Archive for August 2012


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.






Posted August 24, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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

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!


“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.



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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7 DECADES SERIES PART 10 B JOHNNY   Leave a comment

Awhile back I did a post on Johnny (and I wrote about him in my book, “Letting It All Hang Out”) but I can’t seem to find it and my diaries regarding our years have ‘disappeared’ so a lot of this is from memory. He was a country boy living in Covington with his parents and a sister 15-20 years younger than him–yes you read it right–and he was 11 years younger than me and not to forget that I was closer to his mother in age than I was comfortable with. I call our few years together ‘The country boy takes the city slicker’. I’m not going into the whole story but will try to give a picture of our relationship.

Johnny without a doubt was one of the most artistic people I ever knew. When he moved in with me I never knew what the townhouse would look like when I came home because he was always redecorating it, each time better than the last. We met in a bar but he wouldn’t come home with me when I asked him. In a sense I had to woo him which I did and enjoyed doing.

He wasn’t making much money working as a window designer for Sears–or so I thought–and when we met I was having the money pouring in and didn’t mind spending it. I paid for most of our dinners in restaurants though he did pick up a check now and then when we went to less expensive places. Our first trip together was on Christmas weeknd when we flew to Las Vegas staying at the Hilton. There weren’t any good shows so I suggested we go to Los Angeles, rent a car and go to Laguna Beach, Hollywood and Malibu, which we did with me picking up the bills. Don’t get the wrong idea as I didn’t mind, I had the money, and it was fun seeing the places I was familiar with through his eyes. We went on a trip to New York,  to see “A Chorus Line”, which is an event I will never forget and it was also the beginning of the end for us. I was drinking to the point that I checked out of the hotel after a few days, paying the bills, fledbacktoMemphisviaAtlantawhere I lost a very expensive London fog raincoat. I arrived home in an ice storm and slipped on the steps leading to my place and busting my head open not going to the hospital until the next day after getting blood all over.  Oh don’t feel sorry for Johnny as I had left him with an ‘old’ man who I introduced to him at the Ballroom where we had gone to see Charles Pierce. It’s a long story but just let’s say that Johnny had a ‘thing’ for older men with money and I was getting low on the latter.

Johnny was a tremondous help getitng Our Weigh off on track by clerking at classes, expressing confidence that it would be a success and helping the women get to and from classes plus making whatever improvements needed in the office, meeting place and other locations.

The best thing I got from Johnny was a feeling what a family was. I spent holidays with his parents, sister and grandparents with the latter being very warm to me and laughing as I helped pick greens in the field. When I told his grandmother that I loved her turkey dressing she always made  an extra pan just for me whenever we went there to eat. Holidays there felt, and looked like, a Norman Rockwell cover on the Saturday Evening Post. I experienced  things I never experienced as a child and they allowed me to become one along with all the cousins running around.

We did a lot of traveling together separate from Our Weigh and when he could get away from Sears. I did not take a summer vacation in 1975 but Johnny and I did get to Disney World over the July 4th weekend and the following week I went to a TA seminar in New Orleans where I remember seeing the opening of the movie “Jaws”. In 1976 I was back to taking my monthly vacation and drove to Duluth to see Ginny and her family stopping in Louisville, Cinncinatti,  Indianapolis, Michigan City and Chicago where Johnny joined me for a few days. He flew back to Memphis and I went on to Milwaukee, Minneapolis, finally Dullth and then returned via Des Moines, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Before that trip was the gala 10th Leap Year birthday I gave at the Hilton in Memphis and his parents came. After that trip I made a couple of trips to Houston. On November 6, 1976, I came back from my trip to Houston to find out that Johnny had moved out. Did I forget to mention that the old man from NYC who lived in Canada came to Memphis to see Johnny? It was over after it was over but neither of us knew how to end it.

Still talking about Johnny but digressing a little–I did something with him that I never did before or since him. I was faithful for 6 months which is something I committed myself to and kept that committment surprising the hell out of me and I never told anyone. It was on a trip 7 months later, on a trip to Chattanooga, that I rationalized, “At least it wasn’t in Memphis.” For awhile I didn’t play around at home but that would change and one after he came home to find me with Issac. He wasn’t mad that I was having sex with someone else but that I was having sex with a Black man! Look it was the South, 1973 and that was what he was taught as a child. I am glad to say that by the time we split up he had changed somewhat about that and I always thought that he made it with Issac a couple of years later after that date. I know he had sex with Art when the latter came down and I always wondered if he eventually had sex with Bernie butthatwouldhavebeena spite bit on both their parts. And , oh yes, he had sex with Franco after the latter asked permission.

Johnny continued to work for Our Weigh after we split and he was there the day I left Memphis. He moved to Dallas with an older, wealthy guy and I understand he has been with another older guy the past 15 years. It is hard to believe he is now 65. Wonder if he is still as hunky looking as he was back then? LOL


Posted August 21, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“2 DAYS IN NEW YORK”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


Julie Delpy obviously loves New York, especially the Statue of Liberty, and takes you all over the city with her new film “2 Days In New York” in which she acts, directs, co-writes, edits, wrote music, did the editing and also takes credit as one of the still photographers. That’s a lot of work for one person even if she has assistants and it shows in the final product. The directing and camera work gets a little sloppy at times and the story is all over the place.

Marion (Delpy) lives with Mingus (Chris Rock), each with a child from a previous relationship, in a very non-Hollywood but very realistic New York apartment. Marion is an artist and will be having a big exhibit that she has invited her father Jeannot (her real father the actor Albert Delpy) and her sister Rose (Alexia Landeau) from Paris. Rose brings along Manu,  (Alex Nahon) who is an ex of Marion’s. Due to Manu and Rose smoking a joint in the elevator in front of a neighbor Bella (Kate Burton) who tells Marion that she is reporting them to get her evicted from the building for a multitude of experiences like her son painting the mailboxes. Marion fakes stage 4 cancer in her brain changing Bella’s mind and will tell her surgeon husband Ron (Dylan Baker who has been a very busy actor lately) who becomes very concerned, particularly after seeing Rose nude which she often is in theapartment.

Though their mother has died recently neither Rose or Jeannot seem to be bothered about it. Why Rose, or anyone, would hook up with Manu, who is very crass when it comes to talking about Blacks who he seems to admire but it doesn’t come across that way, since many years ago he had sex with Marion. In addition to her liking to be nude around the apartment even the first time she meets Mingus the two sisters seem to be at each others throat most of the time.

Like the story lines Delpy tries too many different ways of being funny from her father trying to smuggle in 30 cheeses and sausages taped around his body to Chris Rock having private conversations with Barack Obama, none of which are funny. There are some screwball antics along with pigeons pooping on some people who have given Marion trouble and, with trying everything, an occasional laugh out loud line.

Everything about the movie, from the acting to the directing, is basically okay, neither bad or good but just there to be watched.

Posted August 20, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I’m a funny guy in that I believe in being good to myself and treating myself to something special every once in awhile. At the end of June I was in the Home Depot garden section and saw a Siam tulip which I had never heard of or seen before which made it a good enough reason to buy it!

(From wikipedia if you want more information about the Siam tulip:

At the end of July I noticed a new bud and started to take pictures every week–on the rigth side of the picture above are the bud pictures and those in the left collage are its coming into full bloom.

For a better look of the prime tulip.

Posted August 19, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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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.


Posted August 18, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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