He Said/She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear SSHS,

So I took your advice and ended a relationship face-to-face, with honesty and integrity but was shocked at the rude text I got from the guy five days later. It really hurt my feelings, and now I wonder what you each think is the best way to break it off with someone?

~Honest and Hurt, Walnut Creek

He accusing her - Couple fighting seriesShe Said: There must be 50 ways to leave your lover—yours is the question for the ages. I prefer to hear the straightforward approach, the way you did it, but maybe that’s a female thing. Sometimes there just isn’t a way to end things well, so you just have to do it in a way that allows you to be your highest and best self.  There’s often nothing you can say to prevent the sting and some will sting back in pain. Take comfort in the fact that his lashing out confirms you made the right decision. Shawn, was this a guy-ego thing?

He Said: Yeah this guy’s ego was hurt BIG TIME. But take comfort in the fact that you were honest and gave him the courtesy of a face-to-face explanation. Of course there’s a lot of different ways to end a relationship, but there’s really only one right way and you nailed it. Unfortunately a lot of people take the cowardly approach nowadays and break things off via electronic communication such as text message or social media posts. He’ll eventually think highly of you because you gave him that respect, especially when the next girl he dates dumps him on Facebook.

Dear HSSS,

My son graduated from college in June and is sitting home, doing nothing.  What’s a fair amount of time to give him to relax and recover before insisting he get out there and get a job and move out?

~Frustrated Father, Oakland

He Said: Give the kid a break! He just graduated college; you should be a proud papa because he received a higher education. Ok, break’s over, now it’s time for you to be concerned again. It’s time to ask your son some important questions: Does he have a plan? Direction? Passion or interest in anything particular? A skill set that translates into gainful employment? A college degree is great and everything, but sadly it doesn’t guarantee a job after college nowadays. If your son doesn’t have a legitimate answer to any of these questions, then he’ll be sitting on your couch for a very long time. I’d give him until the end of summer before you smack him in the face with the ‘help wanted’ section.

She Said: Good stuff, Shawn. I would add that volunteering and internships are good ways to get one’s foot in the door too. What you don’t want to do is make it so comfortable that your son has no reason to look for anything. Not expecting anything from him is exactly what you’ll get, so just pay attention to that little moral hazard. I wouldn’t give him money either.  You’re giving him a roof over his head and food on the table, but the fun parts of life he needs to fund himself.  Oh, and when he does get a job, he needs to start paying a reasonable amount of rent, otherwise you could end up with failure to launch. Congrats on the college education though. That’s awesome!HeSaidSheSaidgraphic

Robin Fahr is a communications specialist and host of Conversations seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at trivalleytv.org. Shawn and Robin also host He Said/She Said on TheTalkPod.com.  Send your questions to AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.

2016 Acura RDX A Responsive Crossover!

Lately, my weekly test vehicles have been a string of good looking and well-performing crossover SUV’s. The popularity of the crossover is attributed to their high seating which creates a better birds-eye view, plus the storage flexibility and overall seating convenience. Crossovers come in all sizes and shapes and are available from nearly every manufacturer. Needless to say, competition has become fierce and car companies are doing everything they can to get interested parties into dealerships to see their offerings. This review features the luxury compact submission from Acura – the 2016 RDX.

The RDX entered the field with the 2013 model and has received an update for 2016 including a new, V-6 motor and subtle styling improvements. The front and rear fascias have been reshaped and the back now includes LED taillights. The headlamps display a level of luxury with a string of five LED lights strung like a row of diamonds on a bracelet. The upside down, pentagon-shaped center grille creates a look of movement even while standing still. The fender arches are pronounced with flattened half circles that surround 18-inch wheels.

2016 Acura RDXThe 2016 Acura RDX is available as one trim level in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, along with three packages: AcuraWatch Plus ($1300), Technology ($3,700), and Advance ($6,650). The standard FWD base model has an MSRP of $36,310, while the AWD is $37,810. You can order the AcuraWatch Plus and the technology packages together if your wallet will allow! The AWD with intelligent control, as termed by Acura, has been returned in the 2016 models, sending more power to the rear wheels under acceleration for improved stability.

