Archive for May 2013

“NOW YOU SEE ME”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

How do you portray magic in a medium that is all magic? Get a cast made up of Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Jose Garcia and Commons and add a lot of razzle-dazzle. “Now You See Me” delivers on both counts. The ending may not quite make sense and may have to be listened to a second time or might make you think of seeing the movie over again to follow if the ending is as logical as the screenwriter says it is.


There are spectacular magic tricks, most explained, foot chases, a car chase and a couple of heists that are explained to such an extent that it adds to the puzzlement. This is not a movie to see for character development because a love story between 2 of the stars only slows everything down while another couple is handled in a sort of throwaway manner and makes more sense.


Mark Ruffalo as an FBI agent needs a shave while his partner on loan from Interpol, Melanie Laurent, adds a foreign interest leading to a bridge in Paris with a fence filled with locks. (Always learning things from movies–didn’t know this was a widespread craze–had to google it for more information!) The team of four with Woody Harrelson as a mentalist, Jesse Eisenberg as an illusionist, Isla Fisher as an escape artist and Dave Franco as a pickpocket, who was really impressive, make their roles of magicians realistic while Michael Caine as a rich man who sponsors their act, and for some unexplained reason disappears from the movie while Morgan Freeman is a man who exposes magicians and their tricks, are always entertaining to watch.


The screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, along with direction by Louis Leterrier, photography by Larry Fong and Mitchell Amundsen plus the eye catching production design by Peter Wenham and visual effects supervisor Nicholas Brooks make “Now You See Me” a pleasant diversion. The music by Brian Tyler is loud, as most musical soundtracks are in action films, and Ruffalo needing that shave,  along with the explanation at the end having to be heard again, are minor complaints regarding a film about magic that you can just sit back and enjoy the actors, scenery and razzamatazz!  


Posted May 31, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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LET’S GO TO THE COUNTRY!!   Leave a comment

With the exception of the first picture which is the new pier Dania Beach–John U Lloyd State Park looks exactly as it did when I first saw it in 1956. I lived in Miami Beach at the time working at Picciolo’s Restaurant and on my day off a group of us would go up to Dania Beach which, though not officially, had a nude gay beach which was also visited by nongays from Europe. There were rivers west of the beach area separated by high bushes that sort of divided the two areas.

Back in that time Miami Beach was the mecca for tourists who might take a trip up to the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood in the late 1950s, early 1960s, to see top stars perform at night but both Hollywood and Dania Beach were known to be filled with open fields, cows roaming around and as a ‘day in the country’ for those of us who lived further south. There is now a huge parking lot–back then no meters and you made your own spaces–and, as I reviewed two weeks ago, a new Quarterdeck Restaurant that has quickly become a tourist spot which is at the entrance, and on, a brand new pier. The beach is so pristine it is as if it arose overnight.

The State park offers another way to park and visit the beach plus you will also see the new huge cruise liners that dock at the Everglades Port.

As far as I know Dania Beach is no longer a nude beach but then I haven’t been there in awhile–I may just have to check it out in the name of research–just for you, of course!!


Below are some notes from about the area.


Dania Beach is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 29,639. It is part of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010 census. Dania Beach is the location of one of the largest jai alai frontons in the United States, Dania Jai-Alai. It is also the location for an amusement center named Boomers! , was home to the Pirate’s World amusement park and home to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum.


Population: 30,183 (2011)

Area: 6.31 sq miles (16.34 km²)


Welcome to John U. Lloyd Beach State Park

Perfect for a day at the beach or a family picnic, this park provides an abundance of recreational activities. Surf fishing, canoeing, swimming, nature study, boating, and picnicking will keep the whole family busy. For those interested in South Florida’s underwater beauty, Lloyd Beach has one of the easiest and most interesting shore dives in the area. The park has two boat ramps with easy access to the ocean through the Port Everglades Inlet, which will please those who prefer to fish in open water. The mangrove-lined waterway is a scenic place to canoe, observe bird life, and take photographs.

