Back on “American Idol” duty

February 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

American IdolI’m blogging about “American Idol” for the Los Angeles Times again this season. It’s my third time around on Showtracker “Idol” duty, and I’m looking forward to a great Season 11. If the auditions, which just wrapped up in St. Louis, are any indication, we’ll see a lot of talent crowding the stage in Hollywood. (Hooray for that!) “Idol” judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will have their work cut out for them when it comes to winnowing down the masses to a handful of finalists. Of course, there are always a few contestants who start out strong, only to take a heartbreaking tumble when the going gets tough in Tinseltown. Who will it be? Stay tuned …

Showtracker: “American Idol” recaps (Los Angeles Times)

The “Glee” gang heads toward graduation

January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Glee“Glee” has rounded the corner to the second half of its third season. As Rachel, Finn, Kurt and other New Directions members contemplate life after McKinley High, I continue to chart their high school heartaches and hard choices in the Los Angeles Times’ TV blog, Showtracker. Will Finn and Rachel marry? Will New Directions thwart that villain Sebastian and beat Dalton’s Warblers at Regionals? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.

Showtracker: “Glee” recaps (Los Angeles Times)

“The X Factor” crowns a winner

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

It took many “X Factor” viewers a long time to forgive judge Simon Cowell for sending the show’s eventual winner, Melanie Amaro, home early in the show’s first season — only to dramatically bring her back again — but Amaro said she didn’t find it difficult to let Cowell off the hook for his mistake. “He was so sincere about coming back to my house and apologizing about everything that I could not stay mad at all,” she told me during a conference call the day after her big win. “I mean, I was hurt at first, but I forgave and forgot and let go. I really made peace with it.”

So what does the 19-year-old singer plan to do with her $5 million “X Factor” payday? “I’m definitely going to buy myself a foot massager and buy my mom a new house,” she said.

You can read more of what Amaro had to say here and find my full coverage of season one of “The X Factor” (lots and lots of recaps) in the Los Angeles Times here.

Showtracker: “The X Factor” recaps (Los Angeles Times)

A parent, yes, but not only that

November 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Every once in a while, life throws at you a moment that shifts your perspective as if someone has bumped your viewfinder, leaving you scrambling to refocus. These moments, by definition, happen when you least expect them. I had one while sitting in my hairdresser’s chair.

I was making conversation, as one does, with this woman who’d been cutting my hair for a few years, and she started rattling off the reasons she loved the location of her Brooklyn storefront shop. “I get all sorts of different kinds of customers,” she said. “Artists, writers, dancers, actresses, lawyers, businesswomen …”

When I replay this part in my mind, as I often do, I always pause for a split-second to prepare for what I was unprepared for at the time.

“… moms.” …

Don’t Call Me a Mom (Newsweek/Daily Beast)

No more Ms. Nice Guy

October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Being a jerk paysFor years, I tried to be a very nice person at work—a dream colleague, a team player, the sort of woman who gave women a good name in the workplace. I thanked people. I apologized. I expressed concern. I took responsibility for making things right, even when I wasn’t the one who had made them go wrong. Then one day I looked up from my under-challenging, midlevel job and noticed that my boss, who was generally regarded as kind of a jerk, but a smart and talented one, never, ever thanked people. He never apologized. And he didn’t appear to give a rip about what was going on in the lives of anyone around him. He never took responsibility when things went wrong, preferring instead to label someone else the culprit and chew them out.

It suddenly occurred to me: he had gained responsibility, power and a big, cushy salary not despite the fact that he was a jerk, but because of it …

Why Being a Jerk at Work Pays (Newsweek/Daily Beast)

Stirring things up

October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

My take on timely parenting and health issues and breaking news? I give it to readers straight on CafeMom’s The Stir. This blog parses news and current events from a parent’s perspective — and gets readers talking about everything from the latest health studies to the latest antics of our favorite celebrities to the concerns and joys of parenting. A fun mix, to be sure.

The Stir blog posts (Cafe Mom)

A first foray into e-books

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Welcome to My WorldWho has it worse: stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms or moms who work outside the house? There are as many answers to that question as there are mothers in the world. Editor Sarah Bryden-Brown has compiled 13 of those myriad answers (one of them mine) in a new e-book called “Welcome to My World.” In it, you’ll find evidence that the struggle to balance the demands (and rewards) of family with the demands (and rewards) of career includes no easy answers – just temporary solutions for how to get through each day without doing irreparable damage to our children, our identities, our aspirations and our ability to pull in a paycheck. The life of the working parent (and all parents are working parents) isn’t always easy, but downloading this highly readable e-book for Kindle or Nook is. My essay is called “Momming in the Middle” and it can be found, appropriately enough, about midway through the collection.

“Welcome to My Word” on Amazon (and Barnes & Noble)