Archive for January 2012


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  • February 29, 1288 It becomes legal in Scotland for a woman to propose marriage to a man.

  • February 29, 1504 Christopher Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican natives into providing his crew with food. (And I went to Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx 444 years later!)

  • February 29, 1504 Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican Indians

  • February 29, 1528 “Patrick Hamilton, student of Parid, Louvain, St Andrews, Marburg, Abbot of Fearn, burned at St Andrew for heresy, the first Reformation martyr in Scotland”

  • February 29, 1692 “Sarah Good & Tituba, an Indian servant, accused of witchcraft, Salem”

  • February 29, 1696 English ex-premier Earl Danby accused of corruption (Some things stay the same!)

  • February 29, 1704 “Queen Anne’s War: French forces and Native Americans attack and destroy Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 100 men, women, and children.”

  • February 29, 1712 “February 29 is followed by February 30 in Sweden, in a move to abolish the Swedish calendar for a return to the Old style.”

  • February 29, 1720 “Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden abdicates in favour of her husband, who becomes King Frederick I.”

  • February 29, 1784 Marquis de Sade transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille

  • February 29, 1796 “Jay’s Treaty proclaimed, settles some differences with England”

  • February 29, 1816 Dutch (King) Willem II marries Russian grand-duchess Anna Paulowna

  • February 29, 1848 Neufchatel declares independence of Switzerland

  • February 29, 1856 Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease

  • February 29, 1864 “American Civil War: Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid fails – Plans to free 15,000 Union soldiers being held near Richmond, Virginia are thwarted.”

  • February 29, 1880 Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland & Italy opens

  • February 29, 1892 Britain & US sign treaty on seal hunting in Bering Sea

  • February 29, 1892 “St. Petersburg, Florida incorporated.”

  • February 29, 1904 “Theodore Roosevelt, appoints 7 man committee to study Panama Canal”

  • February 29, 1908 Dutch scientists produce solid helium

  • February 29, 1916 “Child labor: In South Carolina, the minimum working age for factory, mill, and mine workers is raised from twelve to fourteen years old.” (And 96 years later Newt wants kids to work for nothing.)

  • February 29, 1932 Failed coup attempt by fascist Lapua Movement in Finland

  • February 29, 1932 “TIME magazine features eccentric American politician William “”Alfalfa”” Murray on its cover after Murray stated his intention to run for President of the United States.”

  • February 29, 1936 “Baby Snooks, played by Fanny Brice, debuts on the radio program The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air.” (And 28 years later I go see Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl”.)

  • February 29, 1936 FDR signs 2nd neutrality act

  • February 29, 1940 “””Gone with the Wind,”” wins 8 Oscars”

  • February 29, 1940 Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations

  • February 29, 1940 “For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award.”

  • February 29, 1940 “In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California, due to the war, physicist Ernest Lawrence receives his 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from the Sweden’s Consul General in San Francisco.”

  • February 29, 1944 5 leaders of Indonesia Communist Party sentenced to death

  • February 29, 1944 “US troop land on Los Negros, Admirality Islands”

  • February 29, 1944 World War II: The Admiralty Islands are invaded in the American General Douglas MacArthur-led Operation Brewer.

  • February 29, 1948 “Stern-group bomb Cairo-Haifa train, 27 British soldiers died”

  • February 29, 1952 Dick Button wins his 5th consecutive world figure skating title

  • February 29, 1952 The island of Heligoland is restored to German authority.

  • February 29, 1956 Islamic Republic established in Pakistan

  • February 29, 1956 President Eisenhower announces he would seek a 2nd term (And Obama does same 56 years later????)
  • February 29, 1960 “An earthquake in Morocco kills over 3,000 people and nearly destroys Agadir in the southern part of the country.”

  • February 29, 1960 “Earthquake kills 1/3 of Agadir Morocco population (12,000) in 15 seconds”

  • February 29, 1960 Hugh Hefner opens the first Playboy Club in Chicago.

  • February 29, 1960 “JFK makes “”missile gap”” the Presidential campaign issue”

  • February 29, 1964 “Frank Rugani sets badminton shuttlecock distance record, 24.3 meters”

  • February 29, 1964 “In Sydney, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser sets a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition (58.9 seconds).” (And 8 years later I go to Sidney!)

