Rana Sampson Issue

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Woman San Diego

Informing, Entertaining, and Featuring the Women of San Diego


March/April 2011

“Women Mean Business” Special Feature

Rana Sampson

“First Lady of San Diego”

Dr. Tess

America’s Favorite Dermatologist

Is There Life After Layoff? The Healing Power of Music


March/April 2011

Barbara Bry, Blackbird Ventures

Union Bank and KPBS are honored to recognize the recipients of the 2011 Local Heroes Awards for Women’s History Month. Your unwavering dedication and selfless contributions to your community are a continuous source of inspiration to us all. From all of us at Union Bank and KPBS, congratulations.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we salute our local heroes for their passion and positive influence on our future generations.


©2011 Union Bank, N.A.

March/April 2011

San Diego

Leaders. Role models. But most of all, heroes.


Kathi Anderson, Survivors of Torture, International


Dear Readers, We are thrilled to have Rana Sampson, Senior Director of Development and Marketing for the San Diego Center for Children, and wife of mayor Jerry Sanders, gracing our cover this issue. You will be amazed to learn of the many accomplishments of this wonderful lady. Rana has continually set out to give back to the communities she lives in, whether in her position as a New York City police officer or working at the White House, Rana has dedicated herself to making the world a better place. It is fitting that Rana grace the cover of this particular issue. since we are highlighting our special “Women Mean Business” feature, full of women who have set out to make a difference. Take some time to read about these successful San Diego women who are dedicated to making life better in our beautiful city. Our brand new column, “Ask Dr. Sudi” is sure to grab your attention. Dr. Sudibeh Moein is the founding physician of the Women’s Integrative Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology in Poway and an award winning surgeon. Dr. Sudi will answer all of those unspoken questions that many women have, but are too shy to ask. Take time to read, it and please send her any of your own questions, no topic is taboo. Carol LeBeau, in her indomitable spirit, shares personal thoughts and lessons she has learned over the years with our readers in “Transitions.” It is advice well given and important to all women. Ever have a slip of the tongue in front of a child? Read one women’s humorous account of how she survived her husband’s faux pas.


In light of our current economic status and the constant news of worldwide natural disasters, are you finding yourself experiencing periods of mood swings that are sometimes unbearable? Read our article “Hope Lies Within” to learn what a local expert has discovered. Once again, thank you to all of our wonderful readers and advertisers for supporting San Diego Woman. We love what we do and hope that our readers love it too. Please feel free to contact me with any ideas, or suggestions for upcoming issues.

Sincerely, Judith A. Habert

Judith A. Habert


Subscription Information Annual subscriptions available on request Please send name, mailing address and check for $25.00 payable to San Diego Woman.

San Diego Woman 254 E Grand Avenue, Suite 201 Escondido, CA 92025 760.738.8700 Disclaimer: Products, services, practices, websites or informational packets mentioned within our pages are in no way an endorsement by San Diego Woman, but are provided to our readers for informational purposes only. Privacy Advisory: Personal information provided by our readers will be used solely for the purposes of providing requested information and will not be shared.

March/April 2011

Cover : Photograph: by Lisa K. Miller

Graphics/Magazine Layout: Sonali Soni www.sonalidesignstudio.com

March/April 2011 Page 9

Dr. Tess Mauricio Groundbreaking Procedures

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Local Heroes Award Women’s Month Winners

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Beauty It Doesn’t Have to be Time Consuming

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Dr. Marialyn Sardo Making Mommies Smile

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15 Tips for Hair Make that Hair Style Last

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Dr. Nisha Bunke Solutions for an Unsightly Problem

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Rana Sampson First Lady of San Diego

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Karen Mendez Helping Women Survive Divorce

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Hope Lies Within Understanding Mood Swings

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Mirror Oh So True!

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The Things I Hang on To Memories through Music

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Oops! The New Guy isn’t Working Out How to Avoid Making a Bad Choice.

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Lunch in Brussels Pardon My French.

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Life After Layoff Surviving & Moving On.

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Potty Train Your Mouth Watch What You Say.

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The Healing Power of Music Dr. Eisenberg’s Songs of Life.

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Making Life Easier for Women Two New Procedures.

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Next Time I Want Vanilla Through a Child’s Eyes.

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Seaport Village An Oasis Within An Oasis.

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Home Is Truly Where the Heart Is.

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Letter from the Editor

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Letters to the Editor

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“Transitions” with Carol LeBeau There’s No Magic Bullet.

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Worst Date Ever A Single Woman’s Quest for Mr. Right.

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Let Marketing Help your Job Search What You can Do to Get Noticed.

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Ask An Angel Is Alcohol a Problem?

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He Said/She Said The Perfect Gift.

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Women’s Work Answers to Tough Questions.

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Bitchin & Moaning Accessory Dog Envy.

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Ask Dr. Sudi Answers to Unspoken Questions.

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Fabulous Finds Share our Staff’s Favorite Things.

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In every Issue

San Diego

Jeana Wallace Opprime’ Makes a Difference.




March/April 2011

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief editor@sandiegowoman.com

6 Sonali Soni

Creative Director


Woman San Diego

San Diego

Judith A. Habert


Behind the Pages


Sonali Soni Creative Director

Robert Tussey Copy Editing

Lisa K. Miller Photographer

Jaime V. Habert Entertainment Editor

Norma-Jeanne Sewell Advertising Account Executive

www.sandiegowoman.com 254 E Grand Avenue, Suite 201 Escondido, CA 92025 760.738.8700

Graphics/Magazine Layout: Sonali Soni www.sonalidesignstudio.com

Judith A. Habert

March/April 2011

Rob Weinberg

Robert has been a published writer for over thirty years and has been providing editing services for the past twenty-five. As a musician he has written scores of songs. His life has revolved around his music and writing, often melding the two into articles and interviews.

Rob is president of The MarketBuilding Team, has written two books on marketing, and authors a free marketing advice column called Ask Mr. Marketing. You can subscribe to his free marketing newsletter at www.marketbuilding. com.

Lisa K Miller

Photography by Lisa K Lisa is the owner of Photography by Lisa K, a custom portrait studio located in Rancho Penasquitos, specializing in the highest quality portraiture. As the mother of twins, Lisa shines at capturing moments in pregnancy and early life. She shares her talents with many local charities by volunteering her photographic services.

San Diego

Robert Tussey

Joan is a retired kindergarten teacher, originally from New York, who lives in Carmel Valley with her husband. She keeps in touch with her creative side by writing poetry and memoirs, as well as making jewelry. Joan has two children who live in Los Angeles, her son a screen writer and daughter who is studying to be a marriage and family counselor. She stays one step ahead of the aging process by keeping her sense of humor.


Vessa Rinehart-Phillips Joan Stevens

Vessa is the author of two books . The Opening, The Third Eye and The Spiritual Coloring Book for Children. She is the director of the Intuitive Insights, an intuitive school. Vessa presents Spiritual Abilities and Practical Intuition seminars across the country and has a center in San Diego, California. She has her own television series, “The Intuitive Insight & Alternative Healing Show,” and has been a guest on talk radio programs. For more information visit her website at www. MyIntuition.NET



Diane Netter

Erin Pistilli Erin is a freelance writer living in Escondido. She is a mother of two and a parttime keeper at Seaworld. Erin has a degree in English from Cal State Fullerton and has a passion for reading and writing. She enjoys exploring all of the wonderful places San Diego has to offer with her family

Diane lives in Escondido with her two teenagers, two dogs and 4 birds. Her passions include riding horses and playing piano. She has lived in several states and spent a year as an exchange student in Germany. In 2007 her family’s lives were changed forever when a devastating wildfire burned their beautiful home to the ground. She still mourns the loss of her previous life but has found renewed joy in writing and riding.

Sudi Moein, M.D.,


Sudi Moein, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is the founding physician of the Women’s Integrative Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology (WICOG) in Poway and Hillcrest. An award-winning surgeon, she advocates integrative medicine: inspired by her own in-depth journey through a woman's mind, body, and spirit, Dr. Sudi brings together information from many disciplines in order to comprehensively understand and improve women’s health and well-being.

Shelli Chosak, Ph.D.

Shelli has been active in the field of Organizational Consulting and Psychotherapy for the past 25 years, and holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. She has been listed in Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in American Women Shelli@4AQualityLife.com

Zori Mustin Bragg

Zori has written for publications on the East and West Coasts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and enjoys writing about life as an adoptive parent and military spouse. Her other passion is fiber arts and she is an award-winning art quilter.

Now find us on: Deanna Bates

Ashley Gaudet

Ashley is a hairstylist working in north county. She enjoys traveling, reading, educating her clients and is working on a BA in communications.

Leslie Hodge

While in job search mode, Leslie has written articles for local publications, completed a children's book, and is currently working on her first novel, a family saga set in the 1930's. She resides in San Diego with her wonderful husband, teen-aged daughter and miniature dachshund.

Kendra Woolley

Kendra has combined her two great loves: writing and traveling into her ultimate passion of travel writing. Having been an international traveler since the very beginning of her existence, Kendra prides herself on her endless desire to see the world and meet all those that inhabit it.

March/April 2011

Deanna has been an educator in the San Diego area for over twenty years. She currently teaches third grade. In midlife, she has returned to her first love - writing. She is working on a series of poems and stories based on her life experiences. Deanna resides with her husband, teenage daughter, and three very spoiled pets, all of whom provide her with endless writing inspiration!



twitter.com/SanDiegoWoman twitter.com/sdwomanconcerts

Letters Editor to the

I just finished reading your magazine and was engrossed in your Healthy Aging articles. There was so much valuable information. Learning about the various doctors and practitioners who specialize in helping San Diegans live longer and healthier was great. I plan on visiting several of these professionals. Thanks for this informative issue. Susan from San Diego Hurray to San Diego Woman for covering such an important topic. We all need to know what we can do to stay healthy. I loved the articles. Juliette from Oceanside I was thrilled to see my favorite doctor highlighted in your magazine. I’ve been a patient of Dr. Rubin’s for many years and she is the best. Everything you said about her is true and then some. Thanks for writing about one of my favorite people. Mary from Encinitas


I thought that Fit After Fifty was full of great information for helping women to stay in shape. It seems to get harder as I get older, but the tips will help. Carol from Point Loma Carol LeBeau continues to be a champion for those struggling with mental illness. My mom suffered for years, too embarrassed to ask for help. Thank you for speaking up. Cari from Poway Learning about hormone imbalance made such a difference in my life. I know when other women find out that they can feel like themselves again they will be thrilled. Thanks for covering this important topic. Alicia from Carlsbad Thank you for the back cover of your last issue honoring Veterans. It is great that San Diego Woman dedicated this spot to honoring those who have served our country. Bob from Rancho Bernardo I loved the article The Value of Aging. Right on Ms. Haines…there is nothing wrong with embracing our age. I am not afraid to tell anyone that I am 67. I am proud of it. Melissa from San Diego Thank you for your article on LightBridge Hospice. They came to my aid when my Grandmother was going through a terminal disease and they really made it easier on our family. They were even there for us after she passed on. The thought of hospice did scare me at first, but I learned so much from the staff and it made the entire experience easier on all of us. Annie from San Diego March/April 2011

I am loving your “Women’s Work” column. It has answered so many great questions. It is nice to know there is a place to go when I need answers. Laurie from Del Mar

There is Nothing Like Being a San Diego Woman! Now you can let the world know! San Diego Woman Magazine announces our limited edition "I am a San Diego Woman," t-shirt. Visit our Website at www.sandiegowoman.com and order your t-shirt today

Woman San Diego

Jeana Wallace

Women Mean Business

Opprime'- Making a Difference One Client at a Time Opprime’ Investments, Inc. and Opprime’ Insurance Services Opprime’ (pronounced op-pre-may) is a French term for “underdog”. We all root for the underdog: the independent company that stands up to the big corporate names. Opprime’ is just that company. When you contact them, they will take the time to learn who you are and will work with you to find the best solutions for your business or personal insurance needs. Women are fantastic at multi-tasking, but when running a business, we have to be smarter with our time and resources. Do we have the time, talent and current knowledge to act as our own HR department? Is there a better solution to address these needs? Look to Opprime’ where they focus on the small business market of San Diego. With benefit costs sky rocketing, along with the challenges of launching and running a small business, Opprime’ sought to fulfill a need to act as an external human resource and benefits department to business owners by providing insurance, investment, marketing, and alternative business management consulting services.

designation that included conquering such topics as health care reform, workers compensation and portfolio development. She maintains a competitive edge in the insurance industry by continuing to expand her education and staying current with the evolving business and health insurance changes and requirements. Jeffrey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, along with an infectious personality to Opprime’. He holds a Masters degree in Health Service Administration along with multiple insurance licenses. He also has extensive managed care experience, delivering significant growth to all business in which he has been involved. Jeffrey is also an active board member with the Alliance Healthcare Foundation. The team at Opprime’ finds balance by being actively involved in their community and local philanthropic efforts. Jeana has been involved with It’s All About the Kids, Party for a Purpose, 6 Degrees Networking, DNA Diva Networking, My CCMPRO Networking, and most recently Club Dust; an organization building homes for extremely poor families in the border towns of Tijuana and Tecate. Her involvement doesn’t end there; she also gives her time, along with Jeffrey, to the Feeding the Homeless program based out of the downtown Salvation Army. To date, they have served over 7,500 meals to those in need. Jeffrey is also a “raving fan” of Just in Time for Foster Youth, Bayside Community Center, and anything that helps raise awareness and solutions for the homeless in San Diego.

San Diego


As your business grows and your needs expand, Opprime’ will take the time to understand your changing business model, your specific needs, and think outside the box to negotiate the best insurance options from a variety of carriers. This boutique approach also provides services such as a dedicated account manager, open and new employee enrollment support and processing (along with termination processing and COBRA assistance).

