Archive for September 2012


You never know what I will post on most days let alone Sunday! I do want to make Sundays about Gateway, where I live in Fort Lauderdale, a community for/of 300 senior citizens most in their 70s and 80s with a few in their late 60s, mid 90s-it makes for interesting living. I have lived here a little over 13 years– longest I have lived anywhere !–and we have a beautiful pool over looking Karen Bay which I would go to 4-5 times a week.

Up on top, behind the white fence, is the breezeway where a few of us would get together and relax (Hey, we lead a hard life!)–pardon the pun–shooting the breeze. There was a long green area filled with Cuban buttercup bushes that were constantly blooming.

To make a long story short in spite of the fact that there are 260 apartments with 260 bathrooms someone called and complained to the Board of Health. The pool had to be closed until bathrooms were built and they couldn’t be uni-sex. The administrator decided it would be a good time to fix the pool which was getting a few cracks and the whole pipe system was corroded. Our new ‘outhouse’ is ready but because of complications it looks like the pool won’t be opened for at least 90 days.

Not being negative but that bathroom will be a disaster but worse it no longer makes the breezeway a place to relax. The bathroom doors open to the breezeway and with old folks, trust me, you don’t want to see them coming out of a bathroom. Also, not to get gross, it won’t be clean for long and I feel sorry for Estaban who will have to take care of it!

With that picture in your mind I will end this post  here–


Posted September 30, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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For anyone who complains about service in restaurants I must be doing something right–I am very hard on servers as I was one for 38 years and I gave this place an extra star just for the service. Now I have to embarrass myself as I did ask him his name but I have forgotten it–can I blame old age? In any case from the moment we walked in the door he gave us a bright cheery greeting and didn’t stop smiling when I gave him the coupon from groupon.
The groupon provided 2 subs of any size, 2 bags and chips and 2 sodas for $9. It would be a good deal IF the sub was good and it was. We each had the 12″ turkey club which was thick with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and the onions we requested plus mayo  ($7.55 each). The sub was good but next time I would ask them to toast the bread as it is a thick, white doughy type of bread. They also have a whole wheat sub roll.
What can you say about a bag of  chips (.90 each) or a can of soda (.95 cents each)? The food was brought to us so while not completely fast food I miss the full on service.
Oakland Park Subs is a store front with half for the kitchen, cashier stand and display case while the front half with a few small tables, chairs, a few pictures and a mirror could use a little more work but paying $9 for what would have cost  $19.93 is, anyway you look at it, a good deal. They do have a ‘special’ of any large size sub, chips and soda for $8.25 which in itself is a good deal.
Their motto is “Big Enough To Serve You-Small Enough To Care”. Stop by the next time you are in the area for a warm welcome and a good sub—and please find out the guy’s name for me! :O)



Posted September 29, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“LOOPER”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

How would you like to sit in a diner having steak and scrambled eggs with a version of yourself, but 30 years older, who also orders steak and scrambled eggs?  How would you like to be Bruce Willis surrounded by 20 men with guns and you kill them all but can’t shoot and hit 2 people, without weapons, running away from you? How would you like to travel back in time and get rid of victims so they don’t cause any problems in the present/future? How would you like to hire men, call them loopers, to kill these men of the future today? Yes, we are in the world of sci-fi which allows Hollywood to interfere now and then.


We meet Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 2044, a drug addict, alone who doesn’t seem to care about anything or anyone. We, also, meet Joe (Bruce Willis) in 2074. clean, married to a beautiful woman (Summer Qing), wealthy and happy. Young Joe is taken off the streets and is trained as a looper by Abe (Jeff Daniels) who eventually picks him to eliminate the older Joe, who will be sent back by time travel for just that purpose by the Rainmaker, the power boss of the future.


Due to a mistake on young Joe’s part old Joe gets away and the chases begin with the young Joe after old Joe and Abe’s men after the former for bungling the job.and the latter to finish the job. Both Joes face each other at the farm owned by a single, strong, fiercely independent woman Sara (Emily Blunt) with a son Cid (Pierce Gagnon) and what the men do here will change everyone’s life.


