Saturday, January 21, 2006

I need to get out from my dad's house.

I had a conversation with my Rabbi about davening (praying) and putting on Tefillin. He said the mitzvah (commandment) for men to put on Tefillin is such an important one that I should strongly consider putting them on even on days that I don't get to daven in the morning -- he said this with the express disclaimer that he is not condoning not davening, but if I am not going to daven, at least I should still do the mitzvah of putting on Tefillin.

On another note, I'm getting frustrated by the living conditions in my house with my dad. He is just completely disorganized, and I feel like I'm getting infected by his disorganization because my own room is starting to look like an uncleanable mess. I just feel like I am so busy that it should be someone else's responsibility to clean up after my dad (perhaps my dad should have that responsibility) and if I don't do it, he goes nuts overboard messing everything up with his junk. I would say he is like the kid whose father never told him to hang up his coat when he came home from school. He has no sense of organization and it drives me absolutely nuts!

I'm actually looking for an apartment to get out of this hellhole of an apartment without a sink or a kitchen, and I'm looking for something closer to a shul and school. I would pay $600 per month for an apartment, but beyond that, I am having a difficult time justifying that kind of rent when there is no income coming in. By the way, $600 is the cheapest rent I can find.

I was just looking for a picture on google to put on the top of this post, and I searched for the word "jail" because that is how I feel about being in this house with my dad. I just wanted to comment that I am envious of the picture I chose, because it is so clean there. I wish my room were that organized.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Father and My Car

I want to express my exasperation with something that has been going on for the past few days between my father and my car.

Last motzi shabbos, Saturday night, I went on a shidduch date. While I was waiting to pick up the girl, I noticed that my brake light went on and that my headlights turned off. This was weird.

I told my dad about it, and he offered to fix the car. Being that he was a mechanic for many years and that he owned a Service Station at one time, I accepted his offer.

Three nights ago, he accidentally set my wires beneath the steering wheel on fire when he decided to bypass the fuses. Noticing that the wires were melted, he said, "Houston, we have a problem." I told him that we should bring the car to a dealer. He insisted on fixing it himself. Then he broke the cigarette lighter.

The next day while driving to meet up with someone from law school, I noticed that only one headlight worked. "He must have blown out the bulb to the other headlight when he set fire to my car," I thought. I went to the dealer, picked up a bulb, and changed the light. No luck. The left headlight itself was now somehow broken.

Last night, I stood out in the rain watching him take off my steering wheel and airbag to change the piece that is used to signal left or to signal right or to pull to switch to hi-beams. He was convinced that switch was the problem. When he put the steering wheel back on, the airbag light went on indicating that it was not working.

This morning when I was driving my car, a sound started playing that would normally play when I left the keys in the ignition. I drove to school without lights, without windshield wipers, without power in my cigarette lighter (that I use to power and play my iPod), and without a fan for the heater. Mind you, it was raining outside.

Tonight, he's been "fixing" the car for over three hours. He installed a new light switch. He called me down to start the car. When I started the car, only one headlight worked, but the light behind the dashboard stopped working. Then after running the car for a minute or so, I shut it off and I tried to restart it. It wouldn't start.

I would like to comment that just a few days ago, I had a car that was running perfectly with one problem that could have been easily fixed by the dealer. Now, the more my dad fixes the car, the more things are breaking. I do believe that he will eventually fix the original problem of the headlights turning off while driving, but I am sure that many more things will be broken. I fear that my beloved car that I bought new will soon be going to the junkyard because of my dad's "expertise." I wish I never let him touch it.

My Grades are in!

Okay, I'm excited. I got back most of my grades for this past semester, and I kicked butt! Here are my grades below.

Course Name-------------------Grade
PATENT LAW-------------------------N/A
CIVIL PRACTICE----------------------P

The patent law grade has not yet come in, but I am sure I did wonderfully on that; after all, that is the field I am going into.

The P means "pass" which does not affect my GPA. I was lucky because I elected to take the class "pass/no credit" which means that if I got below a C, I would get no credit for the course and I wouldn't graduate. However, if I got a C or higher, I would get the credit for the class, but my GPA wouldn't be affected.

