Archive for November 2012

“twilight: breaking dawn part 2 ” a movie review   Leave a comment


Bella (Kristen Stewart) is a human in love with Edward (Robert Pattinson) a vampire and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is a wolf in love with Bella. As “Breaking Dawn” opens Bella, now a full vampire, has given birth to Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) who is half human and half vampire. The first 4 films dealt with a triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob while this, the final film in the series, deals with Bella coming into her own as a vampire, and the threat against Edward’s group by an Italian based group who fear the child will expose their secrets to the human world. Oh yes it seems that the wolf Jacob has given up on Bella and has turned attention to Renesmee. Two things entered my mind at this point: is pediophlia a part of the “Twilight” world and would their child be a third human, a third vampire and a thirdwolf?

I have seen 2 of the 5 films–the first and the last one–and neither grabbed me or made me understand the whole “Twilight” fanaticism  but obviously I am in the minority. This film is loaded with special effects and a lot of talk. It is not a spoiler to tell you that the vampires favorite method of killing someone is to tear their head off, set it on fire and then throw it on the body to burn them all up. There are all sorts of tricks like this with, it seems, most vampires having special powers, keeping the special effects department very busy!

Sorry but I find Kristen Stewart very bland as an actress and Robert Pattinson very pale and boring. Taylor Lautner has that smile and body that helped make Tom Cruise a big star and, hopefully, Lautner’s manager will steer him in the right direction now that he is finished with this series. The most impressive cast member to me was Kellan Lutz who, at least in this film, was underused. One thing I really liked–which use to be done in all the movies–was at the end when each of the actors were shown with their real name and the part they played.

Some people may go through withdrawal problems now that the Twilight films are over but I am not one of them. I must admit I laughed out loud at a scene straight out of the old “Dallas” series!

Posted November 30, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,



                                ME                      FRENCH CAFE                ALLEN


1. For anyone who doesn’t believe in global warning go to:    Allen and I took a drive along what was Fort Lauderdale Beach and if something isn’t done soon there won’t be a Fort Lauderdale Beach!

2. So far I haven’t posted any comments regarding politics for over a week–it is not easy and, for now, I’ll leave it at that but in the future I will have to tell about the 2 guys at The Point and Doyle’s comment about the powerball.

3. I know everything on the Internet is considered public but I still believe e-mails and PMs that are personal should NOT be posted without  the permission of the one who sent it and/or the one who received it–otherwise it is just a crude move on the part of the one who posted it for everyone to see.

4. Living in a senior citizen residence it is sort of sad to hear people cry ‘wolf’ all the time. As long as I have known Sonja she has been dying, has no money, etc., and yet she has enough money to buy and drink booze, has the Internet, a cellphone, goes out to the local drinking hole, has dinner out every once in awhile. She has emphysema, C.O.P.D., claims she finds it hard to walk and more than once has hinted that she didn’t think she would be around in a month or so. First of all I don’t understand people ‘crying wolf’ and, second, don’t they realize how boring they are?

5. I was interviewed by a 27 year old ‘kid’ for a local newspaper and I admit he made me feel old. He didn’t know who Johnny Mathis is, had no idea about H.U.D., and I should have ended it when he admitted he had no idea what “A Chorus Line” was. He claimed it was because he was straight–I tried to explain to him that it hadn’t played on Broadway for 15 years just by playing to a gay audience. I have no idea what his profile of me will be but I will reprint it here when it is published.

6. I have had a few instances of people posting blogs in light colored fonts or fancy fonts or size 8 fonts–am I the only one who can’t read them? Not meaning to hurt any feelings but, no, I don’t have time or want to make them readable so I just skip them.

