Posted by Ilana Angel
A month ago I was introduced to the dating site Ashley Madison when my editor sent me an article written in Bloomberg News. It was very interesting, and by interesting of course I mean disturbing. I wrote about my first impressions and you can read that initial blog here: Ashley Madison 1
I got emails from women who were repulsed, men who could not sing it’s praises enough, and one man in particular who was articulate and compelling. He did not make me change my mind, but he delivered his message in a way that made me get it. Not the site, but his view. You can read that article here: Ashley Madison 2
I also got an email from Noel Biderman, the founder of Ashley Madison. He wrote: “You seem to want to vent your anger but have no desire to understand the cause.” I was not sure what he meant exactly, so I wrote him back. We emailed for a while and finally agreed to talk on the phone. Well, let me just say, fascinating.
Biderman is a regular guy from Toronto. He is the same age as my brother, his wife is the same age as my sister-in-law, he has two young kids like my brother, lives in the same neighborhood as my brother, and I felt a need to like him. He is such a normal guy in his home life that I did not want his work to define what I thought of him.
He is Jewish, as is his wife Amanda. He had a Bar Mitzvah, is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, and looks forward to his son becoming a Bar Mitzvah. In hearing him talk of his upbringing and faith, you can’t help but like him. Until he tells you that the 10 commandments are outdated, mean nothing in modern day life, and don’t really matter.
I went into the conversation wanting to like him, and with a sincere goal of hearing his take on Ashley Madison. I thought about him as my brother, just a regular guy making a living to raise his family. That lasted about two minutes. While I truly believe he loves his wife and kids, I also believe he is buying into his own hype.
He started out the conversation telling me he was not Ashley Madison. It was his job, but not who he is as a human being. It’s also not what he was trained or educated to do. Back in the day, he was an attorney working as a sports agent. He saw his famous and successful clients having affairs and that was the inspiration for Ashley Madison.
He believes monogamy is unnatural, and not practiced by most. People are going to cheat so why not start a dating site that is open about it, allowing people a safe place to engage in extra-marital sex? It is interesting that he is “allowing people to be honest”, when the honesty is to strangers, not the person they exchanged vows with.
Biderman claims there are 8.5 million users on Ashley Madison. He says the breakdown is 60% men and 40% women. He does not clarify how many of those are active members, browsing potential members, or people just snooping around like I did. I’m not sure one can even accurately break it down in such a way.
Biderman believes the only reason people cheat is because the sex in their marriage is not good. That is the ONLY REASON. He also says that cheating in Japan is part of a happy marriage, and the gay community embraces cheating. He was so bold as to say that ALL gay relationships include infidelity. All of them.
Sidebar: I told my friend Andy Nicastro about Biderman’s comments on gay relationships and he had this to say: “Every gay couple cheats? News to me, and I’ve been gay for a really long time. That this man perpetuates the myth of the sexually profligate homosexual to justify abhorrent behavior in the heterosexual community is disingenuous, ignorant and utterly reprehensible.
Statements like his are the reason the fight for marriage equality so often feels like an uphill battle. Open relationships exist among both heterosexual and homosexual couples, and are entered into by mutual agreement. Cheating - what this man is condoning - is the breaking of a solemn vow, whether two men, two women or two members of the opposite sex made that vow.
Biderman can justify his monetization of infidelity any way that assuages his conscience, but leave the gays out of this. Biderman claiming all gays cheat would be the same as me saying he recognized the financial potential of Ashley Madison because all Jews are good with money. It is insulting, demeaning and utterly untrue.”
Biderman truly believes monogamy is not something that exists in any tangible way. He says that if your sex life with your partner is good, they will never cheat on you. As much as his rhetoric is ridiculous, you’ve got to applaud his conviction. He has been defending his service for so long that perhaps the line between fact and fiction has been blurred.
He’s got a lot of slick arguments for his theory on cheating. He talks about how the most popular and successful Presidents are cheaters, yet we revere them. He says cheating is happening in relationships we would never expect, and uses Presidents as a way to show that the desire for great sex trumps the fear of getting caught, no matter how much you have to lose.
He speaks very matter of factly about things he is not an expert on, says them with tremendous conviction, and you can hear the judgment in his voice if you don’t agree. He is not rude, but dismissive. He is so certain he is right, that if you question his statements you can feel his eyes rolling over the phone as he talks to you about his statistics.
I wonder if he felt my eyes rolling when he told me if women were willing to be more adventurous in bed, think outside the box, and consider doing things sexually that they may not be comfortable or familiar with, their spouses would never cheat. Never. So this begs the question, what is his wife like, and what does she think of Ashley Madison?