  • February 29, 1964 LBJ reveals US secretly developed the A-11 jet fighter

  • February 29, 1964 North Carolina high school basketball teams play to 56-54 score in 13 overtime

  • February 29, 1968 “Beatles’ “”Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”” wins Grammy” (43 years later I see “Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles”)

  • February 29, 1968 Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell announces the discovery of the first pulsar (a star that emits regular radio waves).
  • February 29, 1968 US end regular flights with nuclear bombs

  • February 29, 1972 “Hank Aaron becomes first baseball player to sign for $200,000 a year”  (And 1972 is one of the best years in my life financially!)

  • February 29, 1972 “Jack Anderson discloses Dita Beard (ITT) memo indicating antitrust charges were dropped for $400,000 contribution to Republican Party” (Some things never change!)

  • February 29, 1972 “Vietnam War: Vietnamization – South Korea withdraws 11,000 of its 48,000 troops from Vietnam.”

  • February 29, 1980 Gordie Howe becomes first NHL player to score 800 career goals

  • February 29, 1980 “Michael Bracey ends 59 hours 55 minutes trapped in an elevator, England”

  • February 29, 1980 “Yigal Allon, former Israeli foreign minister and supporter of Israeli independence, dies at age 61.”

  • February 29, 1984 Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces he is leaving office after serving over 15 years.

  • February 29, 1988 Mark Greatbatch scores 107 vs England on Test Cricket debut

  • February 29, 1988 Nazi document implicates Waldheim in WWII deportations

  • February 29, 1988 “NYC Mayor Koch calls Reagan a “”WIMP”” in the war on drugs”

  • February 29, 1988 South African archbishop Desmond Tutu is arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape Town

  • February 29, 1992 Dawn Coe wins LPGA Women’s Kemper Golf Open

  • February 29, 1992 The Professional Spring Football League begins

  • February 29, 1996 “A Peruvian Boeing 737 crashes in the Andes, killing all 123 people aboard.”

  • February 29, 1996 “Daniel Green is convicted of murdering the father of basketball star Michael Jordan during a 1993 holdup, and is sentenced to life in prison.”

  • February 29, 1996 Kenya defeat West Indies (all out 93) in Cricket World Cup

  • February 29, 1996 Novelist Joan Collins awarded US $1 million from Random House for breach of contract. (And she didn’t give me any of it for my 15 Leap Year Birthday!)

  • February 29, 1996 “Soyuz TM-23, lands”

  • February 29, 2000 “Six year old Dedrick Owens shoots and kills Kayla Rolland, also six years old, at Theo J. Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Michigan. Rolland is currently the youngest victim of a school shooting
    2000 Feb 29 Destiny’s Child Release “Say My Name” Single in the US

    “Say My Name” is a song by American R&B group Destiny’s Child. The song was the third single from the group’s 1999 album The Writing’s on the Wall, released through Columbia label in 2000…
    2000 Feb 29 The Smashing Pumpkins release MACHINA/The Machines of God

    MACHINA/The Machines of God is The Smashing Pumpkins’ fifth studio album, released on February 29, 2000. A concept album, it marked the return of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and was intended…
    2004 Feb 29 76th Academy Awards

    The 76th Academy Awards ceremony honored the best films of 2003 and was broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. EST, February…(And I wasn’t invited!!!)
    2004 Feb 29 Jean-Bertrand Aristide is Ousted from Power in Coup d’État

    The 2004 Haiti rebellion was a coup d’etat that happened after conflicts that occurred for several weeks in Haiti during February 2004. It resulted in the premature end of President Jean-…
    2008 Feb 29 Boston Celtics defeat Charlotte Bobcats, 108-100

    While several players talked openly about the likely addition of veteran point guard Sam Cassell, Celtics coach Doc Rivers had a more immediate issue on his mind. “I’m not worried abou…
    2008 Feb 29 FDA Approves Wyeth’s Pristiq

    Desvenlafaxine is an antidepressant (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor type-SNRI) used in the treatment of depression. It works by restoring the balance of natural substances

Posted January 22, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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With a title for a film that stumbles, if remembered, out of the mouth, deceptive advertising, sitting through a numbing two hours to get to an ending that would defy logic seeing it a second time and a child actor making his debut in a role that should carry the film but he is not up to the job “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” fails. To a certain extent the picture is almost saved by the photography of a bright and shiny New York.

