Tips to lower your risk of divorce

Published February 19, 2012, 11:30 PM

Tips to lower your risk of divorce

About 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce. This statistic can make marriage seem like a poor gamble with a high probability of failure. But are the statistics really that cut-and-dried? Is there anything we can do to make marriage less risky? Following are several ways to stack the odds in your favor: By: (MCT), INFORUM

About 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce. This statistic can make marriage seem like a poor gamble with a high probability of failure. But are the statistics really that cut-and-dried? Is there anything we can do to make marriage less risky?
Following are several ways to stack the odds in your favor:
  • Wait until your mid-20s or so to marry.Marrying young can substantially increase the possibility of getting divorced. If you don’t think you can wait until age 25 or so to marry, postponing marriage even a few years can help. (It’s not a rigid cut-off point – it’s more of a sliding scale.) Note that delaying marriage beyond your late 20s, however, does not statistically enhance your likelihood of preventing divorce.
  • Be aware of broken family dynamics and marriage mindsets.You are not doomed to repeat your parent’s mistakes. However, children of divorce are more likely to divorce. Other negative relationship patterns modeled for you in childhood can seep into your adult relationships. Commit to understanding any unhealthy expectations or interactions demonstrated by your parents.
  • Don’t live together without a clear commitment to marry in the future.Giving marriage a “trial run” by living together first may seem like the smart thing to do. But cohabitation – especially without first making a firm commitment to marry – can actually hurt your chances of staying married once you tie the knot.
  • Have a healthy (but not crippling) caution.Many Americans have swung too far in terms of their pessimism about marriage . However, it is also dangerous to be too cocky about your ability to sustain a marriage. A certain amount of caution when approaching marriage is wise.
  • Try premarital counseling.The phrase “premarital counseling” doesn’t conjure up images of fun. But premarital counseling can reduce your likelihood of divorce by 30 percent. So if you are serious about making your marriage work, premarital counseling is definitely worth consideration. You might even enjoy getting to know your partner better through this experience.
  • Money can’t buy happiness, but ...An annual income of $50,000 (versus $25,000) can drop your risk of divorce by 30 percent. Higher income is often tied to higher education levels, so also try to go to get your college degree before you wed. Even some college can help. Individuals with some college reduce their risk of divorce by 13 percent compared to high school dropouts.
Distributed by MCT Information Services


Too Much of A Good Thing Can Be Wonderful
~ Mae West


Beginning Meditation for Everyone Starts Next Week!

Please join me next week in our first class of  
Meditation for Everyone.

Comfortable & clean room, relaxation techniques and affordable  
All ages and conditions
This popular class will fill up so please register soon.

Three Monday evening sessions @ San Dieguito Adult Ed
Encinitas, CA 


Ten Things Not to Say to a Person With a Service Dog

1.     Why do you have a service dog?

2.     Where can I get one of those?

3.     You don’t look disabled.

4.     What do I have to do to get one of those labs?

5.     How expensive are those?

6.     Are you going blind?

7.     Are you training this dog?

8.     Can you bring him into this store/church/restaurant?

9.     I should have brought my animals too! 
10. Can I pet him?

(yes, these are all things actually said!)

     Most of us think of service dogs as a blind person’s companion. But, wonderfully, man’s best friend has proven to be a powerful partner for people with other disabilities. 

     I know an autistic boy who has his service dog tethered to him 24/7 because the child runs dangerously away from his home. The dog lays on him when he gets up suddenly or as he tries to leave the front door, until the proper command is given. 

     The service dog is not a pet. A service dog is intentionally separated from other dogs to prevent the natural canine pack mentality, which would divorce the dog from his master. Once the dog has begun to learn and adapt to his role, then “puppy socializing” begins in small doses – such is the methodical and painstaking process.

     Another service dog helps a person with multiple daily seizures. The service animal anticipates a seizure and alerts the owner so that safety precautions can be taken quickly.   
     And, more Veterans are thankfully utilizing service dogs as part of their return from a combat zone. With hand signals, the animal companion provides emotional support and comfort, even applying deep pressure therapy (via paws) as owner’s anxiety rises - an excellent grounding technique. 

     Service dogs are highly trained, as is the human, with an average cost of $10,000 per dog. Some recipients of a service companion personally fund raise for its' purchase, then wait patiently for the perfect dog, one that matches their exact needs and temperament. The two are trained together, in unison. It is a lengthy and complex process. 

     For many persons, walking around with a service dog is an “outing” that feels embarrassing and uncomfortable, “people will know." The service dog experience in itself can be an emotional and challenging time, until the comfortability catches up with the relief and assistance the dog can ultimately provide. 