By Stacey Penney

At the forefront of Opprime’ is Jeana Wallace, Vice President of Operations of Opprime’ Insurance Service, while Jeffrey Willmann, President and CEO, specializes in accelerated value add and business maximization for Opprime’s clients. This team brings almost 40 years of industry and leadership experience, qualifications, and results to serve your business and individual needs. Opprime’, formed in 2002 with Jeana joining the company in 2005, has added significant value through non-traditional insurance solutions for individuals and business owners. Jeana has worked hard to maintain a greater than 98% customer retention rate. This shows that they not only implement a strategy but also service it long term. “Our relationships extend far beyond just being your insurance provider”, says Jeana Wallace. Jeana recently received her Health Insurance Professional (HIP)

Let Opprime’ take care of you and your employees, so you can take care of your business. Opprime’ specializes in non-traditional options and offers all lines of insurance for you and your business, with a special focus on individual and employee benefits, as well as strategic relationship and business development consulting. You can reach Jeana and Opprime’ at 858.699.0286, jeana.wallace@opprime.com, or visit them at www.opprime.com

March/April 2011

(continued pg 12)



Women Mean Business

Dr. Tess Mauricio

Bringing Groundbreaking Procedures in Dermatology to San Diego Photos By Lisa K. Miller

To state that Dr. Tess Mauricio is dynamic may very well be an understatement. When you have some time to speak with her at length you soon find out how dedicated and determined she is to bring the latest and greatest innovations to the women of San Diego. A featured guest on such shows as Rachel Ray and The Doctors, Dr. Tess (the name by which she is best known) is not only an excellent doctor, but is personally responsible for aiding in the development of numerous innovations in Dermatology. In addition Dr. Tess is now bringing a new innovation to San Diego. “We will be the first to introduce our patients to the Venus Freeze™. This is the latest in non surgical facial and body tightening. It has been used extensively throughout Europe, but is now FDA approved for use in the States. We are happy to say that our patients will be some of the first to be able to benefit from this innovative process which utilizes magnetic energy to provide non surgical rejuvenation.” This revolutionary concept introduces an innovative technology that combines multi polar radio frequency with pulsed magnetic energy: These two distinct types of energy work together to deliver amazing clinical results, with no patient discomfort. This machine can be used to achieve circumference reduction, skin tightening, anti aging and cellulite improvement. Dr. Tess explains, “The skin is heated to 42-43 degrees Celsius, which then causes new collagen production. So it can be used for patients who want the reduction of excess skin around their abdomen, thighs, knees, neck or face. Current studies have shown that this improvement remained consistent, maintaining the results months after the last treatment.” This can surely open up a whole new field in non surgical rejuvenation. Dr. Tess is proud to offer this service at her brand new location in La Jolla as well as in her Scripps Ranch Dermatology and Cosmetic Center. Bringing this new innovation to San Diego is just one of the many revolutionary procedures that Dr. Tess is passionate about. In her practice she also offers a new form of Liposuction known as Tickle Lipo; the full name is nutational infrasonic liposuction. This latest technology in Liposuction employs special vibration and rotational movement powered by nitrogen gas so it is basically pneumatic powered liposuction. The advantage over traditional liposuction is that doctors can bring down fat in a three dimensional way. The former liposuction procedure called for the physician to go in and out of the area being treated creating linear tracks to reduce the fat volume. In this form of Lipo, an air powered canula is inserted into a small incision and it goes around in gentle three dimensional vibrations. It shakes off blood vessels so there is less trauma and the connective tissue under the skin is preserved. As Dr. Tess explains, “When performing Tickle Lipo there is no laser or ultrasound being used so there is no risk of burning the skin, which was previously a possibility using the former type of procedure. The result is a treatment done in less time, with less recovery discomfort, less bruising, less recuperation time, and a result that is considerably smoother than previously obtained with traditional Lipo.” Another reason why this procedure is quickly gaining popularity is the fact that since it cuts the procedure time, the cost is also less. Add in the lower recuperation time and reduced bruising and it is understandable why so many patients are requesting this new procedure. Dr. Tess was the first in San Diego to perform Tickle Lipo and as one of only a few female cosmetic surgeons in town, she maintains a very busy liposculpture practice.

Dr. Tess loves every minute of what she does which is evident when you speak with her about her practice. Celebrating her 40th birthday this year, Dr. Tess is one of the youngest doctors among her colleagues who have dedicated their lives to helping improve the field of dermatology, and solving some of the long standing obstacles within the field. Dr. Tess has spent the last five years traveling the world instructing physicians on new procedures which allow the laser treatment of non Caucasian patients, an area previously unheard of, and one that she was instrumental in improving. She also holds the distinction of being one of the youngest Presidents of the San Diego Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

March/April 2011

America’s Favorite Dermatologist Now In Scripps Ranch & La Jolla! DR. TESS DERMATOLOGY & COSMETIC CENTER LA JOLLA Home of America’s Favorite Dermatologist

San Diego

Dr. Tess is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine and Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of California San Diego.


Dr. Tess Mauricio, America's Favorite Dermatologist, is a renowned international speaker, physician educator and media personality with appearances on both local TV and nationally syndicated talk shows, including The Rachael Ray Show and The Doctors.


Scripps Ranch

“Nothing Less Than An Expert’s Touch” New Patient Specials: Tickle Lipo: Buy 1 Area, Get the 2nd FREE! $200 OFF any procedure over $1000! * Offers cannot be combined with any other specials or discounts.

SERVICES * Liposculpture * Botox / Dysport * Non-Surgical Body * Restylane / Juvederm Shaping * Leg Vein Treatment * Skin Rejuvenation *Acne / Scar Treatments * Laser / RF Treatments *Medical Dermatology

March/April 2011

La Jolla

As Seen On: The Rachael Ray Show, Fox News, The Wellness Hour, The Doctors, and more!

Dr. Tess Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, La Jolla 7630 Fay Ave. La Jolla, CA 92037, 2nd Floor (866) 717 - 9844 Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center 9999 Mira Mesa Blvd. #103, San Diego, CA 92131 (858) 689 - 4990 www.tessmd.com


Coming to the United States from the Philippines as a young girl, Dr. Tess was determined to make a difference. She attended the University of California, San Diego, and managed to graduate Summa Cum Laude. Acceptance to Stanford for her medical degree presented a dilemma for this family oriented young woman. “I was thrilled to be accepted but I was, and still am, so close to my family that the thought of going away to school was tough. My mom told me that I could not turn down the opportunity to obtain this level of education so she made the decision for me.” Dr. Tess still found herself coming home on weekends and feeling homesick during the school year. However the problem soon diminished when she met her future husband, Dr. James Lee, at Stanford Medical School, and together they made detailed plans for their future. They were married at the Chapel on campus after her second year in medical school and Dr. Tess gave birth to her first child 2 months before graduation. “We had a time frame in mind, knowing both of us would be so busy with our medical training that if we didn’t start our family right away it would be quite a while before I would be able to take time away to do so.” Dr. Tess took her medical boards while in her final months of pregnancy. With a husband and new baby in tow, Dr. Tess and Dr. James were determined to return to San Diego so they could be near their close knit family. “I applied to only one dermatology residency program, which is crazy in such a competitive field with thousands of applicants. There were only two spots open at UCSD in dermatology, but I didn’t care. I believed that I belonged back in San Diego, and if I didn’t get accepted I would worry about it then. At least I would be back home with my family.” Not only did Dr. Tess garner the coveted spot, but her husband applied for his residency in anesthesiology at UCSD as well and he too was accepted. A die hard San Diegan, Dr. Tess was so happy to be back home. She recently planted her roots even deeper, opening up a second office in downtown La Jolla, so she can offer her services to women throughout the county. The future is bright for Dr. Tess with plans in place for a talk show that is going to be televised in September. Dr. Tess believes in the power of TV to educate and inspire and will surely be sharing the latest innovations in dermatology via this medium. “I feel very grateful that I can do what I love. It is so rewarding being able to help my patients to achieve their desired goal to look and feel better about themselves. I feel so fortunate that I can help make an impact on how people feel about themselves on a daily basis. Women come to me after a divorce or survival of cancer or sometimes just to get ready for their children’s weddings. I feel special to be part of their lives and that I can make them feel their best whatever stage they are in their lives.”


As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity, Union Bank has again partnered with KPBS to continue the Cultural Diversity Partnership, a year-long program designed to celebrate local heroes who are making a difference to enrich the lives of others. The 2011 expanded program will recognize and pay tribute to 16 San Diegans – active members of the community who are making a difference by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world. The program kicked off with Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March. The 2011 Black History Month Local Heroes are: Theophilus Alonzo Logan and wife Martha Nash Logan and Veverly Anderson. The 2011 Women’s History Month Local Heroes are: Kathi Anderson and Barbara Bry. Throughout the year, honorees will also be identified during Jewish American Heritage Month (May), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month (June), Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October), Disability Awareness Month (October) and American Indian Heritage Month (November). The year-long celebration of diversity will culminate in January 2012, at an event where recipients will be formally recognized as part of the 14th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors. For each heritage month, KPBS and Union Bank are requesting community nominations. You may visit www.kpbs.org/heroes to submit a nomination. The two women presented with this honor were Kathi Anderson and Barbara Bry. Combining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations and counseling, Kathi Anderson serves as the executive director and co-founder of Survivors of Torture, International (SURVIVORS). SURVIVORS is a non-profit agency that assists survivors of politically motivated torture, educates the public about the effects of torture and works towards the abolition of torture. Ms. Anderson also contributes to the San Diego community as a board member of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the San Diego Young Adult Symphony and the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs. She has also served on the national board of directors of Amnesty International USA. Barbara Bry is an entrepreneur who uses her passion and business savvy to level the playing field for women and girls, especially in conventionally male fields. Her truly inspiring contributions have emanated from her involvement with non-profit organizations and the San Diego community. Ms. Bry is responsible for the foundation of San Diego Athena, the leading organization for local women in the technology and life sciences fields. She also supports her community by contributing to organizations such as Voice of San Diego, CONNECT, Run Women Run, Planned Parenthood, San Diego’s Jewish Women’s and Community foundations, Rotary Club 33 and Women Give San Diego. “Union Bank is very proud of its expanded partnership with KPBS,” said Pierre P. Habis, senior executive vice president and head of Community Banking at Union Bank. “The Local Heroes program has grown to reflect the vibrant and diverse communities we serve, and we are delighted to again partner with KPBS as we recognize the achievements of these outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to the San Diego community.” “Year after year, KPBS has had the pleasure of partnering with Union Bank to meet and honor extraordinary individuals who live in our community,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. “KPBS is proud to profile the honorees on all our media because their stories are inspiring and remind us of the local heroes who make a positive difference in our diverse neighborhoods.”

March/April 2011



Permanent Makeup by Du Soleil

March/April 2011

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San Diego

Her own first permanent make-up procedure was over a decade ago. “Even as a struggling single mom, when I heard I could have permanent lip color I was the first in line to drive from San Diego to Beverly Hills (the only place I knew of then) to have my lips done. I had thin, pale, flat lips that forced me to apply lip liner and lipstick about five times a day, always leaving my mark with anyone I kissed on the cheek. I couldn’t wait to have the procedure done!” explained Jackie. It is no surprise that since then she began her own thriving business doing permanent make-up Jackie has enjoyed the benefits of applying her own eyebrows, eyeliner, eye shadow and even her beauty mark! She loves being able to combine the creative side of art and beauty while taking care of people. “Nothing makes me feel better than seeing the happiness on people’s faces when they look at their permanent make-up results”, said Jackie. She pays special attention to client comfort by using the best topical anesthesia on the market as well as post procedure follow up and standing behind her work for optimal client satisfaction. Jackie also dispelled a myth some people have about permanent make-up: While permanent make-up is permanent, it’s also flexible. Colors can be updated with permanent make-up touch ups over the years. Clients can also apply their own make-up on top of what's permanent to vary the color or look as desired. "It's just wonderful to always look fresh and pretty 24 hours a day!" Jackie said enthusiastically. It's evident she is very passionate about her field! Lastly, she explained that, as it is with anything,” you get what you pay for”. There are many ways to cut corners with permanent make-up. Jackie warns that some use less expensive pigments which are watered down and fade quickly. Low quality machines with high vibration often don’t deposit pigment evenly with changes in skin density along the procedural area. But most difficult for the client is the use of low grade anesthesia. Any of these can cut costs considerably but equally so in results and client experience. Jackie welcomes calls for any questions and is happy to schedule a free consultation to show her extensive portfolio and share her permanent make-up recommendations. She also has advanced training in skin needling to help eliminate fine lines, scar relaxation, camouflaging and areola pigmentation. For more information on Du Soleil Permanent Cosmetics, please visit her website at www.DuSoleilServices.com.


Jackie Stone of Du Soleil Permanent Cosmetics can take time off your morning routine by permanently applying eye liner, lip color and eyebrows. She comes by her trade through her own experience and she took some time with San Diego Woman to share her story.



March/April 2011

Dr. Marialyn Sardo

Women Mean Business

Making Mommies Smile

The Mommy Makeover usually consists of breast and abdominal surgery. The breast surgery can be either breast augmentation or breast lift and it is generally accompanied by abdominoplasty(tummy tuck) and/or liposuction. The procedure is done during one surgery visit, and may entail an overnight stay. Recuperation time is about six weeks with the patient able to return to work within 10 days of surgery if they have a sedentary job, a bit longer if they have more active professions. Having several procedures done at once cuts down on surgical costs and recuperation time so many women prefer this to having the procedures done separately. Women are thrilled with the results and regain much of their self confidence that can be damaged by a poor body image. Dr. Sardo suggests that it is often best to wait to have the procedure until 6 months to a year after delivery as it is important that the body has healed from the pregnancy. Dr. Sardo also suggests that it is best to have a Mommy Makeover performed when you have completed your family. However, there is no danger if a patient should become pregnant after the procedure is performed.

Dr. Sardo has performed various procedures for San Diego women since 1987. In researching plastic surgery procedures it is easy to see that women still believe that investing in yourself proves to have a positive return. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2009, 1.5 million cosmetic surgeries and 11 million noninvasive-minimally invasive procedures were performed. With statistics such as these we asked Dr. Sardo what the latest innovations are in this area and she surprised us with a term we had not come across before. “One of the most popular non-invasive procedures requested is being referred to as the Vampire Facelift. The real name is Selphyl which is a technology where the growth potential of your own platelets is used to enhance the collagen formation in your face. The process involves drawing a couple of tubes of blood which are then spun down and the platelets are removed. These platelets are rich with growth factors, so when they are injected back into your face it will improve firmness and fullness in a 3-4 week period. The results have been shown to last approximately 18 months”

San Diego

The Mommy Makeover involves multiple procedures, performed during one outpatient surgery visit, which can erase the damage to their bodies that many women experience during childbirth. “Not all women require the Mommy Makeover after pregnancy, but there are some who are adversely affected by the strain put on their bodies. It is often a combination of the amount of weight gain and heredity that determines the effects that childbearing will have on a woman.” For some women they are back in their bikinis in no time after giving birth. For others, no matter how hard they hit the gym and cut down on calorie intake they cannot get back their pre-baby bodies. In those cases their stomach muscles have been stretched and the elasticity of their skin is such that it will not allow their stomach to return to its previous state. This is when Dr. Sardo comes in and helps them regain their pre-pregnancy bodies and they often look even better than before. Women are thrilled with the outcome of this procedure.

One of the key elements when selecting a physician to perform this type of plastic surgery is primarily their experience and training with the selected procedure. Dr. Sardo’s specialty in breast and tummy tuck procedures makes her the perfect choice. We asked Dr. Sardo why she chose this profession and was surprised to learn that she was determined to enter into the medical profession at a young age. “It was actually thanks to my brother who had a childhood job sweeping up a doctor’s office. He would come home every day with magazines from the physician’s office. I would devour these journals, and when I came upon an article with pictures of children who were helped by reconstructive cranial facial surgery I felt an immediate interest in this area of medicine. I knew that I wanted to help children with birth defects.” Dr. Sardo went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University with honors in chemistry. She then attended medical school at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Staying in the Southern California area for her general surgery training she trained at the University of California, Los Angeles and the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. After her training she went on to Boston University Medical Center where she completed her specialized training in plastic and reconstructive surgery.


There is one fact that is immediately obvious upon meeting Dr Marialyn Sardo and that is that she truly cares about each and every one of her patients. Not only does she want to be certain that they are receiving the best care possible, but she is there to answer any question or concern they may have. In her plastic surgery practice she utilizes the latest technology available, but her approach to her patients is old school. She provides that personal touch that is too often missing in the medical community today. Dr Sardo does a variety of procedures for her patients, but the one which has become extremely popular is known as the “Mommy Makeover.”


Dr. Sardo understands the concerns of women and is always willing to discuss even the minutest details that may concern her patients. “It’s not about returning to your 20’s, it is about restoring and rejuvenating your body and face to look more like you feel on the inside. Correcting the changes brought on by age, childbearing, sun damage or genetic factors helps you feel better about yourself. Being more self confident contributes to a fuller more enjoyable life.” Thanks to Dr. Sardo, many San Diego women agree.

