Happy belated Steak & Beer Day

Last Sunday, March 14, was the official male version of Valentine’s Day. Because apparently the one we celebrate on Feb. 14 is strictly for the ladies. Hmm, who knew? I was reminded of this past holiday by Steven Breen, my former mailman and fellow contributing writer to SMDP. Steven writes under the heading, “Going Postal.”... Read more →


Don’t get caught in the middle

Dear New Shrink, My mom’s former best friend is a good friend of mine, although they parted ways years ago, not by my friend’s choice but by my mother’s. The reason that they are no longer friends is somewhat fuzzy but according to my mom, her friend embarrassed her by telling her off and contradicting her in front of... Read more →

Community Profiles

Familiar feeling

Sitting in Tel’s Barber Shop, there is a feeling of warmth and coziness that cannot be ignored. Tel Trujillo, his two sons and his grandson are the only barbers in the family-run shop, and it’s been that way since 1988. They each speak with smiles strewn across their faces, chatting comfortably with their customers whom they... Read more →


Mind if I borrow your network?

Dear New Shrink, I have been on the job hunt for a few months now and have really appreciated the support of my friends and former co-workers. One former colleague in particular has mentioned his great connections in the tech industry, which is where I hope to work. He has offered to help send out my resume and put me in touch with several of... Read more →


Cookies for a cause

I wanted that Girl Scout cookie reward patch so badly as a kid. Despite lugging cartons of Thin Mints around the neighborhood in my wagon and using my cute little brother for door-to-door sales, I always fell short. Now I will do my part to help our 250 local scouts by eating as many Samoas, Tagalongs and Trefoils as I can stomach until March... Read more →

Community Profiles

Pioneering care for rape victims

MID-CITY — As a patient arrived at the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, Gail Abarbanel, center founder and director, noted that it was the third patient of the day, and not even nightfall yet. She has seen the number of patients fluctuate since she established the center in 1974, but said the Rape Treatment... Read more →


Saying goodbye is never easy

Dear New Shrink, I am interested in a comment you made in one of your last columns where you said “if you are good with someone before you lose them, you will do much better with the loss.” This struck a chord with me because my best friend was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Unfortunately his doctors did not catch this... Read more →


Fighting juvenile diabetes with vitamin D

With 15,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S., juvenile Type 1 diabetes is a significant health problem, a silent killer of sorts. In fact, Type 1 diabetes is the second most common chronic disease in kids today, second only to asthma. While Type 2 diabetes tops headlines as the nation struggles with the obesity epidemic, Type 1... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Walking a mile in his shoes

I went to Guatemala two years ago to study at a writer’s workshop. The host encouraged us to pack a second bag of shoes for the local children. I did as she asked and was thrilled to help. One by one the children came up to where the shoes were spread out and, with many others waiting behind and no time to try them on, they picked a... Read more →

Community Profiles

Scouts honor

DOWNTOWN — One school was in desperate need of new backpack racks and shelves for its kindergarten class. Another wanted to refurbish storage bins and paint concrete trash cans to make the campus more attractive. Alejandro Villero and Garrett Cheung delivered. Sunday, surrounded by family, friends and fellow Boy Scouts, Villero and... Read more →


Samohi musicians make national orchestra

SAMOHI — A pair of Santa Monica High School students recently showcased their musical capabilities during a weekend of playing with some of the most talented young musicians in the country. Emily Wong and Matthew Van Pelt, both seniors at Samohi, played as members of the 2010 American String Teachers Association National High School... Read more →


Putting a rude colleague in her place

Dear New Shrink, You know those people who are rude no matter what. I can normally tolerate this behavior for a short amount of time, however, the person I have in mind is someone that I work with. I have a good relationship with most of my colleagues, but one woman is rude beyond belief. She spends most of her day complaining and when I ask... Read more →


East is worth the trip to Hollywood

I rarely drive into Hollywood for dinner — only when something very special takes me there. And I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to the décor in a restaurant; I’m mostly focused on my comfort level. I usually am most attentive to the food. But when my friend Paul McCloskey invited us to dinner at a restaurant... Read more →


Catering to kids

Kid-friendly restaurants come in all different shapes and sizes. One restaurant was actually built for kids. Giggles ‘n Hugs on Wilshire Boulevard near Bundy Drive really sets the bar for kid friendly. The owner, unable to find a place to eat with her daughter that was truly geared toward children, decided to start one. From its... Read more →