7. People of a certain age–that is a fancy way of saying OLD!–have a serious time of/ with falling and bleeding. I don’t know whether the latter is because as we get old the skin gets thinner or because so many are on blood thinners  but it comes a major problem. I am not just talking about blood on the sleeves of shirts or blouses but also sheets, pillow cases, comforters, towels plus seeing a trail of blood drops and, for a moment, not knowing where they came from. Regarding falling I have seen more seniors break hips, shoulders, knees and other bones, rapidly going downhill, first going to a nursing home and then hospice. If you are old, if you live with or know someone old please make sure their home has the necessary ‘bars’ to help with bathing and, yes, if you think they need a walker, as much as they fight it, insist and talk to their doctor. And then there is the very touchy subject of driving their car–if you feel uncomfortable when she/he is at the wheel it is time to take action before he/she steps on the gas instead of the brake and…

8. WOW! I don’t know what got me started on that rant above but I have this awful habit–I care about people!

9. I started with #1 about Allen and I driving down A1A–I forgot to mention we were coming from 33RD & Dine French Cafe and was on the way to the Cold Stoen Creamery–now that’s a good day!!!

Posted November 29, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,




Just as Tex-Mex fast food restaurants are on every 3rd corner we know have fast food burger restaurants (which use to be called joints until prices) on every 4th corner. They all ‘serve the best (fill in your own beef) in town but the bottom line is you order and pay, pour your own sodas, get you own silverware (at least it isn’t plastic here!) and, in our case, the cashier served our food.
I watched half of our order sit under the heat lamp (there are advantages and disadvantages to having an open kitchen) long enough that the cashier/server had to worn us that the plate was very hot.
Allen had the “Big Dog” ($6.99) which is advertised as being’1/4 lb of beet hot dog, which means it is 4 ounces and isn’t that big a hot dog! I had the “House of Blue” ($7.99), being a burger–didn’t see the weight anywhere –served with blue cheese, red onion ‘jam’, the latter being very sloppy, and balsamic greens. I wasn’t asked how I wanted it cooked–yes, I know the ‘laws’–but it was thin enough that if you got it medium you would be lucky. We split an order of Sea Salt Fries (($2.49) that certainly wouldn’t threaten McDonald’s or Burger King.
I did call the manager to complain about the fries. I told him upfront that I didn’t want him to change them or to take it off the bill but I just wanted him to know that except for the ones on top the rest were overcooked. He insisted that is the way they are cooked! Really? By the way both ketchup machines were empty and we had to get packets. The manager was sitting right next to that station with two other people and did nothing about the situation
We each had a soda for $1.99 each so with tax the check came to $22.74 For lunch, for a fast food place, it’s a bit much but then I guess you have to pay for Don Shula’s name branded into the burger bun! By the way if you don’t know who Don Shula is you can read about him on a big plastic shield at the entrance/exit to the place.

Posted November 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

7 DECADES SERIES ENDING OF THE 1980S PART 19B   Leave a comment


Between New Year’s Day, 1980–“I am at home eating pizza with salad–no plans” and New Year’s Eve 1989–“10th day of work in a row–at the stroke of midnight I was driving Grace home–started my January newsletter”. A lot of what happened in those 10 years I have already written about–here are some things I may have missed.

November 16-22, 1988 I was in the hospital with an appendix attack–made sure I was out in time to work Thanksgiving at the Holiday Inn–I worked my butt off to make a measly $253–people are cheap on holidays!

September 2-6, 1984 Tommy and Chuck came down

Finished my book “And The Oscar Goes to…” in March, 1988, and sent it out to publisher in May

Met Bryan in February, 1986

On February 13, 1985, Marti, Kathy, her sister Fran, Elaine, Grace and I went to the Casa Vecchia for dinner–my favorite restaurant–exquisite service, food and presentations–a small copper bar that almost made me wish I was drinking again!

The Casa Vecchio is now closed as are so many of the restaurants and bars I use to go to. Just a partial list: 2 On A Match, Zelda’s, Acapulco, The Wharf, Blue Grotto, Backstreet, Punjabs, Studio X, The Palms, Victoria Station, Charcoal Pit, 186 Bar, Golden Spike, La Perla,  Christina Wan’s, Wings and Things, and the list never ends.

