Friday, February 26, 2010

The Dalia Lama and I ...

... hung out together the other day. And, even though there were about 3,000 other people in the room with us, I felt the intimate pull of this most holy and wise man for the hour and a half that he was present in the auditorium.

For more details on the Dalai Lama's visit Wednesday (Feb. 24) to Florida Atlantic University, check out my story for Examiner. The report even contains many useful quotes from Tibet's spiritual leader ... feel free to spread them around!

OK, I'll start:

"Inner strength, inner peace and self confidence lead to lasting joyfulness."

Vote for me!

I've never been one for avid self-promotion, so this blog title already doesn't sit too well with me.

But, a friend of mine nominated this blog, Middle-Age Sexy, for a bunch of South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best of Blog awards. The voting has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now, and the contest is fast winding down. (In case you want to support a starving -- but sexy! -- middle-aged blogger, go to the BOB Awards voting site and vote! I'm in several categories: humor, defies categorization, personal, and best overall.)

The prize is $100 -- which would be the first money I'd ever earned from this particular labor of love. Of course, I'm not even in the top three in any of the categories, so I'm not holding out much hope of scoring a cool hundred bucks.

But I am looking forward to attending the BOB Awards party, which occurs next Wednesday (March 3) in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I'm going to go with my friend, Gail, whose excellent blog, Shrinking Sisters, is also a multiple nominee.

As two escapees from the Sun-Sentinel (and yes, we do consider ourselves as having escaped that place!), Gail and I are looking forward to checking out the old "nabe" -- as well as networking with other bloggers. We've even heard there's going to be some free food! (Hey, we're bloggers: Will socialize for food ...)

I'll let ya know if I win anything. It would be an unexpected honor, that's for sure!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I have a date with the Dalai Lama ...

Well, me and about 5,000 other people!

I was lucky enough to score a ticket to hear the Tibetan spiritual leader speak at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton next Wednesday (Feb. 24). As a graduate student of the university, I was eligible to enter a student lottery for a free ticket -- and I won in the second round of drawings! Woo-hoot!

The Dalai Lama will talk about "Compassion as a Pillar of World Peace." I plan to take notes and report on his speech in my capacity as the WPB Health and Happiness Examiner. I've already posted an article for Examiner outlining the ongoing events on campus celebrating "Peace Week" leading up to the Dalai Lama's appearance. Check it out! And stay tuned for the report ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

New economy, new attitude

While enjoying my 9:30 a.m. yoga class this morning, I glanced around the room of 22 or so students, and noticed that almost all of us "regulars" are Baby Boomers -- from 40-something to early 60s or so. Meanwhile, lots of other Boomers were out in the gym, exercising on machines, in the circuit, with weights, etc.

Hmmm, I thought. It's interesting that so many people in this age group are able to attend a class that clearly falls during the 9-5 workday.

Though it's probably a combination of factors (retirees, people on flex time, housewives, etc.), I suspect that many are, like me, working as a freelancer or a consultant these days.

It's no secret that middle-aged workers have borne the brunt of the downsizing fever these past couple of years, as employers, eyeing only the bottom line, gleefully cut us loose from our well-paying positions. After eking it out on unemployment, applying for the few paltry jobs out there, and getting thoroughly discouraged, many Boomers seem to have found their way into the world of self-employment -- via contract, freelance or consulting jobs.

And I'd be willing to bet that they're loving it! This lifestyle gives you independence, freedom and flexibility -- especially if you can land some well-paying gigs.

Want to go to a 9:30 weekday exercise class? Planning to meet a friend for a leisurely two-hour lunch? Feel like popping in a load of laundry so it doesn't pile up so much? Go for it!

Think better after midnight when the kids are asleep and the house is quiet? Work more efficiently in smaller bursts as opposed to a drawn-out, eight-hour day? Want to tackle some projects in the evening while the TV is on in the background? Go for it!

After spending much of our lives as drones for some big, soulless corporation, it's nice to finally see what real life balance can look like. And you know what, I'm thinking this might just come back to bite said corporations in the butt -- big-time.

For, when they start hiring again and needing quality workers, they're probably going to cast desirous glances our way. After all, the things middle-aged workers bring to the job -- our experience, our wisdom, our work ethic, our focus, our maturity, our knowledge -- are things that benefit the bottom line in the long run. And the things we lack -- shallowness, entitlement, it's-all-about-me drama, callowness -- are found in abundance in the rest of the employee pool!

I don't know about you, fellow Baby Boomer, but the new economy has given me a new attitude. When these companies crook their fingers, I'm not going to go running back to them with my tail between my legs.

Sorry, no -- I've got a yoga class to catch!

Friday, February 12, 2010

More chocolatey-good news!

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, comes a research report that reiterates the benefits attributed to dark chocolate. Yummy news, indeed!

According to a story in, researchers in Toronto compiled results from several studies to conclude that eating dark chocolate seems to lower your risk of stroke or lessen the chance of death after a stroke.

It's the antioxidants in dark chocolate called flavonoids that are credited with a growing list of health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure and helping battle heart disease (or so says Web MD) .

But of course this good news comes with a caveat: Chocolate should be consumed in moderation.

Nutritionist Keith-Thomas Ayoob, a professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, was quoted by HealthDay as saying: "It's nice to know that chocolate isn't bad for you, assuming you eat modest amounts and don't become overweight by overeating it."

Yes, indeed!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

That's entertainment!

I've had a great week entertainment -- both the live and screen versions.

First, I caught a showing of the wonderful production now playing at the Delray Beach Playhouse, an all-female musical review titled A .. My Name Will Always Be Alice (lame title, yes, but an awesome show!) It's playing through Feb. 14; see my Examiner review for more details. By all means, go see it -- if you can get seats! Positive buzz has spread, and tickets are selling out.

Speaking of sold-out showings: Went to see Avatar in 3D at the IMAX last night (Feb. 5), a plan that I blogged about in my last post, "The Avatar effect." All of the seats for our showing at 7:50 p.m. were filled, and as we left the theater, it looked like sold-out line for the later showing, too.

I'm so glad I went! Having seen the movie before, I was free to concentrate on the visuals: the lifelike, eye-popping 3D effects; the glorious, luminescent colors; the athletic, graceful -- and blue -- Na'vi people; the wondrous and fearsome flora and fauna; and the incredibly intricate details that filled the screen, top-to-bottom and side-to-side.

What a film! It's an instant classic -- sure to be talked about, analyzed, duplicated, and viewed for decades to come. And there's already talk of a sequel. Can't wait!

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