Archive for June 2013

I LEAD A BLOOMING LIFE!!!   Leave a comment

1) I planted these beet (front) and turnip (rear) seeds in March and though they have been putting out many leaves I have a feeling that is all I am going to get BUT I will give them to September to produce–I don’t care if it is a teeny baby turnip or beet!!  I do know I probably should have thinned them out when the leaves first appeared!

2) I don’t know what this blue flower is but it bloomed in the same pot that I had the miniature sunflowers which are still blooming and, in the background, you can see the marigolds are still growing strong.

3) This is a Royal Poinciana tree and they are in bloom all over the city. This one is sort of bare compared to others but when you see them the red just jumps out at you. They are very messy as the blooms fall all over but they are beautiful.

4) This is in Holiday Park–on the left is a Jacaranda tree, not to be confused with the Queen Crepe Myrtle tree in picture 8–and on the right another Royal Poinciana. As beautiful as both are neither have an aroma!

5 and 6) are pictures of the same old tree which has some magnificent wood and is still very much alive.

7) This is a tree about a block away from me–I dion’t have any idea how much more it can bend over without breaking but I check it every day!

8) Queen Crepe Myrtle tree right outside the walkway of my apartment. Another beautiful tree with beautiful flowers but the latter has no aroma! Mother Nature works in mysterious ways.

Posted June 30, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Mentioned before how much I love the Casa Vico and all this summer they are having 2-4-1 lunches so every Thursday Allen and I will be there–this week Allen had the linguine with meatballs and I had the lasagna–delicious!!!!

Recipe: Lasagna Bolognese From Cafe Vico


Lasagna27 MAIN FOOD CLW[1].jpg

Chef Marco Vico from Cafe Vico Ristorante is known for his lasagna. Made with fresh pasta and a thick, creamy sauce, there is no question that this dish will make you a kitchen star to your diners.

For the recipe go to:

When you make it save me a piece!!
OOOOPPPPS! With July 4th this Thursday looks like we will have to go on Wednseday (after my cat scan?) to go to teh Cafe Vico!!!

Posted June 29, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“THE HEAT”—A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


In “Bridesmaids”, “Stolen Identity” and now in “The Heat” Melissa McCarthy proves that she can out pouty mouth any man, tell more poop and crotch (men and women) jokes and be more base than any of the “Hangover” guys so I am hoping she got that out of her system. I would like to see her tackle a deeper role as her Molly in her hit TV sitcom certainly shows a lot more depth as an actress than her movie roles. As it is she becomes very irritating each time she uses the “F” words, and forms of it, and it would make for s super drinking game as it seems every other word or motion starts with F. She is a very funny lady but the crudeness does not help her or the picture.


I’ve been a big fan of Sandra Bullock’s from her ’girl next door’ roles to the nuttiness and comedy of “Miss Congeniality” and after reaching 40 she got serious, made “The Blind Side” and won an Oscar. In “The Heat” she shows she can keep up and match McCarthy for slapstick and ‘schtick’. The chemistry between them works in a movie that is all over the place and almost begs you to forget it is suppose to have a plot.


The two women play that old stand by–a mismatched couple.  Sarah (Bullock) is an FBI agent who is a perfectionist and too smart for her own good while Shannon (McCarthy) is a Boston detective who never heard a dirty word she didn’t like and is always very expressive regarding people’s anatomies plus seems to never have had her hair done, taken a shower or changed her clothes! They are assigned to work together, don’t get along and yet bring down a major criminal!


There is a lot of knock about comedy, with some working and some falling flat and even old prudes like me laughed at a few of the things the women have to say and do. This movie succeeds  though not due to the script by Katie Dippold or the direction by Paul Feig but by the antics of Bullock supported by McCarthy.  It is almost as if the two actresses got up in front of the camera for 2 hours and improvised what they could come up with. This is definitely Bullock’s movie.


“The Heat” is rated R for good reason and I hope they make a ‘serious’ picture together as the two women bring out something special in each other in the quiet moments..

Posted June 28, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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It was the summer of 1951–I was 15 years old and working as an usher at the Lyric theatre on 42nd street. Back in those days they would show 2 features plus a cartoon and a newsreel not to forget coming attractions. Also the Lyric theatre was one of maybe 7-8 movie houses that filled up with men who didn’t have success with job hunting and, in addition, where a lot of illegal activities went on . I don’t know how many movies I saw that summer but I remembered “On The Riviera” was held over and I saw it at least 21 times!! To this day I remember most of the dialogue and Danny Kaye’s crazy routines.

I was all dressed up, and looking ‘spiffy’, in my Marine Corps Dress Blues and after having a drink at the Circle bar on Hollywood Boulevard not too far from the Chinese Grauman Theatre I went there as I was part of the ceremony for the opening of “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” after which we watched the movie and was invited to the opening party. It was 1955 and I had met a few ‘stars’ by being used as a ‘guard’ for some movie related business and, at other times ‘cruising’ Hollywood Boulevard. I fell in love with the movie and I fell in love with Jennifer Jones and was completely tongue tied meeting her. As it was she was extremely shy and left the party as soon as she could.

