January 21, 2013
August 22, 2012
Anne Sweeney, co-chair of the Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, said:
Given the passionate fan base ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ has built over the past decade and the show’s ratings and creative momentum this season, the time is right to make this move. There is the potential for far greater upside over the long term with this shift, given increased advertiser demand for competitive entertainment programming in the time slot.
Nothing against Jimmy Kimmel, but the move will also banish "Nightline" to the late night nether regions. Not that the show isn't already a shell of its former self when Ted Koppel was the anchor, but it's a bit disheartening to see what was once a bastion of journalistic excellence swapped out for another comedy/chat show.
ABC is throwing "Nightline" a bone by launching a Friday night, primetime edition at 9pm beginning next March, but it remains to be seen if the show will become more than just "20/20"-lite.
August 21, 2012
The two women admitted were former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore.
And though I love Condi Rice and think as an avid golfer, she's a great candidate, the cynic in me can't help thinking the old boys at Augusta wanted to break the woman barrier and the black woman barrier all in one shot.
This falls into the "it's about time" category, but I guess better late than never.
August 18, 2012
August 15, 2012
Recently I discovered that my name, address and phone number were coming up in Google searches of my name, without my knowledge. It took me a couple of hours of searching, reading, testing and more testing to have that personal information removed. If you've had the same thing happen to you, listen up because I'm about to share my valuable, Yoda-like knowledge with you.
First a little background, I've been working on my own professional website for the last couple of months. It's a site with links to my writing, an about page, a page with my video work and a page with a copy of my resume, including a link to a resume PDF so prospective employers can download it. Because the site is still a work in progress, I put a password on it.
I also Google myself and my blog URL on a fairly regular basis. It's how I find out if someone's stealing my posts, and how I find out if someone's saying good things about me or, God forbid, bad things about me.
So there I am, Googling myself, and among the results is the PDF file I uploaded of my resume, with an excerpt of the top of the page, including my name, address and phone number.
As an example, let's say my name is Jane Doe and my professional site is JaneDoe.com. The Google search for Jane Doe came up like this:
Notice how Jane's address, phone number and email address are included in the excerpt of the search result. Not what she or I wanted.
August 14, 2012
Two of my favorite people were on Jay Leno last night and that almost never happens so I had to take note. First lady Michelle Obama chatted with Jay about the Olympics and how the secret service nearly tackled a little girl to make sure the First Lady was safe.
Then Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas showed off her two gold medals. She chatted with Jay and Michelle Obama about how her training, and how she celebrated winning her medals with an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's.
By the way, for all you obsessive, compulsives who tend to focus on the totally unimportant, her hair looked fabulous!!
August 12, 2012
Everyone's talking and writing about Mitt Romney's VP pick, Wisconsin congressman, Paul Ryan. But what they won't tell you are a few select tidbits I discovered for myself.
1. Ryan has the prettiest eyes of any Republican ever. They're like a cross between blue and sea foam green. I mean have you seen them? They're like something a fairy from another planet would bestow on a human baby, they're that pretty.
2. Within minutes of Romney's announcement, Paul Ryan's cowlick set up a Twitter account: @PaulRyanCowlick. One of his best tweets:
— Paul Ryan's Cowlick (@PaulRyanCowlick) August 11, 2012
Unfortunately he only has 65 followers, but give him time. Give him time.
4. The reason the Romney campaign used Jerry Goldsmith's theme from the film "Air Force One" for Ryan's introduction is because as a child, Ryan has a cameo in the film. He's one of those guys on the tarmac looking gobsmacked after the highjackers get the plane back in the air. His closeup was cut because Harrison Ford insisted no one in the film could have eyes prettier than his.
5. Many people know that Ryan loves fly fishing, but what they may not know is that he learned the skill as a child using sneaker laces and his goldfish named Sam.
As I find out more, I'll be sure to share it.
August 02, 2012
She'll be there talking about her foundation which provides college tuition assistance for deserving young women.
