WRITING A BOOK   Leave a comment


Writing a book is exhausting but satisfactory way to accomplish what you feel you need to accomplish.

In the mid 1980s I met, was interviewed and eventually quoted quite a bit in an excellent book by George Chauncey called “Gay New York 1890-1940” and which I always recommend to anyone who knows very little about gay life or those who think they know a lot about gay life.

I consider myself an expert in 3 fields: one being MY life, another about weight problems of all sorts and gay life through all my experiences in it for over 65 years. I have observed, seen and participated in gay life in New York, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee—well 49 out of 50 States plus Mexico, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Caribbean, Canada, etc.

In the past two weeks I have read comments by two people who think they know it all but know nothing. One based her comments on knowing, maybe, 4 gay men, while another who thinks she is an expert on everything really knows very little about gay men, what they think, know and want. Oh yes there is also the one who lives in my complex who is married to a self hating gay alcoholic who enables them to justify why they are together when she doesn’t have a clue.

I have had 8 books published of which 3 dealt with my ‘fat’ before and after and after story (yes, two afters!), 2 which dealt with my 4 live in relationships, one which was a series of essays before I learned what blogs were and the other were books dealing with motivation and/or cookbooks. All were a labor of love and my last two were polished by the great and late LadyeSparks, an editor only a writer can dream of and, justifiably, used her red pen on me!

I, also, wrote and had a play produced which was a big failure and a screenplay of that play which was made and disappeared after the week it opened.

After reading the comments referred to above I decided to write about the gay life I have lived and observed since I came out in 1948 and up to the present day and my involvement physically, mentally, emotionally, politically and what I see are the main differences between the gay youth (anyone under 50!) of today to the gay youth of yesterday, which includes gay ‘marriage’ which I am against the model it is based on and don’t see as the end all, be all, of the gay equal rights fight. I’ll write about gay couples who follow the failing template of nongay marriages and will wind up becoming statistics of failure like they have.

I’ll respond to women who think they know how men—gay or nongay—think about sex, sexuality and women. I’ll write about what it means to be gay in 1948 and in 2017 and how similar it still is and the few, very few, differences that have taken place.

Writing a book is a very disciplined exercise for me including a certain amount of time doing research plus a certain amount of time actually writing and then the, for me, dreaded, rewriting.

There is also the legal aspect because ‘name dropping’ might be involved if I want to be honest, which I do, and I have, in 2 cases, promised not to name names though they and most of their relatives have died—ah, one of the advantages of being old.

Right now the aim is to write a 350-400 page book and, after a little ‘sweet talking’, signing my life away but most of all pleading, to get Nina Pettis of Nina Proofs to take that dreaded red pencil to my pages!

I have given myself a deadline of December 2017 to finish writing the first draft!

Posted February 20, 2017 by greatmartin in BOOKS, WRITING


The movie poster hails “Toni Erdmann” the funniest German comedy you will ever see while a few critics add ‘3 hour’. What was the last funny German comedy you saw? What was the last 3 hour funny comedy you saw?

At the Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale they have a section where audience members can post cards with what they thought of the movie they just saw and I put “Awful—even worse than “Neruda”—see my review of Tuesday February 7th.

In a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes I found a total of 6 to7 minutes that got me to smile and in those 6 to 7 minutes, maybe 2 minutes, which were old fashioned slapstick making it seem like a comedy.

The film is primarily a daughter, Ines, played by Sandra Huller, and father, Winifred alias Toni, played by Peter Simonischek, story. The father is a child who never grew up and the daughter a workaholic always wheeling and dealing, a lot on the phone, and having to put up with the sexism of the work place.

Winifred puts on a wild wig and uses false teeth to bring some fun into his daughter’s life whether it is at the workplace where she seems to play along in order to avoid embarrassment or in what little private life she has. The film takes that 2 hour and 45 minutes to show the results.

There are a couple of full frontal/rear male/female scenes with one really generating a good laugh but if you think watching a guy masturbate on a petit-four or another one sitting on whoopee cushion is funny than maybe this movie is for you.

“Toni Erdmann” does have a couple of touching scenes but what film dealing with a father and daughter at odds with each other doesn’t?

It is only the 7th week into the new year and I already have 2 of the worst films on my yearly list.

Movie trailer



Posted February 17, 2017 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized



While some cities in the Northern United States of America have been having 7-9 days of snow in a row we have been having record high temperatures, one day reaching 90, for weeks now.

Wherever you look there are beautiful flowers blooming outdoors and indoors, boats are cruising along, paddlers are busy going up and down the new river and one has to decide whether it is a pool or beach day.

As the old commercial use to say, “Come on down!”



Posted February 15, 2017 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

“ELLE”–A MOVIE REVIEW–A MUST SEE   Leave a comment

On December 20 I wrote a review of “Things To Come” a movie starring Isabelle Huppert.   

 In it I said,

“Isabelle Huppert is one of those rare actresses who can be doing one thing while her face shows, expresses, shows deeper  emotions. Huppert is an interesting actress to watch and I am looking forward to seeing her in “Elle”, a much praised with Oscar talk performance, which can only add to her stellar resume.”

I saw “Elle”, for which she was just nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress, deservedly so, and who I will be rooting for on Sunday February 26 on the Oscar telecast. Up to seeing this movie I was hoping Ruth Negga would win for “Loving”. In any case they are more deserving than Emma Stone, who I have nothing against though her performance comes nowhere these two.

