Posted by Ilana Angel
I wish you a year filled with joy, health, peace and blessings.
May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Happy New Year
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today.
12.3.13 at 3:05 pm | Every time I go into the kitchen I half expect to. . .
11.30.13 at 10:42 am | "The only correct actions are those that demand. . .
11.29.13 at 1:56 pm | My nest will never empty as my son will always be. . .
11.28.13 at 7:59 am | Think. Laugh. Cry.
11.26.13 at 7:06 am | God places love where we don't always see it.
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (350)
7.25.11 at 5:38 pm | We need more Jews! (261)
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today. (197)
September 26, 2011 | 11:33 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Yesterday I wrote that after a two week break, I was back to online dating. I was immediately contacted by men I would never date. They were too young, or too old, or too toothy. I don’t quite understand why I attract the men I do. Many of them are not in my age range, or not Jewish, or writing me with permission from their parole officers.
I got a comment from a reader named Jimmy, who wrote the following:
The amount of weirdos and creeps you attract is bizarre. I guess online dating sites are filled with these mofos, but you’d think that SOME guys in their 40s and 50s would know better, or at least be able to keep their craziness hidden a little longer. I don’t really have any experience with online dating, and I’m a guy (who is not crazy like your dates have been), so it’s even more puzzling to me. Here’s an idea…how about putting your profile, or parts of it, in a blog posts, maybe also with the pictures you post, so we can get a better idea of what you’re putting out there. Maybe you can get some good feedback from your readership.
So, inspired by Jimmy, and knowing people will be brutally honest, which might hurt, but could help, here is what my current online dating profile looks like. The pictures with the article are the 2 pictures I have posted with the profile on JDate. A photographer took one, and one was taken on my laptop with the computer camera.
I am funny, smart, tactile and romantic. A wonderful mother, and successful professional. I appreciate and understand sarcasm, think kissing is an art, and laughter is sexy. I am bold but sensitive, independent but old fashioned. I am Canadian. I am Jewish. I think dancing in the kitchen is romantic and family is important. I am a great cook and can iron slacks and a shirt perfectly. I don’t care what a man does for a living, or what kind of car he drives, as long as he has a job that he cares about, and a way to get there. I hate online dating, but here I am, skeptical but hopeful. I’m a really nice girl. I care about people and respect myself. I have a 15 year old son who is a wonderful human being. I seriously love this kid. I am looking to find a relationship, not date a lot. I’m a great listener, a supportive partner, and an advanced communicator. I think site generated flirts and winks are lame, and while I appreciate the interest, I’m not looking to date someone in another state or country, so if you don’t send an original note, or live outside of Los Angeles, I will know you did not read my profile. Be brave and get in touch. Good luck to everyone with their search.
There you have it, so let me have it. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say. By looking forward, of course I mean I’m a little nervous, but open to your questions, suggestions, criticism, and approval. By criticism, of course I mean approval. I’m kidding. Not really. Yes I am. I’m open to all of it, but mostly the approval. I am particularly interested in what single men have to say. Since married men seem to be one of the groups that dig me, single men would be the preference. For both input and dating.
One day my prince will come, and I am praying that when he does, I don’t miss him because I am out on a date with a tool I met online. With Rosh Hashanah this week, I am hopeful that the New Year will bring a new love. Hopeful, but also slightly jaded. I am being patient, well aware that patience can turn into bitterness, and with bitterness comes another cat. All I can do is think positive, continue dating, stay away from animal shelters, say a prayer, and remember to always focus on keeping the faith.
September 26, 2011 | 10:36 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have not had a date in 2 weeks. One crazy date too many put me over the edge, and I had to walk away from it all. I simply could not handle going out on another nightmare. I knew I hit the wall when a man contacted me online and his email made me sick. Everything he wrote made me sick.
I’m sure he was a harmless guy, but his opening line of, “Hello Beautiful Momma”, to his big finish of, ”I’d like to run my fingers through your long hair”, made me queasy. He could have looked like George Clooney and there was still no way in hell I would have agreed to go out with him.
I date with a purpose, not just to date. I am hoping to meet someone great that I will eventually have a relationship with. It’s not about getting married, or having sex, it’s just about having a partner to enjoy the second half of my life with. I want to love someone. That is why I date.
