Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s been another wonderful year for Keeping The Faith at The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. I’ve shared, vented, ranted, annoyed, inspired, irritated and comforted, while my readers have shared, vented, ranted, annoyed, inspired, irritated and comforted me.
Thank you all for reading, and for appreciating that this blog is not written in stone, it is simply my opinions and views on my own life, and the world we all share. This blog has meant everything to me and I am grateful to have you all along for the ride during this daily therapy.
I’m working on a list of resolutions for tomorrow, but the number one thing on my list is to be a better Jew. I want to have a very Happy Jew Year. It’s not about religion, it’s about faith, and I have faith that I will be a better Jew, which will lead to my life being fuller if not better.
I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2011. May there be blessings for all of us and a few extra ones for those who are those less fortunate. May your struggles be short and may it be a year in which we are kind to one another. Enjoy the night and be safe.
Happy New Year.
Keep the Faith.
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December 31, 2010 | 11:48 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I crawled into bed last night around 11:00. I turned on the television and there was a commercial for a vibrator, and the story line was that there was a wedding shower and the bride to be gets a few of these vibrators as gifts. I watched in fascination and once over the shock, could not stop laughing.
At the end of the commercial the bride to be is with her soon to be husband and she tells him they got 3 vibrators at her shower and his response is as if he just threw the winning pass at the Super Bowl. It was the most ridiculous and funny commercial I’ve seen in a long time.
If you’re getting married, what does it say about you that your friends are giving you a vibrator over china? What does it say about your fiancé that he is excited about you getting a gift that might do it’s job better than he can? What happened to lingerie as a shower gift?
Vibrators are a good thing. That’s all I will say about that. I believe that when I get married, I’d rather have some towels and a bread maker over my friends getting me a sexual aid. That said, it would be a perfect “Sorry You’re Not Getting Married” gift and I’m not getting married.
Enough about that. This morning I went to get a new kitty litter box for the cats. They are currently using this weird round thing that looks like a UFO. It has stairs leading into it, which is to catch the litter and avoid a mess. That’s not really happening so it’s going to have to go.
I walk into Petco and there is an “Italian Deigned” litter box on sale for $30.00. It looks just like a regular litter box. I took it down, checked it out, and tried to see what it was exactly that makes this box worth $30.00, and what it was modeled after to inspire them selling it as Italian.
Do cats care that a litter box is an Italian design? When they poop, do they sit and think, “Wow. I am a fancy cat to be pooping in Los Angeles, while having the feeling of being in Rome.” Really? Are they kidding me that they think we’re buying in to this crap? Pardon the pun.
It’s a plastic box where animals poop. Just because someone with an Italian sounding name said it made them think of the canals of Venice, does not make it an Italian litter box. If I ever spend $30 on an Italian anything for my cats, you have my permission to put me away.
To my beloved cats, enjoy your new American made plastic pooping box. To women who are getting married, register for dishes and don’t worry about the vibrators for now. Life it funny and people are strange. Thanks for the laughs everyone and remember to keep the faith.
December 29, 2010 | 6:44 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have not been sleeping. No big deal because I’m not a great sleeper, but the last couple of days have been rough. The first night I did not sleep, I simply wondered around my home, watched television, did some ironing and worked on some paperwork. While productive, totally boring.
I decided on night two, if I once again could not sleep, I was going to do something great. I bought paint, brushes, tape and a tarp and I had it all ready to go should insomnia show it’s ugly face. Last night I painted my bathroom and bedroom and can I just say, it looks fabulous.
I swapped rooms with my son and so I am now in his old bedroom, which was an industrial steel blue color. It’s a beautiful shade, if you are a teenage boy. My room and bathroom now match and are a combination of milk chocolate brown and the color of a gorgeous cup of café au lait.
The brown is warm and sexy and I love it in my room. It feels safe and pretty and I have never been so happy to have had a bout of insomnia. It was a small change but it has reinvented my space and I am very pleased with it. It is so fabulous in fact, it might actually inspire sleep.
It was raining in Los Angeles today. I was off of work and I enjoyed a day of nothing, which I never do. I met a friend for coffee, went shopping, relaxed at home, and am going to grab some sushi for dinner with a friend. I also heard from Howard today, which was lovely.
It was a sleepless but productive night, and a relaxing and slow moving day. Back to work tomorrow, my delicious boy comes back from the snow on Friday, and the New Year will be bright. I’m compiling my list of resolutions and shall post them on Friday so you can join me on my path.