Not usually being good at this sort of thing I was able to figure out one of the screenplay’s twist but it didn’t take away from the confusion I usually face in sci-fi films as my mind doesn’t work that way. There are moral questions regarding the life of one man versus the life of the future.


Aside from the expected heroics from Bruce Willis–see my second question–we tend to forget the power he has in quiet, meaningful moments. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does an excellent job as the young man living for the pleasure of the moment, and though helped by make-up which he really didn’t need, makes the scenes of 2 halves equaling a whole believable. Emily Blunt is commanding and Pierce Gagnon as the child isn’t quite as sure in his role. Paul Dano, as a not so successful looper, has all the right moves but Jeff Daniels doesn’t seem to be a man who would be in charge of killers.


The direction by Rian Johnson suffices and his screenplay is interesting and has you, well me, thinking after the movie is over. A major drawback is that 2047 and 2077 looks the same as today. There are  a few production ‘modern’ props plus a few hovercrafts and a Smartvan to carry the looper’s silver nuggets but otherwise no surprises in how the world looks.

Posted September 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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AS I WAS SAYING…   Leave a comment

1) Why do I, like many others, feel they must respond to every comment when/if someone comments on their blogs and/or comments to them on other blogs? And why do someone people never comment??

2) Does anyone else have problems with ‘disappearing’ letters on their keyboard? Right now the U, O, L, P and T have faded or are fading. I hunt and peck so it gets difficult. Anyone have suggestions?

3) Has it ever been decided which is better—keeping PC on 24/7 or turning it off when not in use?

4) Write whatever you want but don’t tell me what to write or NOT write.

5) I vaguely remembering reading the following and I don’t remember where but I do remember there might be something there. “Do we have more people than we will ever need for all the jobs? Is the job market in the USA over-saturated which might be one of the causes for unemployment?”

6) I LOVE the new IAMS catfood commercial!

7) Allen is going to visit his daughter and her family over the Thanksgiving weekend. Don’t you think he should stay through Christmas? (Did I mention I have his car when he goes away?)

8) I love it! A blogger said they don’t make personal attacks and then attack me in half of a very large comment! LOL

9) I learned one shouldn’t flirt, or make innuendos, on someone elses blog or an old lady might get offended!

10) I don’t give ‘spoilers’ in my movie review because I know I want to see a movie unfold as the director and screenwriter planned. I’ll give the basis of what the movie is about and will answer any questions about the movie in a private e-mail.

11) Some numbers: 40% of all the food in the USA ends up in the trash–average family of 4 wastes $2, 275 in food  each year–I am proud to say I don’t waste a bit of food and I certainly don’t waste a penny of food!

12) I have been looking for kitchen table chairs with arms for over 2 years–from IKEA to Macy’s to Target to wherever and I can’t find any!!!!

13) As hard as it is I am doing my darnedest to not make any more comments on political blogs because if you ask for facts or make corrections the poster goes ballistic! LOL

14) I recently discovered “The Big Bang Theory” and after watching a few episodes I am hooked. I watch the NBC episode on Thursday and the TBS marathons on Thursdays and Saturdays. It is the only comedy that has me laughing out loud! Underneath it all am I really a nerd?!?!?

15) From the nerds to the rich people–my secret pleasure is coming back Sunday–“Revenge”–I love it!! Of course it is on at the same time “Homeland”, “Dexter” and “The Good Wife” while other nights you won’t find anything to watch!



