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

Follow on: TwitterFacebookFacebook Fan Page 

If you enjoyed this article, share it with friends using the buttons below. Bookmark this site. Comments are welcome. 

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
.

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

Visit my main site:
Best of My Funny Blog Posts


Follow on: Twitter - Facebook - LIKE - Facebook Fan Page

If you enjoyed this article, share it with friends using the buttons below. Bookmark this site. Comments are welcome.
.

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/
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

RogerBlazic.com - My Main Blog

Roger Blazic.com

Blogs I Write