The fantasy of GOT

Before I was a reader of classics and some unclassic (or unclassy) books, I read comic books. My library consisted mostly of the Superman and Batman series. Superheros were my thing and those over emphasized biceps, chiseled facial features and washboard tummies printed on cheap paper made this 12 year old googoo eyed. The images came through with piercing eyes, strong and righteous who would never hurt anyone that didn’t deserve it.

Is it no surprise that it took a while before my expectations of men reduced the fantasy to an even playing field of commonplace males who although they would not “leap tall buildings in a single bound” would fit in reality and allow me to find the right guy. Then came Jon Snow (sigh)

Episode 5 "Kill The Boy"

Episode 5 “Kill The Boy”

I started to watch Game of Thrones when my youngest son made it a standard Sunday night ritual. At first, I had a somewhat feminine reaction – “it’s too dark, its characters are too scruffy and the men are covered in fur – no biceps, no washboard abs, and too much hair”. But I stuck with it and started paying attention to the characters. With eyes wide shut, I overlooked the more bloody and morally scandalous scenes that brought historical accuracy to the series. I found the story lines so unpredictable, much like life, and wondered who would win if the election was determined through trial by combat. Or imagined any politician walking completely nude through Washington while members of the faith yelled “SHAME”. It might be ugly. At least Cersei is attractive naked.

However, I came to enjoy the show and found my superhero, Jon Snow. He is righteous, to a fault and may be dead because of it, has big shoulders and piercing eyes. The last time my anticipation of a hero’s outcome kept me in awe  was when JR was shot. Although far from being a superhero he had his appeal.  Tonight, I am planting myself in front of the big screen TV, with all my required drinks or foods within arms reach, not budging, waiting to find out “Is Jon Snow really dead”. I hope not. I have high hopes for this one to leap the tall buildings, save Stanza and Ariel, torment Ramsey and make Tyrion his Hand. It may take the season to find out but I will wait.

Time

I’m a little late on my post this week mainly because Tony and I spent Thursday and Friday in NYC which set me back a bit. First we enjoyed seeing Jerry Seinfeld’s stand up at the Beacon on Thursday night, then on Friday afternoon, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, the premier episode of the TV series, Night Manager being shown on AMC starting Tuesday. While Seinfeld was very good he is predicable. I loved the Night Manager as it had to do with espionage. Watch it. I’ve always wanted to go to one of those films at the festival but couldn’t because the ones I wanted to see where during the day. Now, I didn’t have to get up early and rush to work tired. I have time.

Sometimes, too much time on my hand leads to obsession. I  do not feel guilty. I started to bing watch House of Cards, spend way too much time perusing the internet and over-decorating my new home (Crate & Barrel should be sending ME stuff by now.)

I have taken up reading again and am in the middle of a book called Destiny of the Republic, the telling of President James Garfield’s life and assassination. Not a very well known president for sure, but fascinating in his time and his unfortunate attack by an imbalanced con man. I call it an attack rather than an assassination because it was not the bullets that killed Garfield but the poor medical procedures.

At the same time, I found that reading a book is not as exciting as discussing it with members of a book club that have contrasting opinions on the writing. I love it when we disagree. It is the spirit of the discussion that gets me.

 

So this week, I’m back to playing on the internet, continuing my binging and finding new reasons to drive down Route 17 in Paramus. What am I going to do when my husband retires June 1 – TBD.

The World According to Me

I had a moment of weakness. This week, I decided I wanted to get a job. I couldn’t see myself in a retail store, waiting for customers to come in so I can say “Hello, let me know if I can help you” which they never do. No,I imagined being in corporate but on my terms. I was that stupid. I came to my senses but I have to post why I came close to returning to land of spreadsheets and excel formulas.

When I spoke about it to friends and family, most thought I was doing it because of boredom. It was not. If I sit in front of the TV any afternoon it is an act of self-indulgence that will never make up for the 40 years I spent working in the corporate world having to account for every minute in the form of a productive life. It is not indifference to the social world. I love my community and feel assured I made the right decision to live here.

