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Jewish Journal

Teresa Strasser

  • I’m Past All That

    May 9, 2012 | 1:59 pm

    There is some unwritten statute of limitations on how long one can whine about a crappy childhood, a negligent parent, a few too many chicken pot pies, summers with the grandparents, days spent on Greyhound buses and with dubious caregivers and creepy neighbors. There is just a...

  • Chewable Xanax and the shoe debacle

    April 18, 2012 | 12:02 pm

    I had to look inside myself, which was kind of like looking into my high school locker: moldy half-eaten sandwich, a few loose Starburst candies, heaps of notebooks and burrito-stained gym clothes obscuring the few things of value. Sure, there’s a book of Sylvia Plath poems and a...

  • Chasing parental boredom while catching some foreign films

    April 11, 2012 | 11:24 am

    I was in seventh grade when my dad took me to see a Turkish movie exploring the lives of five prisoners given a week’s home leave in the aftermath of a coup d’etat.

    Why did he take a kid to see the movie “Yol”? To teach me a valuable lesson about suffering? To expand my...

  • Inner Child, Meet New Baby, Please Don’t Smother It

    June 24, 2009 | 11:34 pm

    Being pregnant for the first time I’m scared and I want my mommy. I just don’t want my mommy.

    My mom hates babies and kids, always has. She didn’t put her cigarette out on my arm or throw me in a pit of snakes, but having kids just wasn’t her diaper bag, and it showed.

    ...
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  • Pat B. and Me

    January 21, 2009 | 8:03 pm

    My chat with Pat has gotten far more feedback than any other interview I’ve done in my almost three years as co-host on The Adam Carolla Show.

    Well, it was really more like Adam Carolla’s chat with Pat, and by Pat, I mean writer and political commentator Pat Buchanan, who was...

  • I love you, Grandma, so I tell you lies

    October 29, 2008 | 6:10 pm

  • The dress, the ring, the registry and the rest

    June 12, 2008 | 2:31 pm

    Once upon a time, Teresa Strasser was The Jewish Journal's award-winning singles columnist. Then she met Daniel. Next week the two will wed. In the series below, Strasser charts her journey from "I will" to "I do." And we're sure they'll live happily ever after . . .

    Two months...

  • Leave the house

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    There's nothing more smug and insidious than a girl who has finally fallen in love and thinks she now has all the answers. She can save you from your sad, pathetic, damaged love life and cure you of your nasty man-repellant habits. No matter what condescending tip she's giving you,...
  • Family Feud—with my family, it’s no game

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I would take my mom against Clint Eastwood in any movie. Sure, he usually plays a grizzled, gunslinger with cat-like reflexes and something to prove, but if you cross my mother, you will find yourself, like the title of Clint's greatest Western, "Unforgiven."

    Make no mistake; this...

  • N.Y. or L.A.—which is better for dating?

    November 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    In my now perhaps exceedingly long life as a single woman, I've lived in both New York and Los Angeles.

    When people ask me which city is better when it comes to dating, I can only answer by citing a famous scene from the horror classic, "When a Stranger Calls."

    The babysitter is...

  • The Candy Man Can

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    If you've ever tried to split a Big Hunk candy bar -- the kind made out of brittle white nougat and peanuts -- then you understand a typical breakup. It's usually not neat, like a Kit Kat, two for you, two for me, let's go our separate ways and we'll run into each other in three...

  • Singles - Painted Clowns

    June 29, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    As part of our stroll down memory lane, it seemed fitting to reprint a column by one of our most popular writers. Teresa Strasser, now a regular on prime-time television and morning radio, generated stacks of reader mail with pieces such as this one.

    I'm drinking at a bar called the...

  • The Fastest Therapy in the West

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    First there was speed dating. Now, there's speed healing.

    Welcome to The Ten Minute Method, a new form of condensed counseling offered by a Chatsworth therapist that promises to be both fast and affordable at $18 a session.

    You may be thinking: 10 minutes? That's just long enough to...

  • Unmarried Counseling

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    My neurosis is like a Ferrari. I can go from 0 to 60 in under four seconds.

    One second, I'm nervous I may have said the wrong thing in a meeting; the next I'm convinced that the best way to deal with how horribly I've botched the situation is to toss myself off the Staten Island...

  • Table of Dreams

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    In a world of cryptocreative fitness classes like flamenco yoga and aerobic pole-dancing, Ping-Pong seems pretty old school.

    Still, on a Tuesday night at the Gilbert Table Tennis Center at the Westside Jewish Community Center, there's little doubt this game is cardio. A guy named...

  • Honors for Author, Antacid

    October 20, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    This fall marks the confluence of two landmark events in the Jewish community -- one involves Philip Roth and the other involves Maalox. If it's not obvious where those two meet, it's right in the acid-coated kishkas of Portnoy's perpetually constipated father.