I feel blessed and am working hard to learn from my mistakes and be a better person. Life is a challenge and each day brings a lesson. I hope to be smart enough to learn. I also hope my new room colors will not make me wake up craving coffee and chocolate. For all of it, I am keeping the faith.
December 28, 2010 | 6:44 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I know a lot of people and have many, many acquaintances. I also have a small, really good circle of friends. They are a blessing because my family lives far away, so they are more than just my friends, they are a support system and surrogate family to both me and my son.
I am a great listener. I am supportive, nurturing, and can listen to people talk forever. I am not really big on talking about myself though. Hard to believe since I write a blog about my life, but there is a difference between writing about your life and sharing secrets.
I have an acquaintance who over the course of the past year has become my friend. We are very close and share a lot of secrets. Nothing bad or anything that would put us in prison, but things that shape a life and help define who you are as a woman, a mom, and a human being.
Yesterday this friend, who I love, became a foe. My heart was broken by a bad judgment call and I don’t know how to let it go. I shared something that was personal, and my friend chose to share it with someone else. Someone that I never would have told in a million years.
I am now struggling with a feeling of loss. I feel that I have lost my friend because trust is gone. It’s not about forgiveness. I forgive my friend for the mistake, but my challenge is forgiving myself for letting my guard down with someone that perhaps I should not have trusted.
Nobody died, nobody was hurt, nobody cares, but it hurt my feelings and feels like a betrayal so what do I do about that? My friend asked if our friendship did not matter enough to forgive, but for me the question is did our friendship not matter enough to expect loyalty?
I am a wonderful friend. I am able to give unlimited support and care, without judgment, to those I love and expect nothing in return. I have embraced this friend in a way I never have before, so to see there was no loyalty is crushing and I am somewhat broken.
I’ve been upset all day. Did not sleep, and am sad. I went to Petco to get food for the two fluff balls who are my starter kit to Cat Lady status. On my way in, a lovely man, who lives in a box and has no teeth, asked me if I could spare any change. I gave him a dollar and wished him well.
He then said he would like to use his earnings to buy me a drink. Maybe it’s because I was sad, or maybe it’s because my last date was a dud. (By last date of course I mean last dozen dates.) But it was fabulous, made me laugh, and put a smile on my face.
I thanked him for the invitation and politely let him know I would have to pass. It was not the box, the lack of teeth, or the smell of urine, as much as it was that I heard him ask out another woman as I walked from my car to the store. Even the homeless guy is a player.
It puts things into perspective. I must remember to count my blessings and focus on faith. It has always shown me the way in the past and it will guide me through this too. I have survived bigger things than the betrayal of a friend, and am still 12 cats away from being a Cat Lady.
At the end of the day does any of it really matter? A trust was broken, a friend became a foe, forgiveness will come, faith will be tested, and a homeless guy thinks I’m hot. It could always be worse and will definitely get better so I will pour myself a glass of wine and keep the faith.
December 27, 2010 | 9:23 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I woke up this past weekend hating my sofa. It’s a great sofa, in great shape, and there is no reason I should hate it. I bought it because I loved it, but for some reason I could not stand it this weekend. I felt a need to change up my place and decided the thing that needed to go was the couch.
Sunday was the day I was going to partake in the Canadian custom of shopping on Boxing Day, and go find myself a new couch. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas and in Canada it’s the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s our day after Thanksgiving shopping equivalent.
I got in touch with my inner Canadian and started my search for a new couch. Bad idea. I went to 5 different stores and sat on what feels like a thousand couches. I could not find one I loved. In each store I managed to narrow it down to my two favorites but in the end could not take the plunge.
It became overwhelming. I was simply incapable of making a decision. One store would be understandable, but it happened in every store I went to, and it all came to a grinding halt at Living Spaces. I was being helped by a lovely man we’ll call “Hector”. He really invested time in my couch.
We walked around, sat, reclined, chatted, and were about to close the deal when it happened. I started crying. It had been a trying day, I was tired, my son is away, it’s the holidays, who knows exactly why I started crying, but I did, and in the poor Hector was trapped.
I am crying, over a couch, and Hector is consoling me, letting me know that in the grand scheme of things, a couch is not a big a deal. He went from a furniture salesman to a therapist in about 10 seconds flat. I spent time on a couch, with a stranger, got some therapy, but still no couch.