Biderman and I spoke a lot about his wife Amanda. To hear him talk about her made me flutter. He totally and completely loves her, is proud of her, respects her, and is in awe of her as a mother. It’s really quite lovely. One must assume she is talented in the boudoir because if she’s not, according to Biderman’s theories, he may cheat.
I was curious about the woman whose husband’s claim to fame is creating a way for people to break their vows. What does she think about the fact that he compares drinking and smoking to infidelity? He says people smoke and drink which can kill them, and we are accepting of that, so why not accept cheating, which will not kill you?
Clearly he does not watch the television show Snapped because that show proves cheating will in fact get you killed. He is adamant that he is not hurting anyone, and we should not judge him as he is not judging anyone else. He says if someone is cheating, it is between the cheater and God, and his part in the cheating is nothing to be mad about.
Biderman’s wife called me the same day I spoke with her husband. I really liked this woman. She is sweet, soft spoken, and kind. I cannot say enough how great I think she is. She called me from home while doing dishes and puttering around the kitchen, and it was like talking to my sister or a girlfriend. Biderman scored because she rocks.
Amanda is raising her 2 small children with Jewish traditions more than religion, and loves her husband. To hear her talk about Ashley Madison is a revelation. This is a woman who cares for her husband, wants to support him in his work, and at the same time, is heartbroken that this is the turn his career path has taken. It’s both lovely and sad.
Amanda is quick to say Noel is not Ashley Madison. It does not define who he is as a man, husband or father. She feels there is no karmic debt to be paid by him for what he has created, and she feels happy and content in their relationship with each other, and God. She does not take responsibility for the people who use the Ashley Madison site.
Amanda herself does not agree with cheating, would never cheat in her marriage, and knows that neither would Noel. She does not understand cheating, but she does not judge those who do it. She also does not think Noel is doing anything wrong. He did not create infidelity, and Ashley Madison is not making anyone cheat.
In terms of her own marriage, when asked if she was worried her husband had access to millions of women who wanted to sleep with him, she said it was not going to happen because they are committed. When I told her that her husband repeatedly told me he does not believe in monogamy, she was certain I had misunderstood him and he does.
The thing is, he does not. He believes monogamy is not natural and if he and his wife do not keep their sex life new and fresh, there may be a problem. I think Amanda Biderman is conflicted. When she met Noel, he was an attorney. They dated for two years before getting engaged and it was after their engagement that Ashley Madison was born.
It’s not the ideal situation for her, but she feels she should not be the one to judge others, just as she hopes others will not judge her. She says love and relationships are complicated, and her marriage has the same issues as every other. She feels strongly people are going to cheat whether there is an Ashley Madison or not, and it’s not because of her husband.
She is a real supporter of her husband. She is a cheerleader for him and it was interesting to here her say the same catch phrases that Noel uses. She has clearly been indoctrinated and tows the party line. I asked her if she was aware that she was sounding like her husband, to which she responded that he is a smart guy who understands people.
Amanda feels her husband knows the psychology of people, and while he is not powerful enough to make people break their vows, he was smart enough to have seen a need for such a service. That said, she knows he is not cheating and has no insecurities when it comes to their marriage. After 10 years together, she is happy, secure, and doing fine.
If anything, both Noel and Amanda feel Ashley Madison has made their marriage stronger. They feel they are better connected and more open in their communication, because they see first hand what can happen in a marriage when people start to pull apart. It’s all very sweet and romantic, but I don’t understand how she trusts him. I couldn’t.
At the end of the day no matter how immoral Ashley Madison is, they are not doing anything illegal. They are not killing anyone, and nobody is dying. They are not putting a gun to people’s heads and making them cheat, and they feel no guilt for the privileged life they are living, even though it was built on the broken hearts and dreams of other human beings.
Amanda Biderman told me that while she finds cheating very upsetting, it is simply not her problem. Her job is to be a good mother, a good wife, and focus on her children and marriage. I ended my call with her wanting to get together for a cup of coffee. I liked her so much that I wanted to hug her and tell her she was a good person.
Noel Biderman. He is just a guy who spins marketing gold, and cashes in on something that has been happening for years. I get it and good for him on providing a comfortable life for his family. While I do not condone what Ashley Madison does, and I think he will deal with God when all is said and done, his website is not why I don’t respect Noel Biederman.
My problem with Mr. Biderman is that he is trying to crush my dreams. I am searching for love. Beyond love, I want a committed and monogamous relationship, and he is telling me it is not possible and I will never find it. In addition to ruining marriages and relationships, he is taking away the dream I’ve had since I was a little girl.
He wants me to believe I will never have a monogamous relationship, which he is allowed to believe, but he does not know me, and what about Amanda? Is she exempt from his logic? I am going to meet a man that cheats, but she found the one man who does not? Her man helps people get away with infidelity, but it’s okay because he won’t cheat?
