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Hello – it is the Bob here.  I am wrestling control of my blog back from the Mom – she just goes off on tangents that have nothing to do with the Bird, and I have had it.  She has two other blogs, plus a book to work on, she has plenty to do.

I have been threatening to write a bi-weekly book review for months now, and although I have been reading, as you can see below, I have not reviewed anything.  It has just been too damned hot, I am molting, and my idiot mother seems to think that if I am outside splashing in a bowl of water, that will help me feel better.

(It does, but do not tell her – she thinks she is right about everything).

But my ART is suffering, people!  My VISION!

So, I promise you, we are going to be up and running this week.  As you can see, I am perusing what to review first……

hmmm, which one, which one which one.........

hmmm, which one, which one, which one.........

Summer is hard everywhere.  My birthday is August 15th – when I try to find compassion, sympathy and understanding for my mother, what caused her to hate and abuse me, I figure she was not in the greatest spirits because she was in her last tri-mester in Summer, and flung me out in the dog days of August.

Of course, if I am to be totally honest about my severe dislike of her, I am glad she was in misery.

I guess we are both assholes. Although recently, on my end, there has been a change towards her.  It can be found on the “What Happened” blog.  This is Bobby’s blog, and he is  getting irritated that I am making it all about me, as usual.

For Bobby,  sumer is misery for him, also.  He molts in summer, and it makes him very snappy, angry, and unhappy.  Especially because he cannot fly, he molts more slowly.  I have been trying to come up with anything I can do to make him feel better, and nothing has been working all that well.  Although today, I just got a suggestion that is wonderful.  I am going to try it and will report how it goes.

In the meantime, however, please look at the picture below.  That is Bobby D the crow in August.

Robert-deNiro

Two days ago, maybe?

The only good thing about humidity is it makes your skin look absolutely fabulous.  All of that moisture.

Otherwise, it is a misery, but the beauty is, summer only lasts for two months around here.

The forest that is our lot is so old, the leaves are really too big to fully understand when written about, so here are a few photos to have something to compare.

It is just past a year since Bullet died, and it is coming up on two years since my cat Monkey died.  I have not been able to write about Monkey, and I just got word that my friend Tara Zucker lost her cat Blanche.

Tara writes much more eloquently than I, and her life with Blanche is a beautiful chronology of how we come to love the four-legged creatures that speak so well, if only we were smart enough to understand.

My shoe size? Six and a half.  Ahem

My shoe size? Six and a half. Ahem

Hand?  Not much bigger than foot.

Hand? Not much bigger than foot.

  For those of you who read the other blogs, you are well aware that, starting March third of this year, I had a health issue that culminated in surgery to remove an unruly fallopian tube.  The fancy name for it is serous cystadenofibroma, I call it organ misbehavior.  The fallopian tube started growing tumors, then wrapping itself around itself, cutting off blood supply, then it noticed a cyst on the ovary next door and started wrapping around IT and tugging on it!  Rude!

 I am sorry, but our insides are supposed to stay stationary, not start experimenting with boy scout knots or attacking their neighbors.  You behave in such a fashion, you get the boot.

I went from extreme good health, hiking around the steep forest hills that surround our house and almost daily intermediate Pilates workouts, to being barely able to move until two weeks after surgery, performed three weeks ago.

Needless to say, I was not having the greatest time, and was getting a bit cran-ky.

 

Day Of The Triffids......:)

Day Of The Triffids......:)

 

 

 I am almost 100% back, slowly resuming physical movement, thank God – I was going insane having to lie in bed.  Maybe when I was a young, lazy teenager in hot, smoggy Los Angeles it would have been fabulous to lie in bed for almost three months, but not now. However, my biggest issue was not being immobile, but the fact that it was my first Spring in Pitt, and it felt as if I were missing it.    

