Posted by Ilana Angel
It has been a blessed year.
I am grateful to all of my readers for sharing my journey of keeping the faith.
I wish you all a healthy and happy 2012.
From my family to yours,
Happy New Year!
12.12.13 at 8:05 am | Well played my son. Well played.
12.11.13 at 6:58 am | I watch in awe and stare with envy at these. . .
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. . .
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (488)
12.12.13 at 8:05 am | Well played my son. Well played. (392)
12.11.13 at 6:58 am | I watch in awe and stare with envy at these. . . (321)
December 30, 2011 | 5:33 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
This morning I met a friend for breakfast. When I arrived and could not see her sitting at an outside table, I went in to see if I could find her. As I stood in the entrance and looked around the dining room, I saw him. Sitting at a table, looking better than any man has a right to, sat Mr. Big.
He looked at me and when our eyes met it caught my breath and I thought I might faint. It was a surreal moment. In what was probably two seconds, I imagined myself walking over to him. He stands up, leans over to kiss me on the cheek, then hugs me and whispers, “hey kid” into my ear.
I snapped out of my fantasy and sat down at a table right behind him. I tweeted my celebrity sighting and posted it on Facebook. Within a minute the calls started to come with frantic cries of “Where are you?” I was about to spill the beans to my Facebook pals when my girlfriend arrived.
She sat down and immediately pointed out that Mr. Big was next to me. I explained to her that was the cause of my drooling. Important to note that living in LA, and having worked in the entertainment industry for many years, I see celebs all the time, and I leave them alone to wonder freely among us.
It could be I was simply excited to see Chris Noth. I love him as Detective Mike Logan on Law & Order, and also as Peter Florrick on the Good Wife. I even remember him from a million years ago on my mother’s favorite soap opera, Another World. Chris Noth is a terrific actor.
There is something about Mr. Big though, that is special. The character is iconic to my generation of single women and it was kind of a big deal. I lost my mind for a second and decided I would say hello. I’m not proud of my celebrity stalking moment, but whatever, it needed to be done.
I went over, leaned in, and quietly said I was sorry to disturb him, but would regret it if he left without my telling him that I thought he was fabulous. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “That’s so sweet. Thank you.” He then smiled, at which point I blanked out for a second.
When I snapped out of it, his hand was on mine and he was telling me he appreciated my saying hello. I wished him a Happy New Year, gave my best smile, and floated back to my chair. I don’t remember what was said when my head went fuzzy, but I’m quite certain he said he loved me.
He truly is divine looking. Tall, with broad shoulders, and a sparkle in his eye. He has an old time movie star quality that is simply fantastic. I ordered breakfast, settle in to visit with my girlfriend, and felt I now had a kinship with Carrie Bradshaw. I felt the power and pull of Mr. Big.
I was very satisfied with our short but magical encounter, but then it got a little bit better. Big paid his bill and started to walk out of the restaurant. He then stopped, turned around, looked at me, waved and called out “take care”. I waved back and called out, “Take care Sweetie”.
It was as if we were friends. Those who looked at me with disgust earlier for interrupting his breakfast, were now looking at me with jealousy. If you were there, the impression given was that we were pals and he didn’t want to leave without saying bye to me.
Approaching a celebrity is always a hit and miss proposition. If they are kind, it’s a hit. If they are rude, it’s a miss. This could have gone horribly wrong. I associate Chris Noth so closely with Mr. Big that I actually forgot Big was a character and felt it was a real person.
Chris Noth is lovely. He was kind, sweet and charming. More than a celebrity, he is a star who valued a fan and was generous with his time and spirit. At the end of the day he’s an actor, but for a few minutes he was Mr. Big. He gave me a fantasy and inspired me to keep the faith.
December 29, 2011 | 3:17 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I got divorced before my son turned one, and he has had a stepmother from the time he was about four. My ex-husband dated a few women before he got remarried, and I was always nervous about them. My son was so young that I worried these women would not love him, or take care of him.
Nobody was going to be me, or love him like I do, but I wanted very much for the new woman in his life to care about him and protect him as a parent would. The common misconception about moms is that we hate the stepmothers of our children. It’s simply not true. We want to love them.
I have a long history with my son’s stepmother. By long history of course I mean I have a million stories about what this woman did wrong in terms of her treatment of me. That said, I was not perfect either. I could argue that my actions were in response to her bad behavior, but I was still unkind.
