Wow, Has It Really Been a Year?

So I am on vacation again, feeling inspired to finally share. But when I finally figured out the password, I realize that it has been over a year since I’ve written! I think about writing all the time, I have a lot of clever half written blogs. This just proves that thinking and doing are two very different activities.

So the title of this weeks post WAS going to be Watergate vs. Trumpgate. Now its “what the fuck have I been doing”.

Why Watergate vs. Trumpgate as the title? Because I love history, I love truth, I love a great story. So when people started comparing the current Trump Russian Influence covered up with Watergate, I wanted to understand more about what this meant. My research included:

What I learned I can sum up quickly:

  1. One of the single biggest political breakthroughs/stories would have been missed altogether had The Washington Post and Ben Bradlee just let sleeping dogs lie.
  2. Both the company, Ben as the editor, and the storytellers fought hard to bring the story to the people… they even went up against the federal government and the Supreme Court… and won. They were all partners in bringing the truth forward…
  3. I believe that without this major event in our history, the USA would be much like other countries where governments control the news. So I do believe this is a BIG DEAL in our history.

The dedication of these journalists is admirable, but I will say that this kind of journalism and work could not have been done without the support of the business. What could regular employees due if they were also supported by the company they work for? IMHO I believe that a bad experience could easily be turned around if a Customer Support/Service person was empowered to do the right thing when I called the first time. Tell me you don’t think the same thing.

So why am I writing now? The movie Newspaperman, Ben Bradlee’s autobiography, has inspired me.

I love to write, I think about it everyday. But I don’t do it. I cannot believe its been a year. I literally have a clever saying or blog move through my mind every day.. but I don’t post it because I am unable to “perfect it”… Yes, I am busy with work, travel, family, exhaustion…. All just excuses that stop me from doing what I love.

O.k. So How do we get from Politics to Me? Great question!

I am inspired and I want to be consistent. So help me. From here on out, even if I cannot write a long blog, or I cannot sum up an experience with succinctness, I will still write. Because It is what I love to do – it is what helps me keep tabs on what I’m doing (my memory is really bad these days).. and it is a public record of my activities, adventures, thoughts, and ideas for my family.

Other Random Thoughts I feel compelled to share.

Now that I am back at it, here are a few deeper thoughts.

  1. I think about death all the time (If I haven’t explained why tell me, I’ll add a new blog entry) so making sure I get the most of life is important to me. And sharing a bit of adventure with my friends under an assumed name is also fun. I’m not going to be alive much longer(we are all dying), so I have to make the most of life. And making sure that I have it documented for my friends and family – well it gives them fodder for my funeral.
  2. BTW, for the record, I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread across the Mediterranean Sea… Which sounds great to me (I wished I had a recently deceased relative would have wished for the same thing, I would be the first to arrive and last to leave)… but AbFab’s husband, who has no legs, says to me “god damn it, why do I have to go to another country to spread your ashes.. that’s a lot of work”… yes. It is. So why am I going to make a grown man with no legs go to the Mediterranean Sea and spread my ashes? Because I want him (and everyone else) to have an adventure on me. See a part of this world that is like no other…. maybe the travel bug will bite. I believe that once this happens, this world is a better place for everyone. Every person who travels will all have a greater appreciation and understanding of cultural differences, will become more understanding and empathetic of our fellow humans and their struggles (and delights), and maybe, just maybe, this world will become a more gentler, kinder place to be. That is my wish. So, to you, and the man with no legs, get on a goddam airplane (and bus and train to be fair) and spread my ashes in the Mediterranean Sea.
  3. Oh, and I am currently flying to Italy (from SLC) for my Amalfi Coast vacation. It is a 31 hour journey just by plane (NOT taking into consideration the time change… for all you number crunchers). I departed SLC at 11am MT, arrived Naples at 5pm. I still have a 2+ hour shuttle ride to the hotel. Is it worth it? Hell yes. And you will know why when you show up for my funeral. If you want to go prior to my death, check out Villa Scarpariello on Amalfi Coast.
  4. This one is going to be hard to believe, but really try hard to know this is the truth. yes I’m drinking… I am on the plane, yes, I’m seriously ON THE AIRPLANE now. I am sitting next to a couple who I have not spoken to, but they don’t smell and don’t seem to mind me, so that’s a thumbs up. Anyway, the drink cart came by before the meal. I ordered two glasses of wine.. I got the side eye from the couple which I expect from inexperienced travelers. (It is to be noted that I DID NOT get side eye from the flight attendant, he knew I knew what was up).  So what does this mean for you?
    • A) That there is a huge gap between when the first beverage cart comes out and the second beverage cart,
    • B) flight attendants really don’t care to keep the cart going when people are asleep (over night international flights).
    • So the question to ask yourself — ADVICE ALERT — How long can you/do you want – to wait for another beverage?  Me: Not that long.  So serve me two at a time please.  Thank you.

