Posted by Ilana Angel
This weekend I went to my friend Laurel’s first photo exhibit. She is a talented photographer and I am very proud of her. My favorite photograph of the show was this one of ruby slippers.
An interesting group of people came to see the show. Artsy types with interesting tattoos, wild hairstyles and strange moustaches. Rockers, punks, babies, grandmas, photographers and those who simply appreciate the art.
I met wonderful people at the exhibit and it’s amazing how you can think you have nothing in common with someone based on how they look only to discover that if you just give it a minute, you will find something that connects you.
When I was moving around the party talking to this eclectic group of people I found myself always coming back to this photo. It is a fresh take on an iconic memory and it got me thinking about snapping my heals together and getting home and I discovered that there is a certain element of “home” that I get by being with other Jews.
I met a wonderful couple at the event, Sandy and Harris. She is adorable and funny and he is handsome and charming. Their daughter Erika is sweet as can be and dates Laurel’s brother Sam. This small group, all strangers to me, made me feel like I was home. We got each other in a way that I can’t really articulate but there is something about being with a group of Jews that feels comfortable and safe to me.
Erika has 3 brothers and Thea, who is the girlfriend of one of her brothers, was there. She is really darling and everyone loves her, including me. Thea is the daughter of a Deacon in the Catholic church and she told me that growing up she had never met anyone Jewish. She refers to herself as a shiksa, which is charming because she pronounces it Shish-ka, as in kabob.
It was a very entertaining conversation and it eventually came around to my blog in the Jewish Journal. I was talking about what I write about and we got to talking about being Jewish and our kids dating outside our faith and Sandy and Harris had an interesting take on it.
Their son had gone out with a lot of girls, some Jewish and some not, and Thea was the first girl that really just fit. They see her with their son and it makes sense and as parents they love seeing him happy and therefore love her and her faith becomes unimportant because of the joy she brings him.
I suppose I never really think of my son marrying someone not Jewish because he is only 13 and it’s not like I need to worry about who he is going to pick for himself because right now I can pick for him, even if it’s only in my head. I want him to be with a woman who makes him laugh and feel good about himself. She will be smart and compassionate and I don’t think there is anything wrong with my wanting her to be Jewish.
Thea’s parents are going to meet Sandy and Harris in January and it will be interesting to hear the Deacon’s take on it. I get a lot of angry mail for my position on wanting myself and my son to marry within our faith, and I’m curious to see what the Deacon thinks about it and the position of Catholic parents, particularly one who is a leader in his faith.
At the end of the day, is it more important to be with someone of faith than with someone who has the same religion? If you believe in a higher power does it matter what we call him or is the simple fact that we believe in him enough? When my son finds the woman that he wants to marry will I be able to support him and love her if she is not Jewish? Of course I will.
It was a great evening. It was wonderful to sit and kibbitz with new friends and be reminded that all people can find a common thread if they are willing to look. I love the idea that we can click our heels and find our way home. All it takes is an open mind and the ability to keep the faith.
****You can see Laurel’s work at www.laureljohnsonphotography.com
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December 4, 2009 | 12:41 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s been an interesting week and I must tell you I am very happy it is Friday. I look forward to Shabbat and a lovely weekend. My blogs this week pushed a lot of buttons and inspired a lot of people to share their opinions.
I wrote about diamonds and how they are a symbol of forever and love and was accused of only caring about money and told that women determine how much they love a man by the size of the diamond he gives her. To clarify, I would rather have a ring made out of string and a marriage that is guaranteed to last forever than a 7-carat perfect diamond and a shaky marriage. While writing this one paragraph I saw a commercial for Zales and it made me cry but I would still rather take the string.
I dedicated a blog to World AIDS Day and got a lovely letter saying I was promoting a disease that was for gay people and was brought on by their “behavior”. I don’t want to embarrass the writer, “Bob T.”, so I will call him “Dumbass” so nobody knows his name is “Bob T.” AIDS is not a gay persons disease Dumbass. Educate yourself and take your ideas about this illness and shove them up your @$$. Thanks for writing and by thanks for writing of course I mean, shove it up your @$$.
I wrote about how sex is a part of our everyday life and if you pay attention you will see how much we talk and joke about it. I mentioned I know a couple who have been married for 20 years and have not had sex in a year. I was told I have no idea what goes on in a marriage and I was judgmental and while I don’t feel a need to defend myself, I do have the desire to say that I am not a marriage counselor nor I am married but I am quite certain that if you are in a “healthy and happy” marriage and go for a year without sex, there is something wrong with that marriage.
