Who is Deborah Schwartz?
The experiences of Deborah Schwartz
The persistance of Deborah Schwartz.
The relations of Deborah Schwartz



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

grandma's window
state of mind


hair issues:
my pink hair mistake
my purple hair mistake
my red hair mistake
my hair and dress mistake

chinatown/little italy
thanksgiving 2003
brian's graduation
dennis's graduation

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
rich turns 30

jenny miller in nyc
lakeland, fla
the unveiling

zina and me
i and the matzo
telegram from fanny
telegram from deb

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


Our flight leaves at 5:40 pm today.
I believe there is a six hour time difference between New York and Rome, and our flight is due to arrive in Italy at 7:40 am their time. I think this means our flight is eight hours long, but I’ve never been good at that "math" stuff.

I am told they have "Internet cafes" (another phrase I hate) in Rome. I’ll try to update when possible, but it should be quiet around here for about a week.

Luckily, I am not afraid of flying. But I do have a terrible irrational fear of being hot. I am told my fear will be realized in Rome in August. I also have an irrational fear of being abducted by kidnappers. And also of being lost. This reduces my adventurousness-quotient substantially.

However, I harbor no fears of gorging myself silly with food, drinking wine like I need it to live, or sleeping late like a hobo in a quiet train car. I can see my trip before me already.

I am almost all packed. I always try to pack for every possible contingency. I pack jeans and shorts and dress skirt and casual skirts and khakis and dress pants. I pack tank tops and T-shirts, shirts with three-quarter sleeves and shirts with long sleeves, dress shirts and sweaters. I pack two times as much underwear as I could possibly ever need on any given trip. Then, when I go away, I end up schlepping around in the same outfit the whole time.

I am told that many places in the world actually have stores where you can buy things if you forget them. For this reason, I am refusing to pack a swim suit, a sweater (though I’m bringing a lighy hoodie), and an umbrella.

Who cut me loose from my inhibitions? I am like a mad woman. Someone stop me!

Though I am only going to be gone for I week, I am bringing three books. And two cameras. Just in case.

Let's talk about some words and phrases I hate:

  • "Think outside the box"
  • "Girl Friday"
  • "Succulent"
  • "Wordsmith" (as in: "We have to wordsmith this document.")
  • "Slap-dash"

    Here are some words/phrases cubemate Michael Thompson hates:

  • "Coitus"
  • "Two shakes of a lamb's tail"
  • "I reckon"

    Here are some words/phrases coworker Rebecca Finkle hates:

  • "Who's your daddy?"
  • "Button-hole maker" (her grandmother's nickname for women who only give birth to girls)

    Here are some words/phrases coworker Andrea Blanken hates:

  • "I don't have none"
  • "A'ight"
  • "You know what I'm sayin'"
  • "Show me the money"

    Here are some words/phrases coworker Sam Neuman hates:

  • "Phlegm"
  • "Robust"
  • "Smoke out"
  • "Getting retarded" (with regard to drinking)
  • "You"

    Here are some words/phrases the Development Department intern Sharel hates:

  • "Flabbergasted"
  • "Cool dude"
  • "Adios amigos"
  • "Fulfillment"
  • "There's a fire in my pants"

    Here is a phrase Brian hates:

  • "Devil may care"

    Brian is finished with the Bar Exam, though we won't know how he did until November. The home computer appears to be up and running again. Brian took my watch to be fixed. The air-conditioning is broken at work, and I am sweating like a pregnant lady. Last night, in preparation for our trip to Rome, Brian and I saw La Dolce Vita. I loved it. Who could not love a film with Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, and Anita Ekberg (who is GIGANTIC in this film)? Her large-ness is almost reminiscent of a pre-trimspa Anna Nicole Smith.

    Now I am ready for Rome. Paparazzi, here I come!

    I am having a bad day.
    It's true. When I turned on my computer this morning, a warning popped up, telling me that my computer had another virus. Then it told me that the virus could not be deleted. I just spent the last several weeks reloading my software since the last virus. What's this world coming to?

    Then, as I was leaving the house, I glanced down at my watch to find it was only 3:55. My watch had stopped working. I'm a mess today.

