Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dunkin' Donuts Is Really Pissing Me Off

Dunkin' Donuts is really pissing me off.
Searching for FREE WiFi hotspots is part of my life. I don't have Internet access where I live and I literally live on the Internet. So, I need access to the net as many hours a day as possible. When I first started loading up the Internet with content, I went to Dunkin' Donuts. It was great. I'd get there early in the morning and stay until closing. It was less than a mile from my house. And several members of the staff always gave me free coffee. It didn't cost me anything to be there all day. But over the last couple months, their WiFi connection has been spotty at best. And right now, Dunkin' Donuts is really pissing me off.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hygiene Emergency On The Horizon #hygiene #poverty

Can't squeeze no more out of the tooth paste tube.
When you're broke, every penny is allocated. You have the things you have to do and the things you want to do. What you want to do always gets put off. This week, however, I've spotted a hygiene emergency on the horizon. There are a couple things I need and I don't know how to shuffle my budget to afford them. It could get ugly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes Me To Adjust Typing Technique #Health

The pain has been slowing me down.
About a month ago, I was working all night at Denny's on my various Internet ventures. I typed a lot. During the evening, I felt my fingers getting numb. I thought it was a temporary thing - hands being too high for an extended period of time - and it would go away. Well, it hasn't. I think I have what every blogger dreads CTS - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and it has caused me to adjust my typing style.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Cut My Own Hair Again. Not Frightening. #LOL

Even the first time I cut my hair, it didn't come out this bad.
Sunday, I cut my own hair again. And it didn't come out frightening. LOL. Seriously, it's not bad. I can't say the same for attempts in the past. There have been a couple times I wish I was in a better state of mind when I decided to take to my hair with cutting implements. Nowadays, the buzz clippers make the job easier.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Blog Content Is Moving to www.RogerBlazic.com

You can find everything at www.RogerBlazic.com
After polling some of my regular readers, I came to a decision to move the contents of this blog to my main blog www.RogerBlazic.com and discontinue putting content on this blog. I found it too cumbersome to maintain two blogs and spend time marketing for two blogs. This will make things easier. So, this blog content is moving to www.RogerBlazic.com over the next week or so.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chuck Buys A Thing - an ALL MY DONUTS film

Chuck bought this thing.
There aren't many things I want in life. Some people have a lot of things. They have things here and they have things in other places. They carry things and some things they have stored. Today, my good friend Chuck bought a thing. Not sure what it is for. But he has a new thing. We tried to get the thing to work. But there was one thing we forgot. We had to make a movie out of it. Chuck Buys A Thing - an ALL MY DONUTS film.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Moving The Mentally Ill - Like Herding Cats - All My Donuts

Just call me the cat herder. I was fascinated.
Helping others is part of my makeup. If someone needs a hand, I'm more than willing to pitch in. A friend of mine, Don (not his real name), had been helping Al (not his real name) move to a new apartment. Don lost his cool with Al and asked I'd take over to finish the job the next day. On Thursday, I found out that moving the mentally ill is like herding cats. This is another All My Donuts story.

STATS MAN Learns PowerPoint - An All My Donuts Film

STATS MAN gets computerized.
Part of our current economy is worker retraining. Learning new approaches, learning new skills, becoming more computer proficient are all part of what it takes to get employed and stay employed in this market. One of my All My Donuts characters, STATS MAN, just got a new position and he may be required to use PowerPoint. Until today, he was as proficient at sky-diving or flying the Space Shuttle as he was at Microsoft's presentation software. Today, STATS MAN learns PowerPoint. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My 55th Birthday Adventure - Three Grand Slams - All My Donuts

For the first time in years, I had a great birthday.
Some people really look forward to their birthday, others would rather avoid it. It all depends upon your age, I guess - and how well your most recent birthdays went. My last five or six birthdays have been awful, forgettable and even nightmarish. This year, I was anticipating a really bad birthday. However, at the last minute, I came up with a somewhat insane idea and decided to have my 55th birthday adventure - Three Grand Slams - An All My Donuts Film.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Note To Self - Skip My Birthday And You Can Too

Looks like another burnt birthday. The norm.
Birthdays are usually happy occasions. Family and friends get together to celebrate your birth, have a good time and wish you the best for the year ahead - until the next birthday. Depending on how your family is structured, a spouse or close friend may be putting together the festivities. And depending on what part of the country you are in, the festivities could be very brief or an extended festival. However, looking at the calendar I penned a Note To Self - Skip my birthday - and you can too.

Growing up in the Midwest, birthday's were simple events without a lot of fanfare. Your mother or spouse would ask you a few days in advance about your favorite dinner. If your spouse was not one to cook, "What's your favorite restaurant?" might be a question. Although, for all the time I lived in the Midwest, I don't ever remember going to a restaurant for my birthday.

On the big day, you'd enjoy your favorite meal with family and a few friends, a cake would come out, everyone sang happy birthday, you opened a few gifts and it was over. Once I turned 21, I'd head to a bar with a couple buddies, get drunk and never spend a dime. Someone would drop me in my front yard and that was my birthday for that year.

When I went to Las Vegas to live in 1996, I learned a completely new meaning of birthday. Birthday was not a couple hours with family and friends. Birthday was a full-blown event. It could even turn into a festival that lasted for days.

I only remember one birthday during the fourteen years I was in Vegas where it was at home with just family. The rest of my birthdays were at restaurants or bars or casinos and there were lots of people.

In addition to the actual birthday date, there were friends and business associates that had to take you out for a birthday drink, dinner, lunch, a movie, whatever. Birthday could take up an entire week.

Kids birthday parties were mega-affairs that involved all kinds of activities. You seemed obliged to have a clown, ponies, go to some bounce-house palace, roller skating, baking classes, movies or some other over-the-top happening that could include upwards of 20 or 30 kids. I never saw birthday parties like this until I went to Las Vegas. My days of, "Here's the lasagna you requested," a song, blown candles and a few gifts were displaced by the birthday event.

My mother, raising three kids, had a rule that we only had a party with friends every five years. You had one at age 5, 10 and then you didn't give a crap at 15.