I am certain I was the topic of conversation at Living Spaces for the rest of the day. They might possibly still be talking about the crazy lady who started crying over a couch, right now. Mock if you must people, but buying a couch is hard and should be done alone!
It’s comical how the most mundane tasks can trigger things. The act of buying a sofa, by myself, was exhausting. I should have taken a girlfriend with me to help out because in the end it was a lonely experience and there was nobody there to help make a decision.
I had Hector of course, but he was just a nice guy, looking to a sale, and every question was answered with “whatever will make you happy”. Under any other circumstances, a great answer, but when buying a sofa, a chick needs direction, not unwavering support.
I thanked Hector for being so lovely and left without a couch. I got in the car, turned on the radio, and there was Justin Bieber. The song was “Pray” and I loved it. I immediately went to iTunes and downloaded the song. It was then that I caught it. Without warning, I got Bieber fever.
He is talented and once he cuts his ridiculous hair he will be cute. I listened to a lot of his songs and this kid can sing. I found myself being proud of him. As a single mom, seeing a young man who is being raised by a single mom, I find I not only like his music, but I’m routing for him.
I felt better after spending time with Justin so I decided to try one more store for a couch. In the end, I got a really great slipcover. Who knew a slipcover was all I needed to love my couch again? It looks great. It’s like a brand new couch, but I can go back whenever I want.
It was a trying day. I missed my kid, was traumatized by shopping, fell in love with Justin Bieber, and found joy in the simplicity of a slipcover. The sun is finally out in Los Angeles, and everything is ok. My son will be home in five days and my living room looks fabulous.
I am going to swing by Living Spaces and drop off a gift to Hector. I will come home, sit on my “new” couch and wonder if my picture is up in the staff lounge with a warning to avoid eye contact with me. Even the worst day comes to an end so just keep the faith.
December 24, 2010 | 4:06 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I make the world’s best brisket. That’s not saying a lot since most Jewish women who make brisket claim they make the best. What’s interesting about my brisket is that my opinion does not factor in. I am a vegetarian so I have no idea how it is. If I think back a few years, I do recall it was delicious.
I am going over to a girlfriend’s house tomorrow for Christmas dinner. She is making a ham, along with all the Christmas trimmings and the brisket is a back up since she is having a lot of people, and apparently you can never have enough meat. (Insert trip to the gutter here.)
I don’t know a lot of people who celebrate Christmas for religious reasons. I know many however who celebrate Santa and all the joy of the holiday that he brings. It’s quite lovely. I spoke with a young man today, who at age 5 is quite certain that Santa is coming and bringing him a cat.
I was in line at the market to get my secret brisket ingredient, and he was wearing reindeer antlers. I asked him if Santa was coming to his house. He told me yes he was and he was bringing him a cat. The young boy was going to have cookies ready for him, along with cat treats for his new friend.
As he began to tell me about the kitten he wished for, his father pointed to the bottom of his shopping cart to show that hidden behind a case of water, was a box of kitty litter. It was as if I had just seen Santa myself. I was simply overcome with joy for this little boy that he was really getting a cat.
For a second I almost jumped up and down in excitement. I looked at the dad who was silently pleading with me to not blow it for his kid. I composed myself and told the little reindeer boy that I really hoped Santa came and suggested he leave out milk with the cookies as added insurance.
He then invited me over to see his cat tomorrow morning. I told him that I was going to be busy with Santa at my house and that I hoped I would see him again so he could tell me all about the cat. It was awesome. My Jewish soul was wrapped up in the joy of Santa and the magic of Christmas.
Whether you believe in Santa, go to midnight mass, or opt for Chinese food and a movie, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Regardless of what your faith is, seeing the dreams of a child about to come true are enough of a Christmas miracle to warm my heart and remind me to always keep the faith.
December 23, 2010 | 9:25 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
My son will be 15 in less than a month. I cannot believe how fast the time has gone. I am not only amazed every single day that I am able to love someone this much, but that the love grows every day. I love him with my entire self, and equally as important, especially at this age, I like him.
Yesterday I swapped bedrooms with my son. I gave him the master suite with private bath, and 3 closets, and I took his smaller room with one closet. It took us all day to make the move. We had to move beds, dressers, bathrooms, and closets. About 6 hours in, I questioned my decision.
