Get Up

One thing on my list to do before my brother's wedding was to get my eyebrows threaded.

I do this every several months. In the past, I've been known to get a little too jazzy with the tweezers, and all of a sudden I've got eyebrows like Vanilla Ice.

I've been going to the same place for about two years now. They're down the block from where I work. The shop is small and poorly appointed. There are three old barber's chairs and a big mirror and not much else.

A few months earlier, I went down the street during my lunch break to get my eyebrows threaded. The shop was boarded up. There was a handwritten sign taped to the corrugated metal saying something like: "We've moved! Come visit us at our new location on Nassau Street between Fulton and Ann."

Okay. I made my way to Nassau Street between Fulton and Ann. I looked around. I saw a shop that advertised threading. It had a different name. I walked inside. It didn't look anything like the old place. It was all painted, and the chairs were nice and new-looking and there were pictures on the walls and relaxing music playing. Wow. I asked if this was the new location of my old threading establishment.

"Yes," they told me. We accept your old cards too."

The old place had a buy eight sessions, get one free card.

I asked where the ladies from the old place were. They said they were off today.

The threading was actually a dollar cheaper. And the ambiance was much nicer. They did an okay job, too, but I was suspicious.

A week or so later, I walked passed the old location again. There was a new sign up, also handwritten. It also said they had moved, but this time, the location given was just across the street. When I looked across the street, I saw a shop with the same name, the same old barber's chairs, the same original women inside.


Yesterday, I was about to go to the new place, because it was cleaner and prettier and cheaper, but I paused and turned and went to the old place instead (at its new location). I told the lady my story about the sign and the new place, and she said, "What can you do?" She shrugged her shoulders.

I said, "So they have nothing to do with you guys?

"Some people," she said, "they are very dishonest. But what can you do?"

I said, "I knew something was up. But here I am; I came back."

I wasn't expecting a gold star, but I thought I might get at least a smile. She only shrugged again and sighed. "What can you do?" she said.

After work, I went looking again for a dress for the wedding. Formal dresses rarely come with long sleeves, and now that it's almost June, my odds of finding one were even worse. But if I was going to stand out like a sore thumb at this Orthodox wedding, I wanted to do so in style.

I finally found a dress I fell in love with. But it was sleeveless (halter-topped), and not long enough. So I went to another store and bought a long black slip and a black long-sleeved dress shirt.

I came home and assembled my ensemble. I looked a little like Betsy Johnson in a car crash on her way to a funeral. But I liked it. I liked it a lot. It had pizzazz.

I modeled my outfit for Brian. He laughed. I said, "What's the matter? You think it looks silly?"

He said, "No sillier than any other formal attire that's rigged up to pass muster for those stringent Orthodox standards." Then he paused and said, "Is that wig gray?"

"No! It's blonde. Ash blonde."

It looks like gray. Maybe it's the lighting."

With my blonde/gray wig and Betsy-Johnson-funeral-car-crash ensemble I was hoping to look glamorous. Not like a psychotic Orthodox clown. I have to think about this some more.


My brother is getting married on June 1st.
This is very nice, of course. Except that it poses a strange question. Over the course of the last decade he has become very religious. And he is marrying an Orthodox Jewish woman. The wedding will be quite frum, which means (for the ladies) no singing, no sleevelessness no plunge-necks, no knees, and one's head must be covered.

My mother asked about those little doilies you can get away with at Conservative services. No. Married women had to cover their heads with a hat, a scarf, or a sheitel.

So the strange question posed: hat; scarf; or wig.

The most accepted answer in the Orthodox community was for me to don a sheitel. So I immediately rejected it. Hats can be iffy with formal attire. I had been leaning towards a head scarf.

While we were in Florida, I told a number of our friends about my dilemma. Many of them seemed confused, bordering on unsympathetic. "What's the problem? You own an entire bag of wigs?"

It's true. I maintain a bag of wigs. They're all cheap wigs I bought for fun. When I started working around more Orthodox Jews (and I was now married), the idea of wearing a wig no longer seemed whimsical or fun. It seemed demeaning. I am not even sure where my bag of wigs is, but I bet the lot of them have grown ratty with neglect.

Last week, I thought over my options once more: hat; scarf; wig. I looked in the mirror. Really, my natural hair was nothing to write home about. Which is why I've always bleached it and dyed it and and added eight million products to it and then blow-dried it and curled it until it all but fell out. And after all this, it still looked like nothing special.

I thought long and hard about what to do. Finally I decided that my brother's wedding was a celebration. A party. An occasion for dressing up. So I would go with the choice that would make me look the most glamorous.

I bought a wig online. It arrived at the office today.