March/April 2011

15 Tips for Hair 15 tips and tricks for fabulous hair

By Ashley Gaudet

cut if you are not interested in color. It will subtly brighten your natural color and give you incredible shine. 7. You can also use a demi permanent color to punch up your natural color without a major commitment. 8. If you are growing your hair out make a point to get regular trims. Ask your stylist to “dust the tips”. Finished ends make hair of any length look better and hold a style longer no matter what you choose to do with it. 9.Wait until your hair is about 80% dry to start a blow out. It cuts time, frizz, damage, and ups the shine. 10. Invest in a quality blowdryer with all the attachments. It will do half the work for you, and unless you have very fine hair a nozzle can be your best friend. 11. When putting product in your hair, do it when it is still wet. The water will act as a conductor to evenly distribute the product. 12. Learn how to use a diffuser properly. For wavy, curly girls this can cut your styling time in half and give you great results. 13. Wrap a small piece of hair around your ponytail and pin it tightly with a bobby pin. (stick it in one way and then change direction for maximum hold. This is a fast, easy way to add polish. 14. Prevent bedhead and frizz by wrapping you hair in a high, loose bun and securing it with a cloth scrunchie. You will have volume and movement when you wake up. 15. And last but not least, invest in a Mason Pearson hairbrush. It will last you a lifetime and it never fails to make styling a little more fun.


Does Your Business Need a Boost?

1. Sleep on a silk pillowcase. It prevents tangles, split ends, frizz and (bonus!) wrinkles. 2. Always, always give your hair a good brushing before you wash it. This simple action will loosen debris and product buildup, stimulate your scalp and help shampoo and conditioner spread more evenly. (You’ll actually use less) 3. If you have blond or gray hair, use a fully saturated purple shampoo once a week and leave it on for two minutes. This will keep it sparkly and brass free. If your hair is very light mix your purple shampoo with your regular so it does not stain. Joico makes a great one. 4. Use a deep conditioner once a week. Wrap a towel around a plastic cap to trap the heat and let the product penetrate fully. Ten minutes is all you really need. 5. Never use a wooden comb to detangle hair. No matter how smooth they feel the fibers will rough up and damage your hair’s cuticle. 6. Have your stylist do a gloss treatment when you get your hair

March/April 2011

Have you Always Wanted to be Considered an Expert in your Field? There is no better way to accomplish these goals than to share your knowledge with the world by writing a book. If you don’t have the time or experience to create your own literary masterpiece, there is now a solution. Professional writer, editor, and photographer Judith A. Habert can help you accomplish your goal. •Ghostwriting Services •Co-authoring •Author Mentoring •Production Assistance •Marketing support

Call or email today 858 735 5301 email:jhabert@judithhabert.com


with Carol


Breast Cancer: There’s no “Magic Bullet!” cised more! I know. You’ve heard it all before. Those holistic, new-age wacko health nuts have been prattling on about diet and exercise for decades. Well, guess what gals - The medical community now agrees. The “health nuts” are right! While better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed the progression of breast cancer…experts worldwide say the focus should now shift to changing behaviors such as diet and physical activity. According to the World Health Organization, 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be avoided if women were thinner and exercised more. At a recent international conference on breast cancer, Dr. Carlo La Vecchia, head of epidemiology at the University of Milan said, “What can be achieved with screening has been achieved. We can’t do much more. It’s time to get on to other things.” Those “other things” include moving more and eating less. It’s that simple. No magic bullets. No miracle pills.

In recent months, two of my former high school classmates died from breast cancer. 56 years old. The class of ’72 mourns. Sadly, forty-thousand other women nationwide also lost their lives to breast cancer. Two-hundred thousand more were diagnosed with the dreaded disease. Despite all the best efforts of medical scientists and researchers…those numbers continue to climb. That’s the bad news. Now this: Up to a third of breast cancer cases in the US could be avoided if women ate less and exer-

And then ladies (yes, men are also at risk for breast cancer.)… it’s time to move! Our high tech world, while certainly making our lives easier, is also robbing us of our need to move. These days we have to intentionally…purposefully move or we’re going to die young. It’s that simple. So run, walk, ride a bike or swim. Take a Pilates, spin, stretching, or strength class. Park at the far end of the lot. Take the stairs. At work, deliver that e-mail message in person! Every step counts. Every food choice makes a difference. There’s enough in life you can’t control. When it comes to breast cancer, take charge…because that “magic bullet” may just be YOU!

Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary meets for breakfast every Tuesday 7-8:30am at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, 12280 Greens East Rd. San Diego, Ca. 92128 (next to Rancho Bernardo Inn). The Club is involved in local community and international projects. For more information call Jana Markley, Membership Chairman at 858-613-4656

www.rbsunrise.org March/April 2011

San Diego

If you need another reason to get lean …how about this: Obese women are up to 60 percent more likely to develop ANY cancer than normal weight women. No one’s passing judgment here… just the facts.


Eating less also means eating smart. Choose foods in their whole form as often as possible: Whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats and fish. (Come on. You know this!) Avoid the stuff that’s still edible after years in your pantry. And take it easy on the booze and junk food….special occasions only!



Women Mean Business

Dr Nisha Bunke

A Non-surgical Cure for an Unsightly Problem Photos by Lisa K. Miller It is often amazing to hear of the breakthroughs in medicine and how medical issues that were previously considered monumental are now easily remedied. Until our recent encounter with Dr. Nisha Bunke of La Jolla Vein Care, located at the Scripps Memorial Campus, we were not aware of the wonderful advances that have been made within her field. “Most people don’t realize that we no longer treat varicose veins with surgery, but are now able to repair this problem with a treatment done at your doctor’s office.” Many patients previously avoided the thought of visiting a doctor, knowing that the only solution to their unsightly varicose veins was painful and costly surgery. Today these same patients can be helped in a few simple visits to Dr. Bunke’s office in La Jolla. Dr. Nisha Bunke is a Phlebologist, specializing in minimally invasive outpatient procedures for varicose veins, venous malformations and the most severe forms of chronic venous insufficiency, venous leg ulcers. Phlebology is a discipline of medicine that deals exclusively with venous and lymphatic disorders. Dr. Bunke has been helping patients in the San Diego area since 2008. In addition Dr. Bunke also dedicates fifteen hours per week to treating patients at the VA Medical Center, San Diego, where she is also a Staff Physician. She is also the Director at UCSD’s vein center and a Clinical Instructor at the School of Medicine. It is obvious while speaking with Dr. Bunke that she is passionate about her field, and loves what she is doing to help patients rid themselves of problems that are often not only unpleasant to view, but painful and debilitating to those who suffer from these issues. Dr. Bunke treats all types of venous issues, with varicose veins being a large part of her practice. Spider veins, which are a smaller version of varicose veins, can also be easily treated with the same procedure. To realize what Dr. Bunke does you first have to understand varicose veins. Varicose veins are a result of weak, stretched out vein walls. Since veins contain valves, when they become stretched they no longer move blood efficiently toward the heart. Not everyone gets varicose veins; it is often a genetic disposition or can come about as a result of pregnancy, or simply standing still for prolonged periods of time. Varicose veins are not a gender specific disorder, though women seem to be the major sufferers of this condition, which may be linked to hormone production. Since statistics show that eighty-seven percent of people with varicose veins do not seek treatment I asked Dr. Bunke if it was dangerous to let this condition go untreated. “It isn’t life threatening to wait when varicose veins appear, however, the longer a patient goes, the larger they will become, and the treatment needed to repair them will be more extensive. Ignoring the problem may also

cause them to get severe enough to cause aches, pain and swelling.” So instead of going under the knife to repair these problems a new treatment known as Sclerotherapy is now being utilized. The procedure entails injecting a solution of the drug Sotradecol (Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate) or Asclera (Polidocanol), to irritate and collapse vein walls, so the vein eventually disappears. For larger areas some vein specialists use these liquid irritants to make an injectable foam that targets larger varicose veins. Use of the sudsy foam will fill up the vein and make full contact with the lining of the vein wall. This means a much easier treatment for patients, which is pain free and requires no hospitalization or recuperation time. The selection of location for Dr. Bunke’s practice came about as a result of a prestigious fellowship that she obtained after completing residency. Born in Southern California, Dr. Bunke attended the University of California in Santa Barbara. A lover of travel and exploring exotic locations, Dr. Bunke studied abroad for a summer in Japan. Following her undergraduate work she spent a year in Thailand researching infectious disease. When she returned she went straight to medical school on the island of St. Maarten. Dr. Bunke received her internship and residency training in Family Medicine at Deaconess Hospital in southern Indiana. Following this, she became the first physician in the United States to complete a Phlebology Fellowship at UCSD and the Vein Institute of La Jolla. It was a rare opportunity which led Dr. Bunke to settle down and open her practice in La Jolla. “I had the privilege to train under the guidance of Dr. John Bergan, a world-renowned vascular surgeon and preeminent authority in the field. He has published over 40 books and written over 800 publications in the field. Working under his guidance truly convinced me that this was the field in which I wanted to dedicate my practice.” When Dr. Bergan retired, Dr. Bunke took over his practice at its current location in La Jolla. Dr. Bunke is board certified in both Family Medicine and Phlebology, but limits her practice exclusively to the treatment of venous and lymphatic disorders. In addition to providing patient care, Dr. Bunke leads clinical research studies and was awarded the 2008 BSN-JOBST Research Award for the Advancement of Phlebology for research on Inflammatory Bio-Markers of Venous Insufficiency. She was also awarded the Internationale Union de Phlebologie Research Fellowship in Monaco. Dr. Bunke has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, 7 book chapters in medical textbooks, and is co-Editor of The Vein Book II.

March/April 2011

San Diego



March/April 2011

Rana Sampson I was honored to be introduced to Rana Sampson several years ago by a mutual friend who couldn’t say enough positive things about this woman. After meeting her I knew instantly that she was even more amazing then I was told. Rana is by far one of the most caring and compassionate individuals that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Being the “First Lady of San Diego”, married to our esteemed mayor Jerry Sanders, would be, for most women, a full time job. This is not the case for Rana; she is very much her own woman and a force to be reckoned with. She has dedicated much of her time to helping increase the chance that some very special San Diego children survive their personal struggles and enjoy a relatively “normal” childhood. Walking with her through her second home, the San Diego Center for Children (where she is the Senior


Director of Development and Marketing), it is heartwarming to notice the children light up when they see her pass by. She knows every one of them by their first name and shares several hugs along the way. It is quite obvious to onlookers that Rana loves her current career choice, but what is more surprising is the road that led her to where she is today. Rana was born and raised in New York where she attended public school in the Borough Park, Bensonhurst, and Coney Island neighborhoods of Brooklyn. A New Yorker to her core, she went on to attend Columbia University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in American History. After graduation she received a fellowship to work in New York City government. She remained in that position for a year until she was hired by the mayor’s office to work in community development. The climate in New York started to change, arson and crime seemed to be rising exponentially, and Rana watched believing that there must be something she could do to help her hometown. At this young age she had already developed her caring nature which led her to select a career that

By Judith A. Habert Photos by Lisa K. Miller

epitomized her beliefs. “I felt like New York had done so much for me and had offered me so many great things as a child growing up there that I knew I wanted to give back.” These feelings translated into a desire to become either a firefighter or a police officer. Since the police exam was imminent, she took the exam, passed, and started her journey as a New York City cop. Working in the areas of Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, then moving to Manhattan and being assigned to precincts in Harlem and the Lower East Side, gave Rana a chance to face some of the toughest challenges for a New York City Police officer. Her talents were soon recognized as she moved through the ranks working foot patrol, moving on to car patrol and then working as an undercover narcotics officer. It wasn’t long before she was promoted to Sergeant at the precinct made famous on the long running TV series, NYPD Blue. “It was a great experience that I would not trade for anything,” adds Rana. It was Rana’s desire for continuing growth through lifelong learning that led her away from her 6 year position as a police officer. “I developed a real passion for the challenge of policing in a democratic society and I felt that attending law school would help me be even more effective in this arena.” Her next step in her career path led her to Harvard where she earned her law degree, graduating with honors. Upon graduation Rana knew she wanted to remain in the policing field, but felt if she worked in a law firm for a short time she could pay off all her law school loans. She knew she couldn’t stay away from the law enforcement field for very long and was thrilled to accept a job working for a national police think tank in Washington D.C. In this position she traveled across the country working with police departments on issues of crime reduction and others related to democratic policing. “One of the hallmarks of policing in the US is that in many other nations the police are totalitarian forces put in place to help support repressive regimes. We are very fortunate that we don’t have that in this country. Here, it is the role of our police forces to be not only brawn but brains. A major aspect of the police function is to safeguard our constitutional rights while reducing crime. This requires real talent to accomplish.” This was Rana’s main focus. She was called upon to help implement a model of policing which would reduce crime and increase the connection between the police force and the people they served. Several years later, a former administrator at Rana’s college, as

March/April 2011

“First Lady of San Diego”

her husband as Mayor of San Diego Rana found herself busy with her full-time career and her duties as first lady, but still she knew the importance of being a part of this worthwhile charity. Rana devoted as much time as she could as a volunteer at the San Diego Center for Children. When the Development Director left her position with the Center, the CEO asked if Rana would step in.

Diego WSan oman

well as a Washington colleague encouraged Rana to apply to be a White House Fellow, a prestigious one-year fellowship working with top cabinet secretaries at the federal level. She started her White House Fellow year under the Bush administration in the Department of Education, and subsequently was invited to work in the White House Domestic Policy Council on crime reduction for President Clinton. There wasn’t much that could tear her away from her

Women Mean Business


position at the White House except for a marriage proposal from her soon to be husband, Jerry Sanders. They were married in New York in October of 1993. The couple met through their positions in law enforcement. Shortly before they married Jerry Sanders was named San Diego’s Chief of Police and as soon as Rana moved to San Diego after their marriage, she opened her own policing/crime reduction consulting firm traveling worldwide. Rana’s compassion and giving nature would not allow her to concentrate only on her career and she also spent many hours volunteering for various local charities. Then, in 2006, when a friend told her about the San Diego Center for Children and the wonderful work they were doing, she visited and became involved. With

The true love Rana has for her Center is so obvious while speaking with her. When asked about herself and her personal achievements, which are remarkable, she is shy and unassuming. But when you mention the Center her face lights up and she beams with pride at how they are currently helping over 500 children in the San Diego area. I couldn’t help but ask her point blank, what does this place mean to you? She eloquently responds, “I think it is really important to help the most vulnerable members of our society and give them the skills they need and a path to happiness. That is what the Center does, we help these children thrive.

