Sunday, March 29, 2009

With new eyes

My new glasses insist that I wear eyeliner more often and have persuaded me to change the way I part my hair. I have become one of those fussy girls who plays with her hair all the time.

My new glasses have given me permission to smile less than I used to.

Mind you, as I had this thought while walking through Chelsea, a guy on the street said, "Miss, you've got a nice smile."

Drat! Foiled again.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

existential justifications

Inevitably, when you are describing a groovy thing to a group of people there will be someone present who asks you, "But what's the point of that? What's it good for." To which I always want to retort (even if it's someone who I like), "What's the point of you? What are you good for?" And I curb the urge to stick out my tongue and then moon them.

Can you not just take in the utter grooviness of the thing? Can't that be the point and an end in itself?

Utilitarians make me bonkers.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Confidence Building

In talking about how lousy the economy is, people keep talking about the excess of fear and the crisis of confidence. As if it is an emotional problem. As if the economy and the consumer needs anti-anxiety meds or therapy.

But here's the thing, a bunch of people lied and cut corners and made mistakes and did irresponsible things. They were not regulated or supervised and they lost a lot of money for a lot of people who thought that they were making good investments, who thought that they were making safe investments. And that has had a domino effect.

What allays fears and increases confidence is evidence that the institutions and people that you are doing business with are reliable and deliver.

What allays fears is evidence that these institutions and people are accountable for their actions and decisions and the demonstration of trustworthiness. Evidence, not public statements carefully crafted by PR firms and communications offices. Transparency might help too. The more information that you have the better. What exactly are the banks doing with the money that we've given them in the bailout so far? What is the rationale for what they are doing? What are the expected outcomes besides bonuses and remodeled corporate offices?

Confidence has a foundation. It is does not come from sunshine and rainbows. You have confidence when you encounter a demonstrated ability, dependability and competence.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Other people's lives

At long last, I got new eyeglass frames. I was driven to it by a catastrophic incident in which I snapped my old pair in half at the bridge. Even after this, I tried super glue, electrical tape, crazy glue, scotch tape, duct tape, and then someone clued me into a miracle - nail glue for acrylic fingernails. But even then I rebroke them twice. It was time for a change.

As with many simple tasks, in NYC, this was an ordeal. It's actually an on-going ordeal. First, to make the time to shop for glasses. Second, to find a pair that I don't completely loathe. Third, to get the prescription right. And now, to get them adjusted so that they stop squishing my head.

All of this aside, I have another problem. I hardly recognize myself in these glasses. These glasses have distinct personality. They demand a different kind of girl. A girl who wears black turtlenecks with pencil skirts and boots. A girl who wears well tailored suits and big silver jewelry. A girl who listens to experimental music, only watches movies with subtitles, reads Der Spiegel every morning, and Le Monde every evening. A girl who scoffs a lot and looks askance at everything. A girl who used to be very politically active and is now very pragmatic and personally ambitious, maybe a little bloodless. A girl who doesn't eat sweets. A girl who makes other people cry when she is unhappy because it's more efficient than having her own cry. A girl who takes no crap.

I look scary. Smiling doesn't soften the effect. Smiling makes me look scarier. This is going to be interesting.