Thursday, May 30, 2013

Corey Dutina Of Pura Vida Bracelets Is A Good Egg

I'm a visual person, which makes my declining eyesight a bitch of a situation.  But mostly it's for finer stuff, like the details of a television show -- and when was the last time the details of a television show or a movie really made that much of a difference?  It's this online stuff that is getting difficult.

Well, this is ONE post that is not a woe-is-me.  Do you remember that old post, written in the middle of a long ago ManorFest, when Tête de Hergé suffered from a heat wave from Hell?  And our fridge and freezers died?  With all the beastial flesh for ManorFest at risk?  Oy, what a crisis!

We turned to the Queen of the Universe at Sears Customer Service, and then to her supervisor, for help.  Help, alas, was not easy to obtain due to... well, a host of dirty word concepts, the typical ones having to do with Customer Assistance. It was like a Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks' comedy routine, scripted back in the days of the "2000 Year Old Man."  At least on our end, there was a lot of laughter, as we were beyond tired and facing a night of roasting, and pit watching, and wild abandonment of mandatory kitchen safety measures, with half the population of the territory at risk.  Praise the Lord for On Site Universal Health Care Coverage & Catering.

Hey, take a moment and enjoy Reiner and Brooks again.  This is the stuff that makes me laugh.  I just hooted my way through three paragraphs, and hooting is where it's at... Then I will regale you with the tale of a true Customer Service Employee, my hero, Corey Dutina.

 Mel Brooks: The 2000 Year Old Man -- uploaded to YouTube byRogerBsDelaine

Let's see. My opening, irrefutable assertion was my essential visual orientation.  That extends beyond entertainment, believe it or not.

Okay, I'm sentimental.  Looking, simply looking at a meaningful something can save a moment teetering between disaster and absolutely fine.  Touchstones for the eye.

Add to that a tactile element, if possible, and it's a reminder to center, a centering focus, that goes with you everywhere.  That's right -- hand and arm wear.  Rings.  Bracelets.  It is difficult, with CRPS, to wear any ring, any bracelet, but I consider them Physical Therapy, like doing the dishes and the laundry, and giving Dobby the beloved belly rub.

Of course, I've fallen in love with Pura Vida Bracelets.  I've owned my own versions of their pricey textiles for years, and making them is probably pretty easy... but well, when I'm depressed, I spend money.  Just last night I ordered a new shower chair to replace the one with the screw that has been ripping a hole into my right haunch for months.  I'm snappy.  Taking care of business.  And so on.  This time, I got a stool that... swivels!  My back shall have equal time.

Right.  Bracelets!

First I purchased the lovely Deep Impact Pack,
shown on the right.  The colors.  The imagined sheen.  The sale price plus 20% off.

But what I had long wanted was the NEGU Charity Pack.
And it has been perpetually out of stock.  So I
put it on my Wish List -- who actually uses Wish Lists?  Then, suddenly, it wasn't a question of wanting it, it was a question of needing it.  Near the nadir (one can never be sure) of my depression, I was trying to keep good thoughts for Brayden and Ashley, and their families, as well as even more potent meditations for my darling Fred, for TW, for Grader Boob, for my mother and her blessèd relatives (myself, TW, and Grader Boob, excepted).  And I knew I was losing my own fight, weird as a fight to stop fighting can be, as a fight!

NEGU used to make me snicker in derision.


If you had decided to give up, wouldn't the concept of NEGU, a creation to honor the mantra of a 12 year old girl dead of a brain tumor, of course, reduce you to snickers of derision?

Probably not.

I decided I needed the damn bracelet.  Mostly as a reminder of dignity, and humor, and all of the other saving graces.  Beauty.  Silence.  Mother Earth.  My responsibilities.  That stuff.

But they were never in stock, these loops of blue and white and black, a reminder to rub against my burning skin, something to focus on when I can no longer make out the details of my miniature Rothkos -- and don't even START with me about Rothko, details, and the sizing of the stuff.

So when I was applying my discount for the very available Deep Impact bracelet, I asked about how the heck to get a NEGU charity pack.  And got an unexpected reply:

Hello Retired Educator!
I could make a NEGU pack for you if you want to order it!
Let me know :) 
Corey Dutina, The Problem Solver

And from that point on, poor Corey discovered that I attract bad luck as readily as cat hair.  We went through me not trusting him, we went through my credit card being declined, which encouraged me to not trust Corey, and then, I dunno, NEGU won out... and I woke up this morning to another missive from The Problem Solver:

I will make one available on the site. Let me know when you are ready to purchase because I am only going to put one online for you!

