Archive for June 2015


(The following is strictly my opinion from observations/experience of over 65 years of gay life.)

There is a gay stereotype very seldom discussed outside of the gay world though it effects many a nongay relationship and that is of the gay married man married to a woman. Woman have written books about the situation as have gay men who have tried to explain why they married and/or why some are still married. Actually it didn’t come before the public until movies like “Brokeback Mountain”, “Language of the Cranes”, etc., were shown on the big screen.

It has been MY experience that gay men married because: 1) a ‘family’ man stood a better chance of being promoted at work 2) they wanted to ‘hide’ being gay 3) they wanted kids 4) they loved the woman they married 5) knew something was ‘wrong’ (usually their word) but didn’t realize it until after they were married and had kids 6) it was expected of them.

I have met many gay men who divorced after their kids had grown up or the wife found out. Many were in their 50s, 60s and had spent a life of sneaking into highway rest stops, X rated bookstores with booths, X rated movie cinemas or attending ‘orgies’ (which is a whole other post), going to steam baths, cruising parks, public restrooms, etc., though today many will meet sex partners on the Internet.

Some have stayed married because: 1) they didn’t want to come out of the closet 2) were afraid how their children and/or friends would react 3) they were comfortable with having a ‘home’ 4) were too financially interwoven with their spouse 5) were afraid of living alone 6) had ‘arrangements’ with their wife.

There is no way of knowing how many married men are gay just as there is no way of knowing how many gay men there are. Figures have ranged from 1% to 16% of the population but even in today’s so called more ‘open’ society I am willing to bet more men are still in the closet than those who are openly ‘out’ so there could be a way higher percentage than is being guessed at by the ‘experts’.

A few years ago there was a big deal in the Black community about men being on the ‘down-low’–having sex with other men–but I have known married men, Black, White and every other color, doing that since I first started having sex many decades ago.

Being married, having children, leading a double life can cause a lot of strain and stress on a gay person and more than one has expressed the ‘relief’ they found after coming out and, in most cases, getting divorced and living openly. Some have ended their life because they couldn’t deal with it and their obituaries never mentioned that aspect of their life. In many cases the wife knew but it was never something they discussed.

By the way most married gay men, divorced or still married, I have met state they are gay, do not claim to be bisexual and are what is known as ‘bottoms’ in the gay vernacular. Those who are married have become very comfortable with anonymous sex or, like nongay married men, have one person, or a few, they see on a regular basis.

Just recently there was a ‘case’ of a married preacher with 5 kids was, pardon the pun, exposed after being found out looking for other males to have sex on a popular sex site. He is not the first and certainly won’t be the last.

I know one gay man, married, without children, who stays married because as unhappy and miserable as he may be and he knows his wife is too, they are more afraid of being alone. She more than he always talks about how much they are in love and yet no one is fooled. Everyone knows their story and just plays along and she ignores that he comes home late because he had car trouble or had to work overtime or the hundred of excuses he will give. I once knew a guy who came over to my place on Wednesdays who told his wife he was going to Weight Watcher meetings!

As I said these are my opinions, my experiences and all I can say unless you are with your spouse 24/7 you both have to get tested for AIDS! That is the reality of life and more than one woman has sworn her husband loves her, that she trusts him and that he would never cheat on her only to find out she doesn’t know him.

Posted June 30, 2015 by greatmartin in MARRIAGE

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Larry Kramer is my hero as an activist and as a writer. It is due to him and ACT-UP in 1987, which he organized, that AIDS drugs prices were brought down and made available to many who couldn’t afford them. It is due to him, in 1983 that the Gay Men’s Health Crisis was founded to help people with AIDS.

In 1978 he wrote a book called “Faggots” that warned gay people because of their promiscuity there would come a day of reckoning.

In 1983 he wrote an essay “1, 112 & Counting” that pointed the finger at the government and gay people for their failure to not recognize AIDS as an epidemic.