A little over a year later, after getting out of the Marine Corps and hitchhiking to Miami Beach my father came down from New York and took his sister, my aunt, Flo to the opening of the two a day special showing of the movie “The King and I”. It was one of the few times that my father and I, as an adult, spent a social evening together. The movie was a good adaptation of the Broadway version and it is one of the few memories, good memories that is, I have of my father as he was really treating Flo as the special person she was. It was playing at the Roosevelt Theatre on Arthur Godfry Road (ask your parents kids!!) and after we went for dinner at The Forge, one of the highest priced restaurants on Miami Beach at that time, and having just started in the restaurant business I was very impressed with the service!

The opening of the Broadway production of “Funny Girl” was suppose to be a Leap Year birthday present for me in 1964 which Pepe had bought the tickets for a few months in advance. The show was postponed and didn’t open until March 26–it took me along time to forgive Barbra Streisand for that! By the time the movie opened (I believe at the Loews State theatre) Pepe had moved and Bernie and I were discussing my coming to Memphis with him. We went to see the movie September 19, 1968. I don’t see it without thinking about that time in my life.

All I will say about “Last Tango In Paris” is that Johnny and I were surprised to see it in Memphis and I always thought of the theme song being ‘our song’–and the butter was fun!

It was June, 20, 1975, and I was in New Orleans for a Transactional Analysis seminar as I was training to become a group leader. It was a bright sunny afternoon and I decided to walk over to Canal Street and the the marquee for “Jaws”. The first meeting of the seminar was that evening so I had plenty of time and decided to go in and see the movie. I like millions of others stayed away from the ocean for a few years!!! It was the opening day and I had been at the afternoon showing. When I came out of the theatre the line to get in was so long you couldn’t see the end.  At the seminar that evening all I could do was talk about the movie “Jaws” I had seen and kept on telling everyone they had to go see it. The leader of the meeting thought I was a shill for the movie and called me on it! We ent to the last showing that evening and while waiting on line we learned a lot about each other and spent the next 5 days (and evenings) together which wasn’t exactly ethical but….

I am not exactly squeamish when it comes to watching movies though I have been known to cover my eyes a few times during a film. I know that what is happening isn’t real, that the actor will get up after being sawed in half or whatever but for some reason this movie made me leave the theatre, making me very queasy. Bill and I had recently met and were still in the process of getting to know each other when we went to see “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” with Richard Dryfuss in which he plays a  quadriplegic who sues for the right to end his life. To this day I don’t know why I couldn’t stay and watch the film and just went and sat in the lobby with Bill eventually coming out and asking me what was wrong. I didn’t have an answer for him except that I wanted to leave. I have not seen the movie on cable or anywhere else as I wanted/want to see if I would have the same reaction. We were in a Coral Springs movie since we were staying at his place that evening. Once before I had reacted that way to a movie but I had been able to sit through it and that was “The Men” with Marlon Brando.


I have, literally, seen thousands of movies in my lifetime, some such as “West Side Story” or, yes, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”  many times but where did I see “West Side Story” for the first time, and with whom? I don’t have the slightest recollection though I am sure I could look it up in one of my diaries! Why do I remember these 7 films and the circumstances around my seeing them? I don’t know!!

When I am asked to list my 10 favorite films I usually decline because it would be easier for me to list my favorite 100 films! I was raised on, in and with the movies and I still, and always will, believe in “Happy Ever After”–The End.

Posted June 27, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES LEAP YEAR 2004 PART 29 A   Leave a comment


It was the Leap Year of Leap Years. It started with Gino and I going to the Curtain Up Awards–the local theatre award show–on February 23, 2004.  Two days later Chuck came in from Memphis and we went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch, afterwards the movies to see “Monster” (and I still think Charlize Theron gave the best performance ever by a female in that film) and then a bite to eat at Hamburger Mary’s. On the 26th Bob, Jim, Gino, Chuck and I had dinner at The Old Florida Seafood House and then went to an excellent local theatre presentation of “West Side Story”–I wouldn’t see the show again until February 15, 2011.

The next day, February 27, Gino, Bob, Jim, Chuck and I went to play Jai Alai in Dania where we also had dinner. I lost $181 but I knew I was a winner and the winning streak would continue for the whole week. The next day Javier, Chuck, Gino and I went to Tropics, Lotus and Storks.

The big day, February 29, 2004, when I celebrated my 17th Leap Year birthday, started with a brunch for 22 people on the waterfront in the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Hotel and Marina at 11:30 AM. A few of the people were from Gateway and they are still talking about it 9 years later. I, literally, have hundreds of pictures from that brunch but I thought you would appreciate one of what I ate LOL Yes, I started with a plate of desserts, including carrot cake!


