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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Hi everyone –

It has been a while since we have said hi to our small group of friends, but at this moment we are able to, and there are a few things The Bird and The Mom want to share.

As you all know, we were living in a nice little house that was being terribly neglected by the landlady, plus there was a water leak that was costing us hundreds of dollars on our DWP Bill.

Tomas had told the landlady about it within the first year that we lived there, and she completely ignored him. This upset the Bob, as he was having to eat cheap dry cat food so that we could do our best to pay the rent and the bills.

“YEAH! IT’S WRONG!” Screams The Bird.

Well, Bobby, we were living on Top Ramen, so we feel your pain.

When the writers strike happened, we were finding it hard to make ends meet, as she had raised the rent twice in two years, claiming “Market Value” while she made not one single repair to the house, never came by to check on the condition of the house, and, as I said above, ignored us when we brought a rather large issue to her attention. We made all of the small repairs around the house and did not charge her, we planted good, drought resistant grass and did not charge her, we planted a beautiful ficus in the back yard where there had only been dirt, and did not charge her, and our thanks was getting the rent raised 27% in two years.

As you may remember down on the “Kidney Stones” post, she served us with a three day or quit, and we took the time to counter her, citing all of the problems with the house and why we were struggling with the rent due to this enormous water bill on top of a large rent increase.

We went to court, and tried to hammer out a fair deal with the Farashes (Judy and Marty, the land owners) but we were still ignored when discussing the conditions of the house.

Before the court date, they arranged a scheduled walk-through of the premises, and when we tried to explain the problems with the swamp cooler and the heating system, again, we were not listened to.

We finally threw our hands up in court, and agreed to be out in two weeks and two days.

That is why it has been so quiet for a bit. We are long gone, setting up a whole new camp in a whole new place.

BUT – we have one last funny incident to report concerning Judy Davis Farash, and one really nice issue also.

We had our mail forwarded to a friend, and when we went to pick it up, there was a certified letter from Judy Davis Farash stating that we were not getting our security deposit back. Of course, we did not expect it back, as we owed rent, but we left the house in as perfect condition as possible – Super clean, every room mopped, dusted, vacuumed – we were cleaning until past one a.m. on our last night before we left. We expected that our deposit would be deducted from the amount she felt we owed her.

(Of course, when Tomas told her that due to her refusal to address the giant water leak, we were paying so much money to the DWP that, had she handled the water issue, that money would have gone to her, and we feel we owe her nothing. That is when the battle began).

The carpet was not new when we moved in, she had simply had it cleaned. An older woman with a dog had lived there for three years before with the same carpet.

As the swamp coolers began getting worse and worse, a bad smell was rising from the carpet, especially in the hallway. We pulled up the carpet in the hallway, and it was so old that the foam padding was literally turning to dust in our hands. The hardwood underneath was in fair condition, except by the studio bedroom – the floor felt as if it were rotting through. It shifted and creaked rather ominously every time we walked on it, and we both got into the habit of hopping into the bathroom or the studio. No one felt like going through the floor!

Also, when we had moved in, the sliding glass screen door that was in Tomas’s studio was completely broken – within the first few weeks of living there, we went up to Home Depot and bought a new one for about $40, and installed it ourselves.

It got chewed and clawed at the bottom by our cats, but hey! It was our screen, we paid for it, and did not charge her. When we left, we left her original broken screen and the one we bought.

Well, this certified letter stated that we owed her $180 for a new screen, and $2,383.00 for new carpet. Could. You. Just. Die.

Coincidentally, we had to drive back into LA to go to our storage space one last time, and we debated going by the house to see if she had simply slapped a coat of paint on it, cleaned the carpet, and stuck the “For Rent” sign on the lawn. Lord knows, we had left it clean enough that she could have gotten away with doing it. There was one small burn mark on the carpet in one of the bedrooms that was my fault, and it was easily fixable if one did not want to replace the carpet, even though a landlord is supposed to, by law, put in new carpet every three to five years, and also by law, after two years, a tenant is not responsible for what kind of shape a carpet is in.

As it turns out, there were workers everywhere around the house replacing, you got it, the heating system, the swamp coolers with actual Air Conditioning, re-doing all of the electrical – everything we had said that was going wrong in the house. We looked around, chatted with the electricians, and there were workers all over the house, sitting and standing on the very carpet that she was charging us to replace. Luckily, we had a camera on us, so we snapped a few photos. Quite a few photos, as a matter of fact. Photos that can be posted at any time as may be needed.