Believe it or not, I ended up with a C, which my professor calls, "a Gentleman's C" which is why I am happy to say that I passed the class and got credit for it. That was one tough class!!!


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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I hate the word "Chossidish."

I don't know what to make of anything. It's almost 7:30pm, and I am done for the night. I spent my afternoon printing customized coverletters to law firms on good paper. I spoke to my mom who is still having what I am starting to refer to as a family fixation. Her and her new husband have been pressuring me as to the importance of having a , as if it is some contract that I must sign at the bottom line with conditions and terms. Rather, my opinion is that if they want to be a family, they should start acting like a family instead of putting me through all this red tape.

My rabbi cannot understand why I don't like to , and I could tell that it bothers him to no end that there are times (like recently) for days at a time that I don't daven or put on , either because I don't have time in the morning, or because my heart is just not into it. Personally, I am stoked that I've been keeping up with the daily , the daily , and the daily . This is a big accomplishment for me because there was a long gap of time when I didn't regularly do it. So this for me is a big step back in the right direction.

Then there is the looming question of the woman. What woman? True, there is no woman yet, but I'm sure she must be on her way or else none of this is worth it. The thing that bothers me is that in my heart, I don't feel that a will like me. I feel that each time I go out with a religious girl, she says no to the second . I don't even make it to a second try. "He's just not right for me," they say.

I think that having a normal religious girl would be a wonderful thing, and if she's , even better! I don't understand why there is all this obsession over a certain kind of self-sacrificing girl who devotes her life to and . Does a woman like that really exist? And if so, is she really supposed to be with -- of all people, me?? I think I would be happy with a regular girl who keeps shabbos, keeps strictly kosher, who will cover her hair and who wears dresses and skirts, and who will keep the laws of family purity. Beyond that, what else is there that is so important? Everything else to me seems silly.

There are basic things that a Jew is supposed to do, and I want us to do them and to life our lives. This isn't such a complex thing. It's the ultra-religious people that complicate everything with minhagim, rebbeim, with the word "" (a.k.a. ) and with everything else. Oh do I hate the word "chossidish." It is probably one of my least favorite words in the world. I hate the word not because of the high level of observance in which it stands for, but I hate the word for the standard that it peer-pressures on everyone around the one who is practicing being that way.

Anyway, my laptop is running out of batteries, and my eyes are starting to get droopy. G-d give me the strength to get a job, to get my own apartment, and to score a good wife who I will make feel happy and loved, cared for and cherished.

PS - I apologize for the "Hebrew" image at the top of this post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2005 Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards

The 2005 Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards, hosted by The Jerusalem Post and Israellycool, are now underway, and I'm a nominee. Please vote for me. :)

Father Busted For Having An Illegal Apartment

I need to make a list of things that I am to talk about with my psychologist, and in my current state of anger at my father, I feel this is the perfect time.

What happened. In general, my father does not think before he acts, and then he gets his ass kicked by the law. He gets into trouble thinking he is smarter and above the law. This time, he illegally rented his main floor out to -- a smart move, but I told him to check with the local law before he does so to make sure he is allowed to do it. "Don't worry," he told me, "if they catch me, I'll just remove my kitchen stove because that is all that is required -- you can't have more than one kitchen in a ." When I asked him if he was sure about it, he said, "Of course I'm sure."

Well, today he got a summons for having an among other municipal violations, which when I checked it out are misdemeanors and can cause the mortgage to be accelerated by the bank, the water to be shut off by the municipality causing the house to be condemned and held unfit for living. In other words, my dad could lose the house.

When I approached him about the summons, he shrugged and asked me to research the law and to find out what his options were. I immediately got upset and I asked him, "Didn't you check this out before you rented it out?? Didn't you check it out before you decided to buy the house from your brother who you knew would report you to the authorities for having an illegal apartment??" I knew his brother would report him all along, and I told him to be prepared for it.

My dad shrugged and told me, "I took a risk."


