Wednesday, November 28, 2007

your call is important to us

***** Sylvia by Nicole Hollander

As we speak, I am sitting on hold with the good people of Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0, or rather with their on-hold musical selections, which today consist of an easy listening jazz trumpet and canned percussion accompaniment, which is really just jazz without the, you know, jazz. It is relatively inoffensive, however, which is a very good thing, as I have been on hold now for 19 minutes. It is quite an improvement, in fact, over yesterday's 29 minute-long veritable concert, not counting brief intermissions wherein I spoke to a technician before being sent back to said concert, which appeared to be some sort of Austrian marching band recital....

And I can't believe it I just got
fucking cut off!

Pardon me while I redial. Ah, there's my music. ~~Tall and tan and young and lovely, dit doo di dodo dit dada nana...

Where were we? Oh yes. Adobe Photoshop ~ the company, the customer service, the cliche'. To paraphrase Kanye, Adobe Systems does not care about people.

Now, I am a patient woman, truly I am. I understand that things go wrong and when they do it takes time to fix them. I will sit glued to this chair, staring into this computer screen for hours, days even, working on projects that interest me. And even some that kinda don't but I need to finish them anyway, just because I'm obsessive that way. The point is, I'm patient. I'm cool. I'm Zen.

I'm pissed.

Let the record show that I started writing this post at 2:00pm, after I'd already been on hold for 19 minutes, and before I was cut off. It is 2:29. There is simply no excuse for this level of customer contempt. ....

Phone answered! Issues discussed. John the Technician Guy is flummoxed. After a rocky start (my fault entirely) we are bonding, and I can tell he is impressed by the complexity and seriousness of my problem. He has gone off to research. I
am on hold. It is 2:42pm. I think I will upload a picture.

~~ Do di doo dit doo di doo....

3:25pm. John has done all that he can do. The problem, he has concluded and I am forced to concur, is with my operating system; the OS that Shall Not Be Named. I will suffer no gloating on the subject from those not similarly afflicted. Tomorrow, I look forward to hearing the musical styling preferences of the good people at HP, Windows and possibly Fry's electronics.

Now, I am finally off to the gym, where I will no doubt want to take issue with the Cell Phone People. Blood may be shed. Namaste.

~~ Do dit doo dit doo shah nah na ...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

con qué soñaste anoche'?

God, I hope that's Spanish.

I've written a few times in the past about how much I enjoy Mexico's Dia de los Muertos festivities; that wondrous time when the veil is lifted, the dead travel freely, families welcome their departed loved ones back into their homes and visit the graves of their missing kin with offerings of love and celebration. Everyone gets to see dead people, or at least assume their presence, and a fine time is had by all. I'd been toying with the idea of building an altar of my own all year long; part art project, part spirit quest; very much about recycling that cabinet that's been sitting around my garage for ages. You know, the red one; the one with 'spirit altar' written all over it. And then I had a dream last night about hanging pictures.

Specifically, it was about hanging a particular picture, one which has been sitting on my dresser since the furniture from my mother's apartment arrived, along with several boxes of her belongings. I propped it up over her jewelry cabinet, thinking it would be nice to keep them together in my bedroom. But I didn't hang it. For some reason it seemed important that I get it's exact placement right, and I'd put off making this relatively benign decision until, apparently, last night.

As my mother tells it, when my father came home from the war he was not the same man who had left. The handsome, gay charmer with the twinkling blue eyes and easy smile who had sent home handmade gifts and cheerful love letters returned a silent and morose stranger; one who sat staring grimly out the living room window for hours on end, immobilized by visions and memories he would not or could not share. Not knowing what to do but desperate to bring him out of himself, she came home one day and handed him some tubes of oil paint and a few brushes. He'd never painted before in his life, although he'd always been clever with a pencil. And he painted a picture.

On the back of the canvas he wrote "Life's Sunset," adding, 'my first painting'. Mom cherished that picture, claiming that the little old woman in the ancient wood was her, and that Dad was painting the future. I suppose in a way he was. The picture hung in the entryway of every house they ever lived in
together, and then in the one she lived alone.

I don't know what took me so long to figure it out. So when I woke up this morning I got a hammer and a nail (and a pencil and a ruler, because that's just how I roll) and hung the painting where it belongs. By the front door, where the little old lady of the wood can meet and greet all who cross the threshold. As it should be.
Dulces sueños. Sweet dreams.