But hey – as I have written in many posts, there is a greed factor going on with her that is a little intense if you are the unlucky soul to be in her  path.

And a small update – Judy Davis Farash has the house listed for rent with Jill Fischer Properties, it is the second to the last house under “featured properties”, and it boasts a renovation, and all rooms with new hardwood floors!  Why are we being charged for new carpet when the owner decided to put in new hardwood floors?  The pictures are right there, just look for 7002 Forbes Ave, Lake Balboa.

(Update: The photos are no longer up at Jill Fischer, but can be found on the “Hardwood Floors” post.)

The good news is: the last time we were in L.A. about a week later, we drove by again, and the house was freshly painted a very sweet Robin’s Egg Blue, with white trim, and it looked great.

Knowing that the innards of the house had been fixed, and now the outside was being done, made us feel good. With the exception of the area, it is a nice little house, and it has needed some serious attention from its owner for years, and finally was getting it.

Whether it was being brought back to life because of our rebuttal, or because we had notified city officials, or maybe she just realized it was long overdue, it does not matter. It does not matter that we had to leave, it was the best thing that could have happened to us concerning that house – after the first year, we were miserable living there.

What matters is that Judy Davis Farash and Martin Farash are finally taking responsibility and taking care of their house – it is a good house, and despite everything, we have some very nice memories living there, and now it can continue to be a nice house for someone else.  The main drawback is the Farash’s are not nice people, and I pity anyone who has her for a landlady.  When we lived there, the amount of mail that came for other people was astonishing.  I have never rented a house that had the amount of turnover as 7002 Forbes has had.

I hope the Farash’s learn to appreciate when they have good tenants, and realize that they need to pay attention to their property, appreciate when the people who live there treat it well,  and in the future make the necessary repairs and upkeep when it is called to their attention, and do not let it fall into disrepair again. It is expensive, letting it go to seed to the point it was when we lived there. It was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I also hope that Judy Farash realizes that the people who rent her house are not responsible to notify her of every single issue in the house and are not required to make all of the calls and arrangements when repairs are needed, unless they are the managers and/or caretakers of the property – it is her responsibility to be pro-active in the care of her own property, not just sit back and do nothing except willy-nilly raise the rent whenever she feels like it.

To wrap it up, we are happy for the house, and we hope the Farash’s get tenants who treat the house as well as we did, not that they deserve it, but the house does.

This ends our chapter at Forbes, and while we begin our new adventures, Judy Davis Farash has a house that just might really be “Market Value”.  Although, she did not seem to realize that the market was tanking, and as I update this post, seven months later, the house is sitting, unrented.

Not our problem.

Gypsy Bob is putting on his bandanna, cawing at his outside peeps, and asking us where are we going? What are we doing? WASSUP??!!

It’s a surprise, Bob.

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Bobby is asking the mom this question, being rather strident.

Bobby, the Mom would like to think so, but she has many conflicts on the issue.

The Mom’s question is – When did you hear that song, young man?

Bobby: “I heard it going through your head over and over.  Why was that?”

Mom: “I have no idea.”

Bobby: “There must be a reason.”

Mom: “When you figure it out, will you tell me?”

Bob: “I already have, but you have to find the answer yourself.”

Sigh.

Mom: “Would you like to play with an unshelled walnut?”

Bob: “Oh yes please.”

Mom: “I will mull this over while you pound on the walnut. It will be kind of hard, because I need quiet to think.”

Bob: “We will figure that out, don’t worry.”

Mom: “Since you are much smarter than I am, I believe you.”

Bob: “So we’re good?”

Mom: “We’re good.”

Bob: “Okay, I am going to poop now. Could you clean that up? I will be quiet while you think.”

Mom: “I will.”

The mom loves the bird.

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After much cleaning of The Bob’s living space a few days ago, while he had to wait in the shower, all was fresh and clean and nice.

This was not okay with him, and once he got back into his temporary home, he immediately started rearranging everything.

The Bird and The Mom cannot seem to agree on decor.

Nothing new about that, is there?

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So is the Mom, and the rest of the crew.

“It” (slumlady) drove by the house very, very slowly.

A chill went through our collective bones.

Then she turned to go to her office to treat a patient for stress, I suppose.

Wow.

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Many years ago, my father, William A. Mahan, put an ad in ‘The Recycler’, for a roommate, as his mother was in the Motion Picture Country Home, and he had to take care of her, and needed someone to take care of the house while he was gone.

