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Posts Tagged ‘family’

The Parents were gone for 24 hours.  They went roaring out of the house in the middle of the night on Friday, and came back after one a.m. on Saturday – I mean Sunday morning.

The bird gets confused with the humans whole “time” thing.  For me, it is morning, then it is afternoon, then it is night.  Much more simple.

So, they make all of this racket coming into the house, and I’m a-hearing snippets of ‘New York” and John and Eve” and Aminta and Michael” and “Vietnamese Food” and “The Q&A” – any other crow out there on their laptop want to tell me what might have been going on?  The cats below me were just as confused, and we did call a meeting to discuss the issue, but no light was shed.

Well, I cannot worry much about it – the Mother has been exhibiting all of the signs of guilt, and that means I can take full advantage of her.  I have been treated like a king for the last 4 days.  Still, they are waking up a little on the late side.

I think I may start screaming really loud around 6 a.m., just to get them out of bed.  After all, they are still up until midnight in the room next to mine, making all kinds of noise, which they justify as “work”.  Ha!

I would caw some more about this, but it seems to be working out quite well on the ass end of the deal, and today I am writing my first book review, so, gotta go!

But, I have some kind of clue…..these fell out of the Mothers pocket, and I quickly grabbed them.  They have been keeping secrets.  From the looks of these, those two have friends! No one ran this by us, and that is just Not. Okay.

Bobby D. The Crow

Chasama-Film-Fest_0024

I know that is the Mother on the far left. Those other two? Hmmm

Chasama-Film-Fest_0048

Oh, it may be blurry, but it is her, alright. And it looks like New York.

 

Chasama-Film-Fest_0049

Yep, the father too, looking guilty. Those Lucy's got some 'splainin' to do...

 

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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.

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Bobby has been being quite vocal lately, and a few mornings ago I woke up to find that the house was surrounded by crows in trees, on all sides, hundreds of them.  I peeked out the kitchen window down into the yard and there were about fifty of them eating the bird and squirrel food on the ground.  The minute they sensed movement, they took off.

 So….we thought our wild animal budget would be a little lighter with the raccoons going into semi hibernation, but no – – we have to find cheap dog food and put it somewhere away from seeds and nuts so that everyone can get a bite.  It is practically a full time job – they are eating faster than I can get the food out.

When each feeding spot has been stocked, I sit down to relax, only to have Bobby yelling at ME!  Yes, I forgot to check his food bowl.

 

Oh the guilt.

 

I feel waves of half imagined, half real guilt-trips washing over me.

In the fall it was Buddy the raccoon, staring in the kitchen, off the back door balcony tree.  Now it is the crows.  

I have a life, I keep muttering to myself.  I have a life.  

 

“No, mother, you don’t. You are here to serve all of us.  Please try to “get” that, as you humans are so fond of saying”.

Thank you, Bobby.  It is always good to know ones place in the world.

 

 

What's for dinner tonight?

What's for dinner?

4105-crows-in-snow-12

We WILL Be Back.......

We WILL Be Back.......

 

 


Have a Happy, Healthy and Safe Thanksgiving, everyone.  

The Bird, the Dad, and the Mom are off to get ready to see the relatives and eat ourselves silly.

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I could be paying attention to Bobby today, I took him outside a few days ago, and his bad wing bled a little again. I decided to put some Neosporin Triple Antibiotic ointment under his wing and on the crippled blood feathers that keep trying to grow back in, but fall off after they have grown to be about two and a half inches.

He did not seem pleased with this gooey business under his wing, and has not been quite so demanding of my “juh guh boy” scratch the head love love.

He has a new hobby, which is to meticulously tear off the paper glued onto a prescription bottle. Time consuming and challenging, plus, when I hear the plastic bottle fall onto the floor, it does not give me a heart attack like the tossing the rocks phase did. I go out and pick it up for him, he is happy, I am happy, and he seems to slowly be forgiving me for the Neosporin.

I miss him today. We have had an amazing phenomenon here in Los Angeles today – a full day of rain. We have not had a full day of rain in two years, and one thing the San Fernando Valley is famous for is the street flooding that goes on during the “rainy season”. Our last “rainy season” was Mid- November, 2005. For the global warming dissenters, sorry, this is not normal. Even my dear friend R., who had (until recently) lived in the Valley almost her whole adult life, admits it is “a little weird”. She and I would have strident debates about Global Warming, but, true friends can debate and stay friends on almost any issue, if they try hard enough, and the friendship matters enough. At least in my experience.