Posted September 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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In 1981 there was talk of a ‘gay disease’ in New York first called GRID (gay related immune deficiency) and then, jokingly (ha ha) ‘the 4 H club consisting of homosexuals, heroin users, Haitians and hemophiliacs.  When it was discovered that nongay people were also coming down with the symptoms it was called AIDS–ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME. AIDS is a disease of the immune system caused by infection with the retrovirus HIV, even though it took years for the medical field to agree on this, which destroys  white blood cells and is transmitted through blood or bodily secretions such as semen. Patients often die from secondary causes such as pneumonia or Kaposi’s sarcoma. The president of the United States didn’t say a word about it until almost 6 years later, after 20, 850 Americans died from it, including a friend of his, actor RockHudson. The mayor of New York, who was, and still is, thought of being in the closet turned his back on it until gay activists gave him no choice and he had to address the issue. I’m not going to give a lesson in AIDS but strongly suggest you read/and or see the play “The Normal Heart” . There is also a strong play called “As Is” and a book  “And The Band Played On”, both made into movies and are on DVD.

We started hearing about AIDS in Fort Lauderdale from New York tourists and I started getting calls and letters about deaths, memorial get togethers, friends in hospitals but it didn’t hit home until it affected ‘my’ Mikes.  Ice skater Mike was the first to die in the Fort Lauderdale area but it was Teacher Mike who I saw through the whole sickness from the day he was diagnosed to the day he died in a hospice. There would be a lot more deaths in the coming years.

In 1985 there was a famous hotel–The Marlin Beach Hotel– that catered to the gay crowd and was famous for the movie “Where The Boys Are” being filmed there. They  also donated office space for the first Gay Men’s Health organization. There also a ‘buddy’ group that I joined in 1985 that helped teenagers with AIDS. It wasn’t very long after 1981 that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area became #3 on the list of most HIV+ and/or AIDS cases. For those who may not know there is a difference between the two. There was very little research being done and there was one drug available—AZT–that was very expensive and, in my opinion, was toxic enough to kill people, including teacher Mike.

You can’t talk about AIDS without giving a nod to the women, mostly Lesbians, who volunteered and were at the forefront of helping people with AIDS. This was a time when medical personal wouldn’t touch patients without wearing a glove and a mask, when funeral parlors wouldn’t handle/bury people with AIDS, when people didn’t understand the illness or what was meant by safer sex–and many still don’t–but the women were there to help feed, clothe, give people with AIDS a place to stay.

It has been 31 years since that NY Times report but here are some facts that were published in 2007 and though more and more people are surviving the illness the figures  now are much higher.



Most people in the USA act as if the crisis is over and the ‘cocktail’ is a cure–NO WAY!! Here are some facts gathered from POZ magazine:

Last year there were 40,000 new infections in the USA.

We have pledged a larger sum of money to battle AIDS beyond our borders while we cut services here to help people with HIV.

50% of the 1.1 million of have no health insurance, Medicad is being cut as is housing budgets.

Our government will not allow money to any AIDS program that talks about condoms (or safer sex) yet 34% of those who sign ‘virginity’ pledges have sex before marriage. 33% American students get exclusively abstinence only sex education.

World wide 25 million have died and 41 million currently infected yet the USA is up in arms  ABOUT THE WEST NILE FLU, they were more up in arms about Legionnaire’s disease because it was considered a non-gay problem. IN 2003 SARS rocked our world; it had killed 1,200.

Annual AIDS related deaths in the USA–16,000.

Many Americans believe the myth that those with HIV/AIDS in America are okay.

States that segregate HIV positive prisoners–1.

Tuberculosis and malaria, our second and third largest epidemics can be cured–AIDS can’t.

In 2004 teen girls in America accounted for 50% of all new infections among all Americans ages 13-19 and women for 37% of those ages 20-24.

We are withdrawing support in America for treatment, drugs, care, housing and food from HIV infected Americans, increasing their infectiousness and throwing them out on the streets.

HIV is no longer confined to ‘high risk’ groups as more and more reports are showing such as the above report on females..