Posted May 30, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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BEING A GENTLEMEN   Leave a comment


Though it may be politically incorrect I still believe in being a gentleman. Yes, I will let a lady go first and will hold the door open for her. I will walk on the outside when strolling. I will refrain from cursing in mixed company and will blush if talking about sex in front of, or to, a female.

I say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, write thank you notes, answer invitations and arrive on time. Though I am not eligible to be a boy scout leader (being gay) I still help ‘little old ladies’ when the occasion calls for it. I respect, and defer, to my elders (even though there are less people every day older than me) even senior citizens in Florida who can be the rudest people around.

I don’t like drunk or foul mouth people, (especially women) and don’t understand unkindness towards others.

Just for the record I am not perfect (the only time I made a mistake is when I thought I had made a mistake LOL) though I make the effort to be so. I do show respect to those who earn it and not just because they have a title. And I will always give a person the benefit of a doubt. I trust people and accept them on their word until proven otherwise.

I see myself as an expert in a few fields such as gay male life in the 20th century, aging, weight reduction, restaurant service and, to a certain degree, movies and theatre–not how they are made but having seen the most and the best–and living, but not being, alone. I believe my expertise has come from experience in all these subjects.

Basically I am even tempered, very seldom get angry and/or shout, BUT don’t dare put a friend, or a group I belong to, down–I will/do get very defensive, throw reason and caution to the wind and very seldom forgive rudeness, hatred, bullying or disrespect of others.

I will admit, and apologize, if I am wrong about something but if I am right (and I usually am even if only in my own mind LOL) I will not back and/or stand down.

Oh, I am stubborn and controlling and I’ll rationalize that it is for your own good BUT I will accept you for who you say you are and I expect the same from you.

One of my favorite quotes:

“I do my thing and you do your thing

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

and you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you and I am I

and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.

                                                                 Frederick S. Perls

As it says in a song from “Chicago”, “Whatever happened to class”?

Posted May 29, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2002 BIRDS PART 26 A   Leave a comment

Three major events took place in 2002: 1) i discovered birds as pets  2) I completely retired 3) being judgement proof  The most fascinating thing to me were the birds and I learned a lot about them. I started off with one budgie–you call them parakeets—then another–after that I got a cockatiel and then another. I would eventually get 2 zebra finches not knowing they are worse than rabbits! Before I knew it I had 19 finches! I, finally, got wise and put the females in a separate cage.

Let’s start at the beginning. I wanted a pet and was thinking of a pug–if you read the early parts of this series you will know I had a pug that I absolutely adored. There were three main things holding me back with the first being the responsibility of walking them, not being able to go to go away for a weekend–no, I wouldn’t put the dog in a kennel. The second was that Gateway required a $500 deposit for all dogs and then, the deal breaker, the scoop if they poop! On a coffee break at Big Louie’s one of the other servers started talking about birds which perked my interest. The following week I was out looking at birds. At one of the pet shops I talked to the owner and told them what I wanted, which was a pet that wouldn’t be a lot of trouble! (Now I ask you–is there such a thing???)

I really didn’t have the patience to train a bird so he suggested I get two budgies as they would keep each other company. My first question was about bites as my doctor had warned me that if I got a bird bigger than a cockatiel or one that had a sharp bite it could cause problems because of my taking coumidin. That was the first mistake I made as later I learned a single bird is more of a pet because they had to adopt you as part of their flock but if they had a mate why would they need me?!?!!? Oh yes to feed them, give them clean water and clean their cage!

I immediately fell in love with 2 budgies–a male and female–and between the cage, food and toys it cost me $96. I decided to call them Butch and Cassidy after the Sundance Kid movie. Instead of doing all the reading I could on the Internet and bird books BEFORE buying them, being the kind of person who when he wants something wants them now, I started doing research. I went to Border’s and read book after book, bought 2 bird magazines plus a book on budgies.

