Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s raining in Los Angeles, which means my road rage is on high alert. I love the rain, but certain residents of LA are hell bent on sucking all the joy out of the beauty of a rainy day. By certain residents of course I mean 99% of the people who live here are bad drivers. By bad drivers of course I mean I want to punch a lot of people in the face. Not really. I’m kidding.
I’m not really kidding. I don’t understand why a few drops of water have to turn this city into such a mess. It truly is fascinating to watch. There is panic and fear as if the sky is falling and the end of the world is near. It is water people. There is no need to drive 5 miles an hour, or keep your blinker on for miles so as to properly warn people of your plans to change lanes in ten minutes.
Rain in LA makes me want to stay in my pajamas, not leave the house, and drink tea while laughing at all the people who are on the road. It was my plan for today, but sadly I needed to run out for an errand. I got a call that my new glasses were ready to be picked up and so I decided to brave the elements and go get them, hopeful I would not need to kill someone.
I went to get my glasses and on the way home decided to reward myself for not killing anyone while on my errand, by stopping at Starbucks to get a yummy treat. I love Starbucks and I order the same thing every time I go. Whether it’s 100 degrees or freezing cold, I order the same drink. It is just a drink, but it makes me very happy and tastes delicious.
For those who are interested: I order a Grande Awake tea latte. 2 Equals, Nonfat milk, NO WATER and NO FOAM. It is essentially warm milk that is infused with tea, and sweetened so it tastes like dessert. It truly is divine and my son and Englishman are also huge fans. The key is no water so keep an eye on your baristas to make sure they don’t mess it up!
So I’m in Starbucks getting my reward and I am talking to my mother on the phone. I usually speak to my mother in Hebrew so perhaps I was talking loud since Hebrew tends to be a smidge louder. We hung up, I ordered my drink, and stood by to make sure they did not add any water. A woman walked behind me and I heard her talking on the phone in Hebrew.
The barista skipped the water and so I went to the end of the counter to wait for my drink. The woman smiled and asked if my mom was in Israel. I told her she was in Canada and we started to chat. We talked about our moms, Israel, and how people don’t know how to drive in the rain. We both had our drinks by then and were just chatting like old friends.
I needed to go and each time our conversation came to an end, it started back up again. She was a lovely woman who appeared to be in her mid 30’s, and was quite attractive. It occurred to me that she might be hitting on me. Now I was intrigued. We walked toward the door to head out to our cars, and I was taken oven by my curiosity and decided to ask her.
I told her she was lovely, explained that I had no gaydar, and at the risk of great humiliation, was wondering if she was flirting with me. She laughed out loud, put her hand on my arm, and told me that she was. It was the sweetest gesture and I was insanely flattered. I told her she made my day and that I was not a lesbian and in a relationship with a lovely man.
She blushed slightly and told me he was a lucky man. It was so sweet, and she was so lovely, that I wanted to hug her, so I did. I gave her a big hug, told her she made my day, and gave her my number so I could set her up with a girlfriend of mine. It was a really wonderful exchange and I left with a skip in my step. It’s very flattering to be hit on by a woman.
My rainy day had a burst of sunshine when I met Anat. I left our meeting feeling pretty, and also very lucky. It’s always a boost to your ego when someone hits on you. I was also reminded how hard it is to be single. I have dated enough for ten lifetimes and while I do not miss the dating game, I was impressed by Anat and her fearless approach to finding love.
When I was dating I was always brave. I took risks and it paid off for me in countless ways. Not necessarly in my success rate, but in how I viewed my single self. Chicks never did it for me, but if I were gay and single, I would go out with Anat. Tthere is nothing sexier to me than someone being brave and making me laugh, and Anat did both.
I am lucky to have my Englishman and each day that I don’t have to play the dating game is a good day. Love is grand and I am blessed to have found it. To those who are searching for love, be brave and go for it. Love will not find you just because you want it. You must be proactive and put yourself out there. To the lovely Anat you will find love if you keep the faith
12.19.13 at 2:57 am | My son has a free schlepping service.
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. . .
