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I'd planned to put in an appearance at Chabad this morning, but housecleaning took precedence. The bathroom sink was a biohazard. Several boxes needed to go to storage. And organizing the kitchen couldn't wait another day. So, it was that instead.

On Sundays street parking is free until 1pm, at which time it costs either a little or a lot depending on whether the Timbers are playing. Today was the Timbers' last game of the season (they beat the Vancouver BC Whitecaps 2-1, if you're following) and so I needed to do something with the car. Driving deliveries for Uber Eats was out for today because I had to update my car insurance with them, so I did my first - and, I hope, last - run for Postmates.

I have my gripes about driving for Uber, but I found the Postmates experience inferior in every way. The nav app is unclear and confusing, you have to wait in line and order on behalf of the customer using a pre-paid card (and you have to scrape the sticky gunk off the back of the card when you get it), and then you have to take a picture of the receipt. So much more cumbersome than Uber, where you just grab and go.

So that was my experience with Postmates. In other news I picked up some groceries at Trader Joe's. Also unpacked the flag I'd stowed away earlier, and put Old Glory on the wall by my bed where she's hanging now. Found out I had a bunch of unused Audible credits and downloaded Sowell's 'Basic Economics', Smith's 'Wealth of Nations', and Schweikart/Allen's 'Patriot's History'.

Dug out my DVD player and watched some of 'Spirited Away'. I love that film more every time I see it. It's beautiful and spellbinding, and it is profoundly *moral* without being moralistic. Chihiro must learn and practice courtesy, humility, hard work, loyalty, and courage to free her parents. (I like that, at the end, you can see that her hair tie has turned purple - signifying that the trip to the land of the spirits was real and not in her imagination.)

The customer support job at the HMO is going well. My supervisor took me aside to follow up on a ticket I'd forgotten to close; I waited to hear critiques of my other tickets, but he told me that other than that one ticket, I was doing "110 percent". So, a nice little bit of encouragement!

The HMO support gig only lasts until the first week of November, but I'm optimistic I'll get something by then. If I can get my pay rate up to the figure I'm targeting, I'll be able to relax about bills and finances a little bit, and hopefully won't have to drive any more deliveries.
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Spanish has this lovely word 'madrugada' for the wee hours of the morning, oh dark thirty. It's my favorite time of day, although sometimes when my brain decides to wake me up at 3:30 on a work day it can be too much of a good thing.
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The new day gig is going well. It's customer support at a major health care network. Mainly password resets and account access. The work is very similar in nature to what I was doing at TheBank, but much easier and more enjoyable: busy enough to be interesting, but without the breakneck pace of the job at TheBank.

The pay is decent, and almost enough to make ends meet. I'm closing the gaps by driving Uber Eats deliveries on Sundays and weeknights. It's especially useful when there's a Timbers game and parking is scarce and costly. Last Sunday I was out late driving and was pretty burnt-out at work yesterday (Monday) morning, but I got to bed early and caught up on my sleep last night.

So, hello to all out there in the LJ/DW world!

And now, back to work.
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There's a tradition that every child has three parents: the mother, the father, and the Creator.

There is a very profound and healing truth in this. Especially for those of us who were born into difficult or dysfunctional families, or whose circumstances of birth might seem less than ideal.

Maybe your mother and father weren't well matched. You can drive yourself crazy thinking things like, "They should never have been together," and then where would that leave you? That way lies madness.

Remembering the Power behind the universe and behind the often irrational and desperate acts of men and women can help us remember our own place in the plan. Then we can begin to take responsibility for our own lives and for those dependent on us, and perhaps find peace.

I don't know if this helps anybody else, but it has helped me.
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An easy and meaningful fast to all who observe.
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Well, this week I don't have to worry about "what am I going to eat for Shabbat?" Because tomorrow is Yom Kippur!

Things are looking good on the work front - details to follow anon - and I'm starting to think I might not have to move out of the Admiral after all. I've been in contact with the apartment manager, who's a wonderful woman and the apartment manager you dream of having - so she knows the situation. Basically money has been very tight for me the last couple of weeks but I think it's going to get better from here on out.

I'd let my Crunchyroll subscription lapse but I re-upped last night.
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... makes the New York Times.

'Seven years ago, Shadrach Mugoya Levi drove three hours from his rural village of Magada in the Namutumba District of Uganda to find a woman named Naomi. His friends had insisted he meet her. When he arrived at her house, her mother answered the door and said: “No, my daughter is too young.” ...

Mr. Levi, now 28, is the spiritual leader of the Namutumba Abayudaya, one of nine Jewish communities in Uganda that stem from the conversion roughly 100 years ago of a local leader called Semei Kakungulu, who then created a sect.

On Aug. 8, Gershom Sizomu, a rabbi from the nearby Jewish community at Nabugoye Hill in Mbale, and Yafa Chase, a rabbi from Granby, Mass., married the couple and four other Jewish couples before about 1,500 witnesses, including Abayudaya (the Ugandan term for Jewish people) from the nine communities. The event gathered politicians from the local council, government officials and family and friends of all five couples from throughout the country.

After meeting Ms. Namusoosa, Mr. Levi went to the United States for two years to earn money to pay the dowry promised to his future wife’s family by Ugandan social law. In 2015, he returned with enough that her parents approved.

“O.K.,” Ms. Namusoosa recalled. “I thought, ‘I will go. I love him.’” Because, she said, “He is caring.”'

Shadrach was kind enough to host me at his family compound in Namutumba when I visited East Africa last year. Mazal tov to Shadrach and Naomi.
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Arutz Sheva: Tuvia and Isy Tenenbom on Jewish reaction to AfD successes in Germany. Bnei Brak native Tuvia Tenenbom - who has gone undercover in the past with his blond hair and his "Mom, Dad, I'm German" look - reports on reaction to AfD's showing in the recent election.

[Go to link for video, embed code won't copy.]

Orit Arfa: What happens when I enter an AfD victory party at a Munich beer hall? 'So, it was not out of character for me to enter an AfD victory party on the eve of elections, at a Munich beer hall no less, and find Nazis to expose and challenge. After all, the AfD is widely considered the neo-Nazi party. Take a walk inside with me into the lion’s den…'

[English captions available at Settings control in lower left.]
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"I won't ask anything of you, if you'll just be here again tomorrow."

I woke up with this song in my brain, so now you get to hear it too.
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For all those who observe, have a great new year! And best wishes to all the rest. See you in 5778!

'The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah actually means “Head of the Year.” Just like the head controls the body, our actions on Rosh Hashanah have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year.

As we read in the Rosh Hashanah prayers, each year on this day “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die ... who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.”

It is a day of prayer, a time to ask the Almighty to grant us a year of peace, prosperity and blessing. But it is also a joyous day when we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe depends on G‑d’s desire for a world, a desire that is renewed when we accept His kingship anew each year on Rosh Hashanah.'

May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.

October 2017

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