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A Drink with Dr. Chill

Taking the Stress Out of Stress Management

He promised me a beer but made me order tea instead.

“Hot tea is always nice, right?” he said.

I mean, hot tea is all right. But with a full-time job, homework due in a graduate class, a family waiting at home, a trip to pack for, flu season lurking on every dang doorknob, and this column to write … I could have used a beer, honestly.

I was meeting Dr. Jay Winner for a drink to talk about stress. Since he’s an expert on the subject, and almost supernaturally mellow — and since my mind feels like gloppy, neon-hued spin art most days — I did what I was told.

“Let’s take a smell,” he says as we both lift our steaming cups to our faces. “Feel the warmth? Kind of let go of your thoughts …”

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An Interview with Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage

Lawyer Gloria Allred Talks ‘War on Women’ and ‘Age of Empowerment’

The auteur of the Dramatic Press Conference, Allred is best known for defending women’s rights — particularly on cases with a tabloid stench about them. She represented Nicole Brown Simpson’s family during the 1995 OJ trial, called for a child-endangerment investigation against Michael Jackson after he infamously held his baby out over a hotel balcony, and filed suit against the “Octomom” for exploiting her octuplets. Prone to perpetual outrage and red power blazers, she has represented women speaking out against Tiger Woods, Anthony Weiner, Charlie Sheen, convicted wife-killer Scott Peterson, and Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed. She’s been parodied on South ParkThe Simpsons, and Saturday Night Live, and been labeled “the ambulance chaser of feminism” by The Atlantic.

Incredibly, when I spoke with the Los Angeles–based lawyer last week, she blamed the media for the attention it heaps upon her celebrity cases. “It’s really more a statement of the times in which we live,” said Allred, 77, who spoke at the Lobero Theatre recently. “The tabloids focus on the cult of celebrity and the victims that they hurt. Today it’s mainstream press as well.”

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O Come, All Ye Frenzied

It’s Ho-Ho-Horrid When the Mind Cedes to Seasonal Bedlam

I wanted to write a column this week. I swear I did. I yearned to slowly, inconspicuously crawl away from the taxing tumult of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year™ and dive into a wistful disquisition on Oregon’s potential legalization of psychedelic mushrooms — or whether “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is really the date-rapey jingle we’ve long suspected.

But my head was having none of it, occupied as it is with visions of sugar plums. And shipping deadlines. And parade parking. Each time I sat down to my keyboard, cracked the ole knuckles, and tried to channel witty & erudite, but what came lurching out instead was spacey & lunatic. In gushy, paroxysmal spurts and sloppy, involuntary dribbles of language. Like this:

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Diving into Cuddle Parties

Is Growing Trend Truly Soothing Comfort
… or Just Sanctioned Groping?

Apocalyptic fires. Mass shootings. An executive branch of government demonizing immigrants, sexual assault victims, and the press. Lately it feels like our nation gets scarier by the week.

So I wasn’t surprised to learn there’s a cuddling trend sweeping the nation; sometimes jammying up, burrowing into a blankie, and going full-frickin’-fetal is the only way to cope with reality. But some folks aren’t just curling up on the couch — they’re snuggling up to strangers at Cuddle Parties. And they’re paying for it.

Told you. Scarier, right?

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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