Dating 101: Don’t Give Up


If you saw the men who have been asking me out lately, you would understand why I have not been dating. I seem to be quite popular these days with crossdressing men. Bless them. When one dress wearing man asked me out I thought it was sweet because he said my profile made him feel safe to share. When the second man asked me out, I was fascinated because it was interesting two men in makeup would interpret my profile the same way. When the third man asked me out and suggested dating him would allow lingerie sharing, I was done.

It is hard to put yourself out there, and some days it is simply too exhausting to even bother with. I date because I want to meet someone to share life with. I am seeking companionship, intellectual conversation, and an active and healthy sex life. I like a man who is educated and articulate. He doesn’t need to have gone to school for his education either. I know many people who never went to college and are brilliant. I value opinions and am drawn to people who have faith. Not necessarily religion, but faith. I’d also like him to not wear dresses.

In an attempt to not visit an animal shelter, I decided I was going to write to someone online. It took me a while to find someone I thought sounded interesting, but I did. He had a good face and I felt drawn to him, so I sent him a note. My mom was visiting so I couldn’t make plans, but I decided to get the ball rolling. He responded, we texted for a quick minute, and made plans to meet for a drink. I met him last night and I was happy to see he looked like his pictures, knew how tall he is in real life, and was easy to talk to. It was a good start.

We met for drinks at 5:30, ordered food at 7:00, and were making out to like teenagers by 9:00. It was the kind of date you hope for every time you put yourself out there. He was charming, funny, handsome, and sweet. He is built like a linebacker and I felt like a ballerina when he embraced me. He is a great kisser and as soon as we started making out I regretted having three cocktails as I worried my judgment would be off. Oy vey with the vodka. I opted to not overthink things and enjoy myself because smooching is great.

I went home happy to have met a man who didn’t make my lower back spasm. There are times when I’d rather stick my hand down my throat and remove my own kidney over dating, but then something or someone comes along to show me I must not give up. When you have a bad date it is hard to get excited about dating again, but when you have a good date, it erases the disappointment of the bad ones, especially if he isn’t wearing a bra and panties under his clothes. (Yes, I checked.)

I am lucky girl. I am also 51 years old and dating, which is both sad and entertaining. It is what it is and I am here to tell you not to give up. For every ten nightmare dates you have, you will have one good one. In my case ten is more like fifty, but it just makes the good ones stand out more. Be brave and keep trying because life is meant to be shared. Go on a date! The only expectation to have is that good or bad, it will get you closer to a keeper. Value yourself, don’t overthink, open your heart, and keep the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motherhood


I am blessed to the mother of a wonderful human being. My son is a remarkable young man and I love him very much. Every mother thinks she loves her kid more than every other mother on the planet, but I’m certain I do. I adore this kid and am proud of him on all levels. He makes me happy and I don’t remember what my life looked like before he was in it. He means the world to me and I love watching his life unfold and his dreams come true.

I am blessed to the daughter of two wonderful human beings. I lost my dad quite a few years ago and miss him a little bit more everyday. My mother is amazing and has been visiting from Canada for the past couple of weeks. She will be in LA for another 3 days and the thought of her leaving makes me cry. I literally start crying if I think about taking her to the airport. She makes me happy and loved in a very profound way. She is both fun and funny.

It is an interesting revelation when you realize your mother loves you in the same was you love your child. I have had many revelations about my relationship with both my mom and my son this week, and with the clarity comes deeper levels of love for my mother. My son is moving out of the home we have shared for almost 22 years in 17 days. I am anticipating his leaving with pride, fear, happiness, and sadness. The countdown has begun has put me on edge.

My mother had four children move away from her. I don’t know how her heart handled it. I feel sad about his going, and she felt that sadness four times. I feel worried about what his life will be like without me there. My mother felt that worry four times. I have actually never lived on my own in my whole life. I went from home, to school, to a roommate, to a husband, to my son. He has been my roommate for over two decades.

There is joy of course because this is the natural progression of life. I am blessed to have a healthy and accomplished child. I suppose one could look forward to walking around home naked, not having to do another person’s laundry, and not having to clean up after anyone but myself. I may get to a point where I enjoy those things, but all I can do now is cry at the thought of them. I don’t want him to go, but at the same time I am ready for him to go.

He is my only child and I raised him on my own, so there are multiple levels of connection between us, which makes it all just a little sadder and harder.I will be sad when my mother leaves this week, and sad when my son leaves at the end of the month. I will wonder around my home, probably sleep in his room for a little while, call him nonstop, worry nonstop, and call my mother for comfort as she has been through it all herself, four times. It will be a challenging couple of weeks.

I am emotional on a normal day, but every emotion is now on high alert. I am willing myself to not lose my mind when I get home and see moving boxes everywhere. I am praying that when he walks out the door I don’t grab onto his legs and beg him not to go. I am hopeful that not only will he spread his wings and fly, but so will I. Motherhood is my greatest blessing. Being a mother and loving my mother combine into true happiness. Everything will be okay if I just keep the faith.

 

 

Dating 101 – Siggy Flicker, Mind Reader


I have had a series of relationships with a series of men who were unkind. Not bad people, just unkind to me in the end. I can draw parallels between all the men I have dated, and in the end the one thing that ties them all together, is that I probably loved them more than they loved me. It is a difficult thing to admit, and I suppose a little embarrassing, but it is true. When I fall in love I am all in, and the men I have fallen in love with have never jumped all the way in with me.

I am not sure why it has been this way, but I want very much to change the pattern. Wanting something however, is not enough to make it happen. I’m trying to date outside of box I have built. Maybe if I date a different kind of man, I will have a different result. That is difficult because we are attracted to who we are attracted to, and while my thing has always been to date Jews, at the end of the day I guess I also like to date an asshole. Jewish assholes are my thing.

I have two dates planned for next week. Both are with Jews. One is with a man I met on match.com, and the other one is with a man I have dated in the past. I have written about him here of course, but I won’t mention who it is because I’m feeling unsure about it and perhaps a little embarrassed to be going backwards. I’m simply trying to stay positive, thinking that the new guy might be great, and the old gay might be misunderstood. It was all rather gross, then my phone rang.

It was relationship expert Siggy Flicker, who I know through my blog. She called to wish me a Happy New Year and see how the holidays were. As we were chatting and catching up, I told her I was searching for something more with someone better. Without her knowing what I was thinking about my upcoming dates, she told me I needed to not go backwards and date new people. Then she said I needed to fall in love with a man who loved me just a little bit more than I loved him.

Really? I have no idea how Siggy went into my head to see what I was thinking, but she called me out on the two things that were troubling me. I suppose that is why she is an expert. We spoke for five minutes and she narrowed it down to the basics in a way that frankly freaked me out. When I got off the phone with Siggy I cancelled my plans with the man I dated in the past, and changed my coffee date with the new guy to drinks. I am going to keep my eyes facing forward.

I am 51 years old and alone. Not because I want to be alone, but because at this stage of my life I finally learned that I would rather be alone than be with an asshole. I’m going to take Siggy’s advice and change my dating patterns. I am going to find someone new and not look back. I am going to value myself, and therefore attract someone who values you me in return. I will take the advice of an expert, instead of guessing on my own. I am jumping all in and keeping the faith.

 

Keeping the Faith


I am a regular temple goer throughout the year, but there is something about the high holidays that brings me peace I don’t know how to properly articulate. I love my faith and could listen to my Rabbi give a sermon all day, every day, but there is nothing better than Kol Nidre with Rabbi Naomi Levy.  It is a moving service and I feel like I am in the presence of God on this particular day. Perhaps it is because I am surrounded by such a large group and we are all in prayer together, or maybe it is just because my heart is completely open on this day. Open to joy and sorrow, happiness and heartache. It is a day that matters to me.

I am going into Kol Nidre this year with both relief and fear. Relief to unload the weight of so many things on my soul, and fear about what my life will look like without so many burdens pent up inside me. After a year with so many unanswered questions and trials and tribulations, I have no expectations, but real hope when I go to Kol Nidre services. I simply want to be free. Free of my demons, of which there are many, and free of the busyness in my mind that prevents me from sleeping. I want my choices to be unaffected by cancer, and I want my future to become clear. No guarantees, just clarity after foggy days.

I am not the type of person who looks for guarantees in life. Things happen, both good and bad, and I am a roll with the punches kind of girl. I will think about the last year, thank God for holding my hand through all of it, and pray for the strength to be always be brave, even when I don’t think I can. I shall search for forgiveness, knowing it will come. I shall search for clarity, knowing it will come. I shall ask for sleep, knowing it will find me. I shall envision all of our names being inscribed in the book of life, and I will focus on keeping the faith.

 

 

Dating 101 – Not OK Cupid


I spent the weekend at home. I was dealing with jet lag and fighting off a cold that was trying very hard to derail me. I drank a lot of tea with honey, soaked in the tub a few times, and basically just rested. When I got an email from OK Cupid on Saturday afternoon letting me know someone was interested in me, I logged in thinking a good man might make me feel better.

That was the only mistake I made all weekend. These are the actual pictures of the man who got in touch with me. They have not been altered in any way, other than to delete his face. Yes, you got that right, they are posted online, for all to see, with his face clearly showing. This man is not shy or embarrassed by who he is or what he is looking for. Good for him I guess that he is so comfortable in his own skin, but surely there is a fetish dating site for him to be searching on.

Needless to say, after one week on OK Cupid, I was done.  Dating is a nightmare under the best of circumstances, and this was almost too much for me to handle. Maybe it was because I was tired, or perhaps because I was sick, but I wanted to scream and think I actually may have. I got up today at 4:00 am and the first thing I did was delete my OK Cupid account. Why didn’t I delete it immediately upon hearing from this man? Because my head exploded and I lost the use of my hands for a short time. That and I threw my phone on the floor and was too tired to go get it.

Dear Lord. I am 51 years old, cute, funny, successful, independent, kind, loving, supportive, open to love, and a great woman, yet this is what is available to me to date in Los Angeles? I will remain hopeful, because that is who I am as a human being, but to say this man did not crush my spirit a little would be a lie. In an attempt to shake it off and embrace the midlife crisis I am currently going through, I chopped off all my hair. A bit rash I suppose, but it’s just hair and it will grow back. At the end of the day I will be fine, because I am always fine. When it comes to my dating life however, today it is a bit of a struggle to keep the faith.

New Year, New Everything


As I start writing this I am on a plane, flying from London to Los Angeles. After a sunny morning on the drive to Heathrow from Beckham Palace in Chigwell, clouds have rolled in and it would appear I am taking the sun back to California with me. I land in LA at 4:00 pm, home by 5:30, out the door for Rosh Hashana services by 6:00. I’m already tired so I will be exhausted by the time I get to shul, but I am looking forward to beginning a new year.

It has been a busy time with a lot of things going on personally and professionally. I am being forced to reevaluate things, and while I certainly feel pressure about a lot of things, I have decided to embrace it all and rather than stress out, enjoy a mid-life crisis and go a little crazy. If I can’t throw caution to the wind at age 51 and roll with it, when can I? I am diving into the new year with an almost desperate desire to be brave and bold.

When my son was born I began to worry about dying. I was terrified something would happen to me, so I became painfully cautious. So much so that in retrospect I think I limited how I lived. Of course one could attribute it to simply being a Jewish mom who worries too much, but the bigger truth is once you become a mother you live your life for someone else, and that causes fear to creep in. You want to be there for your child, so you live in fear.

When I was told I had cancer my fear became consuming. I was so scared of what it could possibly mean to have cancer, I didn’t pay attention to what it was doing to me emotionally. I was unsure what I was supposed to do and was paralyzed with fear because my father died of cancer. I wrote my own story and focused on things that didn’t matter and weren’t even necessarily true.  I was lost and stayed that way for a long time. I have finally cleared the fog.

A few weeks ago a transformation began and I can say with real conviction that my mid-life crisis is proving to be a great thing. After being at my day job for over 9 years and countless trips back and forth to London, I up and quit. I bought a new car, colored my hair, ended a relationship with a man I was certain I would love one day, but also certain I would never respect. I pre-ordered Hilary Clinton’s book, and found myself a new job. It is time to start living again.

This new year matters to me. It will be the year I listen to my own advice. I always say we need to be brave, not only follow our hearts, but not settle for the things we get because we believe they are what we deserve. Instead I am going into the year knowing I deserve it all. I am going to kick ass at my new job, and find a man I want more than I need. A man who gets how fantastic I am and is strong enough to let me be me and be himself.