Last week, I had the pleasure of being a BlogHer guest at the New Orleans in the Hamptons Gala, a fundraiser for the Soledad O'Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation. Several of the young women who've benefitted from the foundation spoke and were truly inspiring.
And since the theme of the party was New Orleans in the Hamptons, it was appropriate that the evening was as warm and steamy as any New Orleans summer night. The food was fabulous, the music had the joint jumping and my dinner companions were amazing!
They included BlogHer co-founders, Lisa Stone and Elisa Camamhort Page, BlogHer editor-in-chief, Stacy Morrison, Isabel Kallman of Alpha Mom, Marinka of Motherhood in NYC, Nikki Ogunnaike, online style editor at Glamour.com and Jenni from I Spy DIY.
On to BlogHer '12!
August 01, 2012
Today we are honored to announce that President Barack Obama will address the BlogHer '12 audience at 4:30PM Thursday, August 2, via live video feed. We will gather in the Grand Ballroom at the New York Hilton to hear from the president live, and understand why he has chosen to make this rare conference appearance. We will be recording the video and posting it as soon as we can post-appearance. All conference passes, from day passes to party and/or expo passes to full passes will be granted admission to this special event.
I was already jazzed about BlogHer '12 returning to New York this week, but now I really can't wait!
July 24, 2012
It’s not just a sweet, sweet fantasy: They belong together. Yes indeed, after several days of intense speculation, Fox announced at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills Monday that Mariah Carey has officially signed on as an American Idol judge for the show’s upcoming 12th season.
This is a great choice for "Idol" to infuse some new judging blood into what has become stale television. And as long as she gets away from the "you look beautiful tonight" kind of comments, she'll already be ahead of the game.
Now if they would just add Adam Lambert to the judging panel, I would be a true happy "Idol" camper!
What do you think?
July 19, 2012
In fact, along with some Emmy stalwarts like "Modern Family" and "Mad Men," the Brits gave the American nominees a run for their money this year.
On the British side: "Downton Abbey:" 16, "Sherlock, A Scandal in Belgravia:" 13, "Game of Thrones:" 11, and "Homeland," which stars Brit, Damian Lewis: 9.
On the American side: "Mad Men: 17," "Modern Family:" 14,"Breaking Bad: 13."
The most pleasant surprises:
- "Game of Thrones" being nominated for Best Drama
- "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia" being nominated at all
- Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) being nominated for "Sherlock"
- Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) being nominated for "Downton Abbey"
- Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham) being nominated for "Downton Abbey"
- Jared Harris (Lane Pryce) being nominated for "Mad Men" (Did you know he was the late Richard Harris' son?)
- Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) being nominated for "The Big Bang Theory"
Damian Lewis is a newbie to the nominations as are Cumberbatch, Dockery, and Bonneville. In fact several of the British newbies could put a big dent in the American Emmy goodie bags.
But Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison (photo above) in "Homeland" is the only acting nominee that I'd bet my entire fortune on since she's as great a lock as there's ever been in the whole history of the Emmy awards. I kid you not.
Welcome repeat nominees are the marvelous Peter Dinklage as the imp Tyrion Lannister in "Game of Thrones" (pictured left), Maggie Smith as the hoot and a half Dowager Countess in "Downton Abbey," and the incomparable Jim Parsons as the brilliant but coo coo for Cocoa Puffs, Dr. Sheldon Cooper in "The Big Bang Theory."
As expected, Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson were nominated for the John McCain/Sarah Palin HBO saga, "Game Change."
The biggest snub off the top of my head was Hugh Laurie not being nominated for his last season of "House."
You can see the complete list of nominees on the Emmy website and you can see who wins when the 64th annual primetime Emmy awards airs on September 23rd on ABC.
"Homeland" Image Courtesy: Showtime
"Game of Thrones" Image Courtesy: HBO
July 18, 2012
I've got some info about a new Dove body wash, and a chance for you to win a Spafinder gift certificate! First a few details about the product and then at the end of this post check for details on how you can win.
