Penn State: The Movie, Part 2

I knew there’d be a movie about the horrific Penn State child-abuse scandal when it started unfolding years ago. And fantasized in The Huffington Post about being the casting director.

Here we are. My choice for Joe Paterno is way off, for obvious reasons. But I know Pacino will be brilliant. Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana will see to it.


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Let’s Paws: My dog won’t let me watch Westminster

The Westminster dog show has been pre-empted on my TV. Not by my cable company. By my dog, Tupelo.

He’s pretty mellow for a beagle/Jack Russell mix, which is what we think he is — a  generally high-strung combination. As mentioned, he’s survived heart worm, BB pellets, an apparently not-so-great neutering before we adopted him that causes him annoyance.

Getting laser treatment for not-so-great neutering.

Getting laser treatment for not-so-great neutering.

He’s so chill at the vet’s, he melts in her arms and lets her do almost anything.

tupepark-1He plays well with others at the dog park. Which is to say, he mostly ignores them. He much prefers hanging out with humans.

So we turn on Westminster last night, relishing the onslaught of cuteness. Before we can focus, the noise starts. Not the beeping of the smoke alarm; more like wailing.

Tupelo’s eyes are locked on the contestants. His pitiful whining won’t quit. Like he’s in pain. Belly rubs and other distractions only work momentarily until he sees the screen and starts anew.

For everyone’s sanity we turn it off.

This is fairly mystifying considering his behavior at the dog park. We theorize the dogs on TV are different because they’re in his house, his domain. Can’t have that.

Since he can’t actually tell us, we figure it’s as good an explanation as any.

Of course, we could always watch on a laptop and keep it out of his sight. But truthfully, we’d rather just watch him.


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(Almost) Meeting Mary Tyler Moore

I’d like to say I met Mary Tyler Moore at one of her weddings.

I jumped at the chance to try. Like Mary Richards, the star of Moore’s groundbreaking TV comedy about being a single girl working in TV news in the big city, I was doing the same. I was a baby of 30 living for career at the NBC affiliate at 30 Rock in New York. (This was long before Tina Fey, but not SNL. A big perk of working weekends was to sneak in and watch Eddie Murphy doing genius stuff like “James Brown Celebrity Hot Tub Party.”

My producer, not exactly her boss Lou Grant, instructed me and a camera crew to head to Moore’s wedding, which was happening that night, and to “get something” for the 11pm newscast, which was fast approaching.

Moore’s third marriage to a younger man, a cardiologist, was supposed to take place shortly at the very exclusive Pierre hotel. We cleverly staked out a spot at a side door along with all the other camera crews. Since nothing was happening yet, I traipsed around a tiny vestibule, making like Audrey Hepburn, wide-eyed at a Bulgari jewelry display. (My first and only encounter with the brand).

My deadline started creeping up, and with it, my anxiety level. Obviously, something was going on somewhere. Just not where we were. Security saw to that.

I couldn’t even fathom returning to the newsroom empty-handed.

Finally, an arrival. Cousins of the groom, as I recall. They must have misunderstood the directions because they stumbled into the media circus. I remember pleading with them to say something, anything, that I could rush back and put on the news.

“We’re sure Mary and Robert (that was his name) will be very happy,” they said in singsong accents that were more Rhoda Morgenstern than Mary Richards.

Then the god of celebrity news smiled on me again in the form of  the late Ted Knight, who played Mary’s bumbling anchorman, Ted Baxter. Headed our way, all smiles, stumbling through a door.

“Wrong door, Ted,” someone said, and the crowd laughed. Wow! Just like the show!

It was enough to work with, which was good because I was out of time.

I never saw the bride but at least I kept my TV news job. I’d like to think Mary Richards would have smiled that smile and said, “Good going.”

(Little did I know that I would eventually write for one of the anchors that Ted Baxter was supposedly modeled after —late L.A. legend Jerry Dunphy.)

Good times.

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Let’s Paws: Sneak peek at special stars of ‘Puppy Bowl’ 2017

Can’t wait for Puppy Bowl 2017, especially after a sneak peak at some special stars with special needs.


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One of My Favorite Farmers’ Markets

IMG_5007Savoring summer when just about everything’s in season at Central Market in Lancaster, PA, billed as the oldest farmers’ market in the U.S.

One of my favorite spots. The only place where you can have a lunch of African stew, a side of stuffed grape leaves (the best outside of the Middle East), and an Amish whoopie pie for dessert. Show up hungry, with lots of cash.

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A travel advisory you don’t see every day

Unusual, but not surprising.

Up until now, travel warnings always seemed to be reserved for those other places. Not the U.S.



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