I am now safely at home, reunited with my remarkable son, and ready to live out loud in ways I never have before. The new year has begun and I am hopeful, certain things will be great. I am also wise enough to know there will be bumps in the road, but I am a great driver so it will all be fine. I have a date this weekend and start my new job next week. I also have what appears to be the beginnings of a cold and jet lag, but I welcome all of it.

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. I hope your challenges are few, but when you hit a bump, and you will, know I am there cheering you on. Be brave. This is your life and only you can live it. Do what makes sense to you and what feels good to you. Have some fun. Have more sex. Have really good sex. Laugh out loud. Resist. Make a difference. Inspire change. Speak out. Go out. Everything is possible if you believe, so keep the faith.

 

 

Remembering September 11, 2001


On September 11, 2001, 2,819 people were murdered during the attacks on America. These are the names of the people who died on that horrible day.  Remember. Pray. Keep the faith.

Gordon M. Aamoth Jr. 
Edelmiro Abad 
Maria Rose Abad 
Andrew Anthony Abate
 Vincent Abate 
Laurence Christopher Abel
 William F. Abrahamson
 Richard Anthony Aceto
 Jesus Acevedo Rescand 
Heinrich Bernhard Ackermann 
Paul Acquaviva 
Donald LaRoy Adams
Patrick Adams
 Shannon Lewis Adams
 Stephen George Adams
Ignatius Udo Adanga
Christy A. Addamo
 Terence E. Adderley, Jr.
 Sophia Buruwad Addo 
Lee Allan Adler 
Daniel Thomas Afflitto
 Emmanuel Akwasi Afuakwah 
Alok Agarwal
Mukul Kumar Agarwala
Joseph Agnello
David Scott Agnes
Brian G. Ahearn
Jeremiah Joseph Ahern
Joanne Marie Ahladiotis
Shabbir Ahmed
Terrance Andre Aiken
Godwin Ajala
Gertrude M. Alagero
Andrew Alameno 
Margaret Ann Alario
Gary M. Albero
Jon Leslie Albert
Peter Alderman
Jacquelyn Delaine Aldridge
David D. Alger
Sarah Ali-Escarcega
Ernest Alikakos
Edward L. Allegretto
Eric Allen
Joseph Ryan Allen
Richard Dennis Allen
Richard Lanard Allen
Christopher E. Allingham
Janet M. Alonso
Arturo Alva-Moreno
Anthony Alvarado
Antonio Javier Alvarez
Victoria Alvarez-Brito
Telmo E. Alvear
Cesar Amoranto Alviar
Tariq Amanullah
Angelo Amaranto
James M. Amato Joseph Amatuccio
Christopher Charles Amoroso
Kazuhiro Anai
Calixto Anaya, Jr.
Joseph Anchundia
Kermit Charles Anderson
Yvette Constance Anderson
John Andreacchio
Michael Rourke Andrews
Jean Ann Andrucki
Siew-Nya Ang
Joseph Angelini, Jr.
Joseph Angelini, Sr.
Laura Angilletta
Doreen J. Angrisani
Lorraine Antigua
Peter Paul Apollo
Faustino Apostol, Jr.
Frank Thomas Aquilino
Patrick Michael Aranyos
David Arce
Michael George Arczynski 
Louis Arena
Adam P. Arias
Michael Armstrong
Jack Charles Aron
Joshua Aron
Richard Avery Aronow
Japhet Jesse Aryee
Patrick Asante
Carl Asaro
Michael Asciak
Michael Edward Asher
Janice Marie Ashley
Thomas J. Ashton
Manuel O. Asitimbay
Gregg Arthur Atlas
Gerald T. Atwood
James Audiffred
Louis Frank Aversano, Jr.
Ezra Aviles
Sandy Ayala
Arlene T. Babakitis
Eustace P. Bacchus
John J. Badagliacca
Jane Ellen Baeszler
Robert J. Baierwalter
Andrew J. Bailey
Brett T. Bailey
Tatyana Bakalinskaya
Michael S. Baksh
Sharon M. Balkcom
Michael Andrew Bane
Katherine Bantis
Gerard Baptiste
Walter Baran
Gerard A. Barbara
Paul Vincent Barbaro
James William Barbella
Ivan Kyrillos F. Barbosa
Victor Daniel Barbosa
Colleen Ann Barkow
David Michael Barkway
Matthew Barnes
Sheila Patricia Barnes
Evan J. Baron
Renee Barrett-Arjune
Nathaly Barrios La Cruz
Arthur Thaddeus Barry
Diane G. Barry
Maurice Vincent Barry
Scott D. Bart
Carlton W. Bartels
Guy Barzvi
Inna B. Basina
Alysia Basmajian 
Kenneth William Basnicki
Steven Bates
Paul James Battaglia
Walter David Bauer, Jr.
Marlyn Capito Bautista
Jasper Baxter
Michele Beale
Paul Frederick Beatini
Jane S. Beatty
Lawrence Ira Beck
Manette Marie Beckles
Carl John Bedigian
Michael Earnest Beekman
Maria A. Behr
Yelena Belilovsky 
Nina Patrice Bell
Debbie Bellows
Stephen Elliot Belson
Paul M. Benedetti
Denise Lenore Benedetto 
Maria Bengochea
Bryan Craig Bennett
Eric L. Bennett
Oliver Duncan Bennett
Margaret L. Benson
Dominick J. Berardi
James Patrick Berger
Steven Howard Berger
John P. Bergin
Alvin Bergsohn
Daniel Bergstein
Michael J. Berkeley Chic Burlingame 
Donna M. Bernaerts
David W. Bernard
William Bernstein
David M. Berray
David S. Berry
Joseph J. Berry
William Reed Bethke
Timothy Betterly
Edward Frank Beyea
Paul Beyer
Anil Tahilram Bharvaney
Bella J. Bhukhan
Shimmy D. Biegeleisen
Peter Alexander Bielfeld
William G. Biggart
Brian Bilcher
Carl Vincent Bini
Gary Eugene Bird
Joshua David Birnbaum
George John Bishop
Jeffrey Donald Bittner
Albert Balewa Blackman, Jr.
Christopher Joseph Blackwell
Susan Leigh Blair
Harry Blanding, Jr.
Janice Lee Blaney
Craig Michael Blass
Rita Blau
Richard Middleton Blood, Jr.
Michael Andrew Boccardi 
John P. Bocchi
Michael Leopoldo Bocchino
Susan M. Bochino
Bruce D. Boehm
Mary Catherine Boffa
Nicholas Andrew Bogdan
Darren Christopher Bohan
Lawrence Francis Boisseau
Vincent M. Boland, Jr.
Alan Bondarenko 
Andre Bonheur, Jr.
Colin Arthur Bonnett
Frank Bonomo
Yvonne Lucia Bonomo
Genieve Bonsignore, 3 
Seaon Booker
Sherry Ann Bordeaux
Krystine Bordenabe
Martin Boryczewski
Richard Edward Bosco
John H. Boulton
Francisco Eligio Bourdier
Thomas Harold Bowden, Jr.
Kimberly S. Bowers
Veronique Nicole Bowers
Larry Bowman
Shawn Edward Bowman, Jr.
Kevin L. Bowser
Gary R. Box
Gennady Boyarsky
Pamela Boyce
Michael Boyle
Alfred Braca
Kevin Bracken
David Brian Brady
Alexander Braginsky
Nicholas W. Brandemarti
Michelle Renee Bratton
Patrice Braut
Lydia E. Bravo
Ronald Michael Breitweiser
Edward A. Brennan III
Francis Henry Brennan
Michael E. Brennan
Peter Brennan
Thomas M. Brennan
Daniel J. Brethel
Gary Lee Bright
Jonathan Briley
Mark A. Brisman
Paul Gary Bristow
Mark Francis Broderick
Herman Charles Broghammer
Keith A. Broomfield
Ethel Brown Janice 
Juloise Brown
Lloyd Stanford Brown
Patrick J. Brown
Bettina Browne
Mark Bruce
Richard George Bruehert
Andrew Brunn
Vincent Brunton
Ronald Paul Bucca
Brandon J. Buchanan
Gregory Joseph Buck
Dennis Buckley
Nancy Clare Bueche
Patrick Joseph Buhse
John Edwards Bulaga, Jr.
Stephen Bunin
Matthew J. Burke 
Thomas Daniel Burke
William Francis Burke, Jr.
Donald J. Burns
Kathleen Anne Burns
Keith James Burns
John Patrick Burnside
Irina Buslo
Milton G. Bustillo
Thomas M. Butler
Patrick Byrne
Timothy G. Byrne 
Jesus Neptali Cabezas
Lillian Caceres
Brian Joseph Cachia
Steven Dennis Cafiero, Jr.
Richard M. Caggiano
Cecile Marella Caguicla
Michael John Cahill
Scott Walter Cahill
Thomas Joseph Cahill
George Cain
Salvatore B. Calabro
Joseph Calandrillo
Philip V. Calcagno
Edward Calderon
Kenneth Marcus Caldwell
Dominick Enrico Calia
Felix Calixte
Frank Callahan
Liam Callahan
Luigi Calvi
Roko Camaj
Michael F. Cammarata
David Otey Campbell
Geoffrey Thomas Campbell
Jill Marie Campbell
Robert Arthur Campbell
Sandra Patricia Campbell 
Sean Thomas Canavan
John A. Candela
Vincent Cangelosi
Stephen J. Cangialosi
Lisa Bella Cannava
Brian Cannizzaro 
Michael Canty
Louis Anthony Caporicci
Jonathan Neff Cappello
James Christopher Cappers
Richard Michael Caproni
Jose Manuel Cardona
Dennis M. Carey
Steve Carey
Edward Carlino
Michael Scott Carlo
David G. Carlone 
Rosemarie C. Carlson
Mark Stephen Carney
Joyce Ann Carpeneto
Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista 
Jeremy M. Carrington
Michael Carroll
Peter Carroll
James Joseph Carson, Jr.
Marcia Cecil Carter
James Marcel Cartier
Vivian Casalduc
John Francis Casazza
Paul R. Cascio
Margarito Casillas
Thomas Anthony Casoria
William Otto Caspar
Alejandro Castano
Arcelia Castillo
Germaan Castillo Garcia
Leonard M. Castrianno
Jose Ramon Castro
Richard G. Catarelli
Christopher Sean Caton
Robert John Caufield
Mary Teresa Caulfield
Judson Cavalier
Michael Joseph Cawley
Jason David Cayne
Juan Armando Ceballos
Jason Michael Cefalu
Thomas Joseph Celic
Ana Mercedes Centeno
Joni Cesta
Jeffrey Marc Chairnoff
Swarna Chalasani 
William Chalcoff
Eli Chalouh
Charles Lawrence Chan
Mandy Chang
Mark Lawrence Charette
Gregorio Manuel Chavez
Delrose E. Cheatham
Pedro Francisco Checo
Douglas MacMillan Cherry
Stephen Patrick Cherry
Vernon Paul Cherry
Nester Julio Chevalier
Swede Chevalier 
Alexander H. Chiang
Dorothy J. Chiarchiaro
Luis Alfonso Chimbo
Robert Chin
Wing Wai Ching
Nicholas Paul Chiofalo
John Chipura
Peter A. Chirchirillo
Catherine Chirls
Kyung Hee Cho
Abul K. Chowdhury
Mohammad Salahuddin Chowdhury
Kirsten L. Christophe
Pamela Chu
Steven Chucknick
Wai Chung
Christopher Ciafardini
Alex F. Ciccone
Frances Ann Cilente
Elaine Cillo
Edna Cintron
Nestor Andre Cintron III
Robert Dominick Cirri
Juan Pablo Cisneros-Alvarez
Benjamin Keefe Clark
Eugene Clark
Gregory Alan Clark
Mannie Leroy Clark
Thomas R. Clark
Christopher Robert Clarke
Donna Marie Clarke
Michael J. Clarke 
Suria Rachel Emma Clarke
Kevin Francis Cleary
James D. Cleere 
Geoffrey W. Cloud
Susan Marie Clyne
Steven Coakley
Jeffrey Alan Coale
Patricia A. Cody
Daniel Michael Coffey
Jason M. Coffey
Florence G. Cohen
Kevin Sanford Cohen
Anthony Joseph Coladonato
Mark Joseph Colaio
Stephen Colaio
Christopher M. Colasanti
Kevin Nathaniel Colbert
Michel P. Colbert 
Keith E. Coleman
Scott Thomas Coleman
Tarel Coleman
Liam Joseph Colhoun
Robert D. Colin
Robert J. Coll
Jean Collin
John Michael Collins
Michael L. Collins
Thomas J. Collins
Joseph Collison
Patricia Malia Colodner
Linda M. Colon
Sol E. Colon
Ronald Edward Comer
Sandra Jolane Conaty Brace
Jaime Concepcion
Albert Conde
Denease Conley
Susan P. Conlon
Margaret Mary Conner
Cynthia Marie Lise Connolly
John E. Connolly, Jr.
James Lee Connor
Jonathan M. Connors
Kevin Patrick Connors
Kevin F. Conroy
Jose Manuel Contreras-Fernandez 
Brenda E. Conway
Dennis Michael Cook
Helen D. Cook
John A. Cooper
Joseph John Coppo, Jr.
Gerard J. Coppola
Joseph Albert Corbett
Alejandro Cordero
Robert Cordice
Ruben D. Correa 
Danny A. Correa-Gutierrez
James J. Corrigan
Carlos Cortes
Kevin Cosgrove
Dolores Marie Costa
Digna Alexandra Costanza
Charles Gregory Costello, Jr.
Michael S. Costello
Conrod K. Cottoy 
Martin John Coughlan
John Gerard Coughlin
Timothy J. Coughlin
James E. Cove
Andre Cox
Frederick John Cox
James Raymond Coyle
Michele Coyle-Eulau
Anne Marie Cramer
Christopher S. Cramer
Denise Elizabeth Crant
James Leslie Crawford, Jr.
Robert James Crawford
Joanne Mary Cregan
Lucy Crifasi
John A. Crisci
Daniel Hal Crisman
Dennis Cross
Kevin Raymond Crotty
Thomas G. Crotty
John Crowe
Welles Remy Crowther
Robert L. Cruikshank
John Robert Cruz 
Grace Yu Cua
Kenneth John Cubas
Francisco Cruz Cubero
Richard J. Cudina
Neil James Cudmore
Thomas Patrick Cullen lll
Joyce Cummings 
Brian Thomas Cummins
Michael Cunningham
Robert Curatolo
Laurence Damian Curia
Paul Dario Curioli
Beverly Curry
Michael S. Curtin 
Gavin Cushny
John D’Allara
Vincent Gerard D’Amadeo
Jack D’Ambrosi
Mary D’Antonio
Edward A. D’Atri
Michael D. D’Auria
Michael Jude D’Esposito
Manuel John Da Mota
Caleb Arron Dack
Carlos S. DaCosta
Joao Alberto DaFonseca Aguiar, Jr.
Thomas A. Damaskinos
Jeannine Marie Damiani-Jones
Patrick W. Danahy
Nana Danso
Vincent Danz
Dwight Donald Darcy
Elizabeth Ann Darling
Annette Andrea Dataram
Lawrence Davidson
Michael Allen Davidson
Scott Matthew Davidson
Titus Davidson
Niurka Davila
Clinton Davis
Wayne Terrial Davis
Anthony Richard Dawson
Calvin Dawson
Edward James Day
Jayceryll de Chavez
Jennifer De Jesus
Monique E. De Jesus
Nereida De Jesus
Emerita De La Pena
Azucena Maria de la Torre
David Paul De Rubbio
Jemal Legesse De Santis 
Christian Louis De Simone
Melanie Louise De Vere
William Thomas Dean
Robert J. DeAngelis, Jr.
Thomas Patrick DeAngelis
Tara E. Debek
Anna Marjia DeBin
James V. Deblase
Paul DeCola
Simon Marash Dedvukaj
Jason Defazio
David A. DeFeo
Manuel Del Valle, Jr.
Donald Arthur Delapenha
Vito Joseph DeLeo
Danielle Anne Delie
Joseph A. Della Pietra
Andrea DellaBella
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Narender Nath
Karen Susan Navarro
Joseph Micheal Navas
Francis Joseph Nazario
Glenroy I. Neblett 
Rayman Marcus Neblett
Jerome O. Nedd
Laurence Nedell
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Ann N. Nelson
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James Nelson
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Daniela R. Notaro
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Soichi Numata
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 Thomas E. Sabella
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Edward Saiya
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Juan G. Salas
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Richard L. Salinardi, Jr.
Wayne John Saloman
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Rena Sam-Dinnoo
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Sylvia San Pio
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Stacey Leigh Sanders
Herman S. Sandler
James Sands, Jr.
Ayleen J. Santiago
Kirsten Santiago
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Mario L. Santoro
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Rufino Conrado Flores Santos Iii
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Kalyan Sarkar
Chapelle R. Sarker
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Deepika Kumar Sattaluri
Gregory Thomas Saucedo
Susan M. Sauer
Anthony Savas
Vladimir Savinkin
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Robert L. Scandole, Jr.
Michelle Scarpitta
Dennis Scauso
John Albert Schardt
John G. Scharf
Frederick Claude Scheffold, Jr.
Angela Susan Scheinberg 
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Steven Francis Schlag
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Ian Schneider
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Frank G. Schott, Jr.
Gerard Patrick Schrang
Jeffrey H. Schreier
John T. Schroeder
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Edward William Schunk
Mark E. Schurmeier
Clarin Shellie Schwartz
John Burkhart Schwartz
Mark Schwartz
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Raphael Scorca
Randolph Scott
Sheila Scott 
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Daniel James Shea
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Karl T. Smith
Keisha Smith
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Leon Smith, Jr.
Moira Ann Smith
Rosemary A. Smith
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Keiji Takahashi
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Stanley Temple
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Shell Tester 
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Harshad Sham Thatte
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Lesley Anne Thomas
Brian Thomas Thompson
Clive Thompson
Glenn Thompson 
Nigel Bruce Thompson
Perry A. Thompson
Vanavah Alexei Thompson
William H. Thompson
Eric Raymond Thorpe
Nichola Angela Thorpe
Sal Edward Tieri, Jr.
John p Tierney
Mary Ellen Tiesi
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David Tirado
Hector Luis Tirado, Jr.
Michelle Lee Titolo
John J. Tobin
Richard Todisco
Vladimir Tomasevic
Stephen Kevin Tompsett
Thomas Tong
Doris Torres
Luis Eduardo Torres
Amy Elizabeth Toyen
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Lisa L. Trerotola
Karamo Trerra
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Michael Tucker
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Allen V. Upton
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John Damien Vaccacio
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Ivan Vale
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Santos Valentin, Jr.
Carlton Francis Valvo II
Erica H. Van Acker
Kenneth W. Van Auken
Richard B. Van Hine
Daniel M. Van Laere
Edward Raymond Vanacore
Jon C. Vandevander
Barrett Vanvelzer, 4 
Edward Vanvelzer 
Paul Herman Vanvelzer
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Gopalakrishnan Varadhan 
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Scott C. Vasel
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Arcangel Vazquez
Santos Vazquez
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Sankara S. Velamuri
Jorge Velazquez
Lawrence G. Veling
Anthony Mark Ventura
David Vera
Loretta Ann Vero 
Christopher James Vialonga
Matthew Gilbert Vianna
Robert Anthony Vicario
Celeste Torres Victoria
Joanna Vidal
John T. Vigiano II 
Joseph Vincent Vigiano
Frank J. Vignola, Jr.
Joseph Barry Vilardo
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Chantal Vincelli
Melissa Vincent
Francine Ann Virgilio
Lawrence Virgilio
Joseph Gerard Visciano
Joshua S. Vitale
Maria Percoco Vola
Lynette D. Vosges
Garo H. Voskerijian
Alfred Vukosa
Gregory Kamal Bruno Wachtler
Gabriela Waisman
Courtney Wainsworth Walcott
Victor Wald
Benjamin James Walker
Glen Wall
Mitchel Scott Wallace
Peter Guyder Wallace
Robert Francis Wallace
Roy Michael Wallace
Jeanmarie Wallendorf
Matthew Blake Wallens
John Wallice, Jr.
Barbara P. Walsh
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Jeffrey P. Walz
Ching Wang
Weibin Wang
Michael Warchola
Stephen Gordon Ward
James Arthur Waring
Brian G. Warner
Derrick Washington
Charles Waters
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Patrick J. Waters 
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Dinah Webster
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Ssu-Hui Wen
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Whitfield West, Jr.
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Leonard Anthony White
Malissa Y. White
Wayne White
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Wilham J. Wik
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Crossley Richard Williams, Jr.
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Siu Cheung Wong
Yin Ping Wong
Yuk Ping Wong
Brent James Woodall
James John Woods
Patrick J. Woods 
Richard Herron Woodwell
David Terence Wooley
John Bentley Works
Martin Michael Wortley
Rodney James Wotton
William Wren

