Pretend it’s a city

I’ve been watching “Pretend It’s a City,” on Netflix. I’m probably done with it by the time you read this.

It’s a seven part show featuring author (although she hasn’t published a book in 30 years, but I guess it’s like being an Oscar winner. You’re always an Oscar winner) and humorist Fran Lebowitz. Each episode is about 30 minutes long.

Martin Scorsese directed the series and is shown as he interviews Fran in many scenes, which fade in and out of various locations, from a quite club called Players, which was founded in the 1800s by Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth, to being on stage in front of an audience.

The title “Pretend It’s a City” refers to Fran’s frequent mantra mostly to tourists who stop in the middle of sidewalks or do other annoying things, who she says need to realize, you are in a city – act like it! Fran is the female Larry David to me.

Some of the funniest things she talks about are New York City itself. Like, why are lawn chairs needed in the middle of Times Square? One interesting thing she says is that when she got to NYC in the 1970s, it was rough and gritty. But that’s how she knew New York since it was her New York at the time. She had nothing to compare it to. People who arrive today expect to see the lawn chairs in the middle of Broadway and that’s their New York.

She hates the no smoking inside rule. She says that artists and creative people meet and mingle over drinks, music and smoking. What if Picaso had to run out to smoke a cigarette every once in awhile, “Think of all the things he would have missed,” she says.

It’s all funnier and hits home when Fran tells it. Try the first episode, I think you’ll stick around for all seven.

Fran talks about so many famous people she has known. About her dislike for Warhol, her lifelong friendship with Toni Morrison and so much more.

There are lots of old scenes of “old New York” in the shows. She is really great to listen to.

Waiting for a Star to Fall

This video is so great. It’s one of my favorite songs from the ’80s, “Waiting for a Start to Fall” and it’s four and a half minutes of 1980s scenes. It brings you right back to that decade.

Here is the original video, “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl. I have this video saved and I watch it often on YouTube.

I love when people get it

So many times I hold back cartoons because I’m not sure most people will get it. The whole idea is to have people get the gag and laugh. So when that happens, I love that.

Today’s comic really is not going to be funny to people who don’t watch much tv.

Today’s cartoon.

But for tv watchers, it’s obviously a parody of the Domino’s Pizza commercial, which seems to be shown on tv every few minutes. It’s one of those “part of the culture” things, simply by being repeated over and over, sort of like the Bernie Sanders meme, which is still making the rounds. It’s all American pop culture I guess.

I have a friend who doesn’t watch much tv. When he saw my skunk- “We all see it” cartoon, he thought it was a political statement because of the blue streak, but of course thousands of you got it as a parody of the Progressive tv commercial, which is also a “part of the culture” thing.

I saw a talk or read it somewhere that a cartoonist said to just do what you like and the audience will follow. It’s true – it’s being true to myself when I do what I like and not pander to the audience. The audience will get where you are coming from. And they do, it seems.

Here’s the Domino’s commercial for those of you who don’t watch tv. It’s on tv every few minutes. Believe me.

Edith Piaf

This is one of those times when things came together out of the blue. Edith Piaf is special, her voice and aura is my Christmas gift to you.

A friend sent me this Edith Piaf song, “No Regrets.” He was taking about something and said he had no regrets. When I heard the song I was flabbergasted. I had heard it all my life, but I didn’t know it was Edith Piaf. It’s part of an Allstate Insurance commercial and every time the commercial comes on I stop what I’m doing to listen. I love it. I’m sure you have seen it.

This is a long version of the commercial.

I had always heard of Edith Piaf but didn’t know much about her. I looked her up on Wikipedia and see that she died young – at 47 in 1963, due to drinking and parting too much. Her final words were, “Every damn thing you do in this life, you have to pay for.”

She had such a tragic life. Her mother didn’t want her. She lost her only child at age 2. She was married multiple times and had such a short, sickly life. “No Regrets” describes here life exactly. You can read about her here.

She seems so small and fragile. Look at these live performances. Amazing that such a voice comes out of such a little lady.

Here are a couple of live versions of Ms. Piaf singing “Non, je ne regrette rien (No Regrets)” and “La vie en rose,” which she wrote. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have this stuck in your head all day. But not a bad thing to be stuck in your head!

It’s like this little girl is a reincarnation of Edith Piaf.

I watched the video so much that Allstate is now sending their Edith Piaf ads to me on Twitter!

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things
That went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the grief doesn’t last
It is gone
I’ve forgotten the past

And the memories I had
I no longer desire
Both the good and the bad
I have flung in a fire
And I feel in my heart
That the seed has been sown
It is something quite new
It’s like nothing I’ve known

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things that went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the seed that is new
It’s the love that is growing for you

Charlie Brown back on broadcast tv

After screwing up Charlie Brown for Halloween, I never did get to see it this year, Apple tv has made a deal with PBS to show A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and a Charlie Brown Christmas on broadcast tv.

PBS will show the episodes commercial free on Sundays, November 22 and December 13 at 7:30 pm eastern time both nights.

Details here on the PBS website.

