looked happy enough when I watched him in the movies. I guess everyone just figures he went off somewhere to die quietly. Poor fellow. We never knew.

I got into a writing class at the 92nd Street Y. I had sent a manuscript to two of the four classes they are having this semester, praying to get into one. And then I got into one. But only one. Now I feel lousy that I didn't get into both. My class will be on Monday nights beginning on the 9th and going through April. I think it will be good for me to have deadlines again. And people to read my work. And make comments.

When I start thinking about it, I get nervous that the people will rip my work apart, will think I'm untalented, will they hate me. Then I get angry at them for not liking me. What business do they have thinking I'm untalented. Hey, I went to graduate school for this. Except, I didn't even get into the Thursday class. Oh! Self-loathing!

Today, a mean nasty woman yelled at me on the phone today. She yelled at me venomously for 20 minutes straight for something that was sincerely not my fault. I would even venture further by saying it was not just a simple misunderstanding, but was, in fact, her fault. Still, she yelled at me and demanded that I write her a personal letter of apology. I thought this odd and demeaning and was out of sorts all morning. When I told my boss about it, she was quite nice and decided on a more-humane tactic for dealing with the angry yelling lady.

In yoga, I am really starting to get into tortoise pose. This makes me very happy. Hip replacement, here I come!

Brian and I have been married for two years, though sometimes it seems much longer. That's probably because we've been together for six and a half years. But a good six and a half years.

This past weekend was very fun and eventful. We saw The Battle of Algiers with Heather Scott, The Long Goodbye with Alison Adleman, ate yummy vegetarian mousaka in Astoria. Both movies were loved, as was the vegetarian mousaka.

For our anniversary, we went to the Museum of Natural History and looked at the big whale and the giant squid. Then we went to dinner at The Grocery in Brooklyn, but not before meeting up with Susan Johnson and Karen and Rich Ramirez for a couple of beers. After dinner, I noticed that Brian's number in my cell phone was no longer paired with his name, but with the words "hot hubby." Brian and Susan plead innocence. That still leaves two suspects.

I was debauched last night.
I drank too much wine at our staff party, then I did karaoke to an Ethel Merman song. Then I danced around. Then I felt nauseous.

I woke up this morning bathed in shame. I had to remind myself that I was not the only one dancing, singing, or drinking. Mike and Stacy sang "I Had the Time of My Life". Mike also sang "Baby, I Love Your Way". He came into work hungover and sick to his stomach. I didn't vomit. But I danced more than him. I would even go so far as to say I "boogied" with my co-works. Ack. How scary.

I have a new obsession.
I have been thinking much lately of the character of Punjab in the movie Annie. The character, who is apparently supposed to be Indian, is played by Trinidadian Geoffrey Holder. Aside from playing the pan-asian bodyguard to Daddy Warbucks, Mr. Holder is an accomplished artist, dancer, and choreographer, he was also the Un-Cola 7-up man from the late 70's.

In penultimate scene of the movie, Punjab uses his turban to save Annie has she dangles from a raised drawbridge. He tells her those memorable lines (at least, for me): "Buddha says "A child without courage is like a night without stars!" Now why on earth is he quoting Buddha? This has been bothering me for over a decade now.

When the movie first came out on video, my seven year old sister saved up her money to purchase the tape. She was a bit of a spend-thrift with her allowance in those days, and video tapes cost a good deal more than they do now. Finally, she gave up and stole $40 dollars from me. Why I, at nine, even had $40--well, I was a strange child. In any event, she stole my money and purchased one Annie VHS cassette. And she watched it over and over again. I watched it with her too. I wanted to get my money's worth.

So, Here's to you, Geoffrey Holder! Accomplished artist and forever my Punjab. I'm sorry you were cast so oddly. But you did a real bang-up job.

Also, today is the big MJH Staff Appreciation Dinner. It should be fun!

Guess who won the Film Forum Movie Challenge.
Brian Geller has been submitted answers regularly to the Film Forum Movie Challenge for over two years now. I suppose it’s about time that he won. But do note that the question concerns Yves Saint Laurent. Also note that Brian is most often sighted in a “I’m a Donorsaurus” blood donor tee-shirts from 1996.

A quick note: The Defense of Marriage Act does not actually defend anyone’s marriage.

In other news, Brian’s brother Eddie Geller is doing improv at his university, which was our university as well. He has recently taken over the position of webmaster for the Theatre Strike Force improv comedy troupe.