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (374)
7.25.11 at 5:38 pm | We need more Jews! (264)
12.19.13 at 2:57 am | My son has a free schlepping service. (247)
November 29, 2012 | 11:32 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
When I was young I took piano lessons. I hated them. I begged my mother to let me stop and she said I would regret it if I quit. I told her if I was not allowed to stop I was going to lock myself in my room and never come out. I quit piano. My mother was right, I regret quitting to this day.
When I was young I took ballet lessons. I hated them. I begged my mother to let me stop and she said I would regret it if I quit. I told her if I was not allowed to stop I was going to scratch off all my freckles with sandpaper. I quit ballet. My mother was right, I regret quitting to this day.
I love the piano. I would give anything to be able to sit down at the piano and play. I love ballet. I sit and watch the poetry of movement and am transported into the beauty. I never understood the importance of the arts as a child, but as a mother I am passionate about their importance.
The arts are a relevant part of the life I lead with my son. He is an actor, director, comedian, and writer. He wants to pursue a career in the arts and so I support him. I was hoping medical school was an option, but will happily watch him playing a doctor on the big screen instead.
I am blessed that my son goes to a school with arts. It is very sad to me that so many art programs are being cut from schoos due to budget cuts. Arts matter and should be provided to all children, in all schools. Arts make kids happy and help them to become well-rounded adults.
I complain about the budget cuts at my son’s school and I try to make a difference by volunteering and donating money. This week however, a child schooled me in how to really do it. A remarkable girl by the name of Jennifer took matters into her own hands and kicked ass.
Jennifer put on a show this week to raise money for arts in her school. This young girl and her mother, my friend Elizabeth, produced a show called “Pure Broadway – A Cabaret for a Cause” and brought in $30,000 to Jenny’s school to use toward putting on a musical theater production.
It was a wonderful evening and I enjoyed every second of it. Hosted by Broadway legend Carole Cook, it was a mixture of professional performers and theater students. If you didn’t know who the students were, you’d be hard pressed to know the difference as everyone was that good.
Carole Cook was amazing. She is a real old-fashioned broad and she had us all rolling with her shtick. A woman named Kathy Deitch sand a song from Wicked that gave me goose bumps, and Timothy Quinlan sang a song from the Full Monty that made me swoon. The talent was insane.
Jenny sang a song that blew me way. She is so talented and beautiful. Her friend Allison channeled Judy Garland in her number and I was amazed by these kids. Not only by their talent, but their heart and soul. If this is the future of the arts we have a very bright future indeed.
I am in awe of this young girl, and am so proud of her amazing mother for what they did. Instead of complaining about the cut of arts, they jumped in with both feet and made a real difference. They entertained us all and showed that change is possible if you are willing to work for it.
If you have children, are a patron of the arts, and understand how vital these programs are to our children, I hope you will be inspired to help in your own way, for schools that are important to you. I am proud to know Elizabeth and Jenny, and was honored to see all their show.
School is hard. Not just academically, but emotionally. For me the arts provided a fun and safe outlet for me to be me. For my son, the arts will shape his future. When it comes to arts being cut from the education of our kids, we need to take a stand, and keep the faith.
November 26, 2012 | 7:51 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I saw Life of Pi this weekend and I loved it. It was visually stunning and just so pretty I felt like I was staring at it in awe as much as I was watching it. I saw it in 3D, and while it was great, it is not required in order to love this movie, so if you have a chance to see it and 3D is not an option, go anyway.
I connected with this film in a truly profound way. I am a woman of faith and I am always searching for spiritual guidance, and so because of my own journey I was able to see things in this story that brought me comfort. Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the movie yet, stop reading now.
Pi was on a journey to find faith and he was guided by his desire to find answers. When the journalist came to visit Pi in Montreal, he said he was told Pi’s story would show him God. For me, Richard Parker was God, and I wonder if anyone else interpreted the story in the same way.
When Pi explained the role Richard Parker had in terms of his 227 days at sea, it was very clear to me. Having the tiger on the boat with him is what saved him. Richard Parker forced him to be alert, think, feel, plan, and ultimately survive. Without saying a word, the tiger guided him.
