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






hair issues:







Sickness, Stamos, & Small-Fry Sporting

I've been under the weather lately.
What does that even mean? What a strange idiom. I am not literally under the weather. I am literally feeling dizzy and nauseous (no, I am not pregnant, thank you very much — why do people always assume I would be the last to know). I haven't been able to eat much, which causes me great sorrow. I took the day off yesterday and just slept.

Today, I've been feeling much better most of the time, but some of the time I still feel lousy.

Last night, I received this email chain from my friend Sam. It goes as follows:

From: Sam
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:07 PM
Subject: A Raisin In The Sun

is on tv from 8 -11 tonight. At 10:05 p.m., John Stamos made his first triumphant entrance!

From: Sam
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:15 PM
Subject: Re: A Raisin In The Sun

At 10:14, he made his triumphant exit. There was a commercial break in there, also.

From: Sam
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:55 PM
Subject: Re: A Raisin In The Sun

10:51: The return of Stamos
10:55: Final exit

I thought that was funny. I thought this was extremely cute: Young Sean tackles his old man.

When I shuffled into the kitchen this morning to make coffee, I was shocked to see the world outside covered in white.

Often, whenever they say there will be a blizzard, it doesn't even snow. But occasionally, when they predict only a wintery mix of light precipitation, the entire city gets dumped on by heaven. This morning was a morning like the latter

Here's how the world looked from outside my kitchen window this morning:

I also took a picture out of our front window. It looked like this:

Brian and I were bickering a bit this morning, as we sometimes do in the morning. We headed down the stairs, me with my purse and ever-present tote bag, Brian with a disposable cup of coffee in one hand and what was left of the banana he had been eating in the other.

The snow was very fresh light and fluffy looking — not yet slick and icy. As we walked out onto the sidewalk, Brian slipped. His slip was almost in slow motion. And he fell into a pile of snow. I looked at him hard. He held his coffee aloft in one hand, and a banana peel in the other. It was the oddest tableau I had seen in a long time: A man in business suit and tie falling in the snow, saving his coffee ... and a banana peel—the archetypal agent for comedic falling.

This tickled me so much I couldn't stop laughing, which Brian didn't seem to appreciate. I laughed all the way to the subway, and throughout the entire train ride to work. I kept trying to explain to Brian why I thought his slip with the coffee and the banana peel was so funny. He wasn't convinced. Though he did want big props for not having upset his coffee in the fall.

Heck's Kitchen has posted a birthday card horoscope from 1975. I was in a Word document with no pictures, so I feared it might be boring. But it actually made me laugh almost as much as seeing my husband slip in the snow, not able to catch himself because he was saving his coffee and a banana peel.

Brian bought me a present:
A pair of deluxe mop slippers.

I fell in love with them the moment I saw them in the old people catalog. Now I own a pair of my very own. I was so excited, I tried them on at work. They looked like this:

Hm. They're a little big. And hard to walk in, because my feet keep slipping out. And the fringes on the pair in the catalog are blue, but my dusting fringes are black.

I'll try them out tonight. What I really wanted was a Roomba, because our apartment has an uncanny ability to generate mounds of filthy dust bunnies. But Roombas are quite expensive. I guess these deluxe mop slippers are the next best thing.

They're just like a room-dusting robot. But without the robot. Pretty nifty, no?

I was dropping off to sleep when I was suddenly gripped with tremendous anxiety.
"Brian!" I said. "I don't know where cinnamon comes from!"

"It's going to be okay," Brian said.

"But it's not from a nut or a leaf. Because there are cinnamon sticks. Does this mean there are cinnamon trees? I've never heard of a cinnamon tree. I think I have to get out of bed and look it up."

Brian said, "Don't get out of bed. Cinnamon will be there in the morning."

In the morning, cinnamon was there, but I forgot all about it.

But I remembered again while I was eating my lunch today. And, again, I was seized with the same anxiety.

So: Cinnamon is a plant. And it grows in places like Sri Lanka, where this picture was taken:

I feel a little better now. Not entirely better, but a little better.

Hey, Ladies & Gents.
Are you still looking for that perfect Valentine's Day gift? Look no further.

