Getting kids interested in reading

Interested in discussing topics such as: Does the American economy have a future? Check out the panel discussions at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend at UCLA. If you’re like me, with a seriously fried mommie brain, you can sample lighter fare like “Comic Books: Indie and Beyond” or two days worth of... Read more →

Mommie Brain

After a storm comes a rainbow

I have been absent from this column for a bit now. And for that, I am sorry. But I promise I have a good reason. I am pregnant. And being that I write about my life as a mom here, it was easier to take a break than to try to hide it. Most people, myself included, aren’t that comfortable with going public with pregnancies until the... Read more →

Community Profiles

Nursing star receives Red Cross award

MID-CITY — Barbara Browning always wanted to be a nurse. As a little girl watching her aunt dress in her nursing uniform, Browning knew one day she would do the same. However, as a child she was unaware of the impact she would make on nursing — an impact that led to her being honored Saturday at the Santa Monica Red... Read more →


Beating the Monday morning blues

Dear New Shrink, I have been wondering why it is that I hate Mondays so much. I have been asking around and a lot of my friends have similar feelings. It is not unanimous but pretty close. What causes this and what can we do about it? Signed, Monday Blues Dear Monday Blues, You ask an interesting question but it is difficult to come up... Read more →


Taking a bakery tour

Bakeries are popping up all over Los Angeles and have taken desserts to a new level. Gone are the days of terrible store-bought baked goods with sugary cakes smothered in pastel-colored icing. I seem to find a new bakery every week these days and thought I would check out a few local spots that offer wonderful tasty treats. There are bakeries... Read more →


Fun for the whole family

Free, free, free. The NexGen program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers free gallery tours, free visits to the Boone Children’s Gallery and free art sessions in the courtyard on most Sundays to children under age 18 and an accompanying adult. Sign up at the table outside, put on your orange NexGen badge, and you’re... Read more →


Celebrating 50 years of service

MONTANA AVE — At a time when some are questioning the viability of libraries and publishing companies in light of the recent release of Apple’s iPad, Santa Monica’s libraries are busier than ever, said City Librarian Greg Mullen. One such library is the Montana Avenue Branch, which will celebrate 50 years of existence this... Read more →


‘The Psychic’ sees laughs in your future

A scribe with severe writer’s block posts a sign in the window of his basement apartment. It announces that he will perform a psychic reading for $25. And so begins Sam Bobrick’s delightfully farcical new comedy “The Psychic,” now having its world premiere at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. Jeffrey Cannata is Adam... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Steam’

Gambling is an addiction. Done to extreme it can harm your relationships to others as well as to self. It controls your life ands makes you desperate. It even makes you a liar. Some people have this impulse-control disorder. It is all they can think about. Even when they are losing they will gamble. It is all they want to do. They do it when... Read more →


Checking out Chaya

In the restaurant business, capturing a niche market can be very profitable. Among people I know, Chaya Venice is the place to go after work for a drink and a snack. The happy hour is so popular, in fact, that it now continues every day for at least five hours (is that five happy hours?), between 5 p.m. and at least 10 p.m. Any restaurant... Read more →


Taking the lead

Dear New Shrink, I was recently promoted into a management position within my corporation. This is a new opportunity for me, but I feel a little unprepared for this new venture. Part of my new responsibilities include running staff meetings with a staff of 20 professionals. My team represents administrative staff, technical specialists,... Read more →


Creating fond food memories

It’s almost as if it was a delayed April Fools’ joke. After all, the e-mail did literally appear in my in-box at 12:06 a.m. on April 2. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the heading, “Ebelskiver pan, our number one customer favorite.” It’s not that I thought the word “Ebelskiver” was some sort of... Read more →


Staying awake for ‘The Wake’

“The Wake” is a play with a lot of p’s in it: politics, philosophy, polemics, passion, and pathos. And enough plot for two plays. In fact, “The Wake” is two plays. One is the love story: boy loves girl, girl thinks she loves boy, girl loves girl, boy waits it out, girl chooses, everybody loses. The other story is... Read more →

Book Review

‘50 Amazing Years in the City of the Angels’

When we talk about basketball we all say Lakers. At least we do in Los Angeles. Everyone likes the story of a winner. When we say Lakers we think of the countless NBA championships and we admire that. Champions come from someplace and this table sized book takes us from 1960 to 2009 They haven’t always been on the winning end of the... Read more →


Preparing for next year’s marathon

Congratulations to those of you who ran the L.A. Marathon this past Sunday. You should feel very proud. Anyone who has ever run a marathon knows the grueling work and time commitment it takes to prepare for such an event. I certainly do. I was not a runner growing up. In fact, I never completed the timed one-mile run required for gym class. I... Read more →