Pi was tormented by Richard Parker walking into the jungle and not looking back to acknowledge him. A glance would have been a thank you, or a goodbye, and without having been able to say goodbye to his family, it was a crushing blow to have someone so important leave without closure.
For me, Richard Parker did not turn around because he didn’t need to. God does not ever say goodbye. If he is always with us, then goodbye is not important. He left Pi then because he had done what he needed to do. He helped Pi reach safety and that was why he was there.
Richard Parker did not walk away from him, he simply entered into his heart and waited for Pi to see him. It took him time of course, but upon rest and reflection, he was able to see that Richard Parker was God and he brought him to peace and safety. That message was crystal clear to me.
I am able to see God if I look. There are days I want to see him and days I really, really need to see him. It is only when I stop to be quiet for a moment, that I am able to connect with him. It was reflection that brought Pi to God and the gift of reflection is one we give to ourselves.
Did I see God in Richard Parker because I needed to? Life of Pi was my Richard Parker. I saw things in a way that brought me comfort and made me smile from the inside out. This movie brought me joy in a way I am unable to properly articulate but I know people will understand.
I had a wonderful weekend. I had important and meaningful conversations with my son, enjoyed time with my Englishman’s daughters, saw my mother’s face and was able to look in her eyes when I told her I loved her, and felt safe and warm in the arms of the man I love.
I worry about a lot of things. I worry about my son, my family, money, work, health, and faith. I worry about it all and in the end if I am simply quiet, and allow myself to reach out to God, he will guide me. Life of Pi is a remarkable film and I left grateful and dedicated, to keeping the faith.
November 23, 2012 | 1:07 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
What kind of crazy person goes out at midnight on a holiday to wait in line with other crazy people to save a few dollars? That would be me. Dear Lord. For the 4th consecutive year I did what I promised myself I would never do again. I went shopping on Black Friday.
I did save a lot of money, but it has become more than that. There is something invigorating about heading out into the madness. People are generally in a good mood and while the lines are long, it is quite a pleasant experience. I have a new theory about why it is fun.
We are all out there, embarrassed that we are doing it, publicly admitting we are crazy, and therefore scared of all the other crazy people because we know that at any moment, with no warning, someone could snap and the experience could take a dark and scary turn. The holiday spirit is lurking, but it has not fully kicked in.
The people watching is as much fun, if not more, than the actual shopping and bargain hunting. People are tired, babies are sleeping, kids are crying, husbands are pissed off, and mothers are just trying to keep it all together while trying to slip in something for themselves.
I went out and got what I needed, only to find that I need few more things. The true insanity is that after a night of shopping, and a day of work, I am now going to head out again. I can justify the additional shopping because at once a year, the insanity is temporary,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. To the brave souls who went shopping, I hope you got good deals and crossed a lot of shopping off your list. If you see me this afternoon, know I am on round two and could blow at any moment. Stay clear and keep the faith!
November 20, 2012 | 2:24 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Thanksgiving this year will be quiet. Both the Englishman and me will not have our kids for the holiday so we are going to spend the day together, being grateful, quiet, and happy. Life is complicated so to have a day when we can stop everything and remember how blessed we are, is wonderful.
I am grateful for many things and my blessings are countless. I wish you all a happy holiday. Be kind to each other, be kind to a stranger, and perhaps most importantly, be kind to yourself. If you love you, then others will too. Life is profoundly better when you are able to give and receive kindness.
To my son, you are magnificent, I love you, and am thankful to be your mom and friend. To my family, there are not words to tell you how thankful I am to have you. To the Englishman’s girls, you inspire me and I am thankful to know you. To my friends, I am thankful to have you all in my life.
To the Jewish Journal, thank you for allowing me to do my thing, The support I receive from you is remarkable. Thanks to the web team for taking such good care of me. To Rob Eshman, thank you, thank you, thank you. Good things are coming and you are responsible for getting me here.
To my Englishman, I love you. I am thankful for you, our friendship, and our love. You teach me things about myself, and life, and I am happy. My life is better with you in it. Youdrive me crazy and have shown me true love. We are blessed and each day brings us closer.
Today would have been my father's 74th birthday and I am most thankful the memories I have of him. Bobby Angel of Manchester England was a remarkable man. He was my father, my friend, my cheaerleader, and my hero. I miss him more than I can understand or explain.
