Beating the holiday bulge

The holidays are upon us, and, in addition to a few weeks off of work, for many of us that means a plethora of cookies, baked goods, Christmas pudding, pies, ice cream and lots of booze … everywhere. OMG it’s a caloric nightmare! For me those baked goods and office parties translate to way too many calories that I do not want on... Read more →


Not normal, just spectacular 

Take the intense drama of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," add the unique unmelody of a Stephen Sondheim-ish score, and set it in a jazzed-up version of the three-story house in “August-Osage County,” and you have a semblance of the excruciatingly moving madness of “Next to... Read more →


All I want for Christmas is a Maserati

With Christmas just three weeks away, you may be wondering what to get that special woman in your life. Well, as a woman, I have some ideas of my own: a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in ice blue for a mere $300, or a Maserati Gran Turismo in matte blue Mediterranean for around $130,000. If you’re really trying to win her heart, then... Read more →


Loco for Locanda del Lago

I have lunch at Lago at least once a week, and dinner at least once a month. At lunch it’s become the “place to meet” for the French business community in Santa Monica. Yes, it serves Italian food, not French, but you can sit outside and there is an excellent selection of dishes at very reasonable prices. The French are... Read more →


Exodus from Germany brings exiles and émigrés

“I am not an émigré, I am an exile,” playwright Bertolt Brecht insisted, and he proved his point by returning to Germany soon after the end of World War II. But many of his countrymen remained in America, finding a haven and founding an artistic community in the film industry of Hollywood. Their relationships and... Read more →


Getting the right amount of protein is key

I want muscles. That’s what Diana Ross sang about in her song “Muscles,” written in 1982. But her song was about getting a man with muscles; it wasn’t about her wanting muscles of her own. When I say, “I want muscles,” I mean I want my own muscles. Muscles are not just for visual pleasure. I agree they... Read more →


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 →


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 →

Community Profiles

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 →


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 →


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 →