Only 84 days to go!!   Leave a comment

15th Leap Year Birthday February 29, 1996

My first thought looking at this picture is the shirt I am wearing, which I still have and, in fact, wore it last Wednesday, but after 23 years it is time to let it go!


Okay, back to the post on hand. My 15th Leap Year birthday was on a Thursday and was held at the ZanZbar, a South African restaurant and would consist of 15 various desserts shared among the 6 of us. I had the 7 pictured above.


One of the most memorable parts of the celebration was that Nancy, Teacher Mike’s sister, was here from Michigan to be part of my birthday party.

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Posted December 7, 2019 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“A Bronx Tale”–touring production review   Leave a comment

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There is a certain magic that takes place in a theatre between the cast on stage and the audience sitting in the auditorium.  It happened last night without any explanation or understanding what happened.
 
Being familiar with Chazz Palminteri’s one-man show about growing up in the Bronx, which was made into a movie starring Robert De Niro, this Broadway musical was based on the former’s play and is directed, with Jerry Zaks, by the latter. Alan Menken who wrote the music and Glenn Slater the lyrics are both professionals who have written many hit songs for other shows. Sergio Trujillo, who won the 2019 Tony Award for best choreography for the musical “Ain’t Too Proud” this past Sunday, did the choreography for this show and has won awards for other Broadway shows and there was a certain curiosity of what he would do with the dancers ‘in da Bronx’.
 
The show opened with a 10-year-old Calogero, alternately played by Shane Pry and Brigg Liberman, and a decade older Calogero played by Joey Barreiro. I was sort of outside the show, not getting involved, and I can’t quite say when I lost awareness of how the audience was reacting and knew I was watching something special but, I think, it was around the time Barreiro and Brianna-Marie Bell, playing Jane, sang “Out of Your Head” and I didn’t want the first act to finish but it did. The second act flew by and before I knew it the show was over!
 
Joe Barbara as the leader of the neighborhood gang Sonny, Richard H. Blake as Calogero’s father, Michelle Aravena, as the mother, and Bell originated their roles on Broadway, along with a few others of the cast members, bring a professionalism to the show that makes what could have been an ordinary show something special. And, yes, Trujillo, puts the ensemble, especially Antonia Beverly, through steps and dances that make you understand why he has won many awards.
 
“A Bronx Tale” is a show with heart, humor and emotions with a cast that knows what they are doing and does it the best they can which is everything you can ask for!
 
“A Bronx Tale” runs 2 hours including a 20 minute intermission and will be at the Fort Lauderdale Broward Performing Arts Center until June 23.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Posted June 12, 2019 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Welcome to Fort Lizarddale, Florida   1 comment


No matter where you go once you step out your door you will see Lenny Lizard or one of his relatives roaming around Gateway–it is a way of life here and most people don’t pay attention to them.  They do keep us insect free as far as I can tell. I don’t remember the last time I saw a mosquito, fly or ant around. Also, I don’t recall ever seeing one in my apartment unless they come in during the night. 

It is ‘rainy season’ here and hurricane season starts June 1 but so far whatever rain we have gotten comes during late evening or night. Our days, like today, are sunny, bright, warm, lower humidity and a cool breeze making it a pleasant afternoon though many make think a temperature of 82 degrees is hot, it isn’t!

Along with the rainy season comes the arrival of what seems like new birds–though you might not see it there is a bird in back of the trees in the picture next to the weather chart and it has been standing still for a long time!

I never get tired of looking out my window or going down to The Point and just relaxing!

Posted May 15, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

Streaming reviews for week of May 9, 2021   Leave a comment

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1) “The Innocent”–Netflix–limited series–8 episodes–7 hours & 47 minutes–why, oh why, do some pivotel scenes have to be filmed in the dark?–good mystery–interesting story lines–good cast–A WINNER!

2) “Feel Good”–series–season 1–6 episodes–2 hours & 32 minutes–2 lesbians with issues meet and live together–Mae Martin, who also wrote it, is a Canadian comedienne who, sorry, ISN’T FUNNY & NEITHER IS SHOW

3) “Disclosure”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 40 minutes–a follow up to “The Celluloid Closet” in 1993 based on the book by Vita Russo–dealing with transgenders in film–at this time in history SHOULD BE SEEN AS SHOULD “THE CELLULOID CLOSET”

4) “Stowaway”–Netflix–movie–FAST FORWARDED 45 IN MIDDLE__DIDN’T MISS ANYTHING

5) “Master of None”–Netflix–series–2 seasons–season 1  4 hours & 53 minutes–season 2–5 hours & 28 minutes–10 episodes each–a New Yorker trying to figure out his life–COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!

