A cool and cold wave coming!!   1 comment

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It is a rainy on and off day plus gray and windy which is the prelude of a cool wave (high of 75) coming tomorrow and a cold wave (high of 67) on Tuesday. I would get my mittens and ear muffs out but they clash with my shorts and sandals!!
At least I have summer and spring in my apartment every day!

Posted December 9, 2018 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

Santa and a cold wave are coming!   4 comments

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Who says we don’t have 4 seasons down here?!?!  Christmas lights, poinsettias, Santa’s face on doors, trees being decorated and it looks like we have another cold front coming in on Tuesdays with highs ‘only’ in the 60s but then it looks like California and the rest of the country is having it a lot worse than we are this year!

Posted December 8, 2018 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, HOLIDAYS, Uncategorized

“At Eternity’s Gate”–movie review   1 comment


After the first 10 minutes I was ready to walk out of “At Eternity’s Gate” and I was waiting for Allen to say that we should leave but he didn’t. Talk about walking—if they cut all the scenes showing van Gogh walking, especially those of just from lower shins down, in silence, well except for excruciating music on the soundtrack, this would have been considered a short.

Sixty-two years ago (1956) there was a ‘Hollywood’ version called “Lust For Life” starring Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The movie was based on a story by Irving Stone and written by Norman Corwin and this movie is written by Jean Claude Carrierre, Louise Kugelberg and Julian Schnabel, the latter also directing with it being his version, based on fact, letters, speculation and fiction.

The major plus of both films is showing the authentic paintings of Vincent van Gogh and, to a certain degree, his road to insanity. Did van Gogh kill himself by shooting himself in the stomach as Stone says or did 2 kids shoot and kill him?

The scenes between Douglas and Quinn are electric while the scenes in “At Eternity’s Gate” between Rupert Friend, as Theo, Vincent’s brother, especially one in a hospital, are moving and those between Oscar Isaac, as Gauguin, showing the respect he had for van Gogh, enlightening.  Vladimir Consigny as a young doctor shows compassion for the man who sits before him after cutting his ear off while Mads Mikkelsen as a priest who is no match for van Gogh’s interpretation of the bible. The women’s roles are secondary and neither add or take away from the film.

William Dafoe, as van Gogh, in his 60s, playing the latter in his 30s, shows more in his face of the pain of life that the artist probably did.

Sadly the performances of Dafoe and Friend, with the paintings of van Gogh, are not enough to make the picture worthwhile while the offbeat piano tinkering of music by Tatiana Lisovskaya, the endless walking scenes, the handheld camera shots and the lack of drama make this more of a ‘skip it’ than a ‘must see’.

Movie trailer


Posted December 7, 2018 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

Never know what you’ll see!   Leave a comment

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Though the age minimum to live at Gateway is 62 once in a while someone younger gets in and we all go crazy. How could you not fall in love with a resident’s great-great-granddaughter??
Looking out my window I caught a peeping Tom!! Well, not really, just a guy from Comcast fixing some wires. Heck, I would question the sanity of anyone wanting to peep at Gateway residents!
Also and I don’t why they are replacing the old doors with hurricane glass doors. The old doors have kept us all safe through all kinds of weather including hurricanes so I hope these will too.
Long story behind my Peter Max jacket. I bought it 50 years ago when I weighed 159 and a half pounds for 3 minutes, not to mention I was only 32 years old. I’ve kept it all these years in hopes that I would weigh 159 and a half pounds–nah! I knew/know that wouldn’t happen but I just couldn’t give it away.
An old man here (hi John–I’ll see if he reads my posts!!) needed a jacket and as much as I hated to part with the ‘artwork’–I haven’t seen him wear it year but then he gets up early in the morning and is gone before I even think of waking up.
We do have another cold wave coming this week so maybe I’ll spot John lookingt smart in my jacket!

