Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Arduous Chapter, Finished!


I can't believe, but it actually happened. I finally have a complete and matching set of kitchen cabinets, after just three months of begging, pleading, cajoling, and threatening. My kitchen is actually 'done'.

I will spare all of the details, but once I hit the three month mark on Sunday, I decided that I'd call down to the office twice a day and raise hell until it was done. Amazingly enough, that's all it took. About a half hour ago, the property manager and the new maintenance manager showed up with a variety of hardware, obviously pilfered from some other poor unfortunate soul who is moving in next week, and set about trying to match up sizes and finishes. It only took about fifteen minutes or so, plus a side trip to another vacant unit, but then, all was done. Everything works, matches, and the doors are finally hung correctly.

I was telling Mamasan just recently that I really like this place--it's clean, quiet, and I love the location, and my apartment is actually quite large for a one-bedroom. My only beef was with the slow response of the maintenance requests. Apparently, the corporate entity that own this property is aware of all the problems they've been having here, and I was told by our new property manager that they've completely turned over the maintenance crew here in the past month (along with herself replacing the incompetent predecessor). So all is well. And I was promised that if the slightest thing goes wrong and needs attention, they'll be on it immediately. So we're cool now.

Hmmm... What else is new?

Well, last night I met up with Linda Lou at a gathering of the Henderson Writers Group, just to see what they were all about. Of course, I felt like I was at a gathering of alcoholics when they made me stand up and introduce myself and talk about my writing experience and such. I think I earned a few points when they learned that, yes, I actually have been published (and paid for it!), and I earned a few more when Linda told them that I get over 700 hits a day on my blog.

Anyhow, it was an interesting gathering, the main activity each week is that members do 'readings'--they print up a bunch of copies of something that they've written, pass them around, and then stand up in front of everyone and read their work. After that, there are several minutes of critiquing from the group. And I've got to tell ya--it's a tough crowd. Imagine a room full of English teachers, each of them grading your work. But the feedback is of the good and useful variety, by people who generally know what they're talking about, not just a bunch of random thumbs up or thumbs down votes. So yes, it was quite the eye-opening experience.

There was a bit of humor, afoot, as you can imagine. The first reader was an older lady who passed out a poem--it wasn't long, maybe nine lines or so. When I first got the handout, I was like Great, I'm stuck in this coffeehouse for the next two hours listening to poetry. I'm in Hell!

Luckily, that was the only poetry offering of the night. But while she was giving her dramatic exposition, I turned over the sheet of paper, took out a pen, and wrote

My Poem

There once was a man from Peru

Who ended his limericks on line two...

and then handed it over to Linda. Of course, we had to suppress the church giggles, but she was much better at it than I was, mostly because I think I'm the funniest person I know, and she has much better manners.

The rest of the evening was quite interesting, and there was some real talent on display. There were also some beginners, and one sci-fi fantasy offering that just glazed me right over--I think I caught a little nap for that 15-minute section. It might've been great writing, but I don't know--once he started talking about elves and witches and monsters and such, well, I just tuned out. I couldn't help it--it's just not my cup of tea. But the whole experience of the evening motivated me more than six months of Linda's nagging, so I'll probably pay my dues and join next week. Now I just need to come up with a story.

After the gathering broke up, I came home and took a two-hour catnap before heading in to work. It was a pretty good night, and I was busy the entire time--locked down for the entire shift. That's always nice, and I made a nice score in the tip department. If I do half as well tonight, I'll consider it a successful evening.

On my way home this morning, Amy called, and we had a nice chat for a few minutes before she arrived at her office and I arrived at my apartment. As funny as I think I am, I think she may be even funnier. Every time we talk, I end up laughing my ass off, and to this day, we still chuckle about our cross-country adventures when she drove out here to Vegas with me four years ago. Seriously, stuck in a vehicle for two days straight with her made my cheeks hurt from laughing so much, even though the journey was fraught with hardship. (Hey... there's a story!)

Once I got back to the apartment, I took a quick shower and grabbed a bowl of Special K vanilla almond for breakfast (my new favorite cereal). Then I gave Papasan a call--we've been chatting a lot lately about books, history, and a few other things we have in common. He turned me on to those Prelude to Glory books, and I wanted to let him know that my first two volumes are on the way. He said that he'd probably be interested in the Patrick O'Brian novels that I've been reading, so I told him that I'd send the first two volumes his way. I think he'll enjoy them--it's right up his alley.

After all the phone calls were done, I read for about a half hour and then finally went to bed. I was fairly tired after my busy night at work, and I don't think I moved an inch in six hours, once my head hit the pillow. Once I got up, it was housecleaning and laundry time, plus I had my fingers crossed that my cabinets would be done this afternoon, too. Luckily, that was the case, and that brings us to now. And if all goes well, I should have my new furniture by the end of the week, too. But we'll see...


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