Telling My Inner Critic Where to Stick It

Photo by Stuart Miles,

Photo by Stuart Miles,

Sometimes my inner critic can be a real bitch.

She sticks her nose into every aspect of my life, from work (“Nice of you to finally put your butt in the seat and start writing. Not that anyone cares what you have to say, but you should at least be grateful to have a job, since so many more talented people than you don’t have one.”), to parenting (“Of course he likes his dad better than you, all you do is nag him to do his homework, eat his vegetables, wake up and get ready for school or hurry up and get ready for bed!”), and even my relationships with friends (“They’re just running late. Yeah, right. They don’t really like you and they’re going to ditch you and laugh about it behind your back.”).

The more tired and overwhelmed by life I let myself become, the more she seems to insinuate herself into my day.

“Who do you think you are?”

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“What could you possibly have been thinking?”

Sometimes she makes so much noise it’s a wonder I can hear myself think through all of her yakking.

Which is why I was intrigued when I saw the invitation from the Glendon Association to attend a free webinar by Dr. Lisa Firestone on “Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice.” The Glendon Association is a local nonprofit that focuses on the prevention of suicide and violence and I was familiar with Firestone’s writing from her work on “Huffington Post” and, well, the price was right, so I decided to check it out.

Not that my inner critic is telling me to commit suicide or anything that serious, but she does beat me up from time to time, so what better time than now to try to put an end to it.

I wish I could say that attending a one-hour online seminar completely changed my life, that my inner critic has taken up residence in an undeveloped country far, far away, with no email, Twitter, Facebook or phone service, so she can no longer contact me.

I wish I could say that, but my outer critic had a few comments to make.

A lot of what Dr. Firestone said about childhood being the source of much of our inner critic’s power didn’t really resonate with my own memories, but some of the practical solutions that she offered for identifying your critical inner voice made a lot of sense.

“Recognize the events that trigger your critical inner voice.”

As I alluded to earlier, for me this has a lot to do with feeling out of control. My inner critic is a creature of habit and I should recognize that she shows herself mostly when I have what I perceive as too much to do. Then I start to doubt my ability to do anything at all. This is despite the fact that I’ve never missed a deadline, and somehow even when I feel overwhelmed I always manage to get whatever’s absolutely essential done. I need to remind myself of that when I start to panic. And sometimes I need to tell my inner critic to shut up. I’ve got this covered.

“Recognize the specific outside criticisms that support your critical inner voice.”

I may be in denial but I think it’s all me. That’s certainly what my husband tells me, and he’s always right-or so he says.

“Become aware of times you may be projecting your self-attacks onto other people.”

There’s nothing worse than seeing your own worst character flaws projected in the people you love. I wish I could say it’s just my son, but sometimes those same qualities drive me crazy in my husband too. I guess I need to remind myself of this, and perhaps take a whack at that inner critic of mine with a sledgehammer the next time she tries to take control. Not that I’m a violent person. I’m really not. But sometimes she has it coming-and I’d like to be the one to give it to her.

“Notice changes in your mood.”

I like this one the most because by telling my inner critic where to stick it, I suddenly feel a whole lot better.

For more information about Dr. Firestone visit When Leslie’s not telling her inner critic to shut up, she’s usually online at For more columns visit Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on May 28, 2010.

Of Course She Doesn’t Have Kids

Photo by Sura Nualpradid

Photo by Sura Nualpradid

“A surprising percentage of women nominated to top government jobs have no children,” stated a recent Daily Beast story by Peter Beinart about Elena Kagan’s nomination and the gender make up of the Supreme Court.

That chortle you heard all the way across town was me, laughing out loud. Seriously? How can this possibly be surprising? It’s hard enough to balance a 40-hour-week middle management job with homework, soccer, ballet, piano, swimming, play dates, PTA meetings, birthday parties and getting a healthy meal on the table every once in a while. And these women being considered for the Supreme Court are ultra-achievers who’ve probably never worked a mere 40-hours a week in their lives!

