Monday, March 29, 2010

The Universe Is Looking To Hire "LIGHT" Workers

Hollywood needs you to shine your "stardust" with joyful performances, TV shows, feature films, stage plays, musicals, songs, books, magazine articles, poetry, websites, DVDs, and scripts.

The Medical Profession requires your delicate ways of operating.

The Legal System is seeking your sincerely fair sense of justice.

The Teaching Community is seeking your compassionate guidance and counseling.

Overall, the Universe respectfully requests your courage in standing firm but gently with loving-kindness in every aspect of your life and career.

All lines are open. Call and meditate now. The Universe is looking
forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Seinfeld's" "Mr. Bookman" Would Be Proud

Remember that episode of "Seinfeld," in which "Mr. Bookman" - the "library cop" (played by the great Philip Baker Hall) comes after Jerry because of his years-over-due copy of "Tropic of Cancer"?

Well, according to the Los Angeles Times, staff at a library in London were surprised and puzzled when they received a book that was 45 years overdue through their mailbox.

Alison Lawrie, the principal assistant at Dinnington Library, near northerne England's Sheffiled, says the Penquin first edition copy of "Quatermass and the Pit" by Bigel Kneal was due back on October 15, 1965.

Lawrie sad the borrower remains a mystery because the library records don't go back that far, and the sender didn't attach a letter or note with the book. She also said that the sender did not have to worry about a hefty late fee.

"Mr. Bookman" confronts Jerry in this "Seinfeld" scene from "The Library"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friends of "Mister Rogers" and the United Way Establish "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day"

According to the Los Angeles Times, the "spirit" of the classic PBS TV show, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," which starred Fred Rogers (who passed away in 2003), is alive and well with the "Won't You Be My Neighbor? Day.

This new holiday is being established friends and colleagues of Rogers' in partnership with the United Way of Allegheny County, the county in which Pittsburgh is located and where the "Mister" show was produced.

"We're trying to establish this as a national event, but you've got to start small, said David Newell, who played "Mr. McFeely" on the "Neighborhood" show. "It's really what Fred would want to hapen. He wanted to help others."

Suggested volunteer ideas are simple acts, such as lending an ear to someone, offering to return a shopping cart or volunteering at a senior center.

Around Pittsburgh, various museums and other institutions are offering free or reduced admissions.

Such a wonderful and sweet idea.

Let's all play along with it - EVERY day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Good" Work Comes To Those Who Wait And Are Great Where They Are

"I don't get to keep house as much as I should like. I'm not supposed to have time for it--folks demand so much of my time. So I have a woman to keep house for us. But do you know, I like to carry the dishes away from the table at the close of the meal; and make a nice hot suds and wash the dishes, wipe them, and put them away in nice rows in the china closet! So if sometimes you find yourself doing work that isn't supposed to be desirable, remember that there are other good folks doing the same sort of work, and that still others would like to be doing it, even though circumstances have placed them at something else. Whatever you undertake, do it the very best you can. Folks will note your good work, and soon you will be given more important positions."

- Myrtle Page Fillmore

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Two "Marie Turris" And One Beautiful Message

I have two cousins named Marie Turri. One, who now goes by the name Marie Burgos, is the daughter of the late Joe Turri, a sibling of Mom's ("St. Frances of Turri"). The other Marie now goes by the name Marie Turri Smith, who is one of the children of Sonny and Carol Turri. Sonny, who has also passed away, was the son of Adolph Turri, another sibling of my Mom's.

In any case, I remained close to Marie Turri Burgos, daughter of Joe, since I was a kid. But Marie Turri Smith, daughter of Sonny, had lived in Endicott, New York, and would only visit our main family Rochester home on Erie Street (across from where now stands Frontier Field) in the summers with her Mom and Dad, and the other members of her beautiful family.

I have seen Marie Smith only once since those early summer days in the 1960s. But clearly, our bond is just as strong as it remains with Marie Burgos, as was evident by a sweet message I received from Marie Smith (with whom I only recently reconnected - via Facebook).

It is now clear to me that it was coincidence that my Mom shared a special bond with Sonny Turri (father of Marie Smith). Somehow, that bond has transcended time and space with a message on the importance of keeping priorities in line and what really matters in life - which is only part of Marie's beautiful message.

As such, and with this Marie's permission, I share that message with all of you now, below. (Her message is then followed by the link to my tribute to my parents, which is referenced in her message).

Have a blessed day.

Herbie J



Hi Herbie J,

My mom told me she was in contact with you and was supposed to send me the link to your site and keeps on forgetting so I decided to google you.

She told me about the beautiful post about your parents and I just finished reading it. It sparked so many memories about the summers as a child growing up on Long Island with a Dad (Ralph "Sonny" Turri) who had family in Endicott and Rochester.

