Random thoughts on a train to New York

The wait, the countdown, the anticipation — all over.

I’m on a train, Kacey Musgraves coming through my headphones, on the way to New York City.

My wife just pointed out the waterfront passing by near the Rhode Island-Connecticut border. It’s pretty nice.

I love flying, but if only it could be more like riding a train. My wife and I are sitting comfortably next to each other, with plenty of space and no third person jammed into the space.

There aren’t any seat belts, and if I want to get up to go to the bathroom or get a snack, it’s not a logistical nightmare.

In other words, we’re passengers, not cattle.

One drawback … if Amtrak is going to offer WiFi, it would be nice it it worked more often.

Yup … high-class, First World problem.

I had the very odd dream last night that I had befriended a very proper British gentleman — you know the type: tall, thin, perfect silver hair, well-dressed, probably in his 60s — and I walked out of a very proper English home to find him … chipping golf balls with Kenny Dalglish.

Excuse me … Sir Kenny Dalglish … who was “demoted” from “King Kenny” when he got his MBE.

So what did I do when I met the legendary Liverpool player and manager, the advocate for Hillsborough victims and their families?

I said something about how he chips golf balls left-handed, just like me.

I have no idea if Kenny Dalglish is left- or right-handed.

But I am apparently just as socially awkward in the world that exists only behind the back of my eyelids.

My blog buddy Rosie wrote an interesting piece about college the other day, some of which squares with my belief that if all the learning you get has to do with your classes, you’re doing it wrong.

But her main point was right there in the first sentence: “College is a scam.”

I don’t want to spoil her post here, but for the cost of college these days, I wonder how many people Rosie’s age (I think she’s 25, so she’s a fairly recent grad) feel that way.

I graduated from college from 1994, my brother in 1998. My parents both had solid middle-class jobs — him a steel fabricator, my mother with New York State — which was enough to pay for both of us to go to college (plus a scholarship that covered roughly half of my tuition).

Needless to say, I am very grateful for that. College loans weren’t any kind of bargain back then, and it’s worse now.

My wife’s parents were a high school teacher and a church secretary, and they paid for her to go to Mount Holyoke.

I’m not sure what tuition was for Mount Holyoke or St. Rose, but when I went to Utica College, I believe the tuition ranged from $14,000 to $16,000 per year. About 3 1/2 years ago, the college was in the news for cutting tuition 42 percent … to $19,996.

It had been over $34,000. I remember going on a campus tour at a Reunion Weekend where our guide enthusiastically told us that tuition wasn’t that much less than Harvard. I love Utica College with all of my heart … but, no.

And my wife once wrote a letter to the Mount Holyoke magazine that if the college wasn’t careful, it would basically be a finishing school for rich girls. That was at least 10 years ago.

Lucky for us that my wife, my brother and I were all good students. If we were going to college today, our parents didn’t make nearly enough money to bribe our way in.

Given my wife’s admiration for Chase Utley as a fine baseball player, and — let’s be honest, guys — a fairly handsome fellow, it’s a wonder I’m still married after I showed her this photo.

I guess small favors do exist.

We have several things planned for this trip to New York: “Fleabag” tonight, Sara Bareilles Monday night, “Network” Wednesday night.

But this is New York; another new adventure can always be around the next corner.

So let the adventure begin.


4 thoughts on “Random thoughts on a train to New York

  1. Pingback: ‘Normal’ is what you make of it – A Silly Place

  2. Pingback: Wherever you’re going, take me with you! – A Silly Place

  3. Pingback: A year ago, I was in New York – A Silly Place

  4. Pingback: Life from the Before Times – A Silly Place

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