O.k. I have to go to bed now…  and the Ambien is kicking in. I’m sleepy, very sleepy….

I am chock full of stories AND I’m on vacation so I will write more (expect nothing).

Mwah, Mwah, Mwah (kisses with the french sound)… yes there are 3 of them.

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Istanbul – Day 1 – Arrived Safe And Sound.

2015-11-Turkey_Smokers Die YoungerI just arrived in Istanbul earlier today.  My plane landed at 4:30… I picked up a bottle of wine at duty free.  Above is a sign taped to wall that leads to the cigarette display. See how simple the message is when the Tobacco industry and government isn’t involved?  The only improvement would be a picture of a 50 year old smoker who looks 80.

I arrived at my hotel around 6:30pm. I took a quick nap then went out to eat.  I flew United because I wanted the points so that I could gain my Premier status back (and get points to purchase a ticket to Utah)..  I would never fly them otherwise – they truly do not care about the customer experience. Planes are old, seats are old, wireless doesn’t work, the flight attendants are rude (and must be union because they act so entitled).   I will do a blog on United Airlines experience.. and it won’t be good for them.  So many small things they could do to improve their service that would GREATLY improve the customer experience.  In simplest terms, they should just follow Virgin America’s lead. O.k. enough of that. On with the good stuff.

The city is so much quieter now than when I was here in September.   I’m staying in the heart of the Old City – at a very small hotel named Sari Konak. I found it on TripAdvisor… a great little boutique hotel, off the busy roads yet centrally located.  The room is nice sized (I’m in room 201), bathroom is nice, and the folks are super friendly and helpful.  I will not spend my entire trip here as I want to get out of the tourist hustle and bustle, but this is a GREAT little spot to stay while exploring the Old City.  The only bad thing I can say about the hotel right now is that the wireless is either spotty or very poor.  There aren’t many tourists around so I’m surprised that the wireless internet isn’t blazing fast.

2015-11-20-Dinner with cat

Above is a picture of me at dinner…  Here I am with wine and cat…  as Jon Kabat-Zinn would say, “Wherever You Go, There You Are“. Yes, I am half-way around the world but I’m doing what I love – enjoying great food, good wine, and the companionship of a furry friend.  This is why I LOVE Turkey – I feel so at home here.  It is safe, people are ‘old school’ in the sense that they care for one another and for other living creatures (vs. tech, money, what school you go to, etc).  Example – at dinner I was going to have my meal packaged up so I could feed the strays but there was no need to do this. The restaurant puts all leftovers out for the strays…  There are no homeless (that I have seen) and the strays are well taken care of – they are spayed/neutered and well fed by restaurant and shop keepers.  It is in their culture to take care of all beings.

My plan is to organize my days in Istanbul and go to the Grand Bazaar tomorrow and just browse… I hear you feel the history just by being there.  I am looking for a few items –  a couple of small silver bowls to store jewels and such…  and a nice necklace for my friend Jewels who is going through tremendous heartache right now.  I don’t have much money but I hear the Turkish merchants love to negotiate so there may be many winners tomorrow.  🙂

O.k. I’d better go to bed.. otherwise I may not get up and enjoy my free breakfast and a full day at the Grand Bazaar!

If you have been to Istanbul and have tips for me please share them!  I have 8 days and would love to see/do things that aren’t currently on my radar.

Pool Time == Vacation Time.

2015-07-19-Coppola Winery Pool DayI love pool time.  Any time that I am able to spend by the pool feels like I am on vacation.

On Sunday Unicorns and Rainbows and I went to the Francis Coppola Pool.  A few key points of our experience:

  1. Glorious.  It was absolutely glorious to be there, in the heat, the sun, the pool….
  2. Service.  Awesome once Lindsay got involved.
  3. Price.  Rediculai.  $35 for a lawn seat, which is a seat on the lawn.  The area is SO SMALL and it does not include a lounge chair.  Another price for the Cabina’s, which is worth it with the wine club discount – $150 for 4 lounge chairs.

Honestly, Linsday saved the day.  We were new to the resort, were not given any guidance. We showed up at 11am to get the best seat in the house.  We found the perfect lounge chairs for us.  A few hours later I asked about the different color bands, the waitress went back and complained, and the whole process to move us to the lawn ensued.  Unicorns did better than I did – I was harsh – “find us a non-reserved lounge chair or give us a refund”. I was NOT going to the lawn area after experiencing the lounge chair.