It’s okay to be lonely, but God help me if I ever get desperate. Desperate is not cute. You know what else is not cute? Lame emails to women that you don’t know saying you want to play with their hair, and calling them Momma when they are not your mom. That is never going to work.
Desperation is unattractive, so I needed to walk away before I read the email again and talked myself into responding. If I had read it after a glass of wine, or while watching a Kleenex commercial, I would have convinced myself he was not a tool, and agreed to meet him.
So, I saved myself. I deleted my accounts on eHarmony and Match. I suspended my membership on JDate, and walked away. I spent two weeks focused on my son and work. I saw friends, went to temple, and did not log onto any dating sites. I was free, and it was great.
I had planned to go a month without any time wasted dating online. I changed my mind however on Sunday morning. I went to a local farmer’s market with my son, and 20 minutes there changed my mind. After two weeks I knew I was ready to get back on the dating hell train.
The market was full of families. Couples with young children running around the petting zoo, and getting their faces painted. As I walked along with my son, he noticed me, noticing the families. He put his arm around my shoulders, hugged me close, and told me he loved me very much.
I told him I loved him too. He then told me I was a great mom, he and I were a great team, and he loved our family. It was very sweet. Perhaps he thought I was watching the families wishing we had an intact family when he grew up. It was lovely, and I suppose true on some level.
Of course I wish he had grown up with two loving parents in one home. The fact however, is if given the chance to do it again, I still would have left my marriage. I have done a great job raising this child, and having a home full of love and laughter was the only option.
As I looked at the families at the farmers market, I was not sad about the life I did not give my son, as his life has been blessed. I was thinking about how great it is to build a family, and that it’s never too late. My son and I have lots of love, and there is room for a man in our life.
It’s interesting to think that my son and I are both dating. How is that it I used to change his diapers, and now we are making a schedule for the car as we might both have a date on the same night? Life is an interesting journey, and I have loved every minute of my life with this child.
I’m ready for more. He will be heading off to college before I know it and I don’t want to be alone. I want him to go to NYU, which is his dream, and he will not go if I’m not in a relationship. He is certain he will go to school here, if it means his leaving will result in my being alone.
I have raised him to be a great man and it’s touching that he won’t leave me, but over my dead body is he going to give up his dreams for me. He will go to NYU, and I will burst with pride. I will be fine, and if it means I need to date a few more tools, I will do it. He is going to NYU.
And so I woke up this morning and reactivated my JDate account. After 15 minutes I was sent an instant message from a 29 year old, marked as a favorite by a 63 year old, and emailed by a guy with the biggest teeth I have ever seen. My online tool shopping is back on track.
Dating is not easy. It takes patience and faith. It also requires a sense of humor and compromise. I hope this go round does not take too long, but even if it does, as long as I stay hopeful and not desperate, all will be well and I will be able to continue keeping the faith.
September 23, 2011 | 9:42 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Right now, while I write this, a child is in his or her room, crying because someone at school called them a faggot, or would not sit next to them on the bus, or they did not make a sports team, because they are gay.
Right now, while I write this, a soldier is serving in Iraq, putting his life on the line for our freedoms, and he cannot marry the one person in the world who fills his heart with peace and joy, because he is gay.
Right now, while I write this, a little girl with no hate or judgment in her mind, heart, or soul, is being taught by her parents that some people are going to hell, and are not loved by God, because they are gay.
Right now, while I write this, I cry for the children who are in pain, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and thinking that taking their own life is the only answer, because they are gay.
Right now, while I write this, God is watching over us, praying we can find a way to be kind to each other, because treating each other with hate, is not what he envisioned for the human race.
Right now, as I write this, I struggle to understand how the world can be so unkind, and wondering if there is any hope left for us to build a decent society. I weep, and question God about the world that we live in. He responds as he always has, and always will, by asking me to keep the faith.
September 21, 2011 | 10:59 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
When I met Sarah Palin in March of last year, I wrote about it, and was immediately admired by some, and shunned by others. Members of the Republican Party praised me for being kind, and some of my liberal friends told me I was talking to the devil and needed to never speak of her again.
