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Recently, I wrote a blog about how much I loooove the new ‘street view’ on Google maps.  I’ve been telling everyone about it, proselytizing to anyone who’ll listen about  how cool it is, how you can seen things from a totally different (panoramic!) point of view.  And then my friend said “yeah, just another tool for stalkers!”  Bubble burst.

Yeah, if someone had your address and your city had street-view available, ok, sure, it’s possible.  But I have to argue that not every city in the world has this view available, and I’m gonna just guess that most rural areas of the US are not open to this feature either.  Sure, a panoramic view of the more woodsy areas of Tennessee might be all nice and scenic, but not perhaps very useful.  I guess what I’m saying is that if you live in a rural area or small town, you’re probably safe.

Now.  This brings me to an incident that occurred to me last weekend, which is related to the above in a stalker-ish way.

Let me start by saying that I go for walks fairly often in the park next door; so does most of Nashville.  You can’t swing a stick without hitting a runner/walker/biker/dog-walker.  Everyone here walks in the park and in this area in general.  So I don’t think much of it when I go for a walk, after dark, in a very public and well populated area, on a Saturday night.  Or any night, for that matter.

This past Saturday, I went for my walk later because I am not a fan of the summer heat.  As I walked down a street next to the park, I heard a man calling out (from his balcony, I presume)– ‘hey!  hey you! hey I wanna talk to you!’  I am, at the time, the only person on the sidewalk; I don’t dare turn my head.  This continued until I ducked into the park.  I’m not sure if this man has tried this method of meeting gals in the past & it worked, or if he was just brave.  Or something.

I continued to walk, and after half an hour, headed back towards my flat.  Crossing the street, I was passed by a man in a truck: he laid on his horn as he flew by.  Nice.  I crossed the street after he passed, only to see him slam on his brakes and start backing up in the middle of the road.  Er, excuse me?

I kept walking towards my drive, and he backed up until he was right in front of it.  I thought briefly it must be someone I know.  The man turned down his radio and motioned to me from inside his tinted windows to come closer.  After concluding that this was not someone I know (or want to know), I turned to walk up the hill to my apartment.  Oh, shit.  What if he just sits there and doesn’t leave– what if he sees where I live??

Contingency plan immediately forming in my head:  I will walk across the quad and knock on a male neighbor’s door.  After what seemed like ages, the guy in the truck drove off, luckily before I got to my apartment door.

This might seem harmless to some, but to me, I find it a little bit frightening that people are so bold.  I’ve asked my male friends if they think this is acceptable or common behavior; they say no, but at the same time, they aren’t so surprised.  Huh.

So.  My elation over the street-view maps is a bit deflated now.  It’s not like I’m giving out my address to every Tom Dick & Scary out there (although apparently I don’t have to as they are following me)  but with the frightening ability of technology and the ease of access to practically anyone’s information, seems it could be a possible tool for evil.

And here I just thought it was cool.  Silly me.

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Confession: I like Abba. Some of their song lyrics don’t make sense, and sometimes the music doesn’t quite fit with the words, but I like them still.

“Momma Mia” played at movies in the park tonight, so I joined my friends down at the bandshell to check it out. It is beyond cheesy: the storyline is weak, the scant dialog that does exist is pretty crap. But when you boil it all down, it’s kind of a mindless, fun, romp of a film. Fun, light-hearted music and lots of cute men (Colin Firth will be adored by me in any film). Oh, and the setting is a nice Greek island.

I ask you: what’s wrong with good music, cute men and an island? Nothin’. Absolutely nothin.’

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