My parents would pack the 5 of us (me, Ralph, Diane, Bill, and Tim) up and we'd go to my grandparents in Endicott ("Grandma and Grandpa Gertie," as we called them), then travel on to Rochester to visit my Dad's many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I remember so vividly the house on Erie Street with the men playing cards at the big table and all of us busy trying to stay out of trouble. I remember how theatrical you were for a "little kid." I remember the race riots and the Monkees concert Pam, Evie, my sister Diane, Joanne, and who knows who else went, too. I remember the hot pies and pop, my great grandmother, Uncle Vince and Aunt Rita's house on Honeyoye Lake...and so, so much has been spurred by reading your post.

I was to the apartment in (Greece, NY) many years ago for a party for your mom. My mom came up for the party and stayed at my house (I live in Fair Haven, NY) and it was so great to see everyone then.

I am ashamed that I never kept touch with all of that was so important to my Dad.

Well, I could go on and on and on. I do want to say I am sorry for your loss. We lost my dad in 1989, far too young, just 3 weeks short of turning 60. What my dad instilled in us, with those long trips to Rochester, NY was the deep sense that family is a treasure."

A Tribute To My Parents

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My appearance on the "Caregiving" webisode edition of the PBS "Second Opinion" series

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The "Mary" ("Tyler Moore" - like) Show

Back in late December of 1985 and early 1986, CBS debuted a sitcom, titled, "Mary," which starred television icon Mary Tyler Moore, James Farrentino, John Astin and Katey Seagal, among others.

After failing to find a hit with various variety shows (one also called "Mary," following something else called "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour"), Tyler Moore instead returned to her sitcom "route" with the new "Mary."

Years before, of course, CBS and Tyler Moore had found a ratings bonanza alongside critical praise with her legendary situation comedy, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1970-77). A decade or so before that, the actress made her weekly sitcom debut in another ground-breaking CBS series, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-66).

Then along came the new "Mary" sitcom in 1985.

This time, Moore portrayed "Mary Brenner," a fortysomething divorced writer who once held a respectable position with a fashion magazine that went out of business. Today, she writes a consumer-assistance column for the Chicago Eagle tabloid, run by Managing Editor and ladies' man "Frank DeMarco" (Farentino). Also working at the Eagle were the cynical, chain-smoking columnist "Jo Tucker" (Sagal, pre-"Married With Children"), the condescending theater critic "Ed LaSalle" (Astin, from "The Addams Family" and the visually-impaired copy editor "Tully" (David Byrd, who would later appear on "Life Goes On").

It was all very, well, "Mary Tyler Moore Show"-esque. "DeMarco" was reminiscent of "Lou Grant" (as played by Ed Asner on the first MTM show), "Ed Lasalle" was "Ted Baxter" (Ted Knight), "Tully," who was slightly bald, reminded us of "Murray Slaughter" (Gavin McLoud), while the tough "Joe Tucker" was an obvious descendent of "Rhoda" (played by Valerie Harper).

Truth is, this "Mary 1985" was a pretty good show. And it was funny.

Unfortunately, CBS didn't give it a chance, and it was cancelled after only 13 episodes. But it could have been a contender.

Tyler Moore and CBS then once more tried weekly comedy a few years later with "Annie McGuire." But that show (produced on film, with no audience and no laugh track - like "The Wonder Years") didn't cut it.

Meanwhile, it sure would be nice to see released on DVD those 13 episodes of that mid-1980s "Mary" sitcom.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited" Once More

A few years back, TV Land reunited the wonderful cast of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" for a new episode of the series, titled, "The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited."

That cast included Van Dyke (as "Rob Petrie"), Mary Tyler Moore (his wife, "Laura"), Rose Marie ("Sally Rogers," good friend and former writing colleague for "The Alan Brady Show"), Ann Morgan Guilbert (Laura's best friend and neighbor, "Millie Helper"), Larry Matthews (little "Richie Petrie," son of Rob and Laura) and Carl Reiner (who, besides playing Rob's boss, "Alan Brady," also served as the DVD show's producer and writer).

Also along for the ride was Jerry Van Dyke, who made several appearances as Rob's brother, "Stacey," who today, is dating Millie, as her husband, dentist "Jerry Helper," played by the late Jerry Paris (who also directed several episodes of the show) has now passed away.

Loyal fans of the original "Van Dyke" series may also have noticed key guest actors who made re-appearances in "Revisited", such as Bill Idelson , who played "Herman Glimpshire," Sally's boyfriend, to whom she is now married.

Unfortunately, Morey Amsterdam, who played the quick-witted "Buddy Sorrell" and Richard Deacon ("Mel Cooley," Buddy's foil and Alan Brady's producer and brother-in-law) were no longer alive to join in on the reunion.

