Family


These days all of my drawing is done on Sketch Club. Draw Something is over and most of the people I had become friendly with moved on to other drawing apps. I tried a few drawing apps and after drawing on Art Studio, Paint Studio, and Procreate, I decided to use Sketch Club because it seems to be the easiest one for me to use. Sketch Club has a very large, active group of people who draw a lot and post their work daily. Sometimes several times a day. There also is a very active social aspects to the app. People comment on drawings and there are competitions and groups that set challenges, so anyone who uses Sketch Club can become involved in the social activity and in the drawing.

At first I found the social aspect daunting. If people like your work they say something nice. If they like it a lot they can give you a heart. Then you, the recipient of the heart ought to leave them a message thanking them for the gift of a heart. In order to get hearts to give to people you need to win challenges, enter competitions, like and comment on drawings, and other ways within the app that I may not be aware of. I discovered that it is possible to buy hearts from Sketch Club from their web site. The purchase is made through Amazon.com and for me, this has been the easiest way for me to reciprocate hearts and give hearts to drawings I like.

Sketch Club is actually an enormous art fair. In it one can find fantastic well drawn super realistic digital drawings, amateur drawings, professional drawings, cartoons, childrens art, and tons and tons of copies of other peoples art lifted from internet sites such as Pinterest. The issue of people copying art has concerned me because not only does it go into the area of copyright infringement, it is stealing or plagiarism. Many of the artists on Sketch Club do not know the difference between using a reference and simply copying or reproducing someone’s art and then referring to the image copied as a reference.

I plan to write about this and other features of Sketch Club in my next post.

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No one knows what goes on inside another person’s home, even if the “others” are your own children’s homes. My three girls have been married a long time, with grown up children of their own. Those that live in another city are annual visitors to my house and I make the trip and try to visit them at least once a year. The annual visits to me are usually around a holiday where the house is full. Everyone arriving for an intense, sometimes stressful, family visit. The cousins get to see each other and the siblings and their husbands hang out together, too. Everyone is experiences the regression associated with “coming home.” Rivalries and long forgotten issues reemerge. Nothing new gets resolved and after the visit, everyone goes home and I luxuriate in the quiet resumption of my personal life.

Recently I decided to visit my daughter in Florida and stay for a couple of months. This was a first for me as I have never visited for more than a week to ten days at a time. Believe me, it wouldn’t have happened except for the fact that the previous winter had been a disaster for me. I was invited because my family felt I should not be in an icy, snowy city during the winter because the previous winter I fell and spent a month in the hospital.

Florida for two months is not a bad thing. In fact, it turned out to be quite wonderful. Despite my
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Yesterday Talia and I visited the new Modern wing of Chicago’s Art Institute. For me, it was visit number six. Each of my visitors to Chicago gets to go on a tour of this spectacular place with me. I’m not perfect as a guide because I am hobbling around and moving slowly because of having fallen and fractured my pelvis this last winter. But my enthusiasm more than makes up for any deficiency in my movement.

Each time I visit the museum I am just as excited by the space and beauty of this new museum as when I fist saw it in May when it opened. Everywhere you look there is light and space. The art is showcased perfectly. Different paintings have been placed carefully on walls adjacent to other works in such a way that they enhance each. Yves Klein’s Blue painting is across from Mark Rothko’s Orange and Yellow painting. You can look at both of them and the juxtaposition makes each color stand out even more dramatically. All the familiar paintings I’ve seen during my many years visiting the museum, starting from childhood when I was a student at the Saturday school, now look fresh and new to me.

Let me say right now that a trip to Chicago just to see the new museum and visit Millennium Park is worth it no matter what the cost. Of course, it is only 15 minutes away from my house, so it’s easy to say that. But, I mean it.

I decided to buy a used computer on Ebay on July 27th of 2008. This was my first mistake. I bid on it and my bid was accepted. At the time, I was pleased and looked forward to receiving the computer within a few days.

When it arrived via FedEx on August 5th. I carefully unpacked it and plugged it in. It didn’t work. Not only did it not work, it made a very loud hissing sound and a bell kept bonging while the light flashed on and off. It was an alarming display of non-performance.

The Second Mistake

When I discovered that the machine did not work I immediately repacked it and my grandson and I carried it to FedEx Kinko’s at 1315 E. 57th Street to have it shipped back to the seller. I sent the seller an email telling him about the problem and told him that the machine was being returned.

When we got to FedEx Kinko’s I asked the clerk what to do about sending it back to the shipper. I pointed out that the shipper was located in Tennessee. She was very accommodating and said she would take care of sending it back to the shipper.

The next day, August 6th FedEx returned to my house and delivered the computer again. I told the driver that it was a mistake and should have been sent to the shipper in Tennessee. He said he would return it to the terminal and ask the dispatcher to send it back to the shipper. Unfortunately, the machine was not assigned a new tracking number and this action set in motion a series of events that resulted in the package going missing.

Since FedEx had given it the same tracking number again––044696510351554–– the package did not know where it was going and it got lost. Really lost. I learned that the computer had the same tracking number twice when I tried to track it. I began to call FedEx –– 800-463-3339––every day from then on, some times two or more times a day, to inquire about the missing package. Each time I called I repeated the story of the mistake made by the Kinko’s clerk that resulted in the computer being delivered to me twice which required me to refuse it the second time.

The FedEx customer service people were very patient and listened to my story each time. They began to keep a file on the search for the missing package but each time I spoke to another customer service person so I had to tell the story over and over again.

One time I talked to the personnel at the terminal in the Chicago area and talked to someone named Nancy. She talked to the driver who said he had returned the package to his dispatcher and that the dispatcher had placed a new label on the package and sent it back. Another time I talked to the personnel at the terminal and they said they needed an address to send it to so I provided the address of the seller in Tennessee.

Finally I was assigned to a representative of the Customer Advocate Team by the name of Gail Evans in Atlanta. Ms. Evans began her file about the problem and she assured me that she would try and resolve it. I then began to call her every day.

Gail informed me that the package had been shipped from a company that had a contract with FedEx called Postal Connections and the return needed to go to them instead of the seller. Because this company had sent the package, they needed to file a claim with FedEx for the loss, which they did.

I was told by Gail’s office that FedEx needed to determine the value of the package before the claim could be settled. She asked me to send a fax to Mr. William Cobb of the Claims Department listing the value of the computer according to the Ebay purchase price I paid. I now had a reference number #0815823205.

In the meantime, I filed a claim and asked for a refund via PayPal and was communicating with the seller about the situation. The seller said that he would definitely not give me a refund because the package had not arrived and he had no evidence that I had returned the computer to FedEx. He also said Fedex told him that they NEVER would have assigned the same tracking number twice and that he was told the driver in question no longer worked for FedEx.

I assured him that I had the receipt from Kinko’s but that is all I had and it referred to the original tracking number that caused the problem in the first place. I also told him that I had seen the driver on August 27th because he delivered a package to me on that day and I asked the driver about the lost computer. He told me he had sent it back to the original shipper.

Gail Evans is still “looking into” the situation but nothing is happening there. I have contacted the people at Postal Connections and they, too, are looking into it. At this moment my only recourse seems to be to rant about it in my blog. So that is exactly what this is all about.

I’d feel really happy if Fedex would either find the package or honor the claim made by Postal Connections because Fedex lost or misplaced this computer because of a mistake made by one of their affiliate companies and there is every reason why the claim should be paid.

If anyone has any ideas about what I can do next to solve this problem, I would love to know about it.