Pete Hecker

The world is made up of two kinds of people: those who cling to the tired, old status quo and those who fearlessly embrace the new status quo. Me, I fall squarely into the latter camp. Not content to stick with the same-old same-old, I like to mix it up and put myself out there. You know, give the old heave-ho to the stodgy and staid. Say what you will about me, but no one will ever accuse me of being afraid to try popular new things.

Take movies, for example. Some folks my age might have been scared to give American Pie 2 a chance, what with its salty language and risqué subject matter. Not me. As soon as I saw the movie's enormous opening-weekend grosses, you better believe I was second in line.


Same goes for music. I have friends who are totally out of touch with the latest music trends. How boring. Unlike them, I like to grow in my appreciation of things, to mature as an individual. That's why I recently stopped by Musicland to pick up some of today's most popular albums, like Dido's No Angel, the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, and that Wings compilation that's a big hit. I was going to get that new Melissa Etheridge album, too, but then I heard from the guy at the store that it wasn't doing so well, so I passed.

My neophilia isn't restricted to indoor activities like watching movies and listening to music. No way. I love sports and the outdoors, too. But not just boring old stuff like golf or tennis. Give me something new and trendy, like rock-climbing or bungee-jumping. Something that seems dangerous but has been successfully done by millions of people before me and made safe with rigorously tested equipment. Only when I'm living on what millions and millions of others consider to be the edge do I feel truly alive.

But it isn't all outward, physical adventure with me. I like to think of myself as a very spiritual person, so I'm always up for an inward journey. I recently began taking yoga classes, and it has changed my life. Have you heard of yoga? It really is the latest thing. I hadn't paid much attention to it until I noticed the classes filling up at the gym where I work out. I don't know who the guy is who invented this yoga craze, but I'll bet he's really raking in the bucks.


Speaking of inward journeys, I love to try new foods. I'm a huge fan of all types of popular ethnic cuisine. I recently read in Newsweek that Tibetan food is making quite a splash here in the States. In fact, a new Tibetan restaurant called Himal Chuli just opened up in my town, and I'm dying to try it. Just as soon as I read glowing reviews in the Fodor's and Zagat guides and see a line of people waiting to get in, I'll be sure to queue up right along with everybody else.

I wish there were more people like me. If more people were unafraid to try popular new things, the popular things I choose to try would be even more popular, and my enjoyment of them would be that much greater. It's really true what they say: There's satiety in numbers.