Isabelle Huppert plays Michele Leblanc, a video game executive, who, during the first scene of the movie, is brutally attacked and raped by a masked man. While there are flashbacks to this particular act there are also repeat attacks and Michele’s reaction to them seems to change from fear to desire almost as if she was controlling the man and what was happening.

There are many suspects from Patrick (Laurent Lafitte), a married neighbor, to Robert (Christian Berkel), Michele’s lover and whose wife Anne (Anne Consigny) is Michele’s best friend and business partner. There are also some of the men who work for her from one who doesn’t like her and another who follows her around like a puppy. There is also her ex-husband Richard (Charles Berling) not quite as successful as she is.

Along with her various reactions to her attacker Michele also has a 22-23 year old son Vincent (Jonas Bloquet)  who has a girlfriend Josie (Alice Isaac) and thinks he is the father of their child which is, obviously, wrong plus Josie having attitude to both Vincent and Michele. There is Michelle’s mother Irene (Judith Magre) who is very full of herself and has a stroke while in the background is her father who committed a horrendous mass homicide when Michele was a young girl and was in the middle of the surrounding publicity.

While Michelle is pulled in many directions along with trying to find out who her rapist was/is and wanting to control him and the situation Isabelle Huppert commands us, letting us see what she wants us to see, keep us guessing what she may be thinking and feeling but you believe everything she shows you.

Partially a character study and partially a psychological thriller “Elle” is a film with excellent performances, top production values from the soundtrack to the photography with sharp direction and a good screenplay all held together by Isabelle Huppert who, after 100 movies and at the age of 64, shows what the best acting is like!

A definite must see!

Movie Trailer


Posted February 13, 2017 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized


(Disclosure–not full: I met James Baldwin at the 92nd Street YMCA in NYC just after his second book “Giovanna’s Room” was published and he was participating on a panel for what was very rare at that time talking about gay sex, black men and women in the 1950s none of the  3 related to each other. At that time he was friends with Marlon Brando and Wally Cox and I had lived next door to the former and when he saw me he hugged me and asked me to join them for  a bite to eat afterwards. For awhile I became part of their circle though I certainly was on the outer circle!)

With all that said after he went to live in Paris I didn’t see him nor when he came back so I didn’t know too much about his last book that wasn’t finished when he died and Director Raoul Peck decided to make this documentary using Baldwin’s words, and public appearances, to finish the book.

James Baldwin knew Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Junior, and all 4 men, in the 1970s, wrote and spoke about events that took place many decades before and, unaware, all talked about events that are taking place today.

“I Am Not Your Negro” is an in your face look at race relations in our country from day one until today and though it is Oscar nominated it would be better seen on HBO or PBS or showed in classrooms for all ages.

I do hope whoever sees this will be lead to the readings of James Baldwin’s from his “Go Tell It On The Mountain” to “Giovanni’s Room”, “The Fire Next Time”, “Notes Of A Native Son”, “Another Country” just to name a few that will have you entertained, moved, educated and intrigued.



“NERUDA”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

When will I learn to walk out of a movie that is boring me?! I went to see “Neruda” only knowing that Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) was a Nobel Prize winning poet and I left knowing even less. How much was true? How much was the imagination of the screenwriter Guilermo Calderon and director Pablo Larrain? The last movie I saw by Larrain was “Jackie” and a lot of that was made up dialogue supposedly spoken by the first lady.

Is Detective Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael Garcia Bernal) a real person, a figment of Calderon and Larrain’s imagination and/or a nod to Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the Pink Panther series? Is it Bernal doing all the narration or a mix of him and Gnecco or Emilo Gutierrez (as Pablo Picasso)? Was his wife Delia (Mercedes Moran) as abused, mentally and emotionally, as pictured and being a very smart woman would she have put up with it for so long?

More important, did the meaning of the movie just go above my head? To be honest I really didn’t care whether all the questions were answered or not as I was just waiting for something, anything to keep me watching it for a few minutes, waiting for the film to redeem all the time I was wasting watching it!

For whatever reason, I can no more stop reading a book before ‘the end’ as bad as it may be, and I don’t walk out of a movie until the last scene as boring as it may be.

Save your time and money and don’t see “Neruda”!  

Movie trailer


Posted February 8, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized


Blooming cactus

I have the craziest Christmas/Easter/ Leap Year cactus!! I don’t remember when I first bought the Christmas cactus plant but probably 7-8 years ago. It was already in bloom when I bought it that Christmas but stopped blooming after the buds dropped. It didn’t bloom the following Christmas and then all of a sudden there were blooms around Easter. Once again it didn’t bloom at Christmas time but all of a sudden 2012 it started to bloom around my Leap Year birthday!

The last 6 years it seems to bloom around Christmas, the end of February and the week before Easter, whatever date it might be.

At first the blooms were all pink and then all a sudden they were a mixture of pink and white. I did cut off a few branches and before I knew it I had 5 pots of cacti plus the big mother plant, which is in the collage above.

For the first time last year the mother plant started to bloom 2 weeks before Christmas, both white and pink blooms, and one by one each of the other 5 potted plants started to bloom, some white and some pink. Since then all the plants have remained in bloom and now a week before my 20th Leap Year birthday February 29 there were buds on all the plants!

Now during the period of November-February 2016-2017 they have been blooming constantly

The blooms are very pretty but I don’t detect any aroma.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MagQzgae_WM   January 27 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUKM7DP8ZBM&feature=youtu.be   Part 2

Posted February 6, 2017 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized

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