Archive for August 2012

“ROBOT AND FRANK”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

Sometimes you walk into a movie not expecting much and when it says ‘the end’ you are bowled over with how charmed you were and that is how I felt about “Robot and Frank”! The story takes place sometime in the near future in Cold Springs, New York. Nothing really much has changed except for large TV Skype screens but, and this is a big but, there are robots playing the role of caretakers for, mainly, elderly people.. Who wouldn’t want a robot to clean your place, cook your food, put you on a healthy diet, takes walks with you and, generally, doing the things you don’t like to do? Frank, that’s who.

The robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) is given to Frank (Frank Langella) by his son Hunter (James Marsden) who is concerned that his father is suffering dementia. Frank was a ‘cat burglar’ and served 2 different terms in prison, one for tax evasion that embarasses him, and wasn’t around for Hunter or Hunter’s sister, Madison, (Liv Tyler) as they were growing up. In his 70s is Frank suffering dementia or just forgetful or just bored stiff? In any case he is not interested in having a robot taking care of him.

Frank has a ‘thing’ for the town librarian Jennifer (Susan Sarandon) who one day invites him to a party being given by a software tycoon Jake (Jeremy Strong) who plans to switch all the printed books in the library to digital books. At the party Frank notices Jake’s wife decked out many huge diamonds and being Frank his mind starts planning what he would have done 20 -30 years ago. Being a thief is what Frank is and he still plies his trade by stealing soap animals in a local store. In one instance when the robot covers Frank’s theft and the latter begins to think the robot may be more useful than he thought.

Frank tells the robot, who he refuses to name, tales about his past and explains some of the things he has done. It isn’t long before he has the robot learning how to pick locks and they go on their first job, stealing the original library “Don Quixote” book so Frank can give it to Jennifer. With success Frank decides he and robot will steal the jewels from Jake’s house. It isn’t long before the local Sheriff (Jeremy Sisto) has dealings with Frank, and the robot, not quite sure if Frank is faking it, being as sly as a fox or really has dementia.

The screenplay, by Christopher D. Ford, doesn’t go where you think it will and, sometimes doesn’t go as far as it should. Also in the future will young tycoons still be called yuppies? There is one scene which should have been expanded but it was if Ford didn’t want to get too sentimental. The direction, by Jake Schreier, doesn’t make the future seem so different from today but then he does make Frank and robot the stars as it should be.

Langella does a charming job while Sisto, Tyler, Marsden and Strong give him professional backup. There is no denying Sarandon’s presence on screen and a nod has to be given to Sarsgaard as the voice of robot almost but not making it human while whoever came up with the robot itself deserves to take a bow.

“Robot and Frank” is not a masterpiece of movie making but it provides 90 minutes of charm, fun and, at times intrigue. See it for a change of pace.

Posted August 31, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ONLY 2 MONTHS TO PROFESSIONAL THEATRE   Leave a comment

   
     
The house lights come down–the tingling in my body starts–the footlights appear and after a few beats the whole house goes dark–I hear the swoosh of the curtain going up and I am tense–the stage is lit and my body relaxes and anticipates–the first actor speaks and I am THERE!

The first few strains of the overture start–how can your heart not rush hearing the opening chords of Gypsy, Mame, A Chorus Line, Carousel, South Pacific, Company, West Side Story or any new musical?

(Okay, so I don’t like walking into a theatre seeing the curtain up or a musical starting without an overture but the excitement isn’t any less.)

As much as I love movies live theatre affects me more. I go to the movies to escape–I go to the theatre to be challenged.

I have been going to the theatre for over 70 years now–I don’t remember the first show I saw–and there are moments that have been etched in my mind forever–Brando on stage in Streetcar, Shirley Booth calling for Sheba, Mae West in Diamond ‘Lil, the opening number of A Chorus Line, Richard Kiley singing The Impossible Dream as he is dying (and every time I hear it I cry!)–and the list goes on: Julie Harris touching my heart as Frankie in Member of the Wedding and touching my heart in another way in I Am A Camera, Kim Stanly, Geraldine Page, etc. I saw most, if not all of the greats, of the 40s, 50s and 60s, including the awesome second performance of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

In recent years there was the shock of the final curtain of W;T, the unexpected curtain line of act 1 in Proof, the joy of Hairspray, the music of Steven Sondheim, the writing of Three Women by Albee, the laughter and tears of Angels in America, the politics in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart–once again a never ending list.