The climax of the Leap Year birthday week was Gino, Chuck and I going to see Bette Midler’s concert , “Kiss My Brass”. I almost didn’t go because I had invited her to my party–I really did–but not only didn’t she come but she never answered and, to top it off, she didn’t sing “Happy Birthday” to me!!! All was forgiven though because she put on one hell of a show as she always does and expands more energy and love on stage than most performers!

After the show we went to Lester’s Diner where I had a piece of their carrot cake. Chuck would leave a few hours later and so my 17th Leap Year birthday came to end.

(And now as I write this I am starting to think of my 20th Leap Year birthday in 2016 and how I will celebrate it!)

Posted June 25, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES BIRDS HATCHING 2003 PART 28 C   Leave a comment


Mother Nature never stops astounding me with what she is capable of doing! Giving birth is one of the most amazing feats in the world and when it comes to birds I experienced it for the first time when Jill decided to breed her budgie with the one her mother had. I was to go through it a couple of years later having success–TOO MUCH!!–with my zebra finches.

On September 20, 2003, Jill’s budgie laid 7 eggs. I had told her I would like two and she said as soon as they were weaned and knew how to fly I could get them. On the 21st two had hatched but from what I can tell in the pictures one of the eggs didn’t survive.  I honestly don’t remember how many did survive but by October there seems to be only 3. My two, which I would eventually call Leader  (male) and Spitfire (female), did okay from the beginning. Leader was hatched September 19 and made his first flight October 20 while Spitfire was hatched on September 23rd and took her first flight on October 23rd.

I went out on September 28th to a bird show and bought an extra large cage. I had heard/read stories about birds being territorial, fighting over perches, food cups and where they rested so I decided on the extra big cage and not putting Butch and Sky in there until I got Leader and Spitfire and would put all 4 in at the same time. On November 15, 2003, Jill brought the 2 eight week old babies over. I put all 4 in the new cage and there weren’t any problems. All 4 got along, flew around together and seemed to have bonded without any blood shed which made me happy!

I did a lot of things one wasn’t suppose to do with birds such as putting their cage in front of a window but that never caused a problem.

The one thing I had been worried about when I first got Butch and Sky was the problem of them waking me up in the morning as birds do get up early–whether there was a worm to catch or not! From the very beginning I would cover their cage when I went to sleep and not uncover it until I got up and they both followed my routine not making a peep (sorry for the pun) until I would get up and take the cover off. Both Spitfire and Leader fell into the routine from day one!

It looked like the birds and I would have a new home in the new year as I got notice from the office that a larger one bedroom on the top floor of building D would be available as soon as it was cleaned up, painted and made ready. I would be moving in on January 23, 2004 and my Leap Year birthday was coming up the next month. All things looked good!

Posted June 24, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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There is a  cactus plant near building C that is supposedly a ‘night blooming cactus’ and for 14 years I have been trying to catch it in bloom!!! I want to see how pretty they really are, what color and do they have the aroma that wikipedia talks about –

During the day they have big pods looking about to blossom but I haven’t caught them in the act yet!! I have been there late at night plus early in the morning before the sun comes up but all I see is this ugly. black, wilted, dead thing hanging down when the sun comes up! I have been there at midnight and 5 in the morning–nothing, nada, zero, zip!

Now all our Hibiscus plants bloom during the day and by sunset they are closing up and dying just as the yellow Cuban plants flowers only last  until sunset but at least I get to see them.

I am NOT giving up!!!  I may have to set up a camera all night or slip the security guard a couple of dollars to take a picture if he catches it in bloom or call me when the bud opens.

I am going to have to have a talk with Mother Nature!!!

Posted June 23, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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1) my skunk haircut and 2) cafe vico   Leave a comment

It seems like  people were talking about critters last week on various blog sites but it was rivergirl who talked about the skunk that sprayed her cat that stayed with me ! I’m not into coloring my hair except in my 30s I had ‘my stylist’ spray gray on my temples every Wednesday to make me appear older when I gave lectures . On Saturday I got a coupon for a free tube of “Just For Men Autostop” and I threw it in the drawer. And then–yes!–she did it!! Rivergirl did her post on the skunk that got her cat!! On Wednesday I went for it–dyed my beard and mustache (check the before and after pictures) plus the hair on each side of my head leaving the middle and back white! For the next 4-5 weeks (I understand that is how long it takes to get rid of the dye!) every time I look in a mirror (and you know me–that will be a lot! LOL) I will see my ‘skunk hair’ and think of rivergirl!!!
I LOVE this place!!!  This is where you will find me and Allen every Thursday afternoon during the summer–I plan to work my way through the menu–today I had Linguine Pescatore aglio et olio–shrimp, scallops and calamari on a bed of linguine done in garlic and oil–served with rolls and a garlic and oil dip–no, no kissing tonight unless you like the taste of garlic

Though this place has been there for years and I have seen it each time I went to the IHOP in the same shopping center I didn’t try it until my 19th Leap Year Birthday February 29, 2012 and fell in love with the food, service and ambiance!

