Luke Ford To Marry In Vegas
I'm booked to spend a week in Las Vegas to advance my spiritual growth but I don't think I'm leaving the city until I'm married. I'm 37 years old. It's now or never.
Wisdom From A Four Year Old
I have friends. After shul on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, I walk by their home. Usually I walk right on by unless they spot me and invite me in. Sometimes I look in their windows and knock on the door.
Friday night I was spotted and invited in for Shabbos dinner. They have four daughters, aged one to twelve.
I have a particular affection for the four year old because our interactions remind me so keenly of my love life.
The little girl will goad me to chase her around the house. I will do so and then she'll get mad at me for chasing her and she'll hit me.
She loves me to pick her up and throw her through the air on to the couch. She loves to take running starts and jump on me.
Friday night she looked up at me and said, "I don't like you anymore. I haven't seen you for so long."
Sabbath afternoon she looked up sleepily from her pram and smiled, "You were at our home last night."
I just read:
Illywhacker by Peter Carey - Bad.
James Joyce by Edna O'Brien - Good.
America's Real War by Rabbi Daniel Lapin - Good.
Movies I've loved of late:
In America, The Last Samurai, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Master and Commander, Lost in Translation.
Cathy Seipp's Favorite Media Moments Of 2003
Dinner With Cathy
Jan 1, 6:40PM. I pull over to the side of Sunset Blvd near the downtown. "Cathy, I'm lost in a third world hellhole."
7PM. I arrive on time. I'm greeted by the mangy dog Linda, who looks every one of her nine years. Cathy tells me to be friendly to her and I use my acting skills to convey my affection for the animal.
Cathy Seipp wrote on her blog: "Luke coming over for dinner, most likely sans token of his esteem, as usual. Prediction: More Luke-o-rama in 2004. (But will he see his shadow?)"
Wrong. I bring a bottle of sparkling Martinelli's apple cider. I'm the only one who drinks it.
Cathy bakes a delicious vegetable quiche, made all the more intriguing by the voluminous amounts of grit which put my teeth on edge but stimulate my mind.
"Cathy, this quiche, it's so, umm, crunchy."
She suspects it was the chard which perhaps could've done with a more thorough washing. Sand often gets stuck in the folds. Cathy says sand is good for you, lots of minerals and fiber.
I get presents. A card from London Jackie and an ABBA greatest hits two-CD package, with many of their songs in German. Neato!
Cathy and Cecile give me a book, Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground and three magazines.
I persuade Cathy to follow some obscure raspy voiced-Dean Martin style-female nightclub singer with the wholesome smooth sounds of ABBA. Cathy is not an ABBA fan. She describes their music as "bubblegum."
Later we agree on a Ralph Harris CD which we play twice.
I arm wrestle Cathy and Cecile with my right and left arms. I win every time but each contest is a humiliating struggle and take me much longer than I expected. I don't get this. I can do a few pullups and Cathy and Cecile can do zero. A year ago, I could do 1500 pushups in 25 minutes. I'm getting flabby.
Cecile sweeps away with the dishes and put them out for the mangy dog Linda to lick clean. Cathy claims the dishes are then washed thoroughly.
9:45PM. I discuss the various forms of attraction a man feels for a woman. I use James Joyce as an example of my theory about the lack of necessity for a woman to be book smart for a man to love her. Joyce's wife Nora was uneducated but he loved her. I wondered whether it was more important to feel intellectual or erotic excitement for a woman.
Cecile then wonders if Cathy felt both forms of excitement for a certain man. At this point, Cathy firmly packs Cecile off to bed.
Cathy doesn't understand that a man can fall in love with a woman in a matter of seconds. Most women don't want to acknowledge that that is how it often works for a man.
Cathy and Cecile saw the movie Peter Pan Jan 1. Cathy says the Peter Pan character reminds her of me, as does the Joe Buck gigolo character in Midnight Cowboy.
I relate graphic descriptions from my 1994 gigolo days. Cathy wonders if I talk this way to the prim and proper Heather MacDonald, who'd like the HBO TV show Sex in the City if it didn't have that awful sex in it.