March/April 2011


A lot of the children have had pretty tough, no, very tough lives” The San Diego Center for Children builds skills and resilience in children and teens whose trauma, abuse or mental health challenges are delaying their success in the community and in school. Through this center services are provided all across the county. There are programs in San Ysidro, Vista, Lemon Grove, La Mesa and at their main campus in Kearney Mesa. On their site in Kearney Mesa they have a K-12 accredited school for children with special circumstances. Often these children have been abused or had some sort of trauma or mental health issue. They also have a foster care agency to help place children in need. Their residential program houses 75 children who live on their main campus. “Each child has a therapist, goes to school, participates in their music and arts programs, and has recreational therapy including lots of fun childhood activities. We have six teams; including softball, bas-

ketball, running, and football. We have a cheerleading squad, girl scouts, pet therapy, and we just started a gardening program so the children can grow food and learn about healthy eating. We try to give them as much of a fun, activity-filled and therapeutic childhood as possible.” To this end, the Center has managed to even provide a prom for the students thanks to the generous donations of volunteers throughout the county. As the oldest accredited children’s charity in San Diego, they have been helping children since 1887, and its 125th year of service begins in 2012. The concept of the Center is to help the children to manage their problems now when they are young so they don’t go through life suffering and ending up choosing the wrong path. “We try to help the children handle their problems now before their problems become more magnified and less manageable.” Current needs for the Center include corporate sponsorship for fundraising events, donation of items for upcoming silent auctions, and funding for special programs. “We have volunteers who sponsor a child and provide holiday and birthday presents for them each year.” Adds Rana, “I don’t know what we would do without these generous volunteers.” These children are not requesting items like iPads or cell phones but are thrilled to receive a new pair of shoes or jeans. The Center receives government funding for some of their programs, but the extras that help allow these children to actually experience a somewhat normal childhood are not covered by these resources. The Center has been able to provide Easter, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, and Halloween celebrations each year (with donations). “Everything that you would want for your child to have a good childhood we want these children to have too. Not excessive, but they need to have a childhood. A childhood keeps us human and connected to other people. Every person needs some innocence about them and some of the children who come here have only horrendous experiences by which to remember their childhood. We do all we can to change that.” The Center has three major fundraising events each year including their Annual Dinner Gala held at the US Grant on May 12, 2011, a golf tournament (in early March), and a Walk for Kids in November. (If you would like more information about the San Diego Center for Children or would like to donate please visit their site at www.centerforchildren.org.) With the background and experiences Rana has had throughout her life she has always managed to give back to those who need her help. Rana and Jerry have taught daughters Lisa and Jamie to do the same. Both girls have been front and center lending a hand volunteering at Center events for mom and aiding their father during campaigns and charitable functions. Her dedication to a life of service to her community while giving back at every opportunity is a true testament to what it means to be “the first Lady” of San Diego; but she is so much more than that. She is unpretentious and kind, always looking for new ways to help the most vulnerable members of society, the children of San Diego. Working with Rana over the years to help support her charity has been a pleasure and let me say from all of us at San Diego Woman - we thank you.

March/April 2011

San Diego

Woman 23

March/April 2011


Are you confused and want guidance...


Regaining Financial Stability Due to Divorce?






Contact me today for a free checklist of steps to take immediately after divorce. (858) 523-4936 karen.mendez@wedbush.com www.wedbush.com/karenmendez 201 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, #500 Solana Beach, CA 92075

Karen Mendez Carter, CDFATM Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Investment Executive

Dedicated to Client Financial Safety & Confidentiality

Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC March/April 2011

Women Mean Business

Karen Mendez Helping Women Survive Divorce Photos by Lisa K. Miller

powerful men who are the family breadwinners. When divorce occurs they are in need of their own team of trusted advisors who can guide them through this time of uncertainty and help them regain their financial stability. The resolution is often complex and requires advanced planning to assure that the women will remain unscathed and can maintain the quality of life they have previously enjoyed. “Each case is different, so it is imperative that I spend quality time with my clients discussing all of their hopes, dreams and fears so I can be sure they are properly served.” Karen’s clients have nothing but rave reviews regarding the level of service she provides. They admire her attention to detail and the time and care she expends on their behalf. Often her job becomes hand holding and providing a sounding board to help shoulder the fear and emotional distress they are experiencing. Karen loves her chosen profession and has enjoyed providing help to women in many different areas. She often runs seminars for women by sending out pretty pink invitations which appeal to women, and help let them know that the event will provide a non threatening environment in which they can have all of their concerns addressed. The traditional power point presentation is replaced by a flip chart on which she maps out a solution to the problems that are voiced during these sessions. Even though she may start out with a structured agenda, Karen believes that what is important is answering the participant’s questions and resolving any concerns they may have. “These seminars often turn into interactive gatherings with laughter and a sense of relief experienced by the attendees. I always start out commenting on gender differences in regards to money. It is amazing to watch the crowd relax when they realize that the feelings they have are not unique to them. Women often have relationships with money that are developed as children, depending on how they were raised and how the issue of finances was presented to them at a very young age. For some women, this is the only experience they have. Seeing that they are not alone helps to ease the pain and fears they must now face.” Although Karen works in an often stressful field she manages to find time to decompress while enjoying her hobbies of surfing, golfing and dancing. But one of her long standing loves is her equestrian hobby. Having grown up with a Bolivian father who taught her as a young girl to ride horses, she has returned to the saddle to enjoy her childhood passion - enjoying the freedom of the sport and the sense of control she feels with reins in hand. Karen believes it is imperative that her clients focus on what they have and how to best utilize their resources instead of focusing on what they have lost. Once they do so they often realize that although life might be different than it was before, it can often be even better. “There is a movie from 1998 that I often refer to with my clients called Sliding Door with Gwyneth Paltrow. The story depicts an advertising executive who gets unjustly fired from her job and heads home in the middle of the day. As she reaches the doors of the subway train the movie takes two different turns. In one scenario she makes the train and in the other she misses it. Her entire life ends up changing drastically as a result of one small change of event. This is often true in life, and I find when I express this to my clients they suddenly realize how important choices may be. I am there to help assure that they make the right ones.”

March/April 2011

San Diego


Perhaps one of the most devastating events for women, second only to the loss of a child or loved one, is the loss of a marriage. The devastation of divorce presents its own set of both emotional and financial ramifications which often finds women feeling as if their life has taken an unbearable blow, making it hard to move forward. Karen Mendez, of Wedbush Securities, took notice of this phenomenon and has dedicated her practice to helping women, not only survive the devastating consequences of divorce, but bounce back and become strong independent women in charge of their own lives. “Most women in this position feel overwhelmed and are not quite sure where to turn. I help them realize that although their life may be changing, they have options and can come back even stronger.” Karen holds a certification that few financial professionals in San Diego possess; she is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. In this capacity she is trained to deal specifically with the process of divorce, the financial settlement, and the rebuilding of a client’s financial outlook. Karen notes, “I take a collaborative approach with my clients, working together to achieve their desired results.” Often women who seek out her services are frozen in their current state; emotionally upset and confused as to what they need to do to accomplish the goals they desire. Most of the time their main concerns revolve around the support of their children and/or a desire to be assured they can live out the remainder of their life without the fear of becoming a burden to those around them. Karen is often called in early in the divorce process by a client’s attorney or mediator, and she will map out her new client’s financial needs when a settlement is being discussed. Other times she is contacted by a client directly after the settlements have been determined to help them design a financial game plan. “Security is always their number one concern and I work with them to determine what is really important and how they wish to achieve their goals. They want to know where they are as of today and they are interested in a plan that will assure that they can get to where they want to be in the future. It is similar to being in San Diego and knowing you want to get to New York. We figure out the starting point, and the final destination, now we simply need to find the best method to get there. Are they in a hurry to arrive? (If so they might fly.) Is there a manner in which they wish to get there? (Do they prefer to travel by plane, train, or car?) And of course an important element is what will their financial resources allow? When you spell it out this way it becomes a simple process of answering these questions and planning the best route to their financial destination.” Karen credits some events in her personal life for her interest in obtaining her current credential, and focusing her practice on this much needed area in the financial arena. “I grew up in the Glendale and Santa Barbara areas; my father was a cardiovascular surgeon and my mother was a nurse. When my father suddenly passed away I realized not only the emotional devastation to my family, and particularly my mother, but I recognized the financial fears that set in. I had personally just experienced and survived a divorce, so these two great losses had a major impact on me. I didn’t like watching what my mother was going through and I didn’t like what I was feeling, so I decided there had to be a better alternative for women when faced with these types of losses.” Karen’s unique training and abilities allow her to help women, not only during a divorce, but also in the wake of the death or disability of their spouse. Many of Karen’s clients are women who are married to successful, strong,



Hope Lies Within By Judith A. Habert Colleen lives in Encinitas, is a successful business owner, the mother of three, and is married to a prominent San Diego Attorney. Anyone who knows her will agree that she is not a woman to question. When it comes to her job there is no one better, when it comes to her children, she is driven to provide them with the best life has to offer. Her social life is full of business dinners with prominent members of society and time spent with her husband of 18 years. Together they enjoy their weekly date nights and romantic getaways. Colleen has her life together, but she didn’t always feel this way. Colleen was diagnosed as bipolar and suffered for many years trying to find a solution to her discomforting mood shifts. She was on several psychotropic medications to help regulate her condition. The medication prescribed often caused her more painful side effects than the problems for which they were diagnosed. Colleen would not allow her life to progress in this manner, so she did some extensive research and came upon some interesting facts that allowed her to back off much of her medication and begin to better understand her body and its cycling moods. Today she has figured out precisely how to listen to her inner clock and to appreciate her healthy rhythm. Colleen is not the only sufferer of what is often the overmedication of society. Few individuals have dedicated their lives to prove this point more than Dr. David Goodman, who recently spent some time speaking with us about his findings. Dr. Goodman, Founder of the Newport Neuroscience Center in North County San Diego, and a doctoral graduate in Psychobiology from UC Irvine, spent a good portion of his life studying moods, emotions and the timing of the human body. Coining the term, “Mental Chronomics,” Dr. Goodman has performed three decades of research to prove a truth he has believed for many years. Using himself as the primary subject, Dr. Goodman analyzed almost every dream he has had over the past 22 years. His research was arduous, waking two to seven times per night to record the details, regardless of how short or seemingly insignificant the dream appeared. He has yet to miss a single night, incredible as that sounds. This level of commitment is a testament to the man who left his position with a Newport Beach pharmaceutical firm to prove that medication is infrequently the answer. Starting with this premise Dr. Goodman does believe that there are medications

which are necessary, but there are other important mental cycles representing the human condition which may question the need for these medications, and more importantly, whether they should be taken daily for a lifetime. One of the issues foremost in his mind was why there was such reliance on anti-depressant drugs when they clearly lose their effectiveness after only 4-5 hours. He knew there had to be other ways to treat these mental issues, and it would be through his study of the unconscious mind that he soon discovered some startling realities. Through this thorough research, he discovered (at the leading edge of Neuroscience) much groundbreaking information regarding the existence of “clock” genes, which are encoded in the human DNA. They appear at the core of human mood regulation. Engaging in detailed analysis he found that there are multiple cycles in all human beings, both male and female, and that six of them can be measured and even be used, to some extent, forecast future dreams. The discovery that most human genes share characteristics of “clock” genes proves that humans are linked genetically to ancient rhythms of the sun and moon. With this in mind Dr. Goodman adds, “Since rhythms lie at the core of the human unconscious, designing drugs able to completely abolish the mood rhythm may be an exercise in futility.” This leads to the question as to whether we can control our unconscious mind despite pressure to take chemical substances? An illness, when mild and defined medically as bipolar disorder, may in fact not be “an illness” at all, but purely the way in which the clock gene affects the moods of certain individuals enabling them to view the world in many different ways. As far back as 1971 Gay Gaer Luce, author of Body Time… Physiological Rhythms and Social Stress, spoke of the natural clock rhythms found in all living things. Her book was at least four decades ahead of its time in its hypothesis of how we become truly conscious when we understand natural Body Rhythms. "Luce was remarkably prescient, looking ahead almost 40 years to a time when inner rhythms would be on everyone's lips. She foresaw many prevalent trends today, some which were apparently sufficient enough for UCSD to establish the Center for Chronobiology with twenty-four adjunct faculty. Time-Life and Scientific American have also taken heed and published books on how a primary rhythm called daily or circadian regulates almost every aspect of our lives."

March/April 2011

to take it and when they don’t. As in Colleen’s situation, becoming aware of inner mood cycles allows her to create an individualized nutritional and exercise programs which can help make them easier to manage. Many women have found that by following a regime of natural health products and exercise you can help to limit these extreme mood changes. Imagine a world where we could predict with precise accuracy what our mood will be on a certain day. Athletes could be requested to sit on the bench during vulnerable periods when they might get injured or play a bad game, work presentations could be scheduled in accord with these cycles, and special events in life, like weddings or the birth of babies, could be planned for periods when cycles have built esteem to appropriate levels. Since these dates of opposing mood swings can be predicable once an individual learns to recognize the patterns, there stands the possibility that software programs can be designed to accurately discern the hidden drumbeat and display it on a screen, along with an advisory recommending what may be best for them to do that day. According to Dr. Goodman, the use of Mental Chronomics can help individuals determine if the intensity of mood swings they experience can be defined as normal. This could save many from a life of medication to alter moods which most often smoothes out naturally. This was in essence what Colleen has now discovered. She experienced mood swings, yet they were hardly outside of normal levels and they were truly responsible for most of the successes she achieved in life. After all, mood swings are a natural and healthy element of life. Imagine a life where there is but one view on every event that occurs. Knowing these simple facts means our nation, in the future, can produce many fewer mentally ill youth and more authentic geniuses? It is actually by knowing how being mildly moody is the definition of mental health in creative people that can help them to fully enjoy and understand life. With the findings of such great minds as Gay Gaer Luce, Franz Halberg, Rexford Hersey and David Goodman, San Diego ladies like Colleen can now lead normal lives, confident that changes in mood and attitude do not make them destined for a life controlled by medication. Fortunately Dr. Goodman has now registered the Da Vinci Foundation for Discovering Human Genius to assist local San Diego residents in discovering their individualized rhythms embedded in their DNA that regulates their unconscious minds.

March/April 2011

San Diego


Most remarkably, Luce who has since received her doctorate for research on aging, strongly advocated that every individual keep a journal of moods, emotions, thoughts and dreams. She sensed decades before others what is today called individualized medicine. This is the branch of physiological biochemistry that prescribes a blend of nutrients taken at specific times of the day to increase selfknowledge and to maximize performance. Unfortunately, a person's natural clocks are rarely taken into account when drugs are prescribed for them. One of the main reasons Dr. Goodman left the field of Psychopharmacology was his dissatisfaction with the disease model generally used in the development and prescription of psychotropic medications. Dr. Goodman admits, “I felt personal dissatisfaction with a disease model which worked on the premise that 20% of humans suffer from an emotional disease and if they are in fact diseased, why prescribe medication that will only help for just four or five hours before it wears off?” It was Gay Gaer Luce’s book along with the research of Franz Halberg in Chronobiology that was weighing on Dr. Goodman and his beliefs about the human clock. He knew there was something very critical about these facts, but additional research tipped the scale for him. This included studies done by University of Minnesota’s Franz Halberg and University of Pennsylvania Industrial Psychologist Rexford Hersey, who found evidence for a monthly emotional rhythm in 29 of 29 healthy normal workers on an assembly line. It was this factor that led him to begin to chart his own monthly emotional rhythm. By January 1, 1989 Dr. Goodman had mastered the intricacies of charting his cycles. Every day and every night he tracked 12 variables (filling over 100 notebooks) as he recorded his feelings, dreams, sleep, thinking patterns, athletic performance and various other physiological indicators. Over time, the dedication to his project resulted in some surprising developments. Probably the most astounding fact was what he learned about dreams. Incredibly, by December 2000, he observed to his dismay that his "monthly" emotional rhythm that he had tracked earlier, had stabilized at 260 days. This permitted him to analyze dream series to a degree unprecedented in the dream research community. He was able to tease out the intricate details of dream series, enabling him to discover the contributions of six rhythms to the generation of a nightly dream at a specific time of night. Previously dreams were often declared to be a random jumble of images and unconscious thought. This was replaced by proof that they are, in fact, highly crafted and sometimes predicable events. In October of 2009, Dr. Goodman’s presented his findings at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual convention in Chicago. Dr. Goodman explained, “Based on four dreams a night that I recorded, the first dream in a dream series offered an idea of a future action. Then the next dream generally intended the future action. Following this, dreams later in the series witnessed the initiation and implementation of the action. In seven of eight dream series, the hypothesis was confirmed. These findings tend to disprove that dreams are random.” What decades of research into dream rhythms and individual time structures in adult men and women shows is how intelligent individuals like Colleen are still kept in the dark when they are diagnosed as mentally ill. Better they be informed how hidden rhythms regulate their lives. Note however that these rhythms vary from person to person and gaining insight into our own rhythm, called by Dr. Goodman "One's Own Drummer's Drum," can answer many personal issues. This can turn on the inner light in persons who formerly believed they were bipolar, when in reality they are simply responding to rhythms emerging regularly from the depths of their brain stem. Knowing that every person on the planet marches to their inner drumbeat can eliminate the diagnosis based on shadow bipolar syndromes. Another way to look at being moody is to sense a drumbeat enabling us to see the world through different mood sets during different times of the month. This simple truth can allow individuals to cut out unneeded medication, or at least learn when they need