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Cafe Vico Restaurant <>
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 1:05 AM
Subject: Summer Special

Dear Martin D.,
Summer is here and like every year we’re doing some promotions.
Come and eat with us on our Summer Lunch Special .
Bring your family and friends and have 2 for 1 Lunch.
* ( With an order of any entree item )
Monday – Friday 
11:30 AM thru 3:00 PM . 

Dine in Only .

PS: Now we have more parking lot spaces available

Posted June 22, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“The East” , among other things, asks if two wrongs make a right? Are you justified in filling a CEO’s house of an oil company, that was responsible for a massive oil spill, with crude oil? Is there anything ‘wrong’ with giving the owners of a pharmaceutica, a dose of their own medicine, in champagne, which has caused illness and death in patients? When does an ‘eye for an eye’ become immoral, unethical? Will you ever look at  Alexander Skarsgard, if you are familiar with “True Blood”, as anyone but Eric the vampire?


Brit Marling, who co-wrote the screenplay with the director, Zal Batmanglij, stars as Jane, an ex-FBI agent, who goes to work for Sharon, (Patricia Clarkson) owner of a security firm who goes after environmental protesters who do what the group who calls themselves “The East” does. She goes undercover as Sarah and infiltrates the group and, disregarding Sharon’s warning about ‘going soft’ finds herself agreeing with the protesters but not their methods. There is no doubt that corporations are the villains of the movie but what about those protesters and what they bring?


The movie follows Sarah, who because of her job, is leading a double life and also, to a certain degree, what motivates Skarsgard (Benji), Toby Kebbell (Doc), Ellen Page (Izzy) and Shiloh Fernandez (Luca) to commit what they refer to as ‘jams’. There is a love story and a few missteps regarding motivations but “The East” definitely will hold your interest.


The acting by all the cast is first rate, as are most of the production values, and the film will hold your interest with the questions it is asking though the script goes a little too ‘Hollywood’ now and then.  It is certainly a relief from all the pre-summer loud, action films that have been released and will have you talking about it, and the premise, after it is over.


It is rated PG-13 for violence, some close your eyes images, sexual content and nudity. Running time is 1 hour and 56 minutes.

Posted June 21, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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When we met Celine (Julie Delpy), a young French woman, and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) a young American, in 1995 ‘s “Before Sunrise” we met a young couple who spent a night in Vienna walking and talking to and about each other just after meeting on a train. Nine years later in “Before Sunset” Jesse, now a married man, has written a best selling book about that evening with Celine, and is in Paris on a book tour. They had lost contact with each other and now 9 years later Celine comes to the Parisian  bookstore where he is making an appearance, and Jesse doesn’t make the plane he was suppose to leave on and they spend the day and evening walking and talking in Paris. We learn that he is now married and has a son while she is an environmentalist with a boyfriend she doesn’t see very often. The ending is ambiguous and there wasn’t talk of a third film.


This film in the series opens with Jesse taking his son Hank to the airport after the latter spent the summer with Jesse, Celine and their twin daughters. It has been 18 years since they first met and are now a couple living together, Jesse having divorced his wife, continued his career as a writer while Celine is being tempted by a job which she thinks she could get involved in. Jesse is thinking about he and Celine returning to America so he could be closer to his son but hasn’t discussed it with her yet.


There are three outstanding scenes that will stay with you with the first being when Celine and Jesse are at a dinner, given by the host of the writer’s retreat that they had spent the summer, and their friends. The talk among the six touches a bit on the couple’s problems but what lies underneath comes out later. One of the couples, as a present, leased a hotel room and a massage for two and volunteered to sit the twins. The second outstanding scene is the walk through town that  Jesse and Celine take to the hotel. It is the scene that evening in the hotel where they, especially Celine, go at each other that makes the film. It is the accumulation of their life together and what makes it work and what is pulling it apart.


In this chapter in the story Ethan Hawke shines like he has never in any other picture including the two prequels to “Before Midnight”. Whereas Julie Delpy seemed to be the center of the Sunrise and Sunset movies Hawke walks away with this one though each gets equal time and Delpy spends time exposing her breasts in the most natural way.


The director Richard Linklater, who also wrote the screenplay with Hawke and Delpy, draws us into the film, let’s us see that the couple really love each other but have problems as most couples do. The Greek Peloponnese peninsula  looks as romantic as it should be adding to the feel of the movie. Will there be a fourth film in 2022 so we can see if this couple will live happily ever after or?

Posted June 20, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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