There are still good bagel places around, and even though about the difficulty of finding a good shop outside New York city, there are a few. Here in Seattle Eltana is probably the best. They're not like your average deli, though. It being Seattle, there would have to be some sort of hipster ethos and leftist overtones, but I would disagree with anyone that says it's to the detriment of the joint. This is mostly because you can still order a damn good bagel. And it can be plain. You can eat it while following them on twitter @EltanaBagel while you're doing the crossword puzzle on the wall.
Seattle is a terrible place for any type of normalcy. Every body wears the hipster mix-and-match uniform of scarves, clever hats, skinny jeans, flannel shirts, ironic silkscreens, glasses and facial hair to be as different as possible (But from what? They all do it the same way.). You thought Portlandia was bad? Well, they may congregate there, but they come to Seattle to breed. It was from this Axis of Indie that the leviathan Starbucks emerged. A franchising, globalized chain that stamps "different" on everything inside its walls.
Some think of this town as America's Capital of Coffee, and they may be right to some extent, at least as far as major local business is concerned. Starbucks played a major role in teaching Americans to drink coffee. For generations, you'd order a cup of Joe, and you might get to choose milk and sugar. For the rest, coffee was coffee. Dripped or percolated, there was none of that limp-wristed Italian spiel where you could make a career out of running hot water over burned, crushed beans. In a diner it'd be much the same as elsewhere.
The way we used to drink coffee probably comes from a long tradition of looking at the bean in a utilitarian way. Soldiers in the Civil War used to be issued coffee as they were issued corn, both of which they'd stick in sacks and smash against rocks with their rifle butts. Cowboys weren't looking for much in the way of refinement either, and to this day Cowboy Coffee is still known as something strong and black that wakes you up. I guess we could say the same thing about John Henry letting his hammer ring, but that's something for another time. What we should be asking ourselves here is how John Wayne would take his coffee.
Nonetheless, it could appear as such. During my tenure in Belgium, I was sequestered to what amounted to a concrete bunker without reliable Internet access. The result was getting out of the swing of posts, and anything thereafter was incidental. Belgium steeled my resolve to move Stateside. Seeing first-hand the potential negative results of ungoverned socialism in the rampant, professionalized unemployed ranks of Brussels locals, it was absolutely crucial I put the economy to work for me.
I moved back above the rivers from 20% unemployment rates in Brussels to the more comfortable 5% of Amsterdam. Much as I enjoyed the fine food and drink of the Rich Roman life in the South, the austere Protestant work ethic was what was going to put me on a plane over the Atlantic.
Needless to say, my planning has panned out, and I'm here a world away, battling the job slump with the rest of the countries. Admittedly, I did end up on the Left Coast in what might be the most Liberal place outside San Francisco, but it remains America. People may not plaster yellow ribbons on their trucks here, but at least they drive Silverados and F150s.
With the change in scene came a change in medium. Earlier in the year, Charlie Sheen reminded everyone how amazingly useless Twitter was, and I was hooked. One of my first purchases Stateside was a burner, letting me tweet to my heart's content about how I consumed my way to the American Dream.
Well folks, recently I took another big consumptive step. For the same monthly fee as the burner I had, I got my hands on a BlackBerry Torch. Now I get up to date news on job openings and I can apply on the go. While I listen to my pod casts, of course.
And don't forget the amazing ability to conspicuously consume with this thing. Not only do those around me get to see me with a Shiny New in my hand, but I can take pictures of things and spread them on the Internets immediately. I no longer have to lug around a laptop in order to periodically hit up a Starbucks and upload pictures to my @consumergods twitter. Check the feed on the right there and you'll see what I mean.
So now I've come back to the blog. While the twittering will remain mostly about consumption, now that I'm once again wired--albeit wirelessly this time--I should be able to keep pace with the speed of things here while still providing a few choice words about the goings-on in the Land of the Free. After all, election season is starting, and the Republicans are fielding the most amazing candidates. Comrade Obama is making no secret of his secret drone wars. A new season of Sons of Guns is starting on the Discovery Channel. Oh, and Captain America hits theaters July 22. I am bound to need more than 140 characters at a time to wax philosophical about a few of those things.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T Sphere: Related Content