Archive for August 2015

MY AUGUST 2015 RESUME IN PICTURES   Leave a comment


(BANANA TREE IN BACK OF MY BUILDING)

Aside from ending on a slightly sour note–see my post on Saturday’s call from my vascular surgeon!–August was a good month. I started off with my getting rid of the cast for my knee, retiring the wheelchair and being dismissed from the orthopedic surgeon’s care 

I saw  6 movies, ate out in restaurants, had Allen’s car for 10 days, got some good deals at our Gateway Farmer’s Market, started to make arrangements and getting prices for my 20th Leap Year birthday on Monday, February 29, 2016—get use to hearing about!!–and we dodged the bullet regarding hurricane Erika which is always a good sign.

Below is a slideshow of some of my August days starting with the movies I saw: Ant-Man was a delightful surprise, The Diary of a Teenage Girl probably going to be number 1 on my list of worst films for 2015, The Gift a good old fashioned thriller with a great twist at the end, Ricki & The Flash along with We Are Friends disappointing while Phoenix was forgettable.

Any month I get to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, Sweet Tomatoes and Le Bonne Crepe is a good month while the Peter Pan Diner, Arby’s and IHOP are all reliable places.

As always just walking around Gateway brings many delightful site from animals to boats to flowers plus the seeds I bought from The Dollar Tree (like in # 23) are blooming all over my apartment.

And how can a month end without a selfie????

ENJOY THE AUGUST 2015 SLIDESHOW

https://youtu.be/Vc0997mSlRY

Posted August 31, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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PAYING FOR THE SINS OF MY YOUTH!   Leave a comment

At 7 PM on a Saturday night your vascular surgeon calls to tell you that results of your c scan  shows your carotid artery is now 80-90% blocked.
 
Since I can’t handle MRIs he will arrange to have aCTA (I think?) but knowing me he said he wouldn’t tell me not to worry as I wouldn’t anyway! 
 
If another doctor called me on a Saturday evening I would be concerned but I know he does all his paper work and patient calling on Saturday.
 
I know IF it was an immediate concern he would have told me to check into the hospital.
 
The main problem here is that the blockage of blood to my brain (See! I do have one!) could cause a stroke and/or death. Since I have no plans of dying the latter doesn’t concern me while the stroke is another problem.
 
His nurse will call me, or if I don’t hear from her I should call her, either Monday or Tuesday about the test. I have a feeling I will wind up in the hospital this week.
 
I do have complete faith in this surgeon so meanwhile as I wait to see what happens I am back to planning my gala 20th Leap Year birthday party on Monday February 29, 2016.

Posted August 30, 2015 by greatmartin in HEALTH

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“WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS”–A MOVIE REVIEW PLUS MORE–FREE MOVIE IDEA   Leave a comment


This is going to be a review of two films, the first being the movie I saw on the screen called “We Are Your Friends” and the movie I was making in my head called “Wes & Zac, Where From Here?”

“We Are Your Friends” is about a DJ, his 3 friends and electric dance music, learning more about the latter than I knew or need to know but, as I have found lately with a few movies, that is more a generation gap than anything else. Incorporated into the movie is a lot of ‘eye candy’ of both sexes along with a screenplay by the director Max Joseph and Meaghan Oppenheimer based on a story by Richard Silverman. It’s an old story offering very few surprises along with an unnecessary ‘aw shucks’ moment during the end credits. Joseph does add a few musical and southern Californian collages that are eye catching and like other films recently, including last week’s “The Diary of a Young Girl” plus last year’s “Birdman”, also uses animation. 

Aside from his good looks Efron hasn’t impressed me yet with his acting though to be fair I have only seen him in 3 films and he does have an impressive scene talking about how a DJ works the crowd. His friends played by Jonny Weston who wants to be a club promoter, actor and drug dealer played by Shiloh Fernandez and Alex Shaffer as the hanger on nerd offer good support. Wes Bentley is a has-been DJ living off his past and has a younger girlfriend, Emily Ratajkowski, with the latter basically in the pretty girl role. 

“We Are Your Friends” was an interesting movie from the point of view I knew nothing about how electronic computer music is made and, of course, nothing wrong with eye candy. It was also interesting for the ‘second movie’ I watched in my head.

When I saw Wes Bentley, September, 1999, when he was 21, in “American Beauty” I walked out thinking “Wow! This is the next generation’s Kevin Spacey!” For the next decade he descended into the world of drugs admitting he made movies only to make money for drugs. He is 37 today, has been clean since 2009 and between his appearance in a Broadway play in 2010 and playing Seneca Crane in “The Hunger Games” in 2012 he has been working his way back but he lost the momentum of stardom that pursued him 16 years ago. 

Zac Efron had his breakout role in “High School Musical” in 2006 followed by the movie version of the Broadway musical “Hairspray” when he was 19 and 20.  In 2013 at the age of 26 it was reported that he completed an alcohol and substance abuse program. Now at 28 will he have a decade unlike the one Bentley had? Did Wes talk to Zac and give him advice and/or did Zav ask Wes what happened and how could he avoid the same mistakes? 

