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Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

The Mom Sings A Song

Clean the bird, tuppence a bag….

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We are moving, and the living room is completely cleared out and cleaned. It is empty.

Our television has always been in the bedroom, and please don’t hate us, but there is no interest in nor time for the Superbowl. Superbowl, Super Tuesday, Supesize, it is all large and happy.

Fine. Whatever makes anyone feel good, go to town. Try not to get hurt.

Tomas is writing a cue, I am multi-tasking myself into a drooling idiot, and as of four o’ clock this afternoon, Bobby has suddenly decided to join in the Superbowl frenzy.

Bob’s condo is in the dining room, looking straight into a now empty living room.

He is hearing all of the hollering coming from the houses around us, and is diving in.

Whatever is making all this racket, he is determined to roar along with it.

I am going to go see if we have any Advil left.

If you read this, I hope your team won.

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Yes, Bobby, it is. It all started out innocently enough, a little treat for Bobby the Crow, Bullet the Rabbit, and Vinnie and Vito, the cats. The Mafia Brothers, those two.

There was good reason behind it – bad parenting. Give each one their particular version of a Pop-Tart, so that Tomas could write without the brothers jumping on him every five minutes, and so that I could write without feeling guilty that I was not spending hours petting and playing, as much as I would like to.

Now, The Treat has become mandatory. It started out in the early evening, and has progressed to every ten minutes. I stop writing to go out and throw something together for the humans to eat (gasp!), and I have Vinnie winding around my legs, always fun until someone loses an eye, Bobby on his lower perch, where he can observe kitchen activities, glaring and pounding on it, and the Bullet down the hallway in my bathroom smacking his plate against the wall.

Vito sitting at Tomas’s feet, chirping and raising his big black self up to stick a claw in Tomas’s leg.

Okay.

Quick.

Bobby – give him a peanut.

Run to the cat food cupboard and grab a handful of the junk food dry (cat version of Cap’n Crunch), sprinkle some for Vinnie in his little sushi dish, sprint down the hall and leave the rest of the junk dry on the floor for Vito, hop over the bathroom door barrier and give Bullet a fast buffet of nuts, Quaker Oats, and bannana chips, then race back to the kitchen to check our food.

Bobby has finished his peanut and is glaring again, Vinnie has finished his sprinkles and is underfoot, and I am hearing a rather ominous sizzling on the stove.

And this is just the quickie, before everybody gets their last true meal and we call it a night.

Monsters. I have created four monsters, and in the process am losing both mind and body coordination.

I am so whipped. I am so owned. I am a slave, yet still cling to the idea that they belong to me.

I wish I could say at least they are not demanding an iPod or an X-box or whatever, but I am certain the digital peanut is being invented as I sleep.

Well, kids, enjoy it while it lasts, because things are going to change in 2008.

OH yes they are.

And to all a good night.

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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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From Bobby D

“Please do not confuse the mother’s sister Shannon Mahan with the Photographer Shannon Mahan who lives in Arlington Virginia and is a man who works for the government.
This could get all of the humans involved either in trouble or just plain confused. Although the mom’s sister Shannon Mahan is a fine amateur photographer, she does not live in Virginia. However, as far as her working for the government, we really do not know much about her. And she is much to smart and mean to be a man. Hope that clears things up.”

Caw! Caw! CawCaw! Caw! Caw!

“Excuse me. On a different topic, I would like everyone to know that I have decided that Ruffles potato chips are ‘da bomb’, as I guess some of the humans say. Don’t ask me how a reference to a bomb translated to ‘it tastes great’ – but, hey folks, you’re people. You are very, very weird, but I have to say, you make great chips.”

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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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