     Service dogs have categories as well and can be referred to as Medical Alert Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs or Emotional Support Dogs.

     Do not to ask to pet the dog. The human/companion dyad are a symbiotic pair, sharing 24 hours, 7 days a week together. View the animal is a physical and mental extension of the person.
More helpful info.

Volunteer San Diego, Roots Day (with me!)

Volunteer Work Days at New Roots Community Farm

New_RootsThe IRC New Roots Community Farm Saturday Work Party!

The IRC New Roots Community Farm provides growing space for 80 families in the City Heights area.  Many of the participants were farmers in their home countries and this is their first opportunity to grow crops in the United States.  We need your help to take care of the common areas of the farm.

The work days take place on the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of the month.

Space is limited to 30 people.  Large groups should contact to inquire about participating.   You need not fill out a volunteer application for this one day volunteer opportunity.

What to bring:
Closed toe shoes
Weather appropriate clothing (i.e. pancho for rain, long sleeves if sunny, sunscreen, etc.)
Water bottle
Gardening Tools

Work Day Dates - Click on the link to RSVP or inquire about availability

The March  volunteer work day will be on Saturday, March 9 from 9am to 1pm.
For questions, please contact

Learn more about the IRC Food Security and Community Health Program.

Back to the IRC in San Diego


"All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy" 
Carl Jung


Banksy - February 2013 Smithsonian Magazine

The Story Behind Banksy

On his way to becoming an international icon, the subversive and secretive street artist turned the art world upside-down

  • By Will Ellsworth-Jones
  • Smithsonian magazine, February 2013, Subscribe
Banksy melds street-fighting passion and pacifist ardor in his image of a protester whose Molotov cocktail morphs into a bouquet. (Pixelbully / Alamy)

When Time magazine selected the British artist Banksy—graffiti master, painter, activist, filmmaker and all-purpose provocateur—for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010, he found himself in the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga. He supplied a picture of himself with a paper bag (recyclable, naturally) over his head. Most of his fans don’t really want to know who he is (and have loudly protested Fleet Street attempts to unmask him). But they do want to follow his upward tra­jectory from the outlaw spraying—or, as the argot has it, “bombing”—walls in Bristol, England, during the 1990s to the artist whose work commands hundreds of thousands of dollars in the auction houses of Britain and America. Today, he has bombed cities from Vienna to San Francisco, Barcelona to Paris and Detroit. And he has moved from graffiti on gritty urban walls to paint on canvas, conceptual sculpture and even film, with the guileful documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Pest Control, the tongue-in-cheek-titled organization set up by the artist to authenticate the real Banksy artwork, also protects him from prying outsiders. Hiding behind a paper bag, or, more commonly, e-mail, Banksy relentlessly controls his own narrative. His last face-to-face interview took place in 2003.
While he may shelter behind a concealed identity, he advocates a direct connection between an artist and his constituency. “There’s a whole new audience out there, and it’s never been easier to sell [one’s art],” Banksy has maintained. “You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful, all you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection. This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count.”
The Barton Hill district of Bristol in the 1980s was a scary part of town. Very white—probably no more than three black families had somehow ended up there—working-class, run-down and unwelcoming to strangers. So when Banksy, who came from a much leafier part of town, decided to go make his first foray there, he was nervous. “My dad was badly beaten up there as a kid,” he told fellow graffiti artist and author Felix Braun. He was trying out names at the time, sometimes signing himself Robin Banx, although this soon evolved into Banksy. The shortened moniker may have demonstrated less of the gangsters’ “robbing banks” cachet, but it was more memorable—and easier to write on a wall.
Around this time, he also settled on his distinctive stencil approach to graffiti. When he was 18, he once wrote, he was painting a train with a gang of mates when the British Transport Police showed up and everyone ran. “The rest of my mates made it to the car,” Banksy recalled, “and disappeared so I spent over an hour hidden under a dumper truck with engine oil leaking all over me. As I lay there listening to the cops on the tracks, I realized I had to cut my painting time in half or give it up altogether. I was staring straight up at the stenciled plate on the bottom of the fuel tank when I realized I could just copy that style and make each letter three feet high.” But he also told his friend, author Tristan Manco: “As soon as I cut my first stencil I could feel the power there. I also like the political edge. All graffiti is low-level dissent, but stencils have an extra history. They’ve been used to start revolutions and to stop wars.”
The people—and the apes and rats—he drew in these early days have a strange, primitive feel to them. My favorite is a piece that greets you when you enter the Pierced Up tattoo parlor in Bristol. The wall painting depicts giant wasps (with television sets strapped on as additional weapons) divebombing a tempting bunch of flowers in a vase. Parlor manager Maryanne Kemp recalls Banksy’s marathon painting session: “It was an all-nighter.”
By 1999, he was headed to London. He was also beginning to retreat into anonymity. Evading the authorities was one explanation—Banksy “has issues with the cops.” But he also discovered that anonymity created its own invaluable buzz. As his street art appeared in cities across Britain, comparisons to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring began circulating.
Banksy’s first London exhibition, so to speak, took place in Rivington Street in 2001, when he and fellow street artists convened in a tunnel near a pub. “We hung up some decorators’ signs nicked off a building site,” he later wrote, “and painted the walls white wearing overalls. We got the artwork up in 25 minutes and held an opening party later that week with beers and some hip-hop pumping out of the back of a Transit van. About 500 people turned up to an opening which had cost almost nothing to set up.”
In July 2003, Banksy mounted “Turf War,” his breakthrough exhibition. Staged in a former warehouse in Hackney, the show dazzled the London art scene with its carnival-atmosphere display, which featured a live heifer, its hide embellished with a portrait of Andy Warhol, as well as Queen Elizabeth II in the guise of a chimpanzee.
Late that year, a tall, bearded figure in a dark overcoat, scarf and floppy hat strolled into Tate Britain clutching a large paper bag. He made his way to Room 7 on the second level. He then dug out his own picture, an unsigned oil painting of a rural scene he had found in a London street market. Across the canvas, which he had titled Crimewatch UK Has Ruined the Countryside for All of Us, he had stenciled blue-and-white police crime-scene tape.


