Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s raining, I need go to work, and I’m dreading it. The fact is that when it rains in Los Angeles, the city falls apart. Nobody knows how to drive to begin with, and even the smallest amount of rain causes the bad drivers to lose their minds and become impossible.
You can drive down the street in Los Angeles in the rain, and tell who is from here and who came here from a place with real weather. Southern Californians stick out like a sore thumb. They simply do not know how to handle their vehicles in the rain.
I personally could be a New York City cab driver. I am a fearless driver and able to handle all kinds of weather having grown up in Canada, and learned to drive in the snow. Driving is a privilege and if you suck at it you should not be allowed to do it. It’s that simple.
There should be two types of driver’s licenses. One for people to drive in dry weather, and one for the rain. We could take two tests. Pass one and you can only drive in good weather, pass the only one and you get driving privileges in the rain. Makes perfect sense.
I am hoping to get to work in one piece, without having to honk my horn, swerve my car, flip the bird, or pull my hair out. Hopefully the clouds will break and the sun will come out and save us all from the looming road rage. I am heading out, crossing my fingers, and keeping the faith.
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October 18, 2010 | 9:27 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s cloudy, rainy, and cold outside. I love this weather and we don’t get a lot of it in Los Angeles, so when it comes it’s perfect. The down side is it makes me want to snuggle up at home and when I’m nestled on the couch with a cup of tea, I start thinking and no good can come of that.
Last week was interesting. There were a lot of ups and downs. I met some really lovely people and some who were so rude it was shocking. I had productive days at work and some exciting things I’ve been working on are becoming less of a dream and more of a possibility.
I have great friends, a wonderful family, and people in my life that care about me. I have no family in Los Angeles and while it’s hard, I have friends who are like family to me and I can count on them in ways that are endless and fill my heart with gratitude. I am a lucky girl.
I am a smart girl, a phenomenal mother and a trusted friend. I work hard to be a good person and people who know me would say I was kind, honest and funny. They would also say I was bold and not shy about sharing my opinions. I am brave and an inherently good person.
We all have a history. Mine is fascinating and someday I might be brave enough to talk about it here. Until then, you can trust me when I tell you a lot of my boldness is bravado and I am shyer and than one would imagine. I am old fashioned in my views of love and romance.
Why am I telling you all this? Something happened that has hurt my feelings. A person, who I just met, for a brief moment, hurt my feelings. This person did not know me, but attacked on a personal level. It was done on purpose, for no other reason than to be mean.
People are invested in my blog. I get emails from all over the world telling me they like my writing, care about my well being, and can relate to what my life is like as a single 44 year old working mom. It’s sad how one stranger can lift you up while one can push you down.
Dating is hard. Dating when you’ve been divorced, are in your forties, trying to raise a teenager, and have to work a lot of hours, is harder. I dated when I was young, and when my son was young, and I can tell you that dating now, in my forties, with my son becoming a man is harder.
My relationships have failed, yet I am asking someone to take a chance on me, even though I have not been successful in the past. I have a child who is old enough to not only have an opinion on who I date, but also share it and want to be a part of my choices.
The stranger who hurt my feelings, was talking about my dating. I know it should not matter what they said, but I’m human, and a girl, and it hurts. What made it hurt was that this person does not know me. The people who read my blog know more about me that this person did.
I like writing. It’s my view of my life and the world. My regular readers know it’s written with a comedic spin a lot of the time. I am blessed with the ability to see humor in many things, and thank God because if I were serious about everything I might pull all my hair out.
I have faith in myself to be a good person and faith in God that he will watch over me and my family, guide me though life and lift me up when I fall. This stranger caused me to fall and it’s sad. I think it’s sad that we cannot put our faith in strangers to be decent and do the right thing.
At the end of the day the only thing I can do is be a decent person. For the stranger who was unkind I extend my hand. It must be hard for a person to be decent when they are stupid, unprofessional, bitter, socially inept and in desperate need of a romp in the hay to release stress.
After my feelings got hurt I did what any person would do, I went to have dinner with my BFF. My friend Anjelica is very special. She is the first friend I made when I moved to Los Angeles. I have known her for almost twenty years and we have been through a lot of things together.
