Due West

I went over my bucket list, and I realized that I hadn’t posted the pictures and videos from something I checked off back in 2013. I know what you’re thinking, and yes- I’m a horrible person. Nevertheless- Item 31 on my list is to hear Due West perform live. They are a fantastic country band, and I grew up with Brad Hull in my small town in southeastern Arizona.

I’ll Miss You, Ellen.

Number 36 on the bucket list is to Attend a taping for the Ellen Degeneres show. Since I know now that this isn’t a possibility, i.e., her show isn’t being renewed, I have chosen to cross this off my list. It kind of makes me sad. Perhaps someday, somewhere, I’ll at least get to hear her do standup live? Not sure if this is in her future or what she’ll do from here on out. Time will tell.

Lake Relation

Way up north, in the Yukon, is Watson Lake. If you happen to be at mile marker 635 on the Alaska Highway, you’re there. It was named after Frank Watson, who, according to Wikipedia, was an American-born trapper and prospector. Let’s call this number 150 on my bucket list. Perhaps I’ll swing by while I’m accomplishing bucket list item number 2, which, as you know, is to drive the Alaska Highway. I am currently taking fuel donations.

Reserve Life?

I just posted this message to prospective flight attendants in a Facebook group that I’m in:

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Good morning all!

At one point or another, each and every one of us has fallen in love with the idea of being a flight attendant. I use the word “idea” because many in this group haven’t yet become flight attendants. We all get a notion of a glamorous lifestyle, sipping whatever drink, poolside. When people have asked me if I love my job, I’ve always replied, “I have never loved a job as much as I love this one, however, I have never enjoyed my time off of work as much as I do now!”

On August 31st, later this month, I will be starting my 18th year as a flight attendant for Southwest. I don’t post this to brag to anyone, I’m still a newbie to many out there in this industry. On the other hand, I just wanted to let you guys know a bit about my experience.

I’ve been in this Facebook group for some time and on occasion, I see questions about working reserve. Although reserve is a little different at each airline, some things are common at every airline:

  1. You sometimes (often) will get a trip that nobody wants (this could mean long days working, and short layovers, to undesirable layovers/overnights). Why would someone call in sick, or trade out of a trip that has 18+ hours on a sunny beach?
  2. You’re on call for a specific period of time- some airlines/reserves mean you have to be ready at a moment’s notice for up to a 24 hour period.
  3. Most flight attendants have a two-hour callout, meaning you have at least 2 hours to get to the airport or get to the plane. Sometimes less, depending on the airline/ circumstance. How close do you live to your base? This could mean an easy drive into work, or it could mean leaving home the night before because you commute on the plane.
  4. Some airlines require you to be ON AIRPORT/COMPANY PROPERTY for a set amount of time so they have you ready, just in case someone calls in sick at the last moment, or any trip is not covered, for whatever reason. My airline (Southwest) calls this “Airport Standby”, but I’ve heard it referred to [jokingly] as either “Airport Appreciation”, “Airport Hostage”, or my friends at Frontier call it, “Couch”. As in- they sit on the couch in their flight attendant lounge, just waiting for the call. This could be anywhere from 5 hours- up to who knows how long.
  5. Reserve can be difficult to plan your life around. Basically, make no non-work appointments or commitments during the days/times you’re on reserve.
  6. Sometimes they’ll use you A.S.A.P., and other days you may sit by the phone ALL DAY and not get that call. It’s best that you don’t make any personal plans. I’ve heard coworkers joke that SCHEDULING ALWAYS KNOWS IF YOU MADE ANY PLANS- That’s when they’ll call and give you an assignment!
  7. Once you’re out on a trip (even if it’s not on a reserve assignment), scheduling can always change or add to that trip. So even when working as a line-holder, try not to have any personal plans that are set in stone.
  8. How long does one have to work reserve? This all depends on the airline. Southwest is based on seniority- while in the bottom 65% of base seniority, you have to rotate in and out of reserve, so this varies depending on which base you have. Once you’re top 35%, however, you only have to work reserve if you pick it up or trade your trip with someone who has reserve.

Now- my intention is not to dissuade any of you from pursuing this career. These are just some of the facts- and this is just one aspect of the job. Make sure that this is something that you’re willing to “endure”. Like anything else in this life, it really comes down to your attitude. If you’re not happy in your current career, or the one prior to that, then there is a good chance that not going to be happy as a flight attendant. That’s on you- however.

I have, over the years looked at working reserve with an attitude of, “I wonder who I’ll get to meet today!”, or “I wonder where I’ll end up tonight!” This is the attitude I choose. There is LITERALLY only one flight attendant that I’ve ever worked with that I would dread working with again. And that has very little to do with me but is because of how badly I saw this person treat our passengers. If your life is so bad that you need to take it out on one of your passengers- then you need to fix whatever the hell is wrong with your life. And this goes with any customer service job, not just being a flight attendant!