Role Modeling

Role Playing



Bowers Museum

Saturday at Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, CA - Current Exhibits include Movie Costumes (surprisingly interesting), scrimshaw, Lucy (the rare and exciting 3.2 million year old in-tact primate) and Spirit Headhunters. This historical building is in the mission style...and three blocks from the Santa Ana Zoo. We stopped to have authentic Mexican food in between locations.
In the above photo, Ethiopian coffee beans roasting.
Fabulous Day!

Lux @ Night, February 20th

    Lux building at night

Glass Floor & Ivory Tower by Carlos Vega

Glass Floor & Ivory Tower, 2012. Stamps and oil paint on lead, 96 in. x 46 in.  


Example Image

Lux@Night and
Alter & Adorn  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
7:00-9:00 PM
Free for Lux members; $5 non-members
21 & over; open to the public 

Make merry at the upcoming Lux@Night!
Don't miss the chance to view the remarkable cut, carved and etched work of resident artist Carlos Vega and the multi-media piece he completed during his stay here, The Flying Donkey. Enjoy music by DJ Jawsomo, dig into the bold Asian-inspired bbq of the Chop Soo-ey foodtruck (a creation of famed SD chef Deborah Scott and the Cohn Restaurant Group), and sip on Barefoot Wine, Stone beer and samples from SD-based Saylor's Remedy Kombucha Tea. You can even check out the Artist Residence, which will be open for viewing!

Also happening: the Lux store event, Alter & Adorn, which offers a fun opportunity to collaborate with designers Housgoods, Tammy Spencer and Archetype Z on a customized piece of jewelry tailored to your preferences! Place a custom order and get 10% off any other item in the store that night only; 15% if you're a Lux member.

It'll be a fun and festive evening, and we look forward to seeing you here at Lux!
Sponsored by the County of San Diego at the recommendation of former Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. 


Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Creating Romance in Marriage

A good toy...Said CCFC's Susan Linn: "a good toy is 90 percent child and 10 percent toy. A good toy just lies there until a child invests it with life (and) meaning. A toy that is 90 percent child encourages play that is driven by a child's interests, needs and experiences" -- not by gendered marketing!  read whole article