The constant cry of theatre groups is “Where are the younger audiences, the future audiences, coming from?” There are so many parents who don’t go, have never seen, live theatre–they don’t know what they have missed or what their kids are missing.

I remember cutting school so that I could be at a matinee when it had an intermission and could walk in with the returning crowd as if I was a member of the audience. (And I’ve always loved ushers because I knew they knew I hadn’t bought a ticket!)

I have always been in awe of the actor who not only has to memorize all those lines and where to be and what to do on stage but exposes him/her self to strangers. It was only later that I became aware of the ‘art’ of the set, costume and lighting designers, of what makes a production work on all of its aspects.If for no other reason I will stay and applaud all at the bows–they deserve it even when they or the plays aren’t the best. (Would/could you do what they do?)

The hardest part of being poor, for me, is that I don’t have the money to see road companies but,I got lucky 2 years ago and was hired to review Broadway touring companies and have so far seen 26 shows including: LesMiz, Billy Elliot, Rock of Ages, Jersey Boys, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Hair, Beauty and the Beast,South Pacific, Young Frankenstein just to name a few.

 
In October the new ‘season’ starts with “Sister Act”– keep an eye here for my reviews after they have been on broadwayshowbiz.com and conniescorner.com for a week–that is part of the agreement.

Children, teens, have to be exposed to theatre, professional theatre hopefully–it is as important an art as any other one. Adults have to support the theatre.

The costs may be high but the memories are priceless!

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Posted August 30, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR BODY?   Leave a comment

Legally, paperwork wise, I am ready to die–not that I will so stop applauding and cheering! The only thing I hadn’t prepared was what would happen to my body after I died. I would, jokingly (?), say just throw my body over the fence into the bay but the reality is that some sort of plan has to be made. As far as I know my brother wouldn’t be legally obligated to provide for my burial but even if he was I didn’t think that was fair. I don’t know if there are still  Potter Fields, though according to wikipedia, which names a few places, they still exist. (For those not familiar with the term the definition is: potter’s field or common grave is an American term for a place for the burial of unknown or indigentpeople–from wikipedia.)

I really haven’t given it much thought but I know I didn’t want my ‘heirs’–heck I’m leaving them my bill, what else do they want? LOL–to get stuck for burying me. Don’t know if you have checked into it but funerals, whether burial or cremation, are not cheap. I certainly fall into the indigent category having just enough money to get from one month to the next time and many times being short until the 3rd when I get my SS check.

Sometime in the past 2 weeks I was reading a blog–I believe it was either Sherabella’s post or she had it in a comment–where genesis.com was mentioned. Let me just say that I had looked into donating my body to, I believe, the University of Miami but I was rejected! OMG! MY BODY WAS REJECTED!! That was the first time that ever happened–their loss! LOL

In any case I checked out genesis.com and I read the following in the application form: “I understand that it will be the responsibility of the MERI (Medical Education & Research Institute of Genesis)  to arrange for the removal, preparation, transportation, biomedical studies on and final disposition of my remains, at no cost to me. Any fees related to the above will be paid by the MERI to the funeral home and/or service firm(s) involved.”

I filled out all the papers, sent them out and on August 21 I received a letter tellign me that I was accepted. THEY WANTED MY BODY so there UM! In the acceptance letter there was a card  for me to carry in my wallet and in the letter it said, “Never at any time will there be any expenses incurred by you.”

For anyone alone, or poor, I strongly suggest you go to genesis.com and print out the application. You will get an answer quickly and enjoy the rest of your life with one less thing to worry about.

By the way, they are headquartered in Memphis and I love the idea that I will return to a place I spent a decade in that has such great memories for me.

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Posted August 29, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES ADVENTURES & DISCOVERIES ADMITTING FAILURE 11 A   Leave a comment

 

NOTES FROM A DIARY JANUARY TO JULY, 1979, 10 YEARS AFTER I ARRIVED IN MEMPHIS-A DECADE AND BUSINESS ENDS

I take complete responsibility for the failure of Our Weigh and I learned a lesson that I already knew but hadn’t put to the test–I was a lousy business man! :O)

Notes added while I type this today are in parenthesis.

January 1  I did a class in West Memphis–ice on the streets  (I don’t doubt my diary notes but a class on New Year’s Day when it is cold and ice on the streets? Did anyone show up?)