    At 72, Roth recently...

  • And Mari Makes Three

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Another woman has come into my relationship with my boyfriend, and she's the best thing that's ever happened to us.

    A week ago, a 22-year-old Japanese foreign exchange student named Mari moved in with us for the month while she studies English in the morning and hip-hop dances in...

  • Strasser - I Wanna New Hug

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Back in the primitive days of male hugging, my dad was what trend watchers might call "an early adapter." When few of the other Little

    League dads hugged their sons, my dad clutched my older brother any chance he got, Mr. Focker-like, at the drop of a bat.

    My brother appeared to...

  • Child’s Play

    August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Is our culture trying to scam us into having kids?

    This is an epic question and I only have 850 words, so let me start close to home, with my grandma.

    "Listen to me," she said last week over the phone from Reseda. "You have to have kids. You'll never regret it. It's the best thing...

  • Singles - Poetry in Motion

    July 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In one night, I had dinner at an all-you-can eat salad bar in Arcadia, met my father's first girlfriend in 25 years and weathered a nearly disastrous poetry emergency.

    Sound the onomatopoetic sirens; this thing was a relationship 911. Free verse was about to cost my father the best...

  • Thy Name Is Too Wrong

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Love is a beautiful thing. That is, unless it happens to a couple of excessively famous people whose affair we can no longer stand.

    Even if they get married, a decent hyphenated name (as in Jackie Joyner-Kersee) will not do. That's where the "hyphe-mate" comes in, a shorthand way of...

  • The Evil Stepmother Dies

    June 23, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    What do you do when you lose someone? Someone you really hated?

    It's a little awkward, I'll tell you that much. Last month, my stepmother of more than 25 years died at age 67 of lung cancer. It was a terrible death, one I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, which, incidentally, she was....

  • So Uncool, It’s Cool

    May 12, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    I favor the type of acrylic French tip nails that are considered fashionable only by midlevel porn stars. I still wear Uggs. Pink is my favorite color. I've seen the movie "G.I Jane" twice, and not for camp value. I thought it was good.

    Today, I embrace my uncool preferences.

    I...

  • He’s my ...

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    The term "boyfriend" is like the knee joint on someone who is morbidly obese. It is being asked to do way more than it was designed

    to do. It is buckling under the pressure. Where it once could do the job, it is now carrying too much weight.

    Example: My grandma had a companion...

  • The List

    March 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    The List has taken over. If you are male, you may not be aware of this, but if you are female, you probably already have one.

    You show me a single woman looking for love, and I'll show you a girl with a detailed and specific written list of qualities she's looking for in a mate.

    ...
  • Twisted Spinster

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    My friend has a red velveteen frog that lives on the arm of her red velvet sofa.

    Her living room has become the gathering place for our little group, five of us, all single. We spend many a night on these couches, shoes kicked under the coffee table, ordering Chinese food,...

  • Read All About It

    February 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    At this moment, I have no idea if Jennifer Garner is having Ben Affleck's baby, who Hilary Swank is wearing to the Oscars or what brand of moisturizer Catherine Zeta Jones has shipped in from a nunnery in Peru.

    I am no longer binge reading. As of now, I'm out of touch with In...

  • The ‘L’ Word

    January 20, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    How do you spell crippling inability to connect?

    L-U-V.

    That's how I spelled it. After months of trying to

    make myself say the "L word," I finally managed only three of the letters. And I wish I could say it was on a handwritten note or even e-mail, but no. It was the lowest...

  • Saying Goodbye to an Angel in Sin City

    December 30, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    Mr. Snead has an artificially orange comb-forward and the type of throaty voice and desiccated face one only acquires after living in the desert for awhile. He is an undertaker.

    On his forearm, I make out what are obviously two prison tattoos; one reads "Love" and the other is...

  • Do I Know You?

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    I was headed into a pizza joint for a slice when I noticed a guy whose face looked eerily familiar. I couldn't place him but he gave me a subtle nod, frat-boy style.

    Just as I snapped my head back to make sure it actually was the dude from "Average Joe," he was craning his head...

  • A New Relationship

    July 1, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A relationship with a new city is like a relationship with a new guy. At first, you compare a lot -- my ex had better nicknames for me; he made the bed in the morning. My ex was the one for me, and now I'm just marking time before becoming that old lady in line at the bagel shop who...

  • 3 Minutes With Brad

    May 13, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Brad Pitt may have sustained an injury during the filming of his new movie, "Troy," but I sustained an injury during the viewing of the film.

    With 15 minutes left of the special preview screening, I had to go to the bathroom. I had been able to hold on through at least three...

  • Missing: My Mojo

    March 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    I can't explain it any better than this. I think I've lost my mojo. That phrase has been going through my head for months now. Lost my mojo.

    How do you know you've lost your mojo? You get a couple clues.

    I'm eating dinner alone at a restaurant when an attractive older man...