December 28, 1988 “Ray Blasco and I went to the opening of the movie version of “Torch Song Trilogy” which was excellent–went back to see it 3 more times and bought the VHS version when it came out–a faithful adaptation of the movie and Harvey Fierstein deserved, but didn’t get, an Oscar nomination–guess the world isn’t ready for an out gay man to tell a gay story. (And today gays look at it and “The Boys In The Band” as old fashioned and not relevant–HA!)

August, 1988–Got $5,000 from Ritchie’s estate as Executive of Will, which I used to pay bills, get new top for car and take trip to NYC to see “A Chorus Line”.

October 5, 1988   Michael and I had dinner at 2 Guys and he told me he had AIDS–I promised him I would be there for him (and I was–more about this in the 1990s section.)

November, 1982, I started writing a column for “The Weekly News” and reviewing restaurants for “Out” magazine.

In November, 1989, I started writing a newsletter for Holiday Inn

September 25, 1985, Michael got massage license

March 1985, I met Ray Blasco, a doctor, who would be important to my life in the 1990s

September 9, 1980, Michael and I started “Black and White Men Together” the first chapter in South Florida

May 26-31, 1987 Chuck came for visit–we had dinner one evening at The Historic Byron Homes Restaurant with Michael (and I still have that picture taken of the 3 of us–almost 20 years later Allen and I would go there for his birthday but it had a different name.)


A lot happened in the 1980s but the 1990s was to be a very turbulent decade for me and with all that happened I managed to keep a smile on my face and get through the bankruptcies, congestive heart failure, being unemployed for a long stretch, asking friends for help which wasn’t easy–pride you know–and more.


Posted November 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,


A lot happened to me in the 1980s and I can probably sum it up in numbers and statistics.

CAR : red Caprice Chevy convertible–bought for $2,500 in 1981–sold it in 2004–total cost for car including buying price, alarm, 3 steering wheel columns replaced due to theft, rentals while car being fixed, repairs, new interior and new paint job every 3 years, etc.  TOTAL COST FOR 23 YEARS  $42, 685.10 and worth every penny! (Yes I still have every bill–don’t ask me why!) The car was stolen 4 times in all including the day I went to Haulover Beach, a nude beach, mostly by kids ripping open the steering wheel column to get the motor going and driving it until it ran out of gas.

DEATHS:  Uncountable number due to AIDS–too many–plus Flo 1982, Sue 1986, Dr. K 1987, Joe 1980, Mother 1980, Phylis 1989, Ritchie 1988

APARTMENTS:  It is NOT true that when my place gets dirty I move but it seems I did live an average of 5 years at a place from my teens until I was in my 60s. In  1979 I moved to Fort Lauderdale and lived on Riverside Drive til the late 80s and then moved to 44th Street off Sunrise Boulevard.

“A  CHORUS LINE” :  53 times total between  NYC, Memphis, St. Louis, Jupiter, Sunrise, Miami

TRIPS : Bill and I to Memphis and St. Louis 1982, By myself to Key West 1984, Michael and I to Jamaica April 16, 1984, Albyn and I Epcot April 21, 1985, John, Ed and I (see pictures above) Key West September 18-20, 1989 and we stopped at the Quays for lunch on the way down. Me & others–read previous posts–to NYC 1983, 1985 and 1988

RESTAURANTS  (Eating out) In the 1980s I ate out in over 500 rrestaurants with my favorites being Victoria Station, Casa Vecchia, The Charcoal Pit, The Golden Spike, Gibby’s, The Spiced Apple, Acapulco’s and Dan Dowd’s, which are all closed now. Of the remaining restaurants maybe 10 are still open like Catfish Dewey’s, Old Florida Seafood House, Carlos & Pepe’s, Chuck’s Steak House and 15th Street Fisheries. The turnover of restaurants is unbelievable but being a tourist city I guess that’s to be expected.

