Getting kids to appreciate the written word

When Dash was a peanut of a newborn, I propped him up in his boppy each day surrounded by a selection of picture books. I tuck Zora in at night with a kiss, a stuffed animal, and a few dozen board books. I started dragging my children to the Festival of Books every April when they were just mewling babies, although what they really enjoyed... Read more →

Community Profiles

Youngster has a knack for apps

Proving that creating an iPhone application is not just for the seasoned tech whiz or entrepreneur looking to make millions, 11-year-old Cameron Cohen recently debuted iSketch — a drawing application featuring multiple brush sizes and colors — and plans on donating the proceeds to the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and... Read more →


Dealing with men who are down in the dumps is tough

Dear New Shrink, My family is very worried about my brother. Over the past year he has become increasingly sullen, moody, irritable and difficult to get along with. He is very successful in his career and he is also the oldest child, which seems to contribute to his attitude of “you can’t tell me anything.” His wife is... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama’

For those unaware, or for whom memories have faded, the 1960s were perhaps our most turbulent era since the Revolutionary War. The political and social changes that resulted came at a great cost. JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X were assassinated; Vietnam tore the country apart; unarmed college students at Kent State were gunned down. There were... Read more →


Discovering a whole new world

The Rader family has passed the giant, gleaming cube of the Taco Bell Discovery Center in Santa Ana dozens of times on the way to Disneyland. So we finally decided to stop by and “discover” it. The two-story building was jammed full of hands-on exhibits — literally everything there could be touched, heard or smelt. On the... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Inspired by a stranger’s struggles

I am sitting backstage with a room full of women, all mothers, preparing to go on stage for the show Expressing Motherhood, a play about real moms sharing real stories, that I have been doing for the last two weekends. These are vibrant, smart, funny, revealing women. This is so lovely to be a part of. But I wasn’t supposed to be... Read more →

Community Profiles

Computers are a real life saver

DOWNTOWN — Les Jones loves computers. It’s not because they make our lives easier or allow us to reconnect with old friends with the click of a button. Those features are great, but Jones loves computers for a different reason. In a way, computers saved his life. A decade ago, Jones, 54, was lost. Suffering from... Read more →


Baby, you can drive my CARR

Dear New Shrink, I recently had an interview that did not go very well. I had a really hard time expressing my thoughts and answering the interviewer’s questions. In particular, I had a hard time thinking of a workplace conflict that I’ve had to overcome. This is mainly because I haven’t really experienced any conflict in... Read more →


Culinary savvy on full display at Viceroy’s Whist

In Europe, a lot of the best restaurants are in fancy hotels. Generally that hasn’t been true in California, but it’s getting more common. A good example is Whist, located on the ground floor of the Viceroy Hotel on Ocean Avenue. If you look at reviews of Whist on the Internet, they are not so favorable. But it’s misleading... Read more →


Turning rug rats into gym rats

I figured a gym class might be a good thing to try for my daughter Addison. I’d been told Addison had a slight gross motor delay and she never crawled. She hopped around on her bum like a little bunny then one day just got up and walked. According to my pediatrician, these days a lot of kids skip crawling altogether. He explained that... Read more →

Community Profiles

Carrying on a sweet legacy

SANTA MONICA BLVD — Sean Tao was 7 years old the day he learned to make change. From that day forward, he could often be seen standing on a milk crate in DK’s Donuts, the doughnut shop his parents owned, handing customers their meticulously counted pennies and dimes. He was 13 when he learned to make doughnuts in the kitchen of... Read more →


Healthy twist on comfort food 

I have a feeling that 2010 is going to be a great year. Dreams will come true, life purposes fulfilled and happiness abounds. But that should be true every year.  Happiness is never ending. It is always there for the taking. “The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love and something to hope... Read more →


Resolutions won’t work if you have a problem

Dear New Shrink, I have tried to stop drinking but have not been able to, even after getting a DUI. But I feel ready and have made a New Year’s resolution to stop! My family wants me to go to rehab but I really do not think I need it. What do you think? How do others do it? Signed, Determined Dear Determined, You can resolve all you... Read more →


The healthy panini movement

Now that I’m in my reduced sugar intake phase, I’ve been visiting restaurants that claim to be organic, sugar free, or otherwise oriented toward healthy foods. The common denominator so far seems to be the panini sandwich. I suppose the correct spelling in the singular is panino, but no one seems to use that. When I was young we... Read more →