A little known secret: I performed for a brief time with the Theatre Strike Force improv comedy troupe at the University of Florida. Brian and I were friends at the time, but I never told him, because the troupe sucked and I was ashamed of it. It was the only gig in the soggy little city of Gainesville, so I stuck with it for almost a year, always trying to start up a radical splinter group. Instead of starting a radical splinter group of funny-ha-ha, I was sentenced to play out fart jokes and sex jokes and gags whose uninspired punch lines had all the levity of a truck-full of lead ingots.

Our banal, frumpy sub-par director seemed to dislike me with a personal exactness I found unnerving. She would frump around cretin-like in her big college sweat outfits, smiling and waving her hands and throwing me out of the various games we were practicing. A "show" consisted of us donning our sass-less "Theatre Strike Force" tee-shirts and performing our fart/sex games which were interspersed with thoughtful skits addressing topics such as Bulimia, hate crimes, age discrimination, and rape.

I once told our cretinous director I thought it a bad idea to intersperse comedy improv games with serious skits about rape and eating disorders. I told her I thought it ruined the momentum. I was being (believe it or not) rather meek. Her buggy eyes rolled back in her sweatshirt. "What do you know about improv!" she said.

I told her I had actually been in a troupe for a year in high school . Then she told me not to tell her how to do her job.

I would like to say that I socked her in the nose. Of course I didn’t. I sat back down. I thought about how the practices came right in the middle of my naptime. I began taking naps again from 2-4 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Ha! And look at us now. She (I think her first name was Heather) has obviously come to nothing, what with her sweat outfits and her mean disposition. What is she now? A nobody.

As for me, I’m the Scheduling and Outreach Coordinator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. I have a useless master’s degree. I live in my crazy uncle’s apartment on condition that I visit him and listen to him rant and sneak him money when my grandmother isn’t looking. I live in New York City. I see lots of movies. I am married to my best friend. I like yoga and beer, but not at the same time. I maintain a website dedicated to myself in the hopes that someone will stumble upon it and make me famous. Life doesn’t get any headier than this.

Heather Sweatsuit, eat your heart out!

P.S.: Eddie tells me the University of Florida improv troupe is much funnier now.

I worked today. Whoohoo.
Thank you, David Sobush. It's "ice floes", and not "ice flows". Too bad.

Mazel tov to Brian's aunt Bonnie, who has just started her own blog. When Brian and I were to be people of no fixed address, Bonnie and her husband Isaac took us in. They have housed us and fed us and cheered us on when we were feeling low. Then they usually fed us some more. Now Brian and I are having trouble fitting into our clothes.

Bonnie and Isaac have recently moved to Riverdale, and so are a bit harder to just drop in on (they used to live right across town from us). We're still living in Uncle Ira's apartment, but he will probably be set free in about a year. At that time, he will probably want his apartment back. For all we know, we'll end up near them again. God only knows where the wind will take us.

Speaking of Uncle Ira and God, we went to visit him yesterday. He was very worked up. He revealed to us he prays to God guidance, but the reason it doesn’t work: God doesn't control your future; Big Brother does. I'll make a note of that. Good to know.

I came home from work today and played with Photoshop like an idiot for several hours. This sad creature is what I have to show for it.

It is 19°F, but it feels like 3°
There are ice floes in New York Harbor. Outside, it is windy and cold. I am wearing 6 layers of clothing. Does it get any better than this?

Oh, and Heck's Kitchen has posted a fun postcard I made with the superfun Howard Dean site.

I recently received a very strange "fan" email.
The email, which was signed with a gender neutral name along with two unusual-sounding gender-neutral pseudonyms, contained phrases like: "you've invested your good time in what seems to me a dramatization of your own self-destruction" and "FAITH, whether in oneself or that which is beyond oneself is a rare thing and difficult to come by. Get some. And hang onto it."

The email was a bit puzzling, as it seemed to vacillate between offering sagely advice and outright insulting me. While the bulk of my "fan mail" is from people who have generally nice things to say, this kind of correspondence is not unusual. I received a like-type email about a month and a half ago from someone asking what had I hoped to accomplish by keeping such a pity-party of a website. I think these people are always referring to my rejections page, and not my attempts at humor on my blog, or funny pictures of my family.