As usual, I have wandered off of the point. This would be a perfect day to have Bobby in the office, or to bring him into the living room, really give him some good indoor attention, not just a “hey buddy” when I walk into the kitchen.

I am tied to the office because I am waiting for the Motion Picture Television Fund to return my call.

“Why don’t you have a cell phone?” is the most common question, and a totally acceptable one.

Because I despise them, because they are too expensive, because the day I saw a homeless man pantomiming talking into a cell phone, my head swiveled like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”. I admit, my head does that often, but this was a particularly memorable three-sixty.

The Mom and the Dad are trying to save money. The land-lines, (AT&T, Verizon, etc) are just too expensive, although in our experience, Verizon is a much better company. Unfortunately, in the San Fernando Valley, you get AT&T.

We decided, after too much fruitless dialogue with customer service concerning the phone bill, to request being disconnected and go with Internet Phone service. It does not work very well, and we cannot find a good hand held phone, so we have pulled out, brace yourselves, a telephone with a cord. Granted, it is a long cord, but it plugs into Tomas’s studio, and can reach into my office next door, to halfway down the hallway.

AT&T sent us a disconnect notice, then kept charging us for two months. Another dispute underway. This is so tiresome.

I, however, am waiting for a call from either the Motion Picture Pension Plan or the Motion Picture Television Fund. (MPHW – Motion Picture Health and Welfare; MPTF, Motion Picture Television Fund.).

I have over $21,000 in my Pension, and I am not allowed to withdraw it because I am “Vested” in my union, Local 700. Editors Guild. If you are even remotely interested in reading more on these special folks, go to my blog What Happened?!. It’s not pretty.

I need this money now, and they have been playing hot potato with me for the last week, the woman I spoke to at MPTF, Jennifer George, told me I was ineligible for financial aid because I had not made enough money.

Digest that for a moment.

I started to lose my temper on the phone, that great combination of crying and scathing rage, and she seemed to get a little bit rattled. She said she would look further into the matter, get my records from the Pension folks, and in the meantime, gave me her direct phone number. She asked if I was suicidal. She seemed concerned. And I bought it. I am a fool.

That was Nov. 8th. I waited and heard nothing, so I left Jennifer George a polite message on November 27th, as I did not want to interrupt her Thanksgiving holiday with my problems. My call was returned by Juan Oliva, who was now my social worker.

How did this happen? I am trying to withdraw money that belongs to me, and now I have a social worker. A social worker who keeps repeating “I’m sorry” and have I tried any other institutions?

I get sarcastic, saying, “No, stupid me, I went to my Union Pension Plan, Editors Guild, what should I do, go to the Teamsters?”

“You could,” he says, clearly bored.

I start to lose it again, accusing him of being condescending and placating, and does he have a list of what or who I call next?

No, he does not. I tell him he is in the wrong line of work, and he quietly hangs up on me.

These folks jobs were created by US, the workers that belong to the unions. And this is the quality of treatment.

I forced myself to calm down, and left a message for Jennifer George, telling her that being pawned off onto an inept social worker was unacceptable.

Mr. Oliva returns the call the next day, seemingly quite contrite. Unfortunately, I was out, and it was much too late to call him back.

So I returned his call today, left a message, and waited. I left another message four hours later, just to be more clear and leave my phone number in case I had forgotten to in my agitation.

So, what does this have to do with Bobby D, my Crow? Due to the Internet Phone funky service, I do not want to miss the call, and have to stay in my office.

I remember stories of teenage girls sitting breathlessly by the phone, waiting for the boy to call. I was not one of those teenagers, it happened briefly when I was in my thirties, but good old answering machines were reliable, and I did not mind missing the call, I could call back.

Not this time. I miss this call, I will be chained to the office again tomorrow.

It is now five thirty. Juan Oliva’s message states that he leaves the office at four-thirty.

I am holding onto my temper by sheer will, and as each minute ticks by, it feels as if cocoa butter is being rubbed onto my palms, and my grip on civility is starting to slide.

I could not have Bobby in the office, because if the call came in I would have to focus 100% on what was being said, and am sorry to report that I could not risk a Bobby distraction.

I am so happy that he is enjoying playing with the bottles, because I am kind of hogtied here.

This is no way to spend a day. This is no way to be treated. I am not asking for a handout, I am asking for money that belongs to me, and have wound up sitting by the phone, waiting for an uncaring social worker to return my call.