No, Cathy, I don't. You're an exception because you have a zest for grotesque and earthy stories. For anyone who doubts this, just read Cathy's writing.
We try to decide on a title for a book of Cathy's media critiques. How about, "I'm Not Bitter!" Many people who read Cathy think she's a bitter person. Not true. She's just caustic.
I relay an email from a female friend about her age. "Yes, I wear it well, but not as well as Cathy."
Cathy is all complimented and swept away by the remark until I point out it's barbed.
Cathy's cat vomits twice on the floor and I leave just before midnight.
Jackie writes: "There are a lot of words to describe you, but I don't think "bitter" would ever cross my mind. You're too down on yourself, in so many instances, to be bitter."
Opal from Tennessee writes Luke: "Please don't have such an awful outlook. I don't know you from a hole in the ground, but what I do know is, that you have a very poor outlook on issues. From what I have learned is that you need to look at the good and disregard the bad. If people only look at the negative then that is what your going to put out. I know you won't take a second thought at this but not all Christians hate Jews. I have plenty of friends that are Jews. And as it is we might not agree on what God did and what He might of did, but that He loves us all, and that we need to love each other."
Will the Jew writes:
No New Year's Party Invites For Your Moral Leader
I'm no more popular now than I was in 2nd grade. At least now I have a web site to moan about it.
"Cheer up," writes Chippy. "Most people hate you but not everybody. If you were rich, you'd be more popular. Oh, that you are alone for the reasons mentioned. You are an aging man who has not capitalized on his position. That makes people shun you. Plus, the lack of a wife and family marks you as a loser. Just ask Cathy. She knows. In a perfect world, she'd be the ex with whom you are on good terms, and she'd be trying to set you up with her daughter's young high school teachers."
It's pathetic how little social life I have when Cathy Seipp is not sneaking me into parties where I'm not welcome.
Cathy Seipp is feeling better Thursday (or has taken too much vicodin). She's off to see the movie Peter Pan with her sister and daughter. Then she's invited me over for a 7PM dinner of quiche with chard (leafy green vegetable like spinach).
Fred writes: "I spent part of yesterday working, then watching TV (I've somehow got addicted to watching Law and Order), and then reading. I'm on volume 3 of Coppleston's History of Philosophy. Right now I'm trying to determine whether I exist. So far, I've not seen any dispostive proof of the matter either way."
LF.net London bureau chief Jackie writes:
I Didn't Make It To Minyan This Morning
I listened to what Dennis Prager said about petitionary prayer and I thought it best I stay home. Instead of repeating my prayers out of a book, I will type them on this site:
I haven't listened much to Dennis Prager the past two days because the primary theme has been for listeners to call up and share their feelings about Dennis. No kidding. Yesterday it was, "Call me up and tell me what I've said over the past year that has moved you." Yawn.
One old woman phoned. She'd listened to Dennis say that petitionary prayer was shallow. The purpose of prayer was to examine yourself. This woman had been used to praying for the welfare of her loved ones every evening. So she took Prager's words to heart and stopped praying.
When I pray to God, I tell him what's on my mind, whether it is petitionary or not. If you're truly communicating with someone, you don't screen out petitions. I don't expect God to grant my petitions but I share what I worry about. It's stupid to tell people not to make petitionary prayers, only to morally examine themselves, because if most people take that advice seriously, they will the crone and stop praying.
I love it when intellectuals try to rationalize something so inherently non-rational as religion.
What is it that intellectuals most want? As someone who grew up on college campuses and has some intellectual pretensions of his own, I think I know -- to feel important and to be acknowledged as important. If they don't get that acknowledgement, intellectuals create revolutions. (Eric Hoffer, The True Believer)
Who knows how history would've changed if Martin Luther had only been given a bishopric or Moses had been given an important position in the religion of Egypt or if the Seventh Day Adventist Church had published my father's Sabbath School lesson quarterly in 1979.
Jackie D writes:
I like to think I'm a damn good listener. Not that I like to listen to most people. I don't. But when someone is precious to me, I like to listen to almost everything they have to say, even if it is petitionary, or more painful, critical of me. When I'm criticized, I almost never respond. I just listen and then later process.