Sometimes in the dead of night when I can’t get to sleep because I’m so overwhelmed by my to do list I console myself by the fact that even Oprah, who’s a rock star in every possible way, doesn’t have any kids to worry about. Neither does Condoleezza Rice or Janet Napolitano. And somehow–seriously–knowing that Martha Stewart doesn’t have kids or a husband at home makes me feel just a little bit better about the crazy high wire juggling act that my life can sometimes become.

The most recent census found that 27 percent of women aged 40 to 44 who have advanced degrees are not mothers. At the top end of the work pyramid, only 23.4 percent of women in the workforce are in executive level positions, yet a recent study commissioned by Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress (“A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything“) found that now, for the first time in our nation’s history, women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families.

So women are bringing home paychecks, just not big ones.

“About 67 percent of married mothers and 69 percent of mothers without a spouse today are employed outside the home. More women become the primary breadwinners for their families, yet they still earn less than their male counterparts. About 67 percent of workers paid at or below the minimum wage are women,” according to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor Hilda Solis, another contributor to the Shriver study.

In 1967 women made up only one-third of all workers, so this is a dramatic change and the workplace itself has yet to adjust to it. Of course this change has also been exacerbated by the goofily named “mancession,” which highlights the face that more men than women have lost their jobs as a result of the recession. Yet, for the most part we’re still working in environments where policies on hours, pay, benefits, and leave time are designed around the outdated model of male breadwinners who have little to no family care-giving responsibilities. This is not the reality today for men or women.

The reality is that the expectations placed on highly ambitious professionals and on mothers are both so demanding that it’s incredibly difficult for women to have it all.

So, sure, it would be great to have another mom on the Supreme Court so that she could have play dates with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s kids. The kids could go arbitrate playground disputes or smack each other with gavels. But can we really be surprised if the next woman on the Supreme Court is not a mom?

Leslie has reconciled herself to the fact that she’s been way too candid in print to ever be nominated for the Supreme Court-that, and the whole not going to law school thing. Therefore, heretofore and forevermore you can reach her at or Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on May 21, 2010.

Earning my Merit Badges

UnknownAs someone who has earned her merit badge in procrastination a million times over-and that was just this month-I was simultaneously irritated and intrigued when I stumbled across Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas’s book, “You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls.”

It’s hard to argue with the book’s thesis, that it’s high time our “want-to-do lists” got as much attention as our “to-do lists.” But the 60 cleverly monikered “grown-up Girl Scout badges” didn’t really resonate with me. Car repair (pop the hood)? No thanks. Filmmaking (roll ’em), art appreciation (be a renaissance gal) and meditation (get an inner life)? Maybe.

As a former Girl Scout, Brownie, Camp Fire Girl and Indian Maiden, I’ve always had a thing for merit badges. And since goal setting is one of the skills that all former scouts know all about, I decided to coax a few of my own big dreams out of hiding and invent my own set of “earned age-level awards” for grown ups. Incidentally, writing this list should earn me emblem number 60 from Grandcolas’s book, “You can do it!” which encourages people to invent and pursue their own merit badges.

I’ll be checking my mailbox to add the “I can do it” badge to my sash. Meanwhile, here are a few of the other badges on my “want-to-do list.”

The $25,000 Pyramid Badge: For just one day I’d like to consume the recommended six servings of grains, five vegetables, four fruits and two servings each of milk and protein without gaining seven pounds and/or having a monster stomachache.

Badge Steps:

(1.) I always forget, is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

(2.) You say tomato, I say chocolate.

(3.) Let’s call the whole thing off and count beer as a grain and vodka as a vegetable.

Do as I Say Badge: Like any loving parent, I live for the day that the words, “But last time you said …” “But you and daddy get to …” and “But everyone else gets to …” are forever banished from my son’s lips.

Badge Steps:

(1.) Rewind my son’s life to when he was a baby and all he did was smile, eat, sleep and poop.

(2.) Or, fast-forward a few years, to when he’ll likely be giving me the silent treatment in protest of something I wrote about him in this column.

(3.) Or, find the mute button.

Too Big for Primetime Badge: There are six magic words that have been haunting my dreams since my show stopping performance as Lucy in my third grade class’s version of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” They are, of course, “I’d like to thank the Academy.” However, more recently they’ve been upstaged by another six magic words: “Why thank you for asking, Oprah.”

