What mind is behind the glasses

Assorted bullshit from my week

My last week has been devoted to sending out holiday cards. I have never sent more than one or two in my life, partially because of cynicism and partially because moving between apartments every few years changes your relationship to physical mail. Now I am settled down at one address indefinitely, so I can comfortably give my address to friends and family and not worry that it’ll be out of date by the time they use it. 

Sending holiday cards was more difficult than I expected. Surely, I thought, I could find boxes of cute cards by local artists at one of the gift shops or bookstores near me. That was a silly assumption. I did find a lot of single cards, individually wrapped for $5 or more. When I managed to find a box of 5 for $20, I felt like I was getting a good deal, but could not justify paying $100 to cover my entire list. Not a single card I found was purely non-denominational, if you consider that Santa hats and colorful stringed lights are associated with the Christian Christmas celebration. Why aren’t there more generic snowscapes available? Target at least had Hanukkah cards. With every card I sent, I had to make a mental judgement of the friend’s upbringing and current level of religiosity to make sure that no one was offended by the paltry Austin greeting card options. Searching out bulk, attractive cards was so stressful that I actually had a nightmare about rushing from shop to shop before each closed. I assumed that making homemade cards for everyone would be too much time and effort, but it can’t be any more difficult than this turned out to be.

Next year, look for a amateurish homemade watercolor card in your mail.

I am finally getting new glasses after squinting through scratched lenses for months. I’ve been putting it off because choosing glasses is a big deal. Glasses, or the choice to use contacts, will dramatically alter my face and how the entire world perceives me. (In 2019, everyone knows you’re not a dog on the Internet.) For years, I’ve been wearing the most generic, small black glasses that I could find. I wanted to be normcore, unstyled, as if bland glasses would be equivalent to wearing no glasses. For the first time, I’m going the opposite direction and choosing clear, pink, enormous frames. I have a prickling sensation, as if I’m going to be a different person, but I won’t know who that person is until others see me and judge me.

Speaking of who am I really—I had my mind blown reading this New Yorker article about modern theories of consciousness. If I even have a mind to blow. The theories are all wild, but that’s the nature of the field. O’Gieblyn recognizes this, noting that “the philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel, in 2013, coined the term ‘crazyism’ to describe the postulate that any theory of consciousness, even if correct, will inevitably strike us as completely insane.” Eat a few mushrooms and read it.

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