Keyes of Van Nuys Disappoints


Oy vey with these people already. I know I wrote about my unfortunate car salesman experience, then how Keyes stepped up to the plate and got me into the car I wanted with a great deal, but I simply have to write about them again because I’m angry and frustrated. In the grand scheme of things, it could be viewed as unimportant, but this is bad business and I am calling them out.

I have personalized plates on my car. I have for about twenty years. I love my plates and they matter to me. When I bought my new car, I told them a dozen times about the plates. They assured me it was not going to be a problem and they would be reassigned from the old car to the new one. I asked and nudged over and over again. I was assured each time the plates were taken care of.

When I was done with the paperwork and was being shown the car, I again asked about the plates. They showed me my personalized plates had been put on the new car, then covered with a Keyes sticker. I was instructed to keep them covered until the new registration arrived, then take the sticker off and enjoy my beloved plates on my beautiful new car. It was a done deal and I was very happy.

You can imagine my surprise when last week I received not only my new car registration, but new plates. Run of the mill, random numbers I will never remember, plates. I called the finance guy at Keyes who did the paperwork and he had the chutzpa to tell me he did not remember my having personalized plates. Really? I then called the sales manager and he said he’d call me right back.

When he called days later he told me he didn’t know how the mistake happened, but not to worry as he would fix it. Then I didn’t hear from him for days. Then he called and said there was nothing they could do, but If I went to a AAA office, they would fix it in five minutes. Really? I was annoyed. They screwed up, they lied, and I needed to fix it myself

I went to AAA and my five minute visit took over an hour. Why? Because my personalized plates, the ones I love so much, had been reported stolen to the DMV, who then reported them stolen to the police department, and if I were stopped for any reason with the plates on my car, I would be arrested for theft. Really? Yes, really. Keyes of Van Nuys is now officially back on my shit list and I’m over them.

Turns out that when I bought my new car, and they promised me up and down the plates were transferred over, they never actually did the paperwork. When they sold my old car, my personalized plates went with it. When the new owners of my old car drove went to the DMV, they were told my personalized plates were still registered to the car, and so the plates were reported stolen.

So……… the DMV lets the police know the plates have been stolen, and my new car is now cruising around with stolen plates, which are actually my plates, but still stolen. I leave AAA and go to the DMV thinking they will fix the problem quicker than AAA. Two hours later I was told I need to come back first thing in the morning so they can get Sacramento on the phone to unravel the mess. Dear Lord.

So after a day of running around, a week of chasing Keyes for some help, I have my stolen plates in the trunk of my car, the new plates I will never remember on my car, and will need to devote another couple of hours to trying to get my plates back. Important to note that the sales manager sent me an email that was bullshit, and the owner never bothered to reply to my emails at all. Fascinating.

At the end of the day it would appear that once I left the lot they stopped being concerned with customer service. It will take a investment of time to try and get back my plates. I’m on my own because Keyes of Van Nuys is nothing but a bunch of car salesmen who cannot be trusted. Take your business somewhere else, be sure they transfer your plates, and please pray the DMV gives me back my plates. I am keeping the faith.

I Love You Rob Eshman


It was announced today that Rob Eshman is stepping down from his post as editor-in-chief and publisher of the Jewish Journal. When I read the news my heart paused, then I sighed, then I was sad for me, then I was happy for him, then I stared at the picture accompanying the announcement and thought about how much I love this wonderful man, and will miss him as my boss.

Important to note that my remarkable Rabbi, Naomi Levy, is married to Rob and I love her just as much, so there is no shame in professing my love for this great man. As I begin my ninth year as a writer at the Jewish Journal, I owe everything to Rob. He not only heard my voice through my writing, but fought for others to hear it, even when some wanted me to be quiet. I have built a wonderful life as a writer and I will forever be grateful to the man who started it all for me.

Rob Eshman is my hero for a lot of reasons. He loves his family in a way that makes me believe in love. He comments on my writing in a way that makes me want to do better. He inspires me to be a more informed Jew. He makes me laugh, and think, and hope, and pray. I am a better writer for having worked alongside him and will forever been honored to have been taken under his wing.

