Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Wild Hindu Weekend

"What a weekend," she said, getting out of her car.

I walk up to her.

"I'm waiting for my friend," she says and then a skinny girl gets out of the passenger side.

"We were at a Hindu festival. It was amazing. Sri Ma Kali Puja. We started Friday night at Rabbi ------'s house. I had to change the privacy settings on the rabbis on my friend's list so they could not see my Facebook status updates. I didn't friend them. They friended me.

"Saturday morning, we got in the car and drove down to Laguna Beach. We just got back. And now this.

"It was amazing. We joined in the worship of the goddess Kali. They covered up the goddess when they fed her."

"How did she eat?" I asked.

"I don't know. They covered her up.

"We got down on our hands and knees and touched the feet of the monks. And they held your head down for a few seconds until it was OK to get up."

"A lot of guys do that."

"It wasn't like that. These monks were celibate."

"I'm sure it was all very religious. These guys holding your head down there. I'm sure it was very spiritual."

"We got dots on our head. We didn't have a clue what was happening but we asked questions and we made new friends and they explained everything. They showed us how to worship the Goddess Kali."

She emails me later: my gf thought you were hilarious! she's like... you're rabbi friend is sooo funny! she assumes everyone that "looks like matisyahu" is a rabbi.

she LOVED it. she's never done kundalini, only iyengar. she really liked it alot.

the puja was a beautiful experience... i'm not going to start praying to God through an idol or anything like that... it was just a nice cultural weekend. would love to visit India.

even when i tried to be genuine in my devotion when we bowed down in worship to Ma.... my body and mind just reject it... it's a freakin statue. haha.

but all the rivers lead to the sea... so power to em!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Internet Dating

Joe emails: I had an internet date this weekend with a woman who, it turned out, likely was nearing menopause (late forties? the photo she sent me clearly did not do her true justice). I cannot tell you how depressing the whole non-event was. She even owned two cats, one of which - a male she had never declawed or had its nails trimmed - she boasted was very violent (this woman had the scars on her arms to prove it), especially towards human male company. Oh, and she spent much of the evening talking about her past boyfriends and ex over a few drinks (which I did not pay for, Baruch Hashem), yadda yadda yadda. The net result was to make me want to take a vow of celibacy and mentally recount every error I made in life that led me to our date.

I shall close on a more cheerful note, at least for Luke. Here, potentially, is some really good news: It seems the feds are getting closer to the thieving, money-laundering orthodox Jews of LA. I know Luke dreams of the day when he hears that the Feds have knocked on the doors of Rabbi... and the other Jews of his community who dissed him over the years. I'll wager that if and when that day comes, Luke will be happier than mere sex has ever made him.

KHUNRUM EMAILS: I believe some paste up a photo from their high school year book. Everyone knocks off a few years. 10 is the usual. I must say that as much as we diss the Internet it made dating much easier and cheaper. I had the formula down by the time I said "I DO'. The formula was simple. Meet them for coffee first. The most one can get trimmed for is a couple of bucks. But then I realized if I arrived ten minutes late she most likely paid for the coffee already and I could have a look-see for free. One or twice I sidled up to the door, or glanced through the window and quickly beat a retreat. ahhhh! the good old days.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Opening The Heart At Kundalini Yoga