There was not of lot of middle ground in my circle of friends, which I continue to find so interesting. Can people who have different political affiliations not be friends? As a liberal minded person, must I hate those who are conservative? Can there ever be harmony in politics?
I have some friends that I simply do not talk politics with, and it’s too bad because I like talking about government. I have a dear friend who refers to my encounter with Palin as a “lapse of judgment”, and “forgives” me for talking to her, but I am never allowed to speak of it with her again.
I find it a little sad, but mostly hilarious. At the end of the day, I love this country, and want a bright future for my child, so my political leaning is toward who is going to provide the most opportunities for my son as he becomes a man, and heads out into the world to find his way.
Rachelle Frieberg is a woman who contacted me after I wrote about Palin. She is an interesting young woman, and the most politically aware person I have ever spoken politics with. When she contacted me about my meeting Palin I though she was Jewish, but it turns out she is a Born Again Christian. I went to school with an African American man named David Levy so shame on me for assuming. Rachelle knows a lot about politics, and while she is a fiscal conservative, she is knowledgeable about both sides. I was a guest on her radio show last year and we have becomes friends since then.
She reads my blogs about Palin, which started off quite flattering, and of late have been full of quite harsh criticism. I know she must think I’m unkind when I write such things, but she never says anything. She congratulates me on articles she likes, and stays away from the Palin ones. I thought I was a pop culture expert, but Rachelle has me beat. She knows her stuff, and curiously was never a political person. Her first election was in the year of the hanging chad, and she voted for the idiot. ( Love ya Rachelle!) She admits her early political leanings came from her parents.
I love her honesty about how she became political. So many people say they decided on their own, but I think we are what parents tell us, until we are old enough to choose on our own. Some people stay with what they know, and some educate themselves before solidly picking a side. Rachelle is a fiscal conservative. She is pro life, but understands there are times when abortion is the only option. She believes in the 2nd Amendment. She would not go to a gay wedding, but would send a gift and celebrate their happiness. She follows her beliefs, without hate.
When the tragedy of 9/11 happened, she decided she wanted to understand government and educate herself. She found that she was Republican for real, not because she was born into it. As her opinions strengthened and she learned more, she landed in the camp of Sarah Palin. Rachelle is not a dumb girl. She is a teacher, and has a Masters Degree. This is a woman who has selected her political party based on politics, not religion, and she is the first supporter of Palin that I have met who has done that. She believes in God, and knows God has nothing to do with Palin.
She thinks it’s unfortunate when people think of Sarah as uneducated and not ready to be President. When I write about Sarah not having a shot in hell, she still reaches out to see how I am, and supports me through the vicious attacks I get from some of Palin’s supporters. Rachelle is my friend, and I admire her convictions, both religiously and politically. In fact, we spent an hour on the phone the other day and at one point I almost suggested we go to a tea party event and that I thought Sarah had possibilities, and there was no Kool-aid being served.
Rachelle is able to discuss politics without judgment, and so it is a pleasure. I learn, understand more, and can appreciate that not everything is set in stone. I want a great future for my son, and the only thing I know for sure, is if Michele Bachmann is elected, we’re going to Canada. There will be a lot of political tension over the next 14 months. Some people will love what I say, and others will hate. It will be entertaining to be sure, and in the end, Rachelle and I may never agree on politics, but we will be friends, even through a presidential election.
Political views are not something worth ending a friendship over, and it’s a shame that I did. The next year will be more interesting because of Rachelle. I used to rely on Tim Russert to explain things to me, not I’ve got Rachelle. I’m a little nervous that I drink so much tea everyday, but all will be fine if I educate myself, and keep the faith.
September 18, 2011 | 6:25 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Did you know that this week even existed? According to CelebrateLove.Com, National Unmarried & Single Americans Week was started in Ohio in 1980. The website states that there are about 82 million single and unmarried people in the United States. Really? They also say that there is no shame in being single. Well, if those numbers are true, no need for shame but disbelief and bitterness is totally appropriate.
Do single people really need their own week? No. What we need is a date that does not make us want to vomit, or cause us to develop narcolepsy. I’m fine being single, and there is no big rush to get married just so I can say I’m not single. I celebrate my kid getting an A in school, I celebrate when a child laughs, and I celebrate when a soldier comes home safely. I do not celebrate that I am single and unmarried. Who are these people?