But to the credit of writer Carl Reiner, Buddy, Mel and Jerry's presence was still quite prominent in "Revisited." This new segment had to do with Alan Brady wanting to hire Rob and Sally to write his eulogy while he was still alive to enjoy it (and because they did such a good job at Buddy and Mel's funerals).

A little macabre, yes - but somehow it worked. And there was a lot that worked about this new episode of the series. It was quite funny, and it was certainly great to see everyone together. But...

1] The opening scene had Richie, how all grown-up answering the phone at his Mom and Dad's house, which is now is. Apparently, they sold the house, moved out, and then Richie bought it back from the people who purchased it, and moved back in. That would be fine, but...the original furniture from the 1960s was still seen in the house. Rob and Laura never bought new furniture after 1966 (when the original show went off the air)? And then the people who bought the house still kept that original furniture into the 21st Century? I don't think so.

2] Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie, Carl Reiner, Jerry Van Dyke and Ann Morgan Guilbert all seemed to fall right back into their characters. But Mary Tyler Moore seemed to be playing "Mary Richards," her other famous weekly TV sitcom character from her own series, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1971-77).

3] Everyone looked great, but just a touch of black hair dye and contact lenses for Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie would have made all the difference in the world. She was SO on-the-money as Millie, but here she looked like Laura's mother (as opposed to her best friend).

4] Ray Romano should have pretty much been left out of this project. Sure, TV Land wanted a big star to be involved with this show, but he kinda' just gets in the way here. Let's just stick the original characters, nix all the nonfiction reality stuff, and get right to the fictionalized story.

5] At the end, we see the actors Dick and Mary waltz onto the living room set from the series. But we really wanted to see the characters of "Rob" and "Laura" do that instead.

All water under the bridge, and all of it can still be fixed with yet one more "Revisit" to "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

What if Richie's daugther (who we apparently saw in the dance class that Laura now presides over as teacher in Manhattan) was now getting married -right at the same time that Stacey and Millie decide to tie the knot. The result. A double wedding that will bring everyone back to New Rochelle for one more episode?

That would be wonderful. There would not be any need for clips from the original show (which were displayed in "Revisited"), and no big star would have to serve as host. We can watch the reruns or DVDS if we want to see the original episodes, and let non DVD actors appear in their own reunions for their own shows.

Just run the original opening credit sequence (with Rob tripping over that ottoman), and revisit "The Dick Van Dyke Show" - as a new, self-contained more time.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

On The Inside, Looking Out - Maria Pellegrino's Road To Recovery From Schizophrenia

Born. Intelligence. Father. Mother. Sister. Family. Friends. Co-Workers. Supervisors. Teachers. Students. Educated. Medicated. Conversation. Manipulation. Anger. Joy. Sadness. Control. Chaos. Introversion. Paranoia. Intervention. Inspiration.

This is the amazing story of Maria Pellegrino and her life-long battle with and ultimate victory over schizophrenia.

With ON THE INSIDE, LOOKING OUT: MY ROAD TO RECOVERY FROM SCHIZOPHRENIA, and a straight-forward, unique perspective, Maria invites us into her mind — and shows us just how strongly she confronted the personal demons that set out to destroy her life. But, as the reader will learn, those same demons had no idea who they were up against: one singular and very courageous, spiritually sound, and unstoppable force by the name and guise of Maria Pellegrino.

For more information about the book, please see the link below.

To schedule an interview with Maria, please email me:

Monday, March 01, 2010

Live Your "A-Life" And Let Others Live Theirs

It is said, "There is no such thing as a small honorable deed" - on Earth - as in Heaven.

No truer words have ever been spoken, quoted or written.

On Earth we may follow our "A-Plan" (the full life we were meant and choose to live before we are born) at what may only look like the sacrifice of others (i.e. leaving your hometown for an out-of-state career choice, "abandoning" friends and family to pursue your dreams).

Heaven is not concerned with our trivial Earthly pursuits (finding the "perfect" job or our "true love," buying a Mercedes, etc.). There are better things in Heaven than what we could only dream about and attain here in this world.

However, what matters most, on Earth as in Heaven, is how much Love and Light we shine towards others and ourselves. For however we name "God," one thing is for sure, the truest God is made-up of Love and Light, all of which and whom, of course, lives in and stems from Heaven.

Consequently, we are observed by Love and Light in Heaven - measured by the amount of Love and Light we shine, share and give away on Earth.

Meanwhile, all that we need to concern ourselves with on Earth is following and fulfilling our A-Plan with the utmost enthusiasm, joy, persistence and loving-kindness - and doing so by causing the least amount of harm (to ourselves and others).

For on Earth the "needs of the many" only seemingly outweigh the "needs of the few," while, in Heaven, there are no needs at all.


Go live that "A-Life" on Earth, stop worrying about what other people think and feeling guilty about making the "wrong" decision - and move forward with confidence, faith and loving-kindness.