Carol Write Gifts is an awesome catalog, which was once available only by mail, but can now be found in cyberspace as well! It is chock-full of homey and practical items, like my new favorite, the ever-romantic Delux Mop Slippers

Cleaning your floors just got easier! Simply slide into these comfortable, dust mop slippers and pick up dirt, dust, pet hair and more - just by gliding through a room. You'll never have to bend, stoop or kneel again! Leave your hands free for other chores.

Or my old favorite, the Hair Cutting Umbrella

This handy hair cutting umbrella catches those annoying hair clippings that fall down your neck, into your clothes and onto the floor. Imagine no more sweeping or vacuuming. No more itchy, irritated skin. Great for kids or adults. Fastens comfortably but snuggly with a "touch" closure. This hair care product is made of wipe-clean nylon. Folds for compact storage.

I love this catalog so much. For my sister's birthday, I purchased for her their terry romper, but it looked so fun, I bought one for myself as well.

Be careful, though. Sizes run big. A 6-8, which is a medium in most stores, is considered a small here. And sizes go up to 2X. Can you just image a large 2X in a terry romper. Delight!

For fun Valentine's Day card options, visit Heck's Kitchen

I received an email advertising a gift basket of bagels, lox, and coffee.
And this got me thinking. I started thinking about the time I sent a gift basket (at least I think it came in a basket) of cookies to Brian's office for his birthday. This was back when I was living in Maryland and he was in Florida. I'm not sure what Brian thought of it, but sending that basket of cookies sure made me feel swell.

So I got to thinking I should do it again. I should send a gift of something sweet and tasty to Brian's office to brighten up his day and make him popular among his coworkers. I got to considering what I might send. Somehow, I found the Junior's cheese cake site, and discovered they could ship a cake in time for Valentine's Day. How nice!

I had chosen the cake I was going to send, established an online account, filled out the billing and shipping information, and was about to plug in my credit card number when I remembered that I hate Valentine's Day.

Phew! Sometimes I get so carried away, I completely forget how much I loathe a thing.

In honor of Valentine's Day, the made-up holiday I hate, I took a picture of love. Here is what it looked like:


I finished knitting my first hat.
And it looks ridiculous. I guess I measured it all wrong. But lord knows I tried.

I wrapped measuring tape around Brian's head at least a dozen times, and labored over painful and esoteric calculations. Every few days, I would corner Brian again and make him sit while I wrapped a rectangle of yarn around his head and tried to figure out if it fit.

I sewed up the side on Sunday, hid the loose ends, and presented it to Brian. He smiled and put it on, and we could both tell immediately that the hat was no good. It was too big around and yet too shallow. It made him look a little like the Cabbage Head character from Kids In the Hall. Here is a picture of Brian enjoying the wonders of his new green winter cap:

I tried it on too, and we both agreed it looked better on me. However, because it was so big around, it was about as secure on my head as an upside-down wooden salad bowl. One brisk wind and it would be gone.

Originally, I had purchased 5 skeins of this nice, cabbage-green alpaca (soft!) wool. My thought was that about 1.5 of the skeins would go for the hat, and with the rest I'd make a matching scarf for the man to whom I am legally bound. I was tortured now as to what to do. Should I keep the punch-bowl-sized cap for myself? Should I make another one for Brian — his and hers matching knitted wool caps? Should I unravel it all and start again?

I decided today that I would begin making another hat for Brian. When I am done, assuming this one is better than the first, I will unravel the first and begin on the matching scarf.

What a bummer.

We are all getting older.
But some of us are getting older faster than others. My friend Sam and I met for happy hour last night. Here are some highlights from our conversation:
DEB: Your brother's kind of young to be a CPA, no?

SAM: Not really. He's not that young.

DEB: How old is he?

SAM: 31? 32? Wait. Let me figure this out. I'm 7 years younger than my oldest brother. He's 34. That means my other brother is 32 and my sister is 29. My sister is two years old than me, which makes me 27. Wait. That's not right. Forget about the part about me.

. . . .

