Centenarian Gets Free Internet

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La Valencia, La Jolla, CA
I think I’m one of the few people who loves living in a hotel. I could live in a hotel for the rest of my days. I love being able to go to the reception area and have people take care of all of my needs. I find that when I am in a hotel, I sleep better, my energy level is up, and it’s easier to combine work and play.

The only thing that pisses me off is if a hotel charges for Internet in guest rooms. Common space is always free. Wi-Fi is free in most of the hotel guest rooms in Europe and in Asia. I have stayed in plenty of business hotels, (euphemism for dumps) out-of-the country, and none of them ever charged extra for the Internet.

America is another story. I think most of the finer hotels now provide free Wi-Fi throughout their premises. I’m now going to crusade every hotel in the United States to do the same. Let me know if there is a hotel you want me to go after. I have my ways.

I think as you get older, the people who work in hotels treat you better. Eliot and I must look like Ma and Pa Kettle because everyone is very solicitous. The crazy thing is that I don’t mind it a bit.

This morning when we were checking out of the La Valencia in La Jolla, a bellman told me that a 100 year old woman has been residing at the hotel for over a decade. Her husband stipulated in his will that she can stay for as long as she wants to. He made all the provisions for her.

I became instantly envious. The centenarian was doing it her way. She has an aide who lives with her and has all of the meals delivered to her room. She basically turned this fabulous hotel into her own private assistant living facility. And the pièce de résistance is that the Internet is free. Touché!

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A Day of Nature With a Little Help from the Digital World to Record It


So here we are in the village of La Jolla, CA, at the La Valencia Hotel. Our hotel is pretty swanky but I really love it because it offers free Wi-Fi for the many devices that I drag everywhere with me.

We stayed here before but this time we requested a full ocean view so I could hear the waves breaking. They tried to slip us a corner view but this New Yorker just kept insisting on the particular spot I knew I wanted. They were actually very accommodating.

This morning we woke up to Jonathan Living Seagull on the balcony of our room. He was a few feet from my bed. Just beyond him you can see the palm trees and then the ocean.

I made a YouTube video of this little creature because the little steps he took on the railing represented what Eliot, Whitney, and I wanted to do for the day–walk. We actually did more than six miles on the boardwalk in Mission Beach alongside the Pacific Ocean. My Fitbit registered 16,000 steps. It was very exhilarating. We could have walked longer but we had errands to take care of.

I am back in our room now watching the waves again. The French doors are open and a nice breeze is blowing through, No snow. No humidity. No worries .

Repeating Email Alerts Out Loud Can Cause Painful Reactions

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

So there I was shopping for one-of-a-kind, clip-on earrings in Pomegranate, an upscale, edgy boutique in La Jolla Village, CA, when I heard my iPhone chirp. That meant I had received an email alert. I usually don’t rush to check news flashes, especially when I am picking out accessories to wear.

Something made me do it this time. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The CNN alert said “Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead.” Then without thinking, I repeated what I had read out loud. “No!” yelled a very attractive, silver-haired woman in her late 60s who was just a few feet away from me. “That can’t be. I am friendly with his mother. I just spoke to her. I live right near her in Rochester.”

I felt so awful. My outburst had thrown this woman into a frenzy. I watched her drop the clothes she picked out to buy and reach inside her handbag for her cell. She quickly walked out of the store.

Everything seemed so surreal. I was the reason why someone else was in pain. I didn’t mean it but still felt like I did it on purpose because I wanted to share the horror of what I read.

I think a lot about email alerts because I get so many: CNN, AP, USA Today, Huffington Post, NY Times, WSJ, People, Twitter. I voluntarily sign up for all of them. When something happens in the world, they all go into action. The problem with email alerts is that they get flashed so fast you can barely read them. It is impossible to retrieve an alert because most of the time the site that sent it doesn’t even have it posted. This drives me crazy.

I looked outside of the store for the woman, but she was nowhere in sight. I walked back in to finish up the transaction I had started to purchase three pairs of earrings. There I had been joyfully buying jewelry when something tragic had just occurred. I started to feel very strange.

We just don’t know what is going to happen from one minute to the next. Scary, isn’t it?