Here is my real hair:

And here is my new glamor-sheitel:

Put it on and I ran around the office for kicks. A number of coworkers were surprised that I had chosen a wig that look kind of okay, with a style that wasn't too far off from my real hair. Well. I was worried. I had purchased it online, and had this terrible fear that it would arrive looking like one of those single-hank witch wigs one buys on Halloween at the Rite Aid.

Now all I need is a long-sleeved, crew-necked, calf-lengthed, formal, black dress.


I suspect I've been spending too much time in REM sleep.
I've been dreaming an awful lot lately, falling in an out of consciousness, and in the morning, when I get up, I feel absolutely exhausted.

I had a dentist appointment on Friday morning. On my way back to work, I missed my connecting train. I'd been having a tough week. And the night before, I had slept more horribly than usual. Now, post-dentist, my gums were bleeding.

When the doors to the A train closed in my face, I just kind lost it. I started crying. I cried quietly, feeling bad for myself. Every now and then, I turned around to see if anyone on the platform noticed me crying. No one seemed to care.

Behind me was a group of tough-looking individuals. Three men and a woman. They seemed otherwise occupied. I turned away. I put on my earphones and began listening to sad music.

Poor me. I turned around again, and saw the large man in the center of the group of toughs reach into his pocket and pull out a wad of money. I looked down the platform. No train. I looked back at the group of young toughs. The woman in the group was holding up handcuffs. The large man was protesting.

I looked around to see if any of my fellow travelers were seeing what I was seeing. No one seemed to notice. Now the woman and one of the men were cuffing the large man and the other guy. The two people being cuffed seemed very unhappy. Even more unhappy than me.

I was still wearing my earphones. For some reason, it never occurred to me to take them off. The cuffed men were esorted up the stairs. The train finally arrived. No one seemed to care one way or the other.

More disappointment: Heck's Kitchen is done. Both DebCentral and Heck's Kitchen were born into the web-o-sphere at around the same time. I have oft thought of HK as DebCentral's sister site. I've been toying with the idea of taking down my site for years now. I blog irregularly and keep threatening to stop all together. But Jenny has always been a regular blogger. And when she was done with blogging, she simply took down her site. She has always been a woman of action.

I prefer to think of her site as sleeping. Or in heaven. I'm hoping there will be a second coming.

Also, I finally received my rejection letter from Cimarron. It looks like this:

As the same story had already been accepted for publication by Gulf Coast, the rejection notice didn't make me feel so bad.

Let's Get Animal

I was walking down the street when I spotted a long-haired dachshund.
I looked at him. He looked at me. I felt he looked very familiar. Those short legs. That long snout. The wispy hair hanging over his face, framing a pair of dark, nervous eyes.

And then I realized it: He looked familiar because he looked like me. Or, worse: I looked like a long-haired dachshund.

I always sort-of wondered if I were to be a cartoon animal, which cartoon animal would I be? I used to think teddy bear hamster or maybe southeastern box turtle. But no. Of course not. I had to be a yiddisha-sounding dog.

See. This is me — This is a picture I took of myself for our last greeting card:

And here is a picture of my friend Marc's long-haired dachshund, Chaz:

And here is a freaky-looking overlay of the two images:

See! The eyes and mouth line up almost perfecly, the nose and eyebrows are pretty damn close, and the hairstyle is uncanny. How embarrassing.

Flowered Land

We were in the Tampa Bay region this past weekend for the wedding of our friends Will and Meghan.

I took a bunch of pictures and uploaded them to picasa. Click on the pictures to see the whole album.

Will and Meghan are both lovely people, and their wedding was tons of fun. We danced a lot. Luckily, I have no pictures of Brian and me dancing.

While we were there, we also got to catch up with Heck's Kitchen, who reminded me that nobody likes a blogger who never updates. Sorry.

We also got to meet Chef Chez, play pool, and talk nerdy about the internets.

On Sunday, before we flew home, we got to see young Sean again. After he went to bed, Dave and Heather took us bowling. Fun! I sucked, as usual. Though I earned a record high score: 57! I kept saying, "If this were golf, I would been cleaning up now." Har-har-har.

Dave and Heather brought with them their own bowling balls and bowling shoes. I brought poor depth perception and questionable fine motor skills. Brian did pretty okay.

We stayed for most of the time with Brian's dad and his girlfriend and the weather was bright and hot, but pretty nice (if you were inside). No, I did not get a suntan. I am still translucent and as cave-dwelling newt.

Now we're back in NYC, with it's ample car exhaust, dog urine pooling on the sidewalk, and foggy, swaying bums wearing weird shoes that their toes come out of in front. Home.