To the divine Rob Eshman, you are amazing and I am happy for you. I wish you nothing but good things on your new adventure. I look forward to buying your cookbook and seeing you in temple. You are a wonderful journalist, an exceptional human being, and I love you. Always have, and always will. Mazel Tov Mr. Eshman. Be happy, be safe, and always keep the faith.

 

 

Dating 101 – Baggage


Men often say women have a lot of baggage and they don’t want to deal with any drama. I read as much in countless profiles of men dating online. They are very specific about not wanting to deal with the damage of all the men who have come before them. I get it, but if men think it is only women who have baggage, they are delusional. Men are also scarred by previous relationships and it is funny when they insist they are not. Men not only have baggage, but it is much heavier.

I have spent the past week speaking to a man from Santa Monica. He is 61, divorced with 2 kids, and painfully fragile. We didn’t have any interactions that did not include him telling me he did not like what I was saying. If I said something sarcastic, as I am known to do, he would say “I don’t like that.” He spent a lot of time telling me what he didn’t like, what he wouldn’t do, and letting me know he was desperate for acceptance and kindness. It was sad and exhausting.

We spoke and texted for little while, then in what would be our last conversation, he had what can only be described as a nervous breakdown. We were chatting about relationships and sex. I asked him if he was still sexually active, which I think is an acceptable question. We are adults, he is 61, and I thought the question in the context of our conversation was fair and appropriate. He didn’t think so and started to scream at me that he doesn’t answer those questions.

One might of thought he was rude, or perhaps assume he’s dealing with sexual issues, or conclude he has been treated unkindly, but either way it was weird and his reaction was disproportionate to the situation. He was angry, confused, flustered, and embarrassed. This is a man who is carrying around so much baggage he is weighed down and simply walking around in circles. It was strange, then funny, then really quite sad. Needless to say, we won’t be speaking again.

Relationships are hard and more complicated at age 51. Everyone is coming to the table with history, and with history comes baggage. I don’t expect someone to not have needs or reactions based on their past, but I do expect someone to not yell at me, and certainly not approve or disapprove of everything I say. To this man who felt he could yell at me, I hope you take a moment to step back and reevaluate what it is exactly you are doing in terms of your dating style.

I would recommend you focus on your kids and work and not date right now. You are emotionally not ready. The truth is that any woman who is willing to date someone at your level of pain, is equally as unavailable. You’ll end up having a relationship that is unsatisfying for you both. There is nothing wrong with having baggage. We are adults and that is life, just be careful how you pack it. I am continuing to date, doing a little unpacking of my own, and keeping the faith.

Dating 101: Ex marks the spot


I do not have relationships with my exes. I think it complicates things, and have never really understood how people do it. Important to note I define an ex by the presence of love. I have dated men who I cared about and thought that I loved, but there have been very few men who I have really been in love with. Soul cradling love that makes you see the world in colors you never knew existed. I have loved like that twice in my life. Once with my ex-husband, and once with the Englishman.

There are degrees of love I suppose. Differences between loving someone and believing they were your soulmate. A bashert. Someone you feel was placed on earth by God to be your person. My ex-husband is the first man I ever loved. I can remember looking at him when we first started to date and thinking he would be the father of my children. Our courtship was fast we were engaged after only weeks. We were young and in love and I thought we would be married forever.  We weren’t, but we have a child, and so he is my bashert.

Our son is magnificent and truly equal parts of his dad and me. He looks like his dad, but his personality is all me. He has my sense of humor and his dad’s desire to do right by the planet and others. I will always love my ex-husband because he is a part of my child and if I didn’t love him, then what does that mean about the parts of my kid that are just like him? We don’t have a relationship, and haven’t for years. He has a horrible wife who never quite forgave me for being the mother of her husband’s only son.

I feel sad for her and also for him. They blocked a lot of great things for my son by our strained relationship. I’m not blaming them for everything, because I had an equal hand in it, but when push comes to shove and blame must be assigned, my hands are clean. The end of a relationship is tragic for everyone involved and whether you are married or dating, kids are often hurt by the loss. I loved the Englishman in a soul crushing way, I also loved his children as if they were my own.

His oldest child is a remarkable person who has no idea how great she is. His youngest child has the heart of an angel and made me smile every moment we were together. We were building a life together and our children were like siblings. I thought he was the man I’d grow old with.  We spoke of the kids growing up and going off to college, and we would move to England and drink lots of tea. It was great and while we certainly had our share of relationship troubles, he was my person. You can imagine my surprise when he not only broke up with me on Facebook Messenger, but was cheating.

After we broke up I did not see his kids. There were a series of miscommunications, and one day contact just stopped. Not only between me and his kids, but between our children and each other. These two young people, who had woven themselves into my heart were gone. It was heartbreaking because I loved them. Still do. It is strange to have spent the last year in London as I thought I would be living here with him by now. I am not sad to not be with him, but sad for what was damaged.

The Englishman and his children mattered to me. I trusted him with my heart and more importantly, with my son. He broke that trust. Not only broke it, but then shit all over it. He is now living with the woman he cheated with and I hope he is happy. She clearly was able to give him something I didn’t and that is okay. I wanted him to be happy when we were together and I want that for him now. Just because he is unworthy of me and my son doesn’t mean he is unworthy of other things.

I have not seen him in over four years, but today I am flying back to Los Angeles from London and it turns out the Englishman is on my flight. Oy to the vey! He sent me a text last night when he heard we were on the same flight. It was somewhat ominous and threatening to me, but it turns out he thought he was being funny and breaking the ice. Um, no. My heart felt hurt and I did not sleep in anticipation of my flight. I prayed I would not see him. Which is very sad to me.

My heart has healed, and life has gone on, but I can’t help but wonder how things could have been and should have been different. I wonder if he ever really understood how much I loved him. I wonder if he ever really loved me. He couldn’t have known how much I loved him or wouldn’t have done what he did. He could not have loved me, or couldn’t have done what he did. What he did damaged not only me, but our children. My son was a baby when I got divorced, but he watched this break up and what it did to me.

At the end of the day none of it matters. We were together for a short time, a long time ago, and I am fine because I am always fine. In the interest of full disclosure, it is 8:40 am and I am having my second Cosmo. I feel nervous, anxious, sad, tired and ultimately sick as I am dealing with some medical stuff and am emotionally and physically drained. I would have given anything to not have had to deal with this today. Life is funny though and can throw you a curveball.

My father used to tell me I was a wonderful human being. As sit here getting drunk in anticipation of seeing someone I probably won’t see, I believe him. I loved the Englishman in a way people dream of being loved. Our not being together is not a reflection of me, as much as it is a reflection of him. He is blessed to have been loved by me and I am blessed to know I can love like that. My son is picking me up at the airport and I can’t wait to see that beautiful boy. Life is grand, love will be found, and I am keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High School the Second Time


High School is a tough time. Kids can be mean and it is stressful to be both a leader and a follower. When my son started high school I was a mess. I worried about him every day. My son attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. It is located on the campus of California State University, LA. That posed an entire new list of worries as he would be surrounded by college kids, but was my 14-year-old baby. On top of all that, it was miles from our home and he needed to carpool or take the subway. Oy vey with this school!

My son has wanted to be an actor since he was five years old. He never wavered. He went to a performing arts middle school, then LACHSA, and is now a working actor who has just produced and appeared in his first movie with his best friend since childhood. He is talented beyond measure and I am proud of him. He takes his job seriously and I support his pursuit of his chosen profession. It is not easy, but it is all he has ever done, or wanted, so it is what it is. My son looks back fondly on high school and I am blessed as his mom to say I do too.

LACHSA is a very special place. It fosters independence and individuality. It nurtures talent and builds confidence. They taught my son to keep his feet firmly on the ground while reaching for the stars. There are a lot of people there who deserve thanks for helping me raise my son. It takes a village and when you are a single parent, sending your child off for hours every day, the people at school become important on a lot of levels. My son has his favorite people at LACHSA, as do I. Mr. Chris Krambo made my second high school life a pleasure.

This remarkable man passed away this week and it is devastating to a lot of people. Chris was funny, smart, devoted, talented, and focused on his students in a way that made me grateful he was helping raise my son while he was at school. This is a man who worked hard, used his own money to make costumes, never complained about being tired, or unappreciated by kids who were too young and inexperienced to understand everything he did for them. He was a wonderful man and I will miss him, but always smile when I think of him, which I will often.

I am sad we had not spoken in so long. I am thankful however that he knew how important he was to me and that I loved him very much. Everyone has a story to tell and Chris had many. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. If you have a teacher in your life who is making your time in high school as a parent better, tell them thank you. If you love someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while, reach out and say hello. Rest in peace Chris. Know that you mattered to a lot of people. Thank you for always keeping the faith.

Online Dating 101 – Oh. My. God.


My dating life has always been interesting. From my first date with my ex-husband, to all the men who have wandered into my life since, it has always been… interesting. I don’t know if that’s because I’m interesting, because I really am, or perhaps it is simply because I am brave and willing to put myself out there. But interesting is a good thing.

Until it isn’t.

This week my dating life was interesting for a lot of reasons, but I am left exhausted and wanting to get another cat.

I went back online this week, because how else do you meet anyone? I looked around on Match.com and JDate, and was not even a little surprised to see it is all the same people, with all the same photos, saying all the same things. I updated my profile, and put up new pictures, because it has been several months since I was dating online. I don’t think the majority of men got the same memo. Would it kill them to change it up a bit? Ugh. I am back where I started. Whatever.

I got a notification on Wednesday that I received an email through one of the dating web sites. I was happy that he wrote a proper note and didn’t send a passive aggressive wink or simply “like” one of my pictures. I logged in to my account and found the following message, which I have read at least a dozen times to make sure I understood. Important to note I’ve blurred his picture and name, but he wears glasses, is losing his hair, and his name sounds like Barvey.

You really must read it a few times to get exactly how gross this email is. He is 66 years old and his photo is as creepy as his note is. I think it may be in my best interest to get another cat and call it a day on my dating life. I will never understand how someone could possibly think this email is cool to send to a stranger. In what world does this man think this is okay? He is repulsive, and I am offended by his note. It has also somehow managed to hurt my feelings.

Of course, that is silly, because I don’t know him, and he is just a freak on the internet, but it is sad to me. I suppose I could adjust my thinking, view it as funny, and wish this man luck on his search for the woman who will float his boat. But I can’t get there. There is no world where his note to a stranger is acceptable, and there is no world where I would find it funny. Dating is tough, but I am tougher. Usually. It is taking a minute however, to shake this one off. Barvey is a pig and now blocked.

My dating life is always interesting and occasionally sad, with just a pinch of pathetic thrown in this week for good measure. I told my son I was going to die alone with 18 cats. He told me if I have 18 cats I won’t be alone. Why stop at 18 is the bigger question.

I am going to services tonight to pray the stink of Barvey’s email off of my dating life. As we enter the month of Tu B’Av, the holiday of love, I remain hopeful. My remarkable Rabbi, Naomi Levy, will bless me, and that blessing will guide my search. I am blessed to have a lot of love in my life, and am certain I will meet a man to share my journey with. Anyone with the name Harvey is now sadly out of the running, but he is out there and there’s a chance our paths will cross, so I am keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

Mind Blowing Sex – Muslim Style?


Sex is wonderful, and when you’re old enough to not only know what you like but empower yourself to be bold, it can be a great thing. When we are inexperienced we don’t know what good sex is. Considering how long I have been single, I have not had a large number partners. I got a relatively late start as I was 20 when I lost my virginity, but at 51 I now know what is good, what I like, and what I do well. Jewish men are my preference. They are known for girth, amen, but also known for their inability to tell the difference between 5 inches and 8 inches. Bless them.

I never had a heart to heart talk with my mother about sex. I watch porn and don’t read books on how to have good sex. I have spoken with my girlfriends about sex, but it more about how our partners are at it, then how we are. In our 50’s, my group of friends understand the importance of sex, the power it wields, and that most anything can be made better with a blow job. It’s not scientific, it is just one of those things we all know. Men like to receive oral pleasure, probably more than women, but only because women are better at it than men. Know it gentlemen.

I’m not writing about my own sex life right now, although I think you would find it both inspiring and depressing. Instead I am writing about a book that was sent my way called The Muslimah Sex Manual: A Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex. It struck me as interesting for a couple of reasons. 1) I was curious as I never really thought of Muslims as being particularly sexual, which I suppose is a stereotype, but still my truth. 2) What was most interesting about the book was not that it can guide me to mind blowing sex, but that it can do it in just 65 pages. Mazel Tov!