I don’t want to end this post with a harsh vibe. I can count less than one hand, the number of times that I feel like I’ve been screwed over by my scheduling department. It has been a blast making so many new friends and having so many wonderful, unique experiences, and I wouldn’t change a moment of it!

Congratulations to those of you who have heard from an airline and are getting ready to start this new journey. Remember to treat every moment like an adventure and keep yourself open and receptive to new experiences! It’s a good way to live, even if you choose a different career path!…

…Best of luck! Dream big!

When is enough, enough?

My bucket list took me more than a year to think up (I believe it took about a year and a half if I recall). I thought 100 items would be a good list. I decided what my passions and dreams were at that time. I’ve spoken with others who managed to think of 10-20 items for their list. Perhaps I’m over the top? Some items on my list are 100% out of my control, some items that are easier to reach, and some items are in-between.

Here’s what happened along the way: Even though I’d revealed 100 items, that didn’t stop me from dreaming. The entire time I’ve been working on accomplishing the things on my list, I hadn’t stopped dreaming. I started to write down more things I wanted to achieve and experience. I am ready to reveal 50 more dreams/ goals that I have added. On the full bucket list, they start with number 101.

Here they are:

  1. Attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival
  2. Visit Auschwitz
  3. See the Austrian Alps
  4. Land at Barra Airport
  5. Visit Barrow, Alaska
  6. Visit Boleskine Graveyard near Inverness, Scotland
  7. √ Hear Cam perform live (accomplished March 9, 2019- see post)
  8. Stay in a castle
  9. Visit 60 different castles in Scotland (see progress)
  10. See the Catacombs in Paris, France
  11. √ Hear Chris Stapleton perform live (accomplished March 13, 2016- see post)
  12. Spend Christmas in Scotland
  13. √ See the Cliffs of Moher (accomplished April 24, 2018- see post)
  14. √ Visit Dingle, Ireland (accomplished April 16, 2018- see post)
  15. Visit Disney World
  16. Buy a season pass to Disneyland
  17. Ride on a dog sled
  18. √ Hear Eric Church perform live (accomplished March 10, 2018- see post)
  19. Visit the Faroe Islands
  20. Hear Garth Brooks perform live (accomplished November 4, 2016- see post)
  21. Visit Glencoe, Scotland
  22. See the Great Wall of China
  23. Visit Greenland
  24. Hear Holly Williams perform live
  25. Go ice skating at Bryant Park in New York City
  26. Spend at least 5 weeks in Ireland
  27. √ Visit Jacques in Copenhagen, Denmark (accomplished April 2016- see post)
  28. Go to Japan
  29. Hear Jared Mitchell perform live
  30. Visit Jasper National Park
  31. Kayak on the ocean
  32. √ Hear Keith Urban perform live (accomplished 03.09.19- see post)
  33. √ See The Kelpies (accomplished 03.22.19- see post)
  34. Attend the Kentucky Derby
  35. √ Hear Lady Antebellum perform live (accomplished March 10, 2019- see post)
  36. √ Hear Little Big Town perform live (accomplished November 15, 2015- see post)
  37. See the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City
  38. Go to Maldives
  39. Visit Mt. Rushmore
  40. Visit the Museum of Death in Los Angeles, California
  41. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail
  42. Go to the Poop Cafe in Toronto, Canada
  43. Eat a Puffin
  44. See the California Redwoods
  45. Visit Rome
  46. Visit Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, France
  47. See the Swiss Alps
  48. Go on a The Sound of Music tour in Austria
  49. Visit Vatican City
  50. Visit Watson Lake in the Yukon Territory

I have added these 50 to the bottom of the existing list, so if you check out the full list, they will start at number 101.

I’m Obsessed With Human Skulls!

Scratch that- I think skulls are fascinating, however. It’s not that I want to own one or anything like that, but I just think it’s interesting that this was part of a living, breathing human being once upon a time. That bone “housed” someone’s brain, which is part of the essence of an individual. Why is this so fascinating to me?

I have wanted to go into The Paris Catacombs and view those remains for quite a few years now. I was going to do this last year, but then Covid-19 reared its ugly head, and I had to end my holiday early. This has been added to my bucket list.

Storytime: I had a roommate who stole a bone from the catacombs (I’m not even joking), thinking it would be a cool keepsake, and when he brought it home to the states, things started going wrong with his life. I confess that I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). But what this roommate told me is that since he brought it home, so many family and friendly relationships had fallen apart. He was also diagnosed with a medical condition, and the doctors working with him didn’t know what it was!

He heard about my plans and actually asked me to return the human remains to Paris. I told him that even though I was highly skeptical about his story, there was no way I was going to touch that bone with a 10-foot pole. No, thank you!