Stalking the Summer House

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

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 today & there they are at a restaurant some of my cousins are at tonight.

My cousin Matt took this picture at the restaurant. So I may go back and stalk then next week. But since I’m in the city, guess I’ll go stalk the Real Housewives for the time being. Ramotional.

She’s putting down The Flintstones; how do you put down The Flintstones?

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There’s an article in AV Club by Emily Todd VanDerWerff, who rips apart my favorite all-time cartoon.

The article, “In The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera found a shameless rip-off that worked,” she tells of how it’s a take-off of the Honeymooners.

I guess I always knew that, but I always thought it was an homage to the Honeymooners, I mean there’s a thought in life and art that nothing is original. Everything is “stolen.”

I wrote about a book once called, “Steal Like An Artist,” where the author Austin Kleon says that there are no original ideas.

I guess I’m touchy about The Flintstones because I think that’s my favorite all time cartoon. Fred Flintstone was the first character I would draw as a child. When people are asked who their influences are, I always say Hanna-Barbera first, followed by Charles Schulz.

But my early years, I mean, like being two and three and four, was The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Quick Draw McGraw.

My earliest childhood memory is me running around the apartment in Brooklyn naked (I was about two or three years old), my mother was running after me trying to get me into the bathtub and Huckleberry Hound was coming on the tv – the actual theme song for the show was playing! I can see this scene in my head and remember it!

The writer, VanDerWerff is probably a millennial who doesn’t get it, she probably grew up with the Cartoon network and all those other channels like Boomerang and Nickelodeon. They show cartoons all day. But we watched cartoons when they were on, not at any whim of time or day and we didn’t have 20 channels just for cartoons. So we appreciated the cartoons we had. It sounds like I trudged through snow to get to school, but you know what I’m saying.

The only thing I like is her name – VanDerWerff, because it sounds like Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma Flintstone – Jean Vander Pyl.

By the way, I have a comic that I did which is a spoof of The Flintstones. I took it out of circulation, because I would like to publish it again, but people find it somewhere on the internet and ask to buy it for various things – business cards, invitations, things like that. I’m always surprised that every once in awhile I’ll get a random email from a stranger. It wasn’t for sale anywhere, people just out of the blue contact me and ask to purchase the rights. It started last summer. And I often wonder how many people have just taken it and used it without knowing how to reach me or that they should ask for permission. But it’s interesting that it’s usually the same comic all the time, a Flintstones comic.

The Flintstones is my favorite cartoon and always will be.

Italy dreaming

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I have a Sunday routine – I get up early, go to the gym, get breakfast, come home and watch CBS Sunday Morning. It’s always a great way to start a Sunday, the stories are always great.

This past Sunday (today, if you are reading this when I posted it, the whole show took place in Italy. Jane Pauley was based in Florence and there were stories from all over the country. So beautiful. You can watch the whole episode here, free.

I’ve always dreamed of spending long periods of time in Italy, you know, like maybe a whole summer or so. I’m usually in a rut – a travel rut, I go to the same places over and over again – this summer will be New York City again.

Something interesting that was mentioned in Sunday’s show, and something I had heard in the past is that if you are of Italian descent and have ancestors who came to the United States from Italy, like I do, you can become a citizen of Italy – have a dual citizenship between the US and Italy. That’s amazing to me. This also gives you some sort of citizenship as part of Europe according to the program, so that’s even more amazing.

It’s sort of full circle – my grandparents came to the US for a better life and I would consider going back to Italy for a better life.

In 2011, The Jersey Shore group, yes, that group, Snookie, et al, spent time in Florence. I started watching the show back then for the scenery. No seriously.  Here’s a NY Times article on the Jersey Shore people going to Italy.

I like so many areas – Milan, Florence, Naples, it’s hard to decide. I guess I should at least plan my trip before deciding where to live, right?

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A trip through New England with Weekends With Yankee

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Richard Wiese and Amy Traverso, the hosts.

I wrote about Annabel Langbein as having one of my favorite Saturday morning tv shows but I have another, it’s Weekends With Yankee, a half hour show that takes you through the back roads of New England. Yankee is a magazine and Weekends With Yankee is the tv show.

I usually hit the gym early on weekends – 7 am or so and I grab breakfast on the way home and settle in for these comfortable Saturday morning shows.

I think in another life I lived in New England, because I’m always drawn to it; I feel the same about Arizona and New Mexico, so maybe in a second other life, I lived there.

I’m always considering moving to Southern Connecticut. I like it’s location between New York City and Boston, and I like the small villages along the water on the Long Island Sound.

Anyway, back to Weekends With Yankee; what’s great about the show is there are three or four segments where they go all over New England. One segment may be a visit to a lighthouse, another might be a visit to a small bread factory in a small Vermont town, another might be lobster diving in Maine. You just want to be there as you watch.

It’s homey and informational and I want to be immersed in it all.

Godspeed, Laverne

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When some famous people die, it’s like a family member passed. I don’t know why, but they are such a big part of our lives, it feels like that. That’s how it is with Penny Marshall. She was a part of the family.

From what I see on tv, on social media and from friends, I can see many people felt the same.  Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily, quoted a few lines from the “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated,” theme yesterday. He didn’t say what they were, he just used them in sentences.  He said, “Give us any chance – we’ll take it Read us any rule – we’ll break it,” and that was it. Later on he said, “There is nothing we won’t try.” He just fit it into a sentence. It was his way of paying tribute, because it meant something to him.

I remember the first episode of Laverne and Shirley. I was a kid, it was 1976 and I was on the floor of our family room on our orange shag carpet. Just as the show was starting, on a Tuesday night after Happy Days at 8:30 pm, my father entered the house with my grandparents who he had just picked up from the airport, they had come down for a visit – they entered just as the show theme song started! I’m not sure what happened after that. Did I ignore them to watch Laverne and Shirley? Probably not, but talk about the worst timing.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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I was watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last night and as I watched, I scrolled through social media and I could see so many others watching, too. It’s amazing how this 1965 cartoon is Christmas.

I’m sure we know all the words by heart. My two favorite parts are where they are dancing on the stage and the end where they sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I love the way Charlie Brown jumps back when he sees the tree.

It’s comforting knowing millions of people are watching the show along with me and enjoying it and making it part of their holiday season.

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