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Posts Tagged ‘stuff’

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This has not been the week that I thought it would be.  First, I thought that my new puppy, Summer Moon, would stop harassing her much older brother, Rhythm, after I followed Caesar Milan’s sage guidelines for introducing a new puppy to an older dog.  Wrong.  Summer has yet to learn that (1) Rhythm is Head Dog and (2) she’s a Golden Retriever Puppy, not a baby Dragon, (3) and Caesar is supposedly RIGHT in all things DOG.  And just to prove her contempt for TRAINING, she swiped a burrito off the kitchen counter tonight and ate half of it before being discovered.  Sigh!

Second, I was unwittingly drawn into a conflict with the company that services my lap pool.  About two weeks ago, it began to bubble like a cauldron.  Getting into the spirit of Halloween, I thought.  But since a pool is not a cauldron, I called the pool service to ask them to come take a look.  That request degenerated into a demand that I (1) tell them what is wrong with the pool and (2) (well, since I didn’t know what was wrong) take pictures of the bubbles.  I told them I would be thrilled to pay them $75 to come diagnose it since (1) they are supposed to know what’s wrong, and (2) I was working on a brief for the California Supreme Court and I didn’t have time to take pictures of bubbles.  Eventually, the pool tech appeared, mumbled something about the auto-flow, and promised to have yet another tech who actually fixes things come to make the repair.  But a week went by, and no fixer pool tech ever appeared.  I thought of calling the office, but after my last conversation with the receptionist, I figured I’d just wait for the saner pool tech to reappear and summon the fixer pool tech.

But when the saner pool tech did reappear, I learned that psycho-receptionist was working to have him fired.  Apparently, that’s why she never sent the fixer pool tech.  She wanted to be able to say that the sane one had dropped the ball.  Which he did not do.  In the end, I had to call the owner of the company and tell him I wouldn’t be using his pool service anymore.  The saner tech had done a good job, but the psycho in the office was not a force I wanted to go on reckoning with.  I didn’t want my pool caught in whatever vendetta she had against the saner pool tech.  The owner promised free repair and pool service for a month, but I didn’t want to deal with any more unprofessional behavior from his front office.  I said, thanks, but no thanks, and hired a new pool service.

I felt a little sorry for the owner. He has just bought the business, and every customer is important to him. But apparently he didn’t realize that he took over a front office that doesn’t share his goals.

The lesson for me is that any business is built one customer at a time. That’s why I’m grateful for every new reader who finds one of my legal thrillers and decides to give it a try.

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Faint outlines of Australia and New Zealand remained on the downstairs wall after I wrote the painter his check and sighed with relief as he closed the front door. I called my son in for a second opinion, and he swore he couldn’t see them – at least from where he was standing. I tried to convince myself I could only make them out because I knew they had been there, sort of like the amputee who can still feel the severed limb. But I knew I’d backed the wrong horse and hired a less than competent painter. I supposed he thought I wouldn’t notice that of the three cabinet doors on the upstairs vanity, he painted only two. Didn’t he realize the chipped paint on the third was a dead giveaway?

Misjudgments are interesting. I have, at times, deemed someone incompetent who turned out to be quite an expert. Those are the good mistakes because I would rather think well of someone whenever possible. But, then, there are the days like this one when I’ve had to admit I’ve made the wrong choice. I could send this painter back a hundred times to eliminate the spots, but I would only become increasingly frustrated because if he’s known how to get rid of them in the first place, they wouldn’t still be there. Moral of story: better to cut my losses, tell myself no one else will notice Australia and New Zealand, and remember not to look up very often until I decide to hire a new and better painter. Of course, this is Time Number Three to paint that ceiling, so Time Number Four is entirely likely. Something in my karma attracts water damage to that spot in my house. Sigh.

But for now, I am reveling in having my stuff back in place. I am, without doubt, a “stuff” person. I love little nicknacks and the mini tableaux I can create with them on shelves and in unexpected corners of the house. A visually interesting environment is far more important to me than a Feng Shuied one.

I used to wonder if this were yet another character flaw that I might be duty bound to stamp out. But then I discovered http://www.theselby.com. Todd Selby goes about photographing creative people and creative spaces. And if you check his website, you will see artists are “stuff” people who love to create visual groupings with small objects. According to The Selby, I am not only a “stuff” person, I an an artist! Oh, joy. An excuse to avoid the Spartan environment of Feng Shui!

So I reveled tonight in putting back the fairy village that inhabits the top of my livingroom book shelves. I brought all the magic dragons out of hiding and made them lords of their respective kingdoms once more. I rehung the baskets my grandfather began to weave when he was in his 80’s and made throughout his 90’s (all autographed and signed). I snuggled the Big Bashful Bunny, the Medium Bashful Bunny, and the small Bashful Bunny back into their corner of the sofa. (They were inspired by a sofa in Anthropologie full of a similar bunny family at Easter a couple of year back.) Finally, I brought the mini-Teddies happily back to their house.

To celebrate, I poured myself a big glass of wine and sat down on the sofa to appreciate my world. Either an artist or a big grownup child lives here. Fine by me. And I reveled in the knowledge that I don’t have to be dressed and on my mark at nine o’clock in the morning to let anyone into the house to deal with Australia and New Zealand. I’ve gotten my house and my routine back, and I’m in un-Feng Shuied Stuff Heaven once more. Ordeal by Leaking Sink and Painter is finally over.

Leprechaun in the Fairy Village

Leprechaun in the Fairy Village

More Fairy Village

More Fairy Village

Happy Sheep

Happy Sheep

The Teddies are Home

The Teddies are Home

Magic Dragons Happy to Be  Back

Magic Dragons Happy to Be Back

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