GAY BARS : Even more than restaurants the turnover of bars, whether gay or not, is in itself astounding. From upscale bars like The Sandpiper, which became Jimmy January’s, The Rooftop or neighborhood bars like Lefty’s and The Tunnel Bar to dance bars like the Copa, Backstreet or Zelda’s and raunchy bars like Boots, or like Chardees which was referred to as the ‘wrinkle room’ due to the age of the clientele, all, at one or another, were so popular you usually had to wait on line to get into them. Today they are all gone—maybe because I stopped drinking and going to them? LOL

LEAP YEARS : There were 3 Leap Years in the 1980s–1980 when I was 11 and celebrated at The Sandpiper, 1984 when I was 12 which celebrated at La Vielle Mason, Bobby Rubino’s and at Michael’s house plus 1988 when at the age of 13 I gave a big party at The Golden Spike–all written about in previous blogs.

WRITING : I did a lot of writing during the ’80s  , averaging between 6-9 pages a day. I wrote a book about Bernie and me called “The Looks of Love”, another book about Bill and me, “For What We Had” plus I was writing a weekly column for The Weekly News and doing dining out reviews for a local magazine called  OUT! Started a book named “And The Oscar Goes to…” which I referred to as my Jacqueline Suzanne/Harold Robins pot boiler. started a book called “Mike and Me” and another one “The Free Prisoner” which I worked on for many years before it was finally published.

WORK:  I have already mentioned about the many jobs I had upon my return to Fort Lauderdale. I didn’t know if I could handle going from being a boss and owner of a business to being a waiter and I found I could easily as I loved being a waiter, always did. I did spend the 1980s going from one job to another, in some cases quitting and in others being fired plus 3 of the restaurants closed without warning, owing me money! Some of the restaurants I worked in were: Incredible Edibles, Wag’s, Dan Dowd’s, Holiday Inn State Road 84, Holiday Inn State Road 7, Picolo Cafe, Fisherman’s Wharf which closed and became the Brickyard West which also closed. I worked in my one and only gay bar, The Rooftop. which was a very elegant restaurant and bar and someday will write a blog about working in gay bars. I am sure I am forgetting a job here and there but waiters are known to play the field going from job tojob. At most restaurants there are a couple of servers who have been there for years while the others come and go. For awhile I was the ‘come and go’ waiter.

P.S. All the above restaurants have closed–was it me?????   LOL

Posted November 26, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,


It looks like I will have to be around for another 7-10 years as that is how long it will take ‘my’ avocado tree to bear fruit. We have a tree in the yard behind my building that provided us with about 75 avocados last season. I decided to plant the seed of one of those I ate in March. By June it was tall and leafy enough to plant in the ground. My neighbor Irene planted it near the library where it is getting sun and is protected from the elements. Just mark your calendar for the avocado party at Gateway on March 4, 2023–that’s if the ocean hasn’t swallowed us up yet!!!



Posted November 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,



For the sixth year in a row, the city has 
decked lamp posts and trees along beachside roadways with custom-designed LED lighting. This year, more than 50,000 lights shimmered along Las Olas Boulevard and A1A, north and south from where the two roads intersect.

There were 113 white and blue starbursts, 44 snowflakes boasting 300 lights apiece, and 35 palm trees wrapped in 600 lights per tree. The centerpiece, constructed of 20,000 recycled bottles illuminated in colored lights, were two fishes, 20 feet tall, that appeared to be springing from the ground.


I was planning to take a ride down to the beach to take pictures of the fish and then drive (yes! I have Allen’s car! Well for another 2 hours after I post this!) back via Los Olas and get a few more pictures of the ICE skaters outside and the wares and fares being offered by the merchants of the Boulevard. The best laid plans, etc. The police have cut off the Sunrise bridge entrance and there is only one way traffic up to a certain point along the beach.

Efforts to keep the ocean from swallowing up a stretch of A1A continued Friday as high tides and rough waves kept eating away chunks of the beach, including palm trees, a seawall and the sidewalk.

City and state workers kept busy at the eroded section north of Sunrise Boulevard on A1A, where part of the beach side road has been closed off since Thursday.

Crews worked on moving sand from other areas to the depleted spot, primarily located at Northwest 16th Court and A1A. Workers also built a sand dune around a traffic signal pole that was in danger of being toppled.

