Monday, July 19, 2010

Pursuing Trivia

by Lorraine C. Brooks, MPH, CEAP

I recently read an article about Alzheimer’s Disease.  The article stated that research is being done which supports a theory that some forms of memory loss may be lessened if we begin to stimulate our brains when we are in our 40s and 50s, rather than waiting until the memory loss is more likely to be irreversible.  Apparently there is reason to believe that if you fuel your brain and keep it active, it will remain healthy longer.  Sort of like regular exercise.  I called my friend Liz to tell her this great news. Or was it Toni?  No, it was Liz.

“Liz, I have an idea. You know how we’re always saying that we can’t remember anything?  Well, I just read this article that says we have to give our brains regular exercise, you know, like with muscles, so they won’t atrophy.”

“Who is this?”

“Liz, it’s me. Lorraine.  Remember, we went to college together?”

“Oh yes…of course. But what’s all this about our brains and our muscles?  Didn’t I get a bicycle when you were into biking?  Didn’t I buy a catcher’s mitt when you decided that we should compete in the softball toss at the school reunion?   I still have that mark on my chin from the stitches.  Remember when we went to that Richard Simmons ‘Sweatin’ With the Oldies’ convention?  Little did we know that the ‘oldies’ he was referring to was US, not the music.  Remember that we couldn’t sit down for a week?   I have a closet full of fitness tapes, and I still weigh 200 pounds. Now you are actually suggesting that we need to exercise our brains?  I think I’ll pass.”

“No, no, listen. I read this article that said we need to use our brains more while we’re still young enough to remember things.”

“Have you looked at a calendar lately?  I think it’s too late.”

“Come on, Liz, let’s at least try this.  Maybe we should start to stimulate our brains NOW, so that we can postpone anything.  I was thinking about a game of Trivial Pursuit this Friday.”

“OK.  I guess I’ll try it.  I have nothing else to do anyway.  At least nothing I can remember.”

On Friday night, myself, Liz, and four other friends gathered at my house for a game of Trivial Pursuit.  In order to make it somewhat competitive, I chose the “Baby Boomer” edition, figuring that we had a chance to get some of the answers right without too much trouble.  This would bolster our egos, and also exercise our brains at the same time.  Simply brilliant, I thought!

We formed 3 teams of 2.  My partner was Eugenia.  Eugenia was smart (she is a social worker), so I figured this was a good coup.  My team had a pretty good chance of winning. After all I was the host, so I didn’t want to look bad.  Liz’s partner was Mattie, and Toni and Cheryl were the third team.  

Toni and Cheryl went first, and landed on “Television”.

“Who was the first star of the show ‘Larry’s World’?”

“OK, I know this”, says Cheryl.  “Give me a second. I know he was married to that woman who starred in that show about the husband with the 3 disabled know who I mean.  She did that commercial for that shampoo that made you sing in the shower…”

“Yeah, I do.  He was also in that movie with the guy who broke his arm in that accident on the set, and they had to replace him with that other guy who had that game show where people had to do all these crazy stunts with people they didn’t know…”

“Riiiight...he was diagnosed with cancer and then he made a miraculous recovery after going to Mexico for some alternative treatments with coffee grounds and yucca seeds. His son is a basketball player...”

“Oh yeah, that’s right.  And he is married to the girl who sings with that country and western group that recently sang at the White House…”

“No, that was that other group.  She plays the guitar, but she sings more pop stuff.  That song about platform shoes…”

“That’s who I meant! Now what is his name?”

“I know the name of the show, does that count?”

“No.  They told you the name of the show.  The question asks who HE is, not the name of the show.”

“I think I’m getting a charley horse in my cerebellum.”

“Me too.  Maybe we need to warm up first.”

“How do you warm up your brain?”

“Maybe pour hot coffee into your ears?”

“Come on now, let’s be serious.  Could we just focus?”

“OK, OK…back to the question.  What was the question again?”

“How many times did Babe Ruth strike out?”

“Oh, that’s easy. 1330.”

“Wait a minute. You know how many times Babe Ruth struck out, but you can’t answer the question, ‘who was the first star of Larry’s World’?”

“My son is a baseball stat freak.”

“Is he still seeing that girl you didn’t like?  The one with the tattoo on her nose?”

“No, my husband finally convinced him that she was a little flaky.  Now he’s seeing some chick who drives one of those little “green” things, you know, the ones that run on cow dung or something?”

“They don’t run on cow dung.  Don’t they use kitty litter?”

“Cows, cats…what’s the difference?  The point is, she’s green.”

“Must be the make up she uses.  I notice a little green tinge when I use that off-brand stuff.”

I sit back in my chair and wonder where it all went wrong.  I guess the important thing is that we were having fun.  After all is said and done, these are the women I will probably be sitting with in our rocking chairs on the porch of the nursing home. Hopefully we will still be having fun and looking back on the night we played Trivial Pursuit.  Or was it Yahtzee?


Lorraine C. Brooks, MPH, CEAP is a native New Yorker who is, among other things, an actor, writer, and producer of documentary films and videos.  Her works in progress include "Passion: Inside the Hearts of Women", and  the documentary film "Affectionately for Adelita: The Life and Work of Adele Geraghty".  She recently published her first book of poetry, Riding the Wave, BTS Books, 2010.  She is actively involved with Safe Horizons, and the Purple Ribbon Council, both of which assist victims and survivors of domestic violence. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Enjoy the Sun and Protect your Skin!

by Candy Dye
Apriori Representative

Ever wonder how those beautiful, warm rays of the sun can have such long lasting and damaging effects on your skin?

