Adventures in Central Asia

Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series on Central Asia. TTKKU stands for Central Asia’s Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. To locate the five “Stans” think of a rectangle bounded by China on the east, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran on the south, the Caspian Sea on the... Read more →


Finding love amongst the cubicles at work

Dear New Shrink, I need your help. I work with this really great guy and it’s obvious that we’re attracted to one another. We have begun spending more and more time together and I could see myself dating this guy. I have asked several of my friends for advice on the matter and all of them have advised me against dating a co-worker... Read more →


Eating lobster during a recession

GENERAL COMMENT: We’re in a recession right? People are eating at home to save money, right? Well, you wouldn’t know it at the Enterprise Fish Co. in Santa Monica. Try and get a table on a Tuesday night, and watch the lobsters go by while you wait at the bar. WHERE: 174 Kinney St., just off Ocean Avenue — (310)... Read more →

Community Profiles

Commission chair gives back

OCEAN PARK — At a Boston elementary school, a boy’s third grade teacher told his parents that their son would never graduate from high school. His multiple learning disabilities and inability to read would prevent him from achieving at the level of his classmates, leaving little hope that he would ever go to college, become a... Read more →


Trying to define ‘normal’

In a country obsessed with body image, chronic disease, health care, food shows, fast food, vegan and raw food diets as well as high protein diets and supplements, one can’t help but wonder what is “normal” eating? What does it feel like to eat for the purpose of nourishing your body but without worrying whether or not we... Read more →


Getting in shape on the cheap

Getting into Halloween costume shape may be a challenge for many yet, ironically, it is only challenged by few. With Santa Monica as a backyard, it’s difficult to understand how today’s workout regime can stream over to a responsibility of the endless “tomorrow.” So now is the time to ask yourself, when exactly is this... Read more →

Book Review

‘Sometimes a Light Surprises’

When a person dies it is hard to make the adjustment back to life. You tend to hide in activities and idiosyncrasies you weren’t aware of. Our main character has lost a wife. It was reported as a murder. It has been 20 years and he has estranged his children. He hides in memorizing and spouting trivia. He still has his business, the... Read more →


Can you smell weed?

So, color me old-fashioned. I like a well-written play that engages me, that gets me to really care about the characters and what happens to them, and prompts me to think about them afterwards. And if there’s good music involved, so much the better! Under these rubrics, therefore, one of the best plays I’ve seen in a long while is... Read more →


Fine dining with all the comforts of home

I wanted to share my discovery once again of Josie on Pico Boulevard and 25th Street. I had all but forgotten that this place was there due to the location. The area has no other restaurants per se and is like a no man’s land as far as commercial business goes. I whiz by there often and don’t bother to look at what is around me... Read more →


Diets don’t work for food addicts

Dear New Shrink, For most of my adult life I have struggled with weight and body image issues. Over the last two years I have gained over 50 pounds and can’t seem to kick my unhealthy habits. I have tried a number of different diets and weight loss plans, all with only short-term results. During a recent doctor’s visit, my... Read more →


Old technique becomes new again

When we hear about a new medical breakthrough in the treatment of a congenital deformity, we often assume it involves a highly technical surgical innovation. It is unusual when that breakthrough involves a relatively simple technique, as is the case with the treatment of clubfoot. Clubfoot is a deformity of the foot and ankle, which is... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Imagination goes into overdrive over ear ache

Just before midnight, my son cried out. At first I thought he would settle. Bad dream I reasoned as I rolled over in bed taking in the time. Other than a stuffed nose for a week or so, he was fine before bed. But soon his cries grew louder. So I crept into his room to rub his back and sat on the floor next to him, ready to help. But I quickly... Read more →

Community Profiles

Passion for the homeland

DOWNTOWN — When people think of Switzerland, some of the first things that come to mind usually involve good cheese and luxury watches. But as with all countries and places, stereotypes do not always capture the whole picture. Just ask Maja Gartmann of Switzerland Tourism in Downtown Santa Monica. As the organization’s media... Read more →

Book Review

‘Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times’

For those of you who watched the PBS presentation on KCET Monday concerning the Chandlers and their Times, you will enjoy this keepsake. For those who did not see the presentation this book will serve as a substitute. This book traces the life of the paper as it was nurtured by the Chandler family until it was sold to the Tribune... Read more →


Matthew Modine finds a cause

A seedy-looking, longhaired Matthew Modine stumbles into his agent’s office looking for a “cause” that will bring him back from obscurity and get him invited to “A-list” parties again. How about if he adopts an Ethiopian orphan — that’s in Africa, right? Or becomes a spokesman for one of those... Read more →