Badge Steps:

(1.) Compliment the fabulously talented, stunningly generous Ms. Winfrey regularly in my column.

(2.) Send her subliminal messages in my sleep until she realizes what a witty and charming guest I would make on her show.

(3.) Appear on show and be so witty and charming that Oprah invites me to “stop by anytime.”

(4.) Appear on show several more times, developing witty and charming repartee with Oprah, my new best friend.

(5.) Write witty and charming screenplay for Oprah to star in and produce.

(6.) “I’d like to thank the Academy.”

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super-Leslie Badge: I know I want a super power, I’m just not sure which one. I’ve always wanted the power to freeze a moment in time, like that moment in time when I had a perfect, 20-year-old body. Or the power of invisibility, so that I could steal things. Or I could be a crime fighter. It’s hard for a girl to commit.

Badge Steps:

(1.) Get in industrial accident involving chemicals, radiation, lightening, and some insect that’s not too yucky – maybe a butterfly.

(2.) Conjure up my grandpa’s voice, saying, “Keep exercising that imagination, kid. It’ll take you places someday.”

(3.) “You know Oprah, I’ve always wanted to have super powers. How do you do it?”

The Thrill of Competition Badge: While competing at Wimbledon, the Indy 500 and the Kentucky Derby have long been relegated to video game fantasies; I’d still like to have box seats someday.

Badge Steps:

(1.) Mention to my good friend Oprah that I’ve always to attend Wimbledon, the Indy 500 and the Kentucky Derby.

(2.) Thanks for the time off. Of course I’ll write a column about it, boss.

Send your adult merit badge suggestions to For more columns visit www.LeslieDinaberg.comOriginally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on May 14, 2010.


Noozhawk Talks: Leslie Dinaberg Sits Down With Spencer Barnitz

Spencer Barnitz, aka Spencer the Gardener, says his music is “shaped by the ocean, the rhythms of the world and pop music from my life.” (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Spencer Barnitz, aka Spencer the Gardener, says his music is “shaped by the ocean, the rhythms of the world and pop music from my life.” (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Spencer Barnitz‘s unique pipes and idiosyncratic perspective have entertained music fans for most of his life. His new wave band The Tan began when he was barely out of Santa Barbara High, eventually followed by a still-active cover band, The Wedding Band, and for the past 21 years, Spencer the Gardener, a sound the band describes as “California sun-kissed, Latin-tinged, genre-bending, big-band surf mariachi indie pop.”

Leslie Dinaberg: There’s something really unique about your music, whether you’re singing a pop song or in Spanish and even now with your kids’ album, “Organic Gangster.”  What do you think it is that makes something a Spencer song?

Spencer Barnitz: My songs are really shaped by the ocean, the rhythms of the world and pop music from my life. As a kid I listened to the Supremes but I loved Brit pop too and Mexican stuff, Salsa music, so it’s kind of a fusion in a way of a lot of those different things, which has been great and has been bad. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse in a lot of different ways.

LD: Is it different playing kid’s music?

SB: It’s funny having a CD like that. It’s cute and it has a good message. … For me it’s such a different thing because I’ve been doing pop music for so long. It’s still pop music but it’s just a different manifestation.

LD: How did you decide that you wanted to do this?

SB: Well it was kind of interesting because my girlfriend sells worms; she’s the worm girl. Last year they did a short it was in the green shorts festival. … I said you want a song? I’ll write a song for it.

I loved it! I had done the “Gobble Song” a couple of years ago, which became sort of an Internet sensation, every Thanksgiving it gets tons of hits. So there were a couple kid’s songs and I thought you know what, I should just try to keep going because everything I wrote was really fast and fun.

I did it very fast. Like one day I was reading the horoscope and it was talking about a mountain chicken frog. I was like there’s no way there is a mountain chicken frog. I went and looked it up and there it was. It’s in danger of becoming extinct. I just quickly wrote a song about it and loved the song and I love the fact that that’s how I found it. … So it’s been kind of fun and it’s been educational for me in a way.

LD: Talking to kids you get to-or have to be-so much more on the nose than you are when you are talking to adults. You do have to really say things in a different way and it’s not always easy.

