Posts Tagged ‘family’

Orange pants

January 11, 2011

My sister is getting married in a few weeks. She is a huge Mets fan. Every year, that the Mets play at home on her birthday, she gets her name on the scoreboard. Her wedding colors are, obviously, blue and orange.
My siblings are dressing appropriately.
I toyed with getting a blue suit and an orange shirt, but I don’t think I’d wear a blue suit ordinarily. Therefore, it seems like a waste. The alternative is to get orange pants. I already have a blue shirt.

What do orange pants “say” about their wearer? Could I wear orange pants day-to-day or at bars?

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Vacation: Cancelled

December 13, 2010

I spoke to my engaged sister over the weekend. She explained her reasons for setting the wedding for so soon after her engagement. The reasons I speculated about at the end of my last post were incorrect.
She made it clear that she would really like me to attend her wedding.
Today I canceled my ticket.

I don’t know when I’ll reschedule the trip. I don’t know dates I’ll be able to take off from work in order to book a flight.

It’s been a rough day. Bring on karaoke.

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Wedding and Israel

December 7, 2010

I spent a lot of time researching the best time to take my vacation this Winter. I negotiated with my managers over the course of three weeks before we settled on dates.
Finally, on November 1, 2010 I purchased my tickets to fly to Israel on January 23, 2011 and to New York on February 6, 2011.

I informed my parents and siblings of my plans and I let my ex-wife know that I would be unavailable during those two weeks.

One of my younger sisters decided to accept a marriage proposal just prior to Thanksgiving.
A couple of weekends ago she warned me that they were considering a January 30th wedding. I informed her that I already purchased my ticket and if they held it that date, I probably wouldn’t be there.

On Friday December 3, 2010 she informed that they did, in fact, book the wedding for January 30th.*

I didn’t want to change my plans, but I felt like I was “required” to research my options. I called the airline. They told me I’d be charged a minimum of $250.00 to change my flight plans.
I spoke to my management. They didn’t want to be blamed (how they phrased it) for keeping me from attending my sister’s wedding, so they agreed to re-open negotiations to plan my vacation dates. However, they made it clear that they wanted me to go on vacation sooner rather than later.

(Basically, they expect a lot of projects to begin in February 2011, so they want all hands on deck.)

I called my brother in Israel to find out what he was doing and to hear what he thought. He’ll be coming in for her wedding. He offered to let me use his apartment while he’s away (especially if his whole family travels with him). He agreed that I am not obligated to change my plans because they knew the situation before they chose January 30.


* When I ask people advice, they usually ask why is she getting married so soon after meeting the guy and why does she need to get married on that particular weekend?
I haven’t spoken to her about it. However, I think my dad is imposing his belief that engagements should be short. This belief might work for ultra-Orthodox Jews and its practice might be appropriate for people who buy into that way of life, but I think it’s a mistake for my sister.
My sister is a sincere, god-believing, ethical, Orthodox-practicing, commandment keeping person. But she is not ultra-Orthodox.
She should have a “normal” Orthodox engagement period of 3 to 6 month. I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that this shortened time line will have negative repercussions.

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Divorce Aftermath: Selling the Apartment

October 20, 2010

A long time ago, in September 2005, we bought an apartment together.
In our divorce agreement we agreed to put it up for sale immediately, but until it sold my ex could live in the apartment.

Yesterday my ex called me to ask if it would be okay to delay the sale of the apartment. She gave these reasons:
1. She said at the moment no one is interested in buying the apartment.
2. She doesn’t think the children should go through the moving process “after everything they’ve been through”.
3. She can’t find an apartment that she likes
4. She can’t find an apartment that has as many rooms as our apartment has.
5. She can’t find an apartment that has room as large as our apartment has.

I was surprised when she made the request because I’d heard through the grapevine that she already chose a place to move into and she was just waiting for the agreement to do so. Also, she and her lawyer pushed for the most of the provisions in the agreement about the apartment, so it didn’t seem like she was eager to stay.

I didn’t see a problem with her staying in the apartment for a while longer, so I told her I’d think it over.

I called my lawyer to see if there were negative implications to allowing her to stay longer. My lawyer said there are. There are 3 options:
1. We sell the apartment immediately and split the net (as specified in the agreement)
2. She buys my portion of the apartment and lives there as long as she’d like
3. She gets her lawyer to write-up an agreement that extends the term from “immediate” to “one year”.

My lawyer seemed to imply that extending it beyond a year wouldn’t be in my best interest. I’m not sure why an extension of two years would be worse than an extension of a year. I do fully recognize the need to formally document

I tried to come up with a solution to this problem.