Well, that killed my distrust, and as soon as I signed on, up popped old Corey Dutina in my lower right hand corner, asking if he might be of assistance.  Sure as tootin', the side reported no NEGU bracelets were available, but within seconds, up popped a grand total of ONE available.  I snatched it up, as much as one can when computer shopping, and thanked Corey profusely.

It's in the mail.  

So, pay attention Pura Vida Bracelets -- your employee Corey Dutina, The Problem Solver, went above and beyond the dull patina of normal customer service and onto a higher plane of shining bright platinum.  He did well.  He's a good egg.  Give him a raise, or something else that he might want.  I mean, a strange woman, who doesn't explain herself, just wrote to say she needed, more than wanted, one of your bracelets, and he made it happen, overnight.  

I am going to give up, I really already have.  But I don't have to do it painfully, for myself or for anyone else. In fact, it is required of me to strive for the opposite -- for joy, laughter, silliness.  

I'm just struggling because I've never learned to be honest, emotionally.  With all I've "learned" about centering, about sitting with what I feel, I still am driven to inflict it -- upon myself, upon others, especially those most trying to help.  Upon you.  A cruel writer to her readers, that's not helpful.  If I ever have an idea worth noting, why should you trust me?

Today was better.  Very high pain, but I tried to react differently, as in not reacting.  I took my meds, and curled up with it.  Watched fuzzy television.  Adored Dobby and Buddy, who are, it looks like, either extremely close animal buddies, or fervent feline gay boys.  They comfort each other, which is great, but Buddy, in his exuberance, keeps injuring the older, wiser Dobby -- a very small animal.  We had to goop his eye last night, and in typical Dobby fashion, he forgave us, purring and delivering head rubs with glee within the next five minutes.  His eye is still red, but the other scars he's obtained from love's blossoming are healing.

I got a bit of work done, not much, but enough to feel less like a slimy slug.  The area formerly known as the left shoulder is hot and throbbing, clearly all a-bubble with that detestable character, the gross Frank Pus. The right hip is in competition.  I'm gonna win a medal, or a ribbon, or something.

Every moment is a new start.  I may not get anywhere, but I'll NEGU my way along.

Ah... good news.  If we can swing it, I'm going to get to meet Maranda, Brayden's Mom, and hopefully, Brayden and Mason, too. Maybe next Wednesday, as fate would have us seeking medical succor at the same time in the same area.  Ah, fate!  The latest news on Brayden is that as his broken leg heals, they'll start him on some new, stronger chemo meds.  They are still scouting out possibilities for him, but he's in uncharted territory.  If you think about it, in a NEGU frame of mind, uncharted territory is a place of limitless potential.

 Jessie Rees Foundation.-- NEGU and her JoyJars

On March 3, 2011 eleven year old Jessica Joy Rees was diagnosed with an inoperable and incurable brain tumor called DIPG.  That same month Jessie started her treatment consisting of 30 rounds of radiation and daily chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital Orange County. It was also during this time she asked her parents, “How can we help them?”.She was referring to all of the other kids fighting cancer.Jessie had a burden for her peers and decided to do something about it.  She also wanted to encourage them to with her little motto “NEGU“, which stands for “Never Ever Give Up.” This simple little thought has become “Jessie’s Wish“.Jessie dreamed of the day that her little motto would become an inspiring message of hope to every child and family.Ten months and two days later, Jessie lost her fight on January 5, 2012. On that day she also left behind a global movement of compassion that her foundation continues with the support of amazing corporations, athletes, charities, volunteers and people like you!

If you skipped the Reiner/Brooks videos up above?  That was stupid.  Go back and watch 'em.


  1. I am the proud mother of the "problem solver and am so happy that he responded in such a caring way to your request. I stumbled upon your blog when I was googling our uncommon Serbian last name.

  2. Well, clearly, you raised Corey right and I was one of the lucky benefactors of that! Thank you!

    I keep meaning to write a post of all the weird and funny ways people stumble onto this blog... it often causes my head to explode all over the pristine ceiling because "it's a small world, after all..." plays 'round and 'round my brain.


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