The deceptive advertising comes in with letting the public think it is a Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock movie with only their names above the title when Hanks role is basically a cameo and though Bullock will get the tear ducts flowing where necessary she is not really a major player in the film.

Thomas Horn, who got his role through being a winner on Jeopardy, gives a mighty try but playing Oskar, the son of Hanks and Bullock, a complex role, is just a bit too much for this novice. Stephen Daldry, the director, got a 5 star performance from Jamie Bell as Billy Elliot in the film of that name but just doesn’t seem to be able to get Horn to show the emotional side of a child in a lot of pain.

Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright and Zoe Caldwell do the professional job you expect of all of them, especially Sydow playing a mute boarder while John Goodman does a cameo, without above the title billing, as a doorman.

Being a fan of Hanks, Bullock and ‘weepers’, I may have gone into “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” with hopes too high but the film didn’t even come close to satisfying them.


Posted January 21, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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For the second time within 10 months the touring company of “Jersey Boys” is in South Florida, playing to full houses, entertaining the baby boomers and their kids, only this time instead of 6 days like in Miami they are “Working Their Way Back To You” for 19 days of performances in Fort Lauderdale.

We follow the Four Seasons with each member of the group, taking all the credit, telling you how they were responsible for their huge success of the act and, by combining, all the stories the audience gets a look behind the scenes of four guys from Jersey, their beginning and end.

Halfway through the second act Frankie Valli (Joseph Leo Bwarie), steps center stage in the spotlight, starts to sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and by the time he finishes the last note stage life has merged with real life and each and every member of the audience sitting in the Broward Performing Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has become a lifetime fan of the man. A short time later, at the finale, when he is joined by Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda), Tommie DeVito (John Gardiner) and Bob Gaudio (Preston Truman Boyd)), to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and sing, “Who Loves You?” the audience stands up and lets go with the applause, shaking, swaying and cheers they have wanted to let out all night.


The story is of a group of guys (or in the case of the Supremes and other female groups) from the 50s and 60s who come from the neighborhood, have ‘overnight’ success after paying their dues and then fall apart going their own way and one steps out into the spotlight having fame as a soloist. Tommy is the one who gets the group together, gambles, shorts the IRS, gets himself, and the rest of the group involved with the mob and though they never discuss it he breaks one of the three New Jersey ‘rules’, by hitting on Frankie’s girlfriend. By the way the other two rules are; never lie to your mother and never tell your wife the truth.

Next, Gaudio who already had a hit, “(Who Wears) Short Shorts” takes over the narrative. He would write most of the Four Seasons hits like, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t cry” and “Walk Like A Man” that propel the group to the top of the heap. The writing and playing of the music always comes first for Bob so that when Tommy is confronted with not paying one of their hotel bills and they wind up in jail over a weekend only to be approached by a loan shark, who wants the $150, 000 Tommy owes him, it’s the beginning of the end.

Nick, the fourth Season, takes over the story bringing up that Tommy was always jealous of Valli’s success and they were all tired of the constant touring and no home life which resulted in Frankie’s getting a divorce. Nick saw himself as an after thought and was an alcoholic. When Tommy is ‘forced’ to leave the group it isn’t long before Nick says he has enough and wants to go home. It is at this point that Valli takes over the story, the stage and the audience.

The cast members, except those playing the  Four Seasons, all have  multiple roles and fill them quite capably. Bob Crewe, the producer and who wrote songs with Bob Gaudio, is played by Jonathan Hadley, comes on strong with a gay persona which disappears as the show continues and another player of note is Joseph Siravo as a mob boss. Preston Truman Boyd is not quite believable as a boy from New Jersey but, as Bob Gaudio, comes off as the best actor of the Four Seasons, while John Gardiner, as Tommy, goes a little heavy with the Jersey accent now and then. Michael Lomenda stays in the background as Nick did with the group and Joseph Leo Bwarie, though not quite having the falsetto the real Frankie Valli has, comes through when/as needed. He seems to be a little more dour than he was 10 months ago. The four actor/singers come through as the Four Seasons singing group.