Dr. David Goodman

Worst Date Ever


A Single Woman’s Quest for Mr. Right Sometimes Brings Mr. Wrong by Vessa Rinehart-Phillips

I really appreciate men and I did enjoy my single days before getting married. However, during my search for “the man” who would be my prince-in-shining-armor, I experienced, some not-so-great dates. One of the more memorable dates wedged in my memory that I’m


“Is that gauge working?” “Oh, yeah,” replied Dennis, “I’m low on fuel, but I don’t have any money to gas up.” I wasn’t carrying any bills or credit cards, but in the bottom of my purse, I had a coin purse, and I offered the change to Dennis. It was $3.95 and he quickly stopped for gas. The van wouldn’t start again and he asked if I would give it a quick push to get it going, since he claimed the clutch was tricky and he was the only one who could hold the wheel. I pushed the van in my high heels out of the gas station driveway, staggered in, and we were again on our way. When we arrived in San Francisco, we had to park several blocks away from Davies Hall because he hadn’t brought any money for parking. We made the trek to the hall and were seated. It was a special Christmas performance. The orchestra conductor invited the audience to sing along with a few carols before it started. A man with an impressive Opera voice sat behind us and bellowed out the songs. The crowd was elderly and the lady next to Dennis had a medical condition which made her hands shake. Dennis began shaking his program to imitate the lady next to us and singing in a false Opera voice to mimic the man behind him. I started sinking in my chair. My stomach turned in knots as the glares from the patrons sitting around us started to notice Dennis’ indiscretion. I excused myself to the bathroom and I was sick until intermission, when I emerged, Dennis was standing outside the bathroom and helped me hobble back to the car. Once I was home and away from Dennis, I miraculously felt better.

SAVE THE DATE! still working on extracting from my recollection, was my date with Dennis. Dennis was a painter and we had dated casually a few times previously. I met him at a church social; catching a movie after church or a quick bite to eat had been entertaining. He had asked me out for a formal Saturday night date on the night I had been given a pair of tickets to the San Francisco Symphony. He agreed to escort me to the Symphony instead of whatever he had planned. I had only been to the Symphony once before in San Francisco at Davies Hall with its glimmering lights and upscale atmosphere, and I was excited. Dennis showed up on my doorstep wearing his brown painters pants splattered with white paint covering his open-toed tattered Birkenstock sandals. Wearing a long gown, and in my politeness not wanting to insist that he change clothes and be ill mannered I asked, “Did you need to change here?” I pointed to the open door of the bathroom in my apartment. “Oh, no,” replied Dennis, “I’m going to act like a wealthy millionaire who can dress however he wants to dress.” I climbed into his rickety van which backfired as we headed towards the Bay Bridge. He started to open an ice cream bar that he had brought with him and started to eat it while driving without offering anything to me. I happened to look at the gas gauge and noticed that it was on empty.

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LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation is pleased to host Hospice Foundation of America’s annual Living with Grief program Spirituality and End-of-Life Care Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:30p.m. to 4p.m. Jewish Federation of San Diego County 4950 Murphy Canyon Road RSVPs are required The program will explore the differences between spirituality and religion; the spiritual issues and coping that may emerge throughout an illness; and approaches to help patients deal with end-of-life issues. A panel of experts will conduct a discussion after the seminar. There is no cost to attend and Continuing Education (CE) credits will be available online for $30. Seating is limited so RSVPs are required. Contact us at michele@lbhcf.org to reserve your seat today.

Our co-sponsors are: Ohr Ami: The Jewish Hospice Program Jewish Federation of San Diego County Jewish Family Service of San Diego For more information, please call Michele at (858) 458-2992

San Diego

Woman 29

March/April 2011


Let Marketing Help Your Job Search By Rob Weinberg

Whether the job market is an ancient nemesis or beckons anew, marketing can improve your odds for finding new employment. Because if ever marketing can help you, it’s during a job search. So while I’m not a professional job counselor (I defer to the HR experts at Performance Partners of San Diego for that title), certain marketing techniques should help you improve your professional life. Let’s review the basics: • Marketing gets you in the door, but won’t close the deal. • Good sales people sell themselves. •You must distinguish yourself from the competition. • People do business with people they know, like and trust. First determine your objective. Broadway producer Robert Merrill said; “If you can’t write your idea out on the back of my business card, it’s not a well thought-out idea.” Before starting anything, find the ball you need to keep your eye on. Do you want to move to another department, another company, or another country? Time for another career direction, perhaps? If so, are your existing skills adequate or do you need more training? Next develop your marketing plan. Today’s job market requires a mix of media, combining personal networking (telemarketing); cold call letters (direct marketing); a strong cover letter (sales pitch); a web-based portfolio and social networking (online presence); help available ads (print, pay per click); and something to make your interview more memorable (sales promotion). Word-of-mouth remains the best marketing tool, though a multi-media presentation might also get you noticed. And building relationships with recruiters make them your commission-only sales force. Find a way to stand out of the crowd. My friend Scott wanted a high-level sales position, sent his future boss a sledge hammer with a note saying “I’ll knock down doors for you,” and was hired that same day. Remember - YOU are the product being sold here, and clever commercials won’t make the long-term sale unless you deliver on the promise. Make every word on your brochure (resume) count - zero fluff, and NO LIES!!! Prospective employers check credentials closely, looking for reasons to disqualify you from the candidate pool. And don’t fabricate degrees or extend job tenures to cover up career gaps – address them in the cover letter. People are forgiving if you’re straight with them. Third, implement your plan. Explore new markets and geography. Expand your message to complementary audiences. Take your donut shop management skills and supervise a pizza parlor. Finally, don’t forget little touches that round out the impression you’re making, including: • Dressing professionally for any level job • Printing your introductory letter on nice quality stationery that matches the resume • Sending a follow-up note

• Not using cartoon stamps on the envelope (unless the job’s at Disney) Of course, flashy marketing doesn’t work every time. But targeting the right audience, structuring the right message, having realistic timelines and budgets, and finding ways to be considered unique, should make your campaign effective. Good luck! Rob Weinberg is a Madison Avenue veteran and principal of The MarketBuilding Team – a strategic marketing firm based in Rancho Bernardo, CA. You can get his advice through a free newsletter, a weekly marketing advice column, or by hiring him as a part-time marketing executive. You’ll find him online at www. marketbuilding.com.

March/April 2011

A guide for family, friends and loved ones in

preparing for the effects of the growing elder population …a Public Service from “Those Who Care”

abusers – FYI, detoxification takes longer in elders than in younger adults). I know that we continually identify the many areas that must be constantly observed in order to find or prevent harm coming to our elders, and it can seem overwhelming at times. However, these folks are our parents or grandparents, the people who gave us life, raised us, and helped to form who we are today – we owe them our love, respect and protection when they can no longer watch out for themselves. "Vitamin D in Our Elderly" Q: Have a cold?...fight back with mega doses of Vitamin D is what I keep hearing. Can you shed some light on this to help out my 60 year old body and give me some information to pass on to my folks who are in their 80’s as well. Thanks so much! A: Recently, I ran across two items that piqued my interests and triggered curiosity: An article by Angil Tarach, RN, a franchisee, and, the commercial by the actress Sally Field for osteoporosis. Both pieces were about the reduction of vitamin D in our systems as we age. Here are some bits of information that relate to this situation: Vitamin D is found in many substances such as fish, eggs, milk, and is produced by the skin after exposure to sunlight. This essential vitamin helps to maintain our normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous, assisting the body at keeping our bones strong and our blood pressure low, as well as warding off cancers. A research study conducted by the University of Colorado at Denver and the Massachusetts General Hospital found that adults with insufficient levels of vitamin D die from heart disease at greater rates than those with adequate levels of the vitamin. The International Osteoporosis Foundation has identified several other vitamin D issues within our elder population: • A decrease in the capacity of the skin to synthesize vitamin D • A decrease in the capacity of the kidneys to convert vitamin D into the most active form of the vitamin • A decrease in the efficiency with which the kidneys can retain calcium, leading to increasing calcium loss in the urine As we age, we lose the ability to absorb calcium from food. As a result, osteoporosis becomes a greater threat to an elderly person’s overall health. As Angil stated in her article, there are many areas that vitamin D affects; especially when not at proper levels or full strength in the body. For example, vitamin D plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and muscles, thus helping us prevent falls – one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. As mentioned above, lack of vitamin D can have a negative effect on the ability of the heart to function properly. Angil further notes that the lack of vitamin D, an issue with chronic inflammation, “can cause many diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, kidney and prostate disorders, autoimmune diseases; as well as disorders affecting the skin, pelvis, bowels, respiratory, and vascular systems.” With the aging process comes a decreased ability to take in vitamin D, thus increasing the risks of some of the issues mentioned above. The general population thinks that we should be healthy if we simply stick with the “daily recommended dosages” as offered up by the U.S. Government. However, as we age, we change, and our bodies don’t process nutrients as we once did. It is strongly recommended that our elderly see their physicians and have their blood composition reviewed to be certain that they have sufficient levels of vitamin D to allow their systems to work most efficiently.

March/April 2011

San Diego


"Alcoholism in Our Elders" Q: I’m the first to admit there’s nothing like a nice glass of wine to help you come down from a horrendous day at the office. But more and more since dad passed away, I’m finding my 82 year old mother with full glasses of wine at lunch time saying that it just helps her relax, and not to worry she’s just fine. Should I be concerned or is this a red flag? Thanks. A: The National Council on Alcoholism and Dependency defines alcoholism as: A primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychological and environmental manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. We tend to think it only pertains to certain groups of people, yet there are no boundaries for whom the disease will affect. For example, our elder population is amongst a group for which alcoholism is at near epidemic proportions. Why the increase of consumption to such a deleterious degree? Quite simply, as we age many of life’s major passages (death of a loved spouse, retirement, friends moving or dying, struggles with money, etc.) can have a serious impact on one’s mental health, oftentimes leading to some form of substance abuse, i.e., alcoholism. Grief accompanying the loss of a loved one, isolationalism, depression and marital problems are a few of the more well-known issues that often face the elderly as they age. If unchecked or undetected, these can lead to some form of substance abuse. And unfortunately, this abuse is oftentimes missed by family and doctors until it reaches a very serious level. Typically, seniors don’t display outrageous behaviors; such as driving too fast after drinking or being very loud while dining out at a restaurant, thus keeping a lower profile. This low profile allows them to slide by authorities who might otherwise pick up on their aberrant behaviors, eventually leading to some form of intervention possibly curtailing the negative behavior. So it goes that many seniors not only have many significant triggers for consuming more alcohol, but the world around them is not geared to notice the signs that they may need help in dealing with certain life issues. Although treatment is always an important aspect of helping anyone with alcohol abuse issues, the first step is putting the many pieces of the puzzle together to identify the problem that requires treatment. With that in mind, listed below are many possible symptoms to look for if you suspect any form of substance abuse in your elder. (Please remember that noticing one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate that the senior is an alcoholic, but rather that those signs may lead to a need for treatment. And as always, contacting a professional with your concerns is the best way to seek help.) Some symptoms of alcohol abuse: • Noticing bruises, abrasions and scars in locations that might suggest falling • Sleep complaints • Jerky eye movement • Numbness or tingling in extremities • Flushed face • Poor or changing eating habits • Chronic pain • Tremors • Slurred speech • Dry mouth • Depression/isolation • Incontinence • Anxiety Treatment is first handled by recognition of the problem by the victim, and then with the help of professionals, solid and persistent interventions (i.e., groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other groups that can handle the special needs of elder substance



He Said, She Said By Robert Tussey & Judith A. Habert Photo by Lisa K. Miller

Are men really from Mars and Women from Venus, as author Dr. John Gray states in his bestselling book? Do men and women really see things that differently? If given the same question could their answers really be so different? At San Diego Woman we wanted to explore the differences between "them" and "us". Read this month's installment and find out how the sexes differ when it comes to communicating with each other. What topics would you like to see us duke it out over in upcoming issues? No topic is off limits, so write me at editor@sandiegowoman.com. I can't wait to hear from you!

She Said...

He Said... Men are clueless – or so we have been told for centuries. Birthdays, any holiday, anniversaries, ground hog day, we always take flak because, for some reason, we can’t read your minds! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend if that is her current desire. How are we supposed to know that, today, you are into Indian art and jewelry. And flowers, how sweet – what have you done now? The old adage ‘if a man is alone in the woods and says something, is he still wrong?’ goes a long way toward the proof that we simply cannot win in the ‘what do you want now’ game. I had a friend who bought a BMW 325i as a surprise for his wife on her birthday. This thing had all the bells and whistles. With tears in her eyes she ran out the front door, joyously flinging her hands in the air proclaiming, “Didn’t they have a convertible?” Men go bald from slapping their foreheads and rolling their eyes. Women’s intuition does not include the ability to discern that most men would give their wives the world if we could just figure out which galaxy they want it from. It’s the male ego that forbids him from asking what you would like for that special occasion. Being hunter/gatherers we love the hunt and take great pride in our ability to purchase, have wrapped and sufficiently bowed, and deliver (what we think) is the perfect gift. As if an open ended credit at Neimans isn’t enough. Okay, when a man gives his wife a new refrigerator or washer and dryer he’s violated one of the basic tenets of gift giving to women: If she can’t wear it, you’re wrong. Appliances and kitchen ware are not gifts – they are those silly little necessities that are outside the realm of giftdom. And (even) if we do ask and you say ‘I don’t really need anything’ there is nothing a man can do from that point that’s right. If we don’t get you anything, your disappointment will take on epic proportions and we, the male of the species, are on the receiving end. If we simply take you out to a romantic dinner and give you a card, because you said you didn’t need anything, the marathon begins. We are simple creatures, if you want something, say it. If you don’t, say it. If you’re thinking about it, say it. But for the sake of male sanity – say something to let us know WHAT YOU WANT! I can hear it coming, ‘we like it when you guys surprise us. It’s romantic.” What novel did that come from? Somewhere between ‘oh, surprise me’ and ‘didn’t they have a convertible’ lies the truth – and we are indeed clueless.