Today I called her up to discuss what I thought of before going to my lawyer with it and she suggested it might be better if she buys the apartment from me. I don’t know if she realizes all the ramifications of doing that, but that would certainly be a better option for me!

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Father’s Day vs. Mother’s Day

June 23, 2010

(For fun I’ve decided to include some audio from previous years.)

Yesterday was Father’s Day.
Here are some tweets I saw on the day:
“happy father’s day to all the real fathers out there.. not just paying child support but paying attention!”
“[censored] you, to all the deadbeat dads”

These tweets express the idea that Father’s Day is a day for fathers to commit themselves to being involved in the lives of their children.

However, Mother’s Day is never seen as a day for mothers to rededicate themselves to being better mothers. Mother’s Day is solely a day to honor mothers.
It doesn’t matter if the woman should not have had a child or if she is abusive.

I don’t like the idea of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We should not encourage procreation. We should not honor a human who created another human more than we honor one who has not.

However, if we are going to honor those who breed, we should honor them evenly.

If we want to have a national criticize parents/parental awareness day, I am okay with that.

MRI Results

April 29, 2010

As indicated in a previous post my son needed an MRI to discover the cause of his developmental issues.

These are the results of his MRI:
At the level of the left middle fossa, there is 2.3 x 1.6 cm well defined fluid filled lesion, appearance of which is consistent with presence of arachnoid cyst. There is displacement and/or hypoplasia of adjacent left anterior temporal lobe cortex. No significant remodeling of regional osseous structures.

There is normal caliber of the ventricular system and remaining subarachnoid space. Several punctate foci of T2 signal hyperintensity are identified within the parietal periventricular white matter, felt to represent sequelae of terminal zone myelination. There is no evidence of hemorrhage, mass effect, or recent ischemic change.

Major arterial flow-voids at the skull base are preserved. Visualized orbits and paranasal sinuses are grossly unremarkable.

Impression: Left middle fossa arachnoid cyst.

April 8, 2010

April 9, 2010

It’s been a while, so here’s a quick rundown.

I stopped wearing my yarmulke at work. Only one person noticed and said something to me about it. (I simply informed her that I’m no longer religious.)
I don’t feel strange going without my yarmulke on the street, but I still feel weird without it at work. I also feel more honest. It’s strange to simultaneously feel both.

Last week I came home to a bill from my cable and internet provider. They demanded that I return an old cable modem or pay $100. I don’t have the modem they seek nor do I feel I should be responsible for its return. After discussing it many times, they made it clear that they weren’t going to do anything to resolve the issue. I told them since that is true I can no longer work with them either and I am terminating my service with them. They “shut down” my service 2 days ago. However, my internet still seems to work. (I’m confused.)

Last week I was in a neighborhood bar. The very nice bartenders were speaking with me. The woman bartender told me she thinks I’m ready to start dating. She wants to meet women, go out, keep it light, have a good time.
I asked her to explain how she knows that I’m ready. She gave good reasons. Maybe she’s right.

Last week I got a text from my ex. She said our son has high levels of lead and needs to take a supplement.
I called her up and asked how she arrived at that diagnosis. She told me that a chiropractor had a guy read his palm and feel his fingers and that allowed him to reach the conclusion that the child has high lead levels. However, he assured her that his supplements can reduce the lead levels.
Of course these supplements are very expensive.
I told her to get a simple blood test done. That would prove conclusively whether lead is an issue.
She responded that if I wanted to do so, I could, but she wasn’t going to.
Sunday, Chol HaMoed (Minor Holidays), I took him to a real doctor. The results came back Wednesday. His lead levels are normal/undetectable.
I informed my ex of the results. I hope she saves her money and doesn’t buy the supplements. Aside from the money, I have no idea what’s in the supplements. The supplements might be dangerous.

I had the children (at my parents) Friday Chol HaMoed until the end of Pesach (Passover). I was nervous to have the children for so long. (Sometimes over a short weekend by Saturday night they are anxious to see their mother. I did not want to deal with “homesickness” for a period of double that time. As it turned out the children had a great time.
We celebrated mine and my youngest’s lunar birthdays. (Not the same day.) My siblings bought Passover cakes (dreadful) and the children loved them.

Tonight I went to karaoke. As I’ve been doing recently, when songs came on with a steady beat, I danced (not well, mind you). Dancing in public is resolution for 2010. Whenever I successfully dance in public, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Tonight, I asked a woman to dance with me. It didn’t really matter to me what she looked like or what her interests in me (zero, probably), the experience of asking a stranger to dance was positive. (By the way, she accepted in general, but declined for that particular song.)