Now that I'm back in the Midwest, I've returned to modest birthdays with little or no hoopla.

Last year, I was extremely depressed. The highlight of my day was talking to my then 9 year-old daughter on the phone; and seeing that dozens and dozens of people on Facebook, most of whom I had no idea who they were, wished me Happy Birthday. Some people are just freakin' nice. I really didn't care about the birthday wishes, but I felt better knowing the the human race was not a bunch of greedy, selfish bastards.

After I thanked every single one of the people that wished me Happy Birthday on FB, I had a burger or some other grilled food at my sister's house - no song, no cake - and went home. I don't drink anymore, so hitting a bar was not on the agenda. Maybe I should have taken myself to Dairy Queen.

Birthdays haven't been too good for me since about 2004. On my 50th birthday, my dream house closed and I had to get out, selling my custom furniture in my driveway to people who wound up never paying me, and moving into a tiny cramped house that was full of boxes from floor to ceiling. Exhausted, my sister, my daughter and I ate at some lousy burger restaurant. I thought that was the worst birthday I could imagine. I swore things would be different in the future.

Well, things have only gotten worse with every year that has passed.

I'm broke, unemployed, eating a pile of meds every day - but I have my blogs.

This birthday is supposed to be one of those milestone birthdays, too - 55. But it will suck.

Almost seven weeks ago, my ex-wife on the advice of a counselor decided that I shouldn't talk to my daughter on the phone. I can only write to her. This is something she can't do without a court order. She's concealed my daughter from me this whole time. Concealment of a child from the other parent is a category D Felony in Nevada. I'm working with her attorney, trying to get a reasonable agreement.

My daughter started school this past week, I think. I never heard anything from her or my ex-wife - another violation of our custody agreement - a contempt of court charge. There are ten violations in addition to the felony that my X will have to face if we go to court. But I'm broke and I can't do anything. Can't file a motion. Can't defend myself.

My daughter is all that matters to me. She's always been my best buddy. Everyone that knows us knows how special our relationship has been. But that was halted by her mother.

I really only want to talk to one person on my birthday - my daughter.

On Facebook, my name will pop up on that list in the upper right corner of the screen and I'm sure dozens of people will write the same things like they did last year, "Have a great time." "Spend it with people you love." "Have a drink for me." "Don't eat too much cake." "I hope you get something good." "Try not to get arrested. LOL." All of the comments were cute, but so far from reality - it was pitiful. This year, the reality and the celebration will be diametrically opposed.

But, one thing I've learned in my life, "If fun doesn't come to you, make your own fun." So, I've decided that I'm going to shave and shower late in the evening before my birthday, put on clean jeans and a t-shirt (those are the only clothes I own) and head to my favorite Denny's about 1 am. I'm going to have a FREE Grand Slam breakfast and write about it. Then, I'm heading to another Denny's and do the same thing. And again. And again. By noon, I should be in a carb and sausage coma. I don't plan on answering my phone until my daughter calls - if she calls.

You see, another kink in the day is that my X and I share the same birth date. My daughter will be at school all day and then she'll be whisked away for mommy's birthday celebration with her whole family and some of her friends. There might not be time for Dad in the whole mess.

I'd really like to Skype with my daughter and actually see here, but that is a pipe dream right now. It's been over three months since I've been able to Skype with her. Her mother won't help her setup her camera. It's a five minute thing, but that's asking too much.

So, if you're in the Cleveland area and you're at a Denny's and you see a guy groaning as he shoves another bite of pancakes in his mouth, that's me. Don't say hi or wish me a Happy Birthday. I'm planning on quitting smoking the same day. I won't be in a good mood, unless my daughter calls.

Grand Slam time, for as long as I can take it. Then, lots of sleep. I see my psychiatrist the next day. Once I tell him what I did, he'll be whipping out the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) to see if he can prescribe a pill that will halt diabetes and sedate me into some form of sanity stupor - more pills.

I'll have fun. I guess. FREE food and my laptop - all day. It won't really be a celebration, it will be revenge. I'm still looking at the Note To Self - Skip my birthday - and you can too.

Related articles:
My Ex-Wife Cut Me Off From Talking To My Daughter On The Phone
With Divorce, Know Your Custody Agreement And Your Custody Rights
All My Donuts - 001 - Living In A Hoarder's House From Hell

Visit my main blog: www.RogerBlazic.com

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All My Donuts - 004 - The STATS MAN Cometh

STATS MAN a Dunkin' Donuts regular.
While hanging out at Dunkin' Donuts, using the FREE WiFi for blogging, I meet a lot of interesting people. Some are nuts, some are weird and some are just fun. The STATS MAN is fun. He's a real DD regular and provides tons of useful information, sometimes. Sometimes, he's just talking. But, no matter what, I'm glad to see him and we always have fun.

We had a good time putting together this video for All My Donuts - 004 - The STATS MAN Cometh. I hope you enjoy it. I know STATS MAN and I did. And Jasmine, the first person to see it outside of me and the STATS MAN.




And there you have the STATS MAN. We'll probably do another video in the future. I'm sure have lots of interesting facts to say.

Thanks for watching All My Donuts - 004 - The STATS MAN Cometh.

Other video:
All My Donuts - 002 - Sam Has A Jerry Springer Moment

YouTube Channel:
All My Donuts

See my main blog: www.RogerBlazic.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

Remembering The Ford Edsel - An All My Donuts Film

What does the front grill remind you of on the Edsel?
In the pantheon of automobiles manufactured in the United States, there is probably no more infamous car than the huge project Ford Motor Company released in late 1957. The name of the car became synonymous with failure. Whenever someone came up with a bad idea, they used this name to let you know - "That's a bad idea." A friend of mine, Mike, invited me to a car show of these clunkers at a local hotel. The following video takes you on a journey, as we take some time "Remembering The Edsel - An All My Donuts Film."

Part of the problem with the Edsel is that consumers didn't see where it fit in amongst the offerings from Ford. There were also some innovation on the car that were unpopular with car buyers.

One of the worst innovations was the transmission shifter was push button and the buttons were centered on the steering column. When motorists went to honk the horn, they accidentally changed gears.

