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Middle Age

August 4, 2012 | By Carla Malden, Special to the Los Angeles Times
We went for it anyway ... even though we were geographically undesirable. Love knows no bounds, right? So we flew in the face of reason and committed to a commuter relationship. If it weren't for the vexing distance between us, we'd be the inspiration for a Lifetime movie. His marriage officially dissolved the same week my husband died 51/2 years ago. Middle-aged, hearts trampled, we rediscovered joy and magic and all those things supposedly reserved for the young. We'd been friends for 30 years.
June 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
A Hologram for the King A Novel Dave Eggers McSweeney's: 328 pp., $25 More than any other writer of his generation, Dave Eggers is a brand. The 42-year-old author is accomplished in many fields - he's the founder of McSweeney's, a successful independent publishing house and innovative literary journal that grew out of a still-vital humor website. He's the head of the multi-city literacy nonprofit 826, which is partly supported by whimsical storefronts like the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store.
March 1, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The myth that you sleep worse as you get older isn't true, scientists argued in a study published Thursday. While older people may have more sleep disturbances than younger people, those problems are linked to illnesses and health issues and have little to do with aging, researchers said. The  study , published in the journal Sleep, examined sleep quality in a more than 150,000 Americans. The survey participants were asked about sleep quality, sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue as well as many questions on race, income, education, mood and their general health.
February 7, 2012 | Chris Erskine
Here's the instruction book for the newest/oldest/oddest sport you'll hear-ye, hear-ye about today: First, you dress like a Buick. Next, you mount a horse. (I know what you're thinking — nothing out of the ordinary so far.) Third, you charge at full gallop toward your opponent, then attempt to bosom him off his horse with an 11-foot lance. You get 10 points if you "de-horse" him (my new favorite verb). Five points if you shatter your lance against the opposing tin man. If you woke up this morning thinking that life no longer excites you, that Wednesday is the same as Thursday, that there's nothing to hold your attention now that football season has expired, meet full metal jousting, a renaissance of the Renaissance.
January 14, 2012 | Chris Erskine
Resolutions? Nothing serious. I'd like to keep Iran from closing the Strait of Hormuz. I'd like to read more political biographies. I'd like to lose 1.3 pounds. I have suddenly found myself at the age at which I need to exercise more but doing so leaves me achy, as if my joints are separating. It becomes a Catch-22 of New Year's resolutions. To feel better, you must work out, but you can't because it hurts. January, huh? Our purgatory of self-improvement. Adding to my predicament is that my Sunday touch football league, formerly made up of overweight litigators, TV types and scrawny scribes, now includes a crew member from the rapper band LMFAO.
January 6, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Cognitive decline may start earlier than previously thought - about age 45, according to a study released this week - but that doesn't mean those hitting middle age should think their brain functions are doomed. "I think the notion that we do things as well when we're older as when we're younger is not that tenable," said Dr. Marc L. Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital and an Alzheimer's disease researcher at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research , both in New York.
January 5, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
If you're waiting for old age to see signs of cognitive decline, don't hold your breath. A study finds that brain function could start falling off in middle age. Researchers gave a number of cognitive tests to 5,198 men and 2,192 women ages 45 to 70 three times over the course of 10 years. The study participants were assessed on memory, reasoning, vocabulary and aural and visual comprehension. Declines were seen in all areas except for vocabulary, and as people got older there was a faster drop.
December 7, 2011 | By Marcia Adair, Special to the Los Angeles Times
We have a love/hate relationship with Christmas carols. By the time Thanksgiving has rolled past, the limp versions favored by malls and their ilk have sucked the life out of even the best of them. But of course in the right hands, these evergreens can be full of energy and good cheer. Only grinches could hate on a candlelit chorus of "Silent Night" or a choir, brass and organ rendering of "Adeste Fideles. " Several big caroling concerts are coming to town. Non-singers may enjoy the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Festival of Carols, while those who like to belt out a tune or 10 will find the Holiday Sing-Along at Disney Hall just the ticket.
October 15, 2011 | Chris Erskine
For me, exasperation is a form of exercise. You should've seen me at the soccer game Saturday, big gasping breaths as if drowning. I recommend it to anyone looking to lose a few pounds while tiptoeing the fine line between sanity and suburbia. "You look like you've lost weight," our friend Barbara said after the game. "I'm mostly wasting away," I explained. "You look good," she said. Thanks. The team performed well, except that in the second quarter I realized that my players seemed unable to run sideways.
September 7, 2011 | By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times
Sister Margaret Farrell peers uncertainly over her shoulder as she tries to maneuver a lumbering minivan across several lanes of morning traffic on the Hollywood Freeway. "I used to drive a cute little nun's car," she says, shaking her head. Her 23-year-old passenger, Leane, chuckles and leans out the window to guide her. They make a cheerful pair: the Irish nun and the transgender woman. Audio slideshow: An unlikely friendship Leane was kicked out of home at 13 and spent years cycling between group homes and the streets.
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