We met at the first job I had in the states after receiving my green card. She had a little girl and in her haste to get her young child to daycare and then herself to work on time, she accidentally left her daughter’s guinea pig in the car and the poor little thing had passed away.
She was hysterical that the animal was in her car. Dead. I had been at my job for two days when I took the deceased “Jenny” from the car, said a prayer, and put her in her final resting place. From that moment on Angelica and I were friends. Jenny’s death began our life together.
We have shared marriages and divorces. We were pregnant at the same time and have sons who are three months apart. We have led lives on a similar path but could not be more different. We are opposite in so many ways it keeps our relationship fresh and very entertaining.
I am my true and authentic self with Anjelica. I can say anything, do anything, think anything and believe anything I want around Anjelica. She has not ever judged me or made me feel bad or stupid for thinking what I do. She is a sincere, honest, good friend, and I love her.
Over the past twenty years we have had times where we talk several times a day, and others where life gets in the way and we speak every few weeks. It makes no difference how much time passes. She has my back, will always be there for me, and I take comfort in knowing she is there.
She put my hurt feelings in perspective. Not everyone is going to get me or like me. If I like who I am, then I will attract good people and if someone is so unhappy in their own life that they need to hurt someone they don’t know, that’s not someone who should matter to me.
It’s still cloudy in Los Angeles. Instead of wasting my time being upset over a loser’s harsh words, I am going to think about how blessed I am to be a mother, have Anjelica, write my blog, and not be a nasty human being. The stranger who hurt me is not important.
I love a cloudy day. I am going to not over think things I have no control over. I am going to be a positive stranger to someone in need of a hand. I am not giving up on dating or love. I am going to cherish my friend. I am going to keep the faith.
October 15, 2010 | 12:02 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered this week on Bravo and all I can say is Dear Lord, please make them go away. Of all the women, from all the cities, including the horrific ladies of DC, these women are without a doubt the most mortifying women on television.
This is beyond a train wreck. It is cringe worthy television and with each passing moment you have to question your sanity for not turning it off. I was mesmerized and could not turn away, even though my skin was crawling. Just when you think Bravo has hit bottom, they manage to scrape the gutter.
The first “lady” we meet is Lisa. She is English and very attractive. She is also in love with her dog and shares that she only has sex with her husband twice a year. She lives in a mansion with only her husband and gay boy toy. I cannot imagine she is happy with her life.
Adrienne is a Maloof. She is teeny tiny and clearly spends a lot of time taking advantage of free services from her plastic surgeon husband. I’m not a hairdresser, and it’s late, and I had a glass of wine with dinner, but still, I am pretty sure that she was wearing a wig.
Taylor has had so much work done on her face that nothing moves. She look like she is made out of plastic and let’s us know immediately upon meeting her that she is in a passionless marriage with a man that does not seem to care about her. Maybe he is allergic to plastic.
Camille is a “dancer” but is better known as Kelsey Grammer’s wife. She has four nannies and lives on a compound. It’s distracting to see them together because we now know that while they were filming, he was dumping her and getting someone else pregnant.
Kim used to be a child actress. She mentions this 164 times. By 164 of course I mean I stopped counting after a dozen. She is socially inept, jealous of her sister, and living in a delusional universe where she thinks we are still listening to her.
Kim’s sister is Kyle. I found her annoying from the fist second she opened her mouth. I don’t think there is anything appealing about her. She is a nail on a chalkboard. FYI: she was also a child actor. Who the hell are these people and why are they on television?
Before I go on, I want to make it clear that while I watched the show tonight, I will no longer be watching. I love reality television, and a train wreck on Bravo is always entertaining, but there is no way I can sit through another minute of this crapfest without wanting to hurt myself.
The show starts off with Taylor going to get injections in her face which is disturbing. It is disgusting and really quite sad. She is obsessed with her husband leaving her. She predicts it, talks about, it, and does not hide her bitterness or stupidity. She is both disgusting and tragic.