    The woman from the mailing house my museum works with kept telling me that I need to get this special travel insurance, because her aunt didn't have it, and she got sick and had to be hospitalized and it cost them thousands of dollars, and do I want that to happen to me?

    I have so much to do before we leave, and now I have another couple errands to run. New watch battery. Fix computer. Sad face. But I can't do anything about it tonight, because my writing group from the 92nd Street Y is meeting tonight to discuss my latest story (as well as someone else's). The world is a dumb place.

    Mostly, I think I'm hormonal today.

    The New York Bar Exam begins today. I'm sure Brian is having a worse time of it than I am. Poor fellow. I should stop complaining. But complaining is something that brings me great joy. Hopefully, I will have less joy tomorrow.

    The New York State Bar Examination begins tomorrow.
    We have all been suffering.

    The big news is that the latest ad is out for our campaign to promote the neighborhood of Port Authority Heights. Sam Neuman is the brains behind the operation. I just do the photoshopping. Let me know what you guys think.

    Andrea and Jonathan Rowanhill are moving back to Charlottesville.
    I have known Andrea since our freshman year of college, when we were the only two people in our dorm who wore polyester. We shared an apartment our junior year of college, and then, the following year, we lived next door to each other. We wound up attending graduate schools in neighboring Mid-Atlantic States. She has moved back and forth to New York City getting a second masters in education. Now we are both little old married ladies, and she is heading back to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Jonathan will work for UVA and she will teach physical science to the future of our nation.

    In honor of her leaving, I will relate a story she told me last night. She said that yesterday morning, she woke up early to do the laundry before leaving town. She was in her local laundromat in Park Slope at around 7 am, when a truck rumbled by, and several pieces of raw chicken parts fell out the back. The local pigeon community landed and began picking at the carcasses.

    Soon, seagulls—which are rarely seen in that part of Brooklyn—swooped in, nudged out the pigeons, and began feeding as well. Then several cars drove over the chicken parts. This appeared to scare the seagulls away. The pigeons, unaffected by local traffic, took over where the seagulls had left off.

    Soon, a woman passed walking a large dog. The dog began to bark and head for the run-over, picked-at chicken parts in the street. This scared the pigeons away again. The woman, a peaceable vegetarian type, saw that Andrea had been watching, and said to her, "Isn’t it just disgusting?" The woman then pulled the dog’s leash tighter, and walked on.

    It is the inorganic food chain of the city. I think this is why I love it here. And maybe it is why Andrea and Jonathan are moving.

    Last week, when I was visiting Uncle Ira, he got a fortune cookie with his Chinese take-out. He gave it to me, as usual, because he has trouble chewing the hard cookie, as he has no teeth of his own. I opened the fortune cookie, and was pleased and surprised when the slightly agrammatical fortune inside read: You will be free of the heavy burdens your have been carrying." I smiled, thinking how appropriate it was. My uncle asked me to read it to him, and when I did, he said, "That’s right!" and laughed. He thought it was meant for him. He thought that the fortune cookie was making reference to the 8 years he has been committed at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center complex, the 37 years during which he has been regularly and unjustly institutionalized. But he was wrong. The fortune was mine. I became filled with a near-rabid greed. I quickly hid the fortune in my pocket. My heavy burden may drool and have no teeth, but it still has a penchant for misplacing things.

    I've been doing repetitive database entry.
    There was a moment recently at which I sighed and almost said aloud, My god! Now I'm going to dream about this tonight. I am convinced that there is no deeper meaning to one's dreamlife. It is simply the mind repeating on itself during the night. Like burping up the taste of pickles.

    As a high school student, I would dream about doing my homework. When I worked at a coffee bar in college, I would make cappuccinos all night in my dreams. I have been known to play Spider Solitaire in my sleep, to write HTML code, and of course, to do data entry. I am not a romantic. My dream life is just plain boring.

    My waking life tries to make up for this. I have been noticing every now and then that small cockroaches find their way into our tub, but can't seem to find their way out. I have deduced that they may be falling out of a vent in the wall in the upper corner of the shower. But I have never seen them make their way out of the vent, plunging into the ceramic tub -- quite an inhospitable place for little cockroach feet. They scramble around in there until I find them, lift them out with a tissue, and flush them down the toilet.