The station wagon tail lights were arrows pointing inward. People following an Edsel were confused as to which direction the car was actually going to turn.

Another comment was that the unique front grill of the Edsel looked like a vagina.

U.S. and Canadian sales were dismal and production on the cars, even after a revamp of the body style, was ceased in 1959. Only a couple thousand Edsel's were sold for the 1960 model year. And the Edsel faded away into automotive infamy.




And there you have the largest failure in American automotive history. But today, the Edsel owners love their cars. And we had to take some time Remembering The Edsel - An All My Donuts Film.

Visit my YouTube Channel - All My Donuts

Also visit my main blog - www.RogerBlazic.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Am Surprised Stand-Up Comics Were Never Killed At Gigs

Living on the road can be a conquest of survival.
Today I was chatting with an old stand-up comedy buddy of mine. We were discussing a gruesome murder of one of my friends that made national news. Reminiscing about our days on the road, he said, "I am surprised stand-up comics were never killed at gigs."

Stand-up comedy looks like a lot of fun, and it is. I loved being on stage and taking a crowd where I wanted to with my material, facial expressions and gestures. After the show, audience members often took us places, too. Common sense should have made us question more often, "Where are we going and why?"

When you're on the road, you go from town to town and they eventually become a blur. You meets lots and lots of new people. Most of us comics partied a lot. Some were always lookout for something to satisfy their libido. But all of us were in strange places, with strange people and there were a lot of strange things that happened.

Every comic that has spent time on the road has stories. Some of them are hilarious, others are scary and then there are the ones that are downright sick. None of us, however, have a story about a comic being killed at a gig or while on the road.

Comics have been beaten up at the club or somewhere outside the club. Comics have performed at gunpoint - I know I did in Haw River, North Carolina. A guy up front pulled out a gun and set it on his table and said, "You fuckin' Yankees better be funny." I danced and smiled under the Confederate flag above the stage and won the crowd over. But it was scary.

Another time, a guy wanted me to give a woman a ride home. He said, "She lives in a bad neighborhood, you'll probably need this..." and he handed me a loaded gun. - - - No thanks. But I did have a great time with the woman.

I heard a story about a comic that was on stage and the guy up front didn't like him at all. He pulled out a big Bowie knife, grabbed the mic cord, cut it and said, "Shows over dumbass."

In Madison, WI, I was headlining following a guy that used a dart board in his act. The dart board wound up in the back of the room at the hotel where we were performing. Someone grabbed a dart and threw it at me on stage. When you're on stage, you can't see crap because of the spotlights. The dart stuck in the stage about three inches from my right foot.

I've had people rush the stage, but were halted by the wait staff and club bouncers. And I've had a few people get really ugly at a bar or restaurant after a show.

A friend of mine and I were doing a show in Marietta, OH at a hotel across the river from West Virginia. My friend does an off-the-boat Italian character on stage, with a heavy accent. It's a character, not really him. We were in the hotel restaurant, eating after the show, and some of the locals heard us talking. A couple of the guys started yelling at us, "He don't talk with that I-talian accent. He's a fake. He thought he could make fools outta us." They wanted to fight. Management had them removed from the restaurant.

Considering all the places comics go and all of the unknown variables that strangers in strange places bring to the equation, I am surprised stand-up comics were never killed at gigs. There were, however, some very scary moments. More road stories to come.

 

Visit my main blog www.RogerBlazic.com
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

With Divorce, Know Your Custody Agreement And Your Custody Rights

Know your custody agreement and your custody rights.
Divorce is never easy. Dreams that once brought two people together are forgotten and usually selfish reasons tear the couple apart. Divorce is even harder when there are children involved. Some couples work well as co-parents and do the right things for their children. However, some parents create incredible headaches and hardships for the other parent. With divorce, you need to know your custody agreement and your custody rights. 

When children are involved in a divorce, there are terms set forth in the divorce decree that cover every aspect of how the two parents will move forward and it spells out the rights and obligations of each party.

I don't know how it works in other states, but in Nevada, where I was divorced in 2005, the Custody Agreement has an addendum called a Parenting Plan. This plan was hashed out in closed-door sessions with my soon to be ex-wife and facilitated by a mediator. Once all of the terms and conditions of the Parenting Plan are agreed upon by the divorcing parties, it is drafted and submitted with the divorce documents. Once the divorce decree becomes final, all of this information is recorded and entered into public record - which means anyone can look up your divorce papers and see what the terms and conditions are. The terms and conditions of the custody agreement and the parenting plan are legal binding documents and both parties must adhere to what was agreed upon or the offending party can be held in contempt of court or worse - face jail time or stiff fines.

It is very important that you keep a copy of your final divorce decree, custody agreement and/or parenting plan on file and accessible. You may need it some day.

Recently, I was forced to find my divorce papers and thoroughly review all of the aspects of my custody agreement and the parenting plan agreed upon by my ex-wife.

I am in a tough situation. I became very ill in 2010 and had no one to help me. My family decided to move me from Las Vegas to Ohio, so I could be closer to my sister and she could help me with my recovery. That put 2,300 miles between me and my then 9 year-old daughter. I've been in Cleveland since March 18, 2010. And due to my illness and my work schedule, I have not seen my daughter in person since December 13, 2009. It has been really hard. I love her dearly.

The goal of any custody agreement and/or parenting plan is that both parents put aside their differences and do what is best for the child or children. Neither parent can poison the child or children regarding the character of the other parent.

Open lines of communication are part of all custody agreements. You may have visitation rights that are only on weekends, but you should still be able to talk to your child on the phone, email them or video chat with them without completely disrupting the other household.

I'm going to use my situation as a teaching opportunity so that you understand what you should have in your custody agreement and what your rights are.

Things you need to consider are how the child's or children's time is divided between the two parents. If the child is to have medical insurance. What school will the child attend. Who pays for what. Usually, medical expenses are split. How do you split up holidays and birthdays. Where will your children be on Father's Day and Mother's Day. Are there any other holidays that you observe where the children should be with one parent or another. How will they spend summer vacation and Christmas vacation. Religious upbringing and religious holiday, how are they handled?