My dad was funny, smart, wise, and always in my corner. He loved my son in a way that still brings me to tears. He lived for his grandchildren and his relationship with my boy was very special. I wish he was still here, but grateful for the time he was. I love you Dad.
Have a wonderful holiday everyone. Enjoy your families and friends. May this day bring peace to those who are searching for it. Enjoy the food, enjoy the football, and if you are a turkey who is still alive, Mazel Tov on making it though. Go hide, and keep the faith
November 20, 2012 | 1:45 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Dear Ms. Rimes,
I have written about you often, and it has not been kind. I have strong opinions about you, and while there are many who love and support you, I have not. I have been open and honest in sharing my views of you and some of your behavior. I cannot and will not take back what I said because it was my truth, and it is already out there. But I can change my mind moving forward.
I recently spent a long time on the phone speaking with the schoolteacher that you are suing. We spoke at great lengths, and in great detail, about the series of events that led up to your filing a lawsuit against her. She was open and honest about her side of the story. While I have not met them, she and her daughter, who you are also suing, seem like really lovely and honest people.
In the time that we spoke, she said she was confused and scared by what was happening with the lawsuit, but she never spoke unkindly about you. I may have said some mean things, hard to believe I know, but she skipped right over them and remained quiet. When given the opportunity to join me in some LeAnn bashing, she opted to take the high road and not say anything mean.
Her attitude towards you, while under such stress, has inspired me to also take the high road. I want to publicly tell you that I am very sorry for sharing my opinions in such a public way. Your life is none of my business and my writing about you should be limited to your work, not your personal life. I think you are a talented and gifted singer, and that should be all I write about you.
I wonder if you understand the damage your lawsuit has done to this family. You are hurting and scaring a family that in my opinion, has done nothing worthy of legal action. You are continuing a fight you cannot, and will not win. It seems like a waste of money. You would be better served donating your money to charity than giving it to an attorney.
I have never met you, but I think I can safely say you are a woman who has experienced pain, sorrow, fear, and stress. If you are willing to visit the places in your heart that have seen darkness, you would not put such pain on this woman and her family. The question is whether or not your ego, pride, heart, and lawyer will allow you to fix the mistake that was made.
I am an ex-wife, and my son has a stepmother, so I can put myself in your shoes and understand the position you are in. I have a young son who is the air I breathe and so I can imagine what your childhood was like. I am able to look inside my own heart and see I have crossed a line. I am very sorry for hurting you. I cannot ask you to be kind, if I am not willing to be kind myself.
I will no longer write about your personal life. You are trying to move forward and I respect that. I wish you well and hope you find peace. You are clearly battling many things, which I imagine is exhausting, so I hope you are able to get rest. As a mother, daughter, sister, and friend, I am asking you to reconsider your lawsuit against the teacher and her daughter.
It is the decent thing to do, and also the right thing in terms of your heart. Dropping the case will set you free and allow you to start over. Let this be the beginning of peace. You have the ability to take the high road and I think you really want to. There is no winning really as you will be judged either way, but in dropping the case I can promise you that peace will come.
You are blessed with a God given talent that allows you to make a living doing what you love. You have lost and found love, which makes your heart wise. You have faced your demons, which makes you strong. You have forgiven, which makes you kind. It is only when we love ourselves, that we are able to be generous. Generous of spirit. This is a moment for you to be full of grace.
I am a woman of faith and I believe that God not only watches over, but he watches. I am trying to find peace in my own life. I am in a new relationship that fills me with joy and scares me to death. I ma trying to find peace so I can enjoy the love I have found and not spend my time waiting for it to be over. Life is complicated and writing you has simplified it for me.
I have a strained relationship with my ex-husband and his wife. Perhaps showing kindness to you will allow me to show kindness to them also. How interesting it would be if in reaching out to you for peace, I am able to find some with them. Again, I am sorry for hurting you. I know you will read this, and I hope you will take it to heart. I am keeping the faith.