As he held forth about the contradictions between Orthodox Judaism and Kundalini Yoga, he felt like the cock of the walk.
The woman was just his type -- brunette and slender (but not skinny!) and smart and sensitive. A real goody-goody on the outside, but burning sensual on the inside.
He'd managed the transition so smoothly from his Australian accent to the beauty of New Zealand to the movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert and how he looked like actor Guy Pearce -- yes! she remarked on the resemblance in the eyes, oh, stare deeply, lose yourself, forget his shameful shortcomings, don't tell him his life is a mess -- and then to the reasons why she was taking Kundalini Yoga, opening her heart, becoming more present, attaching to God -- and then she asked about his spiritual path and he had so many erudite things to say.
She wanted to become more present so how could she leave this conversation. Nope, she was hooked. She was hanging on his every word.
He loved the attention. He needed it so badly. Particularly now. He needed some feminine attention. He needed some loving. He needed the opportunity to give.
There were three other beautiful women in the room and they were listening too. So was the teacher and the other blokes. Capture the blokes and the women will follow!
Oh, he was feeling it now. He was over it. He no longer felt pain. He no longer missed her. He was in his element. He was playing the wounded young god. He was ready to rub his hands and tune in.
They moved into the yoga room and he got his favorite place at the back of the class and he leaned back and he loved every woman in the room. Each was different. Each had different hair and different body types and different personalities and it was all OK with him. He loved them all and each individually. He loved their bodies and souls. His love for each was not compromised by his loves for the others.
His heart was big. It was growing. He was tuning in. He was attaching to God.
One had a big butt and it was fine. She was muscular and he liked it. He was spiritual and tolerant and wanted to fall on the ground before her and worship her muscles and rub them with oil.
One was frail and sensitive. He loved her goodness. He wanted to protect her and engage her in deep spiritual talk.
One was blonde and gorgeous. How proud he'd be to bring her to shul. Oy, how the Jews would talk!
One was from Europe. She was young, about 22. She had a strong accent. She was shy and retiring. She needed guidance for appreciating America. He had so much to give.
He sailed through class. He did the long meditation. He did the exercises. He sang "The Long Time Sun." He drank his yogi tea and at the end of class, he was ready for his reward.
And then it all went awfully wrong. The frail girl up and left -- no chance to get her Facebook info! The blonde followed her.
The muscular chick embraced her boyfriend. And the Euro-Girl mentioned her "husband."
So there he was discussing his lofty ideas with his male teacher. What's the point of that?
He drained his tea and gathered his stuff and ran across four lanes. Not a car in sight. Oy, but there's the sound of a roaring engine. He could hear it well before he could see it but now it was roaring right at him at about 70 mph and his yarmulke had risen from his head and was sailing away and he was about to die bareheaded, about to die, probably at the hands of a big black guy with a big powerful engine who'd plooked a lot more girls than he had.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Fw: New from the Center for Immigration Studies

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 12:27:39 -0400
To: <>
Subject: New from the Center for Immigration Studies

Support the Center for Immigration Studies by donating on line here:

[FYI --

1. Backgrounder: 'A Shifting Tide: Recent Trends in the Illegal Immigrant Population'
2. Congressional Testimony: 'E-Verify: Challenges and Opportunities'
3. Blog: 'New Film Explores Collision of Cultures in California'
4. Blog: 'He's Just Not That Into You'
5. Blog: 'The Cosmic Race'
6. Blog: ''The Basic Goal Is to Promote the Free Flow of Labor into the USA''
7. Blog: 'PASS ID Act: A Boon for Criminals'
8. Blog: ''If Mexico had had an avalanche of foreigners so large''
9. Blog: 'More Slaves, Please'
10. Blog: 'Court Crusader Against Illegal Immigration'
11. Blog: 'No Green Cards for Grads'
12. Blog: 'Think Globally? On the Whole, I’d Rather Not: Interviewing on Al Jazeera'

-- Mark Krikorian]

A Shifting Tide: Recent Trends in the Illegal Immigrant Population
By Steven Camarota and Karen Jensenius
CIS Backgrounder, July 27, 2009

Excerpt: Monthly Census Bureau data show that the number of less-educated young Hispanic immigrants in the country has declined significantly. The evidence indicates that the illegal population declined after July 2007 and then rebounded somewhat in the summer of 2008 before resuming its decline in the fall of 2008 and into the first quarter of 2009. Both increased immigration enforcement and the recession seem to explain this decline. There is evidence that the decline was caused by both fewer illegal immigrants coming and an increase in the number returning home. However, this pattern does not apply to the legal immigrant population, which has not fallen significantly.

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E-Verify: Challenges and Opportunities
By Janice Kephart
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, July 23, 2009

Excerpt: I am currently the Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies and a former counsel to the 9/11 Commission, where I co-authored the monograph 9/11 and Terrorist Travel alongside recommendations that appear in the 9/11 Final Report1. Prior to 9/11, I was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology and Terrorism where I specialized in foreign terrorist activity in the United States and worked to pass the federal criminal and redress system in place today for identity theft. Today I focus on issues pertaining to border and identity security and its nexus to national security issues. In September I released an extensive report on E-Verify, and this past March a statistical analysis regarding current use of E-Verify. These two reports will be the focus of this testimony, alongside some basic facts in regard to how border issues affect national security. I have testified before the U.S. Congress ten times, and I am privileged to submit my testimony to the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Management today.

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New Film Explores Collision of Cultures in California
By Jerry Kammer
CIS Blog, July 31, 2009

Excerpt: Mexican director Amat Escalante says 'Los Bastardos,' his stunningly violent new movie about two Mexican illegal immigrants in the uncaring world of California, grew out of his own experiences living there as a child.

'The story comes from this uneasiness I have because of living there for a long time, and from wanting to show how these two cultures could come to collide and to break down in some way,' Escalante says in today's edition of the Mexico City newspaper Reforma.

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He's Just Not That Into You
By Mark Krikorian
CIS Blog, July 30, 2009

Excerpt: Schadenfreude alert: 'Obama loses immigration allies; Activists picket, feel betrayed by administration policies.' Actually, though, I'm sure Rahm Emanuel chuckles appreciatively anytime the lefties accuse the White House of being too tough on immigration — if I didn't know better, I'd think he put them up to it just to make Obama (falsely) look tough on enforcement.

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The Cosmic Race
By Mark Krikorian
CIS Blog, July 29, 2009

Excerpt: The National Council of La Raza has just wrapped up its annual conference in Chicago. While I think Tom Tancredo was engaging in hyperbole when he described La Raza as 'a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses' (that describes instead MEChA and the Brown Berets), there's more to the comparison than people might realize.

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'The Basic Goal Is to Promote the Free Flow of Labor into the USA'
By Mark Krikorian
CIS Blog, July 28, 2009

Excerpt: Jim Robb of Numbers USA has some fun with the notes (taken by a participant who grew a conscience) of a closed-door meeting of open-borders lobbyists. It was organized by amnesty czarina Tamar Jacoby, who's the source of the title of this post. None of it's all that surprising — rope-selling businessmen complaining that even in this econony they need more cheap labor. One thing that was notable was that right after lefty wonk Simon Rosenberg said 'Passing CIR [amnesty and increased immigration] will help Democrats lock in the Hispanic vote,' Grover Norquist chimed in to agree that we need amnesty and more immigration. Who's side is he on?

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PASS ID Act: A Boon for Criminals
By Janice Kephart
CIS Blog, July 27, 2009

Excerpt: In November 2008, an illegal immigrant facing deportation and running for political office in Rhode Island was prosecuted and found guilty of using her position as a Rhode Island DMV clerk to sell driver's licenses to 'out of state' drug dealers with stolen identities. The scam included 11 others. The beauty of the scam was that the DMV clerk, Dolores Rodriguez LaFlamme, was able to pursue her illegal activity because Rhode Island does not verify an applicant's license information from another state.

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'If Mexico had had an avalanche of foreigners so large'
By Jerry Kammer
CIS Blog, July 24, 2009

Excerpt: Sergio Sarmiento, a renowned Mexican journalist whose column is syndicated throughout that country, has some interesting observations about the immigration controversy north of the border.

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More Slaves, Please
By Mark Krikorian
CIS Blog, July 22, 2009

Excerpt: An op-ed in yesterday's Post is titled 'Immigration Pitfall: Why 'Legalization Only' Won't Fly' and I thought to myself it'd be worth a look to see what pro-enforcement arguments might have made it into the paper. Then I saw the authors and figured out what was up. Penned by former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda and amnesty czarina Tamar Jacoby, now head of a business-oriented open-borders lobby, the piece argues that amnesty must be coupled with increases in future guest-worker programs if it is to be acceptable to business or to Mexico. (The word 'enforcement' appears just once in the whole piece.) It's actually a good sign politically, because it signals the deep disaffection between the right and left wings of the 'comprehensive immigration reform' crowd, with the lefties figuring their man is in charge now so they can stop pretending to care what rope-selling businesses think. That makes both amnesty and increased immigration less likely, and thus America better off.

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Court Crusader Against Illegal Immigration
By Mark Krikorian
CIS Blog, July 21, 2009

Excerpt: There's a fair, even-handed profile in the Times today of Kris Kobach, the law professor who's taken the lead role in legal advocacy for local communities seeking to implement their own immigration-related ordinances. (See his CIS report). My only quibble with the article is the headline writer's description that 'a lawyer uses the legal system to try to bring policy change,' based on the reporter's observation that Kobach's activism represents his 're-thinking the conservative tenet that the courts should not be a forum for policy change.' It's the Left that uses the courts that way, seeking to overturn laws duly enacted by the elected representatives of the people. Kobach's fight is precisely the opposite, and precisely what conservatives have been doing for years — defending laws passed by communities against legal assaults from the Left.