January 5-9  3-4″ snowstorm followed by an ice storm–no classes (no money coming in)

January 18  To Atlanta to see “A Chorus Line” 3 times with Chuck, Chuck (from Chattanooga?), Tommy, Nina and Jean (Money going out and not coming in.)

February 6-7 3″ snow (Nothing about classes being cancelled or what days these are)

February 17  snowed again another 3″– really hurting business

February 28  Pepe called to wish me a happy birthday (My first live with lover–The last time I would hear from or about him)

March 23  Betty Tribble quit (I had now lost 3 of the original ladies who came with me from Weight Watchers)

March 25  Gwen called from Chattanooga about resigning (I have no idea who she is/was)

April 13 Had to close Jonesboro class

May 1 diagnosed with arthritis in my neck (Proved to be wrong)

May 5  Tommy, Chuck, Bob Brice and I went to see Diana Ross

May 16 Tommy, his mother, Chuck and I went to see The Village People in concert  (Tommy’s mother was great–wish I could remember her name–it was different.)

May 17 took over the Forrest City class–very short on help–will have to close classes

June 11 Gwen did resign–I think, mentally again, that this is the beginning of the end

June 17 Dr. K, Chuck, Tommy and I went down to Mississippi and I went water skiing for the first (and last) time getting chased by a water moccasin snake

June 28 Took Dr. K. to the Cafe St. Clair for his birthday along with Tommy, Chuck and Johnny–I got smashed

June 30 I am making plans to leave Memphis at end of July. (I really loved Memphis and wanted to stay but not being either Black or a female I wouldn’t be able to get a servers job–remember this was the 1970s and though the South was changing it was a slow change–besides my ego wouldn’t allow me to stay.)

July 21 Sold the business to Helen for $5,000–getting ready to leave for Ft. Lauderdale next Saturday (I would have taken less–I was just desparate to leave and needed ‘traveling’ money and I had run the business into the ground)

July 28-30  Left for Ft. Lauderdale with Bill Hall who helped me move and drove the stick shift truck which, just ask Chuck, I couldn’t drive–arrived in Fort Lauderdale Monday 7/30/79. (I was originally going to return to Miami Beach but at that time there was moratorium on building, South Beach had gone way down hill–this was before it became SOUTH BEACH!–and Joe and Albyn told me to go to Fort Lauderdale instead–they being my ‘parents’ I listened and have never regretted it.)

 

The life I had known was over and once again I was starting new but this time I knew who I was–I was 43 years old, had some money to tide me over, was in a way relieved. I rented a car, found an apartment and now was waiting for Chuck and Tommy to bring my car down.

 

 

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HOW TO SPEAK REPUBLICAN BY PETE KOTZ

“EVOLUTION: FRAUDULENT THEORY THAT MAN EVOLVED FROM APE. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN AN APE WITH JUGS LIKE JESSICA SIMPSON’S?”

Posted August 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES OF ADVENTURES & DISCOVERIES CALLED LIFE PART 10D   Leave a comment

January 1977 was a mess weather wise–there was a combination of snow, sleet, rain and ice on the 2nd, 6th, 9th and just snow on the 18th and 19th. It was just cold–5 degrees–on the night of the 17th. There is no way to describe what happens in Memphis when it snows. I can start with the drivers who drive like a bat out of Hell to get home and cause more accidents in one hour than would happen all month! Needless to say our classes were empty and we lost money.

Margie quit in March and by August Johnny and I were finished  with his eventually moving out November 6 and the cherry on the top was I came down with gonorrhea! Oh, and I got a speeding ticket in September! Yes, things were falling apart and adding injury to insult I was alone on New Year’s Eve and I had heard whatever you were doing at Midnight on New Year’s Eve you would be doing the rest of the coming year.

1977 wasn’t all bad. During the year I saw Tom Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Bette Midler in concerts, had a mini affair with a guy named Perry for a couple of months but I have no pictures of him, have no idea who he was/is and I don’t remember a thing about him but according to my diary we went to plays, movies, ate in the best restaurants and slept together quite a bit. On December 27, coming back from Covington ( after doing a class? Having dinner with Johnny’s family? Diary doesn’t say but…) my car broke down near the Millington Naval training place and 2 sailors stopped to help me and I thanked them by inviting them to stay at my place when the came to Memphis. Each did, separately, and the rest is history. I did a post a couple of years ago about Dr.K/Bob, who was the choir director at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, traveled over the world with the Robert Shaw chorale, sang on the Perry Como show, looked like aworldclassconductordressed in his tux and looked like stud of the year in his jeans and plaid shirt when cruising the park. We weren’t soul mates but soul brothers. Bob gave me a gingerbread house for Christmas, the first I ever had and to this day I remember it, how it tasted and every time I see one I think of him and recall the smell when I opened box.