Let’s break it down: If there are 82 million singles, let’s assume half are men. That gives us 41 million. Let’s assume that half of them are geographically undesirable, leaving us with 20.5. Let’s assume half are really old, giving us 10.25 million, and another half is really young, giving us 5.125 million. I only date Jews so let’s assume that 6% of the remaining men are Jewish, giving me a snowballs chance in hell of not being single.
Being single is great for people who want to be single. For me personally, I want to be in a relationship, so being single kind of sucks. I think the celebration of this week is lame, and the people who thought of celebrating being single, are not nearly as happy as they would like us to think. God Bless them though. I hope they have a wonderful week of fun and festivities as they celebrate the joy of being single and unmarried.
Thanks to my friend Rachelle who let me know via Twitter about this very special week. By thanks of course I mean you owe me a drink for subjecting me to a week I have managed to live without knowledge of forever. To all my single friends, whether by choice or not, have a drink this week to celebrate that you are single. I am going to ignore the week and look forward to my date on Thursday. No pressure, just keeping the faith.
September 16, 2011 | 1:37 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Last night I went to the “Knocking out Addiction” boxing event that was held on the roof of the Peterson Automotive Museum here in LA. It was a fundraising event for Beit T’Shuvah, which is both a residential treatment center for addiction, as well as a temple. I volunteer there, and worship there, and think it is a special place. But that’s not why I went.
I went because I am obsessed with Manny Pacquiao, and my crush on him has developed into a love of boxing. Over my dead body would I ever allow my own son to be a boxer, but can I watch other mother’s babies get smacked in the ring? Yes! I love boxing, and in learning about Manny, have come to appreciate the sport and those who excel at it.
I asked Beit T’Shuvah’s Rabbi Mark Borovitz why the night was important and he said, “It gets the message of hope and help out to the world”. The Rabbi got in the ring last year against Tom Arnold, and when I questioned why he was not fighting again, he told me he was not allowed as it was too stressful for his wife and congregation. This is a cool Rabbi.
They had a killer silent auction of sports memorabilia. By killer of course I mean if you like sports, it was killer. I’m not a huge sports fan, unless it is hockey, and now boxing, but I am a very big fan of men who play and watch sports, and as a single lady, I was in heaven walking through a room of sports guys. It was the perfect mix of charity, babes, and Judaism.
Two cantors from the temple sang Hatikva and the national anthem. It was crazy good. People sang along, and it was a special way to start the night. At an event where anthems are sung, I like to watch the room and see reactions. Watching people tear up at Hatikva is wonderful, and people stand just a little taller for the Star Spangled Banner. It’s quite special.
The event was billed as a fun night of boxing to raise money for this worthy cause, but let me just say, if you are single, you need to be attending this event. It was fresh, exciting, and filled to the rim with really attractive people, of all ages. I fell in love with both a boxer who was 22, and famed attorney Robert Shapiro, who is not 22, but very sexy.
Tickets were $250 a pop, and they served really good food. Sushi bars, individual salad bars in little to go containers, and a sliders burger bar. As a vegetarian, I appreciated that they served veggie burgers in addition to beef and turkey. The food was fresh with vegetarian options for everything offering. Bravo to Contemporary Catering for the veggie shout out.
They also had a bar. One might be surprised that at an event for addiction recovery they have a bar, but not everyone is an addict. I have never had an addiction, other than reality television, and I had a glass of wine. It was nice because it was about celebrating the important work they do, and not about wondering if everyone has the disease of addiction.
In addition to the bar and food, they had a peanut guy, cotton candy, and popcorn to munch on during the fights. I was an event planner in this town for 15 years, and I have been to a lot of parties, and this one was really great. I dug the vibe, the message, and inspirational speeches. They were short but powerful, and the perfect balance of fun and fundraising.
As I walked around saying hello to people I knew, and getting introduced to people I didn’t know, a hush came across the party. I turned around and then I saw them. Six of the tallest, most attractive men I have ever seen walked into the room, and people were stopping to look. Not one of them was less than 6’2”, and they took your breath away.