Roses on the front porch in full bloom

Roses on the front porch in full bloom

When I was in my early twenties, I lived in Minnesota for a year and a half, but it was under different circumstances, and I was nowhere near as wild about the seasons as I am now.  

view from the kitchen sink

view from the kitchen sink

Well, I have not missed Spring – it is bursting out all over the place.  Squirrels and chipmunks roaring across the front porch, rabbits leisurely hopping through the tall wild grass, munching away, baby birds making so much racket that we have to wear headphones when we are working, huge wild turkeys picking their way through our lot with great dignity, the old forest coming back to life, with leaves the size of my head fully open – ah!  

Outside the window at the top of the stairs

Outside the window at the top of the stairs

I am up and walking, and can be outside in the most beautiful weather, in the most beautiful place.  It may not be for everyone, but where we live is paradise for us.

I assume that everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences such a deep appreciation for life.  I am a bit of a Jane-come-lately to this idea of really being alive, encompassing everything that particular state of being entails,  but the upside seems to be a core joy that does not dissolve under the ups and downs of day-to-day living.    

I feel pretty damned lucky.  Hey, even Bobby the Crow has a girlfriend, a lone crow that sits in one of the trees and waits for him to be put in his big outside cage off the kitchen balcony, where they proceed to bellow at each other for hours.

 

Bobby looking for his Girlfriend

Bobby looking for his Girlfriend

 

 

 

 

 

I know it is a little late, but Happy Spring, everyone.

 

 

And Vinnie looking for Bobby.....or eating his food.  Siblings, sigh.

And Vinnie looking for Bobby.....or eating his food. Siblings, sigh.

 

 

 

 

Yesterdays Rain, off of the kitchen balcony

Yesterdays Rain, off of the kitchen balcony

There was a rabbit. He was running around in Koreatown, Los Angeles, where I was teaching English as as Second Language.

It was July 9th, ten months after my father, Bill Mahan, died.  July 9th happened to be Bill’s  birthday.

I saw all of the students, of every level, yelling in their native language and running around in circles in ninety degree heat.

It was lunchtime, so I did not want to be the bitch teacher screaming “English, people, English!” – but I was intensely curious and needed someone to have done enough of their homework  to clue me in.

(Granted, I had purchased every student a copy of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” to show them that the English language did not always translate across every state).

They were chasing a rabbit.  I knew nothing of rabbits, and I was wearing the one good pair of pants I owned.

I waded in, and saw him under the ficus, loaded for bear.  He had big teeth and an attitude.

I grabbed him, and god help me, he went quiet.  The students and other teachers were in a circle, laughing.

“Now you own him!” or “You just caught dinner!”

I knew if I brought home another animal, Tomas’s patience would wear thin.

We all got through it.

Billy “The Bullet” Mahan lived with us for about 6 years. When we decided to get out of Los Angeles for good, we had a 5-week stopover in Ojai, California.   As my faithful readers know, Bobby the Crow, Billy “The Bullet” Mahan, Vito and Vinnie the cats, Tomas and myself relaxed and gathered our wits in Ojai, and began prepping for the trip one year ago this month.

The Bullet was old, and he did not make it past the first stop over in Ojai.  He enjoyed being there for a month, and had built up quite a little fan club when people would walk by and see him in his big round pen, relaxing under the trees outside, before we would bring him in for the evening.

Local Ojai folks liked to stop at the little wooden fence and talk to him.

At dusk one night, I went out to bring him in, and he was not feeling well.  He died very suddenly about an hour later, to my shock, disbelief, and tremendous sadness.

He is buried under two huge, beautiful oak trees on the land of Lisa and John Adair.  We miss him every day.

There will never be another Bullet.

Lady? I could arrest you for hitchhiking......

"Lady? I could arrest you for hitchhiking....." .photo: Kelly Mahan Jaramillo, The Bullet

About a year ago, I wrote that Judy Davis Farash was charging us for new carpet in her house, carpet that was so old it was disgusting. After we moved,  she listed her house, 7002 Forbes Ave, Van Nuys, Ca, with Jill Fischer properties, lauding the wonderful hardwood floors!  Pictures of the whole house – hardwood floors.

And a note – a tenant is not responsible for carpet that has not been replaced after two years – California Law.