The situation I'm in right now is that my wife took my daughter to a counselor. My daughter told the counselor that there were a couple things that I said in our phone conversations that upset her. She loves me and when my computer died, she was upset. She knows I don't live in the best place, but we never talk about it.

I was not involved in these meetings with the counselor. I don't know how many meetings there were and what were the outcomes of any of the meetings. My ex-wife called my sister and said that I had upset my daughter and based on the recommendations of the counselor that we only write letters to each other and have only an occasional phone call. So, since July 13, 2011 I have had absolutely no contact with my daughter. It's almost a month.

My ex-wife did not call me about this decision, she sent me an email and told me to write letters and that was that. I replied in a terse fashion, since I was not included in any of this. She replies to me with an email that says she won't take any of my calls or respond to any of my emails and I should only correspond with her through her attorney. I've called the attorney four times in the last six business days and have yet to hear from him.

Here is where my ex-wife has gone wrong. If the counselor made this recommendation, my ex-wife would need to go to family court and have an amendment made to our custody agreement or the parenting plan. However, since I was not involved in any part of the process with the counselor, this is a complete farce and would probably be thrown out of court. No parent can change the rules of the custody agreement, just because they want to. You have to do that in court.

What is much more grievous is that my ex-wife has violated a very serious part of our custody agreement. Again, this is what they wrote up in Nevada in our Divorce Decree, but I'd assume that this language is part of every custody agreement in every state. Here is what ours reads.

Page 3, Lines 11-18

Section 3.5 The parties are subject to the provision of NRS 125.10(6) for violation of the Court's Order:

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF ORDER: THE ABDUCTION, CONCEALMENT OR DETENTION OF A CHILD IN VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS PUNISHABLE AS A CATEGORY D FELONY AS PROVIDED IN NRS 193.130. NRS 200.359 provides that every person having a limited right of custody to a child or any parent having no right to the child who willfully detains, conceals or removes the child from a parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or a right of visitation of the child in violation of an order of this , or removes the child from the jurisdiction of the court without the consent of either the court or all persons who have the right to custody or visitation is subject to being punished for a category D felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

This is a serious offense. I'm trying to get someone to return a call, so I can try to settle this reasonably. But I may have to take more serious action. If it means going to court, then this part of the custody agreement kicks in:

Page 15, Line 4

Section 29.0  LITIGATION/ATTORNEY'S FEES
Section 29.1 Should litigation arise concerning the terms and conditions of the Agreement, or the breach of same by any party hereto, the prevailing party shall be entitled to attorney's fees and costs in an amount awarded by the Court.

The opening paragraph of the Parenting Plan reiterates what the above law states regarding concealment of the child.

It is the intent of the Plan that each of the parents, XXXX XXXX, natural mother, and Roger Blazic, natural father, will make every effort to maintian free access and unhampered contact between the child XXXX XXXX, DOB: XX-XX-XXXX and the other parent. Neither parent will do anything, which will estrange the child from the other parent or impair the natural development of the child's love and respect for each of the parents. Bot parents understand that parenting requires the acceptance of mutual responsibilities and rights insofar as the child is concerned. 

There are a total of ten items from the Parenting Plan that my ex-wife has violated and some of them repeatedly. I want it to stop.

Issues like having access to all school and professionals that come in contact with my daughter - I'm supposed to have their names and numbers and be allowed to independently consult with them. I have nothing.

All schools, health care providers, formal day care providers, and counselors will be selected by the parents jointly - my ex-wife acts unilaterally and has never discussed any of this with me. I don't know my daughters doctor, her dentist, and I didn't even know the counselor who started this whole mess.

My ex-wife is supposed to notify me as soon as reasonably possible if my daughter requires medical attention and give me the names and contact information for the health care provider. Twice, my daughter has called me from the waiting room of a Quick Care facility to tell me she was waiting to see a doctor. Did I get anything from my ex-wife - a call, an email? Nothing. And those are the only two times I know about. There may have been more.

I'm supposed to be provided, upon receipt, with any report cards, test results, parent-teacher meeting results, photo order forms, etc. I've received report cards and test results. But my daughter has been seeing a school counselor for the last several years. I have never had one update on what is happening with that. Even if nothing is happening, an email that says, "Nothing is happening with the school counselor," would be common courtesy.

My ex-wife was supposed to supply me with the address and telephone number of any place she moves to, and I am required to do the same - if the child is going to be living with me. That is supposed to be done no less than 10 days before the move. About four or five months after she moved, my daughter sent me a letter and the return address is how I found out where they were living.

When they travel, I'm supposed to be provided with travel itineraries - flight info, where they are staying, phone numbers, etc. My ex-wife seems to feel that this is an invasion of her privacy, she only did this twice and they've taken about 50 trips since our divorce. It makes sense to provide me with this info. If they're driving to California and they got in an accident and wind up missing for several days, I'd like to be able to call the police and say, "Look for them in San Diego or on the way to San Diego," instead of saying, "Check North America." Providing me with this info is part of the plan and she can be held in contempt of court for violating it. I only find out about the trips through my daughter. She'll say, "Oh, we're going to San Francisco," or "We just got back from Arizona or Texas or wherever they went."

The parenting plan specifically says, "Each parent will be entitled to reasonable telephone communication with the child." I was instructed that "reasonable" meant - don't call every night at dinner time or butt into family gatherings. In other words, don't be a pest. I, however, never call my daughter. They are always running around and I would be butting into something. I've left the calling completely up to my daughter. She calls between one and six times a week, depending on what is going on. Our calls are always fun and we laugh a lot. She plays computer games and tells me about them on the phone. I help her with homework, spelling, and answer questions about things she heard kids at school say - and not all of that is pleasant. I'm doing the best I can in a long distance situation.

In addition to reasonable phone communication, "Each parent is restrained from reasonably interfering with the child's right to privacy during such telephone conversations." My daughter always talks on the speaker phone, so my ex-wife can hear everything that goes on. I never talk about my X anyway. I act like she's dead and not worth talking about. My ex-wife set up an email account for my daughter, but it comes through on her email program, so I have zero privacy with email. I've sent my daughter three or four emails in the last week and I've heard nothing back. I really don't think my daughter has seen any of the emails.

