Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coming Into Style

Recession recession recession. Now it's on the style pages in "Does This Recession Make Me Look Dumpy?"
I hope the link below works but it probably won't.

To summarize then: women are stopping expensive hair treatments and buying clothes at sales. Clerks in the mall shops think the passersby look a fright.

My comment: As the identified dowdy person in my family, who has been scrimping for 30+ years, I am used to coming in and out of style. I.e., my clothes are always the same and sometimes come into fashion such as wearing hats to cover the undyed hair. I smile (wistfully to be sure) to think my eight-dollar haircuts will soon be the mode.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My brain is full

Places that no longer
Exist, and advice that
Goes in and out of fashion, e.g.,
The house I grew up in and keeping your feet
Warm so as not to catch cold.
I can’t help it,
I look in my brain and that’s what’s
Going on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Talking About It

Everywhere I am I hear people talking about the bad economy.
A volunteer at the office computer checks the stock market, yelps, "I just lost three hundred thousand dollars!"
Another visitor describes his financial history, beginning when he took his pension in one big payout, got very rich, enjoyed travel and giving big gifts, and now has lost more than half, and he's old.
My (pregnant) hairdresser's husband lost his job, and she has no health insurance.
I don't have to watch the news anymore; it's happening before my eyes.

Occasionally for no reason I get the benefit of a disquisition, as when a colleague informed me at length that it all started with Barney Frank doing something with Fannie and Freddie. To me, it was the greedy Republican deregulators.
The man I hired to paint my house went on even longer, while I sat on the staircase listening. The painter blamed on Bill Clinton wanting to make "a nation of homeowners."
"But that was George Bush!" I said. No matter, the actually genial gentleman explained to me the subprime market, the housing bust after banks took on too much risk, the cascading effect around the globe.
"But we're going to be fine," he assured me, "because we're the greatest country in the world."
I refrained from pointing out that Ancient Rome had been the greatest country in its day.

These conversations go far beyond a relative confiding they're "upside down on their house," back when talking about money outside the family was considered gauche; back when falling house values happened only in Texas.
Now, we live in interesting times, as the Chinese curse goes (wishing that you will).
And everyone wants to talk. I'm wondering if we're engaged in some mass psychotherapy with each other.

I mostly listen because I'm doing OK today. Maybe the people doing OK just aren't talking.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oh Dear

Unfortunately Obama isn't doing very well.

Of course there's no way he could have measured up to expectations he walk on water; but he could have fed the five thousand if he'd maybe just stuck with the Democrats.

Now he is taken and held hostage by what Paul Krugman calls "the destructive centrists." AAAGGH! Paul Krugman, you may have noticed, is always right.

I have read that one of the reasons Obama left the Senate was how slow and frustrating it was. I think perhaps he overestimated the power of a president.

No I don't really think that. I think he overestimated his vaunted appeal to both parties. Now he is stuck with 3 Republicans in his very cabinet and a really really lame stimulus proposal. And I don't even think or maybe should say don't have confidence his economists are barking up the right tree. Ever since I saw Lawrence Summers on a Sunday a.m. show saying SAME SAME MORE OF THE SAME. Not that I know what to do either!

Plus the press has stopped flattering Obama. Today's AP photo of him and Michelle getting back from Camp David makes them both look so clayfooted.

The predictors say deflationary spiral... which is what has already happened in real estate which crisis supposedly set off the current recession. People will be afraid to spend money for fear prices will drop more.

I think about the economy a lot, for all the good it does. And pray for the president, who's already getting blamed for everything.