Being the “journalist” that I am, I went over on “official” Jewish Journal business to say hello and ask, as I twirled my hair and batted my lashes, if they were boxers, and that is when the fun began. These boys were fascinating and talking to them about the sport they love was really, really, interesting. They are kids with a dream, and it’s great.
I truly didn’t think boxers were tall. I figured they were really strong and fit, but average in height. Wrong. These guys were from the All American Heaveyweights gym , also known as “The Rock”, and they were divine. Turns out heavyweight fighters are big. Really big. At 5’3” I looked like a munchkin and my neck still hurts from looking so high up.
Michael Arnwine, Demitrius Still, and Adam Stewcart are in their early 20’s, gorgeous men with plans of being heavyweight champions. They were all recruited from across the country to come to LA and train at All American Heavyweights in Torrance, CA. They live and breathe boxing and it’s exciting. Spending time with them was like a master class in boxing.
Michael explained the difference between an offensive fighter and a defensive one. An offensive guy is going to be aggressive and get in there to hit often, while a defensive fighter is going to be brilliant at blocking shots, and go in for the hit when it counts. It is the belief of these young fighters, that if Manny and Floyd ever get in the ring, Floyd will win.
Clearly they have been hit in the head one too many times if they think my beloved Manny would lose to Floyd. Listening to these kids talk about their sport, and their dreams, is inspiring. They fight to win in the ring, and my friends who are in recovery from addiction, fight to win their battles everyday. The connection between the two fights is compelling.
There were a lot of fights last night and one of them ended in round one with a knock out. It was all very exciting, and even though I have to close my eyes sometimes as the hits are brutal, and plug my ears as the sound of a glove connecting with a man’s face is creepy, this is a great sport. These men are true athletes, and I love the Pacman even more now.
I am quickly becoming a fan of boxing. I was writing notes from my chat with the boys when Nina Haller approached me. Nina is my friend, and also the Major Gifts Director for Beit T’Shuvah. We chatted about the event, the men, and the fact that this was a much needed event for the young LA crowd. Then Nina changed my life in a profound way.
She thanked me for giving the event a shout out in my blog, and said my story about Ryan O’Neal was funny. I of course responded the way I always respond when someone mentions Ryan O’Neil, I professed my love for him. She then took me by the hand, and led me to the Promised Land. We walked to the very back of the event, through a curtain, and there he was.
I was face to face with Ryan O’Neal. He was warming up for his fight against boxer Jimmy Lange, and Nina walked right over and introduced me. She told him I was from the Jewish Journal and he let me know he both liked and read the Journal. He actually has a Jewish grandmother, which I did not know. He shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said hello.
I lost my mind and before I could regain my composure, I was telling him that I loved him and used to dream he would see me, and it would be love at first sight. He then put his arm around me, told me my story was sweet, and I hugged him back. Tightly. Then it happened. He kissed me. Ryan O’Neil kissed me.
Though it’s been years since I fell in love with Oliver Barrett, Ryan is still very attractive. He was charming and funny and I’ve decided to keep the details of our conversation to myself for the moment, so I can treasure them all to myself. That will last about a day, and then I will want to tell the world, but for today he is all mine.
Have you ever loved someone from a far, then met them and been disappointed? Well there was none of that. Ryan was charming, funny, gracious and kind. It’s one more thing off my bucket list and a memory I will always remember. I had a fantasy in my head about Ryan O’Neal, and meeting him as I did was perfect. Except for one thing.
Ryan was fighting against boxer Jimmy Lange. Jimmy is a very sweet guy, and was outside warming up with Ryan. He said hello and let me know how honored he was to be participating. No ego with this guy, just an inherent kindness that you feel instantly. While he has not struggled with addiction, he knows people who have, and was happy to be there in support of recovery.
I really liked Jimmy, until I passed him my phone and asked him to take a picture of me and my new boyfriend Ryan. I have an iPhone, which requires one tap of a camera icon, but Jimmy messed up my photo op. There is no picture of Ryan and me. As I stood there, tearing up at the joy of the moment, I looked at my photo album, but alas, there was no picture.
I have the picture I took of Jimmy and Ryan, which is nice for Jimmy, but who cares? Did Jimmy dream of dancing with Ryan when he was a young boy? I don’t think so. One picture Jimmy! That’s all I asked. Oh well. With the match now over, I imagine Ryan will hunt me down as if I were Cinderella. If Jimmy Lange were not so fabulous, I’d be pissed right now.