You can see the kind of items that are part of a comprehensive Parenting Plan/Custody Agreement. It's not fun, but it is necessary. You cannot let the other parent bully you or treat you like a doormat. If you are having problems, go back to the documents. They are legal and binding. Your Divorce Decree creates a set of laws by which BOTH parties have to adhere to; otherwise, they can be found in contempt of court or worse - face jail time or stiff penalties.

With divorce, you need to know your custody agreement and your custody rights. You have every right in the world to be able to communicate with your child and know what goes on in their life. Never forget that.

Related article:
My Ex-Wife Cut Me Off From Talking To My Daughter On The Phone

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All My Donuts - 003 - We're All Just Living In A Box

This is BS - white donuts on one side, black on the other.
For the first time in my life, I'm part of an extended neighborhood. I've lived places where you know the people on your street, but to know people who congregate to places like coffee shops, restaurants, the library and grocery store is new for me. Episode 003 of All My Donuts shows that we're all just living in a box.

No matter where I go along Lakeshore Blvd and the E. 222nd St. area of Euclid, I see the same people. This afternoon, I saw Marty "D" on his bicycle, wearing his head-to-toe sports themed hip-hop apparel. At the library, there was Al "Stats Man" and his dirty bent red trucker hat with no emblem. Sitting a few feet from me is Dan The Man. Dan's quiet. I think he's working on the sports line on the computer.

If I head up to Dunkin' Donuts, Jerry and The Pacemakers (Jerry and his 95 year old parents) will be there. Uncle Paul might pop in to bitch about the weather, the sidewalk, the weather, Cleveland, the weather and the new kid behind the counter.

Dr. Michael only shows up in the morning or on a weekend to write his blog about bad medicine. John got wireless at home, so he's a no-show. Bill only comes when he wants to show Daryl YouTube vidoes or play games.

The older black couple that sits side-by-side, each with their own laptop, is so cute and polite.

I need to pop down to the Lake Shore Coffee Shop or Mr. Wonderfuls and see if I can find "The Professor" - my proof-reader. It's always good to see Floyd and Darinda at Mr. Wonderfuls or Pastor Carrie or Pastor Ken.

There are more donuts in this box. We seem to bump into each other almost every day. And when one is missing, everyone asks, "Where is...?"

It's a community of donuts, all in a box. We have fun, but we're not quite sure why.

Friends!

http://www.rogerblazic.com/

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Ex-Wife Cut Me Off From Talking To My Daughter On The Phone

Can't talk to my daughter. It's a crime.
The last year and a half have been especially hard on my daughter and me. I got sick in late 2009 and had to be shipped from Las Vegas to Cleveland to be near my sister, so she could take care of me. Being a divorced father was hard enough, but then winding up 2,300 miles from my dream girl, who is going into fifth grade soon, has been really hard. Phone calls and Skype chats have kept our bond strong. Then, out of the blue, my ex-wife cut me off from talking to my daughter on the phone and told me to write letters to her.

This story has some history and I'm going to fly through it because I only have 18 minutes left on my time at the library computer (New computer coming next week. Yeah!)

My daughter has always been a bit rambunctious. She's curious, extremely bright, sensitive, has perfect pitch and loves animals. My moving away had affected her. But through calls and Skype, we've managed to do the best we can. I never call her, I leave it up to her. Never more than a few days goes by when she's calling, "Oh Daddy, I just had to talk to you, I haven't talked to you in so long."

When we get a chance to Skype, my sister sets it all up and my daughter is bouncing on her chair by the time I get to the web cam. She's literally ready to pee her pants, she's so excited.

All of our chats have the same format. She tells me about everything that is going on, while she's fiddling with some online computer game in the background. Or, sometimes she plays her keyboard or reads to me. But the computer games are the most popular activity.

When we were together, we spent a lot of time on the computer. I made her a little website full of cool games, she had a blog, we made movies and put them on YouTube. It was a blast.

Since my daughter started school, however, she's had isolated incidents where she got out of control in class or had dramatic emotional outbursts. I credit this behavior to the divorce. Whether it is spoken or unspoken, every child of divorce wants their parents back together. I didn't want a divorce. My ex did. So she left.

My ex is a very rude and disrespectful person. She doesn't return phone calls, blows off emails, never informs me when they go out of town - which is quite frequently. She makes all the decisions regarding my daughter and never tells me about any of it, until after the fact, via an email.

My daughter has seen a school counselor for two years because of her periodic outbursts. Suddenly, she asked her mom, "Can I see a counselor?" My ex set up a meeting with a family counselor. She had a meeting or two with the counselor, then my daughter went in. I'm not sure how many meetings there were, because I'm only the father and that's none of my goddamn busniess, I guess.

What came out of the meetings were that there were a few things that upset my daughter about me leaving, which I can't change. And there were a couple things that I said on the phone that bothered her when I first got here. I haven't spoken about then since.

Two recent incidents I told her about - my truck being vandalized with paint and my computer dying. She was very concerned.

Well, my genious ex-wife and this nimrod counselor decided that conversation with Dad was too upsetting and that we shouldn't talk on the phone anymore. We should write letters. WHAT?

I know my ex doesn't know dick about math and if I didn't work with my daughter on the phone on fractions, she would have flunked it. My daughter was so grateful for me helping her.

Do you see upsetting patterns here? A girl that is so exicted to talk to me on the phone, nearly pees herself when we Skype and can't tell me enough how much she loves me, and this is wrong?

So, now my ex-bitch has demonized phone calls with Daddy. If and when we ever talk again, she'll be nervous to talk, so that she doesn't upset mommy.

Time's up here.... tell me what you think.

My ex-wife cut me off from talking to my daughter on the phone.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cleaning Up Flood Damage For White Trash

Do you know how heavy a waterlogged couch is?
Friday, a friend of mine called and asked me to come over to his girlfriend's house and clean up flood damage. I managed to get a ride from another friend, Jim, to make the cross-town trip. What we didn't realize until we got there was that we would be working on the next door tenant's basement. So, we spent several hours cleaning up flood damage for white trash.