What bothers me is that I know that my father is SO DISORGANIZED with his finances that he could never afford this house on his own paycheck. Now he has a legal battle on his hands, not to mention the can sue him for return of all of the rent, not to mention that we might be forced to move out, not to mention that the tenant will likely take advantage of the situation and refuse to move out.

My solution to this mess is for my father and me to vacate the premises and rent an apartment somewhere else, that way only one family is legally living in the house, and my dad will continue receiving rent for the apartment so that he can cover his mortgage payments. Then when the year is up, he should rent out the whole house as a HOUSE rather than as an illegal main-floor apartment. During the interim, I'll go and get an apartment of my own that I've wanted to get for some time now, and my dad will go and get an apartment of his own. We'll each pay our own way, and the problem will be solved. That is if the house won't be shut down and condemned and the water shut off and the mortgage accelerated. In that case, my dad will be forced to sell the house at a loss.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Interesting site on Health and Fitness

By the way, I found an interesting blog on Health and Fitness. The articles are of high quality, are concise, and are packed with insightful information. I recommend it.

The name of the site is "New Health and Fitness - For those in shape and those not quite there yet", and the link can be found .

By the way, I found an interesting recipe which emulates (in its effect) low dosages of . This cocktail would be for those who have but are not yet on medication. You take some coffee and ice and you put it in a blender. Then add some kind of protein powder (I used , which gives a whopping 25g of protein per serving, plus it's kosher), and some flax or borage oil (if you find them useful -- I always have some in my house -- it's a bit difficult to find kosher ones out there, but they're out there.)

I also added my which I buy from because ordering from the manufacturer will cost you more money. Green Kamut is one of the best, most pH beneficial things you can do for your body if you are trying to lose weight. It, combined with drinking liters of water each day plus sufficient exercise can rip the excess pounds from the body. All of this is based on Dr. Robert O. Young's research in his book . I've followed his nutritional instructions before and I've lost significant amounts of weight from it. I find his information to be credible.

By the way, while the Green Kamut Wheatgrass Powder alone has a neutral and even a pleasant taste, I realized after drinking it with the coffee mixture that the Ritalin cocktail tasted TERRIBLE! I suppose it was the Green Kamut mixed with the coffee that gave the nasty taste. I would drink it again if it actually has the health benefits that it is claimed to have.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Comment on Shidduchim

I know that many of you have recommended that I not date during these unsteady times until I have my life in order, but I feel that the time will never be perfect to marry, and because compatible are so rare in my experience, if a good girl comes, I will take her as a wife. I am almost thirty years old and this age of mine looms in my head. I do not wish to be an old father. I also do not wish to spend my life alone until I "get it together". I feel that part of "getting it together" is finding someone whom you can relate to and who you can partner up with so that you both can grow in a positive direction. Without a wife, I am alone.

"You'll Relax When You're Dead."

Journal Entry: I am spending my mornings studying for the , and I am spending my afternoons reviewing my notes. My evenings are pretty much non-existent because I am so exhausted by the time my studying is over that I cannot remember doing anything productive during the evenings in some time.

We are entering the third week of bar review. This is exciting for me because I didn't think I would be able to handle such a task, and somehow I am handling it quite well. It seems that my life has been put on hold during this experience, and my friends don't understand why I am not calling them back or why I have no time to hang out while all my other law school friends are vacationing between the semesters.

Ringing through my head is the saying that an upperclasswoman said to me my first year of law school, "you'll rest when you're dead." I keep reading all these books which talk about going with the flow of life and relaxing, yet my flow is filled with currents and rocks and deep cliffs. It seems that I will never get a chance to relax, not even once I am an attorney. I don't know how I feel about this.

Another issue is my privacy and my independence, or the lack of both. I feel that I have neither, and both are very high up there on my value higherarchy. I think to myself, "when I get a job, I'll get my own place and everything will be okay," but it is more likely that someone will recommend a shidduch to me before then who might turn into a wife. Having a wife and a family is also high up there in my value system. What's the purpose of living if you cannot share your happiness with anyone?

I just hope I make all the right decisions in life with the help of , and I hope that I can continue to serve him in a better way than I am doing now. My attitude towards religion has been off lately.