Adrienne is taking the ladies to Sacramento for the Kings/Lakers playoff game. They are all on a private jet and as I’m watching I am making notes about who will be getting divorced first. This is a miserable group of ladies who think they live fabulous lives because they have money.
We are now at minute 39 of 60 and I don’t think I can watch anymore. Seriously Bravo, what is wrong with you? Andy Cohen has lost his mind and needs to stop drinking in the clubhouse. He has transformed into the sleaziest man on television and that is quite an accomplishment.
They are now in Sacramento and I am done. I cannot watch another minute of this show. It is the worst show on television and I would rather watch Michael Bolton dance than watch these chicks. I am praying I can sleep and don’t have nightmares about dancing Botox needles.
I watched the ladies of Atlanta, which also came back on this week and I was bored. I was certain the franchise would come alive in Beverly Hills but alas I am checking out and waiting for New York and OC to come back. Atlanta, Beverly Hills and DC are simply embarrassing.
Andy Cohen used to be the rock star of reality television. He is now just a guy who got lucky and wasted the opportunity by deciding to live in the gutter. I hate this show. My advice to the husbands and children of these women would be to change your names and keep the faith.
October 13, 2010 | 10:23 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I woke up this morning not wanting to go to work. There are days when I get up and can’t wait to get to work. I have wonderful clients and the majority of my days are very pleasant and I head home feeling good about my work. I have three clients today and I’m not feeling it. I want to stay in bed and not talk to anyone. I’m not into dealing with any crap today and by crap of course I mean rude people.
Then there are the rare days when I spend my time trying to figure out how to not go to work. At what age does pulling the “I’m sick” card become so transparent that they know you are lying? Can a dog eat your car keys? I’m not one that needs to be told I’m doing a good job. I know I’m good at what I do and while it’s fantastic when a client takes the time to tell me, it is not a deal breaker if they don’t offer it up freely. There are days however where I work my ass off without even getting a smile, let alone any acknowledgement of my hard work. Those days are hard.
I am a professional organizer. I have my own company that helps people get organized. I do everything from clearing out a garage to helping hoarders clear their chaos. I also have clients where I simply pay their bills and do their shopping. Organizing can mean a lot of things, so ultimately what I do is allow people to live their best life by taking away some of the clutter that comes with living life. I love what I do and am brilliant at it.
The thing is, some people are just rude. I can handle people being aggressive, having an opinion about how they want things done, and not shy about telling me. I do not however, respond well to rude. I have one client who takes rude to a new level. The tone of voice is condescending and there is so much eye rolling that I worry an eye will pop out at any moment and land in my lap, which of course would be blamed on me.
When I work with rude people, at some point during the day I zone out and start to daydream about winning the lottery, then quitting in a hugely dramatic way that will guarantee some eye popping. I often wonder if I were a very wealthy person, and had people working for me, would I be a condescending bitch who spoke to people with the attitude that I was better than them? Is it money that makes people mean?
Money does not give a person permission to speak to someone in a disrespectful way, and at the end of the day, it really does not have anything to with money. Rich people are not rude because they have money. Rude people are rude regardless of how much money they have and they need to understand that their money does not make them special. If someone works for you it does not mean you are better than them, only that you need them.
When I deal with a difficult person who insists on being rude, I wonder if they are aware of what their legacy is. Do they know people are not fond of them? Do they not worry what people say about them behind their backs? Is being rude, obnoxious and unnecessarily mean to someone worth it? Is that what they want people to say about them? Is it possible that they have no clue how they look to others? Should they not work a little harder to be nice?
I’m going to work now. I’m going to put a smile on my face and do the job that I have been hired to do. I will take the crap with a grain of slat and count the minutes until I get to come home. When dealing with a rude person it teaches me to think carefully about my own legacy. I am much more aware of who I am and what I want people to think about me. I am a better person because of the rude people I meet.
I will continue to raise my child with the knowledge that having money is a blessing, but does not make you a better person. We are not wealthy but when and if he is ever a person of privilege, he will work hard to maintain his core beliefs so people will always refer to him as a good person before mentioning he is a rich one. I am counting my blessings, preparing for some rudeness, counting down to the end of the day, and keeping the faith.