According to Biderman, I can’t have my dream of monogamy unless I am consistently a dynamo in the bedroom. First of all, I am, but the big problem for me is that he is implying no marriage can survive a waning of sexual energy, even though it’s natural. A marriage is about trust, and working through things, or why bother getting married in the first place?
I think Biderman has a lot of chutzpah to tell me my dreams are unattainable, when he helps crush dreams every day. If he were quiet, not publicizing himself, and allowing Ashley Madison to speak for itself, it would be one thing, but he’s not doing that. He is screaming from the mountaintop, look at me, I am Ashley Madison, and I’ve got news for you.
He wants us to buy into his rhetoric and I’m not doing it. I will find love, we will be monogamous, there will be no cheating, and we will not be on Ashley Madison. That’s my truth Noel Biderman. You are wrong. You do not know anything about me, or the man I will marry. Monogamy not only exists, but it is respected and attainable.
I am guessing that any press is good press to Mr. Biderman, and he likes being the face of Ashley Madison. The thing is, he may be right, this could be the next big thing, and he may change the rules of what it means to be married and have sexual relationships outside of your marriage. What will happen if he is right and cheating becomes okay?
It could all happen, but the question is, will it be worth it? If he makes a billion dollars will it be worth it? If he shatters the dreams of decent people will it be worth it? When I asked him if he wished he stayed behind the scenes, he said anonymity would have been great, but without his being out there, Ashley Madison would not be as successful as it is.
Noel and Amanda Biderman are nice people. They are philanthropic to many Jewish focused charities. They are financially secure, love each other, adore their kids, and are working hard to have a happy and healthy marriage. With all of their blessings, why work so hard to take away my dream and the dreams of millions of people?
Why not be anonymous, say nothing, and live a quiet life? That’s not Noel’s style. There is a Jerry McGuire quality to him and I think he is drinking his own Kool-Aid. If he was my little brother, I would want to smack him and knock some sense into him. Sit with him and talk about it, right after I kick him in the ass and take him to shul for some praying.
I have invited Noel Biderman to come to Los Angeles and join me on a panel to discuss, love, marriage, vows, cheating, and faith. I think it would be interesting to speak with him, a Rabbi, perhaps a therapist, throw a Priest in, and let’s talk about it. Mr. Biderman needs a bit of a talking to and I think we can learn a few things from each other.
I was very impressed when he agreed to do it. Of course that was before this article was published, so we’ll see if he changes his mind. I don’t imagine he is one to step away from a challenge, and he is certainly not afraid to go head to head with me. Bless his heart. Turns out this man who I am offended by on so many levels, is also a mensch.
Sidebar: While Biderman agreed to come and meet me for a discussion, it’s been a challenge finding a Rabbi to join the panel. Several Rabbi’s and their temples were approached by The Jewish Journal to participate in this evening of discussion and they all said no. To be honest I was more embarrassed than surprised, which is a bigger piece of the pie.
I would think that a Rabbi would welcome the opportunity to discuss the 10 Commandments and the importance of fidelity in a marriage. It makes me sad that the leaders of my faith are not willing to sit with Biderman and talk like grown ups about something that is so important and prevalent in these times. It is an intolerance that I do not understand.
Mr. Biderman has spoken about Ashley Madison at churches and mosques. They have opened their doors, allowed him to speak, and then disagreed. That Jewish clergy is afraid to take him on is troubling. Ashley Madison is wrong and Biderman should be ashamed of himself as a man, a father and a Jew, but apparently I’m the only one willing to tell him to his face.
I am not giving up on love or monogamy, and I will never approve of Ashley Madison. A pig will fly out of my tuchas before I accept a glass of Kool-Aid from Noel Biderman, but God bless him. Bless him, and then let him have it. To the lovely Amanda Biderman, it was classy of you to call me. I think you are wonderful and hope you are happy, healthy and keeping the faith.
6.18.13 at 8:55 am | This is going to be a fun night and I hope you. . .
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6.18.13 at 8:55 am | This is going to be a fun night and I hope you. . . (347)
6.17.13 at 7:49 am | He writes the songs that make the whole world. . . (245)
March 30, 2011 | 9:12 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I like watching Dancing With The Stars and in the past, in fact in every past season, I watched as much for the train wrecks as for the dancing. This season however, there is not a train wreck to be found. It’s a solid group of people and some of them are really very good.
There are people that I don’t know much about, and some that will clearly go early because we don’t know them and therefore don’t care, but there are a few that are really good dancers, very entertaining, and making this what may be the best season yet.