The cabin is comfortable and designed with a rich feel for both the eyes and touch. The left and right sides of the dash are arched like bird wings with the center body housing having one large screen for the entertainment center and one for the operational controls. The front seats conform to eight-way adjustability, while the rear seats are snug and more suitable for smaller people. Don’t forget, the RDX is a compact crossover.

The rear cargo compartment delivers 26.1 cubic feet with the rear seat up. Levers on both sides of the rear cargo compartment allow for easy flattening of the 60/40 split-second row seats to expand the rear storage area to 61.3 cubic feet. Four tie-downs placed at each corner allow you to securely anchor your contents in place. A large speaker provides great sound for those fun tailgate parties.

2016 Acura RDXPower is generated from a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 279 horsepower at 6,200 rpms and 252 foot pounds of torque at 4,900 rpms. The 3.5-L produces plenty of muscle both off the line and on the freeway. To improve fuel economy, three of the six cylinders smoothly deactivate under lighter loads without the drive ever knowing of the transition. The fuel economy ratings are 20/city and 29/highway for the FWD and 19/18 for the AWD. The V-6 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential SportShift paddle shifters just in case you feel sporty.

Cool Features:

  • Cylinder Deactivation
  • Rear Cross Traffic Monitor
  • Multi-View Rear Camera
  • Acura Navigation System with 3D View

Standard safety features on the 2016 Acura RDX include multi-view rear camera with guidelines, advanced compatibility engineering body structure, dual-stage multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, vehicle stability Assist™ with traction control and motion adaptive steering, ABS brakes and hill start assist. Optional safety items available with certain package levels are a forward collision-warning system, collision mitigation braking system™, lane departure warning, blind spot information system, and rear cross-traffic monitor system.

In Summary –The 2016 Acura RDX is a well-styled compact luxury crossover vehicle that is great for an individual, couple or starter family.The RDX delivers decent power and is available with many high-tech features we have come to expect from Acura. The ride is smooth and the handling is confident. If you find yourself in the market for a compact luxury crossover, then the RDX is worth a test drive and your consideration.


2016 Acura RDX AWD Advanced


Base price:                  $43,420as driven: $44,340 (including destination & optional features)

Engine:                       3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC6-cylinder

Horsepower:             279 @ 6,200 RPM

Torque:                       252 @ 4,900 RPM

Transmission:            6-speed automatic

Drive:                          AWD Drive

Seating:                       5-passenger

Turning circle:           38.9 feet

Cargo space:              26.1 cubic feet

Curb weight:              3,774 pounds

Fuel capacity:             16 gallons

EPA mileage:             City 19/Hwy 28

Wheel Base:                105.7 inches

Warranty:                    4 years/50,000 miles powertrain limited

Also consider:             Audi Q5, BMW X3, Buick Envision, Cadillac SRX, Infiniti QX 50, Lexus RX,

Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Volvo XC60



In 2001, the American Film Institute named Humphrey Bogart as the greatest film star of the 20th Century, ahead of Cary Grant, John Wayne and James Stewart. Bogart was only a star for a few years; from 1940 to his death in 1956. Before that he was a supporting actor who specialized in getting shot by James Cagney or Edward G. Robinson. His roles were distinctive and his name in his best movies we all know (or do we?). Let’s see.

  1. His first break came in 1936’s “Petrified Forest.” He plays an escaped convict who holds the stars of the movie cap rives in a remote diner. What was his name?
  1. His big break came in 1940’s “High Sierra.” He plays an ex con known to the public as Mad Dog, who meets his demise on Mount Whitney. What was his name?
  1. In 1941, Bogie got one of his most famous roles in “The Maltese Falcon,” as a private eye in one of the classic films noir. What was his name?
  1. His most famous movie, “Casablanca,” followed in 1943. He played the owner of Rick’s American Cafe in that Moroccan town. What was Rick’s last name?
  1. In 1948, Bogie starred in my favorite movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Although Walter Huston steals the movie, Bogie does great job as the vagrant who goes mad with gold fever. What was his name, including middle initial?
  1. Bogie finally won an Oscar in 1951 playing a drunken boat captain opposite Katharine Hepburn in “The African Queen.” What was his name in this classic?