October 12, 2010 | 9:04 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I went to see the new David Fincher movie “The Social Network” this past weekend. It was brilliant. Even if it were not based on a true story, it would still be brilliant. It is a great film about compelling people. The fact that it is “real”, only makes it better, but leaves you with a million questions about a group of young men.
I saw the movie with my 14 year old son, which was fascinating. He is a part of the Facebook generation and was a member of Facebook long before I was. I had not heard of it when he wanted to join and to be honest, the only reason I joined was to be able to monitor him. I am now addicted and not ashamed to admit it.
I don’t know how much of the movie was fact, but boy is it a great story. It was interesting to see how differently my son and I viewed the players. My kid thought Mark Zuckerberg was an asshole who screwed over his friends. I looked at Mark as the good guy and Sean Parker as the villain. My son focused on broken friendships and I went all mommy and focused on a young man who got caught up in something bigger than he could handle.
The movie is adapted by Aaron Sorkin from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 nonfiction book, “The Accidental Billionaires”. Nobody who works at Facebook, including Mark Zuckerberg, participated in the film. Eduardo Saverin however, was a consultant on Mezrich’s book.
For me, Zuckerberg was a young kid, who got pissed off at a girlfriend, started something bigger than he could have imagined, and was jealous of his friend Saverin for getting invited to pledge at Harvard. His immaturity led him to be sucked in by Parker, and he lost control.
I don’t think he was malicious, just naïve and by naive I don’t mean stupid. This is a smart kid, but there are different kinds of smart. He is a brilliant programmer, but not particularly savvy socially. I’d like to think that Zuckerberg regrets how things went down in the end.
Sean Parker is the asshole of the movie. He saw an opportunity and bounced on it. He is a brilliant guy and you have to give him credit for taking Facebook to the level it is. In the happy bubble where I live though, he could have done the exact same thing and still included Saverin.
I think the reason Parker manipulated Zuckerberg and ousted Saverin is because he is sleazy. He had made enemies with Napster and was perhaps seeking redemption. He was looking out for himself and Zuckerberg was so naïve he didn’t see it, and would not believe Saverin who did.
A sad moment in the movie is when Zuckerberg tries to friend Erica Albrecht on Facebook. She is the girl that unwillingly started the entire thing, but according to her, he never friended her. I don’t care that it’s made up. At the end of the day I believe Zuckerberg is a good guy.
Is Sean Parker portrayed as a douchelord? Yes. Did Eduardo Saverin get screwed out of his rightful share and proper participation in Facebook? Yes. Did Mark Zuckerberg sell out his best friend? Yes. Was it all worth it for them to be billionaires and for all of us to have Facebook? Yes.
I really loved this movie. When we got home we Googled the players because we left the theater wanting more. Their lives must be very interesting and rather complicated. I wonder if any of what happened is why Zuckerberg, who was raised Jewish, now says he is an atheist.
Was he an atheist before all the Facebook madness? Did him achieving this massive amount of financial and professional success make him lose his belief in God? Does he think he sold his soul to the devil for Facebook and therefore feels he is not worthy of God?
The Social Network is a must see and it’s incredible that even now, after all these years, the key players are still kids. I wish them the best and hope they are happy in all the chaos. My romantic and unrealistic heart prays they have forgiveness for each other.
It’s sad that what we think we know about these boys is based on a movie that is based on things that may or may not be true. I’m thinking that they are all rather lovely and we’d be surprised to see that they are just really smart, good kids.
To Mark Zuckerberg, I hope you write a book one day. I want so much to hear the story from your perspective. At the end of the day it’s your history and you must tell it. I believe you are a good person and regardless of whether you believe in God or not, you can still keep the faith.
October 9, 2010 | 8:40 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am having lunch today with some people who work at JDate. My regular readers know that I have agreed to do all my online dating through JDate until the end of the year. They feel that I can meet my Beshert online and JDate is the place where it will happen and since I only date Jewish men, that makes sense.
