Maria Grusauskas

Staff Writer

The ABCs of Multivitamins

Jerry Garcia's doctor says vitamins can never take the place of a good diet.

The last Wellness column, which was about anemia, ended with the advice to “try a multivitamin and eat more kale.” A week spent wandering the aisles of the local health stores and a phone interview with Jerry Garcia’s former physician convinced me that this easily-dispensed advice is more crucial than ever—but useless if not followed with care.

Continue Reading →

Al Frisby, Southern Man

Al Frisby throws an anniversary/CD release party June 28 at Don Quixote's. (POSTPONED) (Chip Scheuer)

“I could catch an alligator any size—all I need is two ropes and a pole,” Frisby informs me in the southern drawl of this boyhood. He takes a sip of his café au lait. “I was catchin’ eight footers by the time I was seven.”  It was at this point that I decided to put down my pen and forget the questions I had carefully planned for Frisby about his one-man band and the birdfeeders he crafts out of found relics and just enjoy the ride, for which we were departing at full gallop. NOTE: JUNE 28 SHOW POSTPONED.

Continue Reading →

Advocates for the Mentally Ill Struggle to Change System

NAMI President Carol Williamson with members and peer facilitators. Photo by Maria Grusauskas.

Descending on Thimann Lecture Hall at 8am on a Thursday morning is like joining a flock of zombies: coffee cups and notebooks loosely clutched, we shuffle through the remnants of last night’s dreams towards habitual seats in the 300-seat hall. By 8:12am, though, it’s apparent that this isn’t just another morning in the risers of PSYC170, Professor David A. Hoffman’s abnormal psychology class at UC–Santa Cruz.

Continue Reading →

Ayurvedic Treatment Soothes Weary Eyes

A raw whole wheat bagel keeps the ghee from spilling all over the client's face. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

The ancient ayurvedic treatment called “netra basti” concentrates on the deep relaxation of the ocular muscles while cleansing and lubricating the eyeball and socket with castor oil (said to prevent cataracts), rose water or, most commonly, ghee (clarified butter). Local ayurvedic practitioner Heather Nagel recommends the treatment for anyone who spends long hours gazing into a computer screen.

Continue Reading →

The Seeds of Renee’s Garden

Renee Shepherd got hooked on flavorful veggies early. Photo by Carlie Statsky.

It all began about 30 years ago, when passionate gardener Renee Shepherd met a friend from the Netherlands who was selling seeds. “He suggested that if I liked to garden so much I ought to try some vegetables that were bred for flavor, because this was in the ’80s when I got started, and most American supermarkets weren’t worrying about what things were tasting like,” says Shepherd, owner of Renee’s Garden.

Continue Reading →