Enjoy Your “Free” Copy

If you are a regular reader of ALIVE, you already know the answer to the question, “What makes ALIVE Magazine different from other local magazines?” I don’t need to tell you that our covers are unlike any other or that we generally have more editorial content than some magazines with three times as many pages. Why, from time to time—dare I say it—we even include some content that some consider “controversial.”  ALIVE 0713.qxd

We intentionally strive to provide something quite a bit different from the standard “lifestyle magazine,” because we know that, in the long run, it provides more value to both readers and advertisers. It’s a model that has worked well for nearly eleven years.

In addition to the mailed copies of ALIVE that are sent to subscribers, offices, and businesses, ALIVE is distributed each month to nearly 200 rack locations throughout the Diablo Valley, Tri Valley and Lamorinda Corridor. In fact, chances are, if you’re reading this, you probably picked up this free copy of ALIVE at one of those locations.

Now, here is the point I’d like to make: This issue of ALIVE isn’t really a “free” copy at all—someone, or some group, paid to have this very copy produced so that you could have the pleasure of reading it.

That “someone” just happens to be is our amazing, loyal advertisers—and I don’t use the word “loyal” frivolously. Indeed, many, like Fretwell’s Ethan Allen, Pattiv’s Jewelers, Katrina Rozelle, The Rouge Cosmetics, Dr. Donald Parsons, Sky Power Solar, Graham Hitch, Terry Thompson, Massage Envy, Align Healing Center, Dr. Robert Brown, Solar Technologies, Alamo Tax Service, Sentinels of Freedom, and Janna Chestnut, have been supporting ALIVE Magazine for many years—in fact, several have been with us since our very first issue in 2005.

Some advertisers that joined us more recently include Balanced Pain Management, Private Capital Investments, Diablo Valley College Foundation, and, last but not least, the newest member of our ALIVE family, Diablo Fine Jewelers in Alamo (please drop by for a visit and welcome them to the neighborhood).

So, as you enjoy this issue of ALIVE, please keep in mind that these fine businesses and professionals make it all happen. They are owned by and employ your neighbors and friends; they make our community the great place it is, but can only continue to do so with your ongoing patronage and support.



























Organic Perfumes Verses Synthetic Perfumes

I have had the pleasure over the years to travel to the South of France to discover new perfumes and to enjoy the artistry of perfume making by some of the most interesting Nose experts in the world. I love perfumes; I love the way a certain scent can transform the way you feel. It can lift your spirits, make you feel happy and can make you feel sexy and alive. I know a lot of girls love feeling beautiful in a delicious scent. Women love knowing that when they walk down the street, people are going to say “wow, she smells wonderful.” I want to help you find a natural organic perfume that is free of toxins and as unique as you are, while embracing your individuality.

I only wear natural and organic perfumes. I refuse to contribute to a poor air quality by wearing cheap, imitation scents. Synthetic fragrances are toxic, and I will have them nowhere near my body.

I would like to introduce to you one of my favorite organic perfume companies, called Fragonard Perfumery, located in France. It is one of the oldest perfumeries and one of the world’s foremost contemporary fragrance composer companies, offering unique scents for a new generation. You can’t get more organic than Fragonard; they grow all their own flowers for their perfumes in Grasse, right by the Mediterranean sea, where the flowers are so fragrant they couldn’t possibly, nor would they dare put synthetic chemicals in them, as that would ruin the exceptional aroma they already have.

Why Natural Perfumes?