    Last night, after finishing my shower, I was wrapping myself in a towel when -- Lo! and Behold! -- a cockroach fell into the front fold of my towel. It seemed just as unhappy as I was. I flung my towel about, cursing loudly and vehemently. Then I flushed it down the toilet. I feel like I have been to the other side. Now I know from where the cockroaches come.

    Brian and I are leaving for Rome in ten days.
    And we've done almost nothing to prepare for our trip. I am beginning to have a panic attack.

    I bought a couple of tour books. But I haven't even opened them. Two days ago, I bought an electrical adapter thing so I can charge my digital camera in Europe. Yesterday, I bought a pair of those secret belly bags you wear under your clothes to protect your passport and money from thieves. I bought them at the Container Store. Who knew?

    I feel a little better today, but not much. I don't even know what I have left to do to prepare for the trip, because I haven't thought about it long enough. We will be there for six days. I've got the passport-hiders, some adapter plugs, a chamois (an impulse buy), and a digital camera. I haven't bought any shorts, because I'm told the people of Rome refuse to wear shorts. What else am I forgetting? Any suggestions?

    Co-worker Andrea Blanken says:

    Last night the Jews for Jesus were out in full effect. In one solid block I had Jews for Jesus, "God is Fake", free cellphone and offers for tattoos and piercings. I couldn't take it anymore so when one very nice looking Christian-Jew girl tried handing me another pamphlet, I told her I am more of a "Whores for Virgins" kind of girl. Am I going to hell?
    The answer is: Yes, Andrea, we are all going to Hell. Luckily, the "God is Fake" man has turned Ms. Blanken on to the site www.jesusdressup.com. Now she will have plenty to do as she wiles away the time in this world before descending to the bowels of the earth for her eternal damnation.

    Another Co-worker (and regular DebCentral contributor) Sam Neuman is on a mission to gentrify his neighbor. He would like the area presently called "Hell's Kitchen" or "Clinton" to be renamed "Port Authority Heights." I have been working with him to launch a new image campaign, and the first add we came up with looks like this. I think it's going to be big.

    I received several suggestions for new improved short bios.

    Nick Rupp writes:
    Deborah Schwartz is a resident of New York City who spent the last 5 years as a semen collection specialist on a chinchilla farm in Argentina. Before that, she was lead backup dancer at "Bobbi Sue's Strip 'n' Grill Drive-In" in southern Florida. Her greatest joys in life are shopping for Avril Lavigne memorabilia, annoying the religious right, and laughing at other people's clothing. Deb likes drag queen wigs, Jaeger shots, and music by angry white Christian rock acts who have no reason to be angry. She spends her free time in online chat rooms, where she is known as Mabel, a 55-year-old self-described "bull dyke."

    Mickey Featherstone writes:
    Deborah Schwartz, or "razor" to her friends, was raised deep in the hood. She became a heavy drinker at the age of 9, prostituting herself to homeless men as thankful payment for being allowed to share their cardboard box. If it wasn’t for the pigskin she has folded up in her pocket, one would never believe that she received her MFA in fiction writing from the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, she lives with her pimping husband in New York City, where she tricks at a museum in a non-writing capacity and maintains a website dedicated to her trials and tribulations. She bathes daily now, and seems to have kicked the heroin problem. Although her dabbling in minor acting roles has typecast her as a hussy, she believes that some would consider it art. This would be her first publication.

    Eric "Underblog" Webster writes:
    Deborah Schwartz wuz raised in South Florida 'n received ha MFA in fiction writin' from da University of Maryland, College Park n' shit. Currently, tha byatch lives wid ha husband in New York City, where tha byatch works at a museum in a non-writin' capacity 'n maintains a website dedicated to herself n' shit. Dis be ha first publication.

    Nick Kocz, who is also finally getting published for the first time, was also asked to write a short by. He also felt pretty lousy about it. He has submitted a suggestion for his own new improved bio:
    "Nicholas J. Kocz barely knows how to spell his name."
    I feel the same about my own accomplishments.