Posted December 6, 2018 by greatmartin in LIFE, Uncategorized

Growing Pepper plants   1 comment

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Over the years I have had plants of all sorts having luck with some and not with others. I, also, tried planting various fruits and veggies from seeds, nuts and the vegetable itself.
I have had success with avocados, Romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, etc. I don’t know how many times I have planted seeds from peppers but most times nothing happened. This past summer I took some seeds from a few green and red peppers I was cooking with and though a few stems showed up here and there but it wasn’t until last month that flowers started to bloom. Nothing came of them and they were soon dropping off.
A week to ten days ago there were about 8 blossoms and I didn’t want to see them also die so I made a decision. I very seldom give any plants away but Luiz had just done new landscaping around his home so I decided to give them to him to plant in the ground and see if WE could get any peppers from them. (All I want is one!)
On to the next fruit or vegetable I buy!

Posted December 5, 2018 by greatmartin in PLANTING, PLANTS, Uncategorized

“Maria by Callas”—movie review   Leave a comment

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As a kid the only thing I knew about opera was what I learned in music appreciation in high school and that was “Carmen” and “Madame Butterfly”. I, also, went on a school trip to the ‘Old Met’ plus let’s not forget Mario Lanza as Caruso or Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy.
In the 1950s I was very much into theatre, both musicals and plays, plus concerts, pop and Bernstein, movies, television was becoming very popular and the name Maria Callas started to appear in papers, magazines, interview shows on television but mainly became known as a prima donna first in a good way than as a sneer. She was a married woman having an affair with a Greek millionaire who would eventually leave her for Jackie Kennedy after the United States President died.
In “Maria by Callas” Maria Callas tells her story in her words, pictures, events and we hear her voice at its best, though recordings 50-60 years ago weren’t as clear as they are today. We see her being mobbed by fans, the press, notable people like Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Taylor, Bridgette Bardot, interviewed by Edward R. Murrow, David Frost and Barbara Walters. She talks about how and why performances were missed and how, as a woman, she had to choose between her career and having a family, her feuds with her mother and the Met Opera director Rudolph Bing.
Whether playing the Diva or the rejected lover the main things that stand out about Maria Callas are her wide, open black eyes, thin body and, yes, that glorious voice. I won’t pretend I know bel canto technique from a soaring soprano or other voices but I can be moved and I was by many of the arias she sings in this documentary.
“Maria by Callas” presents a woman, a singer, many of us may have only known by the headlines or a gay icon but who deservedly was called ‘the’ female opera singer of the twentieth century. It also makes me realize what I missed not seeing her perform on stage.

My moviepass adventure   2 comments

A year ago a neighbor—sorry I forget who (ah! Old age!)-mentioned moviepass and getting to go see free movies once a day, 365 days, for a year which immediately got my interest as I am and have been a big movie GOER since I was a kid.

Seem they were having a special of $89.95 for a year’s membership so I joined. For my membership I saw 71 movies for that $89.95 and there are two ways of looking at that, the first being the fee paid for about the first 10 movies I saw and the other 61 were free or I paid $1.26 per movie. In either case I got a great deal and, maybe, I saw a dozen pictures that I may not have normally seen.

One of the questions everyone asked was how they could sustain it and, obviously, they couldn’t. This past summer they sort of took a nosedive with a plan that charged $9.95 per month to see 3 movies a month which is still a good deal though not as good but my special was still okay until September and then I was put on that 3 a month deal to finish out the 3 months I had left.

The only problem was that you were restricted to movies, theatres and times they picked and most times that was never clear on their app, but I persevered though at times it almost drove me crazier than I already am.

An aside: my favorite theatre in Fort Lauderdale is the Classic Gateway that I have been going to since I lived in Miami Beach (that was in the Ice Age!) Since I have lived in Fort Lauderdale from 1979 it is my theatre of choice because they cater to everyone having blockbusters, documentaries, gay and independent films and were an ‘art’ theatre before anyone else. (Not to mention the owners and the folks who work there are class people!)

Okay, back to moviepass. I decided when my membership was up I would give it a try for a month thinking that if I got 3 movies to Gateway a month I would be ahead. As an example—if I went to 3 Tuesday matinees, when they charge $7 for those who have their reward cards that would be saving me $12—even if I went on Fridays when it cost $9 I would still be getting 2 free movies.

I spent 2 hours on the Internet and another 2 on the phone—they have no record of my ever being a member or my renewing for the month of December so bye-bye moviepass but thanks for the year!

Posted December 3, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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