Flood damage is horrific. Mud is intermingled with everything that is on the floor. I was told the water was two feet deep at its peak. So, everything that was lower than 24" from the floor had to go.

What surprised me is that these tenants let two strangers go in their house and just start throwing things out. They took off. Probably to get more tattoos. What really shocked me was what we found in that basement and what we were expected to throw out.

There must have been twenty or thirty empty plastic soda bottles laying around in all the different rooms. I don't think the flood waters pushed them up through the drain. We also found about fifteen tins of chewing tobacco laying around - bags of chips, boxes of crackers, pretzels and other garbage.

Without the tenants there to instruct us, Jim and I just started pitching everything. Lots of kids toys were hauled to the curb. I was a bit miffed at how lazy and indifferent these people were, so Jim and I played Rock Stars and smashed all the instruments and guitars. I kept singing The Who's My Generation and WHAM! - another guitar bites the dust.

This flooding happened on Monday and here it was Friday. Let me tell you, a flooded basement takes on an aroma all to itself. And I didn't want to touch anything. My buddy's girlfriend gave me a pair of pink dish washing gloves. I looked very stylish.

Jim and I used a claw tool from the garage to dig clothing off the floor and dump them into garbage bags.

We put in several hours of work and then decided that we had volunteered enough.

What struck me about both sides of the house - tenant and the girlfriend - was the sheer amount of pure crap that they had piled up in every single room. I know the flood didn't cause that much shit to show up. They bought it and stashed it. Then bought some more. And more. And a little bit more.

When I lost everything, and I do mean practically everything, I found I could live life with a lot less stuff. All the things I thought were so important, didn't mean anything.

How much to do you need in your life? Are you being choked out by clutter?

Here's a basic rule of thumb. Excluding holiday decorations, if you haven't used it in six months, you probably don't need it. And if the stuff is in decent or good condition, I know there is someone out there that does need it.

Set a game plan. Locate the Goodwill, Big Brothers & Sisters or Catholic Charities near you and make a point to get some boxes of idle stuff over there. You will do yourself good and really help someone else out.

Otherwise, you might wind up with guys like Jim and me cleaning up flood damage for white trash. And we rock when we do it... "Talkin' bout my generation!"

Related article:
All My Donuts - 001 - Living In A Hoarder's House From Hell

See my main blog:
www.RogerBlazic.com
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

All My Donuts - 002 - Sam Has A Jerry Springer Moment

Sam about to have a Jerry Springer moment.
Everyone has a story. Some are wonderful. Some are sad. Some are just plain weird. In this edition of All My Donuts (002), Sam, a busboy at Denny's shares a Jerry Springer Moment.

Sam works the all-night shift and he was actually the first person I met at this Denny's. I was driving around trying to find people with Internet access on their phone so I could do a tweet about my main blog. We chatted a minute that night. I was just getting ready to start composing my tweet when his ride showed up.

A few weeks later, I was back at Denny's and there was Sam.

He was good enough to share his Jerry Springer moment with me and helped with the editing of the movie. It's less than two minutes, but it came out great.





I hope you enjoyed Sam's Jerry Springer moment. There will be more real life coming on All My Donuts.

See my main blog http://www.rogerblazic.com/

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All My Donuts - 001 - Living In A Hoarder's House From Hell

Welcome to the launch of my Internet Soap Opera - All My Donuts. I've been waiting to get this going for quite some time. Today seemed like a good day to start the ball rolling. And there is no better place to start than the place that gave me the motivation to get out and do something with my life, because I am Living in a hoarder's house from hell.

For those of you that have not been reading my main blog, www.RogerBlazic.com, I'll give you a little background on how I wound up where I am.

In 1996, I moved to Las Vegas to do stand-up comedy. I worked several of the comedy clubs on The Strip. My girlfriend, a graphic designer, who eventually became my wife owned an ad agency. I was tired of the road after nine years and went to work for her agency. We eventually broke away in 2000 and formed our own agency, Blazic Design, based out of our home.

We had a great home, a great business, a young daughter, a daughter from her first marriage, cars and all the amenities that come with being successful. In 2004, we were doing great. Then, in the first three months of 2005, my wife left me, my father died and my cousin died.

When my wife left, she was the Design part of Blazic Design. I kept the business and paid her a lot of money to keep MY name. But, I couldn't find freelance talent that was as good as her, and the business eventually went under in 2006.

From there, I fumbled around for a while before getting into trading stocks and options with my own money. I did extremely well for a short period, and bought a big house and life was looking great again. Then, I just couldn't make enough to pay the bills. Eventually, my house went into foreclosure, I lost all my money, I had to sell my possessions to keep the lights on and my health was getting worse and worse from all the stress.

In early 2010, my brother and sister in Ohio decided that they couldn't help me being 2,300 miles away. So a plan was worked out for me to return to Cleveland, OH and live in a "vacant" house an old high school buddy had.

On March 18, 2010, I arrived in Cleveland, but the house was not ready. It didn't have a toilet, sink or tub/shower in the bathroom. I had to stay in a hotel for a week, and the toilet was finally put in. I lived there for months without a shower or sink in the bathroom.

My buddy, Fred (Not his real name), who owns the house, hasn't lived there in about six or seven years. He has another house way out east of Cleveland. This house, though, has been a storage facility for him for more than ten or fifteen years. It was and is full of crap. And you don't dare try to throw anything out. Fred will go ballistic.

Being a person who was suffering from deep depression, stuffing me in a storage facility didn't do anything for my mental state. But I learned to accept my lowly lot in life - broke, living on food stamps and relying on charity from family to pay my bills.

After a brief stint in a psychiatric hospital in October of 2010, I went into a severe depression, which lasted for almost five months. I just sat in my La-Z-Boy chair and watched TV the entire time. I didn't do anything. I didn't go anywhere. I just sat.

Then, on March 7th, 2011, I decided that I HAD to get out of Hoarder Hell and do something. So I went to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and started writing. In the last four months, I've pounded out over 300 blog posts and have taken my main blog from obscurity to levels I never dreamed possible.

My hatred for the Hoarder's House From Hell is what motivates me to get out and work, day and night. I'm on a mission to build an Internet based business. Blogging is just stage one.