    To cheer everyone up, I am posting the aforementioned picture of me posing with the founder of our great country. Jenny Miller tells us about how her dad came within an eyelash of buying the farm. The Mr. Show Book Club recommends George W. Bush's new biography, "HORNSWAGGLED!!! How the Me of Now was Tricked by the Me of Yesterday into Going to War". Cubemate Mike Thompson has been watching moveon.org's appeal to prevent Fox News from "using the deceptive and misleading trademark 'Fair and Balanced'". This is what I have to give to the world today. Thank you for your time.

    Joshua Bonilla has left the building.
    Friday was Mr. Bonilla’s last day at the Museum, and in honor of his great commitment to leaving the Museum, we threw him a very nice happy hour. He is presently riding a bus back to Montana, just like an indigent person. Then he will be heading to University of Chicago to study Things German. We wish him the best of luck.

    Saturday was my cubemate Mike Thompson’s rooftop party. The night was gorgeous and the keg was a thing of metallic and beer-filled loveliness. Mike lives on Wall Street, and on our way home, I made sure to embrace a very large statue of George Washington. Co-worker and happy hour-er Andrea Blanken took pictures. I am still waiting for her to email those beauties to me

    Today I visited Uncle Ira and left Brian at home, as he is studying for the bar. My uncle had ordered shrimp in lobster sauce, which is already an ooey-gooey dish, so the whole drooling problem was only that much more compounded. We began the meal with wonton soup and a detailed discussion of my uncle’s recent bowel movements. This was delightful, and I was extremely thankful that I too was not eating. Then we moved on to the main course, at which point another patient in the institution's visiting room began projectile vomiting – first on the floor, then in the large trash can in the corner, and finally moving on to the unisex bathroom used by both patients and visitors. We were serenaded for a good ten minutes by the sounds of this man puking violently. Then he came back into the visiting room, wiping his mouth and large goggle-like glasses, saying, "It must have been all the bubbles in the soda." I have no idea what this means

    Later, at the prime hour of 4:45 PM, I went to dinner with my grandmother and brother. Brian, who usually comes with us, was still at the library. As the meal was winding down, my grandmother began a lecture about how the Romance languages originated in Romania. Or something like that. She said, "Romance languages all have a Latin base. You know which languages I’m talking about. I’m talking about languages from Spain and from France–"

    At which point I cut her off, shouting, "And languages from your underpants!" Then I began giggling at my juvenile bon mot.

    My grandmother and my brother both stared at me as if I were an alien.

    "Underpants," I said. "It rhymes with France." I broke into full-on laughter.

    My grandmother looked at me, annoyed, and said, "I have no idea what you’re talking about."

    "You know," I said. "I see London, I see France?" The harder my grandmother and brother looked at me, the more I couldn’t stop laughing. "You were saying, 'languages from Spain and from France,' and I said, 'and languages from your underpants!' It rhymes."

    My grandmother just waived her head in disgust, and my brother tried to intervene, saying, "I think Debbie was trying to make a joke, but it wasn’t very funny."

    I said, "I think it was hysterical," and I tried to muffle my laughter in my napkin.

    Oh, I hate when I have to brave these dinners without Brian. Languages from your Underpants. It still gives me the chuckles.

    I’m home now. I finished a first draft of another short fiction piece. I can’t decide if it’s any good. At first I was disgusted with it, but now I think maybe it’s not so bad. Same offer still stands. Request a copy here: contact @ debcentral.com. This is also the place to submit your short bio. I hope to post the "finalists" tomorrow.

    I received my acceptance letter the other day.
    I was reminded by the kind editor of the journal of Arts and Letters that I have still not given them a short bio for myself. I asked the editor to send me samples of other people’s bios, and she did. But everyone else’s short bio was unlike any short bio I could have written, primarily because everyone else seemed to have been published at least half a dozen times already. Some of them had novels. Some of them taught writing at reputable universities

    I felt very insecure.