Kirstie Alley: I love her. She is 60, has a real body, and is a very good dancer. She is funny and charming and I am pulling for her. She has great chemistry with her partner Max and she is trying. I think by the end of the season, she will be in the finals, much improved, and much smaller.
Mike Catherwood: He was the first to be voted off, going home last night. He is a radio guy and never had a shot. This early in the game people vote for who they know and with his judge’s scores so low, we knew he was going home before they told us. He was funny as he left.
Chris Jericho: The wrestler has a few moves and I think he’ll surprise us. He’s a good dancer and is enthusiastic to be there. I like him and hope he stays around for a while, then when he gets the boot, I want him to body slam Bruno, then storm off the set in a big huff. Awesome.
Chelsea Kane: She is young, cute, a good dance, the token Disney “kid”, and I have no idea who she is, what show she is on, or why she was selected to be on the show. Her dancing will keep her on for a few weeks but her D List status will eventually be the reason she goes home.
Sugar Ray Leonard: He’s sweet and really wants to do well. He’s trying and not bad, but he’s not going to be in the finals. He is a legend to be sure, and it will be crushing to his ego when he gets the boot. He may stick around for a bit, but he’s leaving sooner rather than later.
Ralph Macchio: Oh. My. God. I love him. He is a memory of my youth and I adore him. He looks exactly like he did when he was a teenager. He’s a great dancer, has an adorable family, and is simply fabulous. He’s going to the end and I can’t wait to watch him each week.
Petra Nemcova: She is sweet, and seems so nice, but she needs to go. I think the radio guy was better than her last night and while I think she is lovely, I’m over her and don’t think she will stick around for much longer. She is a bit boring as a dancer, and in her taped packages, so bye-bye.
Romeo: I know this kid because my son watched his movies and listened to his music. I enjoyed watching the train wreck that his dad Master P provided, more than him. He’ll get better, and will stick around for a bit, but he’s not going to the finals and can go now really.
Hines Ward: The football player has got potential. I really like him and think he is doing great. He’s the only one that is not whining, or pulling a sympathy card, I like him, think he has a killer backside, and predict he’s in it to win it, and will be around for a long time.
Kendra Wilkinson: The Playboy bunny and reality TV star is whining too much. She whines about everything and I’m sick of her “I want to be a lady” routine and it’s only been a couple of weeks. She is popular and will stay at least until we see her in a skimpy outfit.
Wendy Williams: I like Wendy but she is her own worst enemy. She was not herself in week one, burping week two, cried, whined, and too sensitive. I hope she can pull it together and get on track because she is fabulous and I want her to stay. Come on Wendy. How you doin?
They introduced an in-house dance troupe. They danced great, but I think it’s weird when brothers and sisters do dancing like this and try to look sexy together. The chick with long blond hair needs a haircut because she kept flinging her split ends into her partner’s face.
They are also doing something new with the mics this year. When they recap the dances we get hear what they say to each other before they start, and immediately following the dance. It’s fantastic and a wonderful addition. It really is fun to hear what is going on in those moments.
Brooke Burke looks great with her new bangs, and her boobs were even so maybe she has a new wardrobe consultant, which is a great thing. Last year every dress she wore made her look lopsided so I’m happy to see the problem has been addressed, at least for now.
I have said it for years and will say it again, Tom Bergeron is the most talented of all the live competition show hosts and should get an Emmy. Jeff Probst wishes he were Tom. It’s going to be a great season and for the first time in a long time, we can watch for the dancing alone.
With no Bristol Palin or Kate Gosselin to focus attention on the train wrecks, we can sit back, watch Ralph and Kirstie get better each week and get back to the dancing. It might be a little boring, but it won’t be painful. To all the stars and dancers, break a leg and keep the faith.
March 29, 2011 | 10:37 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Bethenny starts off this week with a girl’s night out in anticipation of her 40th birthday. She has her “friends” over and you can’t help but wonder who these women are. She slams them, saying they look like hookers, and strippers. They are now watching back asking why the hell they even went.
Bethenny says that if she were to die now there would be no regrets. It’s sad. She would not see her daughter grow up, or get married and have her own kids, but no regrets. Good for her. They are drunk, dancing and making fools of themselves while Bethenny does a mean spirited recap about all of them.
Bethenny gets the offer to do Skating With the Stars. Well we all know how that turned out. She is foaming at the mouth at the thought of doing it. She panics for a second wondering how she will do it, but you know that regardless of what Jason thinks about it, she is going to skate.
Jason of course thinks it’s silly. He asks her why she does not hold out for Dancing With the Stars and she shoots down that stupid show. She does not want to do the 12th edition of anything, but rather the 1st edition of this. Nobody wants her to do it, but surprise, she is doing it.
