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.


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

Streaming Reviews: 3 mystery series and 3 movies   Leave a comment

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1) “Lucifer–Netflix–American–series–59 episodes–47 hours and 31 minutes2) “Dark Desire” Netflix–Mexican–series–18 episodes-9 hours and 49 minutes3) “Endeavour–PBS–British–series–Season 7–3 episodes–4 hours and 30 minutesOf the 3 mysteries “Dark Desire” is the best as far as being interesting with many twists and turns. The only negative I have is too many male butt and female breast shots. “Lucifer” has run of the mill mysteries but with the Devil, helping the lead female detective, and his assorted cohorts including a brother there are a lot of laughs. (It originally ran for 4 seasons and now has added 2 more–so far I have watched the 13 episodes in the first season and looking forward to the rest.) I am not quite sure about the ‘history’ of “Endeavour”–I think this is the 7th season–but after watching the mystery series “Grantchester” previous Sundays this is pretty disappointing.4)”Adu”–Netflix–Spanish–movie–1 hour and 59 minutes–interesting and confusing–multiple storylines that intersect.5) “Shine Your Eyes”–Netflix–Nigerian film that takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil–1 hour and 42 minutes–a mixture of a detective story, family drama, sibling rivalry and finding one’s identity that I enjoyed while watching it but have forgotten already!6) “7500”–Amazon–German film mostly in English–1 hour and 32 minutes–just another movie–99% takes place in the cockpit of a plane–stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt–boring.

Posted August 7, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, TELEVISION

Martin the Farmer!   1 comment

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I know it sounds silly but I feel like a kid playing in the fields of a large farm. Okay, so it is a one-bedroom apartment and all I have are potted plants but I have 7 potted pepper plants and I have 7 peppers from a bud to a grown pepper.I usually pick the peppers after a week but this time I want to see how large they will grow and/or if they will naturally fall off the stem. Will take another picture before I add them to salads, soups and meat dishes!!Want a pepper? Come on and stop by and pick your own! :O)

Posted August 6, 2020 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, GARDENS, HOME

Streaming–Netflix: 3 movies, 2 documentaries, 1 series–reviews   Leave a comment

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1) “Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All”–Netflix–documentary–2 parts–total 4 hours. No matter what you may think of the man there is no denying he is the greatest American singer who made each song ‘a 4-minute movie’!
2) “Holding The Man”–Netflix–Australian movie–2 hours and 8 minutes. Based on a true story and book written by Timothy Conigrave who died 10 days after finishing the book at the age of 34. It is about the love between him, a drama student, and John Caleo, a football player, who met in school, came of age during the AIDS crisis and were together for the next 15 years. Though some parts may have called for it the movie is free of maudlin sentiment, nor is it indignant or evangelizing, just a beautiful love story that may have a ‘happy ever after ending’ depending on how you see it.
3) “Almost Love”–Netflix–New York set movie–1 hour and 34 minutes. The movie is about 4 couples all at different points in their relationships. There are a black man and white woman who has been together 15 years, 2 gay men celebrating their 5th anniversary, a fat woman and homeless man and a teacher who tutors a high school student who is in love with her. It is a film about intimacy and the difficulties of having a long-lasting meaningful relationship.
4) “365 Days”–Netflix–Italian movie–1 hour and 53 minutes–a very wealthy man kidnaps a woman and gives her 365 days to fall in love with him. It’s not THAT bad though the premise might offend people.5) “Fear City: New York vs The Mafia”–Netflix–2 hours 34 minutes–3 episodes–“The Godfather” is a lot more exciting to watch while this puts you to sleep. I did learn that Trump, among many other builders, paid $19 million to the mob.6) “The Baby-Sitters Club”–Netflix–series–First season–10 episodes–4 hours and 55 minutes–takes place in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Mostly for teenage girls and since I am not a teenager or a girl it was NOT for me.

Posted August 5, 2020 by greatmartin in Netflix, REVIEWS, Streaming

Welcome to my life–again!   1 comment

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(Okay, I messed up the numbers but it is too much work to redo the whole collage all over–bear with me! LOL) EVERY Thursday come rain or hurricane or whatever Allen stops by, picks me up and takes me shopping. We, usually start off, at the Dollar Tree on 17th street but they opened a new (1 & 9) about the same distance in the opposite direction and we gave it a try last Thursday. It is huge with a lot more aisle room and a larger refrigerator/freezer area and selection. The next stop is (8) Winn-Dixie which has just remodeled the whole store and either first or last it is (4) CVS to pick up prescriptions which taking  12 meds a day there is usually 1 to pick up each week. I have tried to get them all at once but it just doesn’t seem to work!
In ‘the old days’ we used to go for lunch sometime between the shopping but since the virus rules we did only once but we are talking about hitting The Cheesecake Factory this Thursday as I have gift cards. (Wonder if I will ever get to use the movie gift cards I got for my birthday!)(2,3,6 and 7) are just some shots of around my living-room which reminds me I have to check for peppers!(8) is one of the aristocratic-looking birds we get after a storm while (11) is a shot of Karen Bay off The Point which is always beautiful looking.Then there are (10 & 12) which are my dogs!! The first is on my desk calendar and the last on my wall calendar and I don’t have to walk or feed them!!
At this point, I really should stop taking so many pictures but then I ask myself “Why?”

