10/31/2013 05:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Worst Image of 2013? Yup, C'est Moi!


Okay, I'm officially a Glasshole. I trotted the thing out in public for the second time, wearing it to the unveiling of a Banksy in NoHo, as if Glass alone or Banksy alone wasn't trendy enough. So maybe I got what I deserved.


Word on the street was that the piece was in a lot on Houston and Elizabeth, under a tarp that would be removed at 6:00 p.m. Conveniently, Tom and Jerry's bar, on the same corner, serves a nice Ginger Dragon. My boyfriend and I snagged a comfortable table, and watched the gathering scene -- people with hoodies and walkie-talkies looking mildly important, and scenesters with cool jackets and all manner of digital toys. I cultivated a slow, Friday afternoon buzz, as I messed around with Glass, to prepare for a workshop on Glass for Educators, that I was teaching the next day. A few people cast glances at me -- or rather at Glass, but I lowered my head and tried not to feel like too much of a, well, Glasshole.

At ten to six, we went out and got spots front and center, at the tarped fence. The crowd swelled, and with nothing to do but hang around and wait, Glass was as close as it came to entertainment. "Hey, are those those glasses?" and "Why do you have a regular camera when you've got that thing?" Good question. "That thing" has neither an adjustable depth of field, nor a flash. But damn, it gets people to look at you. A guy with a crown of silver duck fuzz pointed a tiny, fancy camera at me.


"I really don't want to see my picture online," I implored him. I'd been watching him snap pix with brisk efficiency, and figured he was on the job. "I've only worn this thing out in public once before. I'm uncomfortable, and I don't want my middle-aged face splashed in public," I added.

Five minutes later, someone told me I was on the cover of The Gothamist. My boyfriend pulled the picture up on his phone. I saw him start to laugh, then think better. "It's terrible," I surmised.

There was a beat before he answered. "It's not so bad." Beat, beat. "It's good of me."

"Oh, no. Lemme see. Come on." He showed me his phone. "Oh, shit. Jesus Christ. You think it's funny, don't you?"

"I can't help it if you look like you've been eating a lemon." And later: "People are going to ask me why I was there with my mom."

The moment arrived just in time to distract me. The tarp was removed, and we were treated to the Grim Reaper, riding around on a bumper car to Blue Oyster Cult under a shower of disco lights. It was fun, but not my favorite piece in the month-long show. My regular camera finked out on me, and I shot some stills and a video #throughglass.


With a tap on the earpiece, I posted one of the pix on Facebook, while pressing up against the fence in the crowd. Your phone can do this. But since I never had a smartphone until a couple of months ago, this gave me a tiny, stoopid kick.

Back home, I looked at the offending photo of myself on my computer. Middle-aged vanity is a bitch. 2013-10-31-googleglass1010.jpg

Googling to see if the pic had made its way around, I discovered this: Sam BOOdle@sambiddle 25 Oct this is the worst image of 2013: woman in google glass waiting outside in the cold for a banksy unveiling. Sam Biddle is a professional snarker for gawker and valleywag. His would-be snarker minions were enjoying themselves: Cesar Flebótomo @stuffthings: and not even smoking; Bossman Jr @bossmanjr: Was she eating a Cronut?; Cid Sees Her @cid_sees: that was a woman?; Axel Cureno 2.5 @axelcureno: fucking rich people... i hate them...; and my fave, Tom Hayden @haydenth: what if that is banksy.

Allow me to indulge myself. Cesar -- quit 35 years ago. Cid -- come take one of my writing workshops; I know you can do better than that. 2.5 -- we teachers do it for the big bucks. Tom Hayden -- yes. And how's that Port Huron Statement coming?

I contacted both the snarker and the photographer, and asked them to link to this blog. I'll suffer the bad photo if it drives a little traffic to my work. They both said okay. Neither of them did it. (Come on, dudes. I'm tryin' to get my subscriber base to 19. Help a gal out.)

I didn't like the unflattering photo, but the fifteen minutes of infamy was kind of fun. Glass is occasionally good for something.

[This is the latest post on my blog, Google Glass and the Digital Immigrant: My Adventures as a Google Glass Explorer of a Certain Age.]