Judy Davis Farash went to court to get what she felt was owed her, and in her injunction, was charging us for new carpet.  The court, without us there, gave here the right to get a sheriff and pull all of the money we had in our bank account to pay for said “carpet”.  The Bank was Washington Mutual, just before they bit the dust.

The small amount of money in the account was SSDI money from my car accident.  SSDI money cannot be levied, so WaMu screwed up, and so did Judy Davis Farash.

Here’s the Readers Digest version:

For the last year, her house has been for rent, touting hardwood floors.

Not long after I posted this, the house disappeared off of Jill Fischer properties.  Even if Judy Davis Farash finally rented it, Jill Fischer doesn’t seem too inclined to triumphantly post “RENTED!” on her website.

Gee, I wonder why?  Maybe Jill Fischer does not want to be associated with the type of landlord who routinely screws her tenants.

We have all of the documentation in order, and a lawyer on standby.  If we choose, we can haul Judy Davis Farash and her husband Martin J. Farash into court, proving that they falsified documents for the courts to get into our bank accounts.  

The courts don’t like to be lied to, kids.  Keep that in mind if you try to pull another nasty, vindictive move like the last one.  

We are so sorry that our legal rebuttal outlined in great detail every issue that you, as a landlord, were neglecting,  to the point where your house was becoming hazardous to live in. Yes, once it is public record, if you do not fix the problem, the next tenant could sue your pants off.  So you finally had to spend money and  bring your house up to code. Guess what, hon?  Not. Our. Problem. Deal with it.

Below is the picture of the living room as it was listed on Jill Fischer Properties.  Se the $2,800 dollar carpet she was charging us for?

Ahem.

And the worst part of the saga – Judy Davis Farash and Martin J. Farash are therapists. Judy does not act like a normal landlady – she is very sweet and chummy, giving new tenants a “Welcome to your new home” plant, sending a Christmas gift every year, will counsel you to “take some time off,’  – it seems really nice at first, but as a tenant, you slowly start to realize that it is blurring the lines between ‘friend’, ‘therapist’ and ‘landlord’. Once you start feeling how inappropriate her behavior is,  it starts getting creepy, especially when your first year is up, and she decides to blindside you and jack the rent up 27%.

 She will not tell you this when you first move in, and it was not in the rental agreement we signed – unfortunately, she is allowed by law to do it, and she is not about to give you a heads up that she will.

A friend of mine recently drove by the house, and notice two cars in the driveway, and no “For Rent” sign.  Looks like it finally rented.  

My sympathy goes out to the new people.

hardwood-floors

He was hopping around, when he saw this on my laptop.

picture-2

It takes a mighty storm to scare Robert.  I really have to stop with having certain politicians so easily accessible to my kids.  Hide them in the porn closet, I guess.

When Bobby and the mom still lived under the Bush Administration

When Bobby and the mom still lived under the Bush Administration

The Bird is outraged.  We have a new home, a new administration, we go swimming on a new coast.  Tomas just got a new film, we are cutting a new trailer to last years film – – -it’s all good!

Until last night, after President Obama’s speech.  It left us with a strong sense of pride and ability and finally, an administration that seems to care about people who are or have been struggling. 

The the Up-And-Coming-Star of the GOP,  (no not Palin, try not to laugh) Bobby Jindal, gave the ‘Republican Response’ to President Obama.

Oh. My. God.

You can throw a rock and read about it, so I am not going to go into detail about how I felt that Opie was trying to tell me to trust him never to steal cupcakes again, all the while frosting is spilling out of his mouth – – no thank you, young Jindal.  Run along now.

However, I have a crow named Bobby, and he is making it quite clear that the name Bobby is no longer acceptable.

I can hardly blame him.  My crow would have had a much more interesting and forceful presence in HIS rebuttal, if he were giving one.  However, Bobby voted for President Obama, so his rebuttal would be towards Jindal, and believe me, Jindal would not know what had hit him.

 I know this, I hear it every day – over food, water, exercise, naps, whatever.

So, I agree with him, and heed his wishes.  Bobby D. the Crow will now be referred to as Robert, or Robaire if he is being particularly sexy.

And Robert and the Mom want to say, “Thanks a lot for the performance last night, Jindal. You made Sarah Palin look good, and she was almost gone.”