Posted August 4, 2020 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, HOME

Isaias–hurricane, tropical storm or just a rainy day?   1 comment

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It started last Monday showing the path of a new storm coming directly at Fort Lauderdale. By Friday the path had veered to the west so it looked like we just might get the outer bands of a hurricane. On Saturday it was declared Tropical Storm Isaias and there could be high winds and heavy rain but when to expect all that was constantly being moved.We had somewhat heavy winds and now and then patches of rain but nothing we haven’t seen on a regular day during the rainy season. I believe I may have heard some heavy rain overnight but the parking lot didn’t show that and though we had a few drizzles today we had a lot more brightness if not more sun.
At 4 PM I took the 3 pictures with the smileys and we all know that Larry and Lenny the lizards wouldn’t be out if bad weather was brewing!! There are a family with baby lizards but those little ones are so fast I haven’t been able to get a picture of them—yet!In any case, it is hurricane season and a lot is happening out in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the US so don’t know what the next 4 months will bring. Stayed tuned!

Posted August 2, 2020 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

Streaming reviews–2 WOWS!   Leave a comment

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1) “The Speed Cuber”–Netflix–documentary–40 minutes–WOW! I never knew there was such a thing as speedcubing world championships nor was I aware that someone could solve a Rubik’s Cube with one hand let alone before you know they did. I certainly wasn’t aware that I would get so involved in what I would call a ‘sport for nerves’ and regret that I ever thought so or called it that! What really holds your interest is the story that ties Feliks Zemdegs, king of the cubers, and Max Parker who is beating all the former’s records and both becoming fast friends with Max, who is on the autistic spectrum, learning socialization from Feliks. You want both to win the present championship which isn’t possible but more than that you don’t want this film to end. It was made in Australia in Sidney and Melbourne.2) “Love on the Spectrum”–Netflix–reality show–5 episodes–3 hours and 33 minutes–also made in Australia and dealing with autism. I don’t watch ‘looking for love’ a la “The Batchelor” and why I started watching this I have no idea. On the one hand, I know very little about autism and I found this from the get-go joyful, warm and a learning experience. Plus seeing them wanting to fall in love and having families while in many cases lacking what would be called social skills is touching and hurts when they are disappointed and on the other hand a lot of fun when they are having fun. This is definitely on the WOW! scale.By the way, in both movies, the parents of all deserve a lot of credit for being no different than other parents.
3) “Radioactive”–Amazon Pride–movie biography–1 hour and 43 minutes. Under normal circumstances this film would have opened in movie theatres and there would be a lot of word of mouth about Rosamund Pike being nominated for an Oscar, deservedly, and possibly the film, just as Greer Garson and “Madame Curie” were in 1943. Oh, that’s right, you would have to be of a ‘certain age’ to know who Greer Garson and I am so all I could think of was her as I watched this film. Yes, Pike is excellent and this film goes into much more than the other one did and covers a longer period and holds your interest. I do recommend it and wonder why I still want to see the 1943 film again?4) “Desperados”–Netflix–movie–1 hour and 45 minutes–A comedy that isn’t funny, a film about women written by a woman who doesn’t seem to think too much of women! Not worth the time!

Posted July 31, 2020 by greatmartin in Amazon Prime, MOVIE REVIEW, Netflix, Streaming

More quotes!   1 comment

More quotes (Thanks Alex!)


“Darling, they’ve absolutlely ruined your perfectly dreadful play.”

— Talullah Bankhead to Tennessee Williams after seeing the film version of one of his plays

“When I get hold of her, I’ll tear out every hair of her mustache!”

— Talullah Bankhead about Bette Davis

“Ingrid Bergman speaks five languages and can’t act in any of them.”

— John Gielgud on Ingrid Bergman

“She has a cult, and what the hell is a cult except a gang of rebels without a cause. I have fans. There’s a big difference.”

— Joan Crawford on Bette Davis

“I wouldn’t piss on her if she was on fire.”