Too much time has passed to place blame, but if we trace back my personal experiences, it all started with my ex-husband. At the end of the day it was our son, and the decisions about how I would fit into their new life were his. His choices early on were what defined the relationship we all have now. My ex-husband never told me he was getting married. He picked up our very young child for the weekend, and got married. When my child came home he did not understand what happened. I was not given an opportunity to support him though a tough transition for a kid.
When my ex-husband’s grandfather died, they never told me, just took my son to his funeral. It was the first time he had to face the death of a loved one, and I wasn’t there. When my son came home he was distraught. He did not understand why his Papa had to die, and if he could die, then could I? He was scared to leave me for months as he thought I would die while he was gone. For my child to experience these things without me was crushing for him and me both. We are very close and he felt abandoned by me. He understands now, but didn’t when it really mattered.
This young woman married a man with an ex-wife and a young child which is hard, but she was so desperate to be seen as the “mother”, that she destroyed any chance of my ever supporting her in that role. She put herself before my child, which is natural when you’re not a mom. It was a shame because I never understood what she was worried about. We had been divorced for years, I left him, and there was no need to be hurtful. My son was aware of the strain and that is the real tragedy. I tried to help her along the way, but there is no reasoning with jealousy.
I don’t think of this woman as a stepmother as much as I think of her as the wife of my son’s dad. I’m not a stepmother so my opinion is one sided, but as a mother I think it’s easier to imagine life on her side. She was not a mother so how could she understand mine? In the 15 years I have been divorced, my ex-husband has never told me I am a good mother, or acknowledged me as the mother of his child. He does however consider his wife to be a mother to our son and likes to tell me so. It’s interesting. By interesting of course I mean sad.
I happen to think children of divorce are quite sophisticated. They go though a lot and it’s hard. Divorce can polarize a family and kids feel forced to pick a side. My son was young when we divorced so there was no sense of loss. He grew up with two homes from the start. There is loss of course because his family is broken, but it’s different to experience divorce as a baby than it is as a child or young adult. At the end of the day I am his mother, and nobody fights for my title more than my child does. It’s sad that he does, and sadder still that he feels he has to.
I have a friend who got divorced years ago, and has two boys. She and her ex-husband are very close and co-parent their kids in an unbelievable way. As hard as it is to understand their relationship, it is proof it starts with respect from the dad. Her husband has gratitude for her giving him two sons. His respect for that gift is what propels him to be decent and kind to her, and her to him. My child is almost off to college so maybe it’s too late for me, but certainly for others there is time to make things good.
I have heard the term “bonus mom” and think it’s ridiculous. It was said by an insecure woman with no children, who is pretending to raise the children of her new husband. You can love those kids till the cows come home, but they have a mother. Of course there are no rules here. Many stepmothers are better parents than the biological mother, and I have seen that scenario play out with my friends also. All I’m saying is that when there is a mother, and she is a good one, the new wife needs to back off and know her place.
There needs to be some compassion from the new wife towards the old wife. It’s not a competition and respect must be earned. It’s hard in the beginning and I certainly was defensive and ready to rumble, but it was my child and she was a stranger so of course I was tough on her. I have tried over the years to be her friend but it’s never worked out. I’m sure she would say she tried and that’s her truth. If she could go back and do it differently maybe she would, but I’m not sure I could. I love my kid and whatever happened is done now.
There is no such thing as a bonus mom in my opinion. I also don’t think you need to give birth to a child to be a mother or love like one. I don’t doubt that my son’s stepmother loves him and that was never in question. I am blessed she loves him, but no matter how much, she is not his mom. It’s a classic battle. We want to love the women who are brought into the lives of our children, but we want them to love us first. Silly really, but there is no reasoning with a mother when she feels she has to defend her child or herself. How can she love my child and not love me too?
That sounds ridiculous, but if I am the primary parent of my child, and he is a remarkable human being, then don’t I have something to do with it? If you love his father and think he’s a great parent, then do you think he is the only reason the child is fantastic? Respect who and what we are. None of this applies in the same way when a husband leaves for another woman. That’s not been my experience but I imagine that makes it all just a little bit worse. By little bit of course I mean in a huge and profound way. Watching your life pass on to someone else must be shocking.