In 1985 his played “A Normal Heart” brought AIDS to the stage and tears to the eyes of everyone who saw it just as the revival on Broadway a couple of years ago and the film of it last years still brings tears to the eyes of those watching it.

This year he published “American People: Volume 1 Scenes For My Heart”–an 800+ opus seeing our country through gay eyes.

He had a liver transplant in 2001, is a long time AIDS survivor, and married his partner in the hospital not knowing if he would ever walk out of that room.

Larry Kramer is known for his anger, an anger that turned off many gay people, but first and foremost he is a man who believes what he is saying and says it to everyone including presidents, governors, doctors and/or anyone who doesn’t want to hear him or his message.

He celebrated his 80th birthday this past Thursday,  June 25, and the Supreme Court gave him a birthday present the next day.

WATCH “LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER” ON HBO, TOMORROW, MONDAY, JUNE 29, AT 9 PM (and to be repeated during the month of July)

Posted June 28, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERYTAINMENT, GAY

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Though I hate to limit myself, regarding genres of movies, after last week’s “Dope” and this week’s “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl” (from here on refereed to as “Earl”) each about 3 nerdy/geek kids and each, seemingly, critic’s darlings, I think I will add teenage movies about nerds to my list with westerns, horror, violent, raunchy boy/man, comic strip and most sci-fi pictures I will avoid seeing. (Hey, I am looking forward to “Magic Mike XXL” next week, what can I tell you?)

In the case of “Earl” and “Dope” I think there is definitely a very wide generation gap. The last time I saw my teens was 60 years ago and though I enjoyed “The Fault Is In Our Stars” last year it was more of a drama than teenage angst. There is some humor in “Earl” regarding the movies that Earl (RJ Cyler) and Geg (the ‘Me’– Thomas Mann) make redoing classics, especially the titles they give their films. Olivia Cooke is certainly endearing as ‘the dying girl, Rachel, while Greg grows up over the course of the film and Earl is a wise young man before his time. 

Molly Shannon as Rachel’s single mother and Connie Britton as Greg’s mother, both overbearing parents, along with Nick Offerman as his beatnik father—by the way Earl doesn’t have any parents and lives with his older brother who threatens Greg with telling him his dog will bite off his face–and Jon Bernthal as a teacher and, more or less, a guidance counselor to the boys, are sort of annoying adults you will find in most pictures about teenagers though the latter less than the others.

“Earl” is being sold as a comedy, a sort of John Hughes movie with lessons to be learned. Greg is constantly reminding the audience–there is a lot of voice over– that Rachel doesn’t die and there are screen titles telling the passing of time and where we are at in the story. As a social misfit Thomas Mann carries the film and RJ Cyer is his effective sidekick and shows his many sides. Olivia Cooke is endearing as the dying girl who has leukemia and is very instrumental is helping Greg grow up.

The direction by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is all over the place, somewhat like the movies the boys make, while the screenplay by Jesse Andrews, who wrote the best selling novel, is low key without trying to tell the audience how to feel. The director of photography shows off Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, almost always in a glow of light, even in the night scenes. 

I laughed once and that was the boys film take-off of “Midnight Cowboy”  with the “Everybody’s Talking” theme song and, for a comedy, laughing once is not a good endorsement.

I left the theatre wondering whatever happened to the girl who got stood up on prom night–maybe that’s the sequel?


Posted June 26, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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Last month I wrote about Karen Bay which is at the east end of the Gateway Terrace apartments I live at. There is always something going on the water whether it is boats coming and going or people water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, riding on paddleboards or going up in the sky with water jet packs.

In the late afternoon and early evening the dogs of Gateway come to The Point, bringing their owners–well, slaves–with them and it is fun watching them interact. In fourth picture you will see sister and brother Kiki and Meatball while in the fifth picture Meatball is giving the old gal Biscuit some sugar. Sometimes she will tolerate the kids but at other times you can see she doesn’t want to be bothered but she lets them have their fun. In the sixth picture, on the left, you will see the small black and white dog who belongs to my neighbor (or they belong to her!)