We opened in Pocahontas and Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, but at the same time we had to change our Raleigh meeting room. I went to a Positive Thinking Seminar and on my summer vacation. This was the year that I took the trip to St. Louis with Dr. K to see “A Chorus Line” and life was moving along. I was still having the weekly orgies and people were still responding to my Advocate ad. In July the police went on strike in Memphis and the city was on a curfew but somehow or other Dr. K came home with a couple of them. I had a frightening thing happen on August 29. I was returning from my class in Covington, was stopped at a railroad crossing and somehow or another my car came out of ‘park’ and smashed into the train and spun the car, and me, 360 degrees. I was so mad that I got out of the car and kicked the door until I realized that I could have been killed. The front was smashed in but somehow or another it started up and I was able to drive it totheShell station on the corner of Park Avenue and White Station Road. The next day it was declared totaled by the insurance company. By the way I didn’t have a drink that night.

The beginning of the end, or the realization that things were wrong, was when I got a station wagon, which is so unlike me, but the accountant said that I could claim I was using it for business so that Our Weigh could pay for it. The following week I took Bobby, Ronnie, Larry to Pallazino’s to celebrate Issac’s birthday and the ladies in the office got teed off as did the accountant. I was being questioned about spending money for the first time but it should have happened from the first day!

A very strange thing that I can’t figure out why there was so little mention of Chuck unless I didn’t meet him until after Johnny and I broke up but that doesn’t seem right. I mention Charlie from Spartanberg, Charlie Lee, a Chuck Cagle, a Charles from Chattanooga but no Memphis Chuck. There is a comment about driving up to see Dr. K in Carbondale with ‘2 plus Tommy Stewart’! The first mention I have of Chuck (along with his last name) is on October  18 but that was in relationship for our trip to Dallas with Tommy and Charles Cagle to see, yes, “A Chorus Line” and after that there are a lot of mentions of Chuck. It is hard for me to believe I only knew him for a year before I left Memphis.

On December 1, 1978, the entry states, “Business very bad–I am broke–having book sale”–1979 would bring to a close one of the best, and certainly the best financial, decade of my life.

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Posted August 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ISSAC NOT A HURRICANE–THANKFULLY   Leave a comment

Issac has had a strange pattern–though you can’t see it in the pictures we would have a very heavy rain, so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of you, for about 10 minutes and then all will be quiet for 30-40 minutes .

FROM THE 5 PM BROADCAST

“Hurricane warning dropped for tropical storm warning. Winds will be around 60 miles per hour sometimes gusting to 70 mph. (Right now we are having 29 mph winds.) Looks like it will miss Tampa and head for New Orleans. Better conditions coming earlier than expected. Tomorrow looks like it will be a regular summer day in South Florida with it being clear and warm during the day and showers or storms in the evening or night. It will take Key West a little longer to clear up as Issac bands will be hitting it all night. Tornado watch expired.”

Here and there you will see a tree down but so far nothing major at Gateway. They did lock down everything they could–chairs, benches, garbage cans, smoking area ash trays, sun umbrellas–including the elevators are not running. They put a lot of records, filing cabinets, papers in them—could you think of a better ‘safe’?

Right now all is quiet but you know in 20-30 minutes the wind and rain will pick up and start rattling things. I just hope the electricity stays on and I am taking a chance by not posting this now and waiting until ‘my posting time’ 9 PM. There have been outages in Miami-Dade, West Palm with a few here in Broward but so far it has been good.

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Posted August 26, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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(HURRICANE(?) ISSAC THEN IL MULINO RESTAURANT REVIEW FORT LAUDERDALE   Leave a comment

IF Issac stays on track we should feel the outer bands of rain and wind at 5 AM, Sunday morning but hurricanes have been known to change direction and all it has to do is turn a little bit north and we will get hit!

As you can see from the pictures above all the chairs and tables have been taken off The Point and Karen Bay is empty of boats. The only thing between us and the Atlantic are those buildings in the background.