  • I’ve Got Cramps

    March 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    What little style I have, it's being cramped. New York will do that to you.

    My toaster is the perfect metaphor for life in the Not-Big-Enough Apple.

    The appliance, unlike a standard toaster that situates the slices of bread side by side, is a slender affair. It toasts the bread not...

  • Baggage Claim

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    I used to want things. One day, I realized the seven pairs of Puma sneakers and the Pottery Barn rug and the 8-pound "Columbia Encyclopedia," those were just things to pack, and I didn't want them anymore.

    Actually, that day was just about two weeks ago, when I got a job in New...

  • That’s Nice

    October 23, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Women love bad boys. Nice guys finish last.

    Welcome to the most damaging and far-flung myth ever to hit the dating world.

    I'm sure you've heard it in its many forms; if you want a girl to fall for you, don't let on that you like her, treat her badly, be aloof. Never work too hard...

  • Got Closure?

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I'm 18. I'm flipping through my yearbook, reading over the cursive messages of my friends: "Stay sweet" and "Great sitting next to you in French" and "Have a great summer."

    On the next page, there are a few more notes advising me not to change, to remember that night at the beach...

  • Roadside Distraction

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I'm sitting at a Mobil station in Minneola, my feet propped up against the bottom frame of my car door. The door is swung open so I can take in the desert air, exhale my Camel Light into the breeze.

    I just bought a pack of gum and a green plastic lighter inside the store, where a...

  • The Nose Knows

    June 26, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    What is it like to be one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People? I have no idea.

    I can tell you what it's like to work closely with one of these magically attractive people day in and day out, to wake up to Matt Lauer and Katie Couric discussing his muscles and come home to...

  • Painted Clowns

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I'm drinking at a bar called the Dirty Horse on Hollywood Boulevard. Well, that's not the real name but I never got a look at the sign and that name seemed right.

    It fits the place, with its plastic pitchers of beer, painted clowns on black velvet, bowls of peanuts and the...

  • Hotel Holiness

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    I walk into each new hotel room, look at it suspiciously, shake its clammy hand and gingerly put my suitcase down.

    I unpack my makeup, put my mascara and lipsticks in a water glass, hang up my coat. I see what cable channels I have, check out the room service menu for any items that...

  • How Not to Date

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Look, I'm not going to tell you how to find "the one," how to radiate that "I'm available" light, how to register for wine tasting seminars and join networking groups.

    I have no dating advice. None. I won't suggest clever phrasing for your personal ad or how to choose a photo to...

  • Am I Annoying?

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    I knew better. I had about as much business being there as an elderly tourist has of being on Skid Row after midnight with a map in his hand and a blank cashier's check taped to his forehead. I was in grave danger of a psychological mugging, and I knew it.

    I kept telling myself to...

  • Who I Really Am

    December 12, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Here's the scenario: I travel for work almost 20 days a month. It's lonely out there on the road, one long Bob Seger song. Dating is almost impossible, but I've met a guy who seems to fit the suit.

    By that, I mean he's employed, smart, sweet, even Jewish. We've had two dates so far,...

  • No Vacancy

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Last week, before the premiere of my new show "While You Were Out," I got my first big national magazine review.

    I wasn't expecting it. I had just had a tooth pulled and my mom was in town for the day to take care of me. I was just minding my own business, sprawled on the couch,...

  • Star Stricken

    September 19, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    My ex-boyfriend is a star.

    Just when I thought he was securely fastened in my past, he is suddenly and jarringly in my present, whirring by me on the side of a bus, staring at me from the cover of TV Guide, cracking jokes on late night TV.

    In short, he is everywhere. As the host of a...

  • Meeting Dr. Soulmate

    August 1, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Somehow, the universe knows. It knows when you have on a fresh coat of MAC lipgloss, some cute heels you got on sale at Charles David and clean hair that's looking halfway decent. It knows. That's the night you won't meet anyone.

    If a principle is true, then so is its opposite,...

  • The Name Game

    June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    When we were little, my brother and I realized that whenever we asked if someone was Jewish, my mother would answer by simply repeating their name, as if that said it all.

    "Irving Fishbaum? Ira and Esther Lefkowitz? C'mon."

    We decided to see if we could induce this behavior and...

  • Fierce Determination

    June 13, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    I admit, it doesn't sound pleasant. You enter a room that's been heated to above 100 degrees. The heat isn't as suffocating as the odor, a wall of smell that hits you like a thousand stinky shoes.

    You inhale the scent of sweaty armpits and groins, of excreted toxins, byproducts of...

  • A Matter of Crime

    May 30, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Crime does pay. Wait, no. I pay for crime. That is to say, I pay for books about crime because I can't get enough of serial killers, crime profiling, unsolved murders, exonerating DNA evidence, assassins, date stalkers, maximum-security prisons and forensics.

    You know that...