It is as relaxing a time for the dogs as it is for the residents who come and talk about their day and, yes, gossip! The all white dog belongs to one of the people who have their boat docked here.

I will come down around midnight when it is one of the most peaceful places in the world and even though the ‘big city’ is 5-6 blocks away you don’t see it or hear it. It is me, the moon, the stars, a cloud drifting by and a boat going by–the end to another perfect day! 

Sadly, since I wrote this Meatball’s, owner Irene passed away. 


Posted June 24, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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If you want to experience first rate service get over to the Fishtale Restaurant and Nightclub and just watch Debbie in action. She has a rhythm that keeps her moving, while keeping an eye on all her customers, acting just before they will call her for something. From the moment you enter, and she tells you to sit where you want and waits for you to decide, to saying goodbye when you leave she does everything right. You won’t have to ask for any drink refills, she will suggest the best items, tell you about all the entertainment they have in the evenings, bring you more bread just as you dunk your last slice into the wine/garlic/oil fluid of your bucket of seafood. She has a sense of humor, knows the menu, treats each of her customers as special people and seems to love her job!

Fishtales Restaurant and Nightclub is more than just Debbie though she is a very important part of the whole ambiance. There are bright neon fish and a mermaid around the room, not to forget that must in every restaurant these day television sets of various sizes. The bar has a eye-catching color scheme, the outside dining area is inviting–but not to me in Florida’s feel like 100 degree temperatures. There is a beautiful white (fake) flower display as you enter and each table has an orchid like decoration. The tables are attractively set and I must admit I loved their salt and pepper shakers!

Let’s talk about food. Both Allen and I ordered the ‘Beach Bucket of Seafood’ ($18 each)) one in their white wine sauce and the other in a marinara sauce. Both sauces were excellent and the three slices of thick toasted bread are great for dipping in either sauce. (Yes, Debbie will bring you more if you want.) The buckets consisted of Ipswich clams, littleneck clams, chunks of Dolphin and mussels all having their distinct taste and benefited by the sauce they were in. Allen had his diet coke ($2) and I had coffee ($2.50) The only complaint–and I don’t know if they have them–would be to serve bibs with this dish (Allen’s yellow shirt had a Picasso design of red sauce!) and wet naps when finished. Also a minor complaint–I am sure it was the manager–maybe owner?–who was walking around trying to decide where to hang draping and if it was she should have taken a moment to say hello. (The again she probably has enough confidence in Debbie to know she didn’t have to worry about a thing!)

We had a groupon and the total check with tax and tip (25% on original bill) came to $22.66. It was without a doubt one of the best ‘deals’ we have had in a restaurant in a long time and even without the groupon Debbie would have made the whole experience a winning one. I am sure if I had mentioned it was his birthday she would have made a big deal out of it–and he would have killed me!

The dining room is impressive at lunch time but I have a feeling it is whimsical, bright and, possibly, magical at night and I can see entertainers enjoying themselves while performing.

Thanks Fishtales, thanks groupon but most of all thanks Debbie!


Posted June 20, 2015 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS

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“DOPE”–A MOVIE REVIEW   2 comments

“Fun”, “One of the more commercial prospects coming from the Sundance Festival”, “Breakout star”, “Dynamic camera work”, “Vibrant comedy”, “Best movie soundtrack of 2015” and, once again, as happens 2-3 times every year I get pulled into a movie by the hype and sit there dumbfounded at what is up on the screen!

Let’s see what “Dope” has. A lot of violence, some gratuitous, definitely a lot of cursing, a woman urinating on the street and/or vomiting in the face of a guy, nudity, mostly female of course, a high school teenager masturbating a couple of times and, of course, let’s not forget drugs, a lot of drugs. And that soundtrack? Definitely a generational thing!

Is there a neighborhood in Inglewood, California, known as “The  Bottoms”? Do A students, with their eyes on Harvard, have their sneakers stolen in school, physically taken from their feet, with no adults around to stop the thieves? Do they have their bicycles stolen on the way home and is there no place in-between a geek and a dope dealer in Black neighborhoods? 