I have had conversations on the phone and through email with the folks at JDate, but we have never met in person. I got an invitation last week to finally have a face to face. They wanted to check in and see how my search is going. By check in, of course I mean check me out.
I have not been shy about sharing my experiences on JDate, and while I have had success in the past, since rejoining a couple of months ago, my dates have not been good. By dates, I mean I have had only two. To clarify, I have met wonderful men through JDate and my last two relationships were with men I met there. It’s just this go round that has not been stellar.
I write a blog that talks a lot about my search for love. Anyone who reads it knows there are no holds barred in terms of what I will share. I write for a major Jewish publication and I only date Jewish men. What are the chances that the blog is the reason JDate is not working this time around? If JDaters are reading my blog then maybe fear is stopping them from reaching out.
I have always had tremendous success on JDate. It is easy to meet men when you are searching for someone who you already know you have something in common with. When I was on JDate before the blog, I dated a lot. This time around, I cannot get a JDate to save my life. It’s not for lack of trying. I am putting myself out there but nothing is happening.
I get a lot of emails telling me they like my blog, but are not interested in dating someone who can take their dating life and splash it all over the internet. If you are a good guy, and a gentleman when you date, then what is there to be nervous about? I never use real names.
If the tables were turned, I would totally date a man who had a blog about dating. I cannot imagine anything I could do on a date that would come back to bite me in the ass. Whether I knew he had the blog or not, I know that I would handle myself in a way I could be proud of.
I’m looking forward to my lunch today. I am in it to win it and if these JDate professionals can give me suggestions on how to make my experience better, then I’m thankful. It’s not every JDater who gets a one-on-one Jdate lesson so I appreciate them taking the time to help me out.
I am open to what they suggest in terms of my online dating practices, I am not however open to suggestions on how to write my blog. There is no kinder and gentler blogger inside that needs to be coaxed out. My blog is honest and open and that won’t change just to get a date.
I don’t want to compromise who I am in order to be what people think I should be. I am certain there is a man out there who is confident enough to date a blogger, and wants to be the one who changes my blog from one about searching for love, to one about experiencing love.
It will take a man of strong character to date me and to be perfectly honest that was true long before I started to write the blog. I am a strong woman but not particularly tough and there is a difference. Strong is a good thing and tough can be a bitchy thing. I am more strong than bitchy.
It will be interesting to see what they propose. My goal is to share my life with someone and these are the experts in finding love on JDate so I will be listening. I am going to lunch with an open mind and a willing heart. My guard is up a little, but more importantly, I am keeping the faith.
October 8, 2010 | 9:23 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love sleeping. Really, really love it. I love my bed, clean high thread count sheets, fluffy pillows and comfy pajamas. I love all the things that contribute to a good nights sleep. Sadly, the one thing I am missing in my search for the perfect nights rest, is the ability to sleep.
I have not been sleeping well. I have suffered from insomnia in the past, but this time it’s hanging on a little longer than usual. It’s a horrible feeling to be all tucked in to a fabulous bed, exhausted, and then just lay there unable to turn off your brain long enough to actually sleep.
There is nothing particularly stressful going on in my life. All is well. My son is good, work is good, and life is good. For a reason that I do not know, I just can’t sleep. Last night it took all my strength not to buy a juicer at 2:45 am when I finally caved and turned on the television.
Ever since I bought a food dehydrator, during the insomnia of 2008, I try to not turn on the television once I’m in bed. No good can come from surfing through the channels when you are desperate for sleep. You are so tired and frustrated that taking out your credit card somehow makes sense.
I have counted sheep, sprayed lavender on my pillows, had a glass of wine, taken Tylenol PM and a wide variety of other things that people tell me will help, but in the end, over the past two weeks, I have not slept more than four hours. I’m hoping that with the weekend, will perhaps come a good nap.
Yesterday I was at a meeting with a writing partner. We met at her house and she has a dog. This is a big, kind of dopey, gorgeous dog. She came into the room, plopped herself down, and immediately went into a deep sleep and started to snore. It was very cute, but I was so jealous.