The Bird and the Mom and the Dad need a drink.

 

But I have to yap in spite of it. Renee Tracy is my best friend, we have known each other for 24 years under very strange circumstances.  When I married my first husband, Scott Grusin, she and her fiancee Scott Warner and their infant daughter Rio came to the wedding.  I knew Scott Warner from my days as a film apprentice at Universal Studios in the trailer department. 

 

Fast forward about six years, my marriage long gone (If you are interested in some soap-opera-esque dirt, read the book, I’ll be shamelessly self promoting it soon enough) Scott Warner and Renee had long broken it off, sharing custody of six year old Rio, when I ran into Scott Warner, and we wound up in a year-and-a-half, on-and off relationship that ended badly.

Out of this bizarre paths crossing came the best longtime friendship I have ever had – Renee Tracy.

When Tomas, myself and our crew decided to come back East, Renee was engaged to be married – this is the ONE wedding I wanted to attend, and unfortunately, as you can tell from earlier posts, we were in a 26 foot Penske truck heading across country five weeks before the event.  There was  no way to stave off the trip – the timing was what it was. But here she is, with the now adult Rio, who walked her mother down the aisle, carefully scrutinizing her mothers makeup.

 

Rio supervises, and seems to approve.

Rio supervises, and seems to approve.

 

 

wedding-080

 

 

wedding-114

 

 

 

In front the of their Historical Building, where they bought a condo In Long beach

In front the of their Historical Building, where they bought a condo In Long Beach

In the last 7 years, almost all of the people I had as friends just fell by the wayside, for one reason or another.  I have a handful of enduring ones, and Renee Tracy Springer is like the sister I do not have, and has been for years. Opinionated yet non-judgmental, smart as a whip, GORGEOUS, funny, curious, honest….I am really, really lucky.  We are both Irish, but she is one of those really weird calm ones.

 

Out of the blue, she found a cheap flight out here, hopped on a plane, and  stayed with us for almost five days.  She wanted to experience snow, and the weather complied.  Sadly, her new husband Rodney, who is so perfect for her he was worth the wait – we love him, could not come out.  Maybe in the spring….Rod and Renee love to wine-taste, and we have been doing our research and are starting the tempting campaign about the local wineries.

The three of us had so much fun, and the fact that she made the effort to come out and visit us touched me deeply – the are both always on the go, incredibly busy, but she carved out the time. I have done that for years with people I care about.  Not many people in my life have reciprocated.  I guess it raises the friendship bar a bit.

Below are a few photos of Renee, Tomas and myself, goofing off at home and downtown.

 

Renee and Kel peering into the lobby of the Heinz Hall, downtown

Renee and Kel peering into the lobby of the Heinz Hall, downtown

 

Renee on the outdoor pulpit of a historical Catholic Church, downtown

Renee on the outdoor pulpit of a historical Catholic Church, downtown

 

Next morning, back at the house, the snow starts to get serious

Next morning, back at the house, the snow starts to get serious

 

Tomas and Renee before the Volvo gets buried

Tomas and Renee before the Volvo gets buried

 

This is what we do while we wait for the coffee to heat up?!

This is what we do while we wait for the coffee to heat up?!

Pauline next door attacking the snow - it's fruitless.  Time for Coffee.

Pauline next door attacking the snow - it's fruitless. Time for Coffee.

 

What are those two old guys behind us thinking?

What are those two old guys behind us thinking?

 

 

 

Who has the Championship Steelers Terrible Towel hidden in layers?

Who has the Championship Steelers Terrible Towel hidden in layers?

 

What more to say?   I love her, I miss her, and I am ecstatic that she has finally found the happiness she has fought long and hard for, for so many years. Nobody I know deserves it more than she.

I love you, Renee Tracy Springer. And yes, you are the healthiest person I have ever met.

It was time to mush on into the great unknown.

 

We've been in Nebraska a long time, haven't we?

We've been in Nebraska a long time, haven't we?

 

Just keep heading East, father.  Here let me help.

Just keep heading East, father. Here let me help.