6) “Love of Duty”–HULU–season 1–5 seasons–each episode about an hour–SUGGESTED BY A FRIEND BUT BECAME TOO VIOLENT FOR ME

7) “Tell Me When”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 37 minutes–a romantic comedy that is neither romantic or funny–NOTHING YOU HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE

Posted May 14, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

Doctors, appointments, Insurance, rides and more!   1 comment


I really thought things would start looking up today as I had an appointment with the ‘cardiovascular surgery team’ to set up the day I would go into the hospital for the aorta heart valve replacement of the 13-year-old pig valve I have that is really not working up to par which is why I was getting short of breath very quickly. They were to give me instructions of what to expect including an overnight stay, cutting out the blood thinner for a few days before, recovery time, etc. WRONG!!

It seems because of the delay in meeting with them—not MY fault!– the insurance referrals not only ran out of appointments with them but they would need to redo the CAT SCAN and another test as insurance would not approve this procedure based on the ‘old’ (March29!) tests! Yes, we have to now schedule the 2 tests before we can schedule the aorta operation because that will decide whether they will enter through the thigh, the chest or the heart with the balloon. They will call me with the appointments for the tests at the hospital–you know–the hospital that lost my bridge that I still haven’t had the new one fitted properly.

I was then handed a pamphlet and wouldn’t you know the first page I open to is page 20 which is entitled “What Are the Risks?” and the first listed is Death, followed by major stroke or major vascular complications, life-threatening bleeding event, heart attack and on and on and on. All that doesn’t bother me because the 14-15 meds I am taking already list the side effects that I can die, among other things, from taking them!

So far I have accomplished 0 and to add insult to injury I had arranged a free ride with my HMO. The driver picked me up at 10:30 AM for the 11:30 AM appointment and I was there by 10:45 AM.  I won’t get into having to be up in the middle of the night so I would be ready but the injury added to the insult was that I was finished with the ‘team’ at Noon and my ride didn’t come to pick me up until 1:30 PM and I finally got home at 1:50 PM!!

I know, as a rule, the drivers are great at picking you up early enough for the appointment but they are bad news as far as picking you up to get your home! Allen would have gladly taken me but I figured there was nothing major and their parking situation is horrendous but I didn’t want to bother him and knowing the driver might be late to take me back I had a book to read while I waited but, come on,  3 hours and 50 for a 30-minute appointment!??

I may be a patient but how patient is a patient supposed to be? (Okay, I thought that was funny.)

Now I wait, patiently, for one of the team members to call me with the test dates–I may be breathing regularly by my 22nd birthday!

Posted May 10, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

I think I will move to Fort Lauderdale!!   Leave a comment

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It was another beautiful week in Fort Lauderdale. We have had some rain–most fell over Miami–but it came at ‘convenient’ times here!

We had the air show this weekend which, after a year, brought the chairs out to The Point along with the various boats there and up the canal. I was able to watch most of it from my window and I certainly HEARD all of it!! And as always whenever I look out my window there is some floating vessel going by! Also, never surprising, a bird to two though this one didn’t look familiar to me.

With the chairs out at The Point we are sort of hoping they will be reopening the pool again soon as the weather has been perfect for swimming and sun-tanning.

Little by little things are returning to normal or a new version of that which remains to be seen.

Movie theatres are opening again and we are hoping the touring Broadway shows will once again be stopping in South Florida.Life is good–even if I have to go to the cardiologist today to arrange to go to the hospital for the procedure to fix my outdated aorta valve!

Posted May 10, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

Helping to bring “NORMAL” back!!   Leave a comment

The Old Gateway Theatre

Over half a century ago when I lived in Miami Beach we used to come up to spend a day in the country–then known as Fort Lauderdale–and would, occasionally, go to the Gateway Theatre to see a movie. When I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1979 it became a ‘tradition’ to go to the Friday matinee at that movie house and then in March 2020 an epidemic came and it closed. For more than a year I’ve been waiting and FINALLY got this in the news so donate to their GOFUNDMEPAGE (I did and I can’t afford to but then I can’t afford not to! Hey, you can always make a donation in my name!)

Can’t donate money–any sum accepted–then volunteer your time and get some free food and a movie–too late today? Maybe they will do it again! HELP MAKE “NORMAL” NORMAL AGAIN!

