Tag: Life

Putting Lipstick on Food

Went to a wonderful dinner with best friends last night—a fancy restaurant and astoundingly delicious food. I even ordered things I don’t really like—but I knew they would be good because they would be fully (and deceptively) dressed.

I don’t really like cauliflower; unless it’s superbly fresh, it really has no taste. I feel the same about Brussels sprouts—don’t like them. They are like the veal of the vegetable family—they die young and we eat them. I never liked cabbage (unless it’s dressed up into coleslaw) and it makes sense I wouldn’t like baby cabbage either.

Did you know the spelling is Brussels sprout? Always has an “s” at the end. Did you know they really are from Brussels? They originated in ancient Rome and first appeared in northern Europe during the fifth century, later being cultivated in the 13th century near Brussels, Belgium.

I bet they didn’t like them much then, either—unless they were really hungry.

So why do I eat them? Like putting lipstick on a pig, we’ve learned to dress them up by covering them with things we love. What do I love? Well, bacon for one. I love grilled onions. I love sweet things. I love garlic. So no wonder I love Brussels sprouts when they’re covered in bacon, onions, sugar and garlic! I would eat cardboard cooked with that stuff!

What do we do with cauliflower? Don’t get me started! Pull out a cookbook or Google it—holy cow! Throw cheese on it, breadcrumbs, cumin, sumac, lemon, caramelized, turmeric, “oatwalnut crust and lemon herb filling.”

Sounds great, just hold the cauliflower, please!

I feel better now.

How Men See Colors

Guys, how often are you being corrected on your descriptions of things? I’d say I’m pretty good at the spoken and written word…. except where it comes to describing colors.

Men see in one-word colors: blue, purple, yellow, green…… you know what I mean. “That Ferrari is red.” “Look at that crazy blue shirt!”

Women? Holy cow, you need a book—or an app—to describe anything, and it is never a single-word color. I just looked up and found at least thirty shades of blue, ranging from Celeste to Midnight Blue. At least as many purple shades from Amethyst to Violet, and even more yellow—from Acacia to Yellow Rose. Just look at any photo of plants or trees to see the literally hundreds of shades of green. Guess what? Each one has its own name! And Shades of Grey- we know at least fifty (lol)!

Guess what—there is a scientific basis to this! In a 2012 Brooklyn College study, women really did excel in discerning shades of blue, yellow and green. The biological reason seems to be how testosterone (or lack of) affects neuron development in the brain’s visual cortex.

Evolution at work? Women, as gatherers, may have become better adapted to recognizing close-at-hand, static objects such as wild berries. Men, on the other hand, have been found to have “significantly greater sensitivity for fine detail and for rapidly moving stimuli”. This means that men—who were the hunters—could “detect possible predators or prey from afar and also identify and categorize these objects more easily.”

Whew! That makes a lot of sense to me (I’ll write about this in another blog), and now I don’t feel so bad!

I have lovely pink fabric gowns in my office, which are much nicer than the blue paper ones I used to have. But I just found out the gowns aren’t pink—they are Dusty Rose! I bet even those old paper gowns were more Aero than blue. But I can see a dusty deer at 300 yards!!

Dirt: Where Does It Go?

In Dr. Seuss’s masterpiece, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, there is a famous scene where, upon draining the bathtub, a long pink ring has formed around the inside of the tub. In the cat’s attempt to clean it up, the pink spot transfers to the children’s mother’s white dress, the wall, their father’s pair of $10 shoes, a rug, their father’s bed, the television, a pan, then finally outside to the snow until all the snow becomes pink. A spectacular feat of magic is finally required to fix the situation.

Fantasy? Not really, except the part where the pink snow is magically changed back to white.

What about dirt? Like the pink bathtub stain, it never really vanishes-it just moves. Perhaps we need to consider dirt (and cleanliness) in a different way.

Think about it- what happens when you clean a spill from the counter? Perhaps you pick it up with a sponge, then wash the sponge in the sink. You’re just putting the spill into the drain and downstream- eventually into the Pacific Ocean, if you happen to live in Los Angeles. Perhaps
you clean it with a paper towel? You’re just transferring it to the garbage- and eventually to the local dump, where it resides for most of eternity. So when we clean our house, what are we really doing? Well, we’re moving as much as we can out of the house- that’s all. To the ocean, or to the dump. You can see where I’m headed with this.

So what’s the deal with dirt? We didn’t create it in the first place, so why do we feel so guilty about it? Think of all the money spent on getting rid of dirt, when in fact we’re only pushing it around. Are we making the world worse by all the things we use to clean?

Sadly, there is no spectacular magic “VOOM” like the Cat used to clean up the snow. We are doomed to simply move dirt-to put it somewhere else. In the Greek myth, Sisyphus, King of Ephyra, was condemned by Zeus to eternally push a boulder uphill. However, as soon as he would reach the top of the hill, the boulder would roll down and Sisyphus had to push it back again.