In the 1980s and 1990s I crossed out many names in my phone book but people are still dying today in spite of the ‘cocktail’ that has helped so many.
We need sex education IN schools because parents are NOT doing their job at home though they say they are. I know because I have seen too many teenagers sick and/or have died from AIDS.
Get tested. Unless you have been with your mate 24/7 since the first day they had sex with you get tested. Yes, the one you swear would never, has never cheated on you could give you the disease as many spouses, mates, partners–whatever term you use–have cheated and it only takes one time. Unless you have been with them 24/7 make them wear a condom and don’t listen to. “It doesn’t feel as good” or “Don’t be silly. I wouldn’t cheat on you!”
This has been a little longer than my usual post–the last one left me and Bill calling it quits and I’ll get back to what happened in the aftermath and learning you don’t ‘die from a broken heart.’

Posted September 26, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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On Wednesday, November 11, 1981, I met the love of my life, Bill, through an ad I had placed in a local gay magazine. I have written a book about us starting on that day and ending on the aftermath for me. Yes there is my story, his story and somewhere in the middle the truth, but “For What We Had”, which was written in 1984, after the break-up, was my story. I sent Bill a copy and to this day I don’t know if he read it and if he did, what he thought. By June, 1983 it was all over though we would be going to NYC in the Fall. I’ve written blogs about Bill so I won’t go into the whole story here.

The bottom line is that I believe Bill and I loved each other unconditionally for quite awhile but it wasn’t enough. Like my not knowing whether he read the book or not. I remember him once saying that he had read enough books in collage that he didn’t want to read anymore. We had very little in common to build a relationship. Bill was book smart while I was street smart. He had gone to a top school graduating with honors and I had one semester at a run of the mill university. He liked working on his 1920s Ford while all I knew about a car was to join AAA. He liked his motorcycle while I was scared to death of riding on it. He went to see “The King and I” to celebrate his anniversary when he was married, it being a special occasion while I had been going to the theatre since I could walk. I believed in ‘little things mean a lot’ while it meant nothing to him to forget, what I considered, important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, or doing things for no reason at all. He was an engineer while I was a waiter.  What we did have in common was that we were gay.

Bill was coming out of the closet while I had never been in it. As it had been fun showing Johnny places that he had never seen before and my seeing them again through his eyes, in a way it was the same with Bill. I introduced him to a world of life that he hadn’t seen before including baths, bars, his being cruised and not even being aware of it. We drove from Fort Lauderdale to Memphis via New Orleans (see picture below) having beignets there, having dinner in Ruth Chris’s in Jackson, Mississippi and then spending time in Memphis and, yes, seeing “A Chorus Line” in the amphitheatre on Mudd Island.

By the time Bill was completely out of the closet where were we to go? It was over and I had never felt such pain but I was able to write it out in the book. The whole experience also brought home to me, after 4 relationships, that it requires many things I wasn’t willing to bring to a relationship. No, I am not a forgiver or a compromiser. I very quickly got bored with having sex with the same person. I am a very selfish person. Yes, I am very giving but when I want to and on my terms. I don’t need/want someone 24/7 but I do need/want time alone for myself. I don’t want to answer to someone for what I do or where I go–that was among the many reasons that I decided in the mid 1980s I wouldn’t look for, or did I want, another lover, partner, whatever you want to call it, that I just wanted friends and my life has been a lot better since I made that decision though I was tempted once or twice! :O)

A lot more happened in the 1980s like AIDS, my father having a stroke and diagnosed with Alzheimers, my mother dying, the last time I was to see my brother and sister-in-law, job changes, Steven but for me personally the biggest, best thing was meeting and being with Bill for the time we did have together.


Posted September 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Posted September 23, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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It took me a moment or two—nobody said I was very bright! (HUSH!)–to realize that the place was decorated in a Alice In Wonderland whimsy fashion which turned it into a fun place with red plastic stemmed wine glasses for sodas, high purple chairs, booths with a different fun  lamp above each and varied  pastel colored plastic martini glasses for the gelato servings at the table.
The gentleman who served us, made our sandwich, dished out the gelato and brought us the brownie was a delight from the moment we stepped in the door. up to our leaving. I have no idea if he is one of the owners but he does everything but make the gelato, as he told us the women, fixing up a booth a few steps from us, was responsible for that. IF she is the owner she should have taken a second or two to at least acknowledge us.

