| Oct 31, 2010
It's a peculiar person — if not an unabashed sadist — who takes pleasure in someone's stuttering, particularly at a public event. Yet when filmmaker Tom Hooper heard that Colin Firth couldn't stop stammering while accepting an acting honor for...
| Nov 1, 2010
There are cartons of this stuff in attics all over America — the poems, pensées and grocery lists of yearning, dissatisfied people who at some time wished for an emotional coherence that was beyond their reach. These scribbles are of no great...
| Jan 2, 2011
I creep through Los Angeles traffic on Interstate 10 toward my destination: an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting a couple hundred miles east on the Arizona border.
My goal for this trip in the winter of 2008 is to drive from California to a conference in...
| Jul 16, 2010
When an elderly Chicago couple were found buried alive in their debris-filled home recently, their plight became a public example of a poignant situation that faces millions of people: the inability to sort through and discard possessions, some of them...
| Aug 15, 2010
When Judy Lewis used to watch Clark Gable movies with her teen-age friends, she had no clue that Gable might be her father.
"It never would have dawned on me," she said. "Why would I ever think such a thing?"
Yet many in Hollywood were thinking just...
| Oct 3, 2010
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 314 pp., $26
What is it, exactly, that makes reading Adam Phillips such a refreshing, rewarding and invigorating experience? A psychoanalyst who splits his time between his private practice and his...
| Feb 26, 2011
Helen B. Landgarten, a Los Angeles artist and pioneering art therapist who established a clinical art therapy program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and graduate departments in art therapy at Immaculate Heart College and Loyola Marymount University, has...
| Dec 5, 2011
Karen Smuland has always been an anxious person. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York's World Trade Center, she had her first panic attack and ended up in an emergency room, convinced that she was dying.
The 48-year-old architect from Bend,...
| Oct 2, 2011
Lately I've been wading into streams of mail from readers approaching death. Some are fighting it, some are afraid, some are ready to go.
And then I heard from two readers with an update on Hedda Bolgar. I wrote about the Brentwood therapist three...
| Jan 8, 2012
You know it's tough out there when fashion and beauty executives think that even a model's body isn't good enough to sell clothes or that a celebrity's natural face isn't up to par, even with makeup.
The website Jezebel reported in early December that...
| May 22, 2011
Allah, Liberty and Love
The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom
Simon & Schuster: $25
The author looks at the contentious world views sometimes dividing Muslims and non-Muslims and suggests solutions to transcend those differences....