Women from both sides of this fence have stories, and we all feel we are being attacked and disrespected. I believe that so much pain could be avoided if the men involved would buck up and do the right thing. They can control the situation and more often than not just let it all go to hell. No two stories, regardless of the similarities, are exactly the same. We all feel how we do and buttons are pushed by different things. No matter what I think about my son’s stepmother, I will forever be grateful to her for loving him. She does the best she can and it is appreciated.
In the end you don’t have to respect a woman in order to love her child. I’m sure there are cases where even tolerating the mother is impossible, but new wives must try. I can assure you that it will make your life easier. More importantly, it gives the children a shot at having peace. If I had to chose between her liking me or loving my kid, then our lives are as they should be. Moms must cut new wives some slack, and new wives need to back up and approach with caution. The kids come first, mothers rule, and it’s all a little easier if you keep the faith.
December 26, 2011 | 2:00 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had a fabulous Christmas, which was also the 6th night of Hanukkah. It feels festive and inclusionary when they overlap, and you almost forget about all the crap in the world, because so many people are united in faith this time of year. Regardless of what the faith is, there is something about so many worldwide prayers and wishes that feels good.
My son is with his dad for a few days so I am solo for the second half of Hanukkah. On Christmas Eve I went to The Commerce Casino here in LA. It’s a new tradition for me, and so for the third straight year, I went with my girlfriends P & M to play poker. It is an interesting experience. Fun and exciting, yet scary and rather disgusting.
I met the girls there at 6:30. I was wearing jeans and a sweater, which made me much more dressed up than most of the other patrons. It’s a little seedy, and has a bit of a desperate feel to it, but it’s super fun and has become tradition. I drove separately and arrived last. I walked into the casino and started to look for my girls. They were not hard to find.
In a sea of jeans, coats, scarves, and a lot of missing teeth, were two hotties in short black dresses with killer heals, perfect make up and gorgeous hair. P & M looked like they were meant to be in Vegas, not a card casino that specializes in spreading pink eye. They looked absolutely fabulous, and completely out of place. There were like lighthouses in the fog.
Men came around like moths to a flame and it was very entertaining. These two girls are hardcore poker players, and really good. I have no idea what I’m doing, and can never remember any of the lingo, but it is so much fun. We stayed until about 2:00 am, which is insane. I got home around 2:30 and could not sleep so I just puttered around.
I finally fell asleep at around 4:30 and was up at 8:30 to meet the girls for Christmas breakfast. Like many in the tribe, we went to a deli for Christmas breakfast. My 30 minutes drive took about 15 minutes because the only people on the road were me and a bunch Jews heading out to eat. Christmas morning is the best time to drive in LA.
Breakfast was fabulous. It was P & M, along with a bunch of their friends. People they have known for years, and that I was meeting for the first time. A really great group of people. There was the gorgeous gay man, the tall and attractive LA couple, the newly engaged and adorable couple, the single, super sweet girl, M & P, me, and a charming girl and her brother.
The gay man is divine looking and super charming. I am setting him up with a friend of mine. The LA couple have what may be the fattest cat on the planet. The engaged man did a killer job with the engagement ring for his fiancé, and the brother, of the brother and sister team, is my new favorite person. Got to love a man who thinks LeAnn Rimes is a skanky whore.
M gave everyone a scratcher lottery ticket which turned out to be hilarious. For the record, those Bingo games are exhausting and I’m not sure the headache was worth the $4 I won. The single gal was the saving grace and the only one who could figure out what to scratch. It was great fun and I laughed for two hours with these lovely people.
We talked about everything and nothing and it was a perfect Christmas morning. After breakfast everyone dispersed to different movies and I went home to try to get some sleep. I spent the afternoon in bed. I read, dozed, watched TV, and relaxed. It was perfect. By the time evening came I was rested and ready to finish up my traditional Jewish Christmas.
It was time for Chinese food. I ordered in, after getting a busy signal for an hour. Friends stopped by, and we enjoyed good food and good wine. Where It was a great Christmas all around. It’s now noon on the 26th and my Canadian blood is telling me I should be out for Boxing Day shopping, but staying in bed is much more appealing.
Tonight is the 7th night of Hanukkah and with my son with his dad, it’s quite here. I am going to enjoy the down time by catching up on sleep, reading and seeing friends. Next week will mark the New Year and the end of my dating hiatus. I am going to get back on the dating hell train and begin a new search for love. God give me the strength to keep the faith.