Now that’s a film I would like to see—and make!

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZzAeYWXFpk

Posted August 28, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 3   Leave a comment


Yes it is HOT and HUMID in Fort Lauderdale at this time of the year but just by walking around you will feel a breeze and be cooler–or so I tell myself!

1. In the title photo and this first photo is Biscuit–Richard’s dog–who is scratching his own back since his owner is busy in the swimming pool!

2. It is very rare to look up and not see a bird somewhere surveying the area.

3. The Queen Crepe Myrtles are at the end of their flowering but there is always one hold out.

4. Looking from my east window–I have to get a close up of those red ‘flowers’!

5. Even lizards seek out the shade in Fort Lauderdale in the summertime.

6. Ah, the Morning Glory seeds I bought in March at the Dollar Tree are finally blooming–now if I will only get up in the morning!

7. One of my favorites–the mushrooms I get at the Farmer’s Market.

8 & 9. Okay folks I need some help here–what kind of palm is this and is the fruit edible?

10. Broken palm fronds which are here, there and everywhere. In ‘the old days’ cities would pay $10 you if you got hit by a falling frond or a coconut–I don’t think they do that anymore.

11. There is always something going on at The Point!

12. Beware of the wild life at the Gateway Terrace apartments!

SLIDESHOW

https://youtu.be/zSTM6CHf8l4

Posted August 25, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL”–MOVIE REVIEW   2 comments


The past few weeks I have seen a couple of entertaining movies like “The Gift” and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”, a few okay films like “Phoenix”{ and “Ricki and the Flash” but I knew, from experience, it would all come to  a screeching halt and it did today with one of the worst movies I have seen this year called “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”. It is one of those movies I got suckered into seeing by word of mouth from movie reviewers of which there seem to be 3-4 every year, not some much from the actual reviews as I very seldom read reviews before I go to see a movie. There was the fact that it played at Sundance and magazines like Entertainment Weekly picked it as a winner and Hollywood Reporter stated ‘a strikingly intimate look—in an outstanding debut film” so off to the movies I went.

It could be that I have forgotten what a teenager is like or the fact that I was never a female teenager and/or that a male teenager losing his virginity isn’t that big a deal but except for a few startlingly incidents like the boyfriend, at 35, of the girl’s, at 15, mother is the one that loses her virginity, that she is shown in full frontal nudity (though in real life she, Minnie, played by Bel Powley, was 21 when it was filmed) along with many sexual scenes from lesbian shots, to teenage girls performing oral sex on teenage boys, the movie is pretty boring and I think it only appeal to teenage girls, maybe some women and voyeurs!

Reading a half of dozen reviews after seeing the movie it seems many give Alexander Skarsgard a pass on having sex with a minor and seem to ignore the fact that all the females, except Minnie’s younger sister, are pretty loose with the sex and drugs including her mother  played by Kristen Wiig, her best friend Kimmie, Madeleine Watres,  a young lady, Margarita Levieva, into gay sex and drugs in all forms.

Surprisingly the only off key acting is by Christopher Meloni who plays Minnie’s father, who lives in New York. I found Wiig and her female friend to be annoying while Bel Powley playing the teenager experiencing her sexual coming out is convincing and off kilter at the same time.

Directed by Marielle Heller, who also wrote the screenplay based on a novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, seems to add some of the  “Birdman” fantasy plus more, shows San Francisco in a good light, also the good and bad of 1979, with many illustrations to add a comic book angle including many a Disney touch and a drawn Aline Komisky-Crumb who ’helps’ Minnie. 

This is a movie I came very close to walking out on but stayed hoping it would redeem itself but, for me, it didn’t.

Diary of a teenage girl Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYb0WRr1eww

 

Posted August 21, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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“I GOT ME A CADILLAC CAR”   Leave a comment

Looks like I am going to be running around town in a 2014 Cadillac ATS charcoal gray car for about 10 days! Allen is off to see his daughter, son-in-law and twin grandsons so all I do is take him to airport when he leaves and then pick him up when he comes back. Oh I check his place every 2-3 days and get his mail but aside from that I will be here, there and everywhere!

It is not all fun and games as because of my knee accident I had to postpone my yearly visits to cardiologist, podiatrist, dermatologist, vascular surgeon, orthopedic doctor plus check in with my primary doctor but going to and coming from those appointments I have a list of things I want to do. Plus having my own transportation will save me 2-3 hours for every appointment! Also, after these appointments, except for my primary who I see 4 times a year, I won’t be seeing the doctors until next spring or in case an emergency comes up!

I have made a list of other things to do such as pricing the carrot cake birthday cake made for my 20th Leap Year birthday dinner on Monday, February 29, 2016, in case Zest of Memphis won’t be able to do it. I want to get to The Home Depot to pick up some soil and plants, stop by Big Louie’s and see what he has to offer for a dinner group deal, check out a few hotels for those coming to the party from out of town, get to a few spots I haven’t been able to go to and, just in general, have fun with the freedom of having a car to do and go where I want when I want!