— Bette Davis on Joan Crawford

“He needed willowy or boyish girls like Katharine Hepburn to make him look what they now call macho. If I’d costarred with Grant or if Crawford had, we’d have eaten him for breakfast.”

—Bette Davis on Cary Grant

“Mr. Dean appears to be wearing my last year’s wardrobe and using my last year’s talent.”

— Marlon Brando on James Dean

 – – – – – – – –

Wilde Child

Oscar Wilde was the king of the epigram, bon mot, scathing remark, and witty double entendre.

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”

“Of course, America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.”

“I don’t recognize you — I’ve changed a lot.”

“America is one long expectoration.”

“She is a peacock in everything but beauty.”

“He would stab his best friend for the sake of writing an epigram on his tombstone.”

“A monstrous orchid.”

— Oscar Wilde on Aubrey Beardsley

 – – – – – – – – – – – –

Lit Bitchery

My mother used to tell me, “If you spent half as much time on your homework as you did thinking up all those nasty things to say about your friends, you’d have a scholarship to Harvard.” Tell that to Gore Vidal, Mom.

“He is the same old sausage, fizzing and sputtering in his own grease.”

— Henry James

“She was like a sinking ship firing on the rescuers.”

— Alexander Woollcott

“Reading Proust is like bathing in someone else’s dirty water.”

— Alexander Woolcott on Marcel Proust

“No one reads him, they hear of him.”

— Gore Vidal on Norman Mailer

“In her last days she resembled a spoiled pear.”

— Gore Vidal on Gertrude Stein

“The only genius with an IQ of sixty.”

— Gore Vidal on Andy Warhol

“Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the.”

— Mary McCarthy, in a statement about Hellman in a 1979 interview on The Dick Cavett Show; this prompted a defamation suit against McCarthy which was dropped after Hellman’s death. Later McCarthy said “If someone had told me, don’t say anything about Lillian Hellman because she’ll sue you, it wouldn’t have stopped me. It might have spurred me on.”


Mean Girls

“Tell me, is there anything you wish you hadn’t eaten?

— Dame Enda to Roseanne

“The male chromosome is an incomplete female chromosome. In other words the male is a walking abortion; aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.”

— Valerie Solanos

“Teflon brain (nothing sticks).”

— Lily Tomlin

“If you ever become a mother, can I have one of the puppies?”

— Charles Pierce


Truman Capote

Truman was great at both saying mean things and inspiring the enmity of others. It’s a special talent.

“That isn’t writing at all, it’s typing.”

— Truman Capote about Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

“I always said little Truman had a voice so high it could only be detected by bats.”

— Tennessee Williams on Truman Capote

“It was a good career move.”

— Gore Vidal on Truman Capote’s death



“She plunged into a sea of platitudes, and with the powerful breast stroke of a channel swimmer, made her confident way towards the white cliffs of the obvious.”

— W. Somerset Maugham

“She proceeds to dip her little fountain-pen filler into pots of oily venom and to squirt the mixture at all her friends.”

— Harold Nicholson

“You were born with your legs apart. They’ll send you to the grave in a Y-shaped coffin.”

— Joe Orton

“Nature not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.”

— A. E. Housman

“Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington is so boring, you fall asleep halfway through her name.”

— Alan Bennett

“Nature played a cruel trick on her by giving her a waxed mustache.”

— Alan Bennett

Noël Coward deserves his own page. Even the nice things he said sounded mean.

“I see her as one great stampede of lips directed at the nearest derriere.”

— Noël Coward

“She had much in common with Hitler, only no mustache.”

— Noël Coward

“He’s completely unspoiled by failure.”

— Noël Coward

“The easiest way for you to lose 10 pounds is just to take off your wig.”

— Madonna to Elton John

“She looks like a fucking fairground stripper.”

— Elton on Madonna

Posted July 29, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

A rant with questions!! :O)   1 comment

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With the million dollar smile!

