How a simple conversation can lead to a new career

Dear New Shrink, I am interested in making a career change but feel totally lost in how to figure out whether the industry will really offer me what I’m looking for. I have read several books about making a career change and started researching the industries that appeal most to me. What else can I do to learn about these fields?... Read more →

A summer hotel in an autumn garden

The upper-class voice of Lillian Hellman rings across the elegantly furnished living room of a summer hotel on the Gulf Coast. She’s not there, of course, but the 12-person ensemble presenting her play ”The Autumn Garden” echoes the attitudes and mannerisms that one often sees in her... Read more →

Looking at the world through rosé-colored glasses

I have a friend who says that every holiday season he feels like the turkey because he doesn’t know what wine to serve with the holiday meals. It’s a topic of considerable differences of opinion. My friend John Blanchette likes a spicy, slightly sweet white wine to bring out the various flavors of the different dishes... Read more →

‘The Little Flower’ truly gets her two scents worth

Everybody loves Therese Marie, the sweet little old lady who is “The Little Flower of East Orange.” So how come her kids are so screwed up? Therese Marie, a vibrantly kvetchy Melanie Jones, is the narcissistic center of her own world in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ eponymous play now having its West Coast premiere at the Elephant... Read more →

Sex addict or just afraid of commitment?

Dear New Shrink, I keep reading about sexual addiction and it is really bothering me. I now am wondering if my boyfriend has it. He has had two affairs since we started seeing each other. He says it is because he wasn’t ready for a commitment at the time but now he knows that he loves me and it won’t happen again. Am I being... Read more →

Holocaust survivor shares loss and love

At 12, Marika Roth understood the true meaning of fear. At 79, she understands the meaning of love. “Hatred and prejudice is like a form of cancer, and that’s what people do. They kill each other for religion, for race, for money … I think honesty and love is the way to go. That’s what gives more strength than... Read more →

Authentic Cuban food at a bargain

I read in Anthony Blue’s magazine about a new hot drink called the “Mercedes Margarita.” Not wanting to remain un-hip I decided to try one. Also, the picture of Mercedes Ahrablou, the owner, standing with the drink in her hand looked inviting. The Mercede’s Grill turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. First... Read more →

What wine goes best with turkey?

Thanksgiving is approaching and once again we’re faced with the problem of which wine is best with turkey and all the trimmings?  Over the years I’ve experimented with pinot noir, zinfandel, roses of all varieties and a number of white wines. But there’s always a part of the meal that jars with the wine, turning it... Read more →

A trivial evening of trivia

“War,” according to its hype, is a feisty comedy about war, but it’s no “M*A*S*H.” And it isn’t about war. In fact, it isn’t even a comedy. It’s a series of angry tirades set in an Irish pub. (But it isn’t “The Iceman Cometh,” either.) “War” consists of 16 people... Read more →

Farmers’ Market enforcement comes into focus

DOWNTOWN — Bringing locally-grown produce directly from the farm to the consumer is at the heart of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets’ mission. So when Laura Avery, who oversees all four of the Santa Monica markets, received a tip that one of her regular vendors may have been selling fruit imported from South America, she... Read more →

Teaching children the gift of giving

As the holidays approach those U.S. families that can afford to are studying how they will spend a large chunk of their annual charitable donations. It seems that most giving happens during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. We want to help those in need when we have so much to be thankful for.  This year, take it a... Read more →

Classic cocktails served with a refreshing twist

CASA DEL MAR — The days of ordering rum and Cokes or an apple martini are over. It’s time to step it up a notch. Classic cocktails from the Prohibition era are in vogue, with mixologists re-imagining the old formulas, creating drinks that are both satisfying and conceptually refreshing. While cities like San Francisco and New... Read more →

Explore, savor diverse flavors at Marina del Rey strip mall

I love little shopping centers that have all kinds of ethnic restaurants, and sometimes I go with friends and we hop from one to the other having a little bite here and a little bite there. One of the best examples of these little foodie centers is at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, at the west entrance to Marina del Rey.... Read more →

‘Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream’

She is our 111th Supreme Court justice. Her name is Sonia Sotomayor. But other than that, what do we know about her? Every president wants to leave his mark on history by his choice of Supreme Court justices. A question to ask yourself, since so far President Barack Obama has packed the court with two women, where is the balance? Will our... Read more →

A witch in time just as fine

There are certain witches that everyone remembers. The trio in “Macbeth" brewed toil and trouble in a steaming cauldron. Elizabeth Montgomery from “Bewitched" did the dishes by twitching her nose. The Wicked Witch of the West melted when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her. But unless you are a movie and theater... Read more →