The choreography by Sergio Trujillo captures the moves of the original group while the director Des McAnuff guides the cast with a strong hand through the paces of the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice while the conductor, John Samorian, gives them strong backing.

A note about the audience: I don’t recall seeing so many audience members mouthing–silently in most cases–song lyrics as I did at this performance!

First act: 1 hour and 10 minutes  Intermision: 22 minutes  Second act: 1 hour  Total: 2 hours and 32 minutes, about 12 minutes longer than last year’s performance.

Strobe lights, gunfire, cigarette smoke, strong language

Balance of the Broward Performing Arts Center 2011-2012 schedule: Billy Elliot February 29-March 11, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific April 10-22 and La Cage Aux Folles June 12-24


Posted January 20, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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(Leap Year Wall)

The picture above only represents 9 birthdays, 36 years, but I remember all 18 of them! I consider myself very lucky  that I am a Leap Year Baby, having a birthday only once every 4 years, and I have always taken advantage of that fact. Of all my birthdays I ‘remember’* (more about that later) the 10th for many reasons including that I was at the zenith of my career, looks, finances and life and I had someone to share it all with me.

Feb. 29, 1976 My 10th (40th) birthday–I rented the Memphis Hilton Hotel Ballroom and 2 banquet rooms–invited 350 of my closest friends–had a jazz cocktail party with Southern themed appetizers to start, then a sit down prime ribs with Yorkshire pudding and  Caesar salad dinner, with a band to play music while we dined, followed by a dessert, liqueur and dancing ending. In  the pictures near the bottom you will see a 5 tier carrot cake! Made the front page society section of the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper. The party cost me $14,000–remember these are 1976 dollars! :o)

I was thrilled that Dick Hershey and Mary Culleton (she was the clerk at the first Weight Watchers meeting I ever attended) flew down from New York, Cleo, (my Dad’s mistress, but that’s another blog LOL) from Kansas City. Dr. Robert and Ginny Pozos (she died a few years ago from cancer–I loved her dearly and for some reason, well for many reasons, Maria reminds me of her!) came in from Duluth, Minnesota, but I was disappointed that quite a few people didn’t come like Bernie, my ex, Clara and a few others from Weight Watchers, Gene, my father, my brother and sister-in-law and my beloved Flo.

(The article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal with the sketch made by the paper’s artist.)

That’s me in the light brown tux in each picture and in the picture on the bottom right, standing on the left, was at that time my partner Johnny who now lives in Texas.

The dancing fool is me! I’ll talk about the other folks very soon–it is a mystery!

On the lower left from left to right are Cleo, the mistress LOL, Barbara and Margie who left WW to come with me to open Our Weigh–by the way I was so drunk I was SINGING! And I don’t even carry a tune–let’s talk about that being drunk.

On January 21, 2012 I will celebrate 31 years of sobriety. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case on February 29, 1976 when I vaguely remember(ed) the cocktail party and am not able to tell you a thing that happened during and after dinner. I, literally, have hundreds of pictures taken that evening but just in the pictures above I can only name 6 of the people. Who are, where are, the 350 people who came to that party? Looking over all the pictures I can, maybe, name a dozen but I only know where one is today!

Do you recognize anyone from 35 years ago? maybe I should put a slew of pictures on Facebook and see if anyone responds!?!

Strange to have memories of something you don’t remember but I do know it was a highlight of my life–figure that one out!





February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!


Just 41 days to our next birthday!


Posted January 19, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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January 5, 2012

Allen came back on Sunday so I no longer have a car and am once again a prisoner at/of Gateway but I would rather have my friend back, and here, than a car–though I will put the latter, with the insurance paid for a year, on my birthday wish list!!

On January 21, 1981 I had my last taste of alcohol–a lot led up to it, including blackouts, but something happened that evening/morning, 20-21 , that made me say, “No more.” After 33 years of drinking, trying to act sophisticated, older, to be part of the ‘in’ crowd, going to bars to cruise–we didn’t have the Internet for ‘dating’ back then in the Ice Age–getting into impossible situations, traveling to South America, spending thousands of dollars on parties and not remembering a thing, losing control, one too many ‘incidents’ I gave the booze up and have not had a taste of it since then. I won’t order Coq Au Vin or any dish made with wine–yes, I know it ‘evaporates’ during cooking but I also know how I think. To a certain degree I still miss it–at a ‘better’ restaurant I still want to order that drink before dinner–Johnny Walker Black on the rocks unless you are paying then it will be aHaigand Haig Pinch!! LOL Instead I’ll order a cup of coffee and I forget all about the alcohol.

Funny, or is it?, but I hate being around drinkers! They all sound so stupid and repeat everything 10 times, besides not being a drinker I am automatically the ‘designated’ driver! Though I stopped smoking on July 21, 2008 (something about that number 21 LOL) being around smokers doesn’t bother me at all, including the smell of smoke and this from a 3 pack a day smoker!

It was 8, I think–I am sure one of my ‘followers’ will correct me if I am wrong–years ago I started blogging and you can blame that on Chuck because a few years before that he sent me his old computer to start getting into the modern world and now I am all over the place, posting blogs at 9 different sites, writing reviews for corinescorner, participating in, checking in every day, and commenting on, talkinbroadway, gay travelers network, etc.

More than once I have been accused of being passive/aggresive on blogs and just a brief explanation–what good does it do, what does it accomplish to directly face/challange a person on  a blog? They aren’t going to change, they will still lie, threaten, post private messages, put down gays and/or anyone who is different than they are or think different. Instead of saying “You are an idiot,” I would rather say ‘they are an idiot” and if the shoe fits wear it, if not that would end someone wanting to start, continue, a blog war which I don’t think anyone comes here to get involved in. I do try (try means failure) to stay out of blogs dealing with religion and/or politics and in most cases I will not respond to anti-gay remarks, comments, blogs but I will, once in awhile, answer and let it go on when I would be better off ignoring ridiculous remarks.

I have had 5 ‘blog wars’, all on one blogging web site, with individuals–2 are gone, one has mainly stopped blogging and one ignores me as I ignore them (there you go again Martin–being passive/aggressive LOL) but the 5th can’t stay away from me–always reading me!  :O)

I did want to get into trusting people and a fairly negative time I had recently but as it is this blog is already too long–I will be back!


“The universe is transformation.

Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

Marcus Aurelius  121-180 AD  Roman Emperor and Philosopher


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!


Just 42 days to our next birthday!

Posted January 18, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I consider myself very lucky in the fact that I am a Leap Year Baby, having a birthday only once every 4 years, and I have always taken advantage of that fact. I don’t celebrate the ‘in-between’ years but I have a blast, and memorable times, when Feb 29 falls in a year–by the way it is any year divisible by 4 and comes out in  presidential election and winter Olympic years.

In 1940 when I celebrated my first Leap Year birthday I had my picture on the front page of the newspaper–I am in the center of the picture surrounded by 4 friends with our mothers in the background and a chocolate cake with candles in front of me. Above was the invitation to my 14th Leap Year birthday party.

Some other highlights:

Feb. 29, 1964 My 7th birthday–Barbra Streisand, (Hey, it’s my birthday and I can name drop if I want!) who I ‘met’ in the 1960s at the Bon Soir nightclub on 8th street in Greenwich Village and, if I remember right, at the  Blue Angel on 52nd street, is going to make her debut in “Funny Girl” at the Winter Garden Theatre–Pepe buys opening night tickets for original announced opening date at end of February–doesn’t happen–show postponed a half a dozen times–we finally celebrate my birthday, her opening, a month later!