However good a listener I am, I bet God is better. He can handle hearing your petitions, your pleas, your heartfelt cries, even if he doesn't answer them as you'd like.
Prayer is a reason why life is less lonely when you believe in God. As Air Supply says, "even the nights are better."
I remember this Godly Christian woman who used all her persuasive talents one evening in 1994 to bring me closer to Him. Right in the middle of things, she paused and said a prayer out loud (I do believe there were petitions in it but it's hard for me to remember because we were in the back of my 1979 Datsun stationwagon and she had me under her thumb), then we proceeded to the good stuff. Less holy men than I would've been annoyed by the interruption, but not I. It stimulated me to greater heights of ardor.
Do Poets Deserve Their Own Moral Code?
Sometimes I think that I am a poet and therefore deserving of a specially lenient moral code, permitting me immoralities forbidden to makers of prose. Does the Torah allow for a different code for artists?
It doesn't matter that I haven't written poems in years. I listen to Air Supply and they're poets. What's more, I have a poetic understanding of moral standards when applied to myself.
Greg Savitt writes:
Jackie writes: "Greg Savitt is wrong. You're at your best when you're encouraging girls like me to stay pure and reach for the brass ring of holiness."
The Seasons Of Luke's Life
I call the Seipp residence. Cecile answers.
Luke: "How's your mother? Is she doing better? Is she less irritable today?"
I chat with my sick friend Cathy. I wish her a speedy recovery and make sure she's not angry with me for the nasty turn I've taken on my blog.
Cecile yells out the more outrageous portions of my blog during our conversation.
Cathy: "You know that when people see us together, they think we're the same age. You're fraying around the edges and I'm my radiant self."
Luke: "I love that!"
Cathy: "It's true. I'm glad you are not insulted. Your character is catching up with your face. Stop deluding yourself you're Mr. Youthful."
Luke: "I just read Daniel Levinson's famous book, Seasons of a Man's Life."
Cathy: "What season are you in now?"
Cathy: "Not yet, but let me tell you, you're not Peter Pan."
Cathy is a low maintenance woman (she doesn't like to be fussed over, even when sick, though a bouqet of flowers is fine) but don't ever try dating her simultaneously with other women.
Needing a break from the beautiful Rebecca Schoenkopf bringing me coffee and donuts all day, I set off this afternoon on a brisk and manly walk to shul. There I said the afternoon and evening prayers and took myself off to Starbucks where I had a hot drink of loneliness and opened up the latest Jewish Journal.
I saw an ad for Menopause - The Musical ("The hilarious celebration of women and The Change") and I was suddenly filled with longing. It was New Year's Eve and I looked back over my life. Though nobody can deny that my moral arsenal is formidable, there's always been a little chink (I like chinks, they're cute and they're cuddly and they come up to your knees) -- my inability to resist the sirens' call of gerontaphilia (not to mention gerundtaphilia).
When I was a little boy in elementary school, I suffered many crushes on the teaching aides from college. When I became a man, I almost married a woman old enough to be my mother (if ten year olds can give birth).
To this day, I'm unable to resist a sophisticated older woman (I remember my 1997 dinner with 50 yo Kitten Nativadad of Russ Meyer movie fame). I'll have to take all the women in my life batting in their second innings (to use a test cricket term) to this musical and have a jolly good laugh at hot flashes et al. Oh, this will be such fun. I'm mailing off invitations as we speak.
David Rensin writes: "Luke, Happy arbitrary Christian Era New Year. Thanks for making my 2003 all that more interesting."
Good Workers, Poor Wages
Another bleeding heart cover story from the Jewish Journal about purportedly great workers who get lousy wages. If these workers were so great, they'd quit their crap jobs for ones that paid better.
And as for Ron Solomon's praise for the Governor not cutting funding for the retarded, I think it would make us better people if we had to individually shoulder the burden for the less fortunate instead of leaning on government to care of it. When government does these things for us, we tend to lead more isolated lives.