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No Green Cards for Grads
By John Miano
CIS Blog, July 20, 2009

Excerpt: The U.S. currently has the very sensible policy of not allowing student visas to be the gateway to immigration. Currently the law requires that those seeking student visas must prove they intend only to come to the U.S. to study and will return home at the completion of their studies. There are, however, mechanisms for some students to remain in the U.S. after graduation. Still, as a general policy, the immigration system expects that one comes to the U.S. on a student visa only to be a student.

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Think Globally? On the Whole, I’d Rather Not: Interviewing on Al Jazeera
By Stephen Steinlight
CIS Blog, July 20, 2009

Excerpt: Recently I gave an interview to Al Jazeera English to be aired on a TV show about 'Unemployed Day Laborers in New York City.' When the host called to invite me, the topic initially struck me as oddly narrow and provincial, arguably even a tad esoteric for an audience Al Jazeera claims spans several continents. (I was told the service is 'hip,' multicultural, and has a broad range of viewers.) Nor was it immediately clear to me what my role was to be considering my professional focus. But I was starting out with several mistaken assumptions. I was thinking too abstractly and disinterestedly; the image in my head was an audience curious about American national affairs, the impact of the recession, its social fallout (the show would provide the 'worm's eye view'), and public policy per se. That snap judgment couldn't have been more erroneous. Whenever the show is aired, thousands of viewers will be watching with intense personal interest about a subject that couldn't be more concrete and immediate for them. It will directly address their own lives, and they'll be watching because their economic interests are at stake.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Returning Her Stuff

