As 2011 closed, blogs offered us over-4o beauty tips for New Year’s, mulled over the Women Critics Circle Awards, and considered the joys, the stresses, and the name of the Sandwich Generation.

    • We’ve  had only a few pieces on widowhood at WVFC, from Stacy Kunstel’s on “the wedding question”  to Michelle Buchanan’s elegiac musings on how it all feels years later. So we were thrilled to find this profile by Margery Stein at, with the enticing lede: At 63, Rae-Carole Fischer had no desire to date. It was the summer of 2009, barely six months since Rae-Carole, an independent financial advisor in Manhattan, had lost her husband, Meir, after 12 years. A vital man who could play four hours of tennis and still be full of bounce, Meir had finally succumbed to bone cancer after a long, painful struggle. Rae-Carole was at home, one night after work, when her phone rang.”  Click over for to learn what happened next, with  a nuts-and-bolts portrait of the relationship stages including “Initiation,” “Terms of Endearment” and “A Direct Hit.”
    • Who came up that term, ‘the Sandwich Generation?’ That’s one question posed by journalist Lorraine Duffy Merkl at“They can’t think of anything better to call someone who cares for children as well as aging parents?” she thought. “It made me feel cramped, smushed, in an inescapable position, pressed from either end — and worst of all, they might as well have likened me to liverwurst or olive loaf. Yes, sometimes everyone is asking me for something all at once, while an editor is calling on top it and perhaps one of the places I do volunteer work for has a request as well. Never a dull moment, sometimes never a moment at all to catch a breath. But that’s not how it is for me. I am surrounded by people I care for and who, in their own ways, care for me.” Merkl suggests “Hero Generation,” though she applies that term to all family members involved.
    • Seeing yourself in those holiday-season party photos and looking for a change? We are, and Fab Over 40 has  a New Years’ treat for us, one that doesn’t involve surgery. FO40’s sister site Fabulous After 40 summarizes the roundup: “Giving can make you feel better and live longer! What are you planning to wear to that New Year’s Eve party?  Get some great tips; New Years = Glamour and Liz Taylor has always been tops for that. Learn how to channel this true glam gal’s style on “the cheap”! Pomegranate is so good for you!  You will not want to miss this yummy champagne cocktail recipe!” and more.
    • We all know that sometimes time-strapped TV stations have run, as news, videos about products sent to them by the producers of those products–and they don’t always tell us they did it, either. At Women in Media and News, Libby Reinish shares this example from Wisconsin station WLUK  and gives us a way to change things.  “The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a massive improvement that would allow groups like us, and viewers like you, easy access to disclosure information. The proposal would require stations to list sponsored segments online in a publicly searchable database,” Reinish writes. “That way you don’t have to catch the credits to find out who paid for that fluff piece on the ‘hottest cars of 2012’ — you can look it up later. And if your station is airing advertising without disclosing it, you’ll be able to prove it. The rule would also be a boon for consumer watchdog organizations because so many of these cases deal with hucksters and public relations pros promoting products: toys, cleaning supplies, etc. Better rules would help us track down and expose the companies pushing these products in our local newscasts — and the media companies that allow this practice to occur.” Click over for more, including who to contact at the FCC.
    • Last week, all our favorite women-movie blogs were abuzz about the 2012 nominations for the Women’s Film Critics Circle Award. Many, including Critical Women on Film, noted that in addition to the standard Best Director and Actress (which include WVFC favorites Meryl Streep, Lynne Ramsay and Tilda Swinton), the awards include some singular categories, such as  the “Karen Morley Award, for best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity.”  Another such category, Best Image of Women in Film, has two we’ve already featured: Streep in The Iron Lady and Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs; they also include 41-year-old Rachel Weisz, who in Whistleblower plays Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraskan former police investigator who worked to expose corruption by military contractors with the U.N. International Police Force  in Bosnia. In the trailer below, check out another woman with honors–Vanessa Redgrave–as a U.N. official doubtful of Bolkavic’s claims.




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