The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


Public Notice of Eviction for Joseph Michael....

Baby eviction notice: I am issuing a one week notice for EVICTION. Tenant will have seven days in which he can either gather his belongings and promptly vacate the premises, or wait until the final day. After which, he will be physically removed from the property.

The tenant is being evicted due to breech of contract and destruction of property. Expansions only to the FRONT of the house, within reasonable limits, were discussed. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but additions to the back of the house were also made. Remodeling and gutting of the home was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure. And due to property damage, there are now leaks in both the upper and lower levels of the home. On top of which, the landlord has received numerous camplaints about nightly disturbances.

After seven days from this day, if tenant doesn't comply with this the notice, it will result in immediate and forceful removal at my discretion.

Yes, it's official. If Joey doesn't git out voluntarily by 28 September at 4 PM EST, a very determined bald man of my acquaintance will make him leave, one way or the other.

Not sure I'm really ready for this, but it's too late now.

Will post pictures of the "evictee" when I can.


Welcome to Holland

No, I didn't come up with this. Another lady, the mother of a little boy with Downs Syndrome, did a while back. I remember reading it in Readers' Digest a long time ago.

Maybe you've read it too, a while back. I'm reprinting it here, now.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Thank you, Emily Perl Kingsley, wherever you are.

I'm an Aunt! For Real This Time!

That's the good news.....and I'm proud to announce the birth of the most beautiful little girl in our family since 1967.....hat tip to Alena Joyce, born 9/6/06 in Scottsdale, Arizona around 1 pm.

Then there is the not-so-good news.

She's in the NICU. The doctors are 90 percent certain that she has Downs Syndrome.

I wish more than anything that I could be there with Alena, her mother Mary, and my brother George right now. I know there is not one damn thing I could do for any of them, but being stuck here, unable to travel, makes me and the Tsar feel so helpless.

I could hear my brother's heart breaking from thousands of miles away as he told me the news. And there wasn't one damn thing I could do or say to make it better. For the first time in my life, I really feel like I have somehow failed on my promise to always watch out for him that I made back when I was nineteen at the side of my mother's hospital bed (and repeated at my father's side when I was twenty-five).

I have never before greeted the birth of a child with such a mix of joy and tears like I have right now. The thing is, all of us thought if any child were likely to be born with this condition, it would be our Joey, since I'm well into my thirties and at the age where doctors "strongly encourage" amnios. Alena's mom is only 19, so the doctors pretty much decided that based on her age alone, there was only about a 1 in 5000 chance.

Looks like Alena is that 1 in 5000.

This was completely unexpected. Of all the different things any of us thought would happen, no way did we anticipate this. What her future will be is a mystery. The dreams and hopes we had for her will have to change.

There are a few things, however, very positive things, I do know right now.

I won't be convinced otherwise that little Alena doesn't have two special guardian angels who will be with her always. One's a cranky former Lithuanian airplane mechanic, the second's a irritable former Slovenian airline ticket agent. I'm not sure they could stand each other in life.

They wouldn't be anywhere else now but at the side of their first grandchild, a beautiful little girl blessed with dark hair and blue eyes, named after her great-grandmother.

Most of all, there is no possibility that there is another child in Arizona who could possibly be more fiercely loved and cherished tonight than Alena Joyce.

Welcome to the world, precious little girl, from a loving aunt and proud uncle who can't wait to meet you someday soon.

UPDATE: Alena has a heart defect. She was born without a pulmonary valve. The doctors have given her medication to keep a blood vessel open between her pulmonary artery and her aorta to help keep her stable until they can determine what surgical options they have for her. A pediatric cardiologist at Phoenix Children's Hospital will make the determination soon.

I've been staying up looking up "pulmonary atresia" (the name of her condition) on the web, and the good news is it looks like it generally can be treated successfully. Maybe my favorite little girl just caught a break today. I sure hope so.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ok, I've had some time to do some research on the 'net about Downs Syndrome. I now feel fully qualified to make the following assumptions about Alena and her future.

(Ahem! Had to clear my throat there.)

1. She already is smarter than Cameron Diaz and Jessica Simpson. Combined.
2. When she does learn to talk, she will be far more articulate than Paula Abdul critiquing an American Idol contestant.
3. She'll have more sense than to dress skanky like Christina Aguilera.
4. If she decides to take up acting, no way could she possibly be as bad as Paris Hilton or Mariah Carey.
5. She'll be intelligent enough to know that Kevin Federline is not marriage material.
6. She'll probably never jump on a couch again after the age of seven, unlike Tom Cruise.
7. She'll never show up on the daytime talk shows with ten guys trying to figure out who is the "babydaddy".

I'm not going to deny that she will have a more challenging life. That's for certain. But at least she'll never embarrass the family in those seven ways....and for that, I'll be eternally grateful.