I blogged about an article I saw in Details magazine about Jewish porn and most people were shocked. They were as surprised as I was that there was a Jewish porn industry and that there were Jewish porn stars. The article interviewed Joanna Angel who is a hard-core porn star who is Jewish and was raised in an Orthodox home and I cannot even tell you how floored I was to get an email from Ms. Angel telling me she enjoyed my blog. Regardless of what you think about porn or specifically Joanna Angel, I want to tell you that she is a lovely girl with lovely manners and I appreciated her taking the time to reach out to me.
My son is going on a Kinnus with his USY group this weekend and he is so happy and I am excited for him. I will be going to services tonight to pray, sing and relax. I have a very dear friend coming to visit and I’m looking forward to it. My regular followers know all about my dear friend and partner in crime Laurel and she is having her first photo exhibit this weekend in Carlsbad and I will be there to celebrate with her and her family.
I wish you all a peaceful and wonderful weekend. I am going to release this week and take time to count my blessings and feel gratitude. Shabbat Shalom and as always, Keep the Faith.
December 3, 2009 | 3:43 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
There is an interesting, entertaining and disturbing article in Details Magazine, www.details.com, by Christopher Noxon titled “THE RISE OF THE HOT JEWISH GIRL”, that talks about how American men are lusting after Jewish women. Who knew that J.I.L.F.’s were the new M.I.L.F.’s ?
In a poll, “Jewish girls” were ranked the second hottest “kink”, which is fascinating to me. By fascinating, of course I mean that if it’s true, why is it so hard to meet anyone? What is even more intriguing, is that the first place kink winner was “freckles” which I am covered with. How is it possible that I cannot meet a decent guy when I am so desirable?
One could argue the poll is not a big deal since it was conducted by a porn blog, and are the men who are reading a porn blog the type of men I am hoping to meet? Probably not. In the article, Noxon says Jews represent 2.2% of the population. That makes me a hot commodity, which is good, but I am being sought after by men with a porn fetish, which is bad.
The article opened my eyes to a whole other side of being Jewish. Did you know there are Jewish porn sites, and Jewish porn stars? I honestly did not. Are you aware that according to the article, 13% of the members of JDate are “unaffiliated”. I think if you’re not Jewish, you should not be on JDate. There are a gazillion other sites to go on to meet people.
Someone should start a site for Jews with porn fetishes. Specifically, a site for non-Jews, who like to date Jews with porn fetishes. If we could somehow separate out the degenerates, and give them their own Jewish dating site, it would be a win win for everyone, and ultimately make it easier to meet what we are looking for.
Come to think of it, I get most of my emails on JDate from men who are not Jewish. I will go so far as to say that if you are a convicted felon, and on JDate, then we have probably already gone out. I tend to attract men with a past, and have honestly gone out with 5 men on JDate who have been convicted of non-violent crimes. I must be a huge hit in prison.
Perhaps there should be a class that these Jewish loving porn people can teach to nice Jewish boys, to show them that Jewish women rock, and they should consider finding a wife within the tribe, instead of going the non-Jewish route. I would be happy to help get a cross-country speaking tour set up, so if anyone moves ahead with that, call me.
I happen to know I won’t find my Beshert in the porn industry. Call me crazy, but I think that one is a sure thing. I suppose it is possible I could meet my soul mate ,and he could not be a Jew. When you think about how many Jews there are, the odds are that he probably would not be. When you add that it’s mostly non-Jewish men who are attracted to Jewish women, then becomes a total long shot.
I invite the porn industry to rally around nice Jewish girls, and help them find their Jewish Beshert. An online class, a lecture series, a book, whatever you think will do the trick. Maybe JDate can have a chat room for Jewish men to be counseled by porn lovers, on the joys of a Jewish woman.
Mazel Tov to Mr. Noxon on a great article. And if I may just clarify, hard-core porn star Joanna Angel, who is quoted in the article, is no relation. I’m just saying. Someday my Jewish prince will come and hopefully he won’t work in the porn industry. While I’m waiting, I will keep the faith.
December 2, 2009 | 12:40 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It really is quite interesting how much sex is a part of our daily lives. If we pay attention we see that it is something people talk about, think about or joke about, a lot. In the last 36 hours these are the conversations I have had about sex:
1) My son and I talked about sex and while I won’t go into any details, it was a great talk. He is a teenager and that he comes to me to talk about sex and ask questions makes me happy and proud. Uncomfortable on occasion, but mostly happy and proud.
2) A friend of mine had sex with a guy she has been dating for a few weeks and she is tormented, as women are, about whether it was the right time, what would he think of her and what did it mean for their relationship. Having sex with someone new for the first time is a big deal for women and for men it’s just another activity like watching the game or washing the car.