At one point the sound of her snoring was hypnotizing and I felt she was calling me to sleep. I almost got down on the floor and snuggled up. I like the sound of snoring. It’s soothing to me. If I don’t get some sleep this weekend I might need to have a certain dog come over for a play date.
I’m so tired. I pray that all the pieces will fall into place and when I crawl into bed tonight it will result in sleep. Just incase that does not happen, tonight I am going to give melatonin a try. I bought it at Whole Foods and I hear it will do the trick. I want to sleep more than anything.
Have a good weekend everyone. Take good care of yourselves, help out a stranger for no reason, call someone you have lost touch with and say hello, tell those you love that they matter, eat a great meal, remember to laugh, get a good nights sleep and do it all while keeping the faith.
October 7, 2010 | 11:36 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I went to an event this week that was raising awareness for the plight of the residents of the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s long-term care facility. It was put on by an organization called Saving the Lives of Our Own and was held at The Renberg Theater in Hollywood.
It was a really lovely evening and I was touched by many of the performances. There were a lot of veteran actors and entertainers participating. I met Shirley Jones and once I got over the instant desire to tell her that I thought I loved her, we chatted about the cause.
Ms. Jones said she did not understand how a community that had so much wealth, was willing to turn their backs on people who needed their help. It’s a long and detailed story, which you can read about in an article written by Danielle Berrin here at the Jewish Journal.
When I came home I spoke to my son about the event. He did not know a lot of the artists that performed, but he was interested in what was happening with the residents of the MPTF facility. I shared my limited knowledge of the situation and my 14 year old managed to solve the problem in 5 minutes.
The MPTF says the long-term care facility is losing money. Saving the Lives of Our Own does not want this organization, that has so much money, to throw out people who have been there for years, were dedicated to the entertainment industry, and planned to live out their days there.
Without getting into the politics of he said, she said, the bottom line is that this organization was founded to help the people who created “Hollywood”. I believe Charlie Chaplin, and the others who created the MPTF would be heartbroken that these people will be displaced.
I have loved Charlie Chaplin since I was a little girl. He was funny and handsome and has brought me joy through difficult moments in my life. I refuse to believe he would not be outraged by what is happening. He would have been at the event this week, asking people to help.
If the main reason the Board of Directors wants to close the facility is because it is losing money, I get it. Rather than panic however, make a plan. It’s not really about money as they have a lot of it, it’s about not wanting to be bothered with this particular service any longer.
That said, let’s make it about money. My son proposes the following plan: Have each major television network, along with the top 5 movie studios, each donate $10 million dollars to the MPTF, restricting their donation to the long-term care facility.
Then, have every actor and crewmember, on every television show and movie set, donate one day’s salary to the fund, again earmarking it to long-term care. That should be more than enough money to salve all the problems and allow these people to maintain not only their home, but also their dignity.
I’m not kidding. This is not meant to belittle the situation. I understand that it’s complicated and about more than money. At the end of the day however, it does not need to be a fight because it’s a battle and no one will win. Time to check egos and think about those residents.
One of the performers at the event was actor Bill Smitrovich. He read a letter from a resident called “Ed”. Ed worked as a make up artist during the golden age of Hollywood. Everyone who wants to close that facility should go have a cup of coffee with Ed and I imagine they will change their mind.
Ed wrote of his love for his work and how much he enjoyed making everyone look good. This is a man who worked in the picture business for longer than I have been alive. He dedicated his life to an art form we all love, yet now that he is old, his contributions are being forgotten.
I am a fan of the entertainment industry. I love actors and performers. I escape the real world by enjoying television and movies. I love Charlie Chaplin and everyone who works in this industry should be helping these people out, as they are the reason you all have a thriving industry now.
In a country that is at war, struggling to regain control of it’s budget and government, it seems to me that allowing a few people who have paid their dues, live out their days in peace and happiness, having given us so much happiness themselves, should not be a big deal.
My son is available to mediate any meetings and explain his financial recovery plan. He will also donate his consulting fee to the long-term care facility. We will need to meet around his school schedule, but we can make it work. To Ed, I have a little crush on you. Be strong, be well, and keep the faith.