I am planning to post tomorrow IF our electricity stays on!

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Full disclosure–I worked as a server at Big Louie’s down the street and it is one of the very few restaurants I worked in that I went back to eat after I left–more about that later.
I have been coming to il Mulino once or twice a year since they opened in 1988. Coming from a movie and having a groupon we decided to have a late lunch there. The room(s) are a rich, deep brown with wine bottles being the main decor. I had the Lasagna ($9.95) and Allen the Penne with meatballs ($9.75) and we were served 4 garlic rolls, Coffee and Iced Tea ($2.25 each) plus tax and tip the check came to $27.07 I had paid $10 for the groupon so the total came to $17.07, basically $11 each, INCLUDING TIP, which is about average for lunch but below average for a full service restaurant. At dinner these 2 items are $12. 95 each.
I enjoyed the lasagna and Allen liked the penne and meatballs. The service could have been a bit better–I had to ask for a refill of coffee while Allen never got offered a refill of his drink. We were given the garlic rolls, which weren’t served warm and had a clump of garlic in the middle of the plate, which were gone by the time we got our main course, and it would have been nice if the server had offered us one more roll each–if nothing else than to sop the sauce up. Having been a server these are the little things I look for to tip more than the standard 20% (before the coupon deduction.)
il Mulino was good but all things being even (no coupon) I would choose to go to Big Louie’s–food is about the same and Big Louie’s has more of a neighborhood and intimate feel even though they tried to go a little more high scale when they remodeled. Their prices are a bit higher at lunch and a bit lower at dinner than the prices at il Mulino’s  while Big Louie’s includes a salad at both servings.
In the past 6 months I discovered another restaurant in the neighborhood called Cafe Vico which has become my first choice for the best Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.

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Posted August 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

Can a man and a woman just be friends? “When Harry Met Sally” seemed to have answered that question once and for all but now   “Celeste and Jesse Forever” seem to approach it from another angle, still there is that Redford/Streisand ending from “The Way We Were”.

 

 

Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have known each since 10th grade and we meet them when, after 6 years of marriage, they have separated. They have always been best friends and still are to the point that Beth (Ari Graynor) is so annoyed with them she runs out on the pair and her fiance, Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen), when the 4 of them are having dinner in a restaurant. Celeste and Jesse are separated but it seems they are only in the sense that Jesse is living in the studio behind their house.

 

Whatever brought them together enough to get married is puzzling unless opposites do attract. Celeste is a type A go-getter who is very judgmental and doesn’t hesitate to express her opinion whether appropriate or not and as one person says, “…that you think you are smarter than everyone.”  Jesse is a man-child laid back artist, though we never see him working, waiting for something to happen. As they are heading for a mutually agreed upon divorce when Jesse is the first to go out on a date Celeste doesn’t handle it very well, especially when she and Jesse are in a bookstore and they bump into the woman, Veronica, (Rebecca Dayan) who Celeste looks down upon.

 

Along the way we meet Riley, (Emma Roberts) a young pop star Celeste is ‘branding’, Skiliz (Will McCormack, a drug dealer, who I admit I have no idea what he is doing and/or saying in this movie and Paul (Chris Messina) who goes to yoga classes to meet women and admits it. A not so major character, Scott, (Elijah Wood) is a co-worker of Celeste and she wants to make him her gay friend but both know that won’t work. By the way there are a lot of gay references, unnecessary and some sophomoric.

 

The screenplay was co-written by Ms Jones and Mr. McCormack which seems to give the edge to Ms Jones as Celeste. There are too many fillers in the script, which if exercised, like the off color joke shown twice, would have made for a much tighter film. The director, Lee Toland Krieger, has too many blurred scenes though does show L. A. in its upscale, non-Hollywood lived in and working area. The music, by Sunny Levine and Zach Cowie, add nothing to the film and at times distracts from it.

 

“Celeste and Jesse Forever” starts off slowly but sets up what you think may be a different approach to the question asked at the beginning of this review, “Can a man and a woman just be friends?” Depending upon how you feel about that question this film may or may not answer it but if you are over 40 you may just shake your head.