THE PLAN There is much to do! Here are our Renovation Priorities:

RESTROOMS Well they’re better than a bus station’s facilities, but not by much. We want to improve the appearance. Add some nuance to the Ladies Powder Room, move the sinks to create more space, burn the orange stalls, add a stall or two to the Ladies’, and generally revamp the Men’s

BAR/CONCESSION Presently it is just a concession that George Jetson would like. We want to get rid of the whole Mothership, and replace it with an actual bar with bar stools on one side and the other side Movie Concession. We will feature good wines and upscale spirits. And possibly add some small plate offerings to entice you to stay for a double feature. LOBBY Needs good cleaning, recarpeting, new ceiling (something celestial!),

LED flat screens. FIX MARQUEE & FIRE UP TOWER The beautiful marquee is still beautiful – we don’t want to change it, but much of the neon was destroyed when the building was tented a year or so ago. We want to re-do the neon in LED to achieve the same effect but cheaper to install, operate, maintain & power. And brighter. The Tower has not been used for decade, we want to restore it, re-wire it, paint it, add LED plus a searchlight atop.

EXTERIOR ENTRANCEWAY Love this area. We envision Red Carpets and paparazzi! But we could redo the sidewalk itself. In Cannes, surrounding The Palais, they cast hand prints & signatures of the stars that have attended. And it looks really cool! FOYERS of HOUSES 1 & 2 These could be enhanced also to make as separate areas. Perhaps a couple Tall Cafe tables, new carpeting and ceiling.

CENTER HALLWAY Maybe its just me, but this always reminds me of going into Star Wars HyperSpace. Not sure what we’ll do here, but throughout the entire cinema… We will maintain the existing curved walls and amplify the tie-ie with the beach.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: All the Interior Design will be created by Daroff Design. They are finalizing a LOA for us and we look forward to finalizing next week, I’m asking you to JOIN US and your friends & neighbors in this campaign to Restore & Reopen The Gateway! R

RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA HE’S BAAAAACK! George Kaspriske, newest FLIFF employee is also The Gateway’s longest serving manager, beginning in 2000 (which ironically was the year FLIFF was hosted at Gateway – and The Galleria).. With so many people wanting Gateway to resume as it was, we didn’t want to blow it and put the wrong person in the job. George knows everything about the building. Not only all the important stuff like how to turn on the lights, but also, and most importantly, we looked up the definition of the Polish word Kaspriske, and were delighted to learn it is a one word response meaning The Very Best Popcorn. Done! He’s back!

GoFundMe Page to RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA Here is the link to our Official Page. Any and all donations are appreciated! RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA And to those who have not contributed, Join Us:

RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA

This Saturday, May 8, 10am – 8pm, FLIFF will host a Volunteer Clean-Up Day at The Gateway Cinema. At 8pm, volunteers that pitched in at least 90 minutes of help, will be treated to a Free Movie plus Pizza and Soft Drinks. Come grubby and help us get The Gateway reopened! If you have questions email Info@FLIFF.com Please sign the Volunteer Log when you arrive at The Gateway. We will have pizzas and sodas about 1pm – some kind of dinner at 7pm, and we think 3 different movies for you to choose from at 8pm. If you work 3 hours or more, you’ll get a FREE T-Shirt too! If you can. please

Posted May 8, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Streaming reviews for week of May 2, 2021   Leave a comment


1) “Elizabeth & Margaret: Love & Loyalty”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 27 minutes– I always liked Margaret and always rooted for her–talk about sibling rivalry!!

2) “My Love: 6 Stories of True Love”–Netflix–Documentary–6 episodes–7 hours–6 couples talk about their long term relationships–each couple from a different country–interesting study about what makes long term relationships work.

3) “My Octopus Teacher”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 25 minutes–took a while for me to get around to seeing this–excellent–man and ‘beast’ become friends –a MUST SEE!

4) “Who Killed Sara”–series–season 1–10 episodes–6 hours & 43 minutes (Season 2 starts May 19)–a very interesting murder thriller with an excellent cliffhanger–definitely will watch season 2

5) “The Mole”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 29 minutes–it is sad to see a nursing home where old people are, mostly, forgotten by family, lost in their own world but it is an aspect of life most people don’t think about or are comfortable with seeing–hard to watch but shouldn’t be missed

6) “Otherhood”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 40 minutes–for Mother’s Day–where does a mother fit in with her older son’s life–Felicity Huffman, Angela Bassett and Patricia Arquette make it worth seeing

7) “Guide to Sleep”–Netflix–documentary–season 1–7 episodes–2 hours & 10 minutes–halfway through the second episode you’ll fall asleep–and that is meant in a good way–I have been doing a variation of the first episode for years and it works–definitely helpful but repetitious.

Posted May 7, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming, TELEVISION

I HATE DOCTORS!!!! (Not really!)   1 comment

Too bad we need them to keep us alive!!

When I first met this cardiologist 2 months ago–he replaced my previous cardiologist–he changed a medicine that I have been taking for 20 that did its job (1 pill a day) for a new one 2 pills a day plus aspirin–without any explanations but I didn’t get into that as in his next breath he sort of berated me for not telling him that my aorta valve had been in my heart 13 years (though he had my charts right in front of him and the new medicine had to do with that!)–3 years past expiration date!

