Joanna Pasceri

I grew up in the television news business, starting my career right out of college at age 21 in Elmira. It's now 23 years later, and I'm back in my hometown, sitting at the main anchor desk. I never would have imagined that when I arrived at WKBW-TV 17 years ago. I was hired to write the news for Keith Radford. Now, I sit next to him.

A native of Lockport and a graduate of SUNY Fredonia, I never wandered far from Western New York, and that's fine with me. I love it here. It's my home, and where my husband and I are raising our girls. We wouldn't have it any other way!

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I'm now into my second day wearing glasses on the air, and I never in a million years expected the reaction that I'm receiving.

Viewers who have contacted me love the glasses. They are asking me to keep the glasses. They want me to forget getting Lasik on my eyes. What??? Is this really happening???

My spectacles are creating a spectacle! I have to admit, the glasses don't look that badly on camera, but trust me, they aren't as attractive in person. I have poor vision. Without glasses, I don't see anything. In fact, I set my glasses down in the bathroom when I was putting on my make-up, and I needed Ginger Geoffery's help finding them.

I have always been self-conscious about wearing them because the lenses are so thick. Granted, new technology has improved that, but I still feel like an ugly duckling, and throughout my 23 year career in television news, never once considered wearing them while working. Why, I wonder, do glasses now seem acceptable? Even desired? Well, I think you have to thank people like, Tina Fey, former MSNBC reporter, Ashleigh Banfield, and Sarah Palin for that. They have all made wearing glasses COOL!

I think that's great for everyone who relies on glasses to see. So bespectacled people everywhere--hold your head high--you look great in glasses! But I'm still going ahead with my Lasik surgery!
Some colleagues and I were having some fun on Twitter last night, tweeting about our favorite holiday foods. Eating is a big part of my family's Christmas celebration. We start talking about the meal we'll be preparing for Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day sometimes even before Thanksgiving!

We don't have the traditional fish dishes on Christmas Eve like most Italians because my Dad was never a fan of fish, so we usually have Italian sausage. On Christmas Day, we serve some kind of sauce, like spaghetti, lasagna or even a baked macaroni Sicilian dish that came from my Mom's family.

But for me, nothing conjures up memories of Christmas more than cut-outs. Making these sugar cookies was a family affair! My sisters and I would whipped up several batches every year.

My older sisters would mix the sugar cookie batter, cut out the shapes and cook them until they were lightly brown. They were always the same four shapes: the bell, the Christmas tree, the Santa and the star.

I would lend a hand frosting the cookies and decorating them with candy sprinkles. I loved mixing the food coloring, making red, green, yellow even blue frosting!

Of course, the making is just as good as the eating, and they were pretty yummy! Cut-outs at Christmas are still my favorite! What's yours?
It's all over. Lasik is out. Contacts are back. Yes, just over a week into my quest to rid myself of my glasses for good, I'm back to where I started from. I found out today that I am not a candidate for Lasik. My corneas are too thin and my prescription is too high.

During the surgery, doctors remove layers of the cornea with lasers to allow proper vision. I didn't have enough layers for them to remove! My only option now is to have lenses inserted in my eye. It's a procedure done when you have cataracts. I can either wait until I have cataracts or I can have it done when I'm older to prevent cataracts. Bottom line: another 10-15 more years of wearing glasses/contacts! As I explained before, you have to stop wearing your contacts before you can be evaluated for Lasik surgery.

I was worried about wearing my glasses on the air, but that turned out to be better than expected. Many viewers liked the "new look". In fact, when I went back to wearing my contacts today, a few called asking why I didn't have my glasses on!!!! It wasn't very comfortable wearing glasses on the air. You are always aware of them on your face, not to mention it's difficult putting on make-up and doing my hair with them on!

I am disappointed, sure, but grateful I have my sight. It's one of the senses that we rely on every waking moment, and I'll never take it for granted!



I had been preparing the big meal for weeks. I planned my menu and picked up items at the store when I could, so I wouldn't be stressed trying to get everything at once and then leave something out. Anyone who knows me knows cooking may not be my forte, but organization is!!! Sadly, my lists couldn't save me from this year's boo-boo.

The trouble began first thing in the morning when I was cleaning my fresh bird. It's a job that truthfully grosses me out. I was focused on getting the neck and the bag of stuff out of the cavity of the turkey when someone in the kitchen turned on the oven.

What I wouldn't realize until about six hours later is that the oven was on BROIL and not bake. WHAT?!! I must have checked the oven temperature a handful of times, even checked to see how the bird was cooking. I never noticed.

My worst fears were confirmed as my husband started slicing what appeared to be a cooked turkey. The top, cooked. The bottom, not so much. Ugh! I peered out into the dining room and saw nine people staring back at me, waiting to dig into their Thanksgiving meal!!!

Luckily for us, the cooked breast meat on the top of the bird was enough to feed my hungry family, and dinner went off without any more problems, just a little less dark meat.

It was sheer panic at one point and not the perfect meal I had envisioned, but we shared Thanksgiving anyway. A few lessons learned this holiday, but I was truly thankful it wasn't much worse!
I know Moms get a lot of love and attention in the family, but this weekend is all about Dad! If you are lucky to have yours around, I hope you have big plans for him this Father's Day weekend. As I have mentioned, my father died in 1999 of cancer, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him.

Gone for more than ten years, but still very present in my life. Joe Pasceri was quite a guy. Practical, protective, and hard working, but also very social with a great sense of humor. He was a self-employed electrician. He was known around town by his school bus yellow van with the words, "Pasceri Electric" emblazoned in blue on the side. He was a workaholic. Always happy and whistling on the job. He worked six days a week, but we are still reaping the benefits of his efforts. He was able to pay for me and my three older sisters to go to college, and Mom is being well cared for today.

Don't get me wrong, we weren't spoiled by any means. Dad always made sure we had what we needed, with very few frills. He was also a typical, strict Italian father. He kept a tight rein on me and my sisters. Oh, there were times I hated that growing up, but now that I am all grown up with my kids, I find myself raising my girls the same way! He instilled in us basic values to succeed in life, and I credit that no-nonsense approach to the success I have achieved today. He also prepared us for disappointment, teaching us to dust ourselves off and keep on going.

Not only did I have a great Dad, I am lucky enough to have married one. My husband is a wonderful Dad to our two girls. So, this weekend, we'll honor him, and keep my Dad in our thoughts and hearts, knowing he's still looking out for our family, just like he did when he was alive. Happy Father's Day, Dads!
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