SB: Because you have to sort of know what you’re talking about. (Laughs)

LD: I’ve been listening to your music since I was 16 or something and now my son got to hear you sing at his school. I love that.

SB: You know there was somebody there at the spaghetti dinner at the school and the dad had been aware of the Tan since he was 14. So it was kind of like oh wow, I don’t know if I should say thanks or sorry. Now his daughter is listening to it, so that is just an insanely long generational thing, which I like that for myself, it makes me happy. I don’t know if it makes other people happy (Laughs).

LD: Oh absolutely it does.

SB: I think I’m past the point of … sometimes you get to a point where they’re like wow they’re still here. And then you go beyond that point and it’s like wow, they’re still here.

LD: Plus you do such a wide variety of stuff Do you write all the music for Spencer the Gardener?

SB: I do except for we did put out two years ago we put out a record called “Fiesta” and I didn’t write any of that, those are all cover songs. I’ve wanted to do that record since I was a kid. Probably the reason I speak Spanish is because I grew up singing Spanish, which has a lot to do with Santa Barbara. Fiesta was just always a part of things. So I did that record because I wanted to and I’ll probably do another one at some point.

I remember I had a class at Santa Barbara High School, Mr. Hall was my Spanish teacher, and every Friday he would have everybody sing, which was just terrifying in high school.

LD: Why?

SB: I didn’t do that yet. My sister was always a good singer. She’s actually on this record.

LD: I saw that.

SB: And she’s the principal at Ellwood School. So my sister had sung a lot but I wasn’t a singer, but I would surf and I was going to Mexico so in high school on Friday afternoons you could just see everyone go oh no, but it was fun, but it was terrifying. But for these young kids it’s really fun. They’re young, they’re singing, they’re laughing. They don’t have the self-conscious thing that you do when you’re in high school.

LD: I remember your sister from junior high. That’s cool that she sang on your record.

SB: She’s got a great voice. When she got out of high school she left Santa Barbara and didn’t come back for a long time. She went to Berklee School of Music, she sang on the East Coast and so she is a very good singer.

LD: How did you guys get so musical?

SB: I don’t know. My dad died young so I don’t really even know that whole side of the family. But my sister and I, when she came back into town and she was singing she was doing some weird hand movements and I was looking at her like those are mine. They’re not my mom’s or my dad’s, they’re mine, but they are hers too. And she speaks fluent Spanish, she actually speaks a couple of languages and its like wow this is so weird, there are two kids who do these things. She just started to surf. We both do these things that are completely separate from both of our parents. … it’s just kind of some mix, maybe some weird hybrid.

LD: So tell me about how you got started in music?

SB: Well Brad (Nack) went to Europe in 1978 and … he came back and said you know we should start a new wave band. I was 18, and he was 20 … it was like we thought maybe girls would like us and it was something to do besides surfing (Laughs) and all of those same reasons that everyone does that. … I said that sounds fun, let’s go to Mexico I’ll teach you how to play guitar and we’ll write some songs and start a band.

LD: Why Mexico?

SB: Mexico has been an interesting part of my life. For some reason no matter where I go it’s like something ends up having part of Mexico in it. Mexico is because we surf for one, so that’s always a thing. If you live in California and you surf, usually you take some trips to Mexico because it’s close. For me it is a lot more than because like I said, I grew up singing in Spanish and I’ve just always spent a lot of time in Mexico. Perhaps that was one of the reasons too is just because we started the band there. We were gone for three months and then came back and started the Tan.

We were even thinking of doing a new Tan record and going to Mexico to do it.

LD: After seeing all of those people who showed up at your reunion show last summer, I think you’d have a market.

SB: There are a lot of justifications and rationalizations for doing things like going to Mexico. Yeah let’s go for six months. We need to do this. This is what we need to do (Laughs). This is really going to be a good thing for us. And it is always a good thing for me. I mean it’s been it’s been rejuvenation, escape, it’s been all kinds of things I suppose.

… We went to Mexico on a surf trip with the idea of learning to play guitars and writing songs and that’s exactly what we did and came back and started the Tan. And for a while it was fun but it was like we were definitely counter culture at that time and then somehow or other we got into the mainstream and I somehow ended up being in music for the rest of my life (Laughs).