Like a straightened rainbow, you can picture the spectrum of sunlight with the red, orange and yellow wavelengths being the longest and making up infrared light.  As wavelengths shorten, green and blue light speeds up into indigo blue and violet colors, which are visible and contain Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays.  These are the rays that cause sun damage to our skin.

UVA rays are the ones that cause tanning and premature skin aging – I like to think of the A in UVA for Aging. UVB rays, cause sunburn and skin damage, which I like to think of the B standing for Burn. Both types of radiation can lead to photoaging (wrinkles and leathery skin) and skin cancer.

Repeated sunburning speeds up the aging appearance of your skin, caused by loosening of your collagen and elastin which are like your own skin’s natural girdle or support, skin thinning with underlying blood vessels more visible, leathery and rough skin texture, and the appearance of freckles and age spots.

When I asked my dermatologist what he would say to you about preventing sun damage, he told me how surprised he was that so many people are more concerned with finding treatments for their wrinkles than preventing them. He recommended staying out of sun during peak hours of 10 am – 4 pm, regular use of sunscreen, reapplying every couple of hours, and keeping hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Wearing a hat and lightweight clothing is great if you are very fair skinned.

When you are looking for a good SPF lotion, make sure you find one that provides protection for UVA AND UVB rays. In a recent article in The Orange County Register (June 16, 2010), “Shedding Light On Sunscreen Debate”, author Landon Hall says in discussing the right amount of SPF to use, “the level of protection climbs only a little the higher you go.  SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, the short-wave radiation that causes sunburn: SPF 30 blocks 97%; and SPF 50 blocks 98%.  There’s no sunscreen that blocks 100% of the rays.  SPF doesn’t apply to UVA rays, which penetrate more deeply into the skin and can cause wrinkles, freckles and other signs of premature aging over time.  Shop for sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.”

Then there is the need for your daily dose of Vitamin D, which you can easily achieve with 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. Vitamin D is an important topic for another time, as it has great implications for our immune systems, and bones. Suffice it here to say that a little sun is good, and too much can be harmful.

Enjoy being outdoors during the warm months using preventative measures to protect your beautiful skin from long lasting damage and keep drinking water all day long!

Thanks for stopping by and “Making My Life Beautiful”!

Candy Dye loves everything about wellness and beauty which has brought her to Apriori Beauty!

Because the condition of your skin is a result of what is going on inside of your body, the science of Nutrigenomics - the effects of specific nutrients on your cells and genes, which can prevent degenerative diseases - is being embraced by both the scientific research world and skin care products industry.

This is the science upon which Apriori Beauty products are founded. "Apriori Beauty's mission is to help women look and feel beautiful with the purest, most-natural and most-innovative products and opportunity. When you look beautiful, you feel good. When you feel beautiful, you look good. And, when you can share this beauty with others, you can feel good inside and out. Beauty from personal success will also be key to success."

A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she also currently teaches in University of California Irvine's Nursing Program. Candy also shares health, wellness and beauty tips on her blog ( ) and on twitter (@candydye). This week she was listed as one of the Top 25 Nurse Practitioners on Twitter. WAY TO GO CANDY!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

When Will Society Stop Slamming Cougar Love?

Linda Franklin

After appearing on the  Joy Behar Show  recently, I got a flood of emails asking  - who was that guy on television with you? He most definitely raised the hackles on the backs of lots of women, but I guess he feels that's his job.  His name is Steve Ward and he is a  self-proclaimed “dating pathologist” who appears on VH''s Tough Love .

I got the impression that Mr. Ward doesn't like women very much and particularly women over 40. The Behar segment focused on cougar relationships and Steve doesn't approve of them. He thinks the guys are only there for sex and/or money, but who cares what he thinks?

I want to share with you just one of the hundreds of emails I received extolling the many virtues of cougar relationships. These fabulous females are sharing their lives with men who love and adore them. They have stopped listening to the advice of other people and started to listen to their own hearts. The results have been outstanding. What follows illustrates what I am saying.

"Linda, I haven't written to you in quite a while, but the catalyst for this note was your appearance on the Joy Behar Show the other night. As usual, you were well-spoken, fabulous and gorgeous, but that idiot who shared the space with you was so insulting and off base (I can't even remember his name), I just had to write and tell you that I couldn't believe it.)

"My husband is 48 and I will be 66 in March. We just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and have been together now for almost 22 years. Both of us are very active and enjoy life and enjoy each other. We are a loving, supportive couple. My husband is still advancing in his career and I am happily retired from mine. We adore my two daughters and four grandchildren. The age difference never bothers us, and he is definitely more mature than I am and always has been. Our marriage is better than most and I so resent that man's attitude." 

That's what I keep hearing from women all over the world. Can they all be smoking funny stuff? Cougar relationships, like all other relationships, flourish when you put in the time and effort to make them work. So Mr. Ward before you go around making ridiculous statements about who should love whom, maybe you had better take a closer look at what love really is.


Linda Franklin is the author of 
Don't Ever Call Me Ma’am: The Real Cougar Woman Handbook>
  and the founder of TheRealCougarWoman.c <