March/April 2011

Ok, you do have a point. There are some women who will never be happy no matter what. However, most of us are thrilled that our men go out of their way to try and please us. But I think the rudimentary belief you hold may be a bit off. It truly is not about the gift, it is about the thought behind it. For example, when Valentine’s Day rolls around and our men run to CVS to pick up the traditional heart shaped box of candy. We are grateful, but come on, it’s the same gift that 2 million other women are getting. How about a coupon that relieves us from dinner duty or taking care of the kids, so we can grab a glass of wine with our girlfriends? It truly isn’t about the monetary value of the gift; it’s about the thought that goes into your choice. Yes we like romance. How about a surprise weekend getaway? I don’t know many women who would not appreciate a romantic weekend away. I do admit that women are not always the easiest of creatures to understand, but let’s face it, how naïve are you if you actually believe us when we say we don’t want anything for that special event? We are simply being polite by not providing a list of all the things we do without all year that we would actually like. Do you think when we point out items during our shopping trips we are just doing so to start a conversation with you? No, we are hoping that those close to us will remember the items and refer back to this list when trying to decide on a gift. Listen when we talk. That is all we ask, so when the time comes you can remember what we want. As for your friend with the BMW….you are right to be appalled. If I was her husband I would have taken the keys back and returned it to the dealership. There are some times when women need to just say thank you. Unless of course he got the color wrong, now that’s a different story.

The Things I hang on to

By Joan Stevens I looked into the mirror and I saw my grandma's face The spots, the dots, the wrinkles that Clinique could not erase But thankfully my hopeful side pushed past my dry crow's feet With powder, paint and brush in hand the image was complete And when at last the job was through I walked away with pride Today I'd won When I was done I'd locked the doubt inside But every time I see that glass my task seems harder still The day may come when all that's left is just a bitter pill But till that day I'll smile away and put my lipstick on Despite the gloom I'll work the room until my teeth are gone

March/April 2011

San Diego


The things I hang on to. Words and Music – pieces of a soul much older than me. I’d pictured my life differently, perhaps fuller, but, certainly different. The first time I heard Elvis I was six. Teddy Bear. My mom would dance her little dance and dad would laugh. These were two disparate souls bound together by me and nothing more. But dance she would and laugh – my father would. I loved space ships and aliens and comics and the unknown depths of space. My closet was of immeasurable size and I’d explore endlessly the things I found there. Lath and plaster and my little clothes hanging willy-nilly. At night the boogey man stood motionless in its deep recesses waiting, and waiting. I knew my time would come and I’d perish horribly at his hands, but he was that scary friend we all shied from but secretly kept around. Shhhhh. I’d used reams of paper drawing those space ships I had seen in my dreams. The stories with no words would meander throughout the universe always landing on friendly planets. Always securing humanity. Back at home there was no such solace so I hid on Antares with my new friends, romping along the highlands with one-eyed monsters that cared for me as their own. I felt safe. But the safe harbor of alien worlds gave way to a cold war and fear and hiding under desks in my good pants. Space travel and Sputnik. And a good looking man on television saying we would be on the moon before anyone else. Thus shattered the mystery and feel-good drawings I’d cast into my cavernous closet to languish with shoes no longer worn and shirts too small and the smudge of lipstick drawn hastily. My father would close the door to the bedroom and play his 78’s until either the Jim Beam was gone or he lay on the floor unconscious. I’d sit outside the door and listen to those wondrous recordings and fall into a trance of my own. Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, Les Paul. The music was endless and I would, as often as not, fall asleep before the Jim Beam ran out: Father and son, feet apart but a galaxy separating us. And then, “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.” My world stopped! My little green and silver AM radio was screaming at me. After ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ and ‘Dominique’ and ‘Papa’s got a brand new bag’ came the simple strains of Englishmen and guitars and harmonies and the promise of love. And this was all for me. This was my place in the universe and I felt at home. No more wordless stories and friends I drew from dreams. I could leave Pluto and Mars and land firmly in treble clef and draw with words. My brother in law drove me to Gemco and I bought my first guitar with money I’d saved from my paper route, $19.61. The price, with tax, was $19.70. I was crushed – I couldn’t buy my guitar. The lady at the cash register reached into her own purse and laid the nine cents next to my money and said, “Here ya go.” I’m sure the desperation on my face was too much for her to bear. And the journey began. I took it everywhere and only put it back in its box when I could no longer keep my eyes open. In the back seat of the car, at the park, on the toilet, at my grandparents in the wilds of Green Valley, I was never without it. I had a world unknown to my parents: A place where their disjointed life couldn’t intrude on mine. I’d thump out the theme from Peter Gunn in time with their bickering and soon all I could hear was the E string in its baritone voice, Soto Voce, taking me – away. This singular friend has never left me alone. Never abandoned me for another. Never seen fit to alter the truth. Has always loved me more than I loved it. Unconditionally. We have cried the bitter tears of loss and celebrated triumphs as one inseparable duo would. And she has never let me down. This love affair has endured for forty-eight years. The things I hang on to.


By Robert Tussey



WOMEN’S WORK Dear Dr. Chosak, Like most companies, my company has been suffering from the effects of the economy. We have layoffs every few months, with the result that employees staying on have to take on extra workloads to make up for those who left. This has resulted in increased stress and decreased quality. The working environment is just not what it used to be, and my coworkers and I are miserable. Is there anything we can do to make our work lives easier and more tolerable? Would it be worth speaking to management? I'm doubtful the latter would work because I just don't see a way that management can fix things. Any help you can give would be appreciated! --Jamie Dear Jamie, You are certainly not alone with your situation. This subject comes up regularly in the organizations I work with. One idea is to get a group of your co-workers together for a meeting and brainstorm some creative ideas for modifying or sharing the workload in new ways. Your group is probably best qualified to do this since you are most aware of what is needed and what ways the work can be accomplished more efficiently. Once you have done this, go to management with your suggestions. They may or may not be receptive, but this is probably your best shot, speaking as a group and demonstrating you have put a lot of thought into your recommendations. The next challenge you have is to adjust your perspective and attitude. Imagine you are coming to work as a new employee in the current situation. Your expectations will be different, because you don’t know how things used to be. There may still be a heavy workload and a lot of pressure, but that’s what you would be signing on for. You can also start a daily appreciation practice. This can be done as a group or individually, and can be done at the beginning or the end of your work day. The goal is for each person to express appreciation for something that went well, recognizing anyone at any level, or even clients, who were thoughtful and/or considerate. It can also include sharing your accomplishments and challenges met. Unfortunately, people tend to be more prone to share their gripes than the positive stuff. It does help to let off steam, but keep it to a minimum and schedule a shorter time for that— make it before your appreciation session, not after. Negativity begets more negativity, and positivity begets more positivity. You can also share your favorite stress reduction practices, even using your lunch hour to do some simple yoga or visualization exercises. Even taking a walk on your lunch hour or break will help. Doing this with some of your co-workers will enhance the experience. And, keep in mind you are one of the lucky ones—you do have a job, after all.

By Shelli Chosak, Ph.D.

my friends, you name it. I’ve tried meditation and relaxation techniques with very limited success. Short of signing on for long term psychotherapy, what else can I do? --Susan Dear Susan, You sound like you spend your days tied up in knots with so much worrying. This can take a considerable toll on your health, energy, and relationships. Worry is one of those things that few people are able to eliminate entirely. However, it is possible to manage it so that it doesn’t dominate your life. It helps to understand why we worry. First of all, worry is something we do when we feel out of control. Our brains seem to be wired into thinking that worry is a way of keeping us in control of the situation we are stressing about. The more severe the situation, the more helpless we feel, such as serious illness of a loved one or ourselves. Unfortunately, worry doesn’t help—it’s a form of magical thinking to help manage our distress and to demonstrate we care. In fact, worrying uses up valuable energy that could be put to more creative use, like gathering information that could possibly help the situation. It can also leave us debilitated and unable to be useful to the person we are worried about. When we worry, we are reacting as if the worst has already happened, and go through all the agony of that possibility. If the worst doesn’t happen, we’ve put ourselves through misery for no reason. If the worst does happen, it just means we suffer twice for the same event. Worrying keeps you in a powerless position and sends a negative message to others who are involved. The first part of your self-training is to recognize that worry is about future or past events. Practice focusing on the present and the worry will diminish. To do this, when you catch yourself worrying, force yourself to pay attention to what is happening right now. It can be noticing your surroundings, attending to immediate tasks, and saying to yourself, “I’ll save the worrying for tomorrow or next week” If you do this every day, there will be no opportunity for you to get to the worrying! The second thing you can do to help yourself is to assess the situation objectively. Is there something you can do to make things better (like researching information on an illness and seeking out the best experts in the field)? If so, taking action will relieve at least some of the worry. If there is no action you can take, then practice diverting your thoughts from worrying to something else. This involves training your mind to focus on other things, especially things that require concentrated activity or creativity, so there is active involvement as opposed to passive involvement, like watching TV—it is too easy for your mind to drift back to the worry. I call this a healthy form of denial, and you can learn to do it if you keep at it. When you develop these skills, you will reduce your stress considerably and empower yourself, enabling you to feel better, be more helpful, and do more with your life. Please send your questions to: Shelli@SanDiegoWoman.com

Dear Dr. Chosak I can’t seem to stop worrying! I worry about my family’s health, my relationship with my husband, my kids, my work March/April 2011

Oops – The New Guy Isn’t Working Out! By Kathy Weyer M.A.

Let’s face it – even if you are the most astute, intuitive, diligent recruiter, you will be hiring some duds. People say and show you things in an interview that get them the job. References are always good. You “connect” with someone who really wants the job, not necessarily someone who will do a good job. Think about your company culture during the interview, and that will help guide you in the right direction. Say you’re sold on a salesperson who shows grit, determination, enthusiasm, and when you think of them you think of a bull terrier who won’t give up until he/she meets his/her goals. You’re convinced this person will get out there and sell, sell, sell. But they don’t. And they don’t seem to play well with the others. And it’s clear you’ve made a mistake. What did you do wrong? Absolutely nothing. You did all your due diligence and everything came up clean, including the level of enthusiasm shown and the track record they brought to the table. How could you have known there was a family issue, a medical issue, a substance abuse issue (or any other mitigating reason showing they just weren’t up to scratch). While we do specialize in helping with lagging performance, the subject today is hiring.

Diego WSan oman

Hedge your bets with a few questions during the interview that will see if this candidate fits into your corporate culture. For instance, use a few wellplaced questions that point out priorities while you are asking the usual business questions – and use a bit of humor to make a connection: Best movie? Best food? Biggest mistake? Best team? Best experience? Best boss? Think of outrageous scenarios to play this game that opens up the door to their thinking and priorities (stay in regulatory and common-sense guidelines). I was once asked if I was willing to leave my family to work in Asia for two years. The answer was no, and that’s what they wanted to hear – it was a family business!


The answers to these questions give you great insight if you’re willing to take the time to evaluate them. Call Performance Partners if you would like us to pre-screen or help you evaluate your hiring process. The cost of re-hiring, retraining, and re-vamping the job is too high – get it right the first time! Be the first to call to get a free pre-screening for the candidates for your open position – test drive the service and we’ll find you a candidate that has more than a passing chance of working out.

March/April 2011

Bitchin’ & Moaning


Accessory Dog Envy


By Judith A. Habert I have a dog. His name is Rusty and he is an 11 year old Labrador and German Sheppard mix. Even though he recently had a near death experience which called for emergency surgery, he is now and has always been a “real” dog; I mean a full grown, run in the backyard jump up on you kind of dog. He is loving and kind and extremely protective. He sticks his head through the staircase banister bars to kiss me goodnight every evening as he heads up the stairs to his bed in the room he shares with my middle daughter. So why is it that if I go into any department or specialty pet store there are always tons of clothes, coats and cute outfits for little tiny accessory dogs, but rarely can we ever outfit Rusty in the style to which he would quickly become accustomed. Why don’t large dogs get to be spoiled the same way that little ones do? The few sweaters we have bought him make his chest look like the Incredible Hulk’s and, needless to say, do not appear to be a comfortable choice for him. Even when traveling poor Rusty must remain in the car while his accessory counterpart is dropped into one of those cute little designer pocketbooks that the stars (i.e. Paris Hilton) walk around with. There is obvious discrimination against “real” dogs, even landlords have managed a way to appear politically correct when they say “Dogs Allowed*,” yet in very tiny print at the bottom corner of the ad the asterisk is explained excluding any dog that happens to weigh more than 30 lbs. So not only is there “real” dog discrimination, but obviously weight discrimination as well. Let’s face it, it is tough to keep a lab/Sheppard mix under 30 lbs. While taking Rusty on a walk through the neighborhood people tend to cross the street rather than pass nearby. He doesn’t growl at them or show his teeth, the discrimination comes purely due to his size. Rusty wouldn’t hurt a fly, although there was that one incident when he attempted to catch our runaway canary…but that couldn’t be helped. When moving from New York to San Diego this discrimination reared its ugly head once again. Sitting several seats away from us was a woman and her accessory dog that she attended to many times during the trip. Where was Rusty? In the luggage compartment below the plane. They treated my adorable puppy (he was less than a year at the time) like Samsonite. I ask you…Is this fair? I think it is time that we start a movement against this type of obnoxious discrimination. Give us clothes for our “real” dogs, a seat on the plane next to us, and in this case we need to finally admit that “Size does matter”

I am sitting in an outdoor café in the impressive Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium. For an American experiencing this place for the first time, I am overwhelmed by its beauty and antiquity. The Grand Place is a cobblestone square surrounded by impressive buildings built hundreds of years ago and inlaid with real gold. The October sun is warming me as I sit confidently looking at the menu. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be sitting here, listening to a multitude of foreign languages spoken at other tables and by the people walking in the square. I try to understand snippets of conversations since I know a little French, Spanish and German, and am always practicing. I feel I am sitting in the center of the world with so much culture, history and lively, intelligent people surrounding me. My efficient waiter approaches to take my order. Brussels’ citizens speak mostly French and I am determined to sound like a native. I have been sitting here rehearsing how to say I want a cheese sandwich in French for about 15 minutes. I love cheese and have been looking forward to having some all morning. I open my mouth and, in my best French accent, say, “Je voudrais le pain avec frommage et jambon.” The waiter, intently bending over his pad and pencil, apparently thinks I really know what I’m saying and asks me a question in rapid fire French. My mouth gapes open as I realize I don’t understand a thing he just said. Not wanting to admit this, I nod my head and as he walks briskly away, his question (“seul le jambon?”) slowly translates in my brain. With a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I realize I have just ordered dry bread and ham, not what I wanted at all. Suddenly I am profoundly disappointed with myself. Doubtful thoughts tell me I am not the clever traveler I thought I was. The people in the square no longer look friendly, but seem to stare and point at me. Their faces are contorted into sneers and I cringe at their mocking laughter. My confidence disappears just as quickly as the sun retreating behind the clouds. My waiter appears again, setting my plate of dry bread and ham in front of me with a flourish. I try to smile and choke down a few bites, but I can’t help thinking how good it would taste if I only had some cheese. Merde!

March/April 2011


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March/April 2011

Life After Layoff By Leslie Hodge When you have worked someplace for twelve years, as I did, you become a little complacent – you just do. Over time, the company changes, so that while I had been driving to the same building year after year, and rode the roller coaster of worry and fear before each layoff rumor and during each layoff, after a while, I did become complacent, even though the company got smaller and smaller. “Aren’t you looking for something else?” people would ask me, including the people who worked for me. “No,” I said, “I’ll be the person who turns off the lights.”

very quickly packed up the jetsam and flotsam of my tenure. I did not, as some people did, make the rounds to say goodbye, or send a so-long email. It’s just my turn, I thought, but I felt embarrassed unworthy, yet still mistreated.

Then the day came when Valerie, our corporate attorney, came into my office and shut the door behind her. “You know,” she said, “That you’re on the list.” Time stopped for two seconds. Deliberately, I made my eyes focus and lift from some invisibly tiny universe where things were as they had been “before,” and took in the concerned expression on her face. I didn’t need to ask what list – it was The List that everyone had been studying in their mind for the last few months – the layoff list. And even though mentally I knew – I really KNEW, completely, in my brain – that it was likely, that my chances were no better than 50/50 – it was obvious that my brain and my body were definitely not on the same page.