LD: Did you ever think when you and Brad were wandering off to Mexico to learn to play guitar that this would become your life’s work?

SB: Not in the same way that I do now. There’s the beauty of youth which is you just think everything you do is going to be great. So yeah, sure, we thought we would be retired by 26 and have all the money in the world (Laughs). It was kind of a brutally rude awakening that that wasn’t going to happen. But it’s been a pretty fun ride. A good one. Music has given me a lot. It’s taken me all over the world. I mean it’s probably not for everybody because it is not real stable; there are highs and lows. It’s left me in far corners of the world too.

LD: To sing your way home?

SB: Yeah. But it’s gotten me there.

LD: Have you always stayed pretty much rooted in Santa Barbara?

SB: Yeah. I lived in LA for a little while. We moved to London with the Tan for a couple years but more and more it doesn’t matter where you are now because everything is so easy to get somewhere else. Santa Barbara is, I mean this is a great place. It is it has so much out of the world of what you want, at least what I want. It’s beautiful, it’s warm, and it’s convenient. It’s expensive but a lot of places are expensive.

LD: I read that you had a pretty serious car accident years ago?

SB: 1991. I broke all of the bones in my face. I still have plates in my face. The worst thing about that was that was right after we put out two CDs, we were on fire, and everyone was just like waiting for what the next thing with us was going to be. We had a management company and it just seemed like there was no stopping us, except for maybe a head-on, death-defying car accident, which put us out of commission for a year.

And the musical landscape changed. Our management company and us severed ties and then we just blindly kept going because I was stubborn. So yeah, that changed, that reshaped probably a lot of my future.

LD: It’s interesting though to look back on things like that because you’re making very different music now than you did back then.

SB: The stuff I do is always slightly quirky so I mean in that way if you listen to the first Spencer the Gardener CD and the one that I’m about to do, it’s still similar. Or if you listen to the first one and the kids’ one, it’s still crazy, wacky funny.

LD: Do you ever feel a kind of push and pull between art and commerce?

SB: (Laughs) Yes I do. I wish that my stuff sold like crazy!

You know I think it’s funny now because everything is so much easier. Everybody can do things but there are so many more people doing it and everything is pretty good you know, and I bind myself into that. It’s not like it’s world changingly earth shatteringly fantastic. There are a lot of fairly good bands out there, so it’s hard to kind of like sneak through and end up where you are basically have broken though where your art and commerce intersect in a beautiful way.

LD: What else do you do when you’re not working?

SB: I like to surf, play basketball, salsa, those are probably tops, jump high, run fast.

LD: If you could pick three adjectives to describe yourself, what would they be?

SB: Wow this is a really interesting question because now you’ll dealing with what do you want them to be or what are they. This is one I’m going to actually think about for a while … (Spencer sends an email to Leslie several days later) I have been perplexed by adjectives all week, so I guess self-absorbed would have to be one of them … calm and sarcastic, then, depending on the day, they change directions lazy, driven, witty, dull, thrill seeking, couch laden, etc. I doubt if you meant for me to give it this much thought…

I was thinking adventurous but no that’s not really true anymore. That was true at one time. I’ve changed over the years in different ways. That would have been something that I would have loved and would have said and would have believed and probably not so much anymore.

LD: Well there are all kinds of adventure. You could certainly argue that pursuing a life as a musician is an adventurous path.

SB: Yeah, either that or just kind of ridiculous. If you mix whimsical, adventurous and difficult together you might get ridiculous. … It’s funny because we used to have a song in the Tan called “young, strong and free.”

LD: I like that.

SB: Which would have been really the way we described ourselves. I would still say fun. Because that’s a word I overuse. Stubborn, determined and what does Einstein say when you keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

LD: That’s the definition of insanity (Laughs).

SB: Yeah, unfortunately that seems to fit with me a little bit too.

Vital Stats: Spencer Barnitz

Born: September 14 in Santa Barbara, CA

Family: Father deceased, mother Mercedes, sister Liz

Civic Involvement: “I’ve done just a whole mess of benefits over the years for a lot of different organizations. I’m not actively involved with anybody right now.”