Yesterday evening, I went to a lecture given by the director of my Museum. He spoke about Nazi Anti-Semitism, which is not an unusual topic of discourse at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. One of the things he talked about was a particular type of document used by the Nazi party to decide who outside Germany was eligible to claim German citizenship, and who was not. Tests included such scientific observations made to determine things like: height; complexion; hirsuteness; hair color; hair curliness; nose width; nose length; nose crookedness; eyelid thickness; bottom lip protrusion; and chin prominence. If all your answers were on the left side of the chart, you were, at least phenotype-wise, of Aryan descent. If your answers fell on the right side of the chart, it meant you were either Jewish or black (neither of which were particularly desireable to the Nazis).

Yes, the lecture was interesting. But the most mesmerizing part of it was trying to figure out where I would rate on the chart. Is that sick? I fear I'd score rather far to the right. How are my eye lids?

I got new glasses yesterday.
I got new glasses because I managed to lose the old pair over the summer. The pair of glasses I had before that I managed to lose as well. I lost those about a year ago.

Why do I lose so many pairs of glasses, you ask. Because I am far-sighted, and I need them mostly to read. And because, as a nervous person, I am always removing the glasses from my face and perching them atop my head. Then taking them off my head, and playing with them. Then putting them down so as to stop playing with them. This is how I have managed to lose two pairs of glasses in just over six months.

But this latest pair I refuse to lose. I was told by the kindly eye doctor that I should wear them at all times. She told me that one eye was markedly worse than the other, and that I probably should have worn an eye patch as a child. She confirmed all my weird theories concerning my eyes. She was so nice to me, she made me cry.

I have available now two more sets of pictures for you all:

  • Pictures of the Gellers in nature, and
  • Pictures of Marc, David, Amy, Scott, Brian, and myself in Lakeland, Florida.

    Let me talk briefly about this last set of pictures. Marc and David live in Orlando. Brian's mother lives in Clearwater. Lakeland, a city embraced by country folk, is the midway point between Orlando and Clearwater (about an hour from either direction). Amy and Scott now live in Atlanta, but were in Orlando for New Year's. So we all met up in this country town and ate dinner at Chilies, then went to Barnes and Nobel to take silly pictures of ourselves. Last year, Marc and David met up with Brian and me, and we ate at Applebee's and took our silly pictures at the Cracker Barrel.

    Okay. Let me back up once more. I met Marc Rothschild my freshman year of high school. We were both in the Temple Solel production of "Fiddler on the Roof." Marc had one line. It was "Fish, fresh fish." I had no lines at all. Very soon, we became great friends.

    I met Amy Fishman (now Cooper) through my mother. Don't believe what Marc tells you. It isn't true. He did not introduce us. Our mothers did. They were, at the time, both presidents of their local chapters of National Council of Jewish Women. At the time, both Amy and I were young vegetarians, bent on social action, and a bit on the nerdy side. Amy and Marc had been friends since the sixth grade. As soon as I turned 16 and got a car, there was no community theater production too inane, no IHOP too far, no cookie too tasteless for us. We lived life.

    Now we live life apart and don't get to see each other much. We are all coupled, and our taste for community theater has fizzled quite a bit. I spoke to Marc on the phone last night, and he complained that he did not get enough air time on my blog. I would like to say that in my senior year of high school, Marc and I started an improv comedy troupe which performed in one of Hollywood, Florida's premiere downtown community theaters. Along with Seth Daub, Molly Hale, this guy Keith Murray, (who lives in Brooklyn but never returns my calls), and a handful of other people, we performed to gigglingly high teenagers every Friday night for almost a whole school year. Marc may be one of the funniest people I've ever known. Amy may be another. I may be up there too. Oh, and count Brian Geller in. I like him fine.

    I had a fight with the bathroom door and lost.
    Today, I got locked in a bathroom stall at work and had to crawl underneath the door to get out. It was kind of embarrassing. I told a co-worker of mine that I was thankful no one was in the bathroom at the time to see me squirm out from underneath the stall door. She said, "If someone had been in the bathroom, they might have helped you to unlock the door, and you wouldn't have had to crawl out." Still, I would prefer to have experienced this alone.

    This weekend, Brian and I saw The Big Sleep on DVD. The DVD is such a novel thing. We got to see a whole bunch of deleted scenes that would have helped the movie to make sense. How nifty. It was loads of fun.

    Saturday was very very cold. Brian and I left the apartment twice, but never venturing more than half a block each time. One of our outings was to the Blockbuster Video on the corner to rent The Big Sleep. The other time, we went to the supermarket across the street for eggs.

