Non- F*CK YOU Friday

My brain lately has been pretty calm.  In the midst of the worldwind of the busiest time of the quarter at work (allocations), I’ve not felt my friend Rage rear it’s ugly ass.  During the mile walk home after taking the wrong bus (have I told you how much I hate the N6?), my mind was calm and I listened for birdsong.  Not even the self-centered, arrogant and/or stupid people I deal with daily have risen the hackles on the back of my neck.  My disasterously wet commute last week was dealt with without extreme high blood pressure.  Yes, I was angry at the cars that splashed me, and the company that made my boots, but I reacted much calmer than usual.  Time wasn’t spent ranting and raving.  Well, not as much.  And the result of the crappy day I had yesterday was only a craving for a beer.

Usually, I would have wanted scotch.  And heads to roll.

Yes, the trail is smooth, dry and beautiful.  Was that a chipmunk?

I’ve found my equivalent of Xanax.  One 540 mg tablet a day of Black Cohosh takes my rage away.  I don’t feel the urge to smack, maim or eat my friends and family.  I don’t feel the build-up of angst or utter angriness when I’m stuck in traffic, stepped on while riding the bus (damn N6) or walking through Times Square.  I’m not a zombie- I still get angry at the damn tourists, but I don’t feel like pulling a gun on every stupid person in NYC.

Black Cohosh- I thank you.  You are a beautiful thing.


I can’t say enough about the customer service I received at Fishin’ Chix after I shot off a kind of nasty email about my broken boots.  I was wet and cold and out $54, so I told them what had happened and that I wasn’t happy.  Within MINUTES I got back this email:

Well Ms. Sue, I would hope you would give us a chance to make it right with you before you choose not to recommend us to anyone.  We like to pride ourselves on our high fashion and quality.  Unfortunately, we had about a 1% failure rate on that particular boot.  We have since gotten a new shipment in and are extremely satisfied with the testing we have done on it.  If you give me your information and the size you need I would be more than happy to send you another pair.  The new shipment we got in runs almost an entire size smaller than the ones we previously had so please keep that in mind when telling me your size.  I look forward to getting you another pair of Black circle boots and restoring your confidence in our products.

I did apologize in my reply for the terse email ( I WAS wet and cold…)  She replied it was no big deal, she’s had days like that.  Within three days, I received a new pair of boots. 

Wow.  I like these folks so much now, everyone is getting boots for Christmas!  Thanks, Fishin’ Chix!

Better Than Ebay

Going once, going twice- sold! to bidder number 36.

What a rush!  Before last Saturday, I’ve never been to a live auction, let alone bid in one.  I’ve been a member of eBay for over 10 years and I’ve experienced the adrenaline pumping joy of sniping something at the last minute and the agonizing defeat of losing a much-wanted item.  I’ve amassed most of my Vintage Fiesta pieces online, bidding out other collectors.  It’s a sweet win.

But the rush of actually seeing who you’re bidding against while little beads of sweat start breaking out on your forehead hoping the price doesn’t go too high?  No online auction can beat that.

MR’s sister Lau and her husband Ick (actual nicknames used to protect the innocent) belong to the Peekskill German-American club– an adorable little Bavarian style club.  German eagles (made by MR, hisself) and the requisite “Das Boot” beer mug hangs over the bar.  Handlebar mustachioed men walk through the crowds holding foot-tall Franzikaner beers.

It’s all quite quaint.  I wish we belonged to a club like this closer to home.

So last Saturday, the club held an auction fundraiser with Ross Art House.   There was “sports” art, “music” art- an Eric Clapton signed album and a drum top signed by the members of Pink Floyd- as well as prints by Dali, Erte, Kinkaide and Chagall.  Quite a lot of the prints were signed and numbered by the artist.  There were a few original pieces as well as a few Disney Sericels…basically, something for everyone.

When we first walked in, my first impressions was, meh, these are all old lady paintings (no offense to anyone who likes Thomas Kinkaide.)  But as I roamed the tables, I saw more pieces I liked.

Such as this:

And this:

And this:

But we REALLY liked these:

These are by Graciela Rodo Boulanger, a Bolivian artist noted for her whimsical, child-like paintings.  The first one is called “A Koala Bear for Sandra” and the second is “A Puma for Josquin and Mathieu”.  They’re small prints, mounted in beautiful frames.  They remind me of Maurice Sendak illustrations.

I wanted them.  Zombiegirl and MR agreed.

We placed our cards in the frames, which indicated our interest in bidding.  When they came up for bid, the auctioneer said they were going to do things a little differently with these.  Give me a number, he said.

I called out $50!

Okaaaay, he said.  That IS a number.  (How rude!)

Bidding was fast with myself and two other people interested.  MR said there was a woman down in front that kept shooting me the stink eye since I was bidding against her.  I was exasperated at the man on the other side of the room outbidding me.  After another flurry of bids, I was the winner!  When the second piece came up, the woman in front was determined to have it.  I, on the other hand, had plans to put one each on either side of our wall unit.  (Always have a place to put your artwork before bidding or buying!  Otherwise it’ll end up in a closet and you’ll never enjoy it.)  The second piece went a little higher than the first, but I won that one too!

In your face, old German lady!

(Just kidding.  I don’t know if she was German or not, and besides, everyone was very nice at the club…)

I was high on the power of the paddle.  I needed to buy something else, but I knew I couldn’t afford anything- the starting bids on almost everything with the exception of the Boulangers were well over $100 each.  During intermission however, my sisters-in-law were talking of splitting the cost of one of the signed pieces my Mother-in-law had her eye on.  Since she’s SO hard to buy a gift for, I said MR and I would also like to go in on it, allowing us to bid a little higher.

Who’s going to bid, and what’s the cut-off?

Lau had to work the credit card machine, so she couldn’t participate, and Paula was afraid to raise her number.  So I graciously (laughing and cackling under my breath) offered to bid.

I started the bid with the asking price.  MR was behind me, and wasn’t aware that I was bidding on Mom’s piece.  When the price went up to $120, then $130, he started hissing at me to stop bidding- what, was I crazy?  I hissed back that it was for his mother, and I was actually able to get it for less than what we all agreed on.  Slap down!  I won again!  Mom is now the proud owner of John Bond’s “Long Lost Summer”- signed and numbered.

And Johanna, being the most awesome MIL ever, bought the Boulangers for US for Christmas!  Shweet!  Thanks, Mom!

Lau had her eye on this:

Marc Chagall’s “Ceiling of the Paris Opera”.  It’s pencil signed and #209 of 500.  It was a big piece, easily three foot square.  Bidding started with Ick opening the bid and continued fast and furious until it stalled at $650.  Going once, going twice- then Ick bids $700! He really loves Lau.  The gasps were audible in the audience (mainly from the front where Lau was sitting and amongst us, the family.)  When he won the piece, we speculated that when they got home, he was either going to have the worst or the best night of his life.

Turned out it was the best.

It was an exciting Saturday night.  I’ll post up better pictures of each of my little gems.  I’m hooked.  If you want to hire me to bid on something, you wouldn’t even have to pay me a comission.  I’ll do it for the thrill.