The first thing I had to do, and was a lot easier than I thought it would be or people told me, was to change their diet from only bird seed to pellets and cooked food.

Birds are really very easy to take care of–basically feeding them once a day, changing their water and once a week a good cleaning of their cage. I discovered very early the ‘trick’ of layering the bottom of the cage with newspaper so that each morning all I had to do was pick up the top page and throw it out leaving a clean bottom.

Many people told me to keep their wings clipped so they couldn’t fly out the door or get into trouble. I didn’t–I let them out of their cage any time I was home making sure the doors were locked as well as the windows. They very easily learned to return to the cage on their own at 10 PM for a snack.

Oh yes–I did train the birds to be on my time. I covered their cage after the late news and didn’t take it off until I woke up. I never heard any noise from them in the morning.

Yes I did learn to find poop all over and I was surprised at the damage they could do to anything hanging on a wall like photographs, clocks and plaques!

This was just the beginning of my ‘bird history’!

Posted May 28, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2001 PART 25 D   Leave a comment

In spite of, maybe because of, CHF ,COPD,  PAD,  HB and a few other initial diagnosis, I was doing pretty good. My weight was the lowest it had been since I left Memphis in 1979, I was working making good money, I still had my beloved 1973 Chevy Caprice red convertible and movies, theatre and eating out were all part of my daily living. The fact that I was once again charging too much, mostly regarding the car,  sort of got to me once in awhile but, obviously, not enough to stop it. I rationalized that in May I was in the hole for $215 but was ahead for the year.

In May I was once again in the hospital with the vascular surgeon putting a stent in my left leg with the warning that the veins were tightening up to the point he may not be able to do that in the future, that I had to stop smoking, that though he thought I did a great job with the weight I was hitting the cholesterol too much. He told me to keep the count below the 300 milligram mark.

Out of the blue I got a call from Steven, who I had ‘dumped’ for Bill many years ago, and we went out for a pleasant dinner but that ‘spark’ or whatever it is wasn’t there anymore. He was still tied up with his kids which I wasn’t interested in and–I don’t say it proudly or ashamedly–we had ‘been there, done that’ and it was old hat to me.  Monogamy has never been, will never be a part of me and I was open and honest about it from the very beginning with anyone I met. Did it hurt me? Did I miss out? I don’t know and I don’t think so. Though many gays, along with many nongays, look down on me because of that attitude I don’t care as I felt I was not straight and didn’t have to imitate them. Gay men had a  reputation for being promiscuous and (once again I will get in trouble for saying this) but I, me, myself, IMO, have never known two men to be faithful to each other. That is a whole other book I think John Rechy explained very well in one of his.

In June 2001 I saw “Moulin Rouge” who 12 years later, almost to the month, the same director Baz Luhrmann and if nothing else I am consistant as he seems to be. My review for that film is basically the review I gave for Gatsby which was “different, crazy, innoventive and boring. I am glad I saw it but won’t see it again!”

A very strange thing happened at the end of June. When my mother died my brother had sent me some Savings Bonds that had been in her and my name for years and I cashed them in. Going through some papers I found 3 bonds among them. Each was for $200 taken out a long time ago and when I went to cash them in I got $3,036!!!! My next notes are, “Got new mattress and frame and spent–paid cash–$1800. I did have to change the king size bed for a queen size one as with the former I wouldn’t be able to move around my bedroom!”

The rest of the year was uneventful though I was spending too much money but there was nothing new about that. In October I started taking cash advances from my credit cards and I made a note about seeing bankruptcy ahead.

2002 would bring more changes in my life including birds and retirement!