On top of that he said he couldn’t do anything about the valve until he found out if I had lung or brain cancer (I DON’T) based on a report from my lung doctor!!!  And I did not see him for the next 2 months though I was supposed to have an appointment with him next Wednesday which he cancelled and made for today–after 2 and 1/2 hours waiting in the small room I was ready to walk BUT I was more concerned about my lack of energy and tough breathing so I stayed BUT I did let him know I was pissed and he used the old “emergency’ excuses and people waiting too long before doing something–I (Bette Davis couldn’t have done better! LOL) said venomously “Well I am 85–how much longer did I have to wait?” and he responded his father was 95–I responded, “I hope you don’t aggravate him like you do your patients!” And then we got down to business.


He said he will speak to his partner and they will set up a day for me to go into the hospital which would be an overnight stay to have the aorta valve fixed going through my thigh instead of the chest as done previously and that I will need someone to stay with me that evening I come home–he was ready to set it up for Monday but I explained I need time to arrange a trip to and from the hospital plus get referrals from my primary doctor and arrange for someone to stay with me so that’s where it stands now while I don’t get back to my lung doctor and “Nocardiosis” (which even the heart doc said could last 6 months to a year and longer) until May 17—and I learn more about the do’s and don’ts with that—before ‘work’ can be done on my lungs!

On the bright side I got my smile back!!

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Posted May 3, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

MAY 1, 2021 AT GATEWAY IN FORT LAUDERDALE!   Leave a comment


And, once again, Mother Nature puts on a show, indoors and outdoors, for the first day of a new month, May 2021!

1) Who else could provide red, yellow AND green peppers on the same plant?

!2) And except for flowers who else offers such a variety of dogs, including ‘mutts’??

3) No matter the month or the day or the time of the year my “Christmas” cactus has bloomed!

4) Let’s not forget looking out my window and seeing new people enjoying the water OR

5) A bird just strolling along looking for a worm or two

6) Last, but not least, a little May Day celebration by having Jambalaya at the Quarterdeck!OH YES–A HAPPY 91ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BOY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE–ALFREDO ROSSI–ENJOY YOUR BIRTHDAY LUNCH & OUTING!!

Streaming reviews for week of April 25, 2021   Leave a comment

1) “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me”–Netflix–series–season 1–8 episodes–a 1950s sitcom for 2021?? Jamie Foxx is talented BUT NO THANKS & I HOPE NO SEASON 2!

2) “The Stand-In”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 41 minutes–Barrymore playing 2 characters does a good job in both roles BUT FILM DOESN’T KNOW WHETHER IT WANTS TO BE A COMEDY OR DRAMA AND FAILS AT BOTH!

3) “Genius : Aretha Franklin”–HULU–miniseries-8 episodes–6 hours & 29 minutes–ended too abruptly–goes back and forth too much in time–both Shaian Jordan (as a young Aretha) and Cynthia Erivo do star turns as Franklin–GOOD DOUBLE FEATURE WITH “AMAZING GRACE”

4) “Making a Murderer”–Netflix–documentary–10 episodes–10 hours & 13 minutes–a man is wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years or was he???–THOUGH TOO LONG AND A BIT CARELESS HERE AND THERE THE MAIN CHARACTER HOLDS YOUR INTEREST!

5) “Another Round”–HULU–movie–1 hour & 57 minutes–Oscar-nominated film that Leonardo DiCaprio has bought the rights to make an American version–IT IS A STAR TURN FOR THE LEAD BUT WHY WAS IT OSCAR

NOMINATED AND WHY IS DICAPRIO REMAKING IT?
6) “Deux” (aka “Two of Us”)–HULU–movie–1 hour & 39 minutes–two women in love who keep it hidden from their families until they can’t anymore–A DRAMATIC LOVE STORY THAT IS TRULY ABOUT LOVE AND NOT SEX!

Posted April 29, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming, TELEVISION

Sunday April 24 2021 at Gateway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida   Leave a comment


Another day in South Florida–today’s temp is 92 but it will ‘cool’ off starting tomorrow!

If you look at the second picture down on the left you will see the first Queen Crepe Myrtle tree in bloom kicking off the season and though we have very few left they will all be in bloom soon–the only color in Gateway since the new owners took over and took out all the flowering plants, bushes and trees.

The third picture from the left in the second row is Lucy, my neighbor, always looking out for us.

Whether it is spotting canoes through the trees from my apartment window (third picture from the left, second row) or one of the many million-dollar homes across the canal (top row, far right) or people in yachts, motorboats, being dragged over the water and, of course, eventually falling in or just enjoying looking over The Point no matter what is going on in the world it is peaceful here.

Posted April 25, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, GATEWAY

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