DEB: Do you ever watch that politics show on NY1? The one where that chunky lethargic guy interviews people about local politics?

SAM: No. I've only seen the one about theater stuff. It's pretty bad.

DEB: No. This one isn't about theater. It's about politics. At least, I think it is. There's this guy. And he's—what's the word I'm looking for?

SAM: Chunky?

DEB: Yeah. But he's also.... What's the word again.... It's a word like slow.

SAM: Sluggish?

DEB: Yeah, no. That's not it. It's like. Kind of. I don't know. It's a word that means more mentally slow. But maybe also low-energy.

SAM: I don't know what you're talking about.

DEB: Forget it. I don't really remember what I was going to say.

. . . .

DEB: ... and you know who else was a big supporter of Giuliani? Curtis Sliwa. I thought that was weird.

SAM: Who's that?

DEB: Curtis Sliwa. You know. That guy who started that group, the ... I can't remember the name. Damn. I can't think of it. Angels. I think the word "angles" was in the title.

Sam: I have no idea what you're talking about.

DEB: You know. They were a vigilante justice group. They walked around in red berets. You know. Red berets. And maybe red vests or something. They were into vigilante justice or keeping the streets clean or something.

SAM: Eh. Maybe. That sounds a little familiar.

DEB: Angels. I think Angels was in the title. Not Hell's Angels. They had red hats. Not Red Angels. I can't remember. I'll text Brian. [some time passes] Brian wrote back. THE GARDIAN ANGELS! That's it.

SAM: What are you talking about?

DEB: Curtis Sliwa, the leader of the Guardian Angels, was supporting Giuliani.

SAM: Oh. Well, it's kind of a moot point.

DEB: Yeah. I guess.

SAM: I'm bored.

. . . .

DEB: Sam, tell Brian that thing you said about Huckabee.

SAM: What?

DEB: You know, that thing you said about Huckabee being crazy.

SAM: Oh. I don't really remember what I said.

DEB: I don't either.

Happy Chinese New Year!
It's the year of the rat!

And what better way to celebrate the year of the rat than with a dead rat mouse pad!

I saw Steve Buscemi on the F train this morning.
I noticed him right as I was boarding the train at 7th Avenue in Park Slope. I had heard he frequented the pizza parlor on 9th and 7th, so I was pretty sure it was him. But I didn't say anything. I gave him his space.

As did everyone else on the train.

That's one of the nice things about New York City. We are so cramped here, in lieu of physical space, we offer people psychic space. And we do this by ignoring them. People think New Yorkers are rude. We're not. We're actually being generous. With psychic space.

My brother, soon after moving here, once marveled how the city appeared to be filled with a series of little boxes stacked to the sky and filled with people. Someone moves out of their little box, and someone moves in.

There's an anonymity here that can be both terrifying and liberating. I can dress as loudly as I want, knowing that, when I stand on the subway platform, no one will even notice me, because they are too busy not looking at Steve Buscemi or a giant tranny or the crazy mumbling homeless man who smells like urine and isn't wearing any shoes.

Of course, there is always the fear that people will give you too much psychic space. As much generous space as they gave Kitty Genovese.

So the city has over 8 million people, giving it roughly 16 million eyes (minus the profoundly blind and those missing an eye, or those wearing eye patches or who are walking around with their pupils dilated), many of which witnessed yesterday's tickertape parade thrown for the Super Bowl champion Giants. Though I am not really a fan of the New York Giants, I am a fan of tickertape. Here are some pictures:

Of course, they no longer use tickertape. They throw what appeared to be shredded documents. Which is kind of neat. Brian found a string of paper that appeared to be from a shredded pay stub. Viva la parade!

I sneaked into the AWP conference.
Mostly, I just worked the Smartish Pace table. Though I'm not sure how many units I actually moved.

I took over 300 pictures — many of them painfully blurry — but I haven't gotten a chance to sort through them. I will post only one for now. This picture was not actually taken at the conference. It was taken at Arturo's on Houston Street, and is important, because Clare is modeling an "I (pizza) PIZZA" shirt while eating pizza. Very meta.

More pictures to following.

Please feel free to contact me.

the history of debcentral