Anyway, my point is, that just being by a pool, laying in the sun, makes me relax and that feels so good – like I’m on vacation.   And I like to be on vacation.  The picture is of me and my toes, soon after we arrived at the fancy winery pool. The cabinas are in the background.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig.

2015_06_OnVacationA-Train and I have returned from vacation. It was a fabulous trip, one of the best I’ve ever had in this country.  We went to Terranea Resort and Spa in Rancho Palos Verdes, just a short 45 minutes from LAX.  I would highly recommend it.  It was a fabulous resort – the room was fantastic, it had a great variety of restaurants on-site, and the service was fantastic.  It was sooo relaxing.  It was exactly what I needed.  I was surprised that A-Train treated and was into this vacation because it isn’t his style.  But he was actually fun to hang out with – he reminded me of the A-Train that I met a long time ago.

I took much needed time away from work and computers.  I checked my email only once and that was it.  I happened to get a new phone last week and I was not able to connect it to work email before I left.  It was a blessing.  It was so nice to disconnect for such a long period of time. First time in quite a few years that I stepped away from work.

I’m slowly transitioning back to the work world this week.  I’m not doing an exceptional job at it.  Good thing that tomorrow is Friday!

I have some great plans this weekend, one of which is to sit by a pool, sipping wine and catching up with my girlfriends.  Sort of like an extension of my fabulous vacation.  Living the dream.  🙂

Strange Experience.

Hello peeps.  I’m on vacation – touring Maine with my best friend Unicorns.  We got in the car on Monday with her dog, Spotted Sausage and haven’t stopped since. We have seen some amazing things (below) and talked with fellow travelers all over te world. 

  •  Unicorn’s Uncle Ray (whos amazing and so much fun)
  • some of New Hampshire’s most beautiful natural resources, the White Mountains
  • Maine’s incredible Coastline

We are in Maine now, looking to enjoy a bit of R&R – reading, relaxing, catching up on personal tasks as its raining and cold here.  However, tonight had a very strange outcome.

Unicorns and I had a wonderful dinner at a restaurant called Red Sky in Southwest Harbor, ME.  We had Maine shrimp, crab, and lobster.. YUM!

We are staying at this B&B and are sharing a two room and two bath cottage with another person – we are on one side of the cottage, this person is on the other. We share a living room and kitchen area.  We have our own bathroom so we are good.

Anyway, Unicorns and I get home from dinner, and Danielle and her girlfriend are in the house. They seemed snuggly so I/we thought they were gay, which there is nothing wrong with that.  But then this guy showed up and Danielle started snuggling with him…  We all watched a movie together.  They seem like they were stoned because their speech was really slow but they didn’t smell of pot.  Unicorns and I think they are just slow (Katie said retarded, I think they are just mentally challenged).

We are watching TV and enjoying a fire together until Danielle pushes a glass of wine off the left table, splattering wine and glass everywhere. Danielle and Gordon go to clean it up and somehow manage to move the couch over enough to knock over the right table and dump another glass of wine, break a wine glass and a lamp.  Unicorns and I just sat there and watched.

The entire evening “at home” felt so surreal, like we are in a twilight zone…  we were looking forward to hanging out and doing nothing, but that is obviously not going to happen if we stay here.  Tomorrow we will be looking for new accommodations.  I am very interested in the excuse we make up when we check out a day early….

On “PTO” and a Few Random Thoughts.

So, I’ve taken Today and tomorrow, Thursday and Friday as  “PTO”, Personal Time Off .  I still need to work a little bit, largely due to my OCD….  I have to do it.  I can’t not do it, which intrigues me – I’m so tired of working, soooo tired of working nights and weekends…. I finally get a few days off, and I work.  I know why – I know it will make a difference.  And my name is on it.  I’m only as good as my work.  I DO NOT, will not deliver shoddy, less than perfect work. Thus, my working during my PTO.

I’m in Utah now, staying at my parents house (I love my parents, I can’t even remember why I didn’t like them anymore). The plan was to attend AbFab’s college graduation ceremony on Saturday.  I just found out today that there won’t be one.  I’m not disappointed for myself – I get to spend time with AbFab in a less structured environment.. but I’m disappointed for her. I really wanted her to go thru the ceremony.  She has worked very hard to complete this program (she’s a Pharmacy Tech, works at a local hospital, mixing and dispensing meds to patients, how cool is that?!?!?).   I wanted her to experience an “end” of her hard work..  to solidify the end and a new beginning…   This is just my want for her, she seems to be fine with her choices so I’ll move on.

Friday night I’m spending the evening with LilDarlin. We are going to paint our nails and watch movies. I’m also going to set her up with new, cool, music…   That was her Xmas wish – to spend an evening with Auntie “Paula”…  not a thing, not money, but time with the coolest Aunt in the World.  I know, makes your heart melt doesn’t it?!?