3) I had my regular visit to the gynecologist and it was the standard rapid fire set of questions about my body and my sex life which ended with the Doctor giving me her “Don’t worry you’ll meet someone great soon” head tilted look, which by the way is more uncomfortable than the actual exam.
4) I have been on 2 dates with a man named “Jim” and we were talking on the phone trying to figure out when we would be able to go out again when he asked me when I was planning to have sex with him and if we could fast track it because he “really needed to get laid”. Charming.
5) I watched the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and though chicks aren’t my thing, I appreciate a woman’s body and these women were stunning and I found myself thinking about what it would be like to have a body like that for just a week and what I would do with it and with whom.
6) For the past 10 years I have had a friendship and flirtation with a man I met in Seattle on business. He is charming, funny, handsome, Jewish, a fabulous dad and a genuinely good guy. He is lovely and I’m thinking it might be time for a trip to Seattle for a grown up weekend with a grown up man who I like and respect. Maybe the key to having a tryst is to do it with someone far away so there is no chance for a relationship so it can’t mess with your head because it’s just a great thing with a great guy.
7) A girlfriend of mine who has been married for 20 years and is in a seemingly happy relationship told me that she has not had sex with her husband for almost a year and was thinking of surprising him with sex for his birthday. I could make a joke on this one but the shock prevents me from even trying. No sex for a year is not a successful marriage if you ask me. I’m just saying.
For the next 24 hours keep sex in the front of your mind and I think you will be surprised by how prevalent it is in your daily exchanges. At the end of the day it turns out sex is not something that we need to save for the end of the day. Be safe, free, wild, intimate, aware and always keep the faith.
December 1, 2009 | 3:21 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1st. The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988. World AIDS Day provides governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals with an opportunity to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic.
Educate yourself. Educate your children.
Presidential Proclamation—World AIDS Day
Our Nation joins the world in celebrating the extraordinary advancements we have made in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and remembering those we have lost. Over the past three decades, brave men and women have fought devastating discrimination, stigma, doubt, and violence as they stood in the face of this deadly disease. Many of them would not be here today, but for the dedication of other persons living with HIV, their loved ones and families, community advocates, and members of the medical profession. On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to developing a national AIDS strategy that will establish the priorities necessary to combat this devastating epidemic at home, and to renewing our leadership role and commitments abroad.
Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against HIV/AIDS is far from over. With an infection occurring every nine-and-a-half minutes in America, there are more than one million individuals estimated to be living with the disease in our country. Of those currently infected, one in five does not know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their own status. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate as it infiltrates neighborhoods and communities. Americans of any gender, age, ethnicity, income, or sexual orientation can and are contracting the disease.
Globally, there are over 33 million people living with HIV. While millions have died from this disease, the death rate is slowly declining due, in part, to our Nation’s global effort through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. However, HIV remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Women and children around the world are particularly vulnerable due to gender inequalities, gaps in access to services, and increases in sexual violence. While the statistics are distressing, new medications and scientific advancements give us reason for hope.
Tackling this disease will take an aggressive, steadfast approach. My Administration is developing a national HIV/AIDS strategy to bolster our response to the domestic epidemic, and a global health initiative that will build on PEPFAR’s success. We will develop a strategy to reduce HIV incidence, improve access to care, and help eliminate HIV-related health disparities. We have already ensured that visitors to our shores living with HIV are not marginalized and discriminated against because of their HIV status. We have also secured the continuation of critical HIV/AIDS care and treatment services. Today, we recommit ourselves to building on the accomplishments of the past decades that have dramatically changed the domestic and global HIV/AIDS landscape.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2009, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
November 30, 2009 | 11:42 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Diamonds are my birthstone and I remember when I turned 13 and my dad gave them to me for the very first time. They were very tiny stud earrings that I instantly fell in love with. I still have them and wore them at my wedding and at my son’s Bar Mitzvah. They are as special to me today as they were 30 years ago.
Now I imagine that most women like diamonds but I could be wrong so for the sake of argument let’s assume that this is true and women love them and dream about getting them mostly in the form of a ring for their left hand. It is a symbol of love and hope and Prince Charming with a happily ever after ending.
I am wondering if it is because I am a woman who wants a fairytale that I cry at every single commercial that is currently running for diamonds. I seriously cannot watch one of these ads without crying and what is worse is that when I see that there is another one coming I cannot bring myself to change the channel.
The one with the ice skating, the one where the hearing guy learns how to sign to his hearing impaired girlfriend, the one where they are stuck at a red light in the snow, the one where the man is rubbing the belly of his pregnant wife, the one with the grandchildren surprising grandma, each and every one of them makes me cry.