As to the food it is pretty pricey. We split a sandwich that was $7.75 and really wasn’t enough for one!  Though the gelato came in many flavors they cost $5.75 for a medium scoop which is really a small scoop and I don’t want to see the size of the latter.  I had the banana crepe which had a hint of banana while Allen had the orange which he really liked and another flavor (I forget what it was) which he said was bland. We split a brownie with chocolate sauce which was just ordinary.

I didn’t see any ice cream so I suppose they put that in the name so people driving by would know it is a dessert shop. “Alice’s Gelato Emporium”? It would go along with the Alice in Wonderland theme.
I’m sorry I didn’t get the name of the  door greeter, server, cook, cashier, host, busboy but if he isn’t an owner he should be one and I hope the owners know what a gem they have in him.
I’m glad I tried the place but it isn’t a shop I would return to–if I am going to spend close to $40 for lunch I would rather go across the street to Pomperdales Deli.


Posted September 22, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“THE MASTER”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

Some people go to a movie to sit back, relax and be entertained. Others don’t mind a drama as long as it has 3 acts and can be followed easily enough. There are people who like to get involved, caught up, with a film while there is another group that really like to go to movies that present a puzzle that in all probability will never be solved and in the long run doesn’t make much sense—most of the last category are called “Critics”. “The Master”, opened up in a limited release, with very strong, positive reviews and awards for the leading actors at the  Toronto International Film Festival plus word of mouth raves. This review will be a minority review in that I haven’t the slightest idea what the screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson, who also directed, was trying to get across and except for this writing willcompletely have forgotten the film and wonder where all the award nominations, and possible wins, come from.

Mr. Anderson had made 6 major films of which I liked “Magnolia” and “Boogie Nights” plus really admiring his “There Will Be Blood”. As a writer here he seems not to have known where he wanted to go with his main story with characters played by Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd. There is a father and son aspect, though Lancaster isn’t shown having a relationship with his son Val, played by Jesse Plemons. At times it seems to be a guru-follower theme while, maybe not even intended, there are homoerotic moments.

Hoffman gives a strong quiet performance while Phoenix’s is a much more physical one. His hiatus from acting, to become a rap star, seems to have taken away some of his power as an actor. In the last part of the movie if you close your ears you would swear you hearing Marlon Brando doing a takeoff of Marlon Brando. The only strong female role is played by Amy Adams as Hoffman’s pregnant wife and, there is what really would be called a cameo, by Laura Dern as one of Dodd’s benefactors..

Should I think about the film at all it will be trying to figure what, and why, 2 scenes in the film are all about. and the original music soundtrack, which is one of the most annoying I have ever heard and the 4-5 original songs of the 50s era, which the film takes place in, are a welcome sound. Regarding the 2 scenes–and these are not spoilers–one is a social get together where all the women are nude and most of the men in suits and the second where Freddie walks back and forth between a paneled wall and a window across the room, which I can only assume to show Dodd’s charisma and influence as a leader.

This is an over extended film at 2 hours and 15 minutes and the only reason to see it is to try and figure out why the critics are raving about it.

Posted September 21, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I’ve blogged about the wild parrots before but it has been awhile since they have ‘visited’ me. There is a huge tree in front of my building and the parrots use to come around every evening about 5 PM and then they disappeared for some time after hurricane Wilma but they have been coming back since but to the tree in the back outside my window. They don’t really have a schedule, sometimes coming every day, sometimes every other week.

It is rumored that the parrots were originally pets that somebody let loose and now there are flocks of them all over south Florida. They are beautiful and if I had a better camera I could get better shots of their colors. They have red heads, green bodies and patches of yellow.

Yes, they are loud and poop all over cars and the property but they are really something to watch flying as a flock or just covering the trees. I don’t know how many are in this particular flock but I would guess about100!!


I look forward to seeing them tomorrow–and I will have to do a blog on teh birds I use to keep in my apartment–at one time 21 of them!

For more information go to

Posted September 20, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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