This book was written for Muslim women who are looking to have good sex lives with their husbands. It speaks of foreplay, which is a lost art to be sure. It covers kissing, which can immediately tell you whether you want to have sex with someone. It even discusses sexy texting, which is a sign of the times. There are chapters about positions and doing it in the shower. Bravo to author Umm Muladhat for putting it out there. Not only for Muslim women, but for all women. Umm is an American born Muslim woman who wants Muslim women be sexually satisfied.

Amen sister. Sex is nothing to be ashamed of. It should be enjoyed by all women and I applaud Umm for sharing the message that it does not have to be looked down upon. Muslim or not, sex can and should be enjoyed without fear or shame. I’m guessing many Muslin women are rocking it between the sheets. I think Jewish chicks are known to like sex. By like of course I mean as long as it doesn’t ruin our hair and there’s nothing good on TV. Again, stereotypes. Sorry. Not sorry. If you have great sex, and can help other women have the same, then you should.

I think there are a lot of women in the world who believe they are having great sex, but aren’t. Women who want to expand their horizons and get a little wild, but are too afraid of what their partners will think. That is not a Muslim thing, that is a chick thing. Umm is brave and I love her. From describing positions from Cowgirl to Amazon, she goes there. She also doesn’t shame anyone for sticking to the missionary position. There is nothing held back. She simply has a real desire to help the women of her culture with sex, but all women should be reading this book.

She does draw a line of course, because it is based on her faith. No anal, no porn, no period sex, and no sex outside of a marriage. Since writing and self-publishing her book, she has had a little push back from within her faith, which she knew was coming, and therefore why she made up a name to publish under. Her husband knows about the book of course, and even helped her with it, but nobody knows who the real writer is. To this woman, I say you did a lot of good for a lot of people. Her next book will be geared towards men, but I’ll be reading that one too.

I actually have a sex list. Things I’ve done, want to do, hope to do, and will never do. It was fun to make the list and I have been checking things off and adding new things for years. I recently took something off the list because having it there implied it could happen, and it is never happening, ever, so it’s gone. I might add couple new Muslim items to my list now. Inshallah they happen. Women must think outside the box we build for ourselves to make our sex lives better. We are glorious and sexual creatures, no matter how we are keeping the faith.

 

New car gift. Clipping path included.

My Mid-Life Crisis


A few weeks ago I decided to buy a new car.  I have had my car for 10 years and even with 115000 miles logged in, she had plenty of life left in her. I am not really a car person, but it was time for me to do something special for myself, so I went with a new car. I found the perfect little car and ordered it exactly how I wanted. I hit a rough patch with the first car salesman I met, but I was set on getting a new car, so when the dealership called to right his wrong, I appreciated the effort and listened.

After going back and forth on the car, I eventually decided against it. I figured the glitches were a sign I wasn’t supposed to get it. I was going to set the car aside for a bit and revisit it another time. Then on Thursday I went to see my doctor, and two and a half years after my cancer diagnosis, there is a little situation that needs to come out. I cried for five minutes, then I sent an email to the owner of Keyes of Van Nuys, Mr. Howard Tenenbaum, who had reached out the week before.

I let Howard know what I needed to be able to pull the trigger on the car. I heard back from him the same day, letting me know he took care of everything. The Sales Manager, Lewis Cook, went above and beyond for me. He worked with my schedule and budget, making it a priority to show me the customer service Keyes strives to provide. I was treated with respect and kindness, and left the lot on Saturday with my new baby. She is beautiful and made me happy on a sad day, which is good because I ain’t got time to be sad.

Louis Venegas the Finance Manager walked me through the process quickly and with expertise. Lewis Cook kept an eye on my signing of the papers and ensured I got VIP treatment. Even Howard came in to thank me for my business. It was a great experience and I will now remember the day because of the car, not because of the medical update. The gentlemen of Keyes were wonderful, having no idea what I was going through, simply wanting my experience to be a good one. Bravo.

Tomorrow I will hit the ground running on my medical situation and get it sorted. There will be tests, and surgery, and God willing many more anniversaries to celebrate. I am fine and my life is blessed. If you pray, throw my name in if you wouldn’t mind. I will keep you posted on what is happening. I am looking forward to driving to my appointment tomorrow in my fantastic new car. It is important to look cute while you kick some ass, and I look super cute in my super cute new car.

Please note I reserve the right to continue my midlife crisis after I deal with the current pain in my ass. Surely a new car won’t be the only thing I do. Maybe I’ll jet off to Australia for dinner. Again. Maybe I will change my hair color. Again. Maybe I will adopt a dog! Maybe I will find the man of dreams. Maybe I know him already! At the end of the day I feel good and my life is blessed. I am thankful, grateful, hopeful, and keeping the faith.

 

Brother can you spare a dime?


I give money to homeless people who ask me for it. Always have. I figure if someone has the courage to ask a stranger for help, I will help them. I always keep cash in both my glove compartment and my wallet. A day does not pass where I do not help someone. Sometimes I buy people food, or toiletries. One time I bought a lovely man a pair of shoes. I think kindness matters and when I give someone money and they offer me a blessing, it makes me happy every single time.

Last week I was asked for some help from a man on the street. I gave him a dollar and wished him well. He looked at the dollar and asked me, “Is that all you’ve got?” I was startled for a second and didn’t understand what he was saying. He looked me in the eyes and said, “Is that it?”. I told him to have a good day and left as my chin started to quiver and I burst into tears. It hurt my feelings and made me sad. It was as though the man felt disrespected, which wasn’t my intention.

I have had people ask me why I give money to those who are going to use to get high or drunk, but I never wonder what they’re going to do with the money. I can’t give them money with restrictions on what they can do with it. It is not personal, political, or judgmental. It is simple kindness. Who am I to judge anyone? I help when and how I can, so when this man asked if that was all I could do, it made me wonder if I should maybe stop giving money and instead just look away.

My friend George deals with homelessness every day as he works in law enforcement in an area of the city where there are a lot of homeless people. He has seen it all and helps save a lot of people. Not give them a dollar save, but actually get them off the street save. He thinks it is sweet I give everyone money, but feels it is only a matter of time before someone responded like this man. He never tells me not to do it, just to be aware not all people will appreciate it.

We view homelessness very differently. When I see a kid asking for money I want to invite them over to have a shower, get some clean clothes, and feed them a home cooked meal. George wants to find out why they’re there, investigate if they can go home, then give them tools to get off the street. For me, I want to put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound to fix it, while he wants to perform emergency surgery to stop the source of the bleeding. Both ways are valid to me.

How do I not help someone who asks? Even the guy who sits at the freeway off ramp wearing Beats headphones gets a dollar from me on occasion. He sits for hours in temperatures over 100 degrees, so why not give him a dollar? I am angry this one person could make me rethink giving money. He shouldn’t have that power over me. In all the times I have given out money, this is the first time I can remember experiencing something unpleasant in response.

I will continue to give money to people who ask me for it. Whether they spend it on food, a bottle of water, or drugs, if whatever they buy brings them a moment of happiness, or comfort, or quiet, then God bless them. There but for the grace of God go I. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone can appreciate a Band-Aid when it is offered to them. To the man who was unhappy with my gesture, I hope someone else gave you a bigger Band-Aid and you are keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating 101: Soulmates


According to Wikipedia: a soulmate is somebody with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, and  compatibility. A related concept is that of the twin flame or twin soul – which is thought to be the ultimate soulmate, the one and only other half of one’s soul, for which all souls are driven to find. Another theory of soulmates, presented by Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium, is that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them.

Some people believe souls are literally made and/or fated to be the mates of each other, or to play certain other important roles in each other’s lives and according to theories popularized by Theosophy and in a modified form by Edgar Cayce, God created androgynous souls, equally male and female. Later theories postulate souls split into separate genders, perhaps because they incurred karma while playing around on the Earth, or “separation from God”. Over countless reincarnations, each half seeks the other. When all karmic debt is purged, the two will fuse back together and return to the ultimate. If that is true, then we each get only one.

There is just one person out there who is destined to be our soulmate. When you think about how many people there are in the world, how are we ever expected to find that one person out of billions? Are there different levels of soulmate? My son’s father is not the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, but we have a remarkable son who completes my life, so could it be my son is my soulmate and that is the great love of my life? Can you go through life constantly searching for a person you will never find? Could it be they got tired of searching for you and are with someone else who is perhaps good enough? What if you panic and don’t realize you actually found the right one?

Is finding an almost perfect match a more realistic look at love? If you do find an almost match, do you shut off all parts of you that look? Do you keep one eye open just in case? I always believed in the theory of a soulmate, but to be honest I never took the time to look up what the true meaning of it was. Now that I have, I’m thinking it may be near impossible to find. I will keep looking of course, but I must say it is a little discouraging. Searching for love is draining, and waiting for it to find you, is exhausting. When you add in the desire for a soulmate, where do you draw the line between a perfect match and a good enough one? What is

At the end of the day I put faith in God there will be guidance on the path to my Beshert. I pray that not only will I have the strength to keep looking for him, but that he won’t stop looking for me. Just as important, when I do find him, I pray I am not too scared to actually see him. May I please be brave enough to not sabotage things because I am spooked, and not spook him so badly he becomes uncertain. Through good dates and bad, a broken heart and a heart that sings, I remain hopeful that each day brings me closer to what I want and deserve. My fingers are crossed, my heart is hopeful, and I am keeping the faith.

Dating 101: The Politics of Love


I have been dating George for six months. We spend a lot of time together and have settled into a comfortable space. He makes me laugh and I feel protected, valued, cherished, respected, and entertained. He is kind and gentle, yet not at all a pushover. He is a good man, which I noticed immediately because one often takes notice of things they have never encountered before. I like him very much.

George and I don’t fight. Not to say we don’t disagree on things, because we do, but there is no yelling, disrespect, regret in what we say, or how we say it. There are a lot of things that are new about this relationship. I thought the biggest obstacle would be that George is not Jewish. Turns out that isn’t actually a deal breaker. He has come with me to Shabbat Services, met my Rabbi, and embraced how I embrace my faith. I am Jewish enough to carry my faith on my own, which is an empowering feeling as I always felt my partner needed also be Jewish.

So here is where we stand:

Kindness                 Check

Chemistry                Check

Sense of Humor     Check

Respect                   Check

Handsome              Check

Tall                           Check

Blue Eyes                Check

Thinks I Rock         Check

Religion                   All Good

Politics                    Oy Vey

I am a person who likes to talk about politics. I am fascinated by what is happening in America and enjoy not only the banter that politics inspires, but learning about how the political system works. It is a truly unique time for this country and I want to talk about it. Not just politics, but the news in general. From the alleged treason of Donald Trump and his family, to the senseless killings of African Americans by law enforcement, to people who sold pot being in prison next to people who sold heroin, I want to not only talk about it, but try to fix it. Whether writing about race relations, calling my Congressman to have my voice heard, or advocating for medical marijuana, it all matters to me.

It has forced me to look at my relationship in a way I never have before. I have to decide what is important and why I think it is important. Does it matter that I be with someone who thinks exactly like me? Am I holding my partner up a different level of scrutiny than I do my friends? Do I value someone who treats me well?  Is not talking about politics a deal breaker? Can I only love someone who thinks the exact same way as me?  At the end of the day it forces me to think about what I want, what I deserve, and what I am afraid of. Am I simply using politics as a way to run away from someone wonderful because I’m scared?

Rachelle Friberg is a friend of mine. I have never met her in person mind you, but she is my friend. She is a lovely young woman who reached out to me on social media after I wrote a series of blogs about a random encounter with Sarah Palin. She was hosting a radio show and asked if I would come on and talk about it. While I am sure there are many republicans in my life, she was the first one who was really out there with her politics. She is proudly republican. She is also young, educated, religious, and close with her family. With the exception of our political affiliations, we are actually quite similar and I like her very much. We have been friends for several years and she is my go to republican.

I asked Rachelle a few questions because I value her opinion on politics. She’d be a great politician and perhaps after her career as one of the best school teachers this country has to offer, she will run for office. Rachelle has always been a republican. Both her parents are republicans. She used to consider herself a conservative republican, but her views have shifted a little over time. While she still considers herself a fiscal conservative, which I suppose I am too, she considers herself more of a moderate when it comes to social issues. She has coined herself a “common-sense republican”, which I love.

