17 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2013 7:43 AM by chrisf RSS

When I was young(er), life seemed simple

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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I'm just back from the Whitechapel 1888 Society/Jack the Ripper125 Conference and it was wonderful except the hours and the Ibis hotel. When I do research, I go to bed at my normal US time abroad, so avoid jet lag. Unfortunately, there was no time for that.  I arrived in London at 6:30 am, couldn't get into my room till after 10:30 am, and had a whole day and night of conference talks and dinners. Next day it started at 9 and ended at 10+, though I left the restaurant banquet around 9:30 because I could not deal with so little sleep.  Same the next day then I had to leave the hotel at 5am Monday morning for my flight home to teach all day Tuesday.

 

Not a happy person, and hated the Ibis London City.  (See my review on tripadvisor -- not hard to figure out who I am.)  Still, it was not only the conference hotel but the only one other than the Tower Indigo nearby.

 

Anyway the conference was great, but I was so exhausted for most of it I could not appreciate it fully.  That's why I love my research trips - I don't have to show up at every single thing including banquets and dinners. I guess most people like that, but for a transAtlantic passenger (for a few days), it just makes life impossible.

 

But I'm home now, listening to music, and looking at the Shutterfly wall decor enlargements of my trip to Egypt in December 2010, right before the revolution.  And I think, my God, what a lucky woman I am (music influence here "Lucky Man") that I got to the place I most wanted to see before it became almost impossible. I still am determined to get back to Upper Egypt, but circumstances may dictate whether or not that may happen.

 

The key point of this message is carpe diem! Seize the day!  Had I not gone to Egypt then I might never have been to the place that has affected me more than any other.  I am teaching my first ever course (though I took them as an undergrad) on ancient Egypt second semester.  And I could not have done so without having been there, which makes all the difference.

 

So to all of you, go wherever you have really wanted to go.  Don't put it off, because something may happen that makes it impossible.  Do it while your health, international circumstances, and life in general make it possible.

Carpe diem, ProfChiara

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  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    Professor,

     

    Glad you are safely back!

     

    Sure you will have a lot more to share!

     

    Carpe diem!

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  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    erc Platinum
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    An excellent reminder, thanks. I have the good fortune of occasionally traveling with my mother, who is a vibrant, go-getter and she and I both can observe how her range of walking and heat/cold exposure is narrowing (and she travels a lot with her 4 year older sister who she calls her 'canary in the coal mine'). On the other end of the spectrum, I just attended a funeral of one of my former teammates, so even more of a reminder to enjoy all of life while we can.

     

    As much as I enjoy barking at Marriott (and I do, part of my personal carpe diem ) over some of their shenanigans, it's reminders like yours that bring it all back in focus. Good stuff. Keep on keepin' on. Thanks for taking the effort.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
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    ProfChiara

     

    Excellent advice as always.  There is no better time than the present as tomorrow may be too late.

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  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
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    Enjoyed reading your entertaining post.  Your message is well-taken.  Good luck teaching your ancient Egypt course.

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  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    curiousone Platinum
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    Great advice. My wife and I have been doing a lot of continental US traveling lately (since we both still work for small businesses) using mostly Marriott points. Just recently a dear friend came down with guillain barre syndrome and it just reinforced how fragile our lives really are. Enjoy it while you can, it may all be done tomorrow.

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  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    77paris Platinum 17 Reviews
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    profchiara,

     

    Very timely message for us all as we go into the Holiday Season. No matter your beliefs, hopefully, this is a time to share old & new memories with family & friends and to reflect on how truly blessed we are.

     

    It can be easy to forget that many did not pad into the kitchen this morning in warm socks, turn on a tap with fresh, clean water, brew a coffee, toast a bagel & take it out to a sunny porch.

     

    I am so full of gratitude today. The best way I can think to show this gratitude is to be kind, aware and find ways to "pay back, pay forward, pay sideways". It is odd in a way that MRI & its sometimes random musings spark an emotion greater than maybe a travel site was meant to.  Thank you, Professor for reminding us to "seize the day". Thanks to fellow MRIs for sharing always.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Hi 77paris,

      Wonderful message!

       

      I think the pay forward idea is a great one.  I don't eat fast food where it usually happens, but I had an interesting sort of experience like this the other day.  One of the supermarkets in town is having a promotion where you get dinnerware after collecting 20 stamps (based on $10 spending each). I was in the middle of three people and the cashier asked the guy in front if he wanted to give his to the next person, and he just said no.  The woman behind me heard this exchange (I didn't say anything except to tell the cashier I was collecting stamps) and said "if you want to wait a few minutes you can have mine."  She had an order totalling over $200, so that was a plate right there!  (I can obviously afford dinnerware, but I figured why not replace my old stuff.)  I noticed she was buying cat food, so that may be why she was such a nice person .

       

      My priest told me long ago to do the small things to help other people -- that I didn't have to change the world.  It would be enough just to help an old lady across the street (now I'm that old lady...)

       

      It really does happen in Maine.  I've had a credit card that fell out of my pocket at a gas station returned; once (only once in my life) I actually left my purse in the basket of the supermarket in the parking lot and didn't realize it till I got home(fortunately 5 minutes away, but I figured that was 10 total minutes too long).  When I returned my purse and everything in it had not been touched.