Swapping rooms was not a big deal. I use my room to sleep and it was silly for me to have all the space when it just sat unused most of the time. My son has friends sleeping over most weekends, and it’s insane how they pile into his room. They are a can of sardines so we needed to switch.
When we were done my son posted on my Facebook page that he loved his new Bachelor Pad. He also told me that for his birthday he wants a mini fridge and a microwave oven. I started laughing until I realized that he was not kidding. He really wants them for his upcoming birthday.
And so it begins. My baby became a boy and my boy is now becoming a man. His room rocks. Totally nicer than when it was mine. He has his bed, a little sitting area where we will put a futon for his friends to sit and play video games, and he can now comfortably sleep 7 in his room.
He loves having a sense of privacy in his own space. He woke up this morning and immediately came to hug me and tell me he loved me. He said, “Mom, I am so happy with my life right now.” That is the stuff that a mother’s dreams are made of.
I love him so much and I would do anything for this kid. I will not however, get him a microwave or a mini fridge. By will not, of course I mean I might do the fridge but I am not doing the microwave! There will never be any reason for him to leave his room if I give in to his gift list!
I hope I have not created a monster. I am happy he just wants a fridge and not a bell or whistle to summon me into the cave to bring snacks. It’s fascinating to see a child grow into a man. I can see all the things about him that will drive his wife crazy and it makes me laugh.
I am raising a good man. He will respect women, respect himself, and be a good partner, and I am proud of that. He gets all the benefits of being raised by a woman, and also the benefits of being raised by a single mother who likes men. It is helping form him into someone special.
The next stage of parenting has begun and there are rules. No Internet without his bedroom door open, no wet towels on the floor are permitted, and the doorknob has been changed to one without a lock. He’s a wonderful kid, and I’m a wonderful mother, so I’m watching.
My kid got great things for Hannukah, but his getting the master bedroom is his favorite thing. He feels independent and respected. That is the best thing ever. It also happened to be the cheapest gift he got. Go figure. A teenager + a man cave = Mom is keeping the faith.
December 21, 2010 | 11:14 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
What a glorious night! Skating With The Stars is finally over, and miracle of miracles, Bethenny did not win. I predicted last night that she would take the crown, but alas the reality gods listened to my prayers and she came in second place. By second place of course I mean she is a loser.
The night started out with a performance by Johnny Weir who I totally love. It was annoying though because ABC decided that they would not do a close up of the only person worth watching on this train wreck. He looked beautiful but they did not show him up close and did not even show his bow.
I expected more from ABC. Don’t cast a flamboyant personality to judge your show, then not allow him to showcase him flamboyance. It was gross and shame on you ABC for being so ignorant. Johnny’s skating was fabulous, his body is perfection, and he should be on Dancing With The Stars.
They do a recap of each contestant as they are voted off. The most disturbing in Brandon, the “Disney kid”, who is not a kid, and who I had no idea was on Disney. He did not skate because he is still sick. He looks bad. There is clearly something wrong, but they won’t tell us what.
Jonny Moseley is back to skate after his shocking elimination. After his performance however, it’s not so shocking. His partner trips, he falls, drops her, and then they stumble together. It was sad, yet quite entertaining, Moseley laughed along with us and with that he was done.
They do a package with the judges talking about what is needed to win. I fast forward through it. I cannot stand the sound of Gibson’s voice, yet she likes it as mush as I hate it. Shut up lady. We don’t care what you say and started fast-forwarding your speeches week one.
They ask Bethenny if she is surprised to be in the finals. She says no, then goes on about believing in yourself or some other idiotic thing. She is a broken record. We don’t have records anymore, so maybe one day we won’t have to listen to Bethenny anymore either.
She wants to win more than ever and reminds Rebecca, again, that she left her husband and baby at home. By home of course she means backstage, or perhaps a fancy shmancy hotel in Beverly Hills. Best moment: as the judges are praising her, she pulls a hair out of her mouth. Classy.
Rebecca wins and says she owes it all to her partner. They talk to Bethenny and she immediately starts whining about how she took on too much. Dear Lord, shut up Bethenny. She is just too much. She can’t just go quietly and let the moment be about Rebecca.
The funniest part is when the host, whose name I never remember, says he will see us next time. Really? If he thinks there is a chance in hell this show will be back, or he will get another hosting gig in America, he has lost his mind and as he faces deportation, should keep the faith