Using toys for both boys, girls may be good for kids

Find Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood on facebook 


Romance in Marriage 
Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship


Monkey as Midwife

Zoologists watch as monkey midwife delivers baby

Zoologists watch as monkey midwife delivers baby

Human labor is long and difficult, so it's only natural that someone be there to lend a helping hand — that's where the midwife comes in. It's not the kind of thing that's typically observed among other animals, however. Imagine the surprise of these zoologists working in southwest China when they witnessed the birth of a black snub-nose monkey whose delivery was assisted by a monkey midwife.
Normally, these high-altitude monkeys give birth at night, and the whole thing only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Consequently, biologists have never actually seen it happen with their own eyes. But recently, Wen Xiao of Dali University in Yunnan and colleagues got lucky when they witnessed a rare day time birth. Writing in New Scientist, Michael Marshall reports:
A female monkey gave birth to her first infant within fifteen minutes late one morning. While sitting in a rhododendron tree, she began twisting her body and calling faintly. After 10 minutes she started screaming, and then another female climbed up the tree. She was an experienced mother, and sat beside the labouring female while the crown of the infant's head appeared. Once the head was fully exposed, the "midwife" pulled the baby out with both hands and ripped open the birth membranes.
Within a minute, the mother had reclaimed the infant from the midwife, severed the umbilical cord, and begun eating the placenta. A few minutes later, the midwife went back down to the forest floor to forage.
"This is a fairly rare observation," says Sarah Turner of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who was not involved in the Yunnan study. She says female monkeys often pull their babies out themselves, and the midwife may have adapted this behaviour. "It's hard to know what's going on in her head," says Turner, but it seems she was genuinely helping.
That could be because female black snub-nosed monkeys tend to stay in the group they were born in. As a result, the females in a group are likely to be closely related and to have strong social bonds. Animals often help their relatives because doing so preserves their own genes, a phenomenon called kin selection.
The juvenile females in the group watched the birth closely, and may have picked up a few tips. Turner says many primates remain with their groups while giving birth, giving juveniles a chance to learn.
Black snub-nose monkeys are highly social primates who live in large societies called bands. These bands, which can exceed 400 members, are sub-divided into groups of 10, mostly consisting of one male and several females. During this particular birth, two other females watched it happen — undoubtedly taking mental notes.
More at New Scientist. The entire study can be found here.
Images: Xi Xhinong.


Don't regret regret


Most of What You Think You Know About Grammar is Wrong

And ending sentences with a preposition is nothing worth worrying about

  • By Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellarman
  • Illustration by Traci Daberko
  • Smithsonian magazine, February 2013

Going back to the roots of English grammar to uncover its many myths
Going back to the roots of English grammar to uncover its many myths (Illustration by Traci Daberko)

You’ve probably heard the old story about the pedant who dared to tinker with Winston Churchill’s writing because the great man had ended a sentence with a preposition. Churchill’s scribbled response: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”
It’s a great story, but it’s a myth. And so is that so-called grammar rule about ending sentences with prepositions. If that previous sentence bugs you, by the way, you’ve bought into another myth. No, there’s nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction, either. But perhaps the biggest grammar myth of all is the infamous taboo against splitting an infinitive, as in “to boldly go.” The truth is that you can’t split an infinitive: Since “to” isn’t part of the infinitive, there’s nothing to split. Great writers—including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne and Wordsworth—have been inserting adverbs between “to” and infinitives since the 1200s.
Where did these phony rules originate, and why do they persist?
For some of them, we can blame misguided Latinists who tried to impose the rules of their favorite language on English. Anglican bishop Robert Lowth popularized the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition in his 1762 book, A Short Introduction to English Grammar; while Henry Alford, a dean of Canterbury Cathedral, was principally responsible for the infinitive taboo, with his publication of A Plea for the Queen’s English in 1864.
In Latin, sentences don’t end in prepositions, and an infinitive is one word that can’t be divided. But in a Germanic language like English, as linguists have pointed out, it’s perfectly normal to end a sentence with a preposition and has been since Anglo-Saxon times. And in English, an infinitive is also one word. The “to” is merely a prepositional marker. That’s why it’s so natural to let English adverbs fall where they may, sometimes between “to” and a verb.
We can’t blame Latinists, however, for the false prohibition against beginning a sentence with a conjunction, since the Romans did it too (Et tu, Brute?). The linguist Arnold Zwicky has speculated that well-meaning English teachers may have come up with this one to break students of incessantly starting every sentence with “and.” The truth is that conjunctions are legitimately used to join words, phrases, clauses, sentences—and even paragraphs.
Perhaps these “rules” persist because they are so easy to remember, and the “errors” are so easy to spot. Ironically, this is a case where the clueless guy who’s never heard of a preposition or a conjunction or an infinitive is more likely to be right.
As bloggers at and former New York Times editors, we’ve seen otherwise reasonable, highly educated people turn their writing upside down to sidestep imaginary errors. There’s a simple test that usually exposes a phony rule of grammar: If it makes your English stilted and unnatural, it’s probably a fraud.
We can’t end this without mentioning Raymond Chandler’s response when a copy editor at the Atlantic Monthly decided to “fix” his hard-boiled prose: “When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split.”