Wine, Women and the Wall Street Journal

Photo: Getty Images.

Author Gabrielle Glaser talks to WSJ’s Gary Rosen about the growing problem of alcohol abuse among upper middle-class women and why A.A. is not the solution for most of them. 

"A few summers ago, I stuffed my car full of the last flattened cardboard boxes from a cross-country move and headed to the recycling depot of my suburban New Jersey town. I pulled up behind a queue of slender women at the wheels of shiny SUVs. Their eyes concealed by giant sunglasses, they hopped from their seats to their open trunks and, one by one, reached for the bags that are the totems of upper-middle-class life: silver ones from Nordstrom, plain ones from Whole Foods. Out poured wine bottles, clanking into the rusted recycling truck."

This piece, Why She Drinks,  ran in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago. It starts off with some great points. I’d recently noticed, and commented, that women (mommies, church gatherings, running clubs, etc) have normalized wine. What's up with all the women and wine?

Somehow, wine has become harmless. It’s surprisingly socially acceptable these days to throw back the wine.

But, the article then takes a weird turn, finding it necessary to admonish Alcoholics Anonymous because 1) it was founded by men 2) a long time ago. Guess we should we do away with the Penicillin and electricity as well...I mean, they were discovered by men - a long time ago.

What I love about AA is that they stay classy. Their traditions prohibit them from entering public controversy (they cannot even defend themselves!). Classy.

I’m fine with any style of seeking sobriety -church, Antabuse, white knuckles, whatever!
But, why bash AA to promote your route to abstinence? This article just makes it even harder for someone with alcohol problems to find their way to AA, by adding fear and shame - ya know, a woman with a drinking problem has a short supply of that.

AA is the gold standard for sobriety seekers. I know two people - one male, one female - that stopped drinking one day. Just stopped. They are fine. Really fine. Once heavy drinkers, they decided alcohol was a problem. They stopped - with no AA. I see them often - and it appears as if they are out of the woods. 

But, AA offers more than the drinking stopping. My words would be feeble, attempting to explain what AA offers to millions of once-alcohol infused, abandoning her children, beating his wife, burning the toast, sneaking the Vodka in the OJ, or just not sleeping well, for years on end. In my practice, I often hear about the evenings that drizzle into nothing after a bottle or two of wine. Alcohol becomes a third party in a marriage. Alcohol becomes the shallow reward after a normal day of life. And when I review lifestyle goals in January with folks, I hear repeatedly two top contenders: Watch less TV and drink less alcohol.

Finally, I reject the "13-step" comments about men and new women. (So, what’s better? Picking up guys on bar stools as drunken women?) I think it denigrates the good AA members. Sure, there’s always a lechy amoral guy in the room somewhere  (is any group immune?) but the serious members, the vast majority, are busy helping others and getting on with their lives.


Join Seamus O'Connor this Sunday, June 30th, Palomar Unitarian Universalist

This promises to be another outstanding conversation with my friend and colleague, Seamus O'Connor.

I Second That Emotion 

Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 9:30 and 11:00 am Lisa Shapiro, Seamus O’Connor and Eileen Maurer

"Humans experience a broad range of emotions. We often think of things in the simplest terms so we label those emotions as good or bad, positive or negative. We think we should allow ourselves to only feel “good” emotions and work to suppress the “bad” ones. But emotions evolved in humans to confer adaptive advantages... so in a sense, all emotions are useful to our continued survival. Join Lisa Shapiro, Seamus O’Connor, and Eileen Maurer over two Sundays as they take a second look at emotions..."


Family Open Studio @ Dove Library, June 29th, 2013. A Free Event!

Family Open Studios

Happy little boy leaning on a table.
Family Open Studios are free art-making workshops designed for the whole family's participation. They are presented in conjunction with exhibitions at the William D. Cannon Art Gallery and allow visitors to:
  • View the current exhibition in the gallery
  • Create works of art in the courtyard (suited for all age levels)
  • Benefit from professional artists/instructor assistance
  • Take the finished project home
When:Saturday, June 29, 2013
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
No reservations required.
Where:Carlsbad City Library complex
Get directions
Cost: Free, all materials and workspace are provided.
Family Open Studios are presented by the City of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Office and are generously funded by the Carlsbad Friends of the Arts. The “Plus” programs are made possible by the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation’s Robert H. Gartner Cultural Endowment Fund.

Family Open Studios schedule: 2013


Worst Charities. Stop giving until you vet their numbers.