       

      And another nice story.  I was in a serious car accident in 2003 because of catastrophic tire failure.  It was the Thursday before Labor Day on I-95 and I was in the northbound non-passing lane.  Suddenly I couldn't steer at all, my car did a 180 into and facing the passing lane (thank God no cars were in it) and then flipped over into the gully three times.  Every single car stopped and the people crossed I-95 to help.  Two men pulled me out the window since the car was upside down, others called 911 and the police, and a young couple stayed with me till the police arrived to give the report (and they were on their way to Bar Harbor for the holiday weekend).  Believe it or not, I only had a slight scratch on my ankle and a totalled car. 

       

      Unfortunately the others who helped me left before I could get their names, but I sent the young couple a copy of one of my books and a thank you note.  They wrote back that that day changed them -- they said no one who was there thought anyone could survive the triple flip and they made the decision that weekend to seize the day. The guy proposed marriage and she accepted.

       

      So many things could have been different.  Just a short stretch beforehand there was a large, deep falloff and a little ahead a guard rail.  I am very lucky to be alive with a lot of help from others.

       

      So with lots of bad things happening here and in the world, it's good to remember that there are good people out there, whether doing the little things or possibly stalling their vacation to maybe save someone's life.
      ProfChiara

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  • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
    chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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    Hey Prof, I missed this posting … I thought that I was 'following' you, so it should have popped up?  We really should meet up one of the times that you are in London … we can complain together about 'middle age' … no, not the Middle Ages!

     

    It's quite funny to read your posting … thanks to erc for pointing me to it.  When we retired, Ann Marie and I had set out a schedule to complete our long-haul trips by the time we reached 80.  However, having spoken to a number of friends in their early 70s, we have shorten our horizon by 10 years and now plan to do the big trips by 70.  Anyway, our current philosophy is to do whatever trips we wish to and, when the money runs out, we'll stop.  We are now very aware of the potential health challenges that may occur, so we are into that 'live for the moment' approach now.

     

    Regarding Egypt.  I went there with my youngest son (William) in 2004 … we did a Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan.  Ann Marie is not a fan of very hot weather, so declined the trip. We thought that the history was pretty amazing and loved the day trips … Will even asked to do the trip to Abu Simbel, despite the 4am start.  However, one thing bugged us and our guide was unable to answer the question … perhaps you know the answer/  Many of the temples showed many horizontal slots in the walls … not the large window like openings.  Do you know what they were for?

     

    For example, on the picture below, there are 7 rows of narrow openings going up the wall.  Any ideas?

     

    DSC00649-2_edited-1.jpg

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    • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Ah, how envious I am!  I must live at least long enough to be able to do that cruise (and hopefully a lot longer).  If Egypt becomes visitable again, you and Ann Marie should go in the 'winter.'  I was there in December of 2010 and lucked out.  Everyone told me the weather had been bad the week before I got there, while friends who'd been to Egypt told me Luxor would be hot at any time of year.  Turned out not to be true.  Cairo was excellent weather, though warmer than I like; but when I flew to Luxor for the overday tour of the Colossi of Memnon, Valley of the Kings and Queens and temples, it was even cooler there -- in the 70s with a wind blowing.  Only my last day in Cairo did a sandstorm hit, and I was happy enough to stay in the Marriott Omar Khayyam eating at their superb !Italian! restaurant, complete with checkered tablecloths.

       

      That is the Temple of Horus, right?  My only guess is that they are what are called "windows of appearances," where a king or pharaoh (the latter term was only used widely in the New Kingdom) could appear.  Do you remember whether they were open to a room?

       

      My London Jack the Ripper conference was grueling (notice I didn't say gruesome, but there was a bit of that, although having been to all the sites in the East End many times, it didn't faze me). It was more the all day conference talks then having to socialize at night !ME! all on a 5 hour time difference and with only an hour sleep on the plane over. Then I had to teach all day the next day.

       

      But next time I am in London definitely.  For the gruesome among you, I'll post some photos of the trip.

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      • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
        chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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        Still need to do Cairo … I am sure Will would be happy to come but Ann Marie wouldn't brave it … when Will and I were there in January, it was in the 90s.  That CL sounds great.

         

        Yes, that is the Temple of Horus … fabulous building.  The larger openings did go right through the walls but the smaller 'slot like' openings didn't.  Perhaps an enlargement will give a better perspective ...

         

        DSC00649-2_edited-1.jpg

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        • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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          That's very peculiar, especially since it is cut through a figure.  I have no clue!

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          • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
            chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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            Well, the Egyptologist didn't know either!  Weird.

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            • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
              profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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              My best guess, though I don't think it's right, is that it was intentional defacement, which pharaohs did all the time to previous pharaohs' images.  The problem is that it really does appear to be architectural.  We need an art historian -- anyone out there?

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              • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
                eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
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                @profc,

                 

                I was trying to find some place to post a url (again) and trying to find your old post about the old songs, but this also seemed appropriate.

                 

                Following Sisters with Whoopi Goldberg, Andre Rieu.  I love to watch his concerts on PBS.

                 

                Filmed in the beautiful city of Maastricht, in the south of Holland.

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                • Re: When I was young(er), life seemed simple
                  chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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                  eb, I wasn't expecting that!  The choir looked far too straight-laced.  Here I was thinking … "wouldn't it be great if choirs broke into the upbeat version" … and then, what happens!?! I was wondering why you mentioned Whoopi G. Great crowd participation too … I would love to have been there.

                   

                  The most unexpected stage event that I have seen was at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.  A guy called Eric Whitacre presented a Virtual Choir … with a lead singer on stage called Hila Plitmann, his wife. 

                   

                  DSC_0050_edited-1.jpg

                   

                  It was quite a stunning performance.  There is of course a YouTube link … it looks a very long performance but only the first 5 mins are the song … the rest are credits.

                   

                  http://ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir

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