Wednesday, April 8, 2009

blind leading the blind

i have been shopping for new glasses, which is sort of like buying a new face. my current chrome hearts frames barely stay put these days. when i'm doing push-ups at the gym, they slide from my face and land with a clink on the gymnasium floor. i can feel them bounce when i'm biking, which is potentially disastrous. case in point: back in december, i was in a bike accident (a pothole on Vermont was at fault), and i went over the handlebars. my glasses went soaring too -- across the nighttime sky like a bat in flight. me, bike and spectacles all landed separately on a patch of grass somewhere near the 101 overpass.

i am blind without my glasses, and the darkness didn't help. i crawled around on all fours, my knee oozing blood, dumbly groping the moist grass for my frames. cars zoomed past, their headlights illuminating nothing, but someone who had witnessed the accident pulled over.

"you ok?" he asked.

"yes, but i can't find my glasses," i stared up from the ground, squinting at his blurry face. "i'm blind."

i couldn't discern what happened next, but i detected movement. then, as if conjured from the smog around us, the man produced my glasses. ta-da! the guy was clearly a magician.

"be careful, girl," he said as he handed them over. "and you should really wear a helmet."

i returned my glasses to their nasal perch as his car sped away, finally in focus. it looked fuel-efficient. i remounted my bike in pursuit of beer, which i later guzzled at Pure Luck as blood dribbled down my leg.

conclusion: my glasses are officially dangerous, a liability, a disaster waiting to happen. purchased in 2005, these frames have not aged well, and painful as it is to send a loved one packing, they are broke down, old and maybe a little senile. retirement is overdue. party details TBA.

(an aside for derby folks: the glasses i wear when i skate are customized "stunt glasses" and not the glasses i wear in my everyday life).

the shopping has been slow-going because it's a major life decision as far as i'm concerned. i've enlisted two high-powered consultants for the task - georgia and adriana - women who are both good company and possessors of impeccable taste - the two requirements for this consulting gig. they also accept compensation in beer, which is my preferred method of payment.

in preparation for our first foray into spec shopping, we spent most of sunday afternoon eating eggs and drinking beers at 1739 public house, which boasts 40 varieties on tap.

tip: if you are ever overwhelmed by the vast quantity of unfamiliar beer available at a given bar or restaurant, ask the bartender to recommend her three favorites (or four or five, etc., depending on the size of your group. (this was adriana's idea. do add brilliant to her list of consultant qualifications). next, share the recommended beers. in my experience, each will be top-notch.

follow-up tip: make a point to remember (better yet, write down) the names of the beers! to this end, i failed.

we managed to extract ourselves from our booth at Public House with just enough time to check out a couple of optical shops in the vicinity before they closed. right now, i'm leaning toward a pair of frames from gogosha, which i've visited twice already. both times, i was bowled over by the amazing customer service. in the words of one yelp reviewer, "Julia Gogosha is the greatest thing to happen to eyeballs since the retina . . . [she is] as much a stylist as she is a shop-owner."

i don't want to make any hasty decisions, however, so the optical shop rounds will continue with my consultants in the coming weeks. there's a good chance i'll do the same thing i did the last time i shopped for new frames: unable to decide between two styles, i purchased both, and proceeded to wear only one for the following four years.

on an unrelated note, tell me how you feel about capitalization. in my offline existence, i follow the rules, but in digital communication (blogging, email), my compliance is arbitrary at best. does it actually bother anyone? i can handle the truth. i want to be a better blogger.


Julius Pleasar said...

I'm of the opinion that you are not shopping for glasses as much as it is finding suitable reasons for social engagements. I don't blame you, though; beer followed by shopping sounds pretty fantastic.

In the online world, capitalization becomes a thing of aesthetics and efficiency. Years ago I "blogged" exclusively in lowercase, the idea being that I didn't have the time for such hassles as capitalization. Since then, as time has gone on, I've made it a point to capitalize things properly especially since I'd been making an effort to follow other MLA guidelines (save two spaces between sentences). It's even bled into my IM and text communications.

I also find it easier to read now. The logical division between a period (or other punctuation) and a capital letter is much more apparent than punctuation alone.

In the end, though, it's up to you. It's a personal decision that only you can make.

Also, sounds like I might need to make my way to 1739 Public House.

allison orphan said...

capitals are overrated....

substitute said...

Glasses are more personal than underwear! One reason I wear contacts is so I don't have to think all the time about something sitting on my nose not quite right.

In anything but an instant message, lack of capitalization makes me twitch. Especially when I do it. A friend says I only type all in lower case when depressed. Maybe it takes more energy to capitalize right?

In any case it's civilized. And more readable.

Judy Gloom said...

Points taken. I think capitalization wins. Clearly, I've been having a lot of the same thoughts lately, which is why I asked. My aversion to capital letters all of these years was in no way an aesthetic decision. It's always been about laziness, and I am ready to be less lazy.

Tim Eschaton said...

This was a nice piece of writing. Longer form story-telling. I didn't even notice the e. e. cummings capitalization until you mentioned it. Content's more important than production values.

Personally, I find it hard not to capitalize. I have to make an active effort to only use lowercase, so it would definitely be an affectation for me. But then I even talk this way. I just... how do you people not do it?

Lack of correct capitalization seems more noticeable in print than online, which I think you're reacting to, Judy. I think that could be a typographical issue, which Julius is saying, but it could also be an example of social expectations affecting our orthography.

I spent a whole day once reading about orthography, the latin alphabet, majuscules and miniscules. Maybe it was after I finished Anathem. Anyway, it was a Good Day.