    So I did what any normal crazy person would do: I wrote and submitted something very short and relatively self-deprecating. It read as follows:

    Deborah Schwartz was raised in South Florida and received her MFA in fiction writing from the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, she lives with her husband in New York City, where she works at a museum in a non-writing capacity and maintains a website dedicated to herself. This is her first publication.
    For some reason, I still can’t shake that dumb feeling. Like when you show up for class and you’re the only who didn’t know there was a test that day. Or when you go to a party, and you are the only individual there who didn’t think to bring a gift.

    I keep thinking that I should have sold myself a little more in the aforementioned paragraph. But I’m not sure how I could have without taking extreme liberties. Or talking about things completely unrelated to writing–which I pretty much do anyway. Does anyone have any better suggestions? Here’s the deal: Email me a better short bio–the more outlandish, the better–, and I’ll email you back a picture of a dead squirrel. How could you turn this offer down? contact @ debcentral.com. Writers, on your mark.

    I have a persistent fear that if I should ever leave the house in my schlep clothes, then it will be at this moment that I will be mugged and killed. The fear is not so much that I will be mugged and killed -- though the thought does not fill me with any great pleasure. The fear is that when my body is found, people will say, "Look! She is so schleppy. She left the house in dirty sweat pants, old shoes, and an ill-fitting shirt. Maybe she was kind of asking for it."

    This fear is not entirely baseless (though I realize it is largely baseless). In our present culture, when something bad happens to a really cute person, everybody gets really sad. But when the same thing happens to a less attractive person, we tend not to care as much. On the days I go out in my personal worst, I fear more than ever my impending death, as well as my inability once I am dead to make excuses for myself, saying, "Hey, I was just running down to the Duane Reade for milk! I usually look better than this."

    Aside from the fear of dying while looking bad, I also used to harbor the fear of dying while driving in a car and taking secret pleasure in an awful pop song. In the same moment I would experience the secret pleasures of listening to Color Me Bad, I would fear all of a sudden swerving out of control, crashing, and dying. I would envision cops standing over the fiery mangled wreckage while the melodious "I Wanna Sex You Up" rises like a phoenix from my car stereo. And there are the cops waving their heads sadly, saying, "Whelp. What do you expect. She listened to Color Me Bad."

    Now I come to another reason that this fear is not entirely baseless: Because I was in a car wreck once. At the time, I had green hair. I don't remember any of this, but I am told that before the ambulance arrived, the cops stood over me and made nasty comments about my hair color, insinuating that it may have been linked to the cause of the accident. I was in college and had been drinking at a party. I got in the car with someone who had been drinking even more than me, and who decided she could drive both of us home. She gunned the engine and drove 100 feet straight into a tree, totaling her car. I later learned that she led the cops to believe that I was the one driving so as to avoid getting slapped with a DUI.

    Susan was at the party that night, and she could tell you what happened. But I imagine the dialogue as going something like:

    COP 1: What's going on here?
    COP 2: Looks like someone had a few too many beers and thought it was okay to drive.
    COP1: Is that green hair?
    COP2: Yes. I do believe that bleeding individual has green hair.
    COP1: How do you suppose her hair got that color?
    COP1: Green hair, eh? I think that's kinda funny.
    COP2: Yuck, yuck, yuck.
    COP1: Sheeze!
    COP2: Green! Jiminy Crickets! What's this world comin' to?
    COP1: Young people!
    I no longer fear dying while listing to bad songs on my car radio mostly because I no longer have a car. Presently, what I do have is an ugly scar on my knee, a ridiculous secret fear of dying while looking lousy, and hair of a more natural hue. Such is life.

    My mother wrote me last night to say that my aunt and her husband have complained of having circles meticulously cut out of the crotches of their undies and then placed back in the washer. My aunt is not always the most reliable source of information, but this does sound oddly plausible.

    So everybody but me has got a dirty pervert story. Except I do believe in the dim light of evening I once spied a drug addict pooping into a grocery bag in Tompkins Square Park. Did I already talk about this? I am getting to be more and more like your grandma, hiccupping up the same 5 stories every time you visit her.

