Counting the days until summer

summerhouse
I see Carl and Kyle and that looks like Amanda next to Kyle and Paige next to her.

I came across this photo, which I originally posted in July 2019.

Every year when I’m in The Hamptons I look for the filming of Summer House, a tv show I watch. When I watch the show they seem to always be at bars and restaurants we go to so I’m always checking around for them. I left The Hamptons one day in the summer, in July 2019, and headed back to the city, and there they are at a restaurant some of my cousins were at the night I left.

My cousin Matt took this picture at the restaurant. He texted it and said, “Is this the thing you’re always talking about?” And it was.

I watched the recent episode last night. This year they are quarantined in the house in the Hamptons and they can’t leave. Usually they are out and about and they have big parties and hang out at the bars and beach, etc. and they go back and forth to the city each week and then hit the summer house on the weekends.


I made my plans again for this summer. I had missed last summer due to the pandemic – first time in years, and hopefully I’ll be there this summer. I’m not sure why I like the show so much, but I think it has to do with the fact that I am there when they are there and I am at places they are going to, so it sort of brings the summer back to me. They usually show the episodes six months or so later, so summer is long over by the time it’s on tv, and it is a little nostalgic for the past summer.

I used to like the Fall best, and I guess I still do, but these days I really love summers. I’m not sure why, all of a sudden, but it could be due to New York. New York has a certain vibe in the summer. While it seems like everyone is gone – up to the mountains or out to the Hamptons and Montauk it’s really not like that and the city comes alive. I like tagging my Instagram pics as #summerinthecity, it has a nice ring to it.

Everyone is out on the streets – at sidewalk tables, in the parks – everywhere. It’s alive. The farmer’s market at Union Square has a special feel to it, although I love the pumpkins and eventually Christmas trees and stuff in the fall and winter. But summer is special. We spend July 4th in the Hamptons and there is always someone at the house, so it’s easy to go back and forth at any time from the city, there is always someone driving back and forth at any given time.

I do a lot of walking in New York, on this particular day, on July 1, 2019, I walked 11.1 miles! Those “flights climbed” are probably up and down the subway steps, which isn’t part of this total walking tabulation, so add whatever miles I rode on the subway to the 11.1 miles and you can see I rally got around. I remember this one day because I was flabbergasted at at all the miles I covered in one day.

I’m really looking forward to this summer. It’s hard to believe it is only a few months away. I’m dying to get vaccinated, which will be the first step to some sort of normalcy.

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.

My mechanic

I had a Seinfeld moment with my mechanic. No, it wasn’t like the one with Jerry’s car and mechanic, it was like the one with the barber.

My mechanic found a different size lug nut on my wheels. I had gone for new tires. He asked why it was different than the rest. I told him that he and his brother are the only two people who work on my car. I don’t know if he believed me.

It was like when Jerry changed barbers and felt guilty about it. Only I didn’t change mechanics, in fact, I can go get tires at a tire place, but I go to this guy for everything, even tires.

We then realized it was the small lug nut that is used for the spare tire. It must have been mixed up one time when I had the spare on and then changed back to the regular tire.

I told him it was like the Seinfeld episode with the barber. He knew what I was talking about and he laughed.

My mechanics don’t like how I treat the car, I just put gas in it and go. They say I run it into the ground, but I told them that when I get a new car one day, I’ll have to use the dealership because the car will be under contract.

For years I leased cars, but didn’t like having to turn them in every three years, so I bought this last car and I just keep it and keep it, it runs great. It’s a bit old, but runs great, thanks to my mechanics.

Dead Freight

I watched my favorite Breaking Bad episode on Sunday – Dead Freight. I love the titles of the episodes, they are all a play on words and brain twisters.

This is the train episode, Face Off, is my second favorite.

Spoiler alerts – don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the episode.

Anyway, there are a couple of things I question regarding the Dead Freight episode. First off, how do they know where the train car is going to be ahead of time? Lydia tells them at 2 am, yet a day or two before they set up the spot below the tracks to bury the tanks, as if it is right below their car.

And when the train has to make an emergency stop, most trains, I’m told, need a mile to stop a fast moving train. Is the train not moving that fast? Do they see the dump truck from a mile away, having enough time for them to stop?

And lastly, I hate the last few seconds of that episode. I’m not sure why they need to do that other than to show what a schmuck Todd is.

I got towed

My car got towed yesterday. I still am not sure of the circumstances because I was parked in a space that I have been parking in for years. But then again, that’s what they say on Parking Wars the tv show, all the time, so who knows.

You ever watch Parking Wars? It’s rerun a lot on different cable stations. It takes place in different cities like Detroit and Philadelphia – there are different segments, one is booting, so the show is about people booting cars around the cities, another is ticket writing and another is at the towing lot, where you go to pick up your car after it’s towed.

It sounds boring, but it isn’t. It is mostly about people’s reactions and how they handle the situations.

Well, when I saw my car was gone, my Parking Wars knowledge kicked in. I called the towing place and got all the info I needed, you know – the cost, the location to get the car, etc., then I went to the ATM and got cash – you always need cash! You also need your license and proof of insurance according to what I see on tv.

I summoned an Uber and went to the lot. Living in a small town is strange, because as I was Ubering over, I got many texts from people telling me they heard what had happened and they wanted to know if I needed lift to the lot!

To my surprise, when I got to the lot, on a Wednesday afternoon, I was the only one there! I literally was in and out in 10 minutes! From watching the tv shows, I had expected to be there for hours, shuffling from window to window, arguing with the towing people behind the glass windows. But it wasn’t like that.

Unlike the tv show I was able to walk to my car and get my registration without an escort or pass. I also didn’t need to show proof of insurance, which explains a lot about Miami drivers. I literally did not have to show that my car was insured. I think this bothers me more than anything.

After I paid, I was set loose in the lot – alone – I got my car and drove off. All very civilized, nothing like the tv show! The whole experience took about an hour and wasn’t bad. The total cost was about $200.00, which included the towing fee, the parking ticket and the Uber! Not bad, on tv they show people paying lots more money for their infractions.

All in all it was not as bad as I had anticipated.

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.