Feb. 29, 1976 My 10th (40th) birthday–I rented the Memphis Hilton Hotel Ballroom and 2 banquet rooms–invited 350 of my closest friends–had a jazz cocktail party to start then a sit down prime ribs and Caesar salad dinner with a band followed by a dessert, liqueur and dancing ending. Made the front page society section of the Memphis Commercial Appeal paper It cost me $11,000–remember these are 1976 dollars!–and I had money back then. :o)

Feb. 29, 1980–hired out The Sandpiper (a gay supper club in Fort Lauderdale) and a blast was had for all for 7 hours–dinner, drinks and other ‘things’

Feb. 29, 1984–12th (48th) birthday–my friend Michael threw a surprise party for me–I gave him the list of people to invite (Tacky? Who cared!?)–on his pool barbecue patio

Feb. 29, 1988–an evening at the Golden Spike Restaurant on Federal opposite Kennedy’s church–an upscale buffet eatery–many friends came from out of town.

Feb. 29, 1992–I had open house at my place from noon to midnight–a surprise guest.

Feb. 29, 1996–15th (60th) birthday–A “Death By Dessert” party at the ZanZbar Restaurant on Los Olas–desserts of animals from around the world made out of chocolate.

Feb. 29th, 2000–In the afternoon–The Cheesecake Factory, at the Sawgrass mall,  where we were served all 48 varieties of cheesecake they offered–in the evening–The Ark, in Hollywood, where we partaked of the Captain’s Table (which included lobster, stone crabs, prime ribs plus 15 other main courses and innumerable appetizers, side dishes and desserts–all you could eat of all the items)–very mixed crowd including 6 people who flew in from around the States.

Feb. 29, 2004–17th (68th) birthday–it was held at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Hotel and Marina–I had 25 guests–started at 11:30 AM–featured an elegant, elaborate brunch buffet–that evening, with my  friends Gino and Chuck, the latter who came in from Memphis, we went to the Bette Midler “Kiss My Brass” show (I had invited her to the brunch but she didn’t come :o(

Feb. 29, 2008–18th (72nd) birthday–held at Sweet Tomatoes–Chuck and Terry came in from Memphis–a week of eating out, going to the movies, sightseeing, theatre

Feb. 29, 2012–Just a few weeks away until my 19th (76) birthday–some plans have been set and a few more will be coming into play–and, oh yes, I will be doing that tacky birthday gift list I have done for the past 12 birthdays!


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!


Just 44 days to our next birthday!

Posted January 17, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“A Joyful Noise” is better than you will expect it to be but not quite as good as it can be. There are 1-2 plots too many and certainly one song too much but Dolly and Queen deliver, though both are not as sassy as can be.

The picture ‘introduces’ Jeremy Jordan who has already gotten rave reviews for two theatre performances, the first being “Newsies” which is coming to Broadway and “Bonnie and Clyde”, which has come and gone from Broadway, with Jeremy getting star making notices. His has a good voice, holds his own as an actor and will become a heart throb. His love interest, Keke Palmer, matches him note for note and, in some cases, goes higher.

A standout in the movie is Dexter Darden, playing Latifah’s son, who has Asperger’s syndrome and a dynamite smile. Jesse L. Martin, in a subplot, is effective as his and Palmer’s father.  Kris Kristofferson has what amounts to a cameo as Dolly’s husband and even gets to sing, well croak out, a couple of song lines with her.

All right, let’s get to why you would probably go to the movie and that are the two stars,Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton.

They both get to act sassy and their ‘cat fight’ isn’t funny enough to have laughs or bad enough to be camp.  When given the right lines, by screen writer Todd Graff, who also directed, both can deliver when the insults fly at each other but there aren’t enough of them. Latifah has a couple of emotional scenes that she puts over with aplomb. (Full disclosure: I fell in love with Queen Latifah in the 1990s when I waited on her and her family at the Crabhouse Restaurant in Plantation, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. She was a delight to wait on and who ever did the tipping did okay! LOL)

Like many I find Dolly Parton a  talented song writer and singer along with being funny and who she is but, at 66, Dolly has had one surgical procedure too much! She is looking like Joan River’s twin and her face is so stiff her script lines, even about the ‘improvements’, aren’t funny whether coming from her or Latifah. Dolly, if you can, go back to looking like yourself!

The remarks I heard most often when leaving the movie were, “That was a lot better than I expected.” It was mainly a senior citizen audience but, with word of mouth, should do more business with the younger crowd.