She goes out for lunch with Shawn the party planner to discuss her birthday party. She keeps talking about how everyone is harping on her to have a party, yet we have not heard anyone mention it but her. Yet another story Bethenny has written in her head and adopted as real.
Sidebar: Bethenny says that turning 40 is not a hard thing to do and can be achieved by sitting in the corner. As my friend Matt fights cancer, and may not experience his 40’s, I want to tell her that it is hard actually. Count your blessing you selfish, self-centered, ridiculous woman.
Bryn is a really adorable baby and I wonder what her life will be like when everything will revolve around her mother. The way Bethenny describes her own mother, the one she does not talk to, is very similar to Bethenny’s own behavior. Interesting how karma works.
Bethenny goes to a GLAAD event with her friend Jake and attempts to set him up. She throws out lame gay jokes, and in a matter if minutes, makes me want to poke my eyes out. She is back to party planning, the one she does not want, and is so full of crap that watching is painful.
She is talking about how at this stage of her life she wants something classy, yet she is saying sexually inappropriate things, to complete strangers, and acting like a child. She contradicts herself non-stop and if it was not so gross, it would be funny but the thing is, she’s not funny.
At lunch with Jake and Lauren, Bethenny says she‘s not really one to plan her own party. Is she high? Bethenny is all about planning things for herself, by herself. She forgets that we are watching her and remember what she has said. She is out of control and the party is happening.
Bethenny and Jason are out walking and Bethenny is again a broken record. She simply does not understand that she is married, has a family, and the world does not revolve around her. It’s her party, with her friends, and when Jason calls her on her crap, she acts like a spoiled child
In therapy she is bagging on her dead father again. She shares a birthday with her mother and she is comparing her childhood with that of Bryn. She wants a big party for Bryn but she does not want a party for herself because birthdays are a hard memory. She is crying again.
She talks about how horrible her parents were and this time she really talks about them on a different level. Then she drops a bomb. She says that she knows it sounds like she is making it up. Bingo. She also says that her childhood was not all bad and there were good times.
Perhaps Bethenny is realizing not everyone is buying what she is selling and decided to come clean. I doubt it. She is a master manipulator of the truth so maybe this is her way to ensure another season. She can delve into the therapy more, which is worth another season.
Sidebar: If there is a therapist reading, can you tell me if it is unethical for a therapist to allow filming during a session? It seems odd to me. I really like her therapist, and I love therapy in general, but it seems to me that shooting it is pushing the boundaries of what is safe for the client.
Bethenny is at the skate shop, making fun of her staff, her friends, and strangers. If people are not talking about her, she has nothing nice to say. In the end she is cute to a little boy in the skating store. It’s sweet until she tells someone to get his number like they are beneath her.
Bethenny is being really horrible to her professional skating partner. She is making fun of him, saying he could have been an Olympian if he had not fallen during a critical skate, and it’s mean. She fell, and decides to trash him and his skating to make herself feel better. Not nice.
Bethenny is out for dinner with Jason, Jake and his date. A first date for Jake and it’s on TV. Not cute. They are crude and brash and it’s a shame because she is unable to control herself. By unable of course I mean unwilling. She knows exactly what she is doing and does it on purpose.
Next week will be the big 40th birthday party and in the trailer we see it’s going to be train wreck, but we knew it would. I find her annoying and at the same time I feel sorry for Bethenny. I’m hanging on until the episode when her mother is invited into therapy. That will be perfection.
Even more fun than writing about this show are the comments from her fans. They hate that I watch and write about it, yet they read my blog and keep coming back. She has a show and I watch. Maybe it will be easier for all of you to understand if you just relax, and keep the faith.
March 27, 2011 | 10:32 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I recently got an email from a young man in New York City named Jonathan. He is in his twenties, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Jonathan, along with his friend Ari, gradated in 2007 from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. They met in the dining hall at school when they both went to grab a kosher meal.
They currently live on the Upper West Side of New York City and have started a new company called Luv@FirstTweet. Before I tell you about their site, let me just say that while Ari has a fabulous girlfriend and is in a wonderful relationship, Jonathan is single and looking! This is a really great kid and if you are interested let me know and I’ll make the introduction.
Sidebar: When did a man in his late 20’s become a “kid” to me? I will be 45 in a week and a half and the fact is he could be my kid. I got old, and am not really clear on how that happened. I like this kid. There are very few role models for my son, but I have found one in Jonathan. This is a polite, lovely, charming and focused young man.
If given an opportunity to have my son hang out for an afternoon with the “men” of Jersey Shore or Jonathan and Ari, I’m sending him out for kosher pizza with the boys of Luv@FirstTweet. I think their idea is cute and while it’s not really for my age group, I’ve signed up to support these kids, and also because it’s a fun thing.
