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HOME & GARDEN
August 11, 2012 | By Lauren Williams
I was just months away from marrying my high school sweetheart and shipping off to the Peace Corps. I'd had a bright five-year plan that included teaching English in a faraway land. The idea of a new culture and new life filled me with the sense that all the pieces were falling into place. Except the pieces fell apart. My eight-year relationship with the man I thought I'd marry quickly soured, the dynamic changing after we moved in together. I was puzzled over how someone I thought I knew better than myself could seemingly change overnight.
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HOME & GARDEN
August 4, 2012 | Chris Erskine
The summer - as do all summers - has blown by, the days growing shorter as they grow ever sweeter. July seems interminable, then August arrives and the back-to-school sales start, and we're suddenly returning to The Routine. I hate routines. The little guy finished summer school, then finished camp and now he's got the finest thing a 9-year-old could ever have: nothing to do. "Do you think heaven," he wondered the other day, "has different sections for dogs and baseball players?"
HOME & GARDEN
August 4, 2012 | By Carla Malden, Special to the Los Angeles Times
We went for it anyway ... even though we were geographically undesirable. Love knows no bounds, right? So we flew in the face of reason and committed to a commuter relationship. If it weren't for the vexing distance between us, we'd be the inspiration for a Lifetime movie. His marriage officially dissolved the same week my husband died 51/2 years ago. Middle-aged, hearts trampled, we rediscovered joy and magic and all those things supposedly reserved for the young. We'd been friends for 30 years.
HOME & GARDEN
July 28, 2012 | By Matt Moody, Los Angeles Times
Looking for love is a journey. For the very young, that can be a quick trip, thanks to a huge pool of possibilities. For the rest of us, it's more like an expedition, with lots of baggage to lug around. My itinerary included a stop at an online dating superstore. One particular "match" remains unforgettable - despite the passage of time and an eventual long-term relationship with a great woman. After an initial digital encounter and a bit of back and forth via the dating site, we exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet.
HOME & GARDEN
July 21, 2012 | By Patricia Beauchamp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It happened on Friday the 13th, a day associated with bad luck and an exhausted horror-movie franchise. That's the day my boyfriend proposed. Twice. The first overture took place in front of a meter, but I just couldn't handle a proposal that occurred next to a sign that read "10-hour parking. " The second took place in the bedroom of a Sherman Oaks apartment we were considering as our first home. I said yes, we hugged and I cried. This was a monumental event - I'd managed to find someone who wanted to commit.
HOME & GARDEN
July 7, 2012 | Chris Erskine
This is either the most thrilling thing I've ever done or the world's most effective colonic. Maybe both. I'm down in the County a L'Orange, in designer-perfect Newport Beach. It's where a lot of us superheroes hang out these days. Superheroes, who are spiritually and emotionally only in the seventh grade, are drawn to bikinis and Balboa Bars, the world's best dessert. What I'm drawn to right now, though, is a rental place called Jetlev, where one of the first things they do is hoist one of these jet packs upon you. It weighs about as much as a good set of clubs, which isn't much, till you try to swim with it. First time in the water, I immediately roll over onto my face, then guppy-kick myself over.
HOME & GARDEN
June 30, 2012 | Chris Erskine
CHICAGO - On an otherwise perfect afternoon, someone ganks her knee while stepping from boat to dock. Fortunately, she is in good hands. In attendance is a dentist who knows everything. And another guy who knows everything. I'm taken by these heartlanders who seem to know everything about everything, without ever having left the heartland. That's where I am now, back in the Middle West, cleaning out my late mother's suburban home, sifting through a half century of family treasures.
HOME & GARDEN
June 16, 2012 | By Joe Donatelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Jen and I met at Ohio University and started dating while she worked in Chicago and I worked in Washington. We came to Los Angeles in 2001 (her) and 2002 (me). Then, like all couples who move to Los Angeles, we broke up. After two years together, the "L.A. era" of our relationship lasted two months. We parted ways mutually, following an otherwise nice dinner at Bossa Nova on Sunset Boulevard. I drove past it for years thinking, "That place with the surprisingly affordable entrees is where we went the night it ended.
HOME & GARDEN
June 9, 2012
Less than 2% of lost cats and less than 20% of lost dogs are returned to their owners, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, a nonprofit organization whose members include the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Veterinary Medical Assn. Microchips are crucial, but an old-fashioned lost-pet poster can be important too. Making an effective flier is an art unto itself. Six common mistakes to avoid: Photo selection: If your missing pet has distinctive markings or a memorable shape, a full-body photo is wise.
HOME & GARDEN
June 2, 2012 | Chris Erskine
Not to get all Seinfeldian on you, but there are two kinds of people: food sharers and food hoarders. Food sharers are those people who, when you eat dinner out, are always loading your plate with samples of their own dish. I don't think I ever had a restaurant meal with my own mother when she didn't scoop a scallop or a piece of veal or whatever it was she ordered onto the side of everybody else's plate. "No, no, no," you'd say, but you know moms. The expectation, of course, is that you reciprocate.
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