If government did nothing for us beyond keep us safe from criminals and some basic regulations, we'd have to band together for warmth, to take care of the elderly, sick, etc and single men and women would select mates based on lasting values rather than temporary pleasures. I got all that from Charles Murray's excellent book on his libertarian philosophy. It's primary about the development of individual character.
Learning From Hugh Hefner
Los Angeles Jews Heartbroken That LAT's Tracy Wilkinson Survives Blast
Proof that God does not listen to the prayers of Jews: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three Los Angeles Times reporters were among those injured when a bomb ripped through an upscale Baghdad restaurant filled with New Year's revelers on Wednesday, the newspaper said. Injured in the blast were Tracy Wilkinson, the Times Rome bureau chief, correspondent Ann Simmons and Chris Kraul, who until recently headed the paper's Mexico City bureau."
Tracy Wilkinson has consistently written the most bizarrely anti-Israel pieces for the Times for years and is hated throughout the Jewish community. I think it's safe to say that thousands of Jews like the Orthodox ones I know wish Wilkinson were dead.
Miss Seipp writes Luke: "Now for the record, I am NOT sorry that Tracy Wilkinson wasn't hurt in the bomb blast. Include me out of your over-the-edge awfulness please....
"No I did not get the flowers -- because I told Jackie the only way I want flowers from her with your name signed to them is if she gets your credit card # (now THAT'S a prank up my alley!) -- but for future reference, I like peonies better than roses."
I told Jackie my CC# was 666 but she didn't find that amusing. Christians.
From The Number One Luke Ford Fan Blog:
Day OneBoy am I sore from last night. Sleeping on the floor, that is. I lied about Mr Ford having a bed. I was just trying to make him look good for his (female) fans. Actually we're sleeping on the floor at opposite ends of the hovel. At least that solves one potential problem.
Upon waking Monday morning, I found Mr Ford already at his computer. He instructed me to get him a coffee and a donut. In fact, all morning long he kept barking out "Donut now!" and "Coffee now!" And I kept scampering off to get his requested item. I found it odd that he seldom drank his coffee, although he always ate his donuts. Later he admitted that he just liked bossing me around. Mr Ford has never had an underling before. He has either been an underling himself or an independent writer. So he let the situation go to his head. He promised me that he would stop power-tripping. But all afternoon it was the same thing: "Donut now!" "Coffee now!" Not once did he say "Donut now, please!"
This didn't bother me. What bothered me was that I never got on the computer. Mr Ford sat there and didn't move for 17 straight hours. Remarkable! I kept asking "When will it be my turn to blog, Captain?" And he kept saying "In a few minutes, Number One." Yet my few minutes never came. Not only didn't I get on the computer to blog myself, Mr Ford ignored all my blog suggestions for him to work on. Some of them were pretty good: David Tell's editorial in the current Weekly Standard on Howard Dean, cannibalism, snuff films, Mad Cow disease, SARS, bomb sniffing pigs. Yet he kept ignoring my good blog ideas. "Rubbish" he would say. Or "Too teenage girly-like." Or "Shut up you moron, I'm trying to concentrate." After awhile I just slumped in the corner defeated-like and glared in his direction. This might be better than being homeless, but it's a close call.
I did learn one interesting thing about Mr Ford, however. He has dozens of lady friends all over the world with whom he corresponds daily. Some (most?) of these are, of course, just Mr Ford's alter-egos. He is writing love letters back and forth to himself. Creepy! But others, apparently, are real women. I wonder if they know of one another's existence. I guess they do now! Will they be jealous? I hope so! Maybe Mr Ford will teach me some online dating tips one day, as I'm having no success at all getting women to correspond with me, even though I'm kinda cute. (You can see my picture here.)
Anyway that's all I have to say: a pretty sucky day all-in-all. Maybe tomorrow one of my blog entries or even just a blog idea of mine, written up expertly by Mr Ford, will make it onto LF.net and then I will copy and paste it here. In the meantime, I will keep practicing the keyboard commands Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V in my head. Mr Ford says that this is the key to his Internet "success," such that it is.