RankCharity nameTotal raised by solicitorsPaid to solicitors% spent on direct cash aid
1 Kids Wish Network $127.8 million $109.8 million 2.5%
2 Cancer Fund of America $98.0 million $80.4 million 0.9%
3 Children's Wish Foundation International $96.8 million $63.6 million 10.8%
4 American Breast Cancer Foundation $80.8 million $59.8 million 5.3%
5 Firefighters Charitable Foundation $63.8 million $54.7 million 8.4%
6 Breast Cancer Relief Foundation $63.9 million $44.8 million 2.2%
7 International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO $57.2 million $41.4 million 0.5%
8 National Veterans Service Fund $70.2 million $36.9 million 7.8%
9 American Association of State Troopers $45.0 million $36.0 million 8.6%
10 Children's Cancer Fund of America $37.5 million $29.2 million 5.3%
11 Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation $34.7 million $27.6 million 0.6%
12 Youth Development Fund $29.7 million $24.5 million 0.8%
13 Committee For Missing Children $26.9 million $23.8 million 0.8%
14 Association for Firefighters and Paramedics $23.2 million $20.8 million 3.1%
15 Project Cure (Bradenton, FL) $51.5 million $20.4 million 0.0%
16 National Caregiving Foundation $22.3 million $18.1 million 3.5%
17 Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth $19.6 million $16.1 million 0.0%
18 United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association $23.1 million $15.9 million 0.6%
19 Vietnow National Headquarters $18.1 million $15.9 million 2.9%
20 Police Protective Fund $34.9 million $14.8 million 0.8%
21 National Cancer Coalition $41.5 million $14.0 million 1.1%
22 Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation $14.5 million $13.7 million 0.4%


Choosing a Safe Anti-Depressant During Pregnancy and Lactation

Dr. Thomas Hale is the foremost researcher and trusted physician on all things baby, pregnancy and medication. He maintains a thorough on-line database with each medication name, and the transmission patterns. These are difficult choices and a woman should consult with an expert professional on breastfeeding facts.


Date a Boy who Serves

 In Defense of Boring Boys.

Date a Boy who Travels? That’s nice if your life is about pleasure. But there’s a more exquisite joy.

A dear friend of mine just shared an article “Date a Boy who Travels” on her Facebook Wall: “Love this.”
I didn’t love it.
But I do get it.
We all like the idea of dating Indiana Jones, or one of those sixpacked boys from the cover of Outside, or one of those hunch-backed hottie climbers from the gym who’re always coming back from France and heading out again for Hueco Tanks, or Yosemite.
And, to be fair, I liked a lot of it: the un-materialistic parts of it. The parts that extolled the virtues of letting go and independence within relationships (for more) and being world-aware, while appreciating home.
But the whole bucket list thing has always seemed a bit off, slightly twisted at its roots. It’s a bit YOLO—it’s materializing adventure and even life’s most precious memories.
But I get it.
And if the world were alright, sure, I’d say: go for it. Date a boy (or girl) who lives life for pleasure. For adventure. There’s nothing selfish about such a life—beyond the endless carbon footprint, the “bucket list” mentality of living life to the fullest.
But as travel star and colleague Ryan Van Duzer says, “Most adventure dudes are so selfish…they don’t care about much more than getting to tops of mountains and doing gnarly sh*t.”
So I say “f*ck it” to the bucket list. Why?
The world isn’t alright. Sure, it’s wondrous. It’s amazing. But it’s also full of suffering.
This is a time for heroes. Ordinary, everyday heroes.
This is a time for the luckiest among us not to travel (as a way of life), but rather to serve (as a way of life).
“Date a boy who travels because he’s not blinded by a single goal but enlivened by many,” urges the author, in Date a Boy who Travels.
I beg to differ, my friend. Being “blinded by a single goal” is perhaps a fair definition of entrepreneurship, of achievement—or even of motherhood. Any great ambition requires focus, dedication, sacrifice, perseverance—single-mindedness.
And it’s typical of my generation to exhort ourselves to “Date a Boy who Travels”, illustrated with a happy-happy-joy-joy Pinteresty photo of a boy and a rucksack and a dream. It’s #instaromantic.
But you know what’s truly romantic?
Date a Boy who Serves. Date a boy who wants to do some good, to put others before himself, to help others who haven’t perhaps been given the same opportunities. That’s f*cking hot.
A few nights ago, I joined my friend Duzer—we served as bartenders (boytenders, we called it) for a non-profit called Intercambio. The founder is a young man who has dedicated his life to providing a bridge for immigrants, to learn English. That’s my kind of Boy.
Date a Boy who’s big enough to think about Others First. Am I right?
I look at Michelle, and Barack, and I admire both. I admire her for her willingness to give so much up because she knows her new role, both in starring and in support, can help many more. I admire Barry’s willingness to jump into the mud—into a path of service that few good women or men are willing to jump into (I myself hesitate to jump into a far smaller pool, locally, despite being blessed and able).
This day and age requires heroes who can help underprivileged children get bicycles. Heroes who create an ecofashion line that employs women with HIV in Cambodia. Heroes who head up a mine-defusing operation in South America. (Why not travel, and serve?) And, yes, heroes who sit, bent over a cup of organic coffee, working on their laptops for years and years and years and years. It might look boring, compared with strolling the streets of, say, Beijing—but as Confucius reminds us,  “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I take exception to that “Date a Boy who Travels” because we can do better.
And if we can do better, we must do better.
We must remember to admire the teachers and servants among us: those who are quiet and humble and brave and confident enough to do what might be boring. To work hard, knowing that their service might help this world to heal, and flower. Because there’s nothing sexier, after all, than dating a boy (or girl) who thinks of other children, women and men before himself.
Dating a girl or boy who serves requires sacrifice on our part, too. Because we’re not the priority. We have to learn independence, if we don’t already know it. We have to remember our own lust for our own life and service. And that’s the ultimate gift—remembering our own path of joy is far sexier than scrolling through someone’s Instagram adventures.
Date a Boy who Serves: while he may not be prioritizing that bike tour through France or surfing adventure down in Costa Rica, he will be eager to get out of bed in the morning, and reluctant to close his eyes at night. A boy who serves will sometimes say “no, honey, I can’t go with you. I have to work.” He might say that a lot. But what he means is, “honey, it’d be fun. But fun isn’t my priority. Service is my ultimate fun, even if it looks boring.”
So I say let’s stop reading, writing or sharing pretty, inspiration blogs about mere pleasure.
Let’s start writing, sharing and living beautiful, fulfilling lives of service.