I started outplacement the same week, and learned that looking for the same type of work would get the fastest results, so I didn’t even consider anything else. With DBM’s help, I had business cards made, and the resume prepared, and identified my target companies.

“Are you OK?” “Yes,” I said, and felt also very heavy as if I was at the bottom of the ocean with the pressure making my eyes hurt, my lungs shallow, the very turning of my head ponderous and slow. “I have to go now,” Valerie said, “But if there’s anything you need … if you want me for a reference, I’d be honored,” she said. “Honored.” It was Thursday, and rumor had it that the layoff announcement would be the next Tuesday. So Valerie had done me one of the greatest kindnesses anyone has ever done – she gave me the gift of time. When I was summoned to HR that Tuesday morning, the HR Director had a package that he carefully went over, but mostly what I heard was “Blah, blah, position eliminated, blah, blah, blah, severance, blah, blah, COBRA, blah, blah, blah, outplacement services from DBM …”. Companies have become good at this, I thought, and how depressing that they are good at this. Then, I just wanted to get out of there. I went back to my office and

San Diego

Then, network, network, network. I went to meetings, and spoke to everyone who would talk to me, and picked up creative ideas on how to be persistent, be memorable. With the help of former co-workers, I “networked in” to my prime target company, The Company, and was excited when I got a call early on. Then, weeks of nothing turned into months of nothing. “Never ‘guilt’ them,” said the DBM counselor. “They’re busy. When I was a recruiter and I had to figure out who I had to get back to before I went home at 9 that night, it wasn’t the applicants – it was the hiring managers. So never imply that they failed to get back to you, and make every contact as positive and ‘perky’ as if it’s the first time.”


And then I drove home, and told my husband, and went to bed. I couldn’t help but feel weighed and found wanting, dispensable, and those feelings were acid in my insides. But I had to move on – for my family and my own healing, I had to move on, and quickly.

And so I didn’t “guilt” my contacts. But I kept up with emails, voice mails, snail mail, typewritten letters, handwritten notes, hand-delivered red envelopes with seals and “Confidential” stamps. I sent thank-you Starbucks cards to people who met with me, and gave me “AIR” – advice, information, referrals. When other possibilities came up, I worked Linked In like a compulsive gambler, and shamelessly asked strangers for help: “Would you be willing to meet with me/talk with me/introduce me?” I met more and more new people – some I liked, some I didn’t, but I tried to like them enough to network, because “you never know” where that golden lead will come from – you never know. And finally, after literally months of no response to dozens of follow ups – I got the call for the interview with The Company. To prepare, I had a full-on dress rehearsal with my DBM counselor. The next day, I entered the building of The Company with confidence and a happy sense of anticipation.

March/April 2011


I was interviewed by a bunch of children – intelligent, articulate “children” obviously in their 20’s and eerily consistent in their earnestness and competency. And then, the hiring manager (finally, a “grown up”!) – at last I was in the presence of the person I’d spoken with one time almost five months ago, the silent recipient of my letters, notes, powerpoint presentations. We shook hands and went into his office for the interview, which was easy and relaxed. Yet on the way out I felt a wave of exhaustion and deflation. I reviewed every fumble, every answer that could have been better. On the drive home, the exhaustion slid into total depression. I was sure I’d blown it, sure that the other candidates were more qualified and convivial, and I fretted over the hours of work I’d done to get to this point, hours wasted, work pitiful and not good enough. HR called me in the morning. “We all met to discuss the candidates, and you were the first choice!” I felt the huge roller-coaster swing to the top of the arch of euphoria. And two weeks later, so happy, I started with the job I wanted, with the company I wanted and the boss I wanted. I’d worked hard, and smart, and figured it out. “There IS life after layoffs,” I said to the job-seekers I knew, and I willingly shared my mantra: “Be memorable; be persistent.” And I did my best to help the dozens of people who asked me for help with leads, hiring manager names, advice - helping them as so many others had helped me.

Fast forward to a year later. Even though The Company was doing well, the possibility of layoffs had been openly discussed at the last all-employee meeting - but that couldn’t possibly apply to me. Then, my boss was laid off, almost a year to the day after my start date. And a couple months later, I was told my position was eliminated. During my decades of working, I never thought I’d be laid off, ever, let alone twice in less than two years. This time, I gave myself permission to take a break. My days are spent figuring out which exercise classes to take, at the gym I loved but had rarely had time to use. I’m taking extra time with my daughter, helping her with dance try-outs and Chemistry. My husband and I have found the time to do things, such as a moonlight hike on the bluffs overlooking the beach, where we saw the reflection of Venus shining as a bright line on the ocean. I’m able to spend more time with my parents, to drive them and visit them. Even my daughter’s dog is getting more beach walks and playtime at the dog parks! My days are full, and fighting off the twinge of guilt for not jumping into job-search mode, I remind myself that these moments are what I’ve worked for, and that to take this time to decompress and enjoy them - this is a good thing. There is life – real life – after layoff.

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March/April 2011

Potty Train Your Mouth Before Potty Training Your Toddler By Erin Pistilli puter keeps shutting off while you are writing an important paper, nothing sums up your frustration better than a plain old “dammit” or “ah, hell.” But you can’t say those things anymore, because, take my word for it, there is another set of eyes and ears out there that will be more than likely to repeat what you say. So if you haven’t started a family yet, you might get some of the same or very similar advice from friends and family as we did. But here’s my take on it: Giving up a social life? Not really. I mean, there are adjustments: Saturday nights will be spent cuddled up with your toddler watching Dora the Explorer reruns. Giving up your freedom? Again-not really. It will just take you a little bit longer to plan trips, and pack up baby gear, but you are free to go on social outings with friends that have kids your age, where you will discuss the newest Brad Pitt movie and breastfeeding. The one

San Diego


When my husband and I decided that we were ready to start a family, our decision was met with many cautionary tales of how the birth of a child means the death of a social life. In other words: we could kiss our Saturday nights cruising the Pacific Beach bar scene good-bye. My husband and I had long since decided that we were getting a little long in the tooth to be bumping elbows with the young twenty-somethings in Typhoon Saloon anyways-so no problem there. We were also told that freedom would be just a word to us. No more picking up, coming and going as we please. Las Vegas would become a destination we used to go to when we were younger. My husband and I were ok with this too (besides, my mom would watch the kids for us if we really wanted to go, right?). If these were the worst things that life would throw at us for deciding to have a baby, well-bring it on. Nothing was going to sway our decision. We were ready to have a baby. We had a beautiful blue-eyed angel, Caitlyn, whose eyes, even at birth, were inquisitive and full of curiosity. Little did we know then that those eyes would watch us intently for the next three years, and that her little ears would soak up every last word we would say. By the time she was one or so, she was this cute little mimic, chatting away on her Disney princess cell phone, having conversations with daddy or grandma. By one and a half, she would put her hands on her hips and demand that daddy open a window if she smelled anything remotely foul. It was cute. It was precious…until the fateful day my husband stepped in a gopher hole. Mark had taken her out to enjoy the beautiful San Diego dusk that was upon us. The air was sweet, the sky a chorus of reds and purple, and Mr. Gopher was hard at work, destroying our front yard. As my husband turned to go inside, he stepped into one of the holes that decorated our yard and the mother of all cuss words flew out of his mouth as he stumbled and kicked a cloud of dirt all over the place. Once he had recovered from his blunder, he looked over at our little girl who smiled sweetly at him and said, “F***”. Unfortunately, that word became her favorite and for the next week or so, it would slip out of her mouth We didn’t laugh or react (which by the way is super hard however which way you look at it). If Mark was frustrated at traffic, Caitlyn would give a sympathetic “F***”. We would look out the windows as if she said nothing. If her uncle got frustrated getting one of his game consoles to work, Caitlyn would give an almost obligatory “F***” to sum up his irritation. (I had to banish my brother from the room on that one because he was overcome with the giggles). So what do we do now? Our friends had warned us that our social life would be over, we would lose our freedom, but they never warned us that we would lose our ability to let out a good cuss word here and there. I am ashamed to admit it, but every once in awhile, when the occasion calls for it, I like to let lose a colorful expletive that describes exactly how I am feeling. Mark and I didn’t realize how hard it would be to replace some of our favorite “feeling” words with something like “darn” or “fiddlesticks”. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we go around cussing and cursing at every little thing, and we’re not saying anyone should, but when you stub your toe or your com-


thing you will have to give up: bad word usage. Words and phrases that you didn’t view as bad before become very bad when you have a mouthy toddler (ex. ‘Shut-up’).Take it from us…they start listening at a very young age. If you are even talking about starting a family, cut back on your love of cuss words. And if you haven’t noticed by now, pretty much all channels (including the ABC Family channelwhich I find really ironic) have shows that constantly use words like “bitch” and “ass“, so you will definitely have to monitor TV shows. The last thing you want is an angel-faced, foul-mouthed child. As for us, we have cut back drastically on our usage of foul-language. We aren’t perfect by any means, and every once in awhile a curse might slip out, but we have learned to channel our frustration into more useful words, like “darn” (we just couldn’t bring ourselves to use “fiddlesticks”) As for Caitlyn? With lots of patience, and ignoring her when she did use a bad word, she eventually stopped all together. Well, almost: last week she did mutter ‘dammit’ after losing a riveting game of ‘Memory’. How did we handle that? Now that she is three, we explained to her that nobody in the house, including mommy and daddy, should use words like that. Then we spent the rest of our Saturday night playing Memory with our little girl while our smiling 9-month old son watched us intently from his bouncer.

March/April 2011


The Healing Power of Music When one thinks of an Oncologist it is often with fear and trepidation, unless the Oncologist is Dr. Steven G. Eisenberg. Dr. Eisenberg takes great pride in his ability to ease the high level of anxiety faced by patients suffering through a diagnosis of cancer. Often Dr. Eisenberg is the bearer of bad news, having to inform patients that they have a potentially life threatening illness. When he does so, he also comforts them with the knowledge that he will do whatever he can to work towards a positive outcome. Dr. Eisenberg’s story was recently covered by NBC news when they heard about his unique approach. One of his patients, Lauren, was a young woman diagnosed with Breast Cancer. When she first came to see him he promised her that he would be with her every step of the way on this frightening journey. She says the doctor's compassion helped her get to where she is today – cancer free. What makes Dr. Eisenberg unique is that he listens to his patients. However, he takes it one step further: He spends time with his patients, learning all he can about them and then he writes them a song. The songs are not about their medical condition, but instead they are about their lives. Focusing on living and not dying is often the key to emotionally dealing with a sometime dismal diagnosis. Dr. Eisenberg is the founder of The Lyrical Life Foundation which helps bring the joy of music to those who need it most. As Dr. Eisenberg stated, “The Lyrical Life Foundation has been a dream of mine since 2005. The mission is that every cancer patient has a song that speaks to their power and contribution to the world, the ‘song of their soul’ if you will. I believe that participating in the creation and then hearing "your song" can greatly contribute to a better quality of life before, during and after cancer treatment. Or even if one decides not to be treated. Patients have told me that they experienced a deep sense of validation and a peaceful feeling that the song will be heard by their friends and families for a long, long time.” Dr. Eisenberg’s vision of what can be accomplished through his foundation proves how much he cares about each patient and wants them to live on in the hearts and minds of loved ones even after they are gone. “This nonprofit will allow friends and family (and anyone) to be ‘record producers’ for their loved ones. The dona-

tions will provide a wonderfully produced CD of the original song, and 50 percent of the donation goes to cancer research for their particular disease. The website will allow people to become producers and will be a living archive of all the songs (with family permission). People can log on and listen to their song and read their lyrics anytime.” “Lastly, I envision a Lyrical Life benefit concert where all the friends and family come together and celebrate life. We want people to get how great they are while they are with us. That could make all the difference in the world. A world captured in a simple song.” Dr. Eisenberg is a Diplomate, American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology. He received his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. After receiving his doctorate, he completed an Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Hospital Consortium and was named Chief Intern. Even while training it was obvious that Dr. Eisenberg put importance not only in his medical training, but also took interest in every one of his patients. He was the first recipient of the Emanuel Fliegelman, D.O. Humanitarian Award for the doctor exhibiting highly compassionate care during residency. This compassion has come through in yet another way. In addition to his medical practice, which is spread throughout the North County with offices in Poway, Escondido and Vista, Dr. Eisenberg sought out yet another way to spread his medical expertise and caring spirit. Dr. Eisenberg wanted to help patients in the final journey through life. He researched the possible options and found the best way for him to do so was to join LightBridge Hospice and Palliative Care. He contacted Jill Mendlen, the founder and CEO, and was soon helping to care for the patients in Hospice while bringing a smile to their faces with his customized songs. Dr. Eisenberg signed on as an associate medical director for LightBridge Hospice. “He brings a clinical skill and emotional skill that is just amazing,” said Jill Mendlen, Founder and CEO of LightBridge Hospice. "He's a true gift." Jill Mendlen and the staff at LightBridge aren’t the only ones to recognize the dedication and concern Dr. Eisenberg shows. He has recently been nominated for best bedside manner at Tri-City Hospital. I was personally treated to a sample of Dr. Eisenberg’s talents when he responded to an email I sent for some additional information in order to write this article. I was honored when he shared a bit of his talents with me:

March/April 2011

Judy's got a cool magazine She's an editorial machine Cranking it out for the gals of SD Now she's gonna write 'bout me Jill's the one who hooked us up All the way full is her hospice cup An article; now that's generosity Judith's bubbling with curiosity

San Diego


Thank you Dr. Eisenberg for all that you do for those who need you most and for reminding us all how important it is to enjoy the melodies of life


March/April 2011


Two Products to Make Life More Enjoyable for Women Being a woman certainly has its perks, but there are times when we wish certain aspects were easier for us. Thanks to two products from Hologic, Inc., we are now able to solve some of the nagging issues that make us a bit jealous of our male counterparts. Being an informed woman, I was surprised to hear of these two great procedures. Somehow I hadn’t known of their existence and thought, if I wasn’t aware of them, this might very well be true for other women in San Diego. So take a few moments to see if either of these innovations might make life easier for you. Many women struggle with heavy periods that are not only inconvenient and uncomfortable, but often keep us from participating in activities that we would normally enjoy. About 10 million women suffer from heavy periods, often getting worse in their late 30’s and 40’s. Side effects can include nausea, headaches, severe stomach cramps, increased anxiety, depression and moodiness. Often we miss work or social events as a result. There is however a simple procedure called NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation. This is a five minute procedure performed in your physician’s office. It is for women no longer wishing to conceive, but not wanting to go through a major surgical procedure or utilize extensive hormone treatments. Studies show that for 90% of women who have had this procedure menstrual bleeding is greatly reduced or stopped. If you are considering this procedure visit their website at www.novasure.com and speak with your physician.

SPRING is in the air. Time to BLOSSOM again.

DRUG.CO PHARMACY can show you how. At Drugco Pharmacy, we specialize in helping women feel their best. Whether it’s Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, personalized prescription skin care, or filling a traditional prescription, at DrugCo Pharmacy you will receive expert, caring service at a great price. Don’t wait - come see us today.

Don’t let SPRINGTIME pass you by.