I’m not much of tweeter, although I’m learning about it, and will get into it more. Other than my blog getting tweeted everyday, I don’t really use it, but it’s fun and meeting people for dating over twitter is brilliant. I am now registered on their site so if you’re there too, and you should be, say hello to me @KeepFaithBlog.
Here is how it works: is a free online dating service for Twitter accounts that is fun, quick, and easy to use. Someone begins by registering on Twitter, then LAFT tweets out one question every single day, and it ranges from something like what’s your favorite movie or local restaurant, to things like what a unique skill you possess is or values that are important to you.
Individuals Tweet in responses (or direct message if you’d like to keep it private) and then they automatically collect them and build profiles on all of their users. Once you answer several questions, they notify you of matches. These matches take into account your desired age range and location of your match, and for each match you’re shown several things you have in common as well as a photo of your match.
This enables a more meaningful introduction than other dating websites where most people have generic profiles and it is often difficult to start a conversation off a mutual interest. With Luv@FirstTweet you can potentially have seen the same concert or been to a similar museum exhibit, things that lend themselves to further conversation, and are perfect ways to break the ice with someone.
Their goal is to revolutionize online dating and change the current paradigm where people spend more time in front of their computers creating and browsing profiles as opposed to actually living their lives and going on dates. By being fun, simple, and quick, Luv@FirstTweet changes the game. There’s no browsing profiles and sending a million messages. Just send a tweet a day while in line for a coffee, waiting for a cab, or bored at work.
They do the rest, and match you with people you’re likely to find interesting, and they give you a way to introduce yourself. It’s that simple. If I were in my 20’s or 30”s I’d much rather do this, for free, than give my hard earned money to the JDate hell train. Even if you are older, support these great kids by joining, and be sure to say hello to me.
I wish Jonathan and Ari success in their new venture. I hope this blog gets them a few more users, and perhaps a date for Jonathan! He does not use the service as it’s a conflict of interest so I’m taking it upon myself to help him out. If I were not so old I’d be asking him out dinner, right now, on Twitter! I wish Jonathan, Ari and Luv@FirstTweet success, hope they stay humble, and always remember to keep the faith.
March 25, 2011 | 9:45 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Thursday night was the season finale of Jersey Shore. You would think the last show would be a blast, but in the end it was a little disappointing because we spent an hour watching Ronnie and Sammi break up, again, for good, again. I love this show but come on. MTV owed loyal fans a brilliant farewell not more fighting from the Dysfunctionals.
We start the night with Mike causing trouble and Sammi drowning in her lies. Mike is talking to Ronnie while Sammi talks to the guy she made out with. If you can get past how pathetic it is, it’s all rather entertaining. At what point will Ronnie realize he is dealing with a girl who is unstable? I’ve decided more blame can be placed on Sammi.
It is a horrible relationship and watching it has become boring. How many times can they break up and get back together? The crying, yelling, lying, rollercoaster is tired and stupid. If they got a dollar for every time they gave each other one more chance they could end world hunger. When will they call it a day? Enough already.
They are done working for the summer and Danny, the guy who owns the Shore Store and their house, is throwing a BBQ. They have all invited friends and family to the party. It’s a wild night of drinking and dancing and one thing becomes clear: Snooki may be the funniest girl on the planet. The things this chick says are brilliant.
At the party Vinny is hitting on Deena’s friend, Deena gets pissed off, everyone is drunk, and I’m spending more time trying to figure out what words they are bleeping out over paying attention to what is actually going on. Sammi pulls Ronnie aside and asks if they are together or not. Dear Lord, this chick is insane.
Ronnie tells her to get lost, Vinny tells Deena she is just like Angelina, she gets annoyed, and the fighting continues. It’s a show about fighting with Snooki thrown in for our entertainment. Mike tells Sammi he is sorry for being rude to her. He does not mean it, but I love that he does it and is a grown up. By grown up of course I mean this guy is too old for this show.
Of course he was the one who started it all so the apology is hilarious, but still, good on you Mike. They go out to dinner for the last night at the shore and Snooki says it’s time to let loose and sin. Do something fun like have sex with an old man, steal a plant, and get arrested. She needs her own talk show.
Roger asks Jenni to be his girlfriend and she says yes. Jenni has been through the ringer with Tommy so it’s nice to see her happy and in love. She seems like a nice girl and has mellowed the most since the first season, in a totally good way. This is a great girl and I am happy for her. Roger is a good egg and they are cute together.
Sidebar: Have you sever seen as anything as ridiculous as how these people dance? Watching Ronnie dance is fascinating but I don’t get it. I wonder if he is hurting himself. Can he do those moves when he is not hammered? The fist pumping was funny but this is more of a convulsion than a dance.
