Being a bank holiday in the UK this past week, I was afforded the rare opportunity to finally try a restaurant in my neighbourhood tailored to American style breakfasts. Normally there is an absurd line out the door of this restaurant – mostly of other ex-Pats seeking a reprieve from the otherwise hearty British breakfast of black pudding, bake beans and sausage. But on this weekend, most of London retreats to warmer locations. As I sat and relaxed – enjoying my filtered coffee and huevos rancheros, I spotted a number of large yellow stickers smattered across the other business along the Camden Passage. The sticker said ‘We are listening.’ I immediately thought ‘that is brilliant’ (borrowing a term from my current homeland). Were these stickers a way for business to show that they are actually listening to their customers and acting upon that feedback?
Hey, remember when you only got your fashion fix through Vogue and watching MTV? (Okay, I didn’t have cable until I was like 15). But seriously, there wasn’t a lot to look up to back in the day – there’s no way I could afford any of those couture outfits in these glamour magazines, nor was there anyway I could pull them off…then or now. And the each magazine would have the latest fashion predictions for the following season, so basically I was dressing for fall when it was summer and for winter in the midst of the Santa Ana winds in October. But you know, I thought I was fashion-forward and I wanted to be on the cusp of the latest trends. I would breeze through a magazine within a day, load up on some more, and pretty soon I had entire walls stacked with old magazines. They were basically obsolete after I skimmed through the pictures and read through the articles, and rarely would I reopen them, lest to recall a specific brand or item. But thanks to the online world, I no longer have mounds of magazines against my wall, instead, it’s bookmark after bookmark of personal fashion blogs on my browser.
This article started with a conundrum. After a year of saving soda can tabs at my desk, I’d managed to fill a small cereal bowl to the brim. I transferred them to a Ziploc and stowed them in my desk to later give to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), for their Pop Tab Collection drive that’s been going on for at least 10 years. When talk of a jelly-bean-in-a-jar-counting-contest came up later that day, I busted out my baggie of tabs as an alternative to jelly beans and the flabbergasting began.
I have spent my entire life being told the term “Peeping Tom” carried both serious and negative connotations. Because of that, I instantly think of some dirt bag guy in the bushes taking a gander into an unsuspecting victim’s window. It is the reason I will never occupy an apartment/condo on the first floor or in direct line of sight with office buildings. Every so often, I even hear news coverage of police catching these curious fellows, which confirms their existence. Because of these thoughts, we as society have agreed that “peeping” is not a socially acceptable habit. Unfortunately, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I may be a Peeping Tom or at least a virtual version.
I can’t go thirty minutes driving in my car without hearing about Twitter. From this, you can safely assume two things: 1. I don’t have satellite radio, and 2. Twitter is officially mainstream, spreading like chickenpox in a third grade classroom.