I asked Rachelle if she would date democrat and it was the first time she’d ever been asked the question. She never gave the topic much thought. When it comes to dating or being in a relationship, she looks at the individual and could care less whom the guy she’s dating voted for in an election. If the chemistry is there, why would she let political differences stand in the way of her having a committed, lasting relationship? She expanded by saying having differences in beliefs whether it comes to something as important as politics, or as trivial as what kind of pizza toppings you prefer on pizza (ham and pineapple is her winner), can be a good thing in that you’ll never run out of things to talk about. Healthy debates can be a good thing and can add an element of fun to a relationship.

When we spoke about President Trump, Rachelle shared that this was the first presidential election since voting in her first election at age of 18, she didn’t vote for the republican nominee. When it came to voting day, she could not vote for an individual whom she felt did not represent her as a republican or her values. That said, she said since President Trump won, and is now president of the United States, he is her President. She respects the office of the land and believes we live in the greatest country on earth. She believes it is her duty to stand by her country, but she wishes he would stop tweeting already.

At the end of the day Rachelle does not think political affiliation of your significant other should determine whether or not you can jump all in. If you have chemistry, who cares whom they voted for? Would it make it easier if they vote the same way as she did? Probably. But Rachelle reminded me nothing comes easy without hard work and grit. Relationships can be messy, but they are also amazing testaments to the value that comes with loving someone through the good and the bad. Sometimes the best relationships come from the most unexpected circumstances. You’ll never know unless you take a leap of faith.

Rachelle made me see things differently. If she can date a democrat, then certainly I could date a republican! In a final attempt to get her to get me to walk away from George, I asked my lovely Christian friend if she would date a Jew. Her answer was really surprising to me. It was a tough question for her. She is deeply rooted in her religion but it is not the be-all, end-all of a relationship for her. She would date someone who practices a different religion because love is love and she understands how special and rare it is to find someone. Oh. My. God. I might actually be in love with Rachelle. She is a wonderful human being.

As I write this I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing. Am I trying to push away a man because of politics? Am I so certain I have yet again picked the wrong person, I am willing to get rid of him before my heart is hurt? Am I brave enough to jump in and fall in love with a man who makes no sense anywhere but my heart? It is all rather complicated and I suppose that is the thing about love. It is not relationships that are complicated, but rather love. Love is also grand and I have been searching for it for a long time. The possibility of finding it is terrifying. Not sure what I’m doing, but I am certain politics shouldn’t play a role in love.

George is a lovely man but the simple truth is that not only is he a republican, but he voted Donald Trump. At the end of the day that is something that has me stuck. This man has been gentle with my heart and inspired me to view things differently, but how can I respect someone who not only voted for, but continues to support Trump? It may simply be impossible. I hope to have a happy ending one day, and whenever that is, and whoever it is with, I will be grateful, afraid, excited, and as always, keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Customer Service


I have been trying to buy a car for a couple of weeks and it has been more stressful than anything else. I honestly thought it would be fun and was looking forward to it. It is my first new car in a decade and I was excited about the whole thing. I set an amount to spend in my head, researched cars that fit within my budget, and narrowed it down to three choices. Last weekend I test drove my options, made a decision, and was proud of the work I put into the process.

My joy was quickly squashed by a bad experience at a car dealership. The gentleman assigned to help me was simply not good at his job, and the result of his being inept resulted in my not having fun. Not only did I not have fun, but I changed my mind about the car. I figured if some moron whose job it is to sell me a car didn’t care if I bought it, maybe I just didn’t need a new car. The joy was gone and that is a shame because it started out being quite a big deal to me.

Keyes of Van Nuys failed me, so I started my search over. I blogged about the experience of course, because that is what I do, and was comforted by many of my readers. I was reminded that nobody is allowed to take my joy and I simply needed to shake it off and find someone who understood what the process is supposed to be like, and would be focused on my being happy with my purchase. I needed to hear it and was immediately reminded how much I value my readers. Thank you.

It took your responses to my blog to snap me out of the funk created by a massive failure in customer service. I started my search again, only this time instead of looking for the right car, I was looking for the right salesman. I called around to different dealers, as well as calling a few salesmen friends and readers had suggested. It was nice that people cared and I was motivated to find my joy and get the car I wanted from someone who was interested in selling me a car.

In the midst of my new search, I got a call from Howard Tenenbaum, who is a Vice President at Keyes in Van Nuys. He had read the blog about my experience at his dealership and reached out. He was apologetic and said he was mortified by my experience, assuring me it was not the type of customer service his dealership provides, and he wanted an opportunity to make the situation right and get me into the car I wanted. He seemed sincere and I appreciated the call.

He was actually on vacation with his family and took time out of his trip to call me. He told me he would call again when he returned from holiday. Between the time Mr. Tenenbaum called last week, and yesterday when he returned to work, he had his associate Ramin Hakakian call me two times to check in. Mr. Hakakian was lovely and these two gentlemen worked hard to change my experience with Keyes of Van Nuys. They valued me and understood buying a car was a big deal.

Mr. Tenenbaum called again yesterday, answered all my questions, and told me he’d find exactly what I wanted. By lunchtime the car had been located and was being sent to Van Nuys. I felt excited again about a new car. It is a little bit above my budget, but I have two options from two dealerships so I’ll figure it out and have a new car this weekend. At the end of the day I simply wanted someone to value my business and share in my joy. I wanted a mensch not a putz.

I want to thank both Mr. Tenenbaum and Mr. Hakakian for reaching out. It mattered. It mattered to me as a shopper, and as a writer who shares her truth, it matters that I tell you these gentlemen from Keyes of Van Nuys did the right thing. Whether or not I get the car from them, I appreciate all of their efforts to make things better. They made customer service their focus and are taking care of me. While it is a shame my experience started off as it did, I am grateful for the turnaround.

Whether buying a new car or a cup of coffee, the desire to be respected is the same. I want the person providing me with customer service to have a smile and engage with me as if my choosing their business is appreciated. I want kindness. I want there to be actual service. It’s not too much to ask and should be provided from everyone who works in customer service. If you’re not a people person, maybe rethink your path, find a new job, and start keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Glover is Childish Gambino?!


Earlier this week I was driving to work when a song I had never heard came on the radio. I found myself moving with the music in the car and immediately fell in love with the singer, even though I had no idea who it was. The song touched me in a way I can’t really explain, other than saying it spoke to me. It made me happy and I didn’t want the song to end. I asked Siri who was singing and she told me it was Childish Gambino.

I felt like I had discovered something new and immediately called my son to let him know of my fantastic new discovery. I let him know my new favorite song was Redbone by a great new group, Childish Gambino. My son started laughing and it actually took him a minute to stop. He let me know Childish Gambino was a man not a group, and he had been listening to him and a fan of his work for several years.

He thought it was hilarious I had “discovered” someone who was so famous. He was impressed however with my taste in music. I decided to Google Childish Gambino to see if there were other songs I would like or if it was a one song kind of love. It was then I discovered Childish Bambino is also Donald Glover, who is a comedic genius I love. Am I the only person who did not know they were the same person?

Donald Glover wrote for one of my favorite shows, 30 Rock, and I knew of him as a writer first. This man is an artistic genius so it makes sense Redbone would speak to me, because Donald Glover’s work has spoken to me before. I am amazed however that loving his work the way I do, I never knew Donald Glover and Childish Gambino were the same person. This man’s talent is layered and everyone will love at least one layer.

I feel like I’m rediscovering someone I already know, and that is a wonderful feeling. I am impressed by this young man and find myself feeling proud of him, which I suppose is ridiculous, but I want good things for him. He has made me happy over the years, so I want happiness for him. Redbone is a brilliant song and I must look insane grooving to it in the car like I’m home alone in front of a mirror singing into my hairbrush.

While disappointed to not have discovered a new artist, I am thrilled to have come upon this layer of his work and have no shame in sharing I listened to Redbone 11 times on my way home last night. I feel like one of the cool kids and am looking forward to spending the weekend with Childish Gambino. Give him a listen. Redbone, Sober, or Baby Boy may help you to keep the faith.

UPDATE: Keyes Honda of Van Nuys


A couple of weeks ago I decided to buy a new car. I have been driving my car for 10 years, but because I work from home most of the time and take very good care of my car, it has just over 114000 miles on it. I could probably drive it for another ten years, but I just felt like having something new and shiny. I did a lot of research on what kind of car I wanted, going back and forth between a SUV, a sports car, and another sedan. After much thought I decided on a Honda.

I researched dealerships and chose to purchase my new car from Keyes Honda of Van Nuys. This past Saturday I headed to Keyes to pick out my new baby. When I got there I walked around the lot looking at different cars and after 15 minutes of nobody coming out to ask if I needed any help, I went into the dealership. I went directly to the office of the Finance Manager, a woman names Julie Warr. I explained to Julie I was there to buy a car and needed someone specific.

I was not looking to haggle, or have smoke blown up my ass. I was buying a car and needed someone experienced and professional. She asked me to hang on and went to another office. She came back with a gentleman named Andrew Wilkinson, who was introduced as a seasoned professional and Internet Manager. I introduced myself to Drew, told him what I wanted, and we went to look at cars.  I was torn between two different models and explained I was going to think it over.

I went to look at a Toyota dealership to ensure I wanted the Honda, then called Drew on the phone. I explained to him I was going with the Honda and told him the exact car I wanted. He was lovely on the phone, told me I made a good choice, and said he was going to see about locating the exact car I wanted if it wasn’t available in Van Nuys. I spoke to him at 4:33pm and was told he would call be before the end of the day.  I did not hear back from Drew on Saturday or Sunday.

Aside from being annoying and unprofessional, I also found it funny since Keyes Honda of Van Nuys spends a lot of advertising dollars on talking about their customer service. I decided I would wait until Monday evening, and if I didn’t hear from anyone I would take my business somewhere else. Then on Monday afternoon at 4:44pm I received a call from a young woman named Tanya. She was calling to see how my shopping experience was at Keyes Honda of Van Nuys.

I let her know I decided to buy a car, had spoken to Drew, and he had not bothered to call me back. She then gave me a wonderful story about how busy they were. I let her know all Drew needed to do was call and tell me he was busy and would get back to me. In fact, he could have had Tanya call and tell me that, rather than her calling to check in on how great their customer service was. When Tanya responded with another excuse, I hung up on her. Sorry. Not sorry.

Then at 5:10 pm, I got the following text message: “Greetings, Ilana. This is Drew, the Internet Manager from Keyes Honda Van Nuys. I truly apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I do value your time, and I wish you the best.”

Um, really? I was suddenly part of a bad high school break up. Was he texting because he didn’t have the balls to call? Who texts a customer? Did I get dumped by a car salesman? I was so annoyed at this point, I called to speak with the General Sales Manager. His name is Lewis Cook and I just felt he should know that not only did his staff not follow through on a guaranteed sale, but Drew dumped me without the courtesy of a call. Still no word from Mr. Lewis.

I left a message with the receptionist on Monday evening, and again on Tuesday morning, but nothing. What is a girl to do? Write a blog I guess. Important to note when I spoke to Drew on Saturday night I told him I was a writer for the Jewish Journal and would write about buying my car there and how easy the process had been. Who would have thought this would be the blog? Who could have guessed my blog would be to tell you to not bother going to Keyes Honda?

Buying a new car is a big decision and to get to the point of actually writing a check, to then have the moment ruined, is very disappointing. I thought I’d have a new car on the 4th of July, but instead I got broken up with by a car salesman and when I called his boss to kvetch about it, he valued my business even less than his employee. Keyes Honda was an epic fail and their customer service needs a lot of work. I’ll find another dealership. Will they want my business? I am keeping the faith.

UPDATE

After 4 days without a call to follow up on a guaranteed sale, and after my blog posted today, I heard from Drew at Keyes Honda of Van Nuys. He sent me this email:

Ilana. I read your blog. Obviously, it was not my intent to have an “epic” fail. Before Tanya even spoke with me, I had your numbers, however, I did not want to call you after 22:00 the previous night. I spoke with Tanya, and she told me you were very upset, did not want to talk to me, and planned on taking your business elsewhere. You mentioned being dumped in the blog–that’s how I felt when Tanya relayed the message to me. However, I understood you felt insulted and I at least wanted to apologize for that, as that was not my intent. I did not think my name and company would be highlighted in a negative way. Once again, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, and I wish you the best.
Sincerely, Andrew Wilkinson

Where do I begin? He didn’t call me for 4 days because he thought I dumped him? He didn’t call me back because a receptionist said not to? He is blaming me for not getting a call back? I told Tanya if he was not interested in my business he didn’t need to call me back. How she translated that is not important. What is important is that he never called, then sent this ridiculous email which is embarrassing not only for himself, but for Honda. It is fascinating to me this was his response.