Alright, enough about work and family, here are the few random thoughts:

  • Went out with my Utah Realtor last night (Thursday). He had on a ‘skin’ vest.. very similar to the one I wrote about in a previous blog – Date With My Utah Realtor.  The funny thing is we ended up hanging out with two very cool girls who commented on his vest.  I couldn’t stop thinking about telling my blog fans about it (who else can I share it with?!?)
  • I just searched my own website for the link for the above blog and I realized that I’m now the first google search return for Paulas Ponderings (I wasnt before… ).  I also realize that I can’t search my own blog for links.. bullshit I tell you. I’ll change that if I can.
  •  Utah is so beautiful – a gorgeous state. If they could get over the mormon thing, seperate chuch and state, Utah would be the new California
  • I’m done with Law and Order SVU.  I stil like Law and Order, I’m just done with the whining and crying of the victims.  For those of you who respond with anger… I get it… .. but if you continue to support the victim mentality, you will get a victim.  Done with victims..
  • I got my hair colored, it looks fabulous, I look fabulous.  I really like my new colorist/stylist… but she works next to the person I’ve been going to for years (they work at the same salon, and in my defense I ONLY went to her because my colorist/stylist was not available multiple times)…  still, when I had my color done with the new gal on Wednesday, my original gal was there… a tiny bit uncomfortable.

Regarding the house, I’m working on a purchase contract.  ATrain is helping me with it.  The lender did not call ATrain, me, or the realtor today…. he is a friend of ATrains.  ATrain says if he doesn’t call back or call the agent to pull a contract together that we can work different avenues (meaning I get to find someone)… Its strange having someone ‘help’ me – I didn’t ask for the help, I really don’t know how to ask for help, ATrain offered.  If it works out I wil be forever grateful. 

Alright. Enough updating. I’m exhausted. Ill write more later. Have a great Friday everyone.

Hawaii Trip Clarification.

O.k. so most of you have reached out with the same reaction and question to my recent Hawaii experience:

  1. “the trip sounded horrible”!
  2. “where did you leave it” with Chicken Legs? 

First and foremost, I should have given a bit more background of the trip BEFORE going off on the things that didn’t work.  Chicken Legs is a very interesting and smart person. I do enjoy spending time with him. WE enjoyed each others company, had great conversations, had fun at all of our outdoor activities – snorkeling, hiking, just walking the Waikiki beach, eating out.  We are in-synch when it comes to all the other “stuff”.  I am a slow mover when it comes to “riding bikes” (TradeMarked by GGD) together…  so it’s not odd for me to NOT have slept with this guy… and given everything else that we enjoy together, it’s not a stretch to think we would have a good time “riding bikes”..    So, please do not feel bad for me,  my trip to Hawaii was a good one. 

So, now, where did I leave it with Chicken Legs.  We are fine – friends in my head.  I think know, he thinks we are a couple now.  I know this because he has called me every night since we’ve gotten home, he tries to call me his girlfriend and I’ve corrected him.   During all of our time together, I’ve been very clear with him about the following:

  • I am not interested in being in an exclusive relationship
  • Having sex does NOT mean we are exclusive
  • I am not interested in having love in my life
  • I am not interested in getting/being married again

All of these things are true when it comes to Chicken Legs.  I think if I met the right person, one I experienced the 3 H’s with,  none of these statements would be true.  MY POINT IS, I’m not leading Chicken Legs on, I’ve been very open and honest with how I feel about us.  I think he is hoping for more… behaving as if there already is more, just in case I change my mind.  So, I’ve been straight up with Chicken Legs, but I think given the way he is acting/behaving, we need to have a talk.  I don’t know when I will see him again (he’s been out-of-town for work, and now is home with his boys for the next week, then I leave for a work trip)..

So, I know what needs to happen, I need to have another conversation with Chicken Legs and let him know that we are just friends.  No benefits.  And if he doesn’t want to be just friends, well then…  I will miss his friendship.

One last clarification about my Hawaii experience rant.  The “I’m sorry” comment.  All three men I’ve been with since my divorce, all of them, in my opinion, have been verbally assaulted and emotionally abused by their Ex’s.   They have all gotten to the point where they have to apologize for everything… every little thing.  The reason I was so harsh on Chicken Legs is because I don’t want to be the person that causes him to say I’m sorry all the damn time.  I’m an easy-going, relaxed individual who doesn’t expect perfect.  I want better for Chicken Legs, and all of “my men”.  I want the men in my life to feel freedom of being themselves, of being confident in who they are and how they do it.  I want them to relax and have fun with me…. not spend all their time being concerned that they are going to do/done something wrong.

So that’s it…  that’s where I’m at.