Well, for once in my life, I am not going to cry and scream and threaten to kill someone or try to kill myself – it is very strange, but I feel bone cold and icy, and am going to go head to head with the most impossible institution I have ever dealt with in my life.

If there is one thing I learned from my father, it is not to let that temper out – you will just get written off as a nutcase, and then the Pandora’s Box will have been flung open, destroying everything in it’s path, including the host.

I had a perfect day to spend quality time with Bobby, and this was how things went down.

What is that old, possibly Mafia, saying?

Go after me, fine. Fuck with my family……..I suggest you start getting your long term papers organized.

I think I made that last part up.

The funniest thing to me in this “gotta use the magnifying glass to find the humor” situation is – Bobby was mellow, doing his thing. I wanted to play with him. I wanted to work on the prologue of the novel, and get it up as a teaser on the web page, and I wanted him in the room with me so we could take breaks and play.

Well! We are not losing a good day to MPTF and this nonsense again, now are we?

I hope I do not wind up on the local news. The bird does not want the Dad to have the burden of being a single parent. Bobby informed me that they probably won’t allow him to visit me in jail.

Dear Whomever, help me not lose my temper.

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“Bobby,” I say, exasperated.  “It is not a gambling game, it is a writing game. You are many fantastic things, but you are not a writer.”

His look, coupled with his “tell it to the hand” attitude, suggests I go to my FInder folder, pull up pictures, and get back to him.

“Fine.” I answer, making it clear with my retreat that he can tell it to my ass.

Well, I am busted, he gets to play.

bobby_writer_cropped.jpg

 First of all, the rules, sent to me by the SO cool Sherri Cornelius, who “tagged” me to play this game. Being a newbie here on wordpress, I have no idea what being tagged is, but I think it is a badge of honor.
Learning, immediately forgetting, learning the same thing over and over….AHH, the GREAT circle of life! (The first person who recognizes that film quote wins…something. I will figure it out later.

BACK to the task at hand.

First, the rules:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random [?] people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

We are now on Rule Number Three. (Rule number 1a is the mom gets to go first).

MOM:
Sixteen years ago, when I was twenty nine, I went to the UCLA psychiatric facility to seek help for depression. I received ten minutes of interaction, and was sent home with a bag of antidepressants. I was misdiagnosed. These medications – prozac, wellbutrin, too many to list – have helped many people, but in my case, they caused my heart to stop. I was in my apartment, luckily with a sort of ex-boyfriend, as we were trying to work things out. He called 911, and the paramedics applied the paddles over and over, until one of them said, “Well, it’s time to bag and tag her”.
(Mind you, I have no memory of this – this was told to me, in great detail).
My boyfriend pleaded for them to try one more time and viola! – heartbeat.
My heart stopped again in the ambulance, but the got ‘er going again.
However, all of this insanity left me in a coma for a week, and when I came to, I had brain damage. I was a grown woman with the brain capacity of a six-year old. The family were discussing what facility I should be shipped to.
I woke up in the UCLA psyche ward with two weeks of my life absolutely blank, and it has stayed blank.
I woke up to a team of psychiatrists standing around my bead, charts in hand, asking me if I knew what I had done.
That is an unsettling question.

BOBBY:
“And you have the nerve to call me a three year old. I am going to snap at you when we are finished.”

MOM:
“Bobby, it is your turn to tell us something about yourself.”

BOBBY:
Well, besides being the real writer, I have become a vegetarian. At first I ate beef, McDonald burgers were just the best, I ate chicken, yeah, yeah, I know we are related, don’t start. But I find that I like dry cat food, cheese and egg whites. I believe the egg whites come from living in Los Angeles. I have been bombarded with donated magazines that I shred, but I do read them, and it is very, very important to stay svelte.

“Bobby, dry cat food is fattening.”
“Shut Up – your turn, Dead Zone.”

MOM:
When my father died, five years and three months ago, I divorced the rest of my family. Mother, sister, brother. I have chosen to have no family. Tomas and you, Bobby, along with the cats and Wullith the rabbit, are my family. I like my in-laws, but they are on the east coast, so whenever we get to see them it is a real treat.

“Why can’t I go with?”
“I smuggle you into the house, how do you think I can smuggle you onto a plane? I can barely get on a plane.”
“Point taken.”