March/April 2011

Another amazing procedure focuses on women who are done with childbearing and are faced with decisions regarding contraception, many of which are not ideal. Thanks to a procedure that can be done in your doctor’s office the choice becomes easy. If you know that you want permanent contraception but do not want hormones, anesthesia or surgery to accomplish this goal, then Adiana Permanent Contraception may be your answer. It is a minimally invasive procedure that provides protection from pregnancy. It works by stimulating your body's own tissue to grow in and around tiny, soft inserts (about the size of a grain of rice) that are placed inside your fallopian tubes. Another form of birth control must be used for the next three months following the procedure while new tissue grows around the Adiana inserts, eventually blocking your fallopian tubes. At 3 months, a special test is performed (hysterosalpingogram or HSG) to confirm that your tubes are fully blocked. This test will ensure that the procedure has been successful. So if you are tired of worrying about birth control this may be your answer. For more information visit their website at www. adiana.com or speak with your doctor.

a woman’s idea of permanent contraception You know you’re done with childbearing. You also know the form of permanent contraception you want – no hormones, no anesthesia and no surgery.

Safe. Simple. Forever. Adiana. Women’s Integrative Center for OBGYN Sudabeh Moein M.D., F.A.C.O.G. 15611 Pomerado Road, Suite 505 Poway, CA 92064 (858) 487-2877 drsudi@drsudimoein.com Want to find out more? Give us a call to schedule an appointment, and we’ll be happy to discuss whether Adiana Permanent Contraception is right for you.

San Diego


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SAVE THE DATE! LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation’s 2011 Remembrance Walk will be held on Sunday, October 2nd at Liberty Station in the old Naval Training Center Park Join us as we walk in remembrance of those we have loved and to raise money for those in need of hospice care and services.

Corporate sponsorships are currently available; teams of walkers can sign up beginning in June and children and pets are welcome to join the walkers at no cost! For more information, contact us at contact@lbhcf.org or (858) 458-2992



Dear Dr. Sudi, My girlfriend just had a robotic hysterectomy. What is this type of surgery and is it really any better than other methods?

Your girlfriend is a lucky woman! She has found the most innovative, least invasive way to have a hysterectomy performed. She can expect to experience significantly less pain and blood loss, a lower risk of infection, with a shorter hospital stay and recovery time than with other methods of hysterectomy. Robotic-assisted surgery, or the da Vinci System, has been in use since 2007. Although it is often called a “robot,” the da Vinci System does not operate on its own; instead, the surgery is performed entirely by your doctor. Your surgeon views the surgery through a high-definition, three-dimensional, magnified screen and operates a console that translates hand movements into smaller, precise movements of the four robotic arms and the tiny instruments they hold. This advanced technology allows your doctor to perform complex procedures through tiny openings. As a result, you will incur smaller incisions, have minimal scarring, and may return to your regular routine faster than what is usually required following major surgery. Women who choose the da Vinci method often have better overall outcomes and greater satisfaction with their procedures. The da Vinci System has been used successfully worldwide in hundreds of thousands of procedures to date. Please remember that the outcome of any surgery will depend on the surgeon’s technical skills and experience. To view a robotic hysterectomy or to find a da Vinci-trained surgeon near you, please visit: www. daVinciHysterectomy.com.

March/April 2011

Dear Dr. Sudi, I just turned 43. Lately, I have lost the desire to have sex with my husband . I love him very much, and I feel guilty because I know that he misses our intimacy. Is there something wrong with me? My dear, welcome to mid-life changes. As women get older, quite often their levels of sexual desire and intimacy experience complex changes that involve the interplay between the body, mind, and spirit. These changes may take time to understand and adapt to. As the body ages, it is quite natural for hormonal fluctuations to become more pronounced and more intense. These fluctuations may have good and bad consequences: a woman may experience sexual desire less frequently, but may have more intense but possibly less frequent orgasms. When the frequency of sexual arousal or orgasm decreases, it’s natural to think that sexual desire is lost! In order to adjust to mid-life changes, it is important to understand the reason for the change. As long as there are no psychosocial or medical conditions contributing to the diminished sexual desire, hormonal changes in the body may usually be regulated with a regimen involving very small doses of bioidentical hormones, exercise, and healthy nutrition. In my practice, I have found that most patients who experience decreased libido are able to easily manage the symptoms. There is nothing wrong with you! I believe that with appropriate treatment and a healthy lifestyle, every woman may enjoy a healthy libido throughout her life.

Fa b u l o u s Fi n d s Check Out Her New Digs!

San Diego


Photographer Lisa K. Miller announces the grand opening of her new studio, located at 12225 World Trade Drive, Suite P, San Diego, CA 92128, The 1,500-foot studio space includes room for portrait sessions, proofing and framing. In addition to in-studio sessions, Photography by Lisa K offers portraits shot in locations throughout San Diego County. She specializes in maternity, newborn, children, family, high school senior and executive custom portraits. A professional studio photographer since 2001, Lisa K. first operated her business out of her home in Rancho Penasquitos. She specialized initially in family and business portraiture and grew to become one of the most sought-after maternity and newborn photographers in San Diego County. Her ten years of success led her to include larger group photo sessions and photographs for corporations. She has won numerous awards for her photography over the years. An active volunteer for charitable programs, Lisa K. has supported the local community through her volunteer work with the Poway Unified School District and fund-raising opportunities. She participates in organizations like the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation and Fostering Memories. Miller is also a member of the Professional Photographers of San Diego, the Professional Photographers of America, Senior Portrait Artists International, Poway Chamber of Commerce, and the Girl Scouts of America. “I’ve always believed in giving back to the community I live in and providing a fun, memorable experience for my clients,” said Lisa K. “It is a privilege to capture the light and emotions of families and businesses owners at some of the most significant moments in their lives. I strive to pamper my clients, put them at ease, and help them create exceptional visual memories for generations to cherish.”

We Could All Use a Great Vacation


Just about now you must be saying, “Boy could I use a vacation.” Needless to say it has been a tough year, and it’s only March. If you are feeling the travel bug, there is no better place to plan your perfect trip than through Cruise PlannersAmerican Express. It is an Award Winning Agency, celebrating 15 year of service. Cruise Planners has a tremendous reputation for quality, service, and very competitive pricing for all of your travel needs. Due to their high sales volume, their buying power enables them to offer you the opportunity to travel in style at the lowest prices available, while still receiving the best service in the travel industry. When Cruise Planners arranges your vacation, you can feel confident that you are receiving an exceptional cruise and/or tour vacation. Cruise Planners specializes in: Destination Weddings, Weddings at Sea, Honeymoons, All-Incusive Resorts, Tours, Adventure Travel and Custom Itineraries. So break out that bikini and sunscreen and leave the world behind. Contact adoxie@ crusieplanners.com for more information.

Find Your Perfect Outfit at PickMeAPlum.com A new fashion website will be coming to our computers in April. Pickmeaplum.com provides a great selection of both vintage and contemporary items. You can chose from brand new clothing and accessories at great prices or take a trip back in time and select some of their one of-a-kind vintage pieces from days gone by. So grab your credit card and pay a visit to this unique e-boutique. You won’t be disappointed. Visit www.pickmeaplum.com for a great shopping experience.

March/April 2011

Next Time I Want Vanilla by Zori Mustin Bragg

My Ethiopian daughter followed me into the bathroom to inform me that she’d like to be white. How could I snap at her to quit barging in on me after that shocking announcement? I really needed to go and I’d rather have my pants on for this conversation. “What?” I said. “We don’t say ‘what,’ Mama,” she admonished, always reminding me of the rules I made.

who’d adopted from Ethiopia and they positively glowed about their experiences. It took almost a year to the day to bring her home. Margie, one of my favorite social workers liked to say, “With adoption, you’re paper pregnant.” For nearly four months, we compiled financial records, proof of life insurance, FBI checks, DMV histories, installed extra smoke detectors for the fire marshall inspection, and got a thermometer for the refrigerator. Even our fridge was under investigation! After completing mountains of paperwork (AKA the home study), we were approved... to wait. Three months, two weeks and twelve hours later, we were matched with our daughter. And then after more paperwork, we waited for a date to travel to Ethiopia. On June 14, 2008, we met our precious two year old daughter. She weighed barely 20 pounds (soaking wet with steel-toed boots on) but was otherwise healthy. During our week stay in Addis Ababa, we learned that despite her petite stature, Mia was big on personality. She laughed fiendishly when the balls she threw repeatedly landed in a bucket of water and choreographed a Daddy’s girl dance that ensnared his heart.


“Why do you want to be white?” “Because.” The standard answer for a four year old. The social workers had warned that the important conversations with adopted children rarely happened when adults initiated them. “Well, God made people with all different skin,” I said. “You have beautiful, chocolate skin and Grammy has chocolate skin--” “And Daddy has vanilla skin.” “Yes, Daddy has vanilla skin and Mama has almond skin.” “I think next time I’d like to have vanilla.” Next time? Was my daughter talking about reincarnation or Baskin Robbins? “Why?” “Because I’d like to.” I took a deep breath. “Did you know that lots of people with vanilla skin wish that had beautiful, brown skin like you?” She wrinkled her brows. “And those people spend hours and hours in the sun trying to make their skin brown like yours?” Mia thought this notion was funny. “People come in all different sizes too. Some people are tall, some people are short--” “Or they have big noses!” she suggested forcing a laugh from me. When we chose to grow our family through adoption, my husband and I investigatedPhotography myriad agencies andby programs. we’re JaimeBecause V. Habert a military family, we wanted to complete the adoption before our ModelourHollyanne Setola next transfer. We also wanted biological son (who was four at the time) to remain the eldest. At an open house, we met a family

March/April 2011

Growing up biracial, I thought I’d be prepared for conversations with my daughter about skin color. But then, I hadn’t imagined they’d take place in the loo. My stomach churned as I tried to decide what to say. I was much older than Mia when I realized that I didn’t look like my white father or my black mother. How was I supposed to teach my four year old to be comfortable in her own skin? As she laughed with me over her big nose joke, I looked into her bright, deep set eyes that always draw compliments from strangers. “It doesn’t matter what color your skin is,” I told her. “Do you know what really matters?” “Umm,” she said, worrying her full bottom lip. “That you show people kindness?” “That’s right,” I said giving her a squeeze. “If you don’t have kindness in your heart, then--” “Can I have a snack?” she interrupted, clearly letting me know the racial conversation was over. “Yes, as soon as I go potty.” “Don’t forget to wash your hands,” she reminded me with a stern look.

SEAPORT VILLAGE - AN OASIS WITHIN AN OASIS Story and Photo by Kendra Woolley the middle deems it a personal favorite of mine. Looking to get active? Enjoy the wide open park next to the marina surrounding the shops. Why not fly a kite? Cruise into Kite Flite where you’ll find kites for every occasion, from easy fliers to power stunt kites. They’ll even let you “fly before you buy”. When waterfront dining doesn’t quite cut it, dining over the water should do the trick. Get your fix of California cuisine at San Diego Pier Café as you count the boats sailing in and out of the bay. Munch on crispy onion rings or spicy fish tacos as the water laps below you. Just want to enjoy the sights? You’ll find your camera filling up with scenic views and unusual activities at an exciting pace. Walk along the waterfront strip and you’ll find a variety of colorful characters, eager to sell beaded handmade jewelry or paint your picture in

San Diego


What San Diego lacks in distinct seasons, it more than makes up for in geographical variety. In one day, you can ride the waves along the coast of San Diego’s copious sprawling beaches, chase tumbleweeds in the heat of the Anzo Borrego desert, or rock climb in the evergreen-laced mountains. You can even stroll through a tranquil, nautical themed village in the midst of resturant and nightclub studded downtown! Seem impossible? Far from it. San Diego, California, is home to Seaport Village, a 14-acre seaside escape, nestled between downtown and San Diego’s harbor. You won’t be hard pressed for activities or entertainment. Seaport Village has over 60 shops and restaurants, not to mention grassy parks and lush walkways. Explore different cultures as you meander from shop to shop. Whether you’re researching long-lost Scandinavian roots or an


enthusiast of international lifestyles, you’ll find unique Nordic nicknacks from Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden from appropriately titled, The Little Viking. A trip to Seaport Village, running along the glistening San Diego Bay, wouldn’t be complete without a healthy dose of San Diego flare. You’ll find nautical trinkets and sunshine accessories at Captain’s Cove and Del Sol. Can’t kick your sweet tooth? How about indulging it instead? Let the aroma of freshly baked cookies sweep you over to Seaport Cookie Co., situated in a lighthouse overlooking San Diego Bay. Make sure to try a sumptuous snickerdoodle cookie before you move forth on your Seaport Village journey. The crispiness of the cinnamon sugar on the outside and the chewy goodness towards

under ten minutes. Have a seat along the seawall and watch the world go by. Animal lovers will squeal with delight as they float along in a busturned-boat, the SEAL. Get a gander at the carefree lives of seals sunning themselves on the barge. Add to the intrigue as your boat rolls out of the water and starts speeding down the road, taking you to your next destination. Craving some summer fun any time of the year? Make a point to experience all that Seaport Village has to offer. Whether you’re a local or a first-time tourist, you’re bound to have a convivial adventure in this varied village by the bay in America’s Finest City, no matter what your agenda.

March/April 2011

Home By Deanna Bates "I want to go home." Sobbing, I bury my face further into my pillow. As I burrow into my familiar mattress, I whimper my mantra..."home."

We have just sold the house we raised our daughter in. When we first moved in as the parents of a toddler, the large two story was filled with the squeals of a toddler running naked through the house after her bath, the twirls of a budding ballerina, and the chants of the Indian Princess tribe. Soon there were pool and slum-

My husband and I had found the perfect home for us: Brand new, a single story with everything we needed as a couple. Selling our home more quickly than we anticipated, we hurriedly packed and stored our belongings to meet our 30 day escrow. We rented an apartment for the 6 months we had to wait for the new home to be built. And so, I found myself sobbing into my pillow... As a child, my family's frequent moves left me feeling rootless. I longed for a home instead of just a place to live. I was resolute in my desire that our daughter would have a home to grow up in, a place she knew she belonged. After moving, I found myself bereft- angry at myself for selling my grown daughter's home and taking away her security. I was filled with remorse for our decision. The storage boxes that lined our tiny apartment taunted me

ber parties with teenagers toasting s’mores over the fire pit. Our home was alive with life and love as our daughter grew. When our only child moved out of state for college, the house grew silent. Suddenly, it seemed large...and quiet. My husband and I marveled at how one less person could change the feeling of a place so dramatically. We kept the TV and radio on to try and fill the empty space, but it was just noise. We had to admit to ourselves that this chapter of our lives was over. We were trying to hold onto memories by holding onto a house that no longer worked for us. Diagnosed with a brain tumor that affected my balance, the stairs had become a source of anxiety for me as I navigated my way between the two stories. The pool that had brought so much delight to children and teenagers over the years had become a maintenance chore...and, of course, there was the silence that filled the large rooms.

with their contained memories and rebuked me with their presence. What had I done? I just wanted to go home. Then, it struck me. I wasn't crying for my daughter. I was crying for me, the child who longed for the security to put down roots and call a place home. The child whose stomach clenched every time the moving boxes came out, signaling another change was coming to disrupt the fragile roots I had planted. As I lay, surrounded by boxes, my adult self comforted the child that still lived inside me. "You'll be alright," I soothed. "Home is with you. It's in your daughter's smile, your husband's hugs, and your mother's laugh. Home is when you close your eyes and feel your Dad's hand touch yours. Home is in your heart where it's been all along. You'll be alright." And so, I closed the door on part of my life and prepared to open a new door to a new house, no...a new home.

It is my bed, but it's no longer my bedroom of the past 18 years. I am in a small apartment crammed with boxes of memories that surround and haunt me.


March/April 2011

San Diego

Woman 51

March/April 2011

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“Best of” First Place