December 23, 2011 | 2:45 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Jewish rapper Matisyahu has been in the news a lot lately. It all started when he shaved off his beard. He took to Twitter to share the news and it was a big deal. Most fans were shocked, and many were confused about what it meant in terms of his faith. Most were supportive of the changed look, and shared that they were excited about the new chapter in his life.
At the same time he shaved, he appeared in an episode of Chef Roble & Co. on Bravo. He was having a party for friends and family and the story was about the chef facing the challenges of a kosher meal for the first time. Matisyahu appeared with his wife and new baby, along with his mother. Actually, it could have been his mother-in-law. I’m not really sure.
At the end of the party they were all thrilled with the food and in some sort of expression of their happiness, Matisyahu and his friends started to spit out their drinks at each other. There was wine being spit at everyone and it was disgusting. His mother comes over to tell him how lovely the party was, and he spits wine in her face. It was really very strange.
Today came word that Matisyahu kicked a female photographer in the face. It happened in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Apparently, there was a photographer in the front row and when she took a picture, Matisyahu kicked her in the face and broke her camera. She did what anyone would do under the circumstances, she tweeted what happened.
The photographer is Rebecca Smyne and after she tweeted about the kick, she wrote again to say the cops had come and Matisyahu’s manager gave her a “fat stack” of cash to cover damages. After the show Matisyahu tweeted the photographer saying he was sorry. He said he snapped, and it was not a kick as much as him simply stepping into the crow.
He also reminded her that as a photographer she knows that a flash can be distracting to a performer. The thing is, the photographer is saying she barely used a flash, and is calling Matisyahu out on his claims that it was not a kick. She insists it was a kick, was done on purpose, and that it hurt. Forget about the money to fix the camera, what about the violence?
Matisyahu is a big deal in the Jewish community, and these things are unfortunate. That he spit wine in his mother’s face, and kicked a girl in the face is disappointing. He may be talented, but he’s not looking to cool to me right now. He said his shaving his beard was part of his spiritual journey. Maybe he needs to grow it out and go back to keeping the faith.
December 21, 2011 | 2:53 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s been an interesting week. I’ve had very long days at work getting my clients ready for the holidays, plus finals for my son, finding time to go car shopping with him, and do all my Hanukkah shopping. I love this time of year, but find I am so tired that my patience is being tested.
I cannot handle bad drivers or rude people on a good day, so my tired self is even less patient and tolerant of morons. It’s hard to deal with idiots on the best of days, and today I am simply unable to control my frustration and disgust with people. Not all of course, just a select few.
I have been called a lot of things in my life. Mostly I get funny, kind, honest, brave and sarcastic. This week however, I was called a racist. If that was not bad enough, I was also told I hated Jesus because I did not wish a woman Merry Christmas. ‘Tis the season for crazy.
In writing about the Real Housewives of Atlanta, I wrote the following: “What exactly is the word “AXSTD”? I am sick of hearing these women mispronounce the word “ASKED”. Can someone please clarify if that is a Southern thing, or simply a moron thing?” An honest question.
In the course of 5 minutes, a group of women said axstd instead of asked, a dozen times. It sounded really stupid to me. As an avid watcher of reality television I have heard it said before of course, but when I heard it so many times within one conversation, it sounded ridiculous to me.
Because the women speaking were African American, I was called a racist and it was said by some that I was insensitive to an entire race of people, and perpetuating stereotypes. When I wrote back to one woman to apologize, she said she was not African and why did I hate her?
She then went on to explain to me that not all Black Americans were of African descent and I needed to stop being such a racist. She asked how I would feel if she said I had a big nose and only cared about money. Really? I’m the racist? Some people just make me sad.
When I wished the older lady at Whole Foods Happy Holidays, she got mad at me for not saying Merry Christmas. People wrote to ask why I hated Jesus so much. Seriously? My choosing to say Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas means I hate Jesus?
I am not a politically correct person, and if you read my blogs with any regularity you know this about me. I am also not a mean spirited person or racist. I have no tolerance for racism of any kind, am respectful of all religions, embrace faith, and I’ve got nothing but love for Jesus.