About 10 minutes after I received the email, I got a phone call from an executive at Keyes Honda. His name was Howard (can’t remember his last name) and he started the conversation by saying he was mortified by my experience at his dealership. He apologized and said all the things one would expect, including asking me to give them another chance and not post the email from Andrew.

Here’s the thing, I have been writing here about my life with truth and fearlessness for almost a decade, so of course I am going to share the email. Especially after so many of you wrote me with your own customer service stories and recommendations for a car dealership. I am updating you because we are in this together. You are my people.

Howard assured me he wanted to give me the type of customer service they pride themselves on, and would call me next week when he was back from vacation with his family. Listen, it was nice of him to call while on vacation. He may call next week as he said, or if he is like his sales staff, he won’t. Either way, I appreciated the call. I write a blog and I told Drew as much. There was no ambush or unethical writing here. I write a blog about life and this happened. I was never not going to update you.

My advice to any car dealership is to be kind and respectful of everyone that comes in. Buying a car is a big deal and Keyes is not going to suck the joy out of the experience for me. To people looking to buy a car, we work hard for our money and if the person you are talking to about a new car does not respect you and your money, buy your car from someone else. Enjoy the process and leave with a smile on your face. The right dealership is going to make the experience fun. Don’t settle and find someone who values you and how hard you’ve worked for that car. There are a lot of dealerships and a lot of cars out there. Find the right one.

Religion Deserves Respect


I wrote a couple of blogs last week that generated a lot of comments. I received messages on jewishjournal.com, Facebook, Twitter, and email. One of the blogs was about political affiliations, so I expected those, and the other one was about an F List celebrity, which I knew would generate a dialogue. I love it when readers reach out to me. We don’t always agree, but when they feel strong enough about my words to share their own, it matters to me. Comments are always encouraged.

There is a woman in Tennessee who comments quite often. She is quite religious and does not comment without mentioning Jesus and keeping me in her prayers. We disagree about everything, and frankly I think her views on certain things are nothing shy of crazy, but she is always respectful and kind. I am a person who thinks life is better when you have faith. It can be faith in God, yourself, or the Green Bay Packers. It doesn’t matter where faith lies, just that you have it.

I am Jewish and write for a Jewish publication, but this woman in Tennessee is certain Jesus is the key to happiness. It is actually quite charming and I admire her conviction. I know nothing about her or her life, other than the fact she lives in Tennessee and thinks Leann Rimes is the greatest human being to walk the earth since Jesus. Crazy to be sure, but God Bless her for having faith and never wavering, even though other readers on my blog go after her quite often.

Last week after Tennessee commented on my post, a long time reader replied to her comment. In it she questioned Tennessee’s faith, saying her opinion was not in line with her religion. I found it to be offensive and rude, so I let everyone know with a rather colorful choice of words. In a time where there is so much religious hate in the world, I simply could not let anyone come to my blog and attack anyone’s religion. My religion is attacked every single day and I wasn’t going to allow it.

I have no problem with people not sharing the same opinion, and people don’t have to agree with everything I write, but to attack someone’s beliefs is not cool. I am of the opinion Leann Rimes is a sociopath who needs to be medicated and perhaps hospitalized. Just my opinion, but this is America, and this is my blog, and I have the right to write whatever I want. If Tennessee thinks Leann is an angel who should be sainted, good for her. Her opinion can be questioned, but not her faith.

To tell Tennessee her opinion makes her a bad Christian is not only idiotic, but it is hurtful. I let the woman who commented know where she could put her opinion of Tennessee’s faith. I then got a series of tweets from the woman who attacked religion, and she was not pleased with me. She let me know she was a longtime reader and to lash out at her was not only uncalled for, but unkind, and mean spirited. I immediately felt bad about my response as it really wasn’t nice.

I didn’t know who the woman was on Facebook, but on Twitter realized she is a lovely lady who has been reading my work for a very long time. She has always supported me and made an effort to stay connected. That is irrelevant however because whether or not I knew her, my attack should never have happened. Two wrongs don’t make a right and rather than go after her, I should have explained myself in a kind and articulate way, which is what happened on Twitter.

I told the reader I was offended by her bringing the woman’s religion into her comment, and she understood why I reacted like I did, and explained it was never her intention to upset me or offend Tennessee. I escalated the situation by losing my temper, which was a real shame. These are two lovely women, with different views, and my approach should have been to diffuse not ignite. It ended up being an important moment and I have been changed for the good by it.

To Tennessee, thank you for keeping me in your prayers. I appreciate that very much and wish you health and happiness always. To Sally, thank you for calling me out and teaching me something. Please accept my apology and know that I will be more thoughtful moving forward. Opinions may differ, but religion deserves respect. Have a great weekend everyone. Be safe, be kind, say sorry, count your blessings, and keep the faith.

 

 

Happy Father’s Day


Happy Father’s Day to new dads, old dads, estranged dads, moms who are also dads, dads who are also moms, men about to be dads, and dads who have passed away.

I miss my Dad.

Everyday.

All day long.

I hope you all have a wonderful Father’s Day and may you all be happy, healthy, kind, blessed, and appreciated.

Keep the faith.

Close up of a death cockroach on white background.

Leann Rimes, Celebrity Roach


This blog is about pop culture, celebrity, and reality TV. As such, I’ve written a lot of blogs about Leann Rimes. She is a celebrity, who has done reality television, and is desperate to remain in the spotlight of pop culture. It makes perfectly good sense she would be a topic of discussion here. To clarify, it makes sense to everyone but Leann Rimes. She hates when I write about her and is not a fan of mine, which is crushing. By crushing of course I mean not at all crushing.

I have not written about Ms. Rimes for almost a year.  A lot has happened in my life during the past year. I took my son to Europe for holiday and watched joy deep in his soul as he discovered Athens, Rome, Florence, Naples, London, and Paris. I met a man who is reshaping my heart and showing me how a woman is meant to be treated. I celebrated nine years as part of the Jewish Journal family, and danced at my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. That is just a small part of the past year.

I am fulfilled personally and professionally. My work is applauded, nominated for awards, and I am blessed to make a living as a writer. I am a mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend, and advocate. I have spent the past year redefining my priorities and shifting my energy into helping other people, animals, and the planet. I am happy and have a peaceful and joyous life. I only mention the things going on in my life to show the difference between myself and Leann Rimes.

Nothing has changed in her life. She made another record that nobody bought or listened to, stalked the mother of her husband’s children, plagiarized the work of others, and continued to publicly unravel. I write a lot of things about a lot of things, but whenever I write about Ms. Rimes, my words take on a life of their own and quickly become a must read. It is fabulous. At the end of the day Leann Rimes is good for business.

I’m sure Ms. Rimes would argue people read because she is an icon and still a celebrity, decades after becoming a child star. I however, would argue people read because they are amazed I am able to pull together a blog about a woman who is not at all interesting. Understand when I tell you, there is nothing interesting about Leann Rimes, which is what makes people read my work about her. It is not about how pathetic she is, but rather about how talented a writer I am.

When I wrote about Ms. Rimes last year, it made her crazy. Actually, she was crazy before I wrote about her, so it actually made her insane. The kind of insane that requires medication and a padded room. She sent cease and desist letters, had her assistant troll me, tried to have me arrested, paid people to write horrible things about me, posted pictures of my son, supported death threats to me, and encouraged the vile things sent to me by invisible people hiding behind keyboards.

It was terrifying and exhausting for a long time. There were lawyers and police involved, which is a waste of money. Her money and your taxpaying dollars. I will say now, with no hesitation and no fear of legal action, that Leann Rimes suffers from psychosis and is in need of professional help. Help that requires medication and a padded room. She is dangerously unwell, but I feel compassion for a broken woman who lives her life with no real love from anyone. It is tragic and so she has my sympathy.

I could talk about what Ms. Rimes and pack of wolves have done to me, or rather what they have tried to do to me, but it won’t change what they do or stop them from doing it. I could write about her desperate need for attention and pathetic desire to maintain her fame, but it would bore you. At the end of the day the only interesting thing about Leann Rimes is what I write about her. You can confirm with her because she reads everything I write over, and over, and over again.

Leann Rimes is a cockroach of the celebrity world because she won’t ever go away. Long after her 15 minutes, she is still here with no signs of leaving. She is fueled by sadness and bitterness, which is a never ending food supply.  I don’t say that to be mean, to roaches, but only to explain she will live on and on. She will continue to try to be relevant and people will continue to marvel at how uncomfortable she is in her skin and her life. They will also marvel at my restraint in not going off about what an unstable person she is.

Important to note I will not be bullied by anyone, especially Leann Rimes. I am not scared of her, and honestly feel sad for those who are. She is uneducated, unsophisticated, and mentally deficient. She is delusional about her fame, her husband, and her popularity. She really is a talented singer, which makes her life even more tragic. The best thing Ms. Rimes can do for herself is divorce her husband, fire her assistant, stop paying people to kiss her ass, and sing about mental illness instead of love.

To my readers who have reached out to ask why I haven’t written about Leann in so long, my job is to entertain and she’s a bore. As for the book I have “allegedly” written about her, it continues to write itself so be patient because it is absolutely hilarious along with being a mental health guide.. To Ms. Rimes, understand these two very important things:1) There is no such thing as a “bonus mom”, and 2) More people read my blog than buy your records. Why? Because unlike you, I am always keeping it real.

Dating 101: Politics and Religion


I have been dating “George” for several months and for the first time in my life I am not in a rush to define it. He calls me his girlfriend, which is lovely. We are in an exclusive and committed relationship that matters to me, but I am not searching for labels or declarations. That is new for me because as a hopeless romantic I am so hopeful that my view of relationships has been distorted.

I have loved men who were unworthy of me. By unworthy of course I mean they should never date. Ever. I have not been interested in men who were probably good for me. I have cried more tears than anyone should, yet I am certain I will find love. I will meet someone wonderful who gets, deserves, and appreciates me. We will build memories that are happy rather than sad. It is just a matter of time.

When it comes to George, I have never been treated so kindly by a man. He is sweet, attentive, supportive, and lovely. He does not look like anyone I’ve ever dated, and he is not Jewish, which is how I have always rolled. He is a republican, which is how I never roll. We have nothing in common and were raised very differently, yet we are in a relationship and it is all really quite nice.

I am at a point in my life when I understand how hard it is to simply have nice. Nice is a wonderful word to describe a relationship and I don’t think people understand how important it is to have things be nice. To be clear it is not boring, just nice. We are respectful of each other’s opinions and communicate without fear. I enjoy his company and how he treats me. Most importantly, he makes me laugh.

There is however, one unsettling thing. When we talk politics, I find myself wanting to punch him in the face. We are on different pages and it makes my lower back spasm. The truth is no matter how much George thinks he is a Republican, I think he may actually be Independent. Perhaps I am one too! He believes his views are patriotic, but they are actually not at all in the best interest of the country.

I like him, but politics are a road block. I used to think I could never date a man who wasn’t Jewish, but it turns out dating a republican is much harder. It could just be me getting nervous that everything is good and therefore I’m finding things to sabotage. It could also be that I’m simply not able to date someone so different on two very important subjects of politics and religion.

It is hard to know if I am making the right choices. On Friday night George came with me to Shabbat services. He held my hand while I prayed, participated in the traditions, and met my Rabbi. It is great that he is open to my faith and will celebrate with me. I appreciate it, but we will undoubtedly speak about the political drama of the week, and I will struggle to not punch him. Oy vey.

At this point in our relationship I need to either jump in or get out. I want very much to set aside politics and focus on the nice, but I am not sure I can do it. I am open to all perspectives, but am struggling with politics, which is strange because I was certain it would be religion that got in my way. George is not a religious person. He believes on God, but does not practice any faith.

That makes things surprisingly easy. I am a practicing Jew, but I do not need him to practice with me to be satisfied in my faith. It is enough that he supports and respects how I practice Judaism. Having him at services with me was lovely. He was comfortable and open to all of it. This is a wonderful man who checks a lot of my boxes. I want to make it work, but will I be able to?

Can you fall in love with someone who is fundamentally different from you? Can you build a life with someone who’s political perspective changes how you view them? Should you invest in someone who you want to change? I adore this man but politically we are beyond not being on the same page, we are actually reading different books. It seems silly, but is a real struggle.