Since most of what I write on my other blog is humor, I thought I'd have some fun on this site and start an Internet Soap Opera. Most of my time is spent at Dunkin' Donuts and there are plenty of interesting and strange characters that come through here, I thought I'd call the series - All My Donuts. It makes sense.

For this first installment, I thought I'd take you on a tour of my lovely accommodations.

I reside in a small bungalow in Cleveland, OH.

Fred's house in Cleveland. I live alone.
The house has a detached garage. Fred is a "car guy" and he owns about fifteen cars that are stored all over town. One car is in the garage and one is in the driveway. I don't get it - all these cars are just sitting and rotting. But he says he has a master plan.

That's a vintage Buick wagon. Whooo-hoooo.
About twenty years ago, Fred had a fancy deck put on the back of the house, which included a hot tub.

I don't think this hot tub has been used in 15 years. I'm afraid to look inside.
To the right of the hot tub are French doors that enter into an addition Fred put on the house about eighteen years ago. It used to be a nice room with a big sectional couch. We used to watch TV in there or listen to music. Here's what it looks like today.

This is what you see when you open the back door and enter the house.
Fred is really quirky about where things should be stored. Here are some pieces of drywall, a ladder, a lawn chair and some other crap that he felt was best stored in the kitchen. And I can't move it or he'll lose it.

The crap is next to the stove. The door goes to the basement. The scary place.
I do have a little space in the kitchen. However, I've never been able to unpack any of my stuff and put it in the cabinets, so I have no cooking utensils, pots or pans. I can only use the microwave. I cook a big pot of food once a week at my sister's house, who lives two streets away from Fred's Pleasure Palace. I live off of that one pot of food, some fruit, yogurts, and an occasional deli sandwich from the grocery store.

I know two of the burners work on the stove. However, the oven is dangerous.
If you stand at the stove and look at the "Family Room" it is quite a site.

Love the garbage can. It's a freakin' construction site.
If you do an about face and look into the dining/living room area, you'll see all of my boxes that I had shipped from Las Vegas. There is no place to put any of the stuff, if I tried to unpack them. So, I just do without my possessions.

Nothing has moved since March of 2010.
Of course, I had more boxes than just this pile and the only place to put them was in the bedroom.

There is a bed in there on the left. I don't sleep in it.
With all the boxes stacked around the bed, I suffer from claustrophobia. I feel like I'm suffocating every time I lay down in the bed. I've only slept about 30 nights in the bed in the last sixteen months.

In the winter the room is freezing and in the summer it is sweltering. There is a tiny closet, which has the handful of clothes I can wear. The rest of the stuff, there is no place to put any of it, so these boxes have been in the same spot for sixteen months.

There is a spare room that is full of Paul's crap.
The spare room would have been a great place to stash my boxes, but Fred has been working on this room the entire time I've been in Cleveland. As you can see, there is still a lot more to be done before you can even walk into the room.

Fred's idea of an ideal bathroom.
Probably the biggest joke in the house is the lone bathroom. It took Fred three months to get the tub and shower to work for me. Then, a few months later, he was so proud to tell me about the incredible pedestal sink he bought, which means there is no storage under the sink. He also got a great deal on a really cool mirror, again with no cabinet space behind it. Above the toilet he plans on putting some glass shelves.

Now, I'm no real estate expert, but when he plans on selling this house down the road, there won't be a woman in the world that will buy a house with a bathroom that has NO STORAGE. None. Zippo. I keep my toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and the rest of my toiletries in the hall linen closet.

Last year, my brother was coming in to town from where he lives in central Ohio. Fred said to me, "We ought to get the guest room cleaned up so he can stay here." Ha! Take a look at the "guest room" - comfy.

This sheet of plywood is over the stairwell. You have to duck to get by it.
Then, of course, there is the master suite for the guest. It's the same bed Fred slept on in high school back in the 1970's.

I think my brother would have loved curling up with these boxes.
And if you want a real blast from the past. Fred still has all of his vintage 1970's stereo equipment. I don't think he's used any of this stuff in 30 years.

"More Than A Feeling."
Earlier in this post, I mentioned the door that went down to the basement. This is the scariest part of the house. I never go down there. I had to fight through cobwebs, just to take these pictures.

The view from the third step from the bottom, heading into Scary City.
Fred never throws anything away. He has stacks of Doonesbury cartoons that he clipped from the paper. They are yellowed and frail. I told him, "You know they have all those cartoons in books." He didn't get it.

Oddly, Fred knows where every freakin' thing is in this dump heap. If you move anything, he knows it.

There are model cars that have never been built on top of this pile.
One of my favorite sections of the basement is Fred's shirt collection. He 's picked up a commemorative T-Shirts throughout his life. There are about sixty shirts on hangers, covered in dust. The funny part is that Fred has blown up like a balloon and not one of these shirts fit him. My buddy Jim and I keep saying that we should tell Fred we sold all the shirts on eBay for 50¢ each.

The priceless shirt collection.
More dusty crap.
There is a washer and dryer in the basement, but I have no idea if they work. My sister does my laundry for me. There are too many cobwebs for me to want to mess around with trying to get the washer and dryer to work.

Maybe they work. Maybe they don't. I won't try to figure it out. 

Now that you've seen the house and how crammed full of shit it is, you have to be asking, "Roger, where do you stay?" I live in a 200 sq. ft. area in the living room. I eat, sleep, relax, read and write in my worn to hell La-Z-Boy chair.

 
My home. The blanket covers a huge hole in the top.



I have two creature comforts, a Bose Wave radio and a small flat screen TV with an antenna. I can only get about eleven channels on the TV - four of which are PBS, one is Hispanic, three are networks - ABC, NBC and the CW, another is a weather map, and there are two really horrible channels. So, I watch a lot of PBS.

My chair (home) is strategically placed in the living room. It faces a blank wall. It's the only place I can look and not see boxes or crap. It's the only thing that keeps me from going completely insane.

View from behind my chair.
It's been tough living in a place like this. When my computer died, I was literally going nuts. There is NOTHING to do. NOTHING. I have no crafts, hobbies, books or magazines. I used to love to cook every day. But I can't cook in this crazy house. So I live on my one-pot meal all week, fruit and some granola bars. It's meager, but I get by.