    Heck's Kitchen's got a porch report. Co-worker Val likes thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com. Co-worker Eileen loves the Creationist Science Fair, in which such scientific experiments are performed, like the award winning "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)" and "Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria". Don't be left without your referentially Christian and decidedly un-fun Halloween Reclamation Costume this year. On this webpage, Objective: Christian Ministries encourages children to dress us in burlap sacks, fake beards, and sandals and say ""BOO! I'm John the Baptist, and these are my many exciting exploits..."

    Those are my suggestions for the day. Now grandma says: "Go out and cut holes in stange people's underpants, then return the items to the washer where you found them." Good day and God bless.

    My coworker Stacy called me on Friday evening very flustered to say that she had just been walking down her street in Brooklyn – a street with young people and families with children – when a man walking opposite her exposed himself to her.

    She said he first pulled off his shirt, as if it were hot out, but then dropped his pants. Stacy looked the other way and continued walking past him without saying a word. Quickly. About his appearance, Stacy said, "That man was not homeless."

    Of course, we all remember my friend Susan’s brush with inappropriate sexual behaviors when a year ago she was flashed by a random person while sitting on the subway during rush hour. Luckily, as of yet, no one has exposed their special parts to me. But I figure that because I live in the city, it’s only a matter of time. Hopefully, the perpetrator will be relatively attractive and on the more-hygienic end of the spectrum. From what I understand of the nature of illness, neither of these two things are often the case.

    My sister also had a recent brush with publicly practiced perversion. An unknown person in her building stole 9 pairs of her undies from out of the washing machine. Nothing else was missing but 9 pairs of her underwear, 4 of which had just been purchased on sale and never before worn. Ali was both confused and annoyed, and when she talked to her next-door neighbor, it became clear that this was a relatively common occurrence in the building.

    Luckily, Ali is studying to be a psychologist and has studied quite a lot about these kinds of unusual behaviors. Still, to understand the cause of undies-snatching does not necessarily make it more preventable. Now, when she does the laundry, she sits outside the laundry room with a book and watches people with her special hawk-eye for sexual deviance. She has said, “I can’t afford to lose any more underwear. I won’t have enough to get me through the week.”

    This weekend, Brian and I saw two movies. We saw Luis Buñuel’s stark and bleak Los Olvidados, a film about the forgotten street children of Mexico City in the 1950s. We also saw Anchorman, which was not at all about the forgotten street children of Mexico City in the 1950s.

    Our computer seems to be back in working order. I have a new photo quality printer, and I’ve been spending much of my free time communing with it and printing out a year and half’s worth of digital images. I am supposed to be working on a story, but printing out pictures of myself is much more fun. We all have our little obsessions.

    Okay. So my digital camera is now back in running order.
    I still have to set up the palm pilot, and I'm a little nervous about it. I think Brian and I should get an award for the most peripheral devices attached to a single home computer. We have a palm pilot, a digital camera, an iPod, a scanner, an external zip drive, and two printers. In the end, the only reward we get for having so many peripherals is hours of reinstallation when we are forced to wipe our hard drive clean.

    One of the first things I did once I uploaded my pictures from July 4th was to make this slideshow of the fireworks. Lame. I know. I'm so lame.

    Good news is everywhere! Long-time DebCentral reader Nick writes to say that the Portland Review has accepted one of his stories. Now there are two less grumbling aspiring artists in the world and two more grumbling published writers. Mazel tov, Nick!

    I would like people to know that I am not a vulture picking at the eye goo of your bad news. I rejoice and make merry in nachus. Mazel tov, World!

    Something that resembles less nachus and more eye goo is how I've been feeling today. I must Just Say No to Thursday happy hours. They make for Friday uncomfortable-feeling days. Because I'm not feeling so hot, I'll refer to Heck's Kitchen's coverage of photos of wounds and Jill's in-depth exploration of the tin foil. I'm open to new ideas.

    The saga continues.
    I tried to reconnect my digital camera last night, and I got a weird error message. Then nothing happened. So I tried again and the program closed out on me. I removed the program from my hard drive, then reloaded it again, and got the same dern error message again. I tried it again, and the program closed out again. I removed it, reloaded it, got the error message, and then it closed out. I got very frustrated.