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | | | | | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom


beautiful writing from Blossom (brainiac and Big Bang actress), Mayim Bialik, on
rituals - religious, cultural or otherwise - and how they become more important over time


Seas The Moment

Seen on my Tuesday morning walk @ Oceanside Harbor


UCSD New Depression Study (Los Angeles and San Diego area)

Are you one of the millions of Americans suffering from depression?

You may qualify for a research study in your area evaluating a non-invasive investigational device for the treatment of depression. This is a non-medication study.

NEST (Neosync EEG Synchronized TMS) is a new, non-invasive product that is being studied for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It is an outpatient procedure that incorporates a new technology called sTMS (synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation).

Research has shown that the neuronal activity in the brains of people with MDD is overly rhythmic resulting in low energy in the areas directly associated with depressive symptoms. NEST is based on the theory that the brain is a resonant system and can be “tuned” using low energy, sinusoidal (shaped like a sine curve) magnetic fields synchronized with each patient’s brain waves. It is believed that this will restore normal brain rhythm, function and energy, relieving or eliminating the depressive symptoms.

NEST is completely non-invasive. As shown in the picture below, the patient lies comfortably, the NEST treatment arm is lowered against the patient’s head, and therapy is delivered for approximately 30 minutes.

In order to qualify you must at least:

  • Be between 22 and 65 years of age
  • Have a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Qualified participants in the study may receive:
  • All study-related care and treatment at no cost
  • Reimbursement for travel

subject with caution statement
You do not need health insurance to participate.

To contact a participating doctor in your area and to see if you qualify, please call or visit one of the available locations below:
Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Depression Research Program

San Diego, CA
UC San Diego Healthcare System


Phobia of Vomiting, Study in San Diego

Specific Phobia of Vomiting Study

Specific Fear of Vomiting Study - EmetophobiaLori Riddle-Walker is conducting a research study on Specific Phobia of Vomiting (SPOV). SPOV is also known as emetophobia. This study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of cognitive behavioral therapy treating SPOV. The treatment is based upon the current research, both survey and case studies, including the work of David Veale, MD, a London-based psychiatrist who specializes in emetophobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, health anxiety, and depression.
The study will be the first RCT for emetophobia. This is an important area of research that has been neglected. It has been estimated that over 8% of the population may suffer from a fear of vomiting (1) which can be chronic and debilitating. Emetophobia often co-occurs with depression, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
The study is being done through Argosy University San Diego. It is being funded by the researcher and doctoral candidate, Lori Riddle-Walker, MA, LMFT. If you would like more information about the study, please sign up below to receive email updates.


Turning Point Home Fundraiser, Butterfly Banquet

I attended the Butterfly Banquet last night at MCRD, held in the Bayview Restaurant, to benefit Turning Point Home.
The silent auction offered up fabulous items (Chargers and Padres tickets, Artisan craft work, Lithographs, hotel stays, Antique fine porcelain). 
Commonly, fundraisers purchase their auction items, and bid them at a higher price, making the profit margin skinny.  All items here were donated - sought after by an ambitious crew, one year in the planning.
This was my fifth year...I always bring a new guest so that I may share the experience and introduce others to one of the few remaining residential homes available to women in San Diego County seeking alcohol rehab and treatment, utilizing a tried-and-true social model of recovery.
In the last few years, many facilities have closed due to the economy and lack of social services funding. For a non-profit to run in the black, and 43 years strong, a fiscally sound organization like Turning Point needs our community support. Turning Point Home operates in the traditional grass-roots ethos, utilizing local resources, expertise, and old fashioned generosity from hard-working people.
New roof? Labor? Materials? Business suits? Ideas? All of these things make us richer, better, safer.
I'm aware that giving money to adult women, alcoholics, trying to get sober and save their lives, isn't one of those soft and fuzzy causes that opens our wallets. We much prefer to give to children or animals...understood.  
But, remember this: these women are mothers, daughters, sisters, neighbors, religious, bankers, bus drivers, civil servants, teachers, lawyers, homeless. You name it!
Master of Ceremonies, Tim Lucey, Board President, did a wonderful job of keeping the evening flowing. Food was excellent and the view was outstanding. I talked with some very old friends and made a few new ones.
I look forward to attending in 2014!
Elise, supporter

Shannon, a friend of 28 years, and new supporter
Beautiful Music by Sarah Maisel