Posted May 27, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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IT’S GOOD TO BE ME!!! :o)   Leave a comment

I & 2 was sitting at the computer doing some writing and had the TV on when all of a sudden I turned around and decided to redecorate the room. I really wanted to put the sofa-bed on the wall opposite the windows, between the kitchen and hallway to bathroom and bedroom but it was just a little too long. I put it under the window and moved the table and chairs against that wall. Whereas I use to move every 5 years now I start redecorating my place every 5 years! LOL

3 A & B The Dollar Tree flower seeds are doing great but so far no beets (3 A) and no turnips (3 B) so far–I am not giving up—yet!

4 I don’t know if other cities are doing what Fort Lauderdale has recently started doing–they cover their electric and water meter boxes with various scenes adding to the neighborhood. The one above (picture #4) is near the downtown garage across from the Broward Performing Arts Center and it is a map of the downtown area. Right now they are just doing it in the center of the city but hopefully they will spread out. It is a lot more colorful than plain green or gray metal boxes.

Hope everyone is having a great day.  We are breaking record temperatures with it going up between 90-94 degrees but the humidity isn’t too bad. The sun is out and the sky is clear while there is a cool breeze from the ocean.


Posted May 26, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I spent this past week reading 302 letters telling me how great, wonderful and loving a person I am (was? LOL)–okay, okay so there were 24 that didn’t think so (but that after  whatever we had was over!) I enjoyed the letters and started wondering whatever happened to those people–the majority–I haven’t heard from or seen? Should I try to contact them? I did make the attempt regarding one only to find out that Frank had died 5 years ago. I am having second thoughts now. Reading the letters reminded me of this that I had written a few years ago and it is still mostly true.


“My world revolves around me but THE world doesn’t.

I found this quote and instantly realized that it is true for all people. Whether we admit it or not we all do what WE want to do whether it is good for us or not. Some people choose to be martyrs while others choose to be victims and some constantly switch roles.

  Anyone who reads my blogs know that I talk about myself and my life a lot! Most will have a picture or two of me! Yes my blogs are about me, me and me! In the past month a blogger threatened me physically, another said “I was a know it all!” and a friend that I had the attitude that I was always right.  I know it is hard to believe but, yes, there are people who don’t like me–so what?

  On February 29, 2016, I will be 80 or–counting my Leap Year birthdays–20. For some reason, and I wasn’t taught it as a child, I have had a positive attitude which carried me through hard times and I have had them–being one night away from homelessness, losing the love of my life, declaring bankruptcy TWICE!, walking away from $1 million +, being arrested for being gay and more. I have also had many highs in my life and have learned a lot. I can look you in the eye and say I am a happy man, satisfied with my life and have very few regrets but even those I wouldn’t change because I wouldn’t be where I am.

How did I get where I am? A lot of luck? Yes! Hard work? Not too much. Being at the right place at the right time? Three times. Being impulsive? Definitely and not worrying about the consequences. Most of all it has been my caring for, and about, others–and that is something I learned to do on my own.

  I was brought up on the principles of: “Promises are made to be broken,”, “We are going to the poorhouse” (both from my mother), “F**K them before they F**K you,” and “Someday all this will be yours. Why do you think I work so hard?” (from my father.) It took going through food and booze addictions, smoking 3 packs a day, a sex addiction that had me having more sexual encounters than Wilt Chamberlain and 6 others combined and then therapy.

The one thing that has been consistent in my life are my friendships which included my 4 exes. Obviously, because they are exes, I am not good in partner/lover/spouse/longtime companion or whatever they are called today but I am a great friend. The most friends I had at one time were 6 and that’s not easy because being a  true friend is not easy.

  I am wise enough, brave enough and open enough to say I won’t compromise– none of this “If you really loved me you would…” nor am I willing to change for anyone. I like who I am. I accept people for who they are–though I am not above a suggestion now and then–and I do give advice—good advice, from experience. I have no expectations of/from anyone and don’t want them to have them of/from me. I will trust anyone until they prove me wrong. The only thing I can’t/won’t accept from anyone is their lying to me.




Posted May 25, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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