Last night I learned that in a crowded room you cannot tell who is an addict, but you can tell who is a boxer. I learned that beyond a sport, boxing is an art form. I learned that people matter, and addiction is to be treated, not judged. I learned that dreams come true, even if they are silly. Shabbat shalom, have a great weekend, and keep the faith.
September 15, 2011 | 7:50 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Yesterday was busy. I worked all day, picked up my son from school, and with Big Brother and America’s Got Talent having their season finales, and Survivor premiering, I had a long night of blogging for my reality blog Keeping it Real. I decided we would go out for dinner so I could start work as soon as I got home.
My son chose to go for sushi and so we headed to Katsu-Ya. If you eat sushi in Los Angeles and have not been, you must go. It is delicious beyond description. I love it there and was looking forward to a relaxing dinner with my favorite guy, and a chance to catch up before my busy evening.
It was packed, as it always is, and we were lucky to get the last two seats at the sushi bar. I was so tired I almost cried when we sat down because the thought of driving to another location was too much. We settled in, ordered a couple of rolls, and before I could take my first mouth watering bite, the phones started ringing.
We were sitting next to two very attractive Israeli men who were talking very loudly, in Hebrew, and their phones rang every two minutes for the entire time we were at dinner. It was rude, obnoxious, annoying and offensive. They talked nonstop, and would keep talking to each other even if one was on the phone talking to someone else.
My “relaxing” dinner with my son was anything but. The entire sushi bar was littered with cell phones, mine included, but I didn’t answer my calls and the ringer was turned off. I have a cell phone addiction to be sure, but there are some places where it’s just not cool, and sitting close enough to me that our thighs are touching, is one of those places.
The most offensive thing was that the ringers were on high so every time the phones rang, it was like an alarm going off. Well one guy was an alarm sound, the other guy was Hava Nagila. Trust me when I tell you it was LOUD. Bad enough I need to hear them talking in my ear, but each incoming call made me want to stick a chopstick in their eyes.
I’ve seen this bad phone etiquette before and it seems to me that it’s always with Israelis. Men and woman both are guilty of this offence. I speak Hebrew and grew up with an Israeli mother so I am familiar with the accent. Even if I weren’t, the screaming of “Allo, Alo, Allo” would give them away. Why must they answer each call with 3 hellos?
If you need to work while you are at dinner, I get it. I don’t get however, why you would not turn off your ringer, put it on vibrate, and use your regular voice while speaking. There is no need to have your ringer on high and scream into the phone as if you are talking to someone who is apparently calling from a cave and cannot hear you.
The entertaining part of these two obnoxious and annoying gentlemen is that they were big and buff guys, who ended every phone call with “Bye-Bye”. Not bye, or see ya, or later, but rather Bye Bye. Every time they said it my kid started laughing. It was funny to see these two giants end calls like a little girl parting ways with her Grandma.
I don’t want to stereotype Israelis as having bad phone etiquette, but in my experience, they do. Turn off your ringers. Take a call outside. Tell the caller you’ll call them back after dinner. Keep the volume of your voice and your ringtone down. It is annoying to people near you, and you look like a schmuck. Especially during dinner at a sushi bar.
Rather than fully enjoying dinner with my son, I spent my time fantasizing about throwing their phones into a vat of spicy tuna. It took all my strength not to hit these men, or impale them with a chopstick. My son and I spent an hour talking about proper phone use, volume control, and creating a list of 100 ways to hurt someone with a chopstick.
I love my kid and in the end we enjoyed our time together. The sushi was delicious and I heard all about his school day. Between the Israelis, and the sushi chef being a small Hispanic woman, it was an odd dinner. The upside is that I got to hear my kid laugh a lot, and discovered 36 new ways to impale someone with a chopstick.
It’s not like me to not say anything, but ever since my sister honked at a man and was terrorized, I’ve been quiet rather than confrontational. I don’t know how long this new subdued approach with last, but when it ends, I better not have a chopstick in my purse. If I see those men again I won’t be quiet, so I hope they are keeping the faith.