• Whatever you put on your skin goes into your body.
• Synthetic perfumes “outgas” petrochemicals and hurt people sensitive to these chemicals.
• Fragrance chemicals are an environmental danger. The production, usage and disposal of them hurts us and the planet.
• The fragrance industry uses carcinogenic, neorotoxic, and chemical waste products derived from petroleum to make the scents that surround us every day. You then inhale these chemicals and apply them to your skin! Fragrances are the new second-hand smoke.
• Natural perfumes enhance your body’s own unique natural scent; synthetic fragrances cover it up.
• Natural aromas invoke deep emotional responses, your nose can tell synthetic from real, just like your feet can tell Astro Turf from real grass.
• You will love to know when wearing an organic fragrance it will not irritate other people.

Many of the modern perfumes you find at the mall are basically chemical soups wrapped in fancy packaging and marketed with million dollar ad campaigns.

Natural perfumes utilize natural plant extracts and essences, essential oils, resins, woods, flowers and spices. They are truly luxurious, and worth discovering and wearing. Natural perfumes do dissipate more quickly than synthetics (within a few hours), because they lack toxic scent-fixatives, but they can be reapplied to your liking.

The beautiful Organic Fragonard Perfume line will arrive at The Rouge Cosmetics in August. We are one of the first boutiques on the West Coast to carry this fine line of organic perfumes. Come visit us to discover how utterly divine organic perfumes are and how it will uplift the senses, mind and ground the body. There is something for everyone—feminine, sophisticated or modern—with many scents to choose from, in addition to new fragrances coming in every few months. Find out what the locals in France have been enjoying for years with this truly modern, eco-friendly perfume company, offering fine scents and organic body products. You will positively discover a new you, for sure.

He Said/She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear SSHS,

I have guests in my home quite regularly, and I’m getting fed up with all the dietary restrictions out there. From gluten and dairy-free to Vegans and Atkins, I feel like I’m running a restaurant when people come to stay. Any suggestions?                                             Juan Menu, Lafayette

concept of dietary restrictionsShe Said: Real food allergies and Celiac disease aside, it is not your obligation to check in with everyone coming to your lovely B&B to see what they will and will not eat. People are constantly jumping in and out of fad diets or eliminating food groups entirely, making it very difficult on hosts. I knew someone who went from Atkins to vegetarian in the same week, and expected everyone to oblige. That’s just bad manners. Do not cater to picky eaters. Issue your invitation and let all know what will be on the menu and that they are welcome to supplement their diets with items brought from home.

He Said: There’s nothing worse than taking the time and effort to host guests in your home then hearing them say they can’t eat this or that. It just makes you want to never have another guest in your house again. You can’t be expected to cater to everyone’s finicky food habits or needs so I suggest you politely ask ahead of time if they have any preferences. If any requests are unreasonable, then simply ask that they bring their own food that meets their needs or point them in the direction of the nearest store that has what they want. You’re providing the shelter and basic food, if they want more than that, that’s on them.

Dear HSSS,

A friend of a friend recently moved to the area, and I’ve been asked to show her around a bit and help her get acquainted with the area. I have a hectic work schedule and family life and really don’t have the time. Plus I don’t care for this person much. How can I get out of this?                         Janice, Danville


He Said: It’s always nice when a local can show a transplant around, but it’s not fair for a friend to expect this of you. First I would explain to your friend that you have other priorities and that you just can’t spare the time. Then, I would definitely let the friend know that you’re not fond of this person. If you don’t, this won’t be the last time this newbie reaches out to you. You can ask your friend to keep this info confidential or not, it’s really up to you. Also, there are literally a million social apps and websites where people can reach out and get info or meet people from an area when they move. Let the technology be their friend, not you.

She Said:  It’s time to just say no, and you will be amazed at how great that feels. You have little enough time as it is for your real obligations, and people will always ask, so it’s your job to protect your limited time. But, I do want to play devil’s advocate here a bit. You say you don’t care for this person, but how about inviting her to coffee when she arrives, telling her where some of your favorite hotspots are and giving her a second chance to be someone you do care for. Some of the best friendships start with two people not liking each other that much.  Her moving to the area could be a real game changer.


Robin Fahr is a communications specialist and host ofConversations seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at trivalleytv.org. Shawn and Robin also host He Said/She Said on       TheTalk Pod.com.  Send your questions to AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.