It seems we will be having some  flooding along the beach a couple of more mornings and, at the same time, our parking lot is looking like a swimming pool. Ironically the Gateway swimming pool is being completely redone and there is no water in it! The rest of the city is dry and the weather is perfect ‘tourist’ weather with a lot of sun and near 80 degrees in the afternoon and high 50s late night/early morning.






Posted November 24, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

“LIFE OF PI”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

The 90 minutes in the center of the 2 hours and 6 minutes of the movie “Life of Pi” is stunning movie magic by the director Ang Lee. his director of photography, Claudio Miranda and the people using digital imagery, not only to bring animals to life but also the worlds of sky, ocean and storms, in a beauty  very seldom seen on screen. The main CGI effects are used for Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger, who is as much of a star as the actors. For those who may not know ,calling the tiger Richard Parker is the name of several people in real life and in fiction who have been shipwrecked.



From the moment we see Pi and Richard Parker in the lifeboat, along with a zebra, hyena, rat and Orangutan, the film takes on a life of its own. Leading up to that point seems too long and tedious but the middle of the film is a huge payoff. The next 90 minutes up to and including the meerkats is almost sheer magic even in its violent moments. Though the film is rated PG it should have been PG-13 as some of the violence of the survival of the fittest can become nightmares for young children. Some of the scenes will be hard to watch even for animal lovers though it shows nature not only in all its good but in its horror, too.


The story opens with a middle aged Pi, Irrfan Khan, telling a writer, Rafe Spall, of how he got his name as a young boy, played by Ayush Tandon, and the story of the teenage Pi, Suraj Sharma, being shipwrecked, losing his family and all his possessions and his survival. The middle aged Pi tells the writer what he has experienced which the latter is a little skeptical as most people are. The film roams around the subject of religions and seems to be the main thrust of the screenplay by David Magee but is forgotten in the spectacle presented in the mid section of the movie.


Suraj Sharma is new to films and does an adequate job but he doesn’t stand a chance when on screen with the animals. Irrfan Khan brings the needed gravitas but also is helpless with an image of thousands of flying fish, or a whale jumping with a starry night behind him, lingering in the mind of the audience.


“Life of Pi” must be seen on a big screen and in 3D. or otherwise you will miss the splendor of Ang Lee, Claudio Miranda and what is called ‘special effects’ today using CGI.

Posted November 23, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,


It’s been a long time since I cooked a dinner like this–did most of it last night, roasting the turkey at 225 degrees in the oven when I went to sleep and waking up to a cooked turkey–along with what you see in the picture there are potatoes, turkey rice soup, made from scratch cranberry sauce, gravy and a fresh salad–come on down there will be plenty of food left over !


We all have many things to be thankful for but every Thanksgiving (and many times over the year) I am most grateful for people who have added to my life and are no more with me physically–I know they are my Guardian Angels looking over my shoulder every day of the year–though YOU may not know them they are a part of my family and I would like to share them with you. During the 80s I lost many friends due to AIDS but now as I am old I am losing many of them to natural causes from growing old.

I miss Layde. She was fun and a great supporter of mine not to mention donating many hours to editing my books and, many times, my thoughts. We met in Tennessee and a few years later she moved to Dallas with her sister Nina and Nina’s partner Jean. She was always there for me with a joke or a shoulder to cry on. And though we weren’t close I miss BJ.

Due to age many people here at Gateway have died. Too many.

They may just be names to you but along with many others they bring a smile and warmth to me whenever I think of them and I often do.  I hope Ladye, BJ, Liz, Anita, Robert, Bob, Jack, Frank, Michael, Mike and Carmen get to say hello to:

Albyn (heart attack), Flo (cancer), Joe (stroke), Ginny (cancer), Ronnie (heart attack) Bob B. (heart attack), John C. (AIDS), Tom L. (AIDS), Ray B. (heart attack), Buddy (AIDS), Michael Mc (AIDS),  Joe (heart attack) Bob/Dr K (heart attack), Vinnie (heart attack) Robert I. (phenomena)–just a few of my Guardian Angels!!!!