Fred's Pleasure Palace was the impetus behind me getting out and starting to blog again. I just couldn't take it, sitting in that house day after day. From great pain come good things.

I spend every waking hour I can at one of my WiFi hotspots, writing.

Now that you know where home base is, in a future installment, I'm going to take you on a tour of the PLACES - the places where I connect to the Internet and do my writing. After that, I'll start to introduce you to the FACES - the colorful people who are All My Donuts.

In the meantime, I'm still living in a hoarder's house from hell, but I spend as little time there as possible. 

Peace.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mental Illness | My Psychatrist Is Retiring. He's Tired Of Listening.

The changes in me have been remarkable.
Today, I had my final visit with my psychiatrist. It was a good meeting. As usual, he took forever to write his notes, had to ask me over and over what medications I'm on, and ask me to give an analysis of myself. Who's working here? At the end of the meeting, I found out my psychiatrist is retiring. I think he's tired of listening.

I'm going to miss Dr. Cohen. When you look at him, you might wonder who should be on which side of the desk. Yes, he has a desk. No couch. I always wanted a couch. But no couch.

Dr. Cohen is a tiny man. If my stomach had a window in it, like one of those fancy washing machines, he could look at what I had for breakfast and what pills I had taken. He really is a shrink.

He has short gray hair and wears glasses that look too big for his face narrow face. The best part is his attire. I don't think he's purchased new clothes in a couple decades. His sport jackets are right out of the Polyester Hall of Fame. His ties are from the, "What Were You Thinking" signature collection at Wal-Mart. They're always colorful and have very bizarre prints and patterns. Over the last year, I've seen his Peanuts tie, the Moose Tie, Evergreen Trees, Elephants, Pumpkins, Turkeys, Kites and a few other patterns that might be stolen Rorschach Tests. It's been fun having a colorful elf for a psychiatrist.

He may be retiring due to his advanced age. I think he did retire at one point, but he was dug up by archeologists and went into practice to sustain his tie collection.

The real reason I think he's retiring is, he doesn't want to listen to patients anymore.

Every time he asked me a question today, I'd get the first sentence out and then he'd stick up a frail, wrinkled hand protruding from his pale blue sport jacket and wave, "You don't have to go into any details." He did this about six times.

Is it just me or isn't a psychiatrist's job to listen to your issues? This meek, "Shut the fuck up," session was not very productive. In fact, none of our sessions are productive. I get more advice and information for Evelyn, the nurse.

Evelyn, a large, happy black woman with a big gap between her front teeth is a sweetheart. She's kind, knows her stuff and gives me great advice. She thinks I'm hilarious, and that helps, too.

I'll miss Dr. Cohen, only because he's the only Jew besides Jesus that makes me think of Christmas. I always wondered what Dr. Cohen was doing in his elf workshop after I left.

There is a downside to this. The doctor I'm being transferred to I had a five minute session with the last time we met. In five minutes, he whipped out what is called a Pink Slip and I was sent to a psychiatric hospital - where I was jailed for three weeks.

Boy, oh, boy - I can't wait for my next appointment.

Tiny little Dr. Cohen is going away. Yes, my psychiatrist is retiring. He just got tired of listening.

Related articles on this site:
Five Steps To Recovery From Mental Illness
Recovery From Mental Illness Should Include Groups
Mental Illness | My Psychiatrist Says My Mental Health Is Improving
The Stigma Of Mental Illness
Mental Illness | Mentally Ill Live Lives Of Quiet Shame, Anger Or Pain
Mental Illness | Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated For Bipolar II Disorder
How To Sleep Better By Using A Relaxation Technique
Mental Illness | Dealing With Symptoms of Panic Attacks And Anxiety Disorder

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All My Donuts - Internet Soap Opera - Slated For First Week Of August

All My Donuts is on its way in August.
There were several things that had to fall into place for my fun project to get in motion. Technical difficulties made it impossible to work on the project, but all of that is coming together and All My Donuts - an Internet Soap Opera - is slated to begin the first week of August.

All of the problems revolved around my laptop going on the fritz. It had a mind of its own and would work when it felt like it - which wasn't all the time.

It looks like I'm getting an upgrade to my gear and I'll have a computer that works when "I" want to.

All My Donuts will begin by showing all the Places involved in the world around E. 222nd St. and Lakeshore Blvd. Then, I'll introduce you to the Faces - the people that make this world tick and click.

You'll also get a look at what it takes to be a nomadic blogger - the tools, the tricks, etc.

It should all be fun.

For now, All My Donuts - my Internet Soap Opera - is slated to begin the first week of August. Grab a coffee.
.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All My Donuts Delayed Due To Technical Difficulties

Technical problems delay AMD.
My much anticipated Internet Soap Opera, All My Donuts, is being delayed due to technical difficulties. At this time, I'm not sure if my computer will work, and if it does, I have two other blogs to tend to first.

The problem centers around my six-year-old Appble iBookG4. It's old. It's provided years of great gigabytes of fun. But it's processor has developed an attitude. It doesn't like to heat up. Some days, it doesn't like to get started. Lately, I've seen more black screens than a fly in Florida.

I start it up, before I get to load my browser, it goes out. Then, if it does run, I'm working on an invisible game clock. At any second, it could be game over. To remedy that problem, I have to wait a half hour to see if it will refuse to stay on or it will work for another hour or two and then die.

People have been asking. But, sorry, we have to wait.
Right now, my main blog is www.RogerBlazic.com - that has the most followers. My LasVegas Tips blog has suddenly gotten a lot of interest. Las Vegas being one of the most recognizable brands in the world, it's easy to do a little blog marketing and get traffic.

All My Donuts takes some work. So, I have to put it aside for a few days or weeks. I'll have to stick with simple stories about what's been going on.

I apologize to all of the eager fans that have been waiting for All My Donuts. But for now, All My Donuts is delayed due to technical difficulties.

For a preview of All My Donuts see:

Internet Soap Opera - All My Donuts - Coming This Week
Visit:
www.RogerBlazic.com
Las Vegas Tips
.
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