My dad, the feminist

I was born in 1969’s ‘summer of love’ and learned how to walk and throw tantrums while women across the United States read Betty Friedan and fought for equal pay for equal work, the right to practice law or sit on a jury. For little girls like me, doors were being opened that had been […]

Dinosaurs, bottles and cans

No one in North Hollywood collects cans and bottles with more style and whimsy than this man. My Spanglish was good enough to get a shy smile and permission to snap his photo in my apartment building garage, but not enough to get the story behind the diorama featuring Jesus, dinosaurs and ponies on his […]

Slow down and breathe

Two minutes of running as a beginner and I was gasping for air. How did people run for a mile? I couldn’t make it around the block. I asked my fast-footed sister for advice. “You’ve got to slow your breathing down,” she said. I had no idea how to do that, but on my next […]

Communication Breakdown, It’s Always the Same

In my job at ICANN, I have the privilege of traveling around the world for our thrice-yearly meetings, and year-round I get to meet and work with people from every continent. The biggest barrier is typically and unsurprisingly language — my three years of high school Spanish don’t take me very far even in Los […]

Brownies with Greek Yogurt

I’ve been experimenting this week with healthy versions of delicious treats, and these brownies are a knock-out. Vanilla greek yogurt adds protein but no fat, and gives the brownies a dense, rich texture. Ingredients Vegetable spray 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/4 cups wheat flour 2 cups granulated sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1 egg […]

Avoiding that Peaceful, Sleepy Feeling While Driving

In cities with a lot of traffic, road rage gets all the media attention. But I’m more regularly afflicted with a more peaceful, sleepy feeling when stuck on Los Angeles’ great bottleneck, the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. There’s a mile-long stretch that can take 20 minutes or more to lurch your way through […]

Where is the Lean Cuisine aisle?

Wandering through a Beijing supermarket a few days ago, I realized how much I rely on packaged, labelled food to tell me what something is and how to prepare it. And I’m not sure this is a good thing. Fresh fish, meats, noodles, breads, vegetables, mushrooms and fruits arranged in attractive displays, their limited signage […]

Bless You, My Pet

Forget the marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies. In Los Angeles, you can save the calories and feast your eyes on the furry and feathery versions at the city’s Easter tradition, the Blessing of the Animals at Olvera Street. Now in its 83rd year, this annual event brings goats, cows, roosters, boa constrictors, iguanas, a brave […]

My Dad’s Four Doors

My father spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling in his last year of life. Parkinson Disease ravaged him from the inside out, shakes giving way to a terrible stiffness in his muscles. It was as though his spine was contracting, drawing the muscles and tendons and ligaments of his neck, arms and […]