There is a lot of music which, if done in a theatre, would have had the audience clapping along as most is gospel, even with “The Man In The Mirror” given the church choir treatment.

“A Joyful Noise” is just that, an entertaining film that won’t win any awards but will be ‘a lot better than expected.’

Posted January 15, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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For anyone who doesn’t know yet–where have you been???–I will be celebrating my 19th Leap Year Day birthday next month on February 29–for those who are bad at math you could also say I will be 76!!! Starting next week I will be doing a 8-9 part series about how I have celebrated my birthdays previously. I DO NOT celebrate the in-between years. It does surprise me how many people know very little about the day and year, how it came about, the reasons, what it means, traditions, etc. so I decided to round up some information from the Internet. A lot of this information comes from the web site. Oh yes, don’t worry–before the series ends and giving you plenty of time I will post my birthday wish list –oh, come on, that surprises you?!?!?  Obviously you don’t know me!!


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!


Just 48 days to our next birthday!


A person born on February 29 may be called a “leapling ” or a “leaper “. In common years they usually celebrate their birthdays on February 28 or March 1. In some situations, March 1 is used as the birthday in a non-leap year since it is the day following February 28.

Technically, a leapling will have fewer birthday anniversaries than their age in years. This phenomenon is exploited when a person claims to be only a quarter of their actual age, by counting their leap-year birthday anniversaries only. In Gilbert and Sullivan ‘s 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance , Frederic the pirate apprentice discovers that he is bound to serve the pirates until his 21st birthday rather than until his 21st year.

For legal purposes, legal birthdays depend on how local laws count time intervals.

These events are or were held every four years during leap years

A leap year (or intercalary or bissextile year) is a year containing one extra day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars , a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year . Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, a calendar that had the same number of days in each year would, over time, drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track. By occasionally inserting (or intercalating ) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year . ( I DO FEEL SORRY FOR YOU COMMON PEOPLE!)

For example, in the Gregorian calendar (a common solar calendar), February in a leap year has 29 days instead of the usual 28, so the year lasts 366 days instead of the usual 365. 

Folk traditions

On the British isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. While it has been claimed that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland , this is dubious, as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from akiss to £1 to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow. Because men felt that put them at too great a risk, the tradition was in some places tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval (bissextile) leap day, February 24.

According to Felten: “A play from the turn of the 17th century, ‘The Maydes Metamorphosis,’ has it that ‘this is leape year/women wear breeches.’ A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn’t do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat—fair warning, if you will.”

In Finland , the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on leap day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt.

The following is from

What are your chances of being born on leap day?

About 1 in 1500.

The rules for determining a leap year

Most years that can be divided evenly by 4 are leap years.

Exception: Century years are NOT leap years UNLESS they can be evenly divided by 400.

There are 89 variations of this ‘month poem’–for the other 88 go to
Thirty days hath September
April, June and November
All the rest have thirty-one
Save February, and it alone,
Has twenty-eight we do confine
Till Leap year gives it twenty nine


Posted January 13, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I left a rant comment on someones blog yesterday–I felt what they said was a personal slap against me though in no way was I mentioned/referred to. I have found people rant/attack me, and many others, because I am gay and/or not a christian (that is a small c because they certainly aren’t LOL) and/or, possibly a democrat. I can understand where they are coming from and, as a rule, won’t read, let alone comment on their blog but I did both in the past few days.

In 1972 I went through therapy and the first thing I learned was to get negative people out of my life and that helped tremendously in my getting ahead in life. In the past 6-8 years blogging I have been in 2 ‘war blogs’–what a waste of time that was!!!–and once in awhile have been negative to bloggers who proclaim their was is the only way whether it be defaming someone because their political beliefs are different or because they weren’t Muslim, Christian, Republican or like them.

I have noticed that I have very little patience lately and lash out at people who attack me and/or others. I am gay but that doesn’t mean I expect the whole world or someone who isn’t to be gay. Now I may think heterosexuality is ‘wrong’ but I am not attacking you if you are one and I see no reason why anyone is attacked for their homosexuality. Okay you don’t believe in it, you think it is a choice, you think it is responsible for your divorce, your religion is against it but why go out of your way to post a blog that just might turn the corner for a teenager who already has been put down by those who know him and is now being put down by someone who doesn’t?

