Deciding when to hold on, when to let go

Dear New Shrink, I am on the verge of ending a 20-plus year marriage, which also means the end of a family, as we have known it. Our children, three of them, are very upset, but generally speaking, doing well. One is ending high school and the other two are away at college, doing well. As a couple, we are not happy, haven’t been for... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Baby boom, zap, pow, bam

Inadvertently, I think I began my son’s interest in guns. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t even realize what I’d done until my husband commented that the cool “Star Wars” light saber I’d just bought our son could constitute as giving him his first weapon. I was quieted by this parenting mistake. I make... Read more →


No liquor, no problem at Le Saigon

Some friends won’t dine with me at Le Saigon because they don’t serve beer or wine, but personally I find the fresh coconut juice a special treat.   It’s a small, plain restaurant with a utilitarian look. There seems to be a lot of waiters around for a small place and I find the service fast and friendly. I love the... Read more →


When sweet-and-sour chicken becomes a grinder

The best weeknight recipes are those that are versatile enough to work not just with what you want, but also what you have. As in this simple recipe for sweet-and-sour chicken. In a creative take on this classic Asian takeout, the lightly sweet and tangy chicken is intended to be nestled into a sub roll. But if you don’t have any or... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Waxman Report. How Congress Really Works’

Politics is a mystery to most of us. We accept it as something someone else does. Not too many of us get involved. Those that do have trouble telling us what actually goes on in Congress. Some politicians seem to like it that way. It makes it easier for them to pass legislation without problems. At last we have a book that is a step in the... Read more →


Overcoming the end of vacation blues

Dear New Shrink, My company restricts the number of vacation days one can accrue so this summer I finally planned a month-long getaway to use up vacation time that I was about to lose. While on vacation I had a chance to do things that I really enjoy and it has made the transition back to the office harder than ever. I have never experienced... Read more →


Trying to strengthen family ties

Dear New Shrink, I am in so much pain; I don’t know what to do. I feel completely abandoned by my family. Years ago my parents divorced. My father was abusive and my mother was an alcoholic. When I moved out we were barely speaking. I told my mom she needed to get sober. I sent for the Al-Anon literature, but when I gave it to her she... Read more →


Running-free weight loss

I want everyone to know that I’ve lost 25 pounds … so far. And, I want everyone to know that I did so without running a step! How many of you think that in order to truly lose weight you have to jog or run? How many of you have been told by trainers or friends that the excess weight you’re carrying won’t really come... Read more →

Community Profiles

Affordable housing leader steps down

SECOND STREET — Since becoming the executive director of Community Corp. of Santa Monica in 1991, Joan Ling has overseen the addition of 1,200 units to the city’s stock of affordable dwellings, quadrupling the number of apartments the organization manages. It’s a feat that’s won her immodest praise from Santa... Read more →


Hot fun in the Waterloo & City

The neighborhood we live in is finally becoming trendy and “discovered” which has both positive and negative points. After a few years in Santa Monica we moved to Mar Vista-Culver City border five years ago to find a little less trendiness and more of a down-to-earth quality that was appealing. After these past few years I still... Read more →


Seven strangers share secrets

Seven people stranded in a stalled elevator makes an interesting premise for a play, wouldn’t you think?  Well, almost. In “Elevator,” a new play written and directed by Michael Leoni, seven strangers, fine actors all, twiddle through the first hours of the ordeal without really making contact with each other. In fact,... Read more →


Making moves without offending the old boss

Dear New Shrink, I started my current job about 14 months ago. I absolutely love the position and the people I work with, but I have to commute almost two hours each way. The commute is really getting to me. Recently, I discovered an opportunity in an office located closer to my home and one that would have an opposite traffic commute. I... Read more →

Book Review

‘Fantasy in Death’

What if your virtual reality was able to kill you, not only in virtual time but also in real time? This is the problem NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas is confronted with in this work. Author J.D. Robb sets her mysteries in the future when people have droids, can travel between planets, and have access to voice recognition and video scan security. Using... Read more →