One of the reasons I love the movies is that I can learn about groups of people I may not know otherwise but in “Dope” I didn’t know whether I was watching a comedy about stereotypes, and/or clichés, or this is the way a segment of Americans live. I have never lived in a ghetto, always in a community of various races, sexes, genders, nationalities, religions, geeks, jocks and people who made their living from all the different walks of life but this is one movie I was completely lost.

Shameik Moore, as Malcolm, is a charmer as the Harvard want to be student who gets involved in a backpack full of drugs along with a gun , and, by the way, a Bitcoin, scheme. Tony Revolori, as Jib, who is ‘14% Black’ and Kiersey Clemons, as a butch lesbian, along with Moore are the stars of the movie as the best of friends. Zoe Kravitz is a much wiser than he is love/sex interest for the virgin Malcolm. I felt sorry for Chanel Iman as her role is demeaning to all women while Kimberly Elise, as a single working mother represents the best in women, which is rare in this movie. A$AP Rocky as a local dope dealer, Quincy Brown as Iman’s brother, Roger Guenveur Smith as a Harvard interviewer along with Keith Stanfield, De’Aundre Bonds, Blake Andeson, Rick Fox and Amin Joseph, along with producer/narrator Forest Whitaker add to the film in various roles.

The music, mostly by Pharrell Williams, along with Lee Haugen and Germaine Franco, definitely is not for me! The direction and screenplay by Rick Famuyiwa was lacking and confusing to me and for a ‘comedy’ there was very little reaction from the mainly Black audience.

I left the theatre asking myself, “What did I miss?”


Posted June 19, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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After finishing my post about “The Bad Seed”: I started thinking about other old, possibly forgotten, movies that would always be on my ‘must see’ list and then that got my to thinking about what does it take to get you to watch a movie–the actors? The director? The previews? The genre? The reviews? Word of mouth?

Along with the ‘old’ movie idea I was wondering how many film buffs have seen the old movies that dealt with behind the scenes in Hollywood? I am sure most are familiar with “Sunset Boulevard” and some may be familiar with “The Bad and the Beautiful” with Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas plus a cast of MGM major stars but I am sure very few have seen Bette Davis as an alcoholic movie star in “The Star” which rated her an Oscar nomination. 

How many of you are familiar with Kim Stanley who was often referred to as the female Brando? She was one of the finest actresses on stage and in films. One of my favorite all time films was/is “The Goddess” in which she played a ‘fictional’ Marilyn Monroe sort of actress and probably her finest film work was in “A Seance On A Wet Afternoon”.

I think more than most of you it is primarily the cast or a particular actor that will get me to see a movie followed by the genre. What gets you to see a movie?


Posted June 17, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

MOTHER NATURE REIGNS!   Leave a comment

It boggles my mind how anyone whether a child or a senior citizen or spanning the years in between can say “I am bored,” let alone write a whole blog about being bored or having nothing to do! Every minute of every day of every year Mother Nature puts on a show that is constantly changing whether it is a calm, sunny, beautiful day or she shows her fury with tornadoes, snowstorms or earthquakes. 

There is not a painter, an artist, a photographer, a poet who can capture the colors, lat alone as varied as they are, that she will present every day whether it be a sunrise, sunset, the black of midnight, the various colors of the moon, the yellow and brightness of the sun and let’s not get into the red Cardinals or multicolored Macaws or the blue of blue jays because they can truly blow your mind.

The slideshow are just a few of the pictures I took this month showing how varied her hues are from the Queen Myrtle Crepe trees (#1) to the crows (#s 2 & 3) to the various plants (#s 4,5,6,7) from the brown of a lizard (#8) to the red, oranges and blacks of a sunset (#10) Look at the orange of the cat (#12) and the blacks and whites of the dogs (#11) and how loving she made the puppy to the old dog. 

And trees! What she does with trees #s 13 and 14) from the Jacaranda to the palm to the old trees that have melded together to be impenetrable and withstand hurricanes!

