Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 'Avatar' effect

As I reported on my Examiner page, the blockbuster sci-fi movie Avatar just shattered the record for biggest grossing film of all time, raking in more than $1.843 billion (!) -- with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Indeed, pricey tickets at IMAX 3D theaters across the country (including in my South Florida area) are selling out show after show ... after show after show.

Not only that, but people are lining up more than once to pay for the pleasure of being immersed in the wondrous world created by James Cameron -- watching the adventures of the paraplegic hero Jake, as he interacts with the the fascinating race of the blue Na'vi on the luminescent moon of Pandora.

People like me -- someone who never pays to see a film twice on the big screen. Normally, I'll wait till it comes out on DVD or HBO for a second viewing, thank-you-very-much. But I found myself so taken with this film when I first saw it in 2D (how very ... archaic!!) that I'm anxious to see it in the format that Cameron intended -- glorious, lifelike 3D.

That, folks, is the Avatar effect.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The copywriter's conundrum

Oh, great! Just as I'm landing some significant gigs as a copywriter -- meaning, more time spent with my butt firmly planted in my seat, typing away on my PC -- comes news that prolonged sitting can shorten your lifespan. Considerably.

According to recent stories in both the L.A. Times and The Independent, a study out of Australia looked at the health effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and found that each hour a day spent watching TV was linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, and a 9% increased risk of death from cancer.

"The message here is that in addition to promoting regular exercise, we also need to promote avoiding long periods of sitting, such as spending long hours in front of the computer screen," said lead researcher Dr. David Dunstan, as quoted in the Times.

Well, isn't that easier said than done! When your entire career is based on -- ahem -- sitting at a computer screen, how the heck are you supposed to avoid this activity?

Short answer: You can't. And thus arises the copywriter's conundrum.

So, to battle not only the bulge that can arise from being inactive, but also, now, the health risks, it's more imperative than ever to find ways to work in short breaks in my day.

I've blogged about this before -- dispensing advice to get up regularly throughout your day and do some simple stretches and/or exercises (The Terrible Tuesdays, April 7 2009). Now, I just have to follow my own advice!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oops! You caught me looking backward

It had to happen sooner or later.

Ran into the ex last night at a happy hour/Haiti fund-raiser at a local bar we used to go to together.

I hadn't seen him in about six months, nor heard so much as a peep from him (well, OK, maybe a peep, literally -- a one-line e-mail wishing me happy birthday, a signed Christmas card, etc.).

We chatted briefly, engaging in a shallow conversation, before each of us moved off to socialize with different sets of people at the party.

And, even though we both have definitely moved on, it was much harder than I imagined it would be. Not so much wanting him back; but I guess maybe more the sense of rejection, that he seems so unconcerned with me and how I'm doing. (Of course that's the ego talking, the wish that I at least meant something significant to him from our time together!)

I've come to realize that what I miss the most is the partnership, having someone in your life to truly count on and share things with, to hang out with, to go places with, to consult with, to argue with, to make love with. I was seeking that (in the form of a long-term commitment), while he really wasn't -- and that's what ultimately drove us apart.

Yes, I've moved on. But that doesn't mean I'm immune from looking backward, wistfully, every once in awhile.

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's impossible to keep a secret on Facebook

I got a message from a Facebook friend yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010) clueing me in on a girls-only meme that was making the rounds on Facebook, whereby, as a sign of support for breast-cancer awareness, women were asked to put their bra color as a one (or two) word status update -- and, hush! -- keep it a secret from the guys!

Awesome! I thought, immediately complying, ("blue" it was!), before dutifully forwarding the message to dozens of my female FB friends.

And then I spent a good portion of that afternoon and evening refreshing my Live Feed so I could see how many gals had joined in on the fun -- and also read the men's puzzled comments to some of the updates. One guy even optimistically posted a link to a cool -- but misguided -- YouTube video about the color "black" in response to a posting with said color.

"Black" ... "Red" ... "Beige"... "Pale pink" ... "Leopard"(!) ... "None"(!!)

It was a hoot -- almost addictive, really.

Alas, as soon as today, the word started leaking out via public blogs about the FB craze; so that men are getting in on the secret, mere days after it began.

Too bad ...

It was fun while it lasted; but in the public realm that is Facebook, I guess secrets are almost impossible to keep!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The breakup guide for older singles

Having survived a breakup or two in my life, I've certainly found that it doesn't get any easier the older you get!

So, I wrote and posted a breaking-up how-to for Baby Boomers and seniors for AOL Personals. If you're ever in need of such advice (not that I'm wishing such a fate upon you -- oh, no, not at all!), check it out. It's titled How to Survive a Breakup: The Guide for Older Singles.

The bad news? We're not as flexible or quick to heal as our younger counterparts in the broken-hearts club. The good news? We're wiser and more resilient, so the part about being alone isn't quite so hard to take! In fact, most Baby Boomers rather enjoy their own company!

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