Hobbies help high schoolers determine college course

Dear New Shrink, My daughter is currently working on her college applications and I am trying my best to support her. For most of the schools she is applying to she must declare a major. However, she feels very unsure about her future and her high school only offers very basic disciplines so she has only been able to explore the typical... Read more →


A new high at Loews

Loews hotel has a reputation of putting top chefs into their dining room, sometimes called “Ocean and Vine.” Remember Alain Giraud when he was there with his lavender ice cream? Well now it’s Keith Roberts, and he’s special. They’ve added a comfortable sushi bar, with a genuine sushi chef, and they still have... Read more →


Plod through the rain, workout warriors

If you are anything like me, you’re probably sitting at home thinking, “Why is it raining?” and more importantly “How do I motivate myself to get to the gym during a torrential downpour?” Rain is one of the rare Southern California elements that seems to be able to clear traffic jams — no one here drives... Read more →


‘Becky’s New Car’ worth the ride

Becky sells expensive cars. Her husband Joe is a roofer. They have been married for 28 years. Their 26-year-old son Chris is still in school and lives in their basement. A demonstrably ordinary and relatively contented family. What could possibly go wrong? The play is “Becky’s New Car,” a dramedy by Steven Dietz that is... Read more →


Brotherly tough love

Dear New Shrink, I have a 40-year-old brother who is living in the back guesthouse of my parents’ home and has been there quite some time, for free. I realize times are tough but I can’t help feeling like he is taking advantage of my elderly parents, who don’t have the heart to kick him out. Recently I have asked him to... Read more →


In need of improvement

I was invited to check out a live music/dining venue in Santa Monica last week, and given that I am a live music fan, I decided to check it out. Angel’s Piano Bar and Supper Club on Wilshire Boulevard and 24th Street is an old establishment that has had a recent face lift and the owners are hoping to bring in an adult crowd that would... Read more →


Mexican masquerading as Cuban

It’s a bit of a drive, but a nice drive. And if it were really Cuban food, it would be worth it. Café Habana in Malibu has a dedicated following from its New York roots. And it looks like something that should be in New York rather than Malibu, but that’s nice in a way. The restaurant is located in the relatively new Malibu... Read more →


Are you married but lonely tonight?

Dear New Shrink, I have been married for five years to a kind and honest man. While I know he loves me a lot, he is emotionally unavailable. I am his opposite; I am open, passionate and outgoing. This passive marriage is making me lonely and bored. He came from a conservative family and small town. Like a strict parent, he seems to thinks... Read more →


Skip the quick fix, put in the work

What would you do if there was a magic “feel good” pill you could take each morning that would make you forget about every ache and every pain, every hangover, every worry and every care? Would you take it? My trainer, Keith Sims, and I were talking about how sometimes you feel like you just can’t get up and running.... Read more →


Whining about wine prices

For me, the least interesting restaurant in the new Santa Monica Place is the Sonoma Wine Garden. Yet it’s one of the most popular, and it has the best views. What’s good? The Charcuterie plate, the pizza, and all of the salads. And those are the dishes people are eating, while enjoying the California sunshine. I particularly... Read more →