Letters To A Christian Young Lady
Your Moral Leader writes: Seriously, you should not have sex with anyone (including oral), unless you are in an exclusive relationship with them leading to marriage. Otherwise, it diminishes you. This arrangement you describe as lucky sounds horribly mortifying. Be a Christian lady!
You should be going to church every week. No excuses. Once a week is nothing, I'm in shul every day. Sheesh.
I don't buying your excuses. Nothing wrong with going to church and thinking about sex. You'll get over it. NO EXCUSES! You have a moral obligation to your Christian family (in the catholic universal sense) to show up. You will cheer up the old fogies. Go!
Lost In Translation
I saw this Sofia Coppola movie Monday night at the Arclight. Great flick. Its images and ideas haunt me.
Should Luke Get A Bed?
Yankel writes: Hey, I have an idea, instead of a bed, why not a small sofa, that opens up into a bed. One of those cheap foam jobs. Rivkah has a theory. She says it has nothing to do with martyrdom. It's all about semantics. When you bring a girl back to your place, you can't take them to "bed." You have to take them to..."floor."
Luke replies: I like sleeping on the fall. I feel like I deserve to sleep on the floor until I turn my life around. I feel that I deserve the punishment. And I just like it. It just feels right for me for where I am at now. And when I make it big, or get married, which is making it big, then I will get a bed. But not before. Not until I get a new apartment and do many things that I am really proud of.
Yankel replies: I hate to tell you this, but that belief is very, very Christian. The way to get a wife, to turn your life around is to act Jewish, which means to act properly. That's what Judaism teaches. Get a bed. Get bookshelves. Live like a mensch. When you live like a mensch, you become a mensch. Isn't that what you tell the low-lifes on your web-site?
Luke says: For my sins, I was exiled from my bed. Now, doesn't that sound Jewish?
Yankel replies: No, it sounds like a Christian who is trying to sound Jewish. And you know it. Look, the reason they have a dress code in the Yeshivas is so the kids will act better. The more religious yeshivas, the more rigorous the dress code. The same applies to your living space.
Now, my fear is, that your living space simply reflects what's going on inside your mind -- pure chaos. If that's so, putting your living space in order is seemingly impossible. But Judaism is a behaviorist religion. It says do it, and the mind will follow.
Cathy Seipp writes Luke: "Dear Roundhead: Yankel, whoever he is, is dead right about you sounding like a Christian who is trying to sound Jewish. A particular kind of Christian, though; specifically, in the puritanical Protestant tradition. I thought of you when we were at the Tower of London, and the guide reminded us that Cromwell banned Christmas."
It says in the Talmud that one who truly wants to learn Torah should sleep on the floor. So that's what I'm doing. It's part of my spiritual growth.
Goddess writes Mike:
Skeptical writes: One broad in 18 months and Luke's the Jewish Warren Beatty?
Chaim writes Luke: Conservative shuls do NOT attract lots of dykes. In fact, Conservative shuls do not attract lots of anybody. I have no idea which denomination you would be best suited for, but I have no doubt that you would be a very successful Hollywood Rabbi.
Jason Stoner writes:
My Last Date Did Not End Well
Dinner at Real Food Daily. Movie. Afterwards, I attempt to uphold society's heterosexual ideal.
Pretty Jewish Girl (PJG) remembers things this way at the hovel:
Vancouver Kendra writes: "Luke, this is for PJG. Yes, Luke has tons of women writing him. It is all a big scam. He makes us think that he is an enigma, when in fact he is not. This is how he attracts women. He relies on our maternal nurturing nature. We want to take care of him, because he seems sweet, shy, and confused. Don't let it fool you. Luke knows exactly what he is doing. In fact, if you live in the LA area, there is even a good chance that you will be able to sleep with him, all the while he will wax and wane. He will tell you about being a poor torn and conflicted Jewish boy, and then ask you to describe your ------- within the next breath. Don't be fooled PJG. Luke knows how to play the game. Run, don't walk away from him. However, his charm is great. I know in the end, you will have to learn this for yourself, and even then you will second guess yourself, always wondering."