BOBBY:
I love to have my head and chest scriched by the Mom. I demand it, by pounding on my condo, then putting my head down and waiting. She always complies, she cannot resist, and I make her do it until her arms hurt and she has to quit. It makes her feel guilty, but I cannot help it, it just feels so good. I think she is getting some kind of Karma for always wanting backrubs from the Dad.

“You dont even know that I get backrubs, brat.”
“Mother, you have no idea what I know.”

MOM:
I went to the DMV to renew my I.D. and was informed that I was on the suspected terrorist list. I use that fact whenever someone is working my last nerve. You might want to remember that, Robert.

“Oh puh-leeze. You SO scary when you call me Robert. See? I am shaking.”
“You are shaking because it is cold out here. Want the heat on?”
“Sure.”
“Okay.”
“Can I say one more?”
“NO! the game specifically says SEVEN! God!
“But how about seven for you and seven for me?”
“Honestly, I really cannot tell which one of is the most self-centered.”
“Well, everybody knows the world revolves around the bird. How ’bout hitting that heat?”

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A few days ago I took Bobby outside in the backyard, he has been with us for six years, and about eight months ago I was having great sadness about how unnatural his life was, and maybe it was time to give some fresh air a try.

I had been holding off on this, as a crow may have a broken wing, but they have legs like pistons, and Bobby is fast on his feet. But I took my courage in hand, as the “backyard” is a cement slab with a falling down fence and a neglected mixture of ivy, bougainvilla, two types of pine trees, both weird….However, upon studying it with eyes that were not irritated with the landlady’s neglect of the place, and our fruitless attempts to make it into something pretty, I felt fairly certain that Bobby would not be able to navigate too far, fast or not.

It all worked out, and I try to get him outside at least once a week, as he seems to enjoy it. I stay with him, and usually one of the cats is out, as is the rabbit, everyone just kicking around.

The yard is right off of Tomas’s studio, and the sliding glass door is open, as we don’t want to miss the elusive breeze that might pop by.

Tomas was inside reading the news, I was sitting outside watching Bobby poke around in the ivy, Vinnie the cat was relaxing on a chair, Wullith the Rabbit was hanging in the cool dirt under the ficus I planted. Don’t harsh my mellow, man.

“Oh, so they caught the priest that was stalking Conan O’Brien” Tomas remarks calmly.

“What?” I yelp, causing an immediate chain reaction. Vinnie pops his head up, Wullith sits up, ears back.

Bobby goes apeshit and starts running down the side of the house. I get up and start after him, he is hopping away from me at a very brisk pace, flapping his wing and a half, and making his signature quacking noise that indicates total upset with the whole situation.

I am torn between chasing Bobby and my virgin ears hearing more about a priest stalking Conan O’ Brian????

Now, I like Conan, but Tomas and I are die hard Craig Ferguson fans. I could understand the reaction if it were Craig, but the twisted part of my brain finds it horribly funny that a good Irish boy like Conan has a priest stalking him. I must know more!

But, the maternal instinct kicks in, winning by a nose hair over the sick celebrity addiction, and I have to get to Bobby before he dives into the ivy, and I have to battle whatever is living in that overgrown mess.

We avoid that scene, as he goes roaring back out into the cement circle, (sorry, yard), deciding that jumping up into the bamboo is the best choice.

Now, crows do not roost in bamboo. Especially a thin, half dead stalk bamboo plant such as ours. But he has done it, and is flapping wildly, getting stuck, this is not good.

I try talking to him calmly, unfortunately, this news about Conan O Brien has freaked him out so intensely, that my soothing voice telling him that Conan is unhurt, everything is okay, is falling on deaf ears. I have no alternative but to grab him, which I hate to do. The best way to get him back into the house is to get him on my arm, and we both waltz inside with our dignity intact.

Not this time. He is in trouble, and I have to get him out. I grab, he struggles, and dear lord no, there is blood. He managed to get his bad wing up around a dead stalk of bamboo, and poke himself just hard enough to draw blood.

I am a bad mom. My child is bleeding. I can only imagine what parents of human children go through when they cut and scrape themselves.

We make it into the house, into the bathroom, where I wet a paper towel and gently push it under his wing, putting easy pressure for a few seconds. It comes out soaked with blood.

I know enough to be able to stay calm, because bird blood coagulates very fast, and this is not a gushing wound, he simply got a little scrape. He is going to be fine.

I keep asking him why is he so distressed? Is because he does not feel like a good Catholic bird, and if a priest could stalk a celebrity, what terrible terror awaits a Catholic Crow, clearly living in sin?