November 15, 2012 | 3:43 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love Justin Bieber and am a belieber. I love his music, think he is a sweet boy, and apart from his ridiculous clothes, think he is adorable. I listen to him all the time and am not ashamed to say that at 46, I know all the words to his songs. I sing along, convinced if he heard me, he’d want to do a duet.
My son used to think my love of Justin in was cute, but that has now changed into him thinking I’m crazy. He is not a belieber, but he appreciates Justin’s talent and knows quite a few of his songs. He thinks my having a crush on a kid that is practically the same age as him is weird. Whatever.
Today listening to the radio in the car, Justin came on. While dancing and singing along, I looked to my right and saw another mom jamming in her car. We looked at each other and started laughing, knowing we were on the same station, and were having private love affairs with Justin. Too funny.
As I drove around running errands, I could not help but wonder if Justin knows that many of his fans are not young teenage girls. I spend money on his records, went to see his movie, and had to learn what a Fisker was, so if I ever met him, we could talk about it. I am a fan. A real fan.
As I pulled up to the post office to drop off my letters this afternoon, I opened my window to post my letters in the drop box. Justin came pouring out of my car and floated over the bus stop. A young man turned to look and broke into dance moves, while an older woman started clapping.
I decided I was going to do my next two errands with Justin blaring from my stereo, and all the windows open. I was curious about how many people would not only look, but recognize and acknowledge the music. What I found was truly remarkable. I live in a city of secret beliebers.
The kids hanging outside the drug store told me they loved Justin and Believe was a great album. One girl asked if I had seen his movie. I told her I had, twice, and she started to tell me all her favorite parts. That one was not a surprise, but the next one really was incredible.
As I got off the freeway, I saw a homeless person with a dog, and I dug in my wallet to give him a dollar. He thanked me, said God will bless me, and tipped his hat. He then serenaded me with: “Baby, baby, baby. Ohhhhhh baby, baby, baby.” Really? What just happened?
How does a man, who appears to live on the street with his dog, know Justin Bieber lyrics? There is only one answer. He is a secret belieber! Turns out I live in a city that has both public and private beliebers. Love him or not, clearly people know who this young man is.
Whether you are a housekeeper taking the bus home, a kid hanging out after school, a teenager chilling with your friends, or a homeless guy trying to make money to feed his dog, there is no escaping the appeal of Bieber. He is magic, and I love everything about him.
By everything of course I am not including his clothes. He may need a new stylist, but he is beyond talented. He is a genius in my opinion, and as I approach 50, I can’t imagine a time when his music will not bring my joy. Will we ever record a duet together? I am keeping the faith.
November 12, 2012 | 5:00 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I originally posted parts of this blog back in February. Today my son showed me a video on Facebook that I thought was so fabulous, I decided to post excerpts and share the video. I love this video and laughed out loud because the humor is so honest. I support marriage. Gay or straight, marriage should be available to everyone.
To say that one supports gay marriage implies that gay marriage is somehow different from traditional marriage. It’s not. I think all people deserve the right to marry whether they are gay or straight. If people are going to insist on differentiating gay marriage from traditional marriage, then let’s determine exactly what is different.
If I look at the marriages of my friends, then I hope to have a gay marriage myself one day. My gay married friends are happy, caring, supportive and sexual couples. My traditionally married friends are stressed, angry, bored, and not at all sexual. Instead of banning gay marriage, we should be trying to figure out how all marriages can be so good.
I’m not saying that all gay marriages are fabulous, I’m just saying that in my own experience, the gay marriages that I see first hand are the ones that I hope to have for myself one day. Marriage is a great thing and labeling marriage as gay is ridiculous. We are human beings, and while I am not gay, I will fight for the equality of marriage for all.
For a country with so many problems to be focusing so much of our governments time and money on gay marriage is baffling. There are children starving in America. There are people losing their jobs, homes, and hope in America. Will any of their lives be made better by spending money on trying to stop same sex couple from getting married?
I don’t believe in gay marriage. I do believe that finding love is near impossible, and making a vow before friends, family and God, saying you are going to love a person unconditionally and build a life together, is a difficult love to find, so God bless anyone who can find it. Their sexual orientation does not matter. I believe in marriage, for everyone, so I am keeping the faith.