 

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HOW TO SPEAK REPUBLICAN BY PETE KOTZ  “BAIN CAPITAL: MASSACHUSETTS INVESTMENT FIRM CELEBRATED FOR PROVIDING INVESTORS WITH HUGE RETURNS BY LAYING OFF THOUSANDS OF WORKERS, CUTTING HEALTH CARE BENEFITS, AND SHIPPING JOBS TO THOSE PLACES WHERE FOREIGNERS LIVE. WILL SERVE AS THE MODEL FOR U.S. ECONOMIC RECOVERY ONCE THE INFIDEL IS SMITED.”

 

Posted August 24, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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CLEARING THOUGHTS OUT OF MY MIND (WATCH IT!)   Leave a comment

BEFORE I GET STARTED—IF I DON’T MAKE A POST SUNDAY OR ANY DAY AFTER THAT YOU WILL KNOW THAT “ISSAC” HAS KNOCKED OUT OUR ELECTRICITY–EXCEPT FOR 4 DAYS IN JULY 2008 I HAVE POSTED A BLOG EVERY DAY–THAT WAS A COMMITMENT I MADE TO MYSELF WHEN I STARTED BLOGGING! :o)

 

A HELICONA–A NEW PLANT FOR ME

A PREAMBLE–FOLKS THIS IS SCARY BUT TRUE–FLORIDA IS YOUR FUTURE

http://tinyurl.com/bobu5xo    This article is very long but must be read if you are at all political

1) I had 14 items listed here and I goofed and somehow deleted them–will try to remember them but I did empty them from my mind!!!

2) “The Affordable Care Act would extend Medicaid coverage to more than a million uninsured hard working Floridians–if Gov. Rick Scott would let it. But Scott continues to reject the promised $20 billion in federal funds over the next decade–even though the expansion would hike the State’s Medicaid budget by 2% over 10 years. When the uninsured get emergency  care the rest of us end up paying for it through higher insurance premiums. Yet Scott, who became fantastically rich in the health care business wants to keep on sending the tab to the majority of Floridians.”   Stephen Galvacky

3) If you know someone alone and are not financially prepared for their death tell them to check out Genesis.com  I believe Sherabella told me about this. I will blog about it in the future.

4) Why do some people feel they have to be nasty and rile up people just because their life is boring?

5) Why do people read blogs and not comment on them? Oh I can understand a few don’t know what to say but when you have 85 people reading a blog at least a few should say something right? LOL

6) In most profiles I will explain myself as being “Gay, Old and Poor”–I love being Gay and I love being old–hopefully I’ll win the Powerball and/or the Lottery and not be poor anymore though I am really only missing 2  things in my life: a car (and insurance for same) and more theatre going though I am very lucky I have been hired to review all the touring Broadway companies for broadwayshowbiz.com and corinescorner.com

7) I am so happy to wake up every morning!

8) Okay, I really don’t remember the others–see I can blame being old for that–one of the many GOOD reasons for being old!

A QUESTION: IF THE HURRICANE HITS TAMPA WILL THE PREACHERS SAY THAT HIS WRATH WAS BROUGHT ON BY THE REPUBLICANS???

“How to speak Republican” by Pete Kotz  Abortion: Reproductive issue best decided by preachers from rural Georgia who believe babies are conceived by using public rest rooms.

i WILL PROBABLY START ANOTHER LIST FOR A MISCELLANEOUS BLOG–YOU KNOW, THOSE THOUGHTS YOU WANT TO SAY BUT DON’T MAKE UP ENOUGH FOR A WHOLE BLOG–THOUGH SOME DO MAKE ONE LINER BLOGS!! LOL

FROM MARIA

Posted August 23, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES PART 10 C   Leave a comment

1975 to 1976 were good years for the business and for me. Though I had skipped one summer of my month vacation I was making trips to Houston, New York, Atlanta, Tampa, Detroit, Houston and New Orleans. Those were the years I became a “A Chorus Line” junkie going to a city, say St. Louis, on a Thursday and seeing the show Thursday, Friday and Saturday night along with a Saturday and Sunday matinee.

In 1977 I got into my convertible, put the top down and with Damon’s Guide and the AAA traveling book I took off for the southeast stopping where and when I wanted for as long as I wanted. I went to Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge, Houston, Dallas and back to Memphis. In 1978 it was Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and then through Texas and Arkansas.

Oh, I forgot which trip it was on but Johnny and I were in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and went to Lloyd’s Coach House where if you ate a Shrimp cocktail, salad, baked potato and a 72 ounce steak in an hour they paid the check. I have the original check marked “PAID” and has the “Coach House, Inc” seal imprinted on it. I do remember that was after I was on a radio show talking about dieting!!!