I remind him that he takes communion every day, even though it is not a blessed wafer, it is a Ruffles potato chip. I console him that although we have not had a priest bless the bag of chips, that he is receiving God’s love through the mom, and not to worry, he is not in trouble with the Church.

He seems to settle down, and we went back to his condo, where more consoling goes on.

It must be hard when one does their best within their chosen faith, only to hear that some of their spiritual leaders are total nutcases.

It is certainly a surprise to find out that one’s child is deeply faithful.

I guess I am going to have to find Bobby a cheap Merlot to offer him with his Ruffle, as I have clearly been remiss in taking the important steps in guiding my child in his spiritual quest.

C’mon, spiritual leaders! If you choose that calling, don’t do these things that let down your flock. Especially a crow. They are extremely sensitive.

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I know I have never finished the first post on the story of how Tomas and I became the parents of a crow, it may just have to go into the memoir section of my web page. Bobby has lived with us for six years, and every day he is up to something new to drive me insane with love or a desire to strangle him. And Tomas, being “The Dad”, never wanted children because deep down, he always knew music would come first. We both knew we would not be good parents to a human, albeit for different reasons.

HOWEVER, as I write this, Bobby is cawing like a madman, I think he is trying to find his girlfriend, and Tomas is wrestling with a difficult cue. But he loves the Bob, and luckily he can tune him out, and Bobby has no interest in marching into the studio and demanding attention.

With all of the disagreements we have, The Bob and I are both in agreement on one issue:

We despise Ann Coulter.

This does not make us unique, but I have an extra added bonus. Ann Coulter looks like my sister Shannon Mahan, and uses her blond leggy sex appeal in exactly the same way as Shannon, whom I am also less than fond of. But I have to kind of feel sorry for my sister, because all of my personal feelings about her aside, she is in with the majority of Americans who abhor this administration. AND SHE LOOKS LIKE ANN COULTER!!!
That is just the Universe being mean to my sister, but the bad devil side of me gets a bit of a kick out of it sometimes. Poor Shannon. How do you reconcile finding something funny, but feeling bad about it? Chocolate?

However, this is not about Shannon, again, our relationship will be covered in memoirs, down the line. I have some great memories of her, and often wonder what happened to her to cause her to be a certain way later in life. A certain way that, from my perspective, was unkind. I have my own responsibilities in our break from each other, which I chose to do, and I will be owning up to them. I will not do a hatchet job on my sister, as much as my anger at her wants me to.

This post is about Bobby the Crow and how politically proactive he is. I was changing his papers the other day, and happened upon a picture of dear old Annie Coltie, she was speaking somewhere, the L.A. times reported, “to wild applause”. Gee, do you think it was her legs and hair, or her putrid spew that was causing such enthusiasm? Go fellas!
Everyone knows that most men (and this is not a bash, even they admit it) hear very little of what women say when they are flashing you with whatever “come-hither” ammo they have at their disposal, and Lord knows, Annie the Republican Stick Chick has LOTS to work with. Very pretty, very smart, very hateful, and very wily.
She is not special, either, and she has every right to laugh at us. But someday, poor Ann Coulter will have cellulite, saggy breasts, crows feet, (sorry Bobby, it’s just an expression, your feet are cute) all of the swell stuff that happens when we get OLD!
Ann will have enough money to plastic surgery away much of this, but then she will look weird, as everybody does when they try too hard to stay young.

I have nothing against a little here, a little there, to make one’s self feel better, but when a person relies on her beauty to get the attention he or she needs, they usually go too far, and just look odd, sometimes kind of scary.

I have the sense that Ann Coulter is smart enough to know that if she wants to keep this nonsense up, she has to stay beautiful, and she will most likely go overboard with the plastic surgery. Then what she says will be in the spotlight, not her body and her hair. She will fade into the sunset, and be forgotten before the finale, where she gets to talk to her particular brand of Jesus.

I probably won’t live long enough to see it, but……let the silly twit enjoy her time. In the big picture, she is as meaningless as Paris Hilton.

SO, speaking of silly twits, here is how Bobby and I are proactive in our beliefs. I put the picture in the paper of Ann Coulter down right where he poops the most, and enjoy watching her image slowly fade away under a pile of bird shit.

Totally petty, totally silly, but dammit, I make myself laugh.
And to quote Craig Ferguson, “If it makes me laugh, that’s half the battle.”

Bobby D., Political Crow.

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