Full disclosure: this is a paid BlogHer review, but y'all know I wouldn't steer you wrong--paid or not!
I've used Dove soap for years because I suffer from eczema and need to use the least irritating skin cleansers and moisturizers I possibly can.
Dove soap was gentle to my skin and never left it dry like many other soaps that were supposedly for sensitive skin.
So I jumped at the chance to try out Dove's new VisibleCare Softening Crème Body Wash. I've been using it pretty much every day since I got it and I have to say the body wash lives up to the Dove name and reputation.
The body wash is not a gel, but a thick, white cream and works up to a frothy lather. It's got a subtle floral scent and like Dove soap, didn't dry out my skin. There are three versions of the new body wash: a renewing creme, a toning creme, and a softening creme.
I received the softening creme to try out and it lived up to the Dove reputation of leaving my skin soft and moist. To maintain moisture in my skin after showering, I often use a little body oil before I towel dry, and I found that after using the Dove softening body wash, my skin maintained the moisture even longer than it usually does.
Some of you know I'm a huge tennis fan and played quite a bit until just a couple of years ago when I injured my shoulder. In the last two months I've started playing again and once I get off the court, I can't wait to get in the shower.
Using this Dove body wash with a natural loofah sponge has cleaned off the sweat and grime of the tennis court and left my skin feeling pampered and refreshed when I emerge from the shower. That's especially nice while we in the northeast have suffered through many days of over 90 degree summer weather.
So if like me, you have sensitive skin, I would give the new Dove VisibleCare Softening Crème Body Wash a try. If you do, let me know what you think.
An 18 fl. oz bottle has a suggested retail price of $6.69, but visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!
Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
COMMENTS TO THIS POST ARE NOT SWEEPSTAKES ENTRIES. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR ENTRY METHODS FOR THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 - 8/22/2012
Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!
July 12, 2012
On Wednesday, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to the 103rd NAACP convention in Houston, Texas. He made his case before a skeptical African American audience that if they helped elect him into office, he would do more to improve the lives of black people in this country than Barack Obama has in the last four years -- or will in the next.
Romney talked about how he would create jobs by implementing a five point plan that would include increasing free trade, encouraging entrepreneurship, taking advantage of energy resources, and getting rid of "high taxation" and "destructive labor policies." He said he would be good for all Americans and especially black people who have a higher unemployment rate than the general population.
And while the majority of the headlines touted how Romney was booed, making it seem like a bad talent show night at the Apollo, I listened to the entire, nearly 24 minute speech, and Romney was only vigorously booed once, when he promised to repeal "Obamacare."
July 07, 2012
I'm so sad to hear the news that you and Katie Holmes are breaking up. It feels like just yesterday when you stomped your pricey Brionis all over my buttery soft cushions. Never had a chance to tell you this before but that hurt!
I've cradled some major celebrity butts in my time but did you have to pop up and down like I was a trampoline!? That little stunt made me almost as famous as you and Oprah put together, and kept me from ending up on Ebay once "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was over, but my springs were sore for a week!
There you were whoopin' and hollerin' and acting like a love struck fool, grabbing onto Oprah and screaming that you were "in love." You don't even want to know what Oprah had to say about your antics once you left.
The press called you crazy and me a yellow couch. They were wrong on both counts. You were just being, er...exuberant. And me, I'm part of a saffron colored, sectional settee. Get it right, Entertainment Tonight.
There was that forest green wing chair in Oprah's office that kept flashing his bare, muscular arms at me. There was the office chair with those shiny, smooth, fiberglass wheels. I knew he was a player, but couldn't help myself. Then there was that fling I had with a Favorite Things end table. He turned out to be one of my favorite things.
But love can be fleeting. Especially if it's played out in front of the paparazzi.
If Oprah weren't so busy trying to build her TV network and all around saving the world, I'm sure she'd contact you with some advice, but since I've been witness to plenty of wise words over the years, I thought I'd toss you a few.
Word on the street is your Scientology religion might have been what pushed Katie out the door. Or maybe the separations were too long. Or maybe you've had one too many disappointing movie openings lately.
Katie seems like a nice girl, but some are saying she blindsided you. Others are saying you deserved it because you blindsided wife #2, Nicole Kidman all those years ago, what with renewing your wedding vows one month and filing for divorce the next.
And still others are saying it's payback for publicly calling Katie "the greatest woman you've ever known" when, hello Tommy! Nicole is the mother of two of your kids.
But ever since that day in 2005, I've had a soft spot in my cushions for you, Tommy. No, really.
So here's what you need to do: take some time to feel the pain and understand your own truth. Maybe start a gratitude journal to help you through the rough spots. Always live in the moment so you can live your best life, and remember, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and only then on your children.
When you're ready to hit the dating scene again, resist the urge to go after another starlet. Face it, Tommy, they're not for you. Instead, check out some of the ladies already in your church. They love L. Ron as much as you do, so what's to be bad?
Finally Tom, you and I share a history. A history as intimate as you and any of your three wives. After all, once you've cradled somebody's butt for an hour or so, how much more intimate can you get than that?
So we may see each other again soon. Word is Oprah may put me back to work on that Steadman talk show she's shopping around.
Shhhh! Don't tell anybody I told you that.
If you need help before then, don't forget, I've got Oprah, Dr. Phil, Gayle and even Dr. Oz on speed dial. So take it easy, kiss Suri for me and if you're in Chicago, stop by the warehouse and sit for a while.
Cross Posted from BlogHer
Images courtesy Harpo Productions
July 02, 2012
While channel surfing the other day, I came across "Chopped" on the Food Network and it's my new mindless, TV addition.
The premise is simple, four chefs are given the same ingredients and compete against each other to come up with the tastiest and most imaginative dishes they can in 20-30 minutes.
The first show I saw had the contestants trying to come up with an appetizer that included duck hearts and chocolate covered cherries. Another episode had the four firefighter contestants trying to come up with a dessert that included croissant pastry dough, hot chocolate mix, and dried currants.
There are three rounds in each hour long episode, appetizer, entree, and dessert, and after each round, the chef who comes up short is, wait for it... chopped!
Now I have to admit, this show has been around since 2009, so I'm extremely late to this chopping party, but hey, I call 'em when I get to 'em.
The show is an addictive formula that's part "Beat the Clock," part "Survivor," and part "Chefs gone Wild." Actually, I exaggerate 'cause most of the chefs I've seen are well behaved and personable. That is when they're not cutting off their fingers or throwing refuse on the floor.
A rotating panel of three judges determines the winner based on taste, presentation and creativity. The top prize is $10,000, which in this day and age seems a little chintzy, but this is basic cable after all and I guess, 10 grand is better than no grand.
One thing I find particularly funny about the show is how the suspenseful music they play while the judges are giving their critiques can swing wildly from the theme from "they like me, they like," to the dirge from "death by chocolate."
All reality shows use those musical cues to tell us clueless viewers how we're supposed to feel, but the musical director on "Chopped" appears to take great pleasure in grating on our auditory nerves.
Ted Allen, the food guy from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is the host, and all in all, it's a great premise, a fun show, and destined to teach one or two foodies out there some new tips in the kitchen.
"Chopped" airs on the Food Network, Tuesdays at 10pm/9c.
Photos courtesy Food Network
June 26, 2012
Oscar and Grammy award winning artist, Jennifer Hudson has signed on for a second season guest stint on NBC's musical drama, "Smash."
"Smash" is the behind the scenes story of the birth of a Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe. It stars Debra Messing, former American Idol, Katherine McPhee, Anjelica Huston and Jack Davenport.
The series almost didn't make the cut for a second season renewal because ratings have not been spectacular, but the suits at NBC evidently decided to take the risk.
I've only seen the first three episodes--life and other things got in the way--but the premise was strong, Katherine McPhee was engaging, the musical numbers were entertaining and if NBC didn't bury it on Monday's at 10pm, more viewers might give it a try. In fact one of the reasons the show was reportedly renewed was because it got a lot of time shifted viewing via DVR.
The biggest weakness was Debra Messing's character as the writer of the musical and her oh so boring personal problems. Every time she was on screen, all I could think was please, take me back to the theatre!
However, adding the talent and star power of a pro like Hudson will give the show some much needed buzz for the fall season and hopefully the writers will work out any other kinks over the summer.
Viewers are always asking for something different from the networks and "Smash" is definitely that. I hope NBC can figure out a way to make it a success, and I'm betting Jennifer Hudson will going a long way toward making that happen.
Here are some moments from the show's first season:
June 19, 2012
Despite my lingering bitterness about the last couple of seasons of "West Wing,"--yeah, I've got to work on that whole holding grudges thing--I'll still watch this interview with Aaron Sorkin on this Thursday's "Rock Center."
He'll be talking about his writing style and his new HBO show, "The Newsroom" which premieres on Sunday.
Here's a clip of the interview:
On a much more serious note, this week's episode will also have an interview by Matt Lauer with a woman, Madonna Badger, who lost her parents and her three daughters in a Christmas Day fire in Connecticut. The house was under construction and the fire started from fireplace ashes disposed of in an adjacent mud room.
It's hard to imagine a tragedy much worse than that.
Here's a clip:
"Rock Center with Brian Williams" airs Thursdays at 10pm/9c.
June 18, 2012
Part of my recent return to blogging meant cleaning out my Google Reader. I was looking forward to that as much as I was looking forward to pulling out weeds in my backyard, but I knew if I was going to get back to authentic blogging, I had to get back to authentic blog reading.
And that meant a ruthless, no holds barred, purge.
I hadn't even opened my Google Reader for the past three years so when I first saw that 10000000+++ number, I nearly closed it again. But courage was the order of the day and I got to work.
It was a lot like clearing out the three month old pile of mail on my counter: tedious, time consuming and a pain in the butt. After awhile though, I got into a rhythm
Click, read, purge...click, read, purge.
I even downloaded the Google Reader app to my Droid so that I could purge on the go.
Any active blogs that didn't capture my interest with the first couple of lines was unsubscribed. I don't even know how many blogs I started with on my list, but the first night I purged at least 30. Some no longer covered issues that interested me. Some were just too much link bait and too little blogging. Some had stopped publishing as far back as 2009.
Of the ones that stopped publishing, some had goodbye posts. Others just disappeared with no goodbye, no nothing. Though that made them easier to purge, there was something sad about those, like a good neighbor that moved away with no notice.
Happily, some favorites hadn't disappeared but simply moved. I was pleased to see Reel Sistas still up and running. The Angry Black Bitch is still angry and still black. Lady Gypsy is getting married in a month and has a board on Pinterest about it. Mrs. Grapevine is still hard at it, as is The Black Socialite.
The Black Socialite recently wrote a post about why she stays committed to her blog. That post is exactly why I had her in my reader in the first place.
Now I never read all the posts on every blog in my reader, but I did scan the headlines when I could and liked to at least touch base with the ones I didn't read everyday.
As far as the purge, I'm down to about a hundred subscriptions and counting.
June 12, 2012
Something that's got me burning up right now is the condemnation of American nuns by the Pope and the Vatican because they've haven't been pro-life enough and anti-gay enough. Ya' see, they've been spending too much time on those radical feminist practices of ministering to the sick, poor and downtrodden of society.
How dare they!?
As someone who monitors the media closely and has a healthy level of cynicism about all organized religion, could this possibly be a way for the Vatican to deflect attention from the ongoing pedophile priests scandals and the coverup of their existence by every level of the Catholic Church?
I mean seriously, American nuns? What do you think they're doing? Going out during Mardi Gras and flashing their boobs for beads? Chug-a-lugging beer every time the Pope says a Hail Mary? Encouraging little girls to strip down their Barbies and make porn movies with them?
Um no. Last time I looked, American nuns were doing everything that the holier than thou men at the Vatican weren't doing.
I'm not Catholic. I'm not religious. But I do respect people's religious beliefs and contend that if someone wants to live by particular religious tenants, have at it. That's supposed to be what freedom of religion is all about.
My problem is a bunch of old men in Rome and elsewhere telling women who are doing good for society that they aren't being true enough to the Catholic Church and therefore deserve to be reprimanded in the most public and humiliating way.
Some might say, well that's what the nuns signed up for when they joined the church. If they didn't want to live by church tenants, they should have figured out other ways to serve the community. You may be right about that, but the fact is, these women are doing more for the community than any of those old men in Rome busy counting the Vatican's money and figuring out ways to recruit more "faithful."
To me, what many American nuns are doing is exactly what ministering and service means. Helping the poor, the sick, and people who have no where else to go.
Every organized religion as far as I'm concerned is about maintaining control of women. Back to the dawn of time, men had to figure out a way to blunt the irresistible sexual power they saw that women had over them. What was the best way to do that? Create a religion that makes woman second class citizens and deems any sexual activity or desire as dirty and their fault. Oh and that also makes any knowledge or control of their sexuality or their bodies as sacrilegious.
It's institutional misogyny in the guise of religious doctrine.
How do I know? Because if God didn't tell me to comb my hair this morning, he sure as hell didn't tell the Pope, or any other church elder of any religion for that manner, to tell me what to do with my body.
June 10, 2012
Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard and Lucy Griffiths
Switching over from the White Walkers of the "Game of Thrones" finale to the vampires and werewolves of the "True Blood" premiere has been harder than I expected. I mean seriously, I'm fond of Sookie (Anna Paquin), Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), and the eye candy that is Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) sends my female pulses a pounding, but "True Blood" lost its lustre last season and with winter and the White Walkers comin', it was easy to forget the goings on in Bon Temps.
But all that changed when I got the fifth season "True Blood" premiere screeners. After eagerly sucking them dry like a newbie at Fangtasia, I'm please to tell you the folks of Bon Temps have a host of interesting surprises coming up.
The most pressing question: what happens to Sookie's best friend Tara, last seen lying in a pool of fatal-looking blood on Sookie's kitchen floor? I could tell you but I'm pretty sure exceutive producer Alan Ball would come to my house and put me through some of the Vampire Authority's special torture techniques if I did.
All I can say is Sookie and Lafayette have to work together to deal with the aftermath of Tara's fate.
On other plot fronts, Bill and Eric quickly get into hot water with the all powerful Vampire Authority. And if you think Republicans and Democrats have differences, add blood sucking to the mix, and "True Blood" vampire politics are on a whole other level.
Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe) has trouble with someone from his past, Alcide (Joe Manganiello) is in trouble with his pack because he won't play nice in the werewolf dog park, we get some fascinating tidbits about Pam's (Kristin Bauer van Straten) life before Eric, and if that's not enough, Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) has escaped from his concrete tomb and is surely ready to get some payback from Bill, Eric and Sookie.
Alcide and his pack of werewolves continue to be underwhelming and take away valuable plot time from the main characters. And while I long for those hot and steamy days of Sookie and Bill in the sack, we get a small sexy morsel of Eric having steamy container ship sex with Nora (Lucy Griffiths) a woman from his past.
In addition to Griffiths, the former Maid Marian of the BBC's excellent production of "Robin Hood," also new to the cast is "Law & Order's" Christopher Meloni as Roman, the well dressed leader of The Authority.
So after 10 weeks of swords and sorcery, I'm ready for some fangs.
"True Blood's" fifth season premieres tonight at 9pm on HBO.
Images Courtesy HBO