Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Project, the Interview, the Fair and Family

We're slowly getting our home put back together after having hardwood floors put in on most of the main level. I'm an organized type and not accustomed to having stuff in such disarray but disarray is a necessary part of the process. I hope to have a YouTube video of the steps involved in the project later in the week.

It's been a trying week at times as the project hasn't all been as easy as we'd hoped. The main problem was a new dishwasher which didn't fit. The new floors add 3/8" in height and that's enough to create problems. We had them remove the wood flooring under the dishwasher and now it just barely fits. I'm sure it will be a fine addition to our home but up to now it sits as a piece of junk which doesn't work. There isn't anything complicated about installing a dishwasher...a couple of water line connections and some wire connections. For whatever reason the water won't flow to the unit and yes, the water was turned on. I called Warner Stellian (where we bought it) and asked them if they could either send a service tech out or allow me to come and get a replacement. They told me that once we've taken delivery the matter becomes a problem for GE. Very disappointing for sure. So, we've got a tech from GE coming out on Tuesday to probably tell us he needs to order a part for which we'll have to wait a few weeks. I went out and bought a bunch of disposable plates and cups.

I was off work last week and have this week off as well. It's been nice to be away from the grind but this has been a working vacation with all the stuff we're doing at home. It will be nice to finish the painting and getting things put back into place so we can relax a bit.

I got together with the folks from the production company shooting the training video for BestBuy. I wrote about what precipitated this in the previous entry. They had us meet them at a home in Eden Prairie where I spent an hour in front of their cameras telling my story. It sort of reminded me of a 60 Minutes interview where they ask questions and I provide as much elaboration as I can which they will in turn edit down to something much shorter than the hour I spent talking. I think I gave them some good footage to work with and no doubt said some things they'll leave out. Maybe a bit too hard on them at times but I kept it honest.

Several times I had to wonder why I was going out of my way to help BestBuy. I'd never once even asked about compensation and it was a bit of an ordeal battling rush hour traffic traveling 25 miles from home to do this for them. I just felt that if our ordeal could help others to understand how to better treat customers it would all be worth it. After the taping was done they handed us each a $100 BestBuy gift card and said that if we didn't want to ever again darken the door of their store they would understand but that we could also use the cards online. That was nice of them. My brother Keith has been doing some stuff for us as part of our home project so I gave the cards to him.

Tammy and I made it out to the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis on Friday. We were looking for some art to go above our fireplace. We came away empty handed but that was more a lack of funds for art than it was a lack of interest in art. Our favorite artist there is Marc Sijan although we've never seen him. Any other booth has the artist along with their work. Not Marc. It doesn't matter. He does life size human figures with the most amazing detail. I have no idea what his pieces cost as I've never seen prices listed but I'm curious to know.

Rachel is with the kids from Prince of Peace rafting down the Colorado River. 14 of them left in two vans on Thursday and will be back Tuesday. That worked out well for us as we didn't plan a family vacation this year. She's had a full summer so far.

It's been one year since the meltdown within my family. I have no illusions that things will ever be the same nor would I want them to be. Turning a blind eye and implicitly condoning manipulative, abusive, hurtful behavior is wrong. Allowing one mean spirited, angry person to poison the family watering hole without confronting the individual would not have been a responsible or reasonable approach. The cold chill in the air among my family remains. My family is very good in the art of passive/aggressive. The saddest part of the entire affair is that my mother has painted herself into a corner and alienated some important people in her life so as not to upset Claudia. Mom has suffered some chronic medical problems this past year and I have no doubt that stress revolving around this lasting ordeal is the underlying reason. In the past I've always felt a responsibility to shield her from the manipulations of my sister but I can no longer do that. The stress has no doubt taken its toll on her and I have to wonder what it is my sister Claudia is getting out of all of this? Can't she see what this has done to our mother? Has it been worth it? Are you happy? What sort of world do you live in where the end game is one where you cause division among people who are supposed to love one another? My disappointment with Claudia remains and only she can change that.

It's easy for me to believe that there are those in my family who would like to see me fail in life. That's a sobering conclusion to have to reach but that's where I am. A few years ago when Jerry lost his job, Claudia was gleeful at the prospect that Jackie would have to go to work outside the home. I can't remember exactly how the phone conversation played out but it was apparent that Claudia was enjoying watching Jackie and Jerry struggle after Jerry lost his position with Qwest. No doubt that same sick desire awaits me should I fall on hard times. I've always been supportive of my siblings...happy for their successes and sad for their difficulties. Why do I feel that some of my siblings hold an opposite view toward others in our family? Resentment and bitterness are such a drain and waste of the life you've been blessed with.

3 comments:

jackie said...

I know exactly how you feel. I say the reason that she must always be in other peoples business besides being nosy is that she feeds off of the misfortune of others. It is the only way she can elevate herself. What a very sad life to pretend you care only to find out something that will make your life look better. I am truly sad for her that his is her life.

Anonymous said...

fIFTY MAY BE A BIT OF A CHALLENGE BUT ONLY FOR A SHORT TIME. I THINK ALL OF THE THINGS YOU HEAR MEDICALLY AFFECT US AT AGE 50 ETC. IT JUST MAKES US FEEL IN A DIFFRENT CATAGORY SO TO SPEAK. I THINK 40 WAS ACTUALLY HARDER FOR ME. YOU WILL DO JUST FINE KEVIN. YOU ARE ACTIVE, YOUNG AT HEART, YOU HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF THE WORLD AROUND YOU, A FAMILY THAT THINKS THE WORLD OF YOU SO MANY THINGS ON YOUR SIDE. AGE IS TRULY A STATE OF MIND IN SO MANY WAYS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO THANKS FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN. JACKIE

Kevin said...

Jackie, thanks for the kind workds. Yeah, I'm sure I'll get comfortable with it before too long.