Here’s also a piece of my heart for all those young people in their teens who have suffered and died from AIDS because their parents and adults don’t care about ‘kids’ nor do they want the government to spend money on helping them. I miss, and remember, each one of you.

Love this.

                                       HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

Posted November 22, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,


1. I am well aware this is going to be very hard for me to follow but it is ugly  reading political blogs anymore. There were two posts by rabid Gaza followers who ranted and raved and are not open to listening to anyone who questioned what they were saying. Honestly they sounded like the unbelievable shrieking Republican women–yes, women, who made Republican men sound like wimps–with their name calling and the “Woe is me” attitude before and after the election. I am going to do my best, though it will be hard to ignore stupidity, not to read any political posts or make any comments.

‘Free” cellphone–no camera, no texting, nothing but a phone

2. There has been a lot of talk about ‘welfare queens’ with long painted fingernails carrying iPhones, etc. Sorry I don’t know where you are seeing them because I go to the welfare centers and don’t see any just like there aren’t Caddies lined up–that’s all BS that one unknowing person tells another unknowing person and just repeats it. As far as FREE cellphones here is the LAW–a person below poverty level has a choice of getting a PLAIN cellphone with no camera, no texting, etc., with 250 free minutes a month or a lifeline credit on their AT&T landline–not both. (I think/hope that people have learned from Sandy–landlines worked in the northeast while many cell towers were down and not working.) I have the landline and take the credit but I can count on 1 hand how many calls I make a month and I haven’t made a long distance call in probably 20-30 years. Most poor people I know take the cellphone to use as 911 use when they are out andaboutjust in case. Sure there are a few people who ‘work’ the system  but stop this shouting about how YOU are paying for it–that is BS!

3. Folks who know nothing about it shouldn’t be talking about H.U.D., food stamps, etc., and other items that help people survive. Instead of talking about something that you have no idea about, do some research, see what the requirements are  and, whether you like it or not, your vision of a ‘welfare queen’ went out of vogue a long time ago. Today it is mainly families who are living in poverty and old people who have gone broke because they either didn’t have health insurance or used all their assets for a sick mate.

4. I would really love to read all your blogs but as it is I subscribe close to 100+ bloggers on 9 different sites and I come home in the evening to 90 notifications and 65 e-mails. I have to cut back so for those of you who post 3-6  blogs a day or those who are always posting YouTube songs accept my apologies for not reading/looking/commenting on all of them. Aside from my own commitment to myself to post 1 blog a day I do some other writing and am currently finishing up the last 2 books I will write.

5. I’ve read 5 post by nongay bloggers–both married or not–who do get or can get over 1,000 Federal tax deductions–and they wrote about a subject they know nothing about. They do provide gays with laughs but they keep repeating the same nonsense that in no way helps two people of the same sex who love each other get married. I am gay(no surprise there) and I have no, have never had, desire to get married but I know why people do (and it doesn’t have to do with that 1,000+ deductions–hey Republicans how about cutting those out for revenue? You would certainly see a change in attitude about who gets married!) but the way it will happen is if these so called allies would help get DOMA defeated.


6. I love the Tony and Oscar shows and never miss them. It looks like the male Oscar race will be the ‘hot’ one this year–so far I have seen 8 performances worthy of nominations and the ‘big’ movies have yet to come out!

7. I am just curious–where do you live? In the USA? Another country? What city? I live in Fort Lauderdale in Florida and I know people from all over the world blog.

8. I believe in ‘silly’ things like: the man in the moon and that the moon is made of cheese,–hey it makes me smile when I look at the moon and what’s wrong with that? I also believe in some serious things like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc.

9. Putting in a plug for–great gifts for the holidays!!

10. I have a few more things to talk about but I have a 20 pound (+ stuffing with pecans) turkey to roast, a bean, mushroom and fried onion casserole plus 2 pumpkin/ applesauce/marshmellow pies, not to forget the yams and salad.





Posted November 21, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

%d bloggers like this: