Category Archives: In the News

Who won the Super Bowl? Budweiser!

The blowout Super Bowl was a huge disappointment to Wilson and my boys (ages 13, 10 and 8) but I’m no football fan so the shocking lack of competition didn’t disappoint me one bit. The commercials however, really let me down.

So many car ads!  Trunk-loads of cash was spent, but the ideas ran out of gas. Very few were memorable, most were far-fetched and off-topic. The only exception I would make were the KIA ads with the Muppets. I can’t ever diss Kermit, Animal, and the singing chickens.

There were some ads that stood out– to me and others at our Super Bowl party.

bud-light-ad

Bud Light won for most inspired with an ad taking a real guy and putting him in some crazy situations.  This is the long version of the Bud Light ad that combines reality with fantasy, celebrity with the everyman, and beer with unexpected fun. Outstanding!

–Greek yogurt got lots of love. The most popular ad at our party was the guys from the 80’s sitcom Full House-– featuring the ageless and still hot John Stamos–  who made us giggle in Dannon’s Oikos Greek yogurt ad.

–I also liked the giant grizzly bear who wreaks havoc when he breaks into a small town general store to get a Chobani yogurt.

–The moms in the room liked the ad with the obnoxious boy who won’t help his mom get the groceries out of the car…until she offers him Doritos. But as the little stinker is headed towards the chips, his little brother dressed as a cowboy, hops on his giant dog and rides him like a mechanical bull, while lasso-ing the Doritos.

–Many ads were jam-packed with celebrities. One of the best was for Time Warner Cable promoting its new packages and featuring P. Diddy, Jimmy Fallon, Anna Pacquin, Victor Cruz, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, and Drake.

–The other was a savvy ad for Radioshack. The idea is that the store is no longer stuck in the 80’s, it’s hip and new and ready for your modern tech needs. With Loverboy blasting in the background, a mob of 80’s stars descends on a Radioshack store to dismantle it. Seeing Erik Estrada in his CHIPS uniform, Cliff Claven from Cheers, Hulk Hogan, MaryLou Retton, and Alf, working together is hilarious.

ellen-degeneres-busts-a-move-as-goldilocks-in-a-super-bowl-ad-for-beats-music

–I never tire of watching Ellen Degeneres dance, so her ad for music streaming service Beats Music was entertaining and clever. A very modern version of Goldilocks and the three bears, it was by far one of the coolest commercials of the night.

— If there weren’t many ads to make you laugh, there were a few that yanked at the heartstrings.  One of my favorites was Microsoft’s “technology has the power to unite us,” message, told through a series of images of people overcoming disabilities through technology, space travel, medical advances, and international cultural hookups. It’s voiced by a robot saying words written by former NFL player Steve Gleason who suffers from ALS and can’t speak. Moving stuff.

–You can always count on Coke for good sap. This year it was a montage of scenes of every day life with “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages to celebrate all the cultures that make up the country, with the tag line “America is Beautiful.”

–My favorite ads of the night were two Budweiser spots that both elicited a group “awwwww!!” One was the puppy and the Clydesdale horse who become friends (with the adorable hashtag #BestBuds.)

Budweiser super bowl ad

–The other Budweiser winner was the soldier coming home from war. Following the young vet from his airport arrival to a hometown parade on a Clydesdale-drawn carriage felt intimate and real. The spot ends with the kid hugging his mom (and me crying) with the tag line “Every soldier deserves a hero’s welcome.”  It was a nice touch to have the soldier and his gal live at the game after the ad so we know they’re legit.

–Creepiest ad was definitely Audi’s “Doberhuahua.” The idea is a Doberman Pincher bred with a chihuahua to create a crazy hybrid who takes over a city. Random, bizarre, and not even remotely related to a luxury car. It was memorable so I guess that’s something.

–Most ridiculous might be the Taco Bell commercial with Olympic athletes touting enchiladas topped with Fritos. Really? That’s what world-class athletes eat when they’re training?!

Bruno Mars was definitely a highlight. I liked his goofy 3-foot pompadour, gold lame jacket, and tight pants. His energy was infectious, his voice sounded terrific, and his dance moves and look were reminiscent of a young Michael Jackson.  The lights and fireworks were pretty cool too.

More than 108 million people were expected to watch the game and companies paid an estimated average of $4 million a spot. Budweiser was one of only a few who got their money’s worth.

Favorite moments of 2014 Grammys

I don’t usually blog about music awards shows because I don’t know enough to opine on winners and losers. But the Grammys have become a pop culture must-see event, more for the performances than the mini gramophones handed out.

Grammy graphic

The Grammys were presented live from the Staples Center in LA, with L.L. Cool J as host. Let’s start with the red carpet…..

While at the Oscars or Globes we look for elegant couture, the Grammys is the place to take risks. J.Lo’s famous green cut-to-the-navel Versace dress and Lady Gaga’s Saturn-inspired space get-up were previous favorites. But with neither diva there, there was little to turn heads.

OFF THE CHARTS:

Taylor Swift won best dressed with a stunning Gucci metallic short-sleeved sheath with metal detail that was edgy and sophisticated.

–A svelt Miranda Lambert looked amazing in a sexy, black dress and long blond tresses.

Katy Perry won most whimsical in a Valentino dress literally inspired by music.

Jason Merritt/Getty

Jason Merritt/Getty

SOUR NOTES:

Daft Punk guys were wearing face-covering Darth Vader-ish helmets with tuxedos that I’m too square to understand. (More on them later.)

Cyndi Lauper had on a black and gold get-up with a cape, and bright red hair piled atop her head…which prompted my 8 year-old son to ask if she was in Shrek.

–I love Gloria Estefan but her red lace dress made her look like a blood-splattered shooting victim. Maybe the rhythm finally got her?

Kacey Musgrave won for best country music album and sang a cute song, but her bejeweled mini-dress made her look like a Neiman Marcus Christmas ornament.

For more Grammy fashion click here. 

Onto the show…..

Bey and Jay started it off with a sexy duet of “Drunk in Love.” All eyes were on the king and queen of the music prom. Sasha looked fierce with wet hair in a black sheer bodysuit and fishnets in a Flashdance-inspired chair dance.  Jay Z came out in a tuxedo and rapped around her. No sets, no dancers, watching just the two of them singing and dancing felt very intimate.

–Katy Perry never disappoints.  Singing “Dark Horse,” she appeared onstage dressed as a witch inside a crystal ball. Her number had crazy lights, acrobats, pole dancers, a life-size Trojan horse that broke apart to reveal rapper Juicy J, and pyrotechnics burning up the stage. Oh and Perry singing. Over the top? Sure, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

–Julia Roberts introduced Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr who played together in a rare duet. Not sure why she was there but she made up for her dowdy Globes dress with a hot, black, sparkly mini dress and long bed-head locks.

Robin Thicke teamed with Chicago for a medley that included “Blurred Lines.” Thicke minus twerking Miley and gangster suit = fun to watch.

–One of the coolest moments of the night was when Pharrell, Daft Punk, and Stevie Wonder had the whole crowd on their feet boogying to  “Get Lucky,” I loved seeing Yoko Ono, Beyonce and JayZ, Katy Perry, and Bruno Mars getting jiggy in the aisles.

daft punk grammys

Jason Merritt/Getty

–Jay Z, was the night’s front-runner with nine nominations, including best rap album, rap song and rap performance. When winning for best rap song/collaboration for “Holy Grail,” Jay called Beyonce his “light” and holding up the Grammy, had a message for daughter Blue: “Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you!”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won best new artist and pointed out that they made their album without a record label and went on to win a Grammy, giving hope to struggling artists everywhere.

–I had two favorite moments. The first was the amazing Pink. She puts everything into what she does. She sang ” Try” while flipping and doing the splits, dangling from scarves high above the audience. Next she belted “Just Give Me a Reason,” with fun’s Nate Ruess with such passion I wanted to cry.

–The other was the duet with Carole King and Sara Bareilles singing a mashup of “Beautiful” and “Brave,” while playing dueling pianos. King sounds as good as she did in 1985 when I’d listen to “Tapestry” over and over in my friend Debby’s basement. You could tell Bareilles was having a pinch-me moment.

–Taylor Swift got a well-deserved standing O after performing an emotional version of “All Too Well,” from her Red album.  Looking grown up and poised in a dramatic dress and Farrah Fawcett hair with just a piano and a spotlight, she sang better than I’ve ever heard her.

–One of the most talked about moments will certainly be when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis sang their hit about tolerance, “Same Love.” Mid-song Queen Latifah came onstage to officiate the marriages of 34 couples in the audience. As the group of gay and straight couples of different ages and races exchanged rings, Madonna appeared.  Channelling the Lone Ranger in a white suit and 10 gallon hat, Madge sang “Open Your Heart” intertwined with “Same Love.” She looked creepy. She’s had too much work done and although her ridiculous outfit proved she can wear anything and still look good, it seems like a wasted opportunity. Don’t get me wrong. I will always love Madonna. But I wish she were aging more gracefully instead of fighting it with everything’s she’s got.

Trending on Twitter:  Pharrell Williams’ giant mountie-inspired hat got its own Twitter feed…. Keith Urban was bashed for his new short haircut and accused of stealing Jennifer Lawrence’s do….and everyone loved Pink. 

The biggest winners of the night were Daft Punk, the French robots who won five awards, but never said a word when accepting because those darn helmets got in the way.

For a complete list of winners click here.

No matter what your musical taste, a night at the Grammys is the coolest concert around. Share your highlights in the comments.

The desensitizing effect of a smart phone

I was walking from work to the train station in Manhattan last week when I passed the aftermath of a horrible car accident. Sixth Avenue was blocked off from 41st to 42nd, cops were everywhere, and ambulance sirens wailed in the background as they tried to get through rush hour traffic.

The street was marked with yellow tape and scores of people lined the sidewalks, gawking at an overturned car. It was a mangled black Cadillac SUV perched upside down on its dented roof right in front of Bryant Park.

NYC fatal crash photo on carpool candy.com

I heard onlookers saying the car was going too fast and hit a bus when it turned onto 6th. The news junkie in me instinctively whipped out my phone to take a photo. I was trying to get a good angle when I saw a stiff plastic bag hanging out of a back window.

There were murmurs among the crowd that there was a body inside the bag, and there could be other dead passengers in the wreckage. I found out later the driver was the only person in the car when it crashed, and the 44-year-old male victim had a heart attack and was pronounced dead at the hospital. (For more details on the crash click here.)

I later discovered that what we thought was a body was actually the airbags sticking out of the shattered car windows.  But even when we all believed we could be staring at as many as three dead bodies,  almost every person on the street was snapping pictures with a smart phone.

Why?

To have evidence when recounting the story to friends? To send to a news site? To post it on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?

As I stood there gaping at the grim scene, I felt sorry for the victim… and sorry for where we are as a culture. It’s difficult for some of us to experience life’s impactful moments these days without resisting the need to document and share them.

Was it the great emotional jolt of the moment? Or the “I was there when it happened” cache? Or the peer pressure to capture it because everyone else is?

I sheepishly walked away feeling guilt and regret for not being able to resist photographing someone else’s tragedy.

This is the age we live in.

Anyone younger than 25 won’t even question the impulse to record every moving moment, even if the moment itself is interrupted or sacrificed in order to capture it.

But for old fogies like me, it still feels unnatural and wrong.

Apparently not wrong enough. There I was, one of a hundred minions taking a picture. And here I am sharing it with you.

nyc fatal car crash on carpoolcandy.com

If I’m using the photo to make a point, is it acceptable? I’m not sure.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

What Memorial Day means to this vet’s daughter

Dad holding me, Chicago 1968

Dad holding me, Chicago 1968

For many, Memorial Day means the beach,  parades, and barbecues. For the last several years my boys (ages 13, 10, and 7)  have played in a soccer tournament over the holiday weekend, so we watch at least 8 games during the days, and gather with friends around the grill at night.

But I want my kids to realize that Memorial Day is much more than a day off from school. The U.S. has been fighting wars for most– if not all – of our children’s lives, yet it doesn’t affect mine much at all. It’s easy to forget that there are soldiers still dying in Afghanistan, and military serving in perilous places all over the world, while we sit cheering goals and munching on cheeseburgers.

I watch the news with my kids and try to talk about the sacrifices soldiers make  for our freedom but I’m not sure what sinks in. In the past, we’ve gathered care packages and written letters to soldiers, and they’ve made cards in school to send overseas. They know a little about the wars we’ve fought, but since they don’t personally know anyone who has served, it’s difficult to make them understand how important it is to honor the military.

This year I started telling my kids about my father’s service in the Navy. After he graduated from college in 1964, my dad enrolled in officer’s candidate school. He went through a training program and served on an aircraft carrier for about 6 months.

In 1966, my parents got engaged on Valentine’s Day. Weeks later my dad was told he was being sent to Vietnam.  Faced with an uncertain future, my parents didn’t want to be separated by the war. They rushed their wedding plans and got married at the end of April before my father’s deployment in June.

Mom and Dad during his Navy service, 1966

Mom and Dad during his Navy service, 1966

My brave, intrepid mother got a history teaching spot at the International School in Bangkok, Thailand so they could see each other while he was serving his duty. That’s right, my 22-year-old mother lived in Thailand by herself at wartime.

My dad was involved in weekly press briefings on the war status as a protocol and public information officer for the Navy in Saigon, which was basically a desk job. He also helped establish one of the first Navy newspapers that year and found a printing plant in Bangkok so he had a reason to see my mother once a month.

He never saw combat, probably never even shot a gun. But he had friends and colleagues blown up in bombs, and survived several near misses himself during the year he served there.

When his year was up, he left Vietnam and served the rest of his commitment in New York before returning to civilian life.  My parents were lucky to have stayed safe during that time in their lives and they spoke of it often when I was growing up.  They told stories about the characters they met as we watched slide shows of their  year of living dangerously. When I was growing up,  we were taught to value military service and revere veterans.

I recently found a letter that my father wrote to a former Vietnam POW. As part of a military initiative to support the families of POW’s, my dad was one of many who wore a silver bracelet every day with the name of a POW who had not come home. I have a copy of the letter my dad sent to the commander, when he returned to the U.S. in 1973.  Here is an excerpt:

“I found myself unable to remove the bracelet for two reasons. First, I also was a Naval officer and served in Saigon. However I was fortunate to have been placed in a protocol billet, which kept me relatively safe.  Perhaps by wearing your bracelet I was expressing gratitude that I had not had your fate. Secondly, I found myself personally committed to you. I didn’t know anything about you– still don’t, really– but felt that if nothing else, on your return stateside you might find some satisfaction from knowing there were others besides your family and friends who were thinking of you and hoping you were well and would return home safely. 

And now you are back. I had intended to return the bracelet to you at this happy time, but instead I have decided to keep it among other mementoes of importance to me. I keep it so that I can remember you, and the courage you demonstrated during your imprisonment. I hope you find us worthy of your sacrifice. I have some small idea of what those years away from all that you love and admire must have meant. I hope that America can be worthy of that sacrifice.”

Letetr from my father to former POW thanking him for his service

My father died of cancer in 1993. I miss him every day and wish I could talk to him about so many things. But today I wish he could tell my kids about his time in the Navy and how it was an honor to play even a small part in serving his country.

I have no doubt that my boys would have been transfixed by my dad’s war tales. He was a great storyteller.

I’m going to have my kids read my dad’s letter and this post to remind them of the sacrifices courageous and selfless men and women– and the families who worry about or mourn them–  are making right now.  I’d like them to always think about those who’ve served on Memorial Day, but maybe now they’ll be proud of their Grandpa David too.

Yep, he’s gay

NBA veteran Jason Collins’ announcement this week that he’s gay is an inspiring story. I read his beautifully written piece in Sports Illustrated and am impressed with his bravery, leadership and eloquence.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, he’s the first athlete still competing (or trying to, he’s a free agent after playing for the Washington Wizards last year) in one of the major 4 American sports, to come out during his career.  Collins talks about what led him to his decision in an interview on Good Morning America  here.

jason collins sports illustrated cover

Reaction to the news had social media buzzing Monday. Everyone from Bill Clinton to Kobe Bryant to Julianne Moore took to Twitter to hail Collins’ courage. He even got a personal call from President Obama congratulating him. There were a few curmudgeons, but I don’t see the point in highlighting the thoughts of the provincial.

I was interested in my kids’ responses.

You probably know my three boys (ages 13, 9, and 7) are athletes and fans, and eat, sleep and breathe sports. They often read ESPN.com for scores and stats, even before eating breakfast. So they were well aware of the Collins news when I brought it up at dinner Monday night.

Their response was basically, “So what?”

I’m proud to say that in the eyes of my children, we’re in a time and place where people– even sports stars– being gay is no biggie. We live in a town with a significant gay community– and our next door neighbors are a gay couple with kids.

To my boys, it’s just what is.

When I asked 13-year-old Jacob about the Collins story he shrugged. “It’s no big deal. It’s not really good or bad. It’s just what he’s like…a state of being.”

7-year-old Eli said, “That’s ok. That’s him. He can be what he wants to be. It doesn’t make a difference.”

“Good for him,”9-year-old Aden offered with a smile.

They were so nonchalant, I almost felt stupid for asking.

I figured they would react that way. But it was still great to hear.  I hope by the time they’re parents, they won’t even have to ask.

Walking the work-life balance tightrope

It’s tough to be a woman these days, especially if you pay attention to all the gab in the media. Facebook COO and working mother Sheryl Sandberg says we should be “leaning in” and fighting “the man” for better career options. New mom and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently sent a message that working from home is no longer an option for effective business practice.

Sheryl Sandberg book Lean in cover

So where does that leave mothers who want to work but also be present for their kids? Forget about nurseries next to giant corporate suites or 24-hour nannies, what if you just want to put your kid on the bus a few mornings a week and be there when they get home?

I did the 50-hour-work-week-attached-to-a-crackberry-24/7 gig for more than 15 years. I loved my job and I was good at it. But after we moved to the burbs and I had my third son, the weight of my career and raising three kids, and trying to be a decent wife (poor Wilson!) began to wear on me.

There are some women who can do it all. There are others who make tremendous sacrifices to become incredibly successful. I envy these women. Because I couldn’t do it. Frankly, I think many women can’t. Thousands more don’t want to try.

And isn’t that ok?

I don’t know if you can have it all. Because “it” is different for everyone. I know that I took a healthy break from full-time work and now that I’ve returned part-time, things are much different.

I work two days a week in Manhattan. I don’t mind the commute, I don’t even hate getting up at dawn. I enjoy using my mind in that way again and feeling like I’m contributing something. I especially like that it gives me something new to talk about when I see people.

A stay-at-home mom’s life can be rewarding, but it doesn’t give you much to say at a cocktail party.

Work Life balance image

But the downside is that while I was once a manager calling the shots, now I’m a worker bee, subject to the direction of new managers.  There are days I want to kick ass and shine, but when you’re only there two days a week, people don’t see you as a rising star or someone with future potential. They barely notice you at all.

It’s been tough adjusting to not being on a clear career path. Sometimes I’m ambivalent about work and distracted by things going on at home.  Is that work-life balance or limbo?

I still have career dreams that I’m working to achieve. I’ve had to accept that the path I might have taken 10 years ago doesn’t work with my life now. These are my choices and I’m grateful to have the luxury to make them. But I have more than myself to consider. The decisions I make about the kind of work I do and the time it requires to do it affects each member of our family.

There are no right answers to these quandaries. But I’d like to have open, respectful conversations about it among women. I don’t know why there has to be so much polarization and judgment in the discussions. We’re all just trying to figure it out as we go.

I’d love to hear about your experience with fitting work into your life and life into your work.  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Taylor Swift needs a thicker skin

There’s a war of words going on and the battleground is the catfight-lovin media. It involves three ladies whom I love and admire and I’m not happy they’re fighting.

It all started when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made a light-hearted joke about Taylor Swift while hosting the Golden Globes.  The two funny ladies– the best hosts at an award show in recent memory– told Taylor to “stay away from Michael J Fox’s son,” in a jab referring to Swift’s celebrity dating streak and recent penchant for younger men. (You can watch the diss at the Globes here.)

taylor swift Vanity Fair april 2013 cover

I like Taylor Swift’s music and think she’s a talented songwriter who seems to have a good head on her shoulders…. plus she hasn’t been caught yet exiting a limo sans underpants.

But she has to admit that her string of romances with the likes of music bad boy John Mayer, earnest actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Lautner, teen heart-throbs Joe Jonas and Harry Styles and prep school teen Conor Kennedy kind of gives you a reputation.

She’s a nice girl, who likes hard-to-keep famous men, and then writes about them in wildly popular songs.  Does she really expect not to get ridiculed a bit? And isn’t it hypocritical to diss her ex-es so publicly in her songs and then complain that she’s getting picked on?

Swift told Vanity Fair she didn’t appreciate the joke. She used the quote ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” (You can read the Vanity Fair interview with Swift here.)

I’m all for sisters helping sisters.  But Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are not mean girls out to tear down Taylor Swift. They’re hilarious comediennes making fun of a pattern that’s obvious to everyone.  They said a lot worse things about other celebrities that night but never dipped into mean territory.

Do these look like mean girls to you?

Do these look like mean girls to you?

You want catty? Watch Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happen Live” on Bravo, or Chelsea Handler’s opening monologue, or read Perez Hilton’s tweets any night of the week.

If Taylor wants women to support each other, how about contacting the gals for a chat instead of condemning them to hell in a cover story for Vanity Fair? 

Now poor Poehler and Fey have been forced to respond to Taylor’s response. (The full Fey/Poehler response to Swift’s response in Vanity Fair here.)

Really?

Tsk, tsk  Taylor.

It’s not too late to reach out to the ladies… or you three-ee are never, ever, ever getting back together.

Yahoo CEO’s telecommuting ban causes outcry

The internet was abuzz this week after a Yahoo employee leaked an internal staff memo on a directive by CEO Marissa Mayer announcing a major change in policy. From now on, all Yahoo employees will have to work in the office, and can no longer telecommute.

Whoa.

I heard about the change by reading a Twitter thread from working moms who had some choice words for Mayer. Many believed the move was a step backwards and expected more from a young working mother heading up a major internet company.

yahoo CEO no telecommuting policy

Virtual workers want Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer bringing flexy back

My first reaction was disappointment and frustration.

A major reason I left my full-time job as a TV news producer was because my bosses would not allow me any flexible work schedule. After more than 11 years of service and only excellent performance reviews, the company refused to try a 4 day work week or any kind of working from home situation.

TV news is an extremely demanding gig. Not only was I working a standard 45-50 hours a week in the office, I was on pager 24/7 and often on the phone or email, making decisions and assignments in breaking news situations.  I continued at that pace for 18 months after my 3rd child was born and ran myself ragged, feeling like a slacker both at work and at home.

Then my amazing nanny quit. The new one was terrible and my oldest son– who was almost 8 and had never complained about me working before– started coming into my room every morning begging me not to go to work.

So I quit.

One of the most wrenching decisions I’ve ever made, and I still second guess it all the time.  After a year at home with my 3 boys  (ages 2, 4, and 7 at the time) I was going stir crazy and feeling like an even bigger slacker. That’s when I started writing and eventually reinvented myself as a writer/editor/blogger.

It’s been a struggle– and I’m lucky because our family doesn’t rely on my salary to live, as so many families do.  But we’ve certainly had to make sacrifices.

yahoo logono telecommuting policy

Now I work as an editor at a news website in Manhattan two days a week, and freelance write and blog the other days. There are many aspects of my freelance life that I love and as much as I gripe about the career I gave up, I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve had with my kids in the last 5 years for any fancy title or salary.

But if I could have just worked 4-days a week, or worked from home one day a week, or even gone in late two mornings, I probably would still be at that job today.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a good job that I loved, working with great people, and building a career at a major media company.

TV news is a tough job for telecommuting, but creating and marketing online content at Yahoo should inherently lend itself to it. Isn’t the beauty of the internet that it connects everyone everywhere? Mayer’s decision sends the opposite message.

From what I’ve read, she ‘s a savvy thinker so I’m sure she listened to arguments from both sides and pored over productivity stats before making a decision she knew would be controversial and attention grabbing.

Critics say she’s a hypocrite because after taking a few weeks of maternity leave, she returned to work with a nursery next to her office, for her 4-month-old son. So she can bring her son to the office, but her employees can’t work from home regularly to be near their kids?

Mayer suggested that speed and quality are sacrificed when people work from home. There are some jobs that can’t be done virtually, and some people who might take advantage of the opportunity. But couldn’t she have tried to work with department heads to determine which situations were working before condemning everyone?

People want the flexibility of telecommuting for all different reasons. It’s not just parents who want to save commuting time to see more of their families, there are also health concerns, extended travel time, and clients who have overseas business that requires off hours.

I don’t doubt Mayer’s business wisdom or her right to do what’s necessary to make her struggling company profitable.  I’m just discouraged that this is what she believes is the best way. The high-profile move now makes it ok for other companies to shut down the possibility of telecommuting, spoiling it for the rest of us.

A 2011 study by WorldatWork.com  (a nonprofit HR association)  found that companies that embraced flexibility had lower turnover and higher employee satisfaction, motivation, and engagement.

But the Yahoo memo said to be the best, “employees had to work side by side.” It will be interesting to see if Yahoo loses some strong people as a result of this decision… and whether the company actually turns around in spite of it.

The best live concert on TV: Grammys 2013 wrap

OK kids,  this is going to be a quickie. I enjoyed the Grammys this year and there were some memorable performances….

Taylor Swift opened the show with an elaborate production of “We are never ever ever getting back together.” The skinny on Twitter is that she sang one of the lines in a British accent as a dig at ex Harry Styles.  (Oh No, she di-int!) Proving once again, the Grammys are a bit like the Hollywood prom.

–The King and Queen of the prom? Beyonce and JZ of course. They sat in the front row, him with a big glass of booze and her looking ga ga gorgeous in an elegant black and white jumper.

–JZ did get out of his seat to perform with Justin Timberlake, making his triumphant return to music. Not sure I love the new song but couldn’t love JT more. So cute, so talented, such swagger and style. He did a whole black and white bit that sort of worked but watching him move was the thing. The room went crazy for it.

grammys2013

–There was a memo leaked from CBS last week warning performers and presenters not to show too much skin. The usual suspects must have missed the memo. Katie Perry had an eye-opening green dress that accentuated her girls. And speaking of green, look for Florence of Florence and the Machine’s Givenchy metallic green thing. JLo looked amazing in a long black dress with a slit up the right side that looked like she was wearing only a leotard. Take that Angelina Jolie!

–My girl from “GirlsLena Dunham was there with her boyfriend, the guitarist for fun.. who thanked her in his award speech. #Cute

–I love The Lumineers. There’s something so simple and sweet about that “Hey Ho” song that speaks to me.

–Performances worth finding online:

Taylor Swift’s opening number…. Justin Timberlake…. Kelly Clarkson singing “Natural Woman” in honor of Carole King…Rihanna singing “Could You Be Loved ” dedicated to Bob Marley and looking hot….. Sting and Bruno Mars sing Mars’ hit “Locked Out of Heaven” into The Police’s “Walking on the Moon. ”   (Side note: what is Sting eating/doing? He looks fantastic.)…Carrie Underwood  belted out two perfect numbers as a light show appeared on her ball gown….A Tribute to The Band’s Levon Helm had  a jammin version of “The Weight” featuring the Zac Brown Band, Elton John, and many others.

Other than JLo and Florence’s showstoppers, I didn’t see any dresses that wowed– although Carrie Underwood looked beautiful in a sparkly gown when she won. You can see all the fashion pix here.  Misses: Miranda Lambert: beautiful girlbeautiful voice, bad dress…. Someone named Kimbra who sang with Gotye wore some see-through, studded, mermaid mish-mash disaster…. Love Adele but her dress looked like a carpet-bag or Grandma’s drapes. Sorry love.

That’s my brief rookie wrap. Unlike some past years, I actually knew most of the performers and nominees. Not sure if that’s because my kids make me constantly listen to HITS-1 or if maybe music isn’t skewing so young this year. I like it when music shows don’t make me feel ancient.