The internal battle I thought I would face over religion never happened. Instead my struggle is political, but love should never be political. Should it? I believe people should think, feel, and believe whatever they want. I also believe in love, and love is grand. The most important thing in love is respect, so can I love someone who’s views I don’t respect? It is all rather complicated.

The problem is that I have written here many times that love should not be complicated. My past relationships have always had something that was complicated, and the complication ultimately ends things. I am in a relationship now where the complication has been front and center from the beginning. There are no surprises. I knew what the differences were right from the start.

Time will tell if this complication brings us closer together or tears us apart. George is of the belief it makes us interesting as a couple. He is also a republican, so what does he know? Oy! It has been a wonderful weekend with George. We went to temple, hung out with my son, and enjoyed our time together. As for the future, he might be my bashert so I am putting politics aside, and keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ransom Call Alert


The other day I was in my car with my son when my phone rang. It showed a call coming in from Mexico, which as odd as I don’t know anyone who lives in Mexico, or was there in holiday. I didn’t answer the phone figuring if it was a call for me, they would leave a message. A minute later the phone rang again from the same number, so I answered it. On the other line was a woman who was crying. I was confused at first and simply said hello. The woman was whimpering, and asking me to help her. I put the call on speaker so my son could hear and I asked what to do.

He was also confused and we were unclear what was happening. I said hello and asked who it was, then a man got on the phone and told me if I hung up, or contacted the police, he was going to shoot the woman in the head. My heart was now racing and I was scared. I muted the call and asked my son what was happening. We were in a bit of a panic and I didn’t want to do the wrong thing. The man was screaming at me to talk to him and with a shaking hand I accidently disconnected instead of unmuting. I started to cry and the phone immediately rang again.

The man was now screaming profanities, telling me he was going to kill the woman, and if I thought he was kidding, he would kill me too because he knew where I lived. He told me I needed to give him all the money I had access to or she would die. It was terrifying, and too unbelievable for me to comprehend. I told him I didn’t understand and he told me where to meet him. I was to go to the bank, get money, then trade the money for the woman, who he said I knew. In a moment of sheer panic, I drove to the police station. We had been on the phone for 15 minutes at the point, and it was torturous.

When we got to the police station, my son ran in to get help and I kept the man on the phone, telling him I was going to get him the money. The police officer came out and listened in on the conversation. I muted the call and she told me to hang up. I stared at her in disbelief, telling her the woman would be killed. She looked me in the eye and told me to hang up. I did. She explained that it was a hoax, there was no woman in trouble, and it was a scam that happens many times each day. People were giving money left and right, getting duped by these callers.

She said he would call back and when he did, I was to say I would not give him any money unless I could speak to the woman. He called, I asked to speak to the woman, and he put her on. The woman was pleading for help and the police officer put the call on mute, asking me to listen carefully to the voice because the man demanding the money was the same person pretending to be the woman in trouble. I listened and it was suddenly clear they were the same person. I started to cry again, this time with relief that no one was about to be shot. I almost fainted.

The officer disconnected the call and told me they would call back three or four more times, and I was not to answer it. The first call came in. The officer explained that these people do this and are making a lot of money from innocent people who think they are doing the right thing. People have emptied out their bank accounts to save people, never to see their money again. She said it was good we came to the police and to not worry about the call. Nobody was watching us, or following us, or going to come to our home. We were not in any danger.

It was a shocking and exhausting experience and I share it here as a cautionary tale. Be very careful. It is fascinating what people will do for money. This is an evil scam but as we all know, the world is dark and scary and this happens in real life, to real people, with real consequences all the time. If you get a similar call, try to remain calm, go to the police, and get help. Easier said than done in the moment, but try. I am grateful to my son for being a pillar of strength, and for the LAPD for helping us. We are shaken, but keeping the faith.

 

The Highs and Lows of Paris


I have spent the past 12 days in Europe with my son. He went to Greece and Italy, then joined me in London and Paris. It was a wonderful holiday and watching the joy and wonder on his face as he discovered parts of the world he has always wanted to see, was everything. Thanks to Facetime, he was able to take me along on his adventure and it was spectacular.  I will treasure this time together always.

We took the Eurostar from London to Paris and spent 28 hours walking everywhere. We strolled endlessly and saw amazing things. We had lunch atop the Eiffel Tower, ate crepes under the Arc de Triomphe, drank wine on the Champs-Elysses, and said a prayer at Notre Dame. It was magical and that I shared it with my beloved boy was special. I am the mother of a remarkable human being.

I look at the pictures today and I smile because it was a great trip, but also because there is proof of the trip. When my son was young there were no selfies, just me and a camera. I have a ton pf pictures of my son growing up, but very few of us together. I was always taking the pictures, so the shots of us are limited. It is sad, but makes the pictures I’m able to take now even more important.

I look at the pictures from Paris and can remember what we were talking about as we strolled along. It was very special and I am happy that when my son visits Paris again with his wife, or takes his children, he will be able to tell them that he went there with his mother for the first time, and is happy to share it with them now. Perhaps that is silly, but it matters to me that we build a history together.

I cannot think about our time in Paris and not think of the unbearable sadness we also saw. No matter where we went, there were Syrian families on the streets. Mother and fathers with their young children, looking broken, but hopeful. They would smile and one could see the pain and humiliation in their eyes, while also seeing the hope and relief. It was tragic and demands serious attention.

Watching a woman breastfeed her baby on the street, surrounded by wealth, when it is clear she needs a shower and a meal herself, is heartbreaking. In what world does it make sense that living on the street with your children is safer than living in your home? We live in a time when we can see everything that is going on in the world, but when you see it in person, it touches your heart in a different way.

Paris is the most romantic city in the world. From every location, every direction, every time of day, there is no view that is not beautiful. It is a city that inspires love, and she has now inspired me to be more loving. Me and my son left Paris wanting to do more, wanting to help, wanting to not pretend that the problems of the world are not also our problems. We need to make changes, quickly.

I am inspired by my son’s view of the world and the work that needs to be done.  Paris was the highlight of my trip for a lot of reasons. I saw my son as man, not a boy. I looked into the eyes of a woman sitting in the street and heard her ask for help, even though she never spoke. I was inspired to not only appreciate the love I have, but want to spread it. Paris has demanded that I keep the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My London Life


I have been spending a lot of time in London over the past year and I love it here. I am sitting in my room, looking out the window as the sun is desperate to break though, watching people walk past, and feeling very happy. This city is alive and hopeful and even though there is palpable stress and fear, my soul is at peace here. On many levels, and for many reasons, it feels like London is home.

To clarify, home is ultimately where my son is, so with him in London with me this week, it truly is home. We have had a terrific time and he feels the same way in London that I do. It is a great city, with great people, namely our friends J and S, who I have written about often, and call Victoria and David Beckham. They are wonderful human beings and we truly love them and their children.

We spent last night at the Beckham Castle and I slept like a baby. I have not slept well since I got to Engalnd because internal clock has been screwed up due to all my traveling. I went from Los Angeles, to London, to Los Angeles, to Las Vegas, to Los Angeles, to Toronto, to Los Angeles, to Melbourne, to Los Angeles, to London, all in 10 days. Sleep has been elusive, last night however, I slept like a baby.

I went to bed at 10:00 pm and was Sleeping Beauty for a divine 9 hours. I don’t worry about anything when I am there, and that peace invites sleep because I’m very comfortable and happy there. Today my son is at Wembley stadium with the oldest Beckham son, watching two football teams compete to get into the Premiere League. It makes me happy when these two young men hang out.

My son spent the past week on holiday in Greece and Italy. He went on his own and it was a great adventure. It takes courage to travel on your own and his bravery inspires me. (To be clear, it also scares the crap out of me!) I am seeing my son in a new light following his trip. He has grown up somehow and it is exciting. He is 21, and will always be my baby, but he is also an amazing man.

Tomorrow I am going to take my favorite person on the planet to Paris. We’ll spend a glorious day walking around, seeing the sights, and eating the perfection that is French cuisine. It has been over 30 years since I was last in Paris, and to take my son there for his first time is special. We’ll be there for 28 hours, so will jam pack as much as we can into our day and I hope it doesn’t rain!

I love my London life and being here has allowed me to have my son come over and see parts of the world he has wanted to visit since he was little. He always wanted to see the world and it is an honor to watch his face as tells me about what he has seen and done. He is a remarkable child and being even a small part of his dreams coming true is the greatest gift I can receive as his mother.

Israel is home because I was born there and it is where my parents met and fell in love. Canada is home because it is where I grew up and where my family is. Los Angeles is home because my son was born there and it is where he is building his life. London is home because it makes me comfortable and happy. I’m a lucky girl to feel connected to so many places. I’m grateful and keeping the faith.

Prayers for Manchester


Last week I flew to London with my son, where we spent a day together, then he left on a wonderful adventure. He is spending 6 days on a whirlwind European trip. It freaks me out of course, because the world is scary, but I am happy for him. He is travelling alone so he can make his own schedule, see what he wants, and do what he wants, when he wants.  I am thrilled he is brave, and very proud he gets that quality from me.

Following the attack this week in Manchester, I feel frightened all the time. I walked to the market in London today and was so nervous I went home before making it there. I watched kids on scooters, enjoying a sunny London day, and I wanted them to all go home and stay safe. It is horrible to be on edge like this. I worry about my son being on his own, but am thankful he’s not here, where we are on a high terror alert.

Last time I was in London there was an attack on Westminster Bridge, and now innocent children have been murdered in Manchester. My heart is broken and I want to look away, but find myself unable to turn off the news. I am on edge, which makes me angry. The attack in Manchester makes me really angry. The targeting of children is beyond horrific and my heart breaks for the families who have been touched by hatred in this way.

From the mothers who were killed while waiting to pick their kids, and the kids who saved up money to see their favorite singer, I am unable to process what it was like for them. The world is dark and I am seeing it from a scarier perspective in London. There are police and armed guards everywhere, which is comforting, but they are in the same danger as those of us they protect. How can we feel safe when these attacks come with an element of surprise?

We are living in a time of great unknown and it can be paralyzing. I want to empower myself to be brave and not let terrorism dictate how I live my life, but I am a mother and so it does. My son has been checking in every few hours while he is on holiday, and it is keeping me sane. In the end he does it as much for his sake as mine. He is worried about me being in London when there is so much going on. The communication matters.

My boy will join me in London on Saturday and we will spend another few days in Europe together before returning to Los Angeles. It will be wonderful to be in London with him as this is my favorite city and he is my favorite person. We will be cautious, and we will be together. Life goes on, but we must never forget these attacks and never forget the souls who were lost. To the amazing people of Manchester, my prayers go out to you. I am holding you close and keeping the faith.

Shabbat Shalom from Oz


I am writing today from Melbourne, Australia, where I have come on a little holiday. By little of course mean I am here for 48 hours. I left Los Angeles on Wednesday night and arrived Friday morning. It is now Saturday morning in Oz, and I leave tomorrow at 9:00 am. It is a bit insane to travel for two days to spend only two days, but I am so happy I did it. I love it here and love the people I am with.

I’m staying with my friend Gamble in a glorious part of the country. Yesterday we ran errands and got caught up. Had lunch with her family and sat by the ocean as I tried my first oyster while having the best Cosmo I’ve had in a long time. It was a perfect day. This group is like family and I feel blessed to spend time here, even if just for a couple of days. I love Australia and have a real connection to this place.

When I was recovering from cancer, Gamble swept in like an angel and saved me from myself. I was either going to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself, or was going to get up and live my life. Not just live it, but be brave. Her kindness and nudging forced me to not waste my time thinking about what had happened, but rather what was still possible. Gamble made me brave and gave me Australia.

She attached herself to my heart and I am thankful. I get a lot of perspective on my life through knowing Gamble. I am able to see myself differently through her eyes, and able to see George differently through mine. I am in a very happy and settled place in my life, and Gamble has helped with that. Not only Gamble, but also her sister Tempest, who I love very much. These two remarkable ladies  are family.

I am in Melbourne for two days and it is perfection. The weather is divine, there are a million birds singing in the garden, and while I am sad to be leaving so quickly, am happy that I came and know I will be back soon, for a proper vacation and enough time to see everything this amazing country has to offer.  Tonight we will mark a milestone birthday, have too many cocktails, and celebrate friendship.

If you have an opportunity to visit Australia, you must. If you can spend more than two days, you REALLY must! I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Shabbat. I hope you all have friends like I do, women who inspire you to not only be better, but be happy with exactly who you are. Have a wonderful weekend and be safe out there. Remember that life is always better when you are keeping the faith.

 

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