I went to my dentist yesterday to have my 1 of 2 ‘free’ insurance cleanings–the last time they charged me for a ‘deep’ cleaning and I questioned it and told them I saw no difference than a regular cleaning but I went ahead and paid it.
I had an appointment in June–got there on time–they were completely shut down but never called me to cancel the appointment.
Okay, it is a crazy time so I didn’t make a big deal of it and came for the new appointment, got my teeth cleaned, no big deal and as I was leaving, going out the door, I was told that I had to stop at the desk and I was told I owed $45 for the cleaning and I asked, “Why?” and the answer I got was “He irrigated and cleaned the teeth,” and I brought up that I don’t ever recall getting my teeth cleaned without getting some irrigation and I mentioned the previous ‘over-charge’.
She said she could discount the irrigation charge but she would have to charge me $15 for—didn’t get the words quite right–‘virus protection’! My receipt has nothing down about what the charge is for!! I have heard about restaurants adding some sort of virus charge but this was the first time I was hit with ‘it’–no signs around about the charge was not told about the charge, etc.
Is this some sort of scam? Are all dentists charging this? Adding insult to injury I received an email when I got home and they asked me to add any comments I had so I sent this to them–still waiting for a response! “Why aren’t there signs about the $15 “Virus Protection” charge? Why wasn’t I informed about the charge beforehand? Why isn’t the charge stated as such on my receipt? I get 2 ‘free’ cleanings a year under my insurance plan—so far I have had 2 cleaning appointments—both not ‘free’—and I was not informed of the extra charges when I went in for an appointment. Why do I leave the office with a ‘sour taste’ in my mouth, feeling as if I have been ripped off?”
Waiting for their reply, which I expect to be a non-answer!!

End of rant–ah, I feel better!!

Posted July 28, 2020 by greatmartin in LIFE

Finally–3 funny comedians!!   Leave a comment

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1) Jeanne Robertson– videos–6’2″, former Miss North Carolina, former Physical Education teacher, formerly a blond, now white-haired (her words), a motivational speaker who believes humor is a strategy for success! Just watch her “Don’t let a Man Go Shopping”, “The Great Marmot Standoff” or “The Baton”–the first about her husband, the second about her son (in the audience) and the third about a potential beauty contest winner and a baton! I laughed constantly at all 3 as I did at many other of her videos! Here’s the first!

2) Jim Gaffigan–Amazon Prime–“The Pale Tourist”–2 episodes–the first is 45 minutes and takes place in Canada and the second in Spain 50 minutes. Known as “The Clean Comedian” he is slightly off-color regarding body parts but he doesn’t yell, didn’t use the ‘f’ word, talks about food a lot, especially in the Spain segment but mostly talks about everyday life including his 5 kids!3) Jack Whitehall–Netflix–“I’m Only Joking”–58 minutes–Yes, he is loud, uses the ‘F’ word, does a lot of dirty bits but he is young, thin, English and funny! And then there is “Travels With My Father”– 3 seasons with the first 6 episodes totaling 3 hours and 4 minutes, the second 5 episodes totaling 2 hours and 13 minutes and the third 2 episodes totaling 1 hour and 39 minutes. Father and son don’t have chemistry but both are very funny. The father, Michael, is very sarcastic–to his son–“You couldn’t score in a brothel!”–as only an elderly British man can be while Jack is hilarious with his reactions to his father in some everyday situations in their travels. The episode when the father is faced with a very ultra bidget or in another country with having to use an outdoor facility—or not–is laugh out loud funny. They may not appear to have chemistry between them as comedians but they certainly have a positive, caring, loving relationship as father and son!Another Jeanne Robertson video

Posted July 27, 2020 by greatmartin in REVIEWS, Streaming, TELEVISION

A week in July 2020 in Fort Lauderdale AKA my home!   Leave a comment

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It is 5:30 PM Sunday, July 26, 2020, and it is cooling off–only 87 degrees—which means the rain clouds are starting to move in but right now it is just another beautiful day in Fort Lauderdale ending another great week in South Florida, virus or no virus.

1, 2 & 5) from inside my apartment  3) my ‘neighbor’ Lucy waiting for me to come out knowing it is usually about this time I go down for the mail but it is Sunday and no mail so I will take a walk down to the elevator and back so she can get on with her routine! 4 & 8) new peppers growing.

6 & 10) Lenny the lizard, like Larry his friend, waiting for me to come back from the mailboxes so they can go back to their woodpile  7) looking out from the elevator walkway.

9) Last night watched members of the original cast of “A Chorus Line” getting together to celebrate its 45 anniversary–I am looking forward to 2025 when, hopefully, they will do a revival (and NOT update it too much!) and tour with it, coming to Fort Lauderdale when, hopefully, theatre will have returned to ‘normal’. With as many times as I have seen it and read all the books about it, I was surprised to learn that Michael Bennett (not like him!) allowed the original ‘Richie’ to make up the choreography for “Gimme The Ball”!

11) They finally finished the dumpster project–the residents will still have water up to their ankles when they throw out their garbage but the dumpster wheels will be nice and dry!

12) It has been 50 (!!!!) years since I went to South America and Australia/New Zealand and for souvenirs I framed the money I had left from both trips–top  South America and bottom Australia/New Zealand–wonder if they are worth anything?

And tomorrow I start off a new week going to the dentist!!

Posted July 26, 2020 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

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