I do not say Happy Holidays because I am Jewish. I say it because it’s the holiday season. Just because I was raised in predominately white communities, and am not that familiar with inner city English, does not mean I hate black people. It just means I think the word akstd is stupid.
To clarify, I am quoting from an email I got and not assuming that all African Americans live in the inner city, or are African. I am also not going to measure everything I say because I may piss someone off. I’m going to piss people off no mater what I say, or how I say it, so why worry?
If you don’t like what I say, it’s okay. That said, do not put your crap on me. I am not a racist and I am not an exclusionary Jew. I am just a girl who thinks the holidays matter, and that asked should be pronounced correctly. Since I’m ranting, can we talk about penis enlargement?
Some genius, who I am assuming is a rabid reality television fan, did not agree with my blog and thought it would be funny to use my email address to inquire about penis enlargement and online porn. I am now getting bombarded with spam asking if I need a sex date or a bigger penis.
It’s funny I suppose, and I’m sure they are laughing about their brilliant prank. It’s a little upsetting of course when my child logs onto my computer to print something for school and sees a bunch of emails about penis enlargement. Rather than get mad, I wonder what Jesus would do.
I like to think people are going to be kind during the holidays. It’s naïve I guess, but how can you watch It’s a Wonderful Life and not want to be nice to people? Sadly, at the end of the day the joy of the holidays only puts a spotlight on how selfish and unkind people can be to each other.
It’s the second night of Hanukkah and I am going to make latkes, surprise my child with something great, and enjoy the holiday. I will watch some TV, learn a hundred ways to enlarge a penis, study Ebonics, and praise Jesus. Happy Holidays everyone. Keep the faith.
December 19, 2011 | 9:01 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I remember when Bryant came to play for the Lakers. The city was excited and even someone like me, who is missing the sports gene, was looking forward to seeing this kid play. He was the future of the game and we were thrilled he was in Los Angeles. We all felt proud of him.
He was young and exciting and watching him grow up was fun, both on the court and off. I’m not a huge basketball fan, but I appreciate the game and took a certain pride in Kobe playing in my city. He was the king, could do no wrong, and brought a lot of joy to a lot of people, basketball fan or not.
When Kobe ran into legal trouble in 2003 with sexual assault charges, my support of this man ended. I am of the opinion that Kobe Bryant raped the young woman in Colorado. I believe it was the fear of a case that made that charge go away. Her refusal to testify came from fear in my opinion.
Even though the rape charge went away, I was surprised back in 2003 that Vanessa Bryant did not leave her husband. She is young and beautiful and I truly felt she would file for divorce then. She loved him and stuck by her husband, so good for her, but it was still a little shocking to me.
We have heard for years that Kobe has been unfaithful to his wife. I’ve never understood the choice to stay with a cheater. I was faced with this decision once and I left. I was in love, my life was wrapped around this man, and when he cheated I was done. I could not recover from it.
I cannot imagine what it must feel like for your spouse to cheat repeatedly. I also cannot imagine why someone would stay in that relationship. That said, this is California and Vanessa Bryant hung on for 10 years, which means she put her pride aside for a ticket to the Promised Land.
Vanessa is entitled to half of Kobe’s fortune and at 29 is now a multimillionaire, with 2 beautiful children, and a bright future. She has dumped her cheating husband and I am happy for her. Sad that a marriage has ended, but happy that she can now hold her head high and move on.
Kobe Bryant is a world class player, both on the court and off. He will now be able to openly pursue the whores who want to screw him in an attempt to get a piece of the pie. I feel for him from the perspective that no matter how many women he sleeps with, he will ultimately be alone.
He will not tuck his young daughters in every night and he will not have the same presence in their life. That is sad for all of them. I wonder if it was all worth it. Is having sex with people outside of your marriage worth the risk of losing your family? Kobe will have a lot of time to think about that.
It is a shame that such a gifted man was unable to be as successful off the court as he was on. I feel bad for his wife and his kids. Surprisingly, I also feel bad for Kobe. He is a pig and a rapist, but at the end of the day seeing the pictures of him post divorce announcement, show sadness.
Even douchelords can feel sadness I guess. It’s hard to know if he is sad because he got caught, or because his marriage is over. We don’t know what went on in his marriage, and we all have opinions about who he is and what he’s done. In the end, I wish Vanessa peace and hope she keeps the faith.