Snooki brings home a guy to have sex with and is being rude and obnoxious, but it’s funny and cute. She calls him Princess Diana, which cracked me up. I want to have dinner with Snooki. I could listen to her speaking about her view on things forever. I would need a translator who speaks Jersey, but it would be a great night.
Back at the house after the club, Ronnie and Sammi are at it again. She is asking why he hates her, he asks her how she could play him, she is telling him he hates her, he is telling her she is useless, and once again they are breaking up. I’m over it, one of them needs to go and I’m voting for Sammi.
Ronnie is crying, saying he’s done and Sammi is saying he can never look at her again. Vinny is hammered and Deena takes care of him and at the end of the day you se they are all decent kids who are having fun. If you take it as entertainment, not a lesson on how young people should behave, it’s brilliant.
Cut to morning and Sammi is telling Ronnie she is sorry, she loves him, he is her best friend, and she wants them to be together. If I were Sammi’s mother I would drag her ass home and lock her in her room. By lock her in her room of course I mean put her in therapy. Ronnie’s heart is broken and he’s done.
Sammi is still asking him if they are together. Is she learning impaired? He tells her he is done and she is still asking it it’s over. She is embarrassing herself and needs to get some help. The thought of this show continuing with both if them is gross and one of them needs to go. Sammi.
They are packing up and heading out. Summer is over but the goodbyes are lame because they know they are going to see each other again and won’t need to wait until next summer. It’s not goodbye as much as see you later. Arrivederci! See you in Italy, safe travels and keep the faith.
March 23, 2011 | 8:16 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
“I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being — to prove that we are a human race, to prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame.”
“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest with great passion, humor and love. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”
Quotes by Dame Elizabeth Taylor
“I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened and I’m not afraid to look behind them.”
“I am a very committed wife. And I should be committed too - for being married so many times. “
“I don’t think President Bush is doing anything at all about Aids. In fact, I’m not sure he even knows how to spell Aids.”
“I suppose when they reach a certain age some men are afraid to grow up. It seems the older the men get, the younger their new wives get. “
“I’m a survivor - a living example of what people can go through and survive.”
“I’ve been through it all, baby, I’m mother courage.”
“I’ve only slept with men I’ve been married to. How many women can make that claim?”
“It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.”
“It’s not the having, it’s the getting.”
“So much to do, so little done, such things to be.”
“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”
March 22, 2011 | 3:39 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Bethenny Ever After was on last night and once again I watched. I cannot stop watching. Every week I think she will never back to her old fabulous self and every week she becomes more repulsive and offensive. She is in love with her own voice, is convinced she is funny, and it’s addictive.
We start this week listening to Bethenny belittle and make fun of her baby nurse. The woman who she claims to love so much, is called a wolf, made fun of for what she keeps in the fridge, and is then made to feel bad for spending time in the bathroom. I think Bethenny is a pig. Seriously.
She truly thinks that she is funny. Not so much. She has no idea what is appropriate and what it just horrible. Do we really need to know how long it takes Gina to use the bathroom? Does this conversation, mixed in with what’s in the fridge, really need to be a part of this show?
She has a baby-proofing expert come tell her how to prepare her house for a mobile baby. Her stupidity is hilarious. She can’t figure out what is safe and what is not for her baby? I think she is an idiot and by idiot of course I mean a fame whore who is desperate to fill a weekly hour of TV.
Sidebar: Why is it that Bethenny cannot mention a margarita without having it be a Skinny Girl margarita? We get it. You like a drink that was created years before you found it, you put your name on it, and now take credit for inventing it. Got it. It’s still just a margarita though. Thanks.
Bethenny decides to clear out her lingerie. She goes on and on about how she is not a hoarder, does not like clutter, is looking to simplify her life, and she is doing that by throwing away a bra and panties? Again, a pathetic attempt to film a show that is truly become a show about nothing.
Bethenny and Jason take Bryn to baby nurse Gina’s church. She is going to get a blessing of some kind. A little unusual, but sweet. The church goers are all dressed up lovely, and are so excited to share their church with Bethenny, and she is cracking lingerie jokes to the camera.
It turns out that the “blessing” is really a baptism and all hell is about to let loose. It’s all quite sad really. Jason is uncomfortable, Bethenny is scared, and she takes Byrn from the clergyman, and leaves. Jason and Bethenny talking about it after was very touching and upsetting.
They love this little girl and it’s a wonderful thing. Jason feels he let them down by not understanding what was happening. It’s was fascinating to hear that Bethenny is the first women to have a maternal instinct. Bless her. She invented maternal instincts AND the margarita!
