A Series of Unfortunate Events – Contemplative Time


It was a series of unfortunate events, really.

I was on my morning run yesterday (which means only that it was morning and I was running, as it had been a week since my last attempt to assimilate with the fit and tanned crowd) when my thoughts drifted to matters of geologic import. It seems that there has been a sudden plate shift, and Arizona now sits squarely atop San Diego. I know this because it was 179 degrees outside. Sure, Steve says it was more like 80 degrees, but the fact that my headphones are now permanently heat-fused to the sides of my head tells me otherwise.

That was unfortunate. Then, I crossed paths with a Fellow Runner. Recognizing her as someone I knew, I began flailing my arms in the Glad To See You gesture familiar to all Serious Runners. Seconds later, still looking like a lunatic on day pass from Happy Acres Asylum, I realized that I had never seen this woman before in my life. She did not flail back.

It is at this moment that I realized someone has been downloading music into my iTunes library. Unfortunate, indeed. As I finished the last quarter-mile to the musical stylings of Clay Aiken, I knew I had the smoking gun. My money is on our resident 14-year-old.

Rather than accept the inevitable onslaught of pain and suffering (Clay Aiken), I had no choice but to retreat to a safer place. This is what Serious Runners call Contemplative Time. For me, being able to dial into Contemplative Time is essential to survival while running. Unless I can achieve this state of unaware numbness, I am left to focus on breathing techniques, ambulatory issues, and the actual odds of my making it home without the help of Medivac (2 to 1).

And yet another unfortunate incident. This week Steve and I had our first Close Encounter. We have no photos to prove it, but we spoke with and met the Others. The Others, of course, are the buyers who believe that their real estate interests are best met by aligning with a Redfin-ish company. I may have to make my first Wiki entry.

Refinish: adj. Derived from Redfin Direct and loosely used to describe any business model designed to make money by shifting responsibility, liability and accountability to another party at the expense of that party and , ultimately, the consumers. A typical Refinish company’s business plan will include the following objectives: Vilify the industry within which you endeavor to operate; attempt to minimize the value of other industry professionals to compensate for your own unwillingness to perform the customary duties of your profession; justify your limited service/full-pay model by lambasting the industry as overpaid and ineffective and repeatedly and publicly questioning their ethics; derive income for doing relatively nothing and with minimal risk; and, give some of your unearned income back to your “clients”, your tithing to ensure that the hail and brimstone message continues to be heard.

Ironically, perhaps, our Close Encounter did not involve Redfin, but another seek-and-destroy company who shall remain nameless (BuySideRealty.com, who by the way Refin, is “giving away” more than you). While doing Contemplative Time, I struggled with just how to deal with situations like the one Steve and I found ourselves in this week. The best I could do in the Arizona heat was come up with dozens of questions and no real answers. On that note, I’ll be using my Ask the Audience lifeline tomorrow and will share the whole, unsettling story. This morning, I’ve got some work to contemplate.

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