Can you guess which generation is Generation Smug?

Sibylesque George Orwell quote When it comes to food we always think we’re smarter than our parents and, as George Orwell noted, wiser than out kids. So which generation is Generation Smug? Yours!!! Sibylesque Milk Carton nutrition 2 photo source: pinterest unattributed

HOME

Playing 3D Sudoku on the New York subway

by Penny Cook

Sibylesquw Ray Bradbury travel quote

I had a 12.00 appointment in Ozone Park to meet a principal. So I HOPSTOPPED the directions and set out very early because I would rather get there than be late. Well, on the platform at Cortelyou, waiting for the Q to get me to DeKalb where I was going to change to the A, some convoluted announcement comes over the loud speaker and of course, it couldn’t be understood. I worked out it was about the D train so I figured the Q was still coming. It wasn’t.

Above ground I found no A train. Nor did I find anyone who knew where one was. So I headed underground again and got on a train to where I knew there would be an A train – 42nd Street (totally wrong direction). When I got off there I walked for miles to the A but at least I was on it.

I had plenty of time, but I was a bit concerned when the train didn’t stop at 80th (where I was meant to get out). Of course an announcement had been made but I couldn’t understand a word of it. Turns out the platform was being repaired. I still had time but I got out at the next stop and the subway attendant gave me a card to call a taxi … on my phone with the rapidly depleting battery. I’m right in gangster type territory so I was pleased when the car turned up and drove me 2 blocks for a fee of $7 (ended up giving him $10 with the tip). When I found my way in to the building with10 minutes to spare, I’d been travelling for 2 hours 20 minutes I produced my photo ID and I was directed to the 4th floor, which turned out to be wrong and when I eventually arrived in what I thought was the right place with 5 minutes up my sleeve, I was told the person I was seeing wasn’t there.

A few phone calls and it turns out the principal thought we were meeting at another school. I didn’t have that information. The person attending to me kindly called me a car, which was going to cost $16 to get to the school. So the car turns up and the young Arabic driver (I’m mentioning race because he had music on and I asked what language it was in and he told me and we got chatting about his life and future) didn’t quite know where to go so we went the long way through Ozone Park to Jamaica – $20 later I arrive. So I finally meet with the principal I’m only 30 minutes late but had been ‘travelling’ for 3 hours.

A good meeting and now I needed to find my way home. I caught a bus to Jamaica Centre where there are a couple of subways, the Long Island Railway and the air train to JFK. A helpful lady next to me directed me to the E train and said stand right there and when the train comes you aks (yes, no typo there) the conductor and he gonna tell yooo. Yooo better off aksing him than looken at the mayap (map). Well … I took a look at the map (thank goodness) because she was going to get me to somewhere on Manhattan that was nowhere near a connection for me to get home.

Sibylesque Subway New York

So up above ground I go and head for the Long Island Railway where I eventually find the right track … but I don’t have a ticket and the train is coming. The lovely guard who was dressed just like the conductor in POLAR EXPRESS said ‘Yoo waait rut thar ma’am, I gunna git yooo awn dat traaiin.’ So when the train pulled in he had a word to the conductor and I was on the train!! I shook his hand and thanked him profusely and sat quietly and comfortably for the next 15 minutes to Atlantic Station Brooklyn. When I arrived I made my way to the Q (on familiar ground now). Hopped on the train and with the remainder of the phone’s low battery, proceeded to play WORDBRAIN. I am on penguin level with no hints left and I just can’t get one word. Next thing I know I’m at Newkirk station, not Cortelyou. Had I been so absorbed that I’d missed Cortelyou … I thought we just passed Church Avenue. Q…B…easy mistake to make….big yellow Q, big orange B. Oh well, it was better than ending up at Coney Island and it was a nice day for another walk!!

So what should have taken 3 hours and 4 trains took 6 hours, 5 trains, 2 cars about 2km of walking, a hundred odd stairs and $30!!!!

 

Travel TalesPenny Cook has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She loves to travel  – anywhere. She is currently consulting as an Early Childhood specialist in New York. She has always wanted to live in  a tree house by the beach …..it’s never too late!! Other posts by Penny Cook include From Here to God-Help-Us: XS Baggage and Travel Tales.

……………………………………………………

Image source: New York Subway Website

HOME

 

Can you guess which generation is Generation Smug?