Perhaps we should relax a bit and stop pushing dirt around so much?

Shallow End or Deep End?

I’ve met and treated a lot of patients in my career, and have come to the conclusion that there are two basic personalities when it comes to decision making.  I compare them with the two options we have when deciding to swim in a cold pool: Shallow End Steppers or Deep End Divers.

The pool is cold—how do we choose to get in?

Most people go in slowly.  Toes first, then feet to the top step.  Get acclimated.  Down to the next step, get acclimated again and continue.  It takes time and patience, but it gets the job done.  That’s a Shallow End Stepper.

A smaller group of individuals find it easier to make the decision, are certain in their choice, and just jump in.  They have weighed the options, know what to expect, and are eager to get on with it.  That’s a Deep End Diver.

You have seen this many times before.  At the beach, most people go in slowly and scream every time the water moves a bit higher.  But a few brave (or reckless) souls run in full throttle, diving under the approaching wave and surfacing with a shout and a shake of their head.  Some kids wiggle a loose baby tooth for days and weeks, not allowing anyone to touch it until the last thread breaks loose and the tooth is out.  Other children (not many) grab and pull that tooth to get it out as quickly as possible- and under the pillow for a Tooth Fairy reward.  In a vaccination line, most of us want to be at the very back, but a few others push to the front to “get it over with.”

Plastic surgery is a very personal choice, and making that final decision to proceed isn’t always that easy.  I notice that most successful business individuals seem to be able to make a quick decision: to move ahead, have the surgery and make plans for their schedules during and after recovery.  Most of us don’t decide quite that easily!

I have also noticed that the “first” decision is often the most difficult.  You don’t know us; you don’t know the temperature of the water.  Familiarity, trust, comfort and great results make it much easier to dive in.

My job, and the job of everyone in my office, is to make the decision making process as stress-free as possible.  We won’t pressure you.  We won’t push you.  If you need to talk with us several times, we are here for you.  Patients who consider future surgeries after knowing us find the water to be much warmer.  We will always respect your pool personality!

On Becoming a Grandparent

Over the past 26 months, my family has doubled. From three single children, my two oldest (daughters) added husbands and this week my oldest gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl!

Coming from a small family with only one sister and her son, there is something very lovely and special about large ones, with giant family gatherings, picnics, outings and vacations. Each of my daughters immediately acquired these extended families with their marriages, and I know they treasure the situation Continue reading “On Becoming a Grandparent”


A palindrome is a word or phrase that is the same backward and forward. Like “dad”, “mom”, “pop”, “Abba”, “kayak”, “deified” and “racecar”.

I like palindromes. There is something very clean and orderly about them. They are the comfort food in the vocabulary supermarket, having symmetry and balance that makes the brain warm and happy.

There are complete books of palindromes. Two favorites are titled, “So Many Dynamos!” and “Sit On a Potato Pan, Otis!” Your head will spin (in Continue reading “Palindromes”

Why do we make simple things so complicated?


Let’s face it- life is complicated and getting worse every day. Technology saves us a tremendous amount of time- until our computer dies, our backup hard drive didn’t, our printer won’t, and our phone lands in the toilet. I could go on and on about this- and I will- but let’s start with the basics.

At least we have shortcuts and abbreviations: LOL, LMK, CU, ETC, &, ‘’, ().

But wait a minute- we speak these words as well. Continue reading “Why do we make simple things so complicated?”

A Martini Lesson

I’d been working hard on a paper discussing the use of Nanostem Serum in skin rejuvenation, and needed a break. I strode over to the awesome, tidy bar at my house, picked up a bottle of Hendrix gin, Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth, and shook them together with ice. After straining out the ice, I poured the crystallized clear nectar into a stemmed glass with an inverted cone bowl, garnished with a lemon twist.

This, my friends, is called a Continue reading “A Martini Lesson”

Brush First? Floss First?

Human beings stood on the moon in 1969! We must be infinitely smarter, wiserand thoughtful by now; just look at how technology has exploded and how much information we have at our fingertips.

One great example: the ultrasonic toothbrush. So awesome that it was given to me in gratitude for having helped save someone’s injured finger! I was skeptical at first, but I must now admit the technology of the brush is spectacular. I had to read the instruction Continue reading “Brush First? Floss First?”

How To Describe Properly Cooked Bacon

This one is easy: I have a visual (see photo).

It’s fun to eat at home. We can make things exactly the way we like, without feeling apologetic because the restaurant we’re frequenting likes to make it wrong. When the restaurant makes it wrong, we have to explain to the poor waiter that we don’t do it that way and they need to change it. We feel guilty or entitled or difficult- but all we want is Continue reading “How To Describe Properly Cooked Bacon”