    But all was not lost this weekend. Brian had work for school to do, and I actually did some writing. I worked on a story I had started writing about a year ago, and never got more than two paragraphs in. On our latest flight home from Florida, I had a revelation--I envisioned a new direction in which to take my two paragraphs. Last night, I got the wise idea of adding a cat to the story, one which would be morbidly obese and could pee in my protagonists' shoes. Wow! Now that's some classy writing.

    I was feeling so good, I checked the 92nd Street Y's website for writing classes. Their deadline to send in manuscripts is this Thursday. I sent a story out this morning, and have been feeling jumpy ever since. I have been having trouble concentrating as I seesaw between puffed-up pride and abysmal self-loathing.

    On a lighter note, I finally posted pictures from New Year's Eve at Dave & Heather Sobush's.

    Brian Geller has declare that he does not mind nature trails. He claims he does not love them, but does not hate them either. Okay, Mr. Geller, your name has been cleared.

    I work in the scheduling office of the Museum. We have received lately a number of cancellations from groups based on the heightened Terror Alert. A teacher in Jersey City was disallowed to bring her students to the Museum because Lower Manhattan was too much of a risk. Okay: Jersey City? Jersey City is within sneezing distance of the Museum. Also, I think Jersey City is a more dangerous place to visit than Manhattan.

    By the way, I live and work in Manhattan, and there is nothing very terrifying going on these days. I've seen Jersey City. I got lost on the car ride home from my family's Hanukah party, and that place is a good deal more terrifying than Lower Manhattan. This makes me annoyed.

    Brian and I saw Dial M for Murder in 3-D last night. We really enjoyed it, but were extremely disturbed by our neighbors. The film had sold out several hours in advance. Still, somehow the couple next to me managed to get in. They brought with them the larger part of a convenience store. Just as the would-be murderer turned the knob and sneaked in the house to commit his dastardly deed, the couple broke open a large back of potato chips. Throughout the murder sequence, they crinkled the bag, crunched chips, and discussed the flavor with each other. Have they no shame?

    The man sitting on the other side of Brian kept laughing ironically throughout the film. At one point, after a loud roll of laughter, Brian turned to me and said with disdain, "Not everything is camp." I thought that was cute.

    Did you miss me?
    Well, I missed me too. I'm glad to be back, but whenever I go away for a week, I come back to a large pile of menacing-looking work. What a downer.

    The weather in the Clearwater, Florida was absolutely gorgeous the whole time we were there. Highs of 75, lows in the mid-50s, very little humidity, clear skies, and sunsets around 6pm. People kept asking us why would we ever want to live in New York City when we could have all this and an eye full of sand and sea? Well, because we went outside about 3 times the entire week we were there. Brian and I mostly sat on the couch and ate heavy foods a watched videos. Brian's sister Jessie and her boyfriend got into town on the 2nd, and then we all sat on the couch together eating heavy foods and watching videos.

    Brian and I also wore jeans the entire time. Neither of us much like our legs. It was torture growing up in a subtropical clime where everyone runs around with little itty bitty shorts and flip flops. Torture. I hate flip flops! I love New York, where even when the weather is in the 90s, you can spot the tourists because they are the only ones wearing shorts. I hate shorts!

    Thank goodness two such odd balls as Brian and I found each other. Neither of us like shorts or flip flops or nature trails or swamps or the beach or the salt water or boating or the sun. And even though it was our school mascot, we think Alligators are dern scary creatures.

    I have pictures of New Year's Eve with Dave and Heather Sobush, where I had a hand full of White Russians and talked for an hour to some poor girl I didn't even know about the strengths and weaknesses of Friendster.

    The next day, we had dinner in Lakeland with Marc Rothschild and David Alexander, Amy and Scott Cooper, and Brian and myself, and we took a bunch of pictures around a handicap sign and inside a Barnes and Nobel, where the employees threatened to confiscate our film.

    I also have a few shots from a nature walk with Brian, Meryl, and Jessie Geller, Tyler Smith, and grumpy me. As I said before, I don't much like nature walks, and it can get rather hot in the bright sun at 75 degrees when you're wearing jeans.

    But will you see any of them today? No! Because the images are still hiding inside my camera.

    If you want pictures of family, check out Heck's Kitchen. What a nice looking bunch of kids!

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