So what was it. It as about one reason – I was loosing my edge. A situation occurred this week that never would have happened had I been on my game. While I am embarrassed to say it, I almost fell for a scam that I would never have fallen for before leaving the workforce. I tried to sell something on Craigslist which resulted in someone asking for money they claimed was in my PayPal account (which it wasn’t) for the payment of the item plus the shipping expenses that I was to wire to a mover. It was a total scam. Keep in mind, I live in a community where I buy eggs from a farmer who puts the eggs in a cooler unattended. I pick up the dozen eggs, place the money in an envelope in the cooler and leave.

I prided myself in being savvy enough not to be  hustled, mugged or conned (post #3). This week, I came back to reality. It is almost like that movie “Room” where a woman and her son locked in a shed never experienced the outside world for seven years. I forgot that beyond my little village and within my loving friends and family, scum of the earth exists to take advantage of those they can take advantage of. Lesson learned. I just got wiser because of the experience. As far as going back to work, maybe. I’ll see if I can be fulfilled by practicing my excel skills in other ways and getting back to reality.

Confessions of an Adult Learner

   grad_T_G_2013“Tell me a little about yourself” were the words I dreaded from the teacher on the first day of my classroom experience as an adult learner. “Hi, I’m Heather,” said the student in the first seat on the right of the teacher. “I’m 20 years old, a junior at Ramapo, majoring in Communication Arts.” “Hi, I am David,” said the next student. “I’m 18 and do not know what I will be majoring in. When I graduate I want to be a tattoo artist. I am taking this class because my mother is making me.”

Now it is my turn. I am in front of a group of classmates about the age of my kids feeling like I’m at a party dressed in a toga while the rest of the girls are in sequined dresses and high heels. I stand up, look around the room and speak – “My name is Virginia. If you ask me my age, I will tell your mother you drink.” They laugh and I relax. “I am a third year student at Ramapo working towards a degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in Writing. I came back to school because I want a college degree and in something I would like to do when I retire. I like to write.”

A hundred years ago in high school, I started out thinking I would go to college. I was blocked in my Freshman year with Algebra. I just couldn’t get using symbols and formulas if I wasn’t going to build a better atomic bomb. I tried. I went for extra help, and my mother hire a tutor. The results were that I either passed tests by guessing correctly at the answers or failing them completely. Finally, my exasperated Algebra teacher, realizing I was a hopeless case, cut me a deal. He would pass me if I swore never to take another math class again. It sounded like a reasonable deal, so I agreed.

After that, my career was in administrative support positions where I climbed up the corporate ladder by working harder than the guy next to me and be willing to learn the ropes as I went along. I had a fairly successful career that way. In later years, however, the competition from the younger, technologically savvy generation became stronger, and I was losing my edge. At the age of 56 and with the financial support of my company’s tuition reimbursement program, I enrolled in college.

The first time on campus was no different that any other freshman’s. The parking lot was a hike, I got lost in the halls and, the cafeteria cashier charged me full price until she realized I was a student. I felt very alone but refused to ask for help.

As I continued to take more courses I found school so gratifying that I almost wished I was unemployed so I could attend more classes. I can’t say that every course was great. Maybe it was the sorry memory of high school Algebra, but Finance almost made me give up. Yet what kept me going was that all this schooling was awakening me to a part of today’s world.  In some ways, college life was easier (I lived through many of what is being taught as history) and in some ways it was harder (it took me all of spring break to figure out how to embed a video in a slide show). Moments of gratification included my writing a blog about the history and development of online gaming that got the attention of my fanatical, Madden-playing 19 year old son.

In May 2013, I walked and took my diploma in Journalism. I felt like I just won the Nobel Peace Prize.  I refused to be one of those who say “in my day I did this or I did not do that”. Nobody cares. Those rules are for those who live in the past. It isn’t so bad living today.