Shutter Island

March 17, 2010

I was not planning on seeing “Shutter Island” because the previews made it look like a horror film. I am not a big fan of horror films. However, when I was at the bar Monday night to see a free film, a nice couple mentioned that they saw it and enjoyed it. When I expressed my concerns with it, they said it wasn’t a horror film. They said it was thought provoking, like “Revolutionary Road”.
(When I first separated I felt like I should not be around people. I felt toxic and harmful. I planned on becoming reclusive. I figured my family would not want to deal with me because they loved my wife and because I was openly not religious. I was surprised when most, though not all, of my immediate family reached out to me during the process. They helped me in many ways. It was a very difficult process and I don’t know how it would happened without them.
I still had no plans on meeting new people. I didn’t really have friends, so it wasn’t an issue.
One night, I was speaking with an internet acquaintance on the phone. I expressed my view that I should stay away from people. Including phone conversations with her. She suggested I meet people. She gave me reasons, which I will guard.
As a result of that one conversation:
a. I learned how to bowl
b. I started going to movies
c. I started going to karaoke
d. I posted a platonic craigslist ad for a movie buddy
all in the grand experiment to see if I should be around people.
The ad that I posted got one response. A young lapsed Catholic woman from New Jersey. Our emails prior to meeting for a movie were very brief. We met at Penn Station and we got a quick snack at a nearby tavern. I found her very interesting and attractive. I knew I was just there to meet her and I had no plans on ever getting physical or romantic with her, but I began to worry, since we had not disclosed personal information prior to meeting. I wasn’t sure if I should tell her that I was recently separated.
We went to see “Revolutionary Road”. It was amazing. The plot was engaging. I saw so much in what was said. Without giving away the plot of that film, I saw that my marital status played a major role in how I viewed the film. So, as we were leaving the theater, I told her. I was surprised when she said she was also separated.
There wasn’t time for us to discuss the film that night. (Work in the morning.) So, instead we exchanged about a hundred emails devoted to analyzing it.)
You can, therefore, see why I was quite eager to see “Shutter Island”.

“Shutter Island” begins the way you expect it would. Leonardo DiCaprio speaks in a heavy Boston accent as he investigates the disappearance of criminally insane woman from a locked jail cell. I expected the film not to have an ending… meaning, I expected it to have an open ending where the people get to debate what happens next and motivations. I was pleasantly surprised with how it concluded.
I can’t say more about the plot without ruining it for you.

A couple of warnings:
a. There are a few intense scenes, but it’s not prolonged or extremely anxious.
b. There are some Holocaust scenes. If anything Holocaust related, even brief scenes, bothers you, you might want to avoid this film.

This was the best movie I’ve seen since December 31, 2009. It is extremely thought provoking and it raises questions of our memories and of reality.

I feel like this film deserves a 9 out of 10, but, I’m giving myself permission to amend it down to an 8 within the next thirty days.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Verbal Dyspraxia, Gait Abnormality

March 15, 2010

I got a text from my children’s mother today. It said that a neurologist diagnosed our son as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Verbal Dyspraxia, and Gait Abnormality.

He will undergo an MRI later this week*. I guess to confirm the diagnosis. From what I’ve read online, there is no cure for these issues.

* The hospital was supposed to clear the procedure with the insurance company, but didn’t. The test will be rescheduled for the middle of April. – Edited March 19

Why I prayed for death

March 9, 2010

Twice, so far, in my life I’ve prayed for someone to die.

When I was in my twenties, my family was involved in a major van accident. The van flipped over multiple times. We were all seat-buckled. Otherwise, we would have ended up along with everything in the van, strewn across the highway.
I was taken to a hospital with my younger sister. I tried to get information from the nurse about the accident. I knew that my mother and her father were badly injured, but I didn’t know the extent of their injuries or if anyone else was seriously injured.
The nurse was not willing to give me any information.
I heard two nurses talking in the hallway. They said there were some “oranges”, 4 “reds”, and 1 “black”. I didn’t know the language, but I was able to discern that one person had died.
I prayed (without saying the name of diety) that it was my grandfather.

The other time I prayed for someone to die was when I was 12. I didn’t just pray once, I prayed daily for my own death. According to Jewish Orthodoxy, a child is not responsible for her sins until 12 or his sins until 13. At that time, all sins committed up until the child’s coming of age, were transferred to the young adult’s account for reckoning.

While my classmates were looking forward to Bar Mitzvahs and parties, I was dreading the impending sentence.
I knew that I wasn’t allowed to kill myself, so that wasn’t an option. The only alternative was death by god.