Sibylesque George Orwell quote When it comes to food we always think we’re smarter than our parents and, as George Orwell noted, wiser than out kids. So which generation is Generation Smug? Yours!!! Sibylesque Milk Carton nutrition 2 photo source: pinterest unattributed

HOME

Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in search of a fulfilled life

Sibylesque Epicurus Quote

REVIEW by Helen Elliot

Travels with EpicurusTravels With Epicurus

Daniel Klein

Text Publishing, 2013

Daniel Klein’s dentist told him that his teeth needed seeing to. A year of visits; some seeing to. Not to speak of the money involved. Klein, an American, a professional philosopher, academic and writer started ruminating (on his teeth).

He was seventy-three, his life was sweet , or sweet enough as it was. Going for the expensive teeth meant that other things in his life wouldn’t happen and at his age time was not infinite. So what if the alternative teeth, a mouth full of moveable clackers, gave him the slightly goofy smile of an old man. He was an old man. And why was he being made to feel there was something wrong with that? Why is old age seen as a condition and not accepted as a “stage of life”?

StairsKlein’s decision not to have his teeth done was one of a series of deliberate moves as he tried to free himself from the striving of the Forever Young. Who isn’t aware of it in their own lives? Klein defines that terror we have of just letting go and being who we might be at a certain stage in life. Life might be about the journey but sometimes there is arrival and that, too, can be savoured. Klein writes of the joy of play, of rolling around the floor with his dog, of playing patiently with grandchildren, of the pleasure of having friends because you like them just for who they are, not what they might do for you. He also suggests that it is possible to put aside the need to make a permanent mark on the world. He writes about the pleasures of reflection on a well- lived life in a laidback fashion despite drawing on the complex ideas of Sartre and Kant as well as his favourite Greek philosophers. Epicurus who talked about “a life well-lived.” Is his favourite.

DanielKlein-credit-BillHughes_regularKlein wrote this book when he returned to the Greek Island he lived-on for a year when he was young. He took a swag of useful books but he also observed and talked with the people on the island, noting how their simple lives reflected acceptance of every stage of life. His view of the Greek life is romanticized and there is a paradox that a man who advocates not striving finds it necessary to write another book but this book is easily the best book I have read about taking life as it comes, about the value of friendship and of allowing yourself to be who you are at this time in a well-lived life.

Sibylesque Sibyl Approved Maroon

…………….

…………..

………….

…………………………………………………………….

Helen Elliot 2Helen Elliott is a thoughtful and analytical reader, informed and soulful writer and unyielding literary critic for many Australian newspapers. She is also a dedicated gardener.

Photo Source: Stairs marksinthemargin blog.

HOME

How old is old in Hollywood? You don’t want to know.

Roman border 2

purple quote 1“I wish that other women would let other women age gracefully. Women take it as something personal that they are getting older. They think that they failed somehow by not staying 25. This is crazy to me because my belief is that it’s a privilege to get older – not everybody gets to get older’
purple quote 2

……………………………..Cameron Diaz, actress, 41.

Roman border 2

In the 1967 film, The Graduate, Anne Bancroft played Mrs Robinson, a bored-housewife living in a loveless marriage. When the 21-year-old Ben Braddock played by Dustin Hoffman visits the Robinsons, urged on by his parents (Mr Robinson is a partner in a legal firm with Ben’s father), he is seduced by the much older Mrs Robinson. Ben, however, falls in love with Elaine, the Robinson’s daughter, and in a climactic ending, the young couple run off together.

The Graduate 1967  Anne Bancroft  and Dustin Hoffman

The Graduate 1967
Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman

At the time, Anne Bancroft was 36-years-old and, in fact, only 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman. So, historically, in Hollywood you are branded ‘the older woman’ at 36 years of age.

Forty-five plus years on The Graduate highlights a more disturbing issue. In the film, Mrs Robinson is a ‘formidable’ character. There is a word you do not hear any more. ‘Formidable’ applied to an older woman in a position of authority. The ‘formidable woman’ was matronly and someone to reckon with. She stood for definite principles. She didn’t tolerate fools and often held the position of Hospital Matron, Head Mistress or, even, the family Matriarch. When we were young girls many ‘formidable women’ – Reverend Mother, for starters –  had our measure. Where are they today? These days, older women, who exercise authority are described as ‘ball breakers’, ‘old dragons’ or, in the case of the matriarch, ‘a Control Freak’. Is it the ‘management team’ and their spin that has replaced the ‘formidable woman in the workplace? Has the mass movement of women out of the home and into the workplace in the 1970s unthroned the matriarch? Curious, isn’t it?

Anne Bancroft, 70, 2001

Anne Bancroft, 70, 2001

At 70 years of age Anne Bancroft (above) still looked impressive. She won an Oscar in 1962 for her role in The Miracle Worker. She was happily married to her second husband, Mel Brooks, for 45 years. They had one son. Sadly, she died in 2005.

Photo Source: Film Promotion Pic and Salon.com

HOME