Louise Hogarth answered the ad.  It seemed like a good fit.  Bill liked her and got her into the editors union.

She manipulated him, and myself, for decades.

She is all over the internet now, promoting herself, using her grants to jet around with one film or another, she does not know how to use the Avid, or Final Cut Pro editing machines – the list is so long.

She came to the wake we had for Bill, sneering at all of the “skinny women,”  while sitting on the deck rail, a smug look on her face.

Then she approached Tomas to score “The Gift.”

He worked very hard on it, but alas, she screwed him also.

Ahh Louise – I remember back when I was working on Walter Hill’s film “Geronimo”,  Bill called and begged me to give you some work, anything, you were sinking.

I called her, and while I went off to the scoring stage, asked her to arrange the change reels by date and put them on the rack.  I gave her $100 out of my pocket.

She was happy, my father was happy, and she drove off in her beat up car.

Poor Louise.  It is so nice to see that her lies, manipulations, and screwing people over has paid off.

You go, girl.

Just remember, the ghost of Bill, the Bird, and the Mom despise you, and someday soon you will be exposed.

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I finally had to brush poor Vito the Cat, little Vinnie’s large, black brother.

He has had dreadlocks that have been driving him insane.

So, I snuck up on him in the living room, and began trying to separate and pull the dreaded dreads out.

Vito was not happy, and he made it clear.  Bobby was watching, and making growling sounds, with the occasional holler.

The whole ordeal took over an hour, with Tomas coming out halfway through to help.

I soothed everyone, then committed the ultimate sin.

Pulled out the vacuum.  Bedlam.

I am, as of this post, the most despised mother EVER.

Pop an exedrin, guzzle some milk, and leave everyone alone for a while.

All will be forgiven, in time.  Or not.

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brought to you by slumlandlady and lord.

Judy Davis Farash and hubby Martin Farash.

The stress therapist and her husband, the addiction specialist.

Just. Too. Funny.

I believe this falls into the category of “non-fiction.”

Samantha Dunn?  Did I get it right?

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“Vote for ‘The Lost Girls’s’ Blog!”

We are, Bobby. Every chance we get.

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Today is daylight savings time, and Bobby is bellowing because it is still hot and sunny at six-twenty p.m.

The nutjob landlady put her For Rent sign on the lawn yesterday, and today two very nice Latino families came to the door and knocked. I invited them in, and Bobby started flapping and jumping.

We all Spanglish the breeze for a bit, as they are fascinated by him. Sadly, they want to see this house from hell, and we must move along, where I warn them to be careful of the rotting floorboards in the hallway, the broken swamp cooler in the kitchen, where hideous muck drops onto one’s head from the roof (mmm – really tasty conditions to make a meal) – and this is the nice section of the house.

I actually had to caution the second family to NOT bring their infant inside, as the guck in the walls, etc, would make a baby sick.

The list of what those poor folks had to see is much to long to go into, however, one fellow from the first family was so glad to have talked to us, the tenants, because, as he said quite plainly,

“The landlords lie.”

Yes, they do, and this particular landlady is borderline delusional. She has neglected this (once upon a time) lovely house for years, and thinks she will simply slap another coat of paint on it and charge, as she puts it, “Market Value.” Seems kind of cruel to treat something one owns so poorly, when one has the means to do otherwise. I believe this is known as Greed, perhaps?

To end this on a bit of a laugh, later in the day a real estate agent put up a big open house sign on the outer corner of the lawn, basically obliterating the For Rent sign, on the same corner was a flyer hung on a pole advertising a garage sale, and kitty -corner to this house was another real estate sign pointing to another house for sale.

People in cars were starting to do donuts in the intersection.

And Bobby bellowed his lungs out at the whole circus, while Tomas and I semi-collapsed on the floor, too tired to laugh, but somehow, sounds resembling laughter were coming out of us, and for a moment, all was well.

It was peaceful to be enjoying the great insane ride of simply being alive.

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“Vote Early and Vote often”

Bobby D the Crow

“Bobby, I believe that was a quote from Al Capone”

“Yes, mother, but he is dead and I claim it.”

“Be careful what you claim, Bob, they did get him on tax evasion, you know.”

“I eat what I earn.”

“True…well, I am going to go shower now.”

“Don’t forget to Vote Early and Vote Often!”

The mother has left the building.

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