Though money was still coming in I wasn’t getting as much I was at Weight Watchers and I was still spending like I did when I was there. Also, another mistake I made was letting the Memphis girls invest in the business and partially because of that I felt if I gave one more pay I had to give them all more pay. I, well the company, was buying them lunches and dinners, got them all personal business cards and stationary. There was also the lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, expenses traveling back and forth to Chattanooga and many expenses that I just took for granted when WW paid for them.

One of the big highlights of those years was going to see “A Chorus Line” for the first time. I had just seen the Tony awards of TV and their number blew me away. To this day I remember sitting in the second row of the Shubert Theatre in New York unable to move when the house lights came up at the end of the show. I felt completely drained as if I had lead each of the lives up on that stage! Due to Dr. K and Buddy Victor, the latter played Zach on tour, I was able to go to the performance celebrating “ACL” becoming the longest running show on Broadway 9 years later. I thought nothing would ever be as exciting, moving, draining as the first time I saw it but that performance will never be equalled in any theatre by anyone,

April 7th, 1978 Bob (Dr. K) and I, along with Doug who I met through the Advocate ad, went up to St. Louis  for a weekend of “ACL” and we stayed at the Holiday Inn near the Opera House and so did the cast of “ACL”! I was in heaven  but, and this may be hard to believe if you know anything about me, though I had the chance to have sex with a couple of the cast members I wouldn’t because I identified them to much with the character they played on stage. How could I go to bed with Paul when all I wanted to do was hold him?!?!?

October 18-22 Chuck, Glen, Tommy and I went to Dallas and guess what–yes, spent the weekend seeing “ACL”. The funny thing that weekend was that we wrapped Tommy in a red bow, and nothing else, for Chuck to come back to the hotel room and see his ‘present’.

Okay, this is suppose to be about Our Weigh and not “ACL” but as you can see I was spending money like water as I usually did but, even though I wasn’t making what I did at WW, I was letting more out than I was taking in. The same thing was true about the business.  And then there was my 10th Leap Year birthday party that I was having at the Hilton Hotel for 350 of my closest friends–of which I only remember about 10 today. Most of the people I cared for didn’t come and the bottom line was that I probably wouldn’t have remembered as I was drunk that whole night. Luckily I have a lot of pictures from that evening. No one, not Bernie, Clara, Bella, Bonnie and others I invited came, which didn’t surprise me but hurt.

Now I have my diaries from 1976 on and there is one entry for February 3, 1976, that says,”Last few weeks been talked to by Barbara and Margie saying that Carole is talking about taking her money out of the company and if she goes she won’t go quietly.”  Carole did ask for her investment back and I paid her on the 5th but she stayed, at least for awhile. When I sat down with Fred, our accountant, he said our monthly statements showed a big loss for November and December, which was expected because people aren’t concerned with diets between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. We had shown a small profit for January, again expected as the New Year’s resolutions are made!

Along with all I was doing for Our Weigh I wasn’t neglecting my social life as I have a lot of entries like; April 30, 1976, Johnny and I went to see Neil Diamond at the Colisuem, had dinner with Gene Crain and and Jack Heilzman May 9, went to see “The Bad Seed” at Theatre Memphis, made a trip to Buloxi for a weekend, not to forget going to endless movies, plays and other concerts but along with the good comes the bad.

We had sold a franchise to James Parker in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1974 and now he wanted out so along with Carole wanting her investment we were caught ‘short’ but still moving along.

I started going back to Joe Cassius because my drinking was becoming a problem to the extent I was doing things that I had never done before like not going into the office, missing classes and I needed to stop that. Also Johnny was having bad back and neck problems and was going to the hospital. Life was crashing and I wanted to stop it from happening.

In August of 1976 I got a call from a Weight Watcher franchisee telling me that Bernie was trying to sell his franchise to Joe Folender, which took me by surprise as I knew we were hurting WW but I didn’t think that much nor would Bernie let me ‘win’ by giving up. He didn’t.

Finally got the settlement from Weight Watchers and that was the last ‘contact’ I had with Bernie for many years.

On January 1, 1977, we had snow, sleet, rain and ice–not a good beginning for the year which was just a sign for the next 2 years.

 

Posted August 22, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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