Nowhere will you see that I have stated I am a Democrat–I may have said I was a ‘bleeding heart liberal’ but is spite of what some people think it is not the same thing. In any case I have read rude, crude posts about how disgusting the POTUS and/or his wife is or posts on how only certain people, who believe like they do, are the only ‘true’ Americans and then will comment on my post saying how nice I am, etc. To me that is being two faced–you can’t call me names on one page and then ‘sweet’ talk me on another.

Sorry you are your politics so don’t tell me you can like me in spite of mine–you won’t, you don’t.

There is one blogger who knows she knows everything about religion along with related subjects and knows everything about the constitution–that she knows what the men who put it together were thinking–there is another blogger who posted a blog stating it as truth, based on one report, without researching the subject or putting it in perspective. Then there is the infamous C & P blogger who never follows through and will never disagree with their ‘false’ g-ds (politicians.) There are bloggers who TELL me I choose being gay but they never state when they made the decision to be nongay. There are the ones who insult every single parent by saying that the only way to bring up a child is with a mother and father when MANY reports show that single parents can and do a great job as do same sex parents.

I stay away from them as much as I can but every once in awhile they post something that is so outrageous, so stupid, so unbelievable that I get caught up in it and respond. By doing that I get sucked in by negative people and start acting negative myself.

Since my near death experience during the holidays I find myself with very little tolerance, patience or understanding for those who attack others and their beliefs whether religious, political, sexual or even to do with weight. A thin person telling a fat person what to do is infuriating because they have no idea the mental process the fat person is dealing with and/or going through just as the young person has not dealt with life long enough to make black and white statements against old people.

Except, in fun, I try not to be negative with people–yes, I am sarcastic and that is hard to indicate in a post or a comment–and I like fun people.

There was/is a blogger who I told everyone to read–they were funny, informative–we got along great and then, for whatever reason–his religion?–he attacked me for being gay. There was another blogger who was doing something monumental and I kept encouraging them, wishing them ‘break a leg’, many positive comments about what they were embarking on–never a single acknowledgement from that person–I bet they wonder why I have ignored them for so long now.

I have to get back to the 24/7 positive person I was/really am/and can still be which means avoiding reading certain bloggers, deleting any comments they leave on my blogs and getting into the trap of negativity.

I am not a very forgiving person as I feel if you have betrayed me once you will betray me a second time and betrayals take in many forms–it may sound corny, that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry’ but one should not say/write and/or do something they will feel they have to apologize for–spontaneity is great but rudeness isn’t–the person who helps someone commit a crime is as guilty as the one who commits it!


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!

Just 48 days to our next birthday!

Posted January 12, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Nearing 50 Tom Cruise may have lost his ‘boyish charm’ but he still has that smile and a mature charm that gets to the audience. In “Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol” after being hit by 3-4 cars, jumping over a dozen, falling 5-10 flights of a garage, getting into numerous, almost unaccountable fights, both hitting and getting hit let alone running here, there and everywhere not to forget scaling the outside of the tallest building in the world, with his hair messed up a little, Cruise puts on a tux, walks into a party and is a STAR! His body is in great shape and I hope he doesn’t go overboard into Stallone territory!

“MI-4” is definitely an action film with more than just an emphasis on everyday action. This is hard core stuff and the director, Brad Bird, who previously directed animated films, brings that sense of fun and, yes, animation, here. The screenplay, written by Josh Applelbaum and Andre Nemec, brings laughter into a lot of the lines and action scenes.

Aiding and abetting Cruise are a fine group of supporting players from Paula Patton and Simon Pegg as his partners, with Michael Nyqvist as the main villain but the stand out is Jeremy Renner, who aside from his Oscar nominated and break out role in “The Hurt Locker”, shows he is ready to step into Cruise’s shoes as an actor and idol though the latter might not be quite ready to quit either role.

“Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol” is a mindless, enjoyable, lean back and relax action film.

I say ‘mindless’ because I never could follow what causes all the happenings and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I did enjoy this film but I can only take 2-3 of these a year!!

Posted January 11, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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