    I woke up this morning thinking that with good night's rest, the computer would now be set to upload my pictures. But I was wrong. I spent the better part of my morning screaming at my computer. So much so, I didn't have time for breakfast, and brought my cereal to work with me in a ziplock bag. It was all very pitiful.

    I called tech support from work, and the Canon people were just grand. I'm not sure if the advice they gave me will work, but they were very pleasant, and they assured me that if the camera still didn't work, I should call them right back. "Hell," the man said, "We're open till midnight!"

    My yoga instructor has switched studios again and I have again followed him. The new space is a little makeshift, but it has a good vibe and a carpet from which I do not have to sweep up my pilly blue yoga mat flakes when they fall off.

    I had a relatively good practice yesterday. I didn't fall over too much, though my stomach did stick out of my yoga pants and shame me on a good many occasions. I think I will go back again tonight.

    I never got a note from the Arts and Letters people, and was beginning to get nervous that I had dreamed it all--or, worse yet--it was some malicious gag. I wrote them an email with a digital copy of my story, and they wrote me back with some more kind words about my story and such.

    This made me feel very good.

    Then, today, I was checking internet referrals to my site when I found this link. I was especially affected by the line "her story probably wasn't very good." It made me want to get on the message board and say, "I SAW THAT!" but then I thought about how I would look like a raving lunatic to the people who had just wrote the banally mean things about my story. I decided it best to keep my angry hurt feelings to myself.

    So, here I am. Alone on my website dedicated to ME. I am thinking to myself I saw that, and You were in high school? and You sound like a turd, and I am phenomenally immature.

    I feel like I need a weekend to rest up from my weekend.
    I already talked about the computer virus. It was an evil, virulent thing, and I worked for hours with the Dell Technical Support team in India to wipe out the infection entirely. Then I began re-loading on my software. I reloaded Brian's i-Pod software and then plugged in the little fellow, only to find it had been wiped completely clean.

    When I saw this, I shrieked in agony and rolled around on the carpet for a half an hour, cursing my stupidity. I'm feeling a little better now.

    You want an Uncle Ira story? I'll give you an Uncle Ira story. We saw him on Sunday. Independence Day. We came to appreciate the irony, as we are still very much dependant on he and my grandmother for our lodging.

    We brought him the usual Chinese food, which he, as usual, drooled all over and spit at us as he declared loudly that everyone was plotting against him to keep him institutionalized despite the fact that he is entirely sane. We also brought him several t-shirts and two pairs of ankle socks. Mid-way through the meal, he held out his hands for me like one might've done for Madge, the Palmolive spokeswoman. He told me, "Look! I clipped my nails!"

    I said I thought they looked very nice. I knew this was a landmark event, because in the criminal facility, they never let the patients near such sharp objects as nail clippers. Then Uncle Ira said, "That's why I needed new socks. My toe nails had gotten so long, they cut right through my socks." This created a very scary image in my mind.

    On Saturday evening, I saw the most exhibitionist double amputee I've ever encountered. He was on the 4/5 train downtown.

    He had hoisted himself out of his chair, and was reclining horizontally on the bench, resting his head on his open palm. He was legless from the upper-mid thigh. When the woman selling batteries walked by, he stopped her loudly, and announced that he wanted two AAA batteries. Then he made a big deal out of fishing through the pockets of his pants for the money. When a woman with a floral dress sat next to him, he said, "Excuse me, Miss. You are wearing a beautiful dress." She thanked him, then looked down at her purse.

    Before 42nd Street, he pulled himself back into the wheelchair, and then proceeded to dust off the empty legs of his pants. Before he wheeled himself out, he wished everyone on the train goodbye. It was kind of sweet.

    After the double amputee, but before the computer virus, Brian and I went to Brooklyn to sit on Karen and Rich's and watch the fireworks. It was nice. I took a few pictures, but now anything having to do with my computer has been put on the backburner. I am still annoyed.

    Jill has documented the murder of a squirrel.

    My computer got a virus.
    I am so annoyed. I am so annoyed. I have had to wipe my entire system clean, and now all our music is gone. I have spent the better part of my day reloading on software and banging my head against the desk.

    Why do you want to hurt me, computer? I thought we were friends?

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