All the stress of the almost baptism with Gina, inspires Bethenny to tell Jason that they can have a real baptism for Bryn in the Catholic church with his family. Jason is appreciative that she is willing to do it and so the planning begins. It will be small and special, and everyone is excited.
They decide they need to talk to Gina about what happened, embarrassing her on camera. Keeping it private and having the conversation off camera would have been silly. Wasn’t it Bethenny who dumped Jill because she felt Jill couldn’t do anything off camera? Right. Good call.
Bethenny is in therapy bashing her mother and I’m just not buying it. She was wild and I don’t believe her view of her childhood. There are lies being created by Bethenny that she has been telling for so long, she now believes. I feel sorry for her mother, but karma’s a bitch.
We are now in the church where the christening will take place. The priest is adorable, and may be 200 years old. She tells the priest her father was Jewish and her mother converted to Judaism, but she is nothing. Really? It’s called being Jewish. That’s how Judaism works.
Bethenny asks Julie, the assistant, to be Godmother to Bryn. Julie’s reaction is lovely and it’s wonderful because she loves the baby, but come on. Bethenny has not one friend to ask? She has known this girl a year. She truly has no friends other than the ones she pays for.
Sidebar: It’s Halloween. They drive to the suburbs from NYC in the ridiculous convertible Skinny Girl car, with the top down, and the baby in the backseat, and you know it’s cold. Bethenny is wearing hooker boots to schlep around the neighborhood trick or treating. She’s a freak show.
Who drives around a baby in a convertible with the top down in winter? She is a baby. Any warmth I was feeling about her maternal instinct is now gone because she put driving around in her insane car above keeping her baby warm and safe. Bethenny is truly a train wreck.
Bryn is now Catholic. Mazel Tov. Jason and his family are lovely and I think it’s nice they were so happy. I personally think it’s important to raise a child with faith and so blessings to Bryn. Embrace God and live your best life. As for your mother, just say a prayer, and keep the faith.
March 21, 2011 | 9:18 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Sunday was the Los Angeles Marathon. It was also the day that a monsoon hit LA. It did not stop raining all day and we’re not talking about a little bit of rain here. It was a torrential downpour of rain, with vicious wind and serious cold. At one point it actually felt like it was hailing.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to run that far, but add rain and cold to the mix and it’s enough to make the strongest person weak. I arrived at mile 19 at 10:30 in the morning and after about 10 minutes I was done. I seriously did not know how these people had been out there since 8:00.
I went to the marathon to support the runners of team Beit T’Shuvah. BTS is both a residential treatment center and a full-service congregation offering religious services, holiday celebrations and study here in Los Angeles, and a temple that I frequent often. Check them out here: Beit T’Shuvah
They were the only official Jewish charity participating in the marathon. They were set up at mile 19 of the marathon route and let me just say, it was quite an impressive production. They had a tent for sitting, a tent for eating and a full stage with a band. Such a shame about the monsoon.
My friends Heather and Gini ran and I wanted to see them pass our check point so I bundled up and began the wait. I am so glad I did. The marathon was inspiring and the residents of Beit T’Shuvah who were there, were really remarkable and I was impressed with the entire day.
There was a blind man running with his guide, a man running while pushing another in a wheelchair, parents, children, grandparents, novices and professionals, and it was amazing. There were several runners who made me cry as they passed by.
One woman, who was probably in her 60’s, stopped at our location and asked a young man if he could tie her shoelace. He got down on the ground and tied her lace and her look of relief at not having to bend over after 19 miles was amazing. He hugged her and she went on her way.
A group of residents stood in the rain for hours, high-fiving runners, yelling words of encouragement, and running along for a quick pep talk. It was really something to see. They did not huddle in the rain waiting for one of their own. They embraced everyone.
It was a very special day. I stayed for 3 hours and by the time I left was soaked to my bones, but left feeling warm and happy. Heather and Gini completed the marathon and I am incredibly proud of them. It is an incredible accomplishment and I am in awe of them both.
To everyone who completed the marathon, you have my respect and congratulations. To those who started and were unable to finish, be proud of what you accomplished because it’s wonderful. To the staff, volunteers and residents of Beit T’Shuvah, bravo on a job well done.
The city rallied together yesterday and people were kind. To see the kindness of strangers on this level was really magical. I felt connected to every runner and to the city as a whole. Yesterday was a dark day in terms of the weather in Los Angeles, but a very bright day for it’s people.
We woke up today to sun, which is crazy. The rain made it a hard day for the runners but in the end brought the city and her people together in a very special way. 2011 was the year of Monsoon Marathon and I was happy to be there. To everyone, congratulations on keeping the faith.