I have taken over 5,000 photographs of what Mother Nature has given us and even though I am far, very far, from being the best photographer she makes most of my pictures look great!

Bored? Get outside or just look outside your window and see the many wonders of life.



Posted June 15, 2015 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

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It took 2 weeks and a day but the wheelchair that the doctor ordered for me finally arrived. I was lucky that a neighbor had a spare wheelchair–doesn’t everyone?–that I could use

Though I find it easier walking than maneuvering a wheelchair I am not suppose to put any pressure on the knee. I really never knew how hard it was getting around in a wheelchair, just getting it from point A to point B even if it is a straight line. I have really come to admire people who use a manual wheelchair.

It seems wheelchairs come in all sizes and shapes for all sizes and shapes! People have to be measured and weighed to make sure they get the right chair. Then you have choices of fixed or detachable arm rests, fixed, swing and elevating leg rests. There are wheel locks, flip up footplates and we haven’t even discussed colors yet!!

For those who have asked–thanks–I really am not having pain in the knee. All the ‘pain’ comes from having to keep the leg stretched out straight and without going into details there are some things extremely difficult to do. The cast is not the old fashioned white casts that were built around your leg. They are now Velcro and metal casts that can come off and on with ease–well at least until you get to the two bottom attachments and it is almost impossible to keep the leg straight to bind them.

The only time I am suppose to take the brace off is when I shower. Surprisingly I have no trouble sleeping with it. The brace covers from above the knee down to the ankle. The metal bar that goes down the whole back can dig into the top of the foot and the bottom of the thigh so I have sort of ‘lined’ both with a wash cloth!

I fell on May 26 and the Orthopedic Doctor said it would take 6 weeks to heal and then I would have to go into rehab–have no idea what the latter entails or for how long. I suppose I could google it but I will wait. Meanwhile I have an appointment to see him July 6 which would make it 6 weeks–24 days from today-not that I am counting but…

All I keep hearing is that I was lucky that I didn’t break my hip when I fell so that is one positive way of looking at it!

23 and a ½ days to go!

Thanks to Allen, John, Shirley, Irene, Barbara, Bob and Christine for making this ‘adventure’ a little easier!

Posted June 13, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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MELLOW MUSHROOM is the latest member of the franchise that started in Atlanta. It is a huge whimsical location at the new Flagler Village complex. Parking is sort of a puzzle though I heard there is valet parking in the evening. An employee told us that they would be building a garage across the street–that’s across busy Federal Highway–which is far from a workable solution.

The restaurant is bright, large with comfortable booths and tables, ever changing colored big mobiles all over the place and a very interesting kegs of beer setup. I am still trying to figure out why a restaurant referring to mushrooms would have an  ’under the sea’ theme. Their menu is basically made up of Italian items concentrating on pizzas with calzones, hoagies and salads.

We ordered one chicken calzone ($12.99) and one steak calzone ($12.99) with intentions to share. I wasn’t sure whether a single calzone is always served in two sections or the server ordered it that way for us so we could share easily and each plate was completely filled. While pizzas come in three sizes the calzone is priced based on a small one. I, a big eater, would suggest one be ordered and shared. We  had a diet soda ($2.49) each. The server was excellent, checking back to make sure everything was okay, refilling drinks without being asked and answering our questions, like about the beer kegs and parking, with a smile. With tax and tip the check came to $40 for lunch.

Okay I talked about everything except how the calzone tasted. The ‘fresh Mellow dough’ was heavy and ‘doughy’. The filling consisted of mozzarella cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms and the meat, the latter very spare. It was served with a side of  nondescript red sauce. All in all with all the Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale I wouldn’t recommend the Mellow Mushroom for a calzone.

With the lack, and confusion, of the parking situation with the Flagler Village complex garage consisting of ‘for residents only’, ‘parking for take out’ and a few handicap spaces, along with what we tasted and saw served, Mellow Mushroom is not for me but then I am not the type of customer they need/want to succeed.


Posted June 10, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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