Author: Patti Carmalt-Vener

Tread lightly in advising friends on child’s education

Dear Patti, I am friends with a young couple named Mitch and Brandi. They have two children, James, 5, and Emma, 2. Mitch’s parents are longtime friends of mine. Mitch’s job recently brought them to LA and I sometimes see him on the train since we both work downtown. I stay in casual touch with Brandi through text messages and visit them every few months. Because both sets of parents live far away, I try to be a supportive older adult friend. Brandi is smart, talented, beautiful, strong-willed and sometimes stubborn. Until recently, she was a stay-at-home mom but...

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It’s easy to lose sight of your own needs while pleasing others

Dear Patti, I come from a long line of super-achievers. Specifically, everything they decided to do they were hugely successful at and much of the time it seemed to happen overnight. I know the latter isn’t exactly true — that they worked hard to get what they wanted — but the point was always driven home to me when I was growing up that everyone expected great things from me and that failure would never be an option. In school I was expected to get straight A’s. If I got anything lower than that, my parents said they still...

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Practice appreciating your academic and social qualities to help beat shyness

Dear Patti, I’m way too thin, underdeveloped, wear big glasses, have frizzy hair and — to make it worse — I am socially crippled with extreme shyness. All during my teens I rationalized that being shy wasn’t negative because it made me isolated and kept me focused on my intellectual growth and disciplined in my studies. I’ve become used to being invisible and, in turn, learned to ignore others. I’ve recently moved from the Midwest to attend USC on a full scholarship. I figured I’d be OK because I have a very supportive aunt and uncle who live in Pasadena....

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The best way to heal the heart over a cheating mate is to cut off contact

Brandi and I have been together over four years. I admit, though, there’s been as much terrible fighting as there’s been passionate loving. I’ve always loved her dearly but have never liked that she’s a daily marijuana smoker, lazy, unambitious and, at times, a huge flirt. Brandi says I’m a nag, a workaholic, too uptight and have too much of a temper. Three weeks ago she suggested we stay together but take a temporary break. It was the last thing I wanted. I wanted to work out our problems cooperatively but she was adamant about separating so I gave in....

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Tween breakups are normal but never easy

Dear Patti, I’m 12, in seventh grade, and Aria and I have been best friends since third grade. We have spent time together after school every day and most of our weekends until a month ago. For four days in a row, Aria kept saying she needed to go straight home after school because she didn’t feel well. Last Thursday, around 4 p.m., I was walking a few streets away from Aria’s house and ran into Aria and Madison. Madison is another girl from our class. Aria looked guilty. She said she was feeling better, and then Madison said the...

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Upcoming Events

Jul
23
Sun
4:30 pm Obon Festival – Day 2 @ Pasadena Buddhist Temple
Obon Festival – Day 2 @ Pasadena Buddhist Temple
Jul 23 @ 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Obon Festival - Day 2 @ Pasadena Buddhist Temple | Pasadena | California | United States
Annual 2-day Obon Festival, Sat & Sun July 22 & 23. Bon Odori (Japanese folk dancing, public participation welcome), Taiko demonstration (Sat: L.A. Taiko Ichiza, Sun: WLA Taiko), martial arts demonstrations, FOOD (Teriyaki Chicken, spam[...]
5:00 pm Playhouse District Association S... @ Vroman's Bookstore
Playhouse District Association S... @ Vroman's Bookstore
Jul 23 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The annual, free concert series features the Michael Haggins Band from 5 to 7 p.m. in Vroman’s courtyard.
7:00 pm Levitt Pavilion Pasadena Concert @ Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena Concert @ Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Jul 23 @ 7:00 pm
The free summer concert series presents jazz by the Lao Tizer Band at 7 p.m.
Jul
24
Mon
1:00 pm History of Chocolate at Pasadena... @ Pasadena Senior Center
History of Chocolate at Pasadena... @ Pasadena Senior Center
Jul 24 @ 1:00 pm
Food expert Dr. Lee Scott Thiesen presents the story of chocolate, from the discovery of the cacao tree to the present day at 1 p.m. Call for reservations.
7:00 pm New Play Reading Festival @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center
New Play Reading Festival @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center
Jul 24 @ 7:00 pm
New Play Reading Festival @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center | Pasadena | California | United States
Writing the Unusual: Representing the Known World in Unfamiliar Ways A Panel Discussion Dogs talking to strangers. Teenagers taking phone selfies in the 1940s. The world of theater does not always look like the world[...]

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