Happy 200th Bob’s Burgers!

One of my favorite cartoons, Bob’s Burgers, is celebrating its 200th episode this Sunday!

Love that show. I mostly watch it in reruns in early evening now, and I’ve seen every episode more than once. I never get tired of it.

On more than one occasion I’ve been walking through a Comic Con and I hear their voices – especially Linda, the mother, I look up and there are the voices – the actual people – sitting at a table signing autographs! Iconic!

Even though it’s a cartoon, it seem so real. I want to visit Ocean Avenue where Bob and family live and work – with the small town seaside feel and the amusement park on the pier at the end of the street. It all feels so real!

One of my favorite episodes is Brunchsquatch – where every scene is drawn by fans. It jumps from character to character design, all different, but it works.

We have a little dive diner in town called Burger Bob’s and of course I always call it Bob’s Burgers by mistake, like, “Hey, wanna go to Bob’s Burgers for lunch?” It’s been around for many years, so it came before the tv version, but still Burger Bob’s is always Bob’s Burgers to me.

Pretty in Pink

I watched Pretty In Pink yesterday. Yup – Andie and Duckie. 1986. How I wish I could go back to that era – my favorite time. I was flipping through channels and there it was in all it’s 1980s glory.

Watching it was like a time capsule – the sayings, the places, the fashions. I don’t think I saw the movie since the ’80s, so it was nice to see.

All of those John Hughes movies ARE the 1980s. I think the Simple Minds song, “Don’t You Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club, is one of the THE ’80s songs. It always brings me back there when I hear it. Always.

The Brat Pack, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Culture Club, George Michael, Prince, Guns ‘n Roses, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, The Police, Def Leppard, Metallica, Talking Heads, REM, etc. So great.

Cheers, Alf, The Golden Girls, Night Court, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Remington Steel, thirtysomething, Dynasty, Unsolved Mysteries, Dallas, etc. Such great tv, too. And movies – Ferris Bueller, The Outsiders, Moonstruck, Field of Dreams, Heathers, Top Gun, Weekend at Bernie’s, St. Elmo’s Fire, and of course all the John Hughes movies.

I sometimes think that when we die, we can then travel through time. Like if we want to visit a time and place, we can go there. I would visit the 1980s, I would start on January 1, 1980 and live it through to December 31, 1989 and do it all over again.



I joined Netflix!

Walter White and family

Yup, I joined the 21st Century! I joined Netflix.

I kept putting it off joining. It wasn’t about the money, I pay for Amazon Prime and other networks and what is it, the cost of a couple of cups of coffee? It was about the time. Now I am glued to the tv, and I didn’t want to do that. I put it off all these years so as not to binge watch things non-stop.

But I guess all I did was pile up more shows by not watching when they first came out. Now there is a long list.

I know, I’m always posting about all the tv I watch, but that’s just because of the pandemic and being home so much. BP (Before Pandemic), I was out all the time. I traveled a lot and as editor of the daily news around here I was always covering news and participating in events.

Now I’m part of the Netflix family and I’m into watching everything. I joined because I wanted to finish watching Breaking Bad. I had DVR’d them when they were playing as a marathon on AMC, but for some reason, about 20 episodes in the middle didn’t tape. I’ve been busy and I broke my Breaking Bad Sunday habit for months. Now I want to get back into it. I watched three episodes on Sunday!

Breaking Bad on Sundays relaxes me. Yup, all those drugs, murders and scheming does that for me. So Sunday is Breaking Bad Day again for me.

Oh, and get this, the Universe is at work – out of the blue I got an order from Netflix. My company sells promotional items. They needed some stuff for a film they are producing and they sent me the order for the items.

Roll Up Allstate commercial

This is my new favorite commercial. Every time it comes on I stop and watch. The song is “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, released in 1977, I remember liking the song as a kid. You can hear the whole song here.

It’s more than just the song, I just like watching the girl roll up in the comforters and roll down the street. It makes me smile.



Friends in my head

Bridget and Julia on the set.

I was talking about how much I love Life Below Zero, but I would never consider living like that on the frozen Tundra. I watch these shows over and over again and enjoy them so much, I feel as if some of the people are friends in my head.

Another thing I love is cooking shows. Mostly on weekends I have taken to watching them all. And yet, I don’t even like to boil water. Yet, like Life Below Zero, I find them very relaxing.

I know what roux is and I know how to caramelize onions. I just don’t do that. I love eating it all, but I don’t care to prepare it. I know what stone fruit is and I love all of it, I just don’t bake. I know where capers come from and how to make chicken in a Moroccan tagine; and I know not to turn fish on the grill, it will release itself when ready.

Dan and friends in the kitchen

I know what Sara Moulton is up to and what recipes Jacques Pepin‘s mother used to make. I know how Bridget and Julia like to brown a turkey and how Dan Souza prepares his Indonesian-Style Fried Rice, and when Martha Bakes, watch out!

I know what size oysters should be before they are harvested and how to kill a caribou and ptarmigan in the Arctic. I don’t put any of it to use, but it’s all in my head!