I bet if you made 100 single women and 100 men in love watch these commercials and them took a survey, none of the men would say they were inspired to buy a diamond for the woman they loved but the women would say they were inspired to buy a bar of chocolate, bottle of wine, box of Kleenex and rent an assortment of chick flicks.
Between the holidays, the barrage of diamond commercials and the impending new season of The Bachelor, it’s enough to make a girl want to eat an entire pizza and then bake a cake in the shape of a diamond ring and eat that too and then deal with the guilt of eating everything by drinking an entire bottle of wine to drown the shame.
At this point in my life it would appear that the scenario that seems most possible for me getting my next diamond will be one from my grandchildren and when you consider that my kid is 13 that means I will get a diamond in about 20 years and by 20 years of course I mean I don’t need to bother covering my grey hair anymore and should head off to an animal shelter.
The holidays are a festive time filled with joy and at the same time it’s a rather sad time for people who are alone. I don’t mean people without a spouse or partner alone, but without anyone alone. I am blessed to have a wonderful family, friends and child so while I am alone I am not lonely and that is a blessing.
It is officially the beginning of the holiday season and if you recall my goal when I started to write my blog was to be in a relationship by the end of the year and have a date for New Year’s Eve so I’ve now got 31 days left to seal the deal. It could still happen and by could of course I mean I hope it does.
I am looking for a date not a diamond so there is still plenty of time. I need to stay positive, embrace JDate, stay away from animal shelters, invest in some L’Oreal, stay away from cake and change the channel when a commercial for diamonds come on. All it will require is some luck, some patience and my keeping the faith.
*****Check out my new television blog at www.thewrap.com starting today.
November 27, 2009 | 12:11 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my son. We drove to be with our friend Laurel and her family in Carlsbad and with horrible traffic it took a whopping 3 hours to get there but we had a ton of food and laughs and left well rested only to have the drive back take 2 ½ hours.
When we got home we plopped down on the couch to watch a little television and before we knew it we were attacked by commercials for Black Friday and there was nothing for us to do but jump in the car and head out to the Camarillo outlets and do some shopping.
We left home at midnight, got there at 12:35, found parking at 1:15 and just arrived home at 8 AM. It was a long night but what a great time we had. We shopped, hung out, talked and laughed and it was truly a night we will both remember. I cherish our adventures because he is growing up fast and soon his adventures will include me less and less.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the long weekend. Safe travels to everyone who is heading out or coming back. It is officially the beginning of the holiday season and I hope it is safe, happy and peaceful for us all.
I will be back with a fresh blog on Monday and will tell you all about my date from Saturday night. This one could be interesting and by interesting of course I mean I am going to keep the faith.
November 26, 2009 | 2:43 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am thankful for my son. He is a remarkable and fabulous young man and I am truly blessed to be his mother and friend. I remember my entire pregnancy, when he was a baby, when he told me loved me for the first time, when he started school and when he became taller than me yet I can’t remember a lot of things from before he was born.
My life started in a new way when he came into it and I am so thankful. Last night we went to see KISS in concert. As they started to play Detroit Rock City my son took my hand and told me that he loved me and that he was glad I came with him. He then continued to hold my hand through most of the song. It is a memory I will treasure forever.
I am thankful for my family. We are all a little crazy but wonderful people and I love them with all my heart. I am thankful for my mother who has taught me so much and every time my son tells me he loves me I am reminded to pick up the phone and tell my mom I love her.
With my family far away the holidays are hard because I wish I could give my son the experience of a big family but it’s just us so we will go to friends and in the end they’re like family and one could argue more special because we choose them. I look forward to meeting my Beshert and having my family grow.
I am thankful for my blog at the Jewish Journal. It is my pleasure to write and share my journey and it is a wonderful thing that I can talk about my life and my search for love and also be able to share my opinions because where else could I say I hope to find love and that Donny Osmond is a homophobic pig who should be ashamed of himself? The Jewish Journal baby!
I am thankful for JDate. Yes you heard it correctly my darlings I am thankful for JDate. I am meeting some nice men and putting myself out there and learning about myself and what I want at this stage of my life and I am also getting a front row seat with a perfect view of what it is that I don’t want so they are stuck with me because I’m in it and I believe.
Take a moment out of your day to say thanks for all the service men and women who are protecting us while we get to be with the ones we love and pray that they all get to come home safe and sound. Say thanks to the members of the IDF and their families as they fight to protect Israel. These are brave and heroic people who deserve out gratitude and praise.
I hope you all have a very happy, healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving full of family, football and shopping. If you see a soldier say thank you, If you see someone on the street asking for help, then help them. We are blessed and it is only when we share our blessings that we are able to receive blessings. Be safe and keep the faith.