Best Book You’ve Read Recently: God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre by Richard Grant; Shadow of the Wind. 

Originally published in Noozhawk on May 11, 2010.

Drive-in Delights

Courtesy Santa Barbara Drive-In and Public Market

Courtesy Santa Barbara Drive-In and Public Market

The Santa Barbara Drive-In Theater reopens tonight after a 19-year intermission and I can’t remember when I’ve been so excited.

I can, however, remember a lot of great times at the Drive-In.

We moved to Santa Barbara when I was in kindergarten and some of my earliest memories are of my sister Pam and I, bundled up in our footie pajamas, in the back of our parents’ old, Aqua Velva blue Ford Pinto. We’d get to the Drive-In early so we could play on the playground slides, seesaws and swings. My favorite ride was always the spinning Merry-Go-Round-an important rite of childhood, which today’s insurance carriers, and probably a few broken limbs and blows to the head, have all but exterminated. The only thing better than the world of indescribable dizziness the Big Spinner provided was the sugar buzz we got from the assortment of Pop Rocks, Razzles, Bottlecaps, Atomic Fireballs, Grapeheads and Twizzlers our parents let us use to wash down the popcorn.

After all that candy we inhaled, they probably shouldn’t have been surprised that I managed to stay awake well beyond the family-friendly first features like “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” into the racier, late night fare. Despite my mom’s command that I, “Go to sleep. It’s way past your bedtime,” I still remember seeing large, incredibly inappropriate chunks of “Carnal Knowledge,” “Dirty Harry” and “Deliverance” at a very tender age.

As I edged into my teen years the Drive-In was still a favorite place to hang out, but by then it had nothing to do with what movies were playing. It was all about seeing friends, being seen, and knowing who was steaming up their car windows in the back row and who was breaking up behind the snack bar. It was all about how many friends you could hide under the cargo hold in the way back part of mom’s station wagon, how many people you could pack in the trunk, or-if you could resist the urge to giggle, and have you ever seen a pack of teenagers who can actually do this-how many pals you could fit under a blanket in the back seat.

Sneaking people in was part of my teenage fun of the Drive-In. For some inexplicable reason, I even remember doing this on the nights when they were charging a flat fee per carload just to keep up with the tradition.

Traditions die hard in this town and the Drive-In theater has been sorely missed.

It’s actually thanks in large part to the efforts of a far more motivated teenager than I ever was, 17-year-old San Marcos High senior Dominique O’Neill, that the next generation of moviegoers will get to go to the Santa Barbara Drive-In.

Last month Dominique organized a fundraiser at the Drive-In to benefit Direct Relief International. It was so successful and so many people wanted to return and share the Drive-In movie experience with their friends that she started a Facebook page to show the current owners, West Wind Drive-Ins, how much public support there was. In just over a week approximately 6,500 people joined the Facebook group (including yours truly) to pledge their support.

“I expected people to want the Drive-In to reopen, but I was astonished by how many people joined so fast,” said Dominique, who wanted to recognize the people who helped her with the Direct Relief fundraiser and spurring interest in reopening the Drive-In. “None of it would have been possible without the help of West Winds Drive-Ins and Public Markets, especially Ken Krummes, Mitch Moore of M&M Painting, Bob Shoppe of Milpas Rental, Kirk Morely of Morely Construction, Clare Moore, Emily Knuutinen, Shelby Zylstra, Maren Walker, Danielle Gruenberg, Whitney Caldwell, and most importantly my mother, Mary O’Neill.”

Awww! What a sweet Mother’s Day present for Dominique’s mom, and a great thing for all of us to celebrate this weekend. I can’t wait!


The first movie to open at the Santa Barbara Drive-In (907 South Kellogg Ave. in Goleta) is “Iron Man 2,” which runs from May 7 through May 13 and shows at 8:00 p.m. and 10:25 p.m. nightly. After that all screenings will be double features. Tickets are $6.75 and children 5-11 are only $1, with special discounts on Tuesday nights. Visit to sign up for weekly emails with the upcoming movie schedule.

Bring on the popcorn! Leslie would never be so rude as to check her email during a movie, but when she’s not at the Drive-In she can be reached at For more columns visit published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on May 7, 2010.