Now that she was gone, he felt utterly alone.
He couldn't believe it hadn't been a month yet. He added up the days and saw it was only 23 since she'd told him and only 11 since he'd emailed her and told her how he felt aka that he never wanted to talk to her again.
He was shocked that she hadn't come crawling back. He'd felt sure they still had a charge left. That they had at least two more break-ups in them. That she wouldn't want to go on without him. That she'd feel empty without him and wouldn't want to go on. He was irreplacable.
Now he saw that she was irreplacable.
He felt utterly alone.
He could no longer lose himself in her body, in her soul, in dreams of the two of them growing old together.
He had to face his low social status, how few girls wanted him, how, precisely, no hot chicks in Los Angeles wanted him.
He had to walk down Pico Blvd and receive not one sincere "Shabbat shalom."
He had to force himself to shul and then to battle his claustrophobia until he'd put in at least half an hour before walking home. Alone.
He told himself that it was better that they ended now. She wasn't religious. She hated Orthodox Judaism. How could he have been so foolish as to expect fidelity from a pagan?
They'd never discussed if they were monogamous. He had taken it for granted, but all along he'd felt like he was punching above his weight class, that she was out of his league, and that the only reason she felt OK hooking up with him was that she had things going on the side.
She never called him her boyfriend. She'd only once said, "I love you!", and that was when he'd given her every one of his five inches (a week later, she claimed not to remember saying this, that she'd gotten together with him for the sex but had grown fond of him and didn't know what to do, he remembered now that was their last night together).
Upon her asking him July 9 how he felt about her "fooling around" with her ex-girlfriend the night of July 3, Shabbat!, he'd felt sick for days and now he saw everything they'd shared together in a new light, the blinding light of a horror film. Those few days after they first had sex, when she said she'd gone alone to a hotel in Santa Monica to spend the weekend, he'd felt sick.
Alone? Right. Who goes alone to spend the weekend in a hotel? That made no sense.
When she said she had to do her routine on Friday nights of boxing and going to a movie alone, well, he realized now she probably wasn't alone.
He drowned his worries in movies. And then he tossed and turned and tried to sleep.
Shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday he finally drifted off and dreamed they were talking things out.
"How many people have you been with since we started?" he asked.
"Four," she said.
He woke up.
It was 4:42 a.m.
He put on the fourth CD of Julia Cameron's "Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity."
He realized he needed to get rid of her stuff. Sunday morning would be the best time. He'd be least likely to run into her or her lovers. He'd wait until light to return her stuff, but for now he would gather it all up and put it in a bag.
He went to his upper left drawer and wedged it open. He saw her pink undies and grey bra. He gathered them to his face and breathed in.
He wanted to cry. He wanted to take them to bed and put them on his pillow and then lay his face on them and cry some more. Then he wanted to lay them out geometrically and remember how she was when she was with him.
But they had no smell. She had not left her mark. There was nothing special here. Run along little white boy.
He started grabbing plastic bags from beside the frig. The first three were wet inside. The fourth was dry and he put her underwear in there along with her book by A. Scott Berg, "Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius."
He wanted to add something to the bag, some eloquent way to say goodbye.
He brought his attention to his bowels and realized they were empty, so he went back to bed and listened to the path of the artist.
At 5:40 a.m., he rose for his ritual cold shower. The tub was dirty. If he ever got a woman again in the hovel, he'd definitely have to clean up.
He brushed his teeth and his tongue until he retched.
He said "Moden Ani" and put on his tzitzit and said the right bracha.
He ate two FRS lemon lime energy chews -- no hashgacha -- without a bracha.
He put on his white Apple t-shirt (it was wet and cold, the dryer at the ghetto cleaner late Friday afternoon didn't work) and his blue jeans and his black yarmulke.
He walked through the early morning mist. It felt wet on his face. I'll write "He walked through the early morning mist," he thought.
He looked both ways on Pico Blvd and then ran across to his ex-girlfriend's apartment where he kept his car in her garage. He'd put more than that in her garage if she wasn't so fat.
After moving her little thing out of the way, he fired up his monster and to his surprise, it caught right away. He decided he'd do a writing exercise when he got home -- 50 Things I Like About Myself.
He thought about his therapist who first did that exercise with him last year. Their last session would be in eight days. She'd promised a "good, positive ending."
All women leave.
No endings of anything good were positive.
Arriving at his PO Box, he turned the key, moved the LA Times inside, and saw the same black woman sitting at her same seat by the phone.
"What time is it?" she asked.
"About 6:30," he said and got his magazines and his cell-phone bill.
He drove north on La Cienega to Santa Monica. Then he turned right for a mile and then right again and parked beside a fire hydrant.
His adrenalin pumped. He felt like a stalker. He figured the odds were about 1 in 20 of running into her or one of her lovers. Perhaps she'd be walking the dog and he'd hand off her stuff without a word.
He couldn't see her car and imagined she spent the night somewhere else.
He walked down the street looking for her yellow apartment building and then he saw her car and it looked clean and neat. Nothing in it said, "I'm a cheater!"
He stared at her car and remembered she was a responsible woman. Perhaps she had always told the truth? After all, he'd never caught her in a lie. She had told him she'd cheated.
He walked towards the third and final stairway. His blood rushed into his face. He imagined he'd hear shrieks of ecstasy as he climbed the stairs and they'd be answered by either a man or a woman. He hoped it would be a woman. He hoped she wasn't getting a lot of cock. He hoped she wasn't getting black cock.
Either way, he decided, it would be good for his writing. He'd sit on the stairs for a minute and listen to her getting porked and it would drive him to write.
She had always said she was intuitive. Perhaps she sensed that he was coming and she'd hear his step and she'd fling open the door and embrace him. He'd turn to leave and she'd say, "Luke, I wasn't with anyone but you," and then he turn back to her and go inside her and take possession of the Promised Land that God had given him.
He walked up the stairs and it wasn't what he expected. He could hear nothing. He put the bag against her door and paused for a second.
When it didn't fly open, he turned around and tripped down the stairs and on the bottom one, he finally fell.
He tumbled silently to the cement and skinned his left knee and right wrist.
Pushing himself up and walking away, he felt relieved that nothing was broken. How humiliating and yet how perfect that would be. He'd have to ring her doorbell and tell her to call an ambulance. And her door would be opened by the other woman and his downfall would be complete.
He drove to Melrose and turned right and had to wait for the light at Fairfax. He checked his cell phone. She hadn't called.
By the time he was a mile away, by the time he'd crossed Wilshire, he felt relieved.
As he walked home, through the squeaking of his new shoes, he felt lighter and taller. He was careful not to over-stride and he thought forward and up.