I have a feeling I will be falling way behind on posting, commenting, reading and answering email!

“I GOT ME A CADILLAC CAR” FROM “DREAMGIRLS”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LITIJ79o_Ps

Posted August 18, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

SUMMERTIME FORT LAUDERDALE PART 2   Leave a comment


(VIEW FROM MY WINDOW–YOU JUST MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT THE PADDLER JUST LEFT OF THE MIDDLE!)

When you live near water the scenery is always changing. At any time of the day–or night–you can see small, large, old or new boats docked or cruising on the water along with people in canoes or on paddles. (Pictures 1-7)

It is also nice to live in an area where a neighbor can leave her orchid on the stoop and not worry about it being stolen. (Picture # 8)

Walking around you can come across a flowering bush outside the community room or a carefully taken care of  neighbor’s apartment and then there is the Hibiscus in full bloom outside Jackie’s window. (Pictures 9-11)

Along the way you will come across the many–hundreds? Thousands?–of lizards doing acrobatic stunts as if showing off for your pleasure. (Picture#12)

Then you might find this lizard (?) enjoying his life! (Picture #13)

In any case living at Gateway there is always changing sights!

SLIDESHOW


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP45puBymTQ&feature=youtu.be

Posted August 16, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

“THE GIFT”—A MOVIE REVIEW   4 comments


For the second time this week I want to start off a review with “They DO make films like they did in the old days” no matter what seniors say and “The Gift” is such a movie.

Simon (Joseph Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just moved from Chicago into a modern home in Los Angeles. He is up for an important job at business and she is recovering from a miscarriage and the depression that accompanied her loss. When out on a shopping trip they bump into Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who reminds Simon that they were schoolmates in high school but he has no memory of him. The couple invite him for dinner and by the time he leaves Simon  remembers they use to call him “Gordo the weirdo”.

Over the next few days Gordo leaves a bottle of wine on their doorstep, surprises them with putting Koi fish in their new pond and in one note he sends along with the gifts or just to say hello feels the couple is pulling away from him so in a later note he says he is willing to let bygones be bygones and that is when “The Gift” turns into a psychological stalker thriller.

With a throwback to the thriller genre there is the dog that disappears, the fish that are killed, the walk down the dark hall, with music, late one night and not everyone is who they seem to be but who is the villain and who is in charge of what happens remains until twist by unexpected twist all is exposed and we come to an ending that will have you talking all for the right reasons.

Joel Edgerton also wrote and directed the film and turns in a forceful  performance as Gordo while Joseph Bateman’s character is not the usual one he plays.  Rebecca Hall gives an adequate performance which could have been much stronger. The supporting cast as neighbors and/or co-workers does just that, supports the leading players.

“The Gift” is a genre film that plays on your familiarity with twists on what you expect to happen and reminds you of the films of yesterday and told in a  fashion that will have you think, “I didn‘t see that coming!”.

TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3IiZU9JBuE

Posted August 14, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 1   Leave a comment


I open my door, walk out and I just feel good seeing the baby morning glory vine purple flowers and the Cuban Butterfly yellow flowers (picture # 8) and I immediately get a spring in my step. Yes it is hot and humid in Fort Lauderdale in August but I would rather be here than in NYC, Boston or D.C. We always have that breeze coming from the Bay and across the canal!

No matter where you go around Gateway there will be a reason to smile. Say hello to Barbara and there is her cat just sitting on the couch (picture # 2) or walk down to The Point and there is Barbara (a different Barbara) with her dog (picture # 3) talking to a couple in their boat. Look up and there is a bird peering out looking for his girlfriend (picture # 4). Who can say he isn’t?

Walk out from the country store and you may spot a Queen Crepe Myrtle flower (picture # 5) blossoming out from the truck of the tree. Take a walk along the canal and there is a new boat docked (#6) and then a guy will be going out to the Bay in his speed boat (# 7) or I can just look across the canal (#9) and see calmness.

Walk down to The Point at sunset and you might just bump into another one of the many couples (#10) enjoying their life.

You might really get lucky and bump into this guy (#11) and just smile!

Welcome to my summer at Gateway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

https://youtu.be/E2CaSc8rcC0

Posted August 13, 2015 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

“PHOENIX”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


“They don’t make them like the did in the old days, “ is the cry of many senior  film buffs, including me.  In “Phoenix” the director, and co-writer with Harun Farocki, Christian Petzold certainly tries. With bits of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” here, Kander and Ebb’s, with Fosse’s, “Cabaret” there, this movie, as film noir, cries out for a Barbara Stanwyck or Lana Turner and to have been filmed in black and white.

The story of a woman, Nelly, who had her face damaged by a gunshot wound in a German concentration camp has her face reconstructed after the war and goes looking for her husband Johnny. Upon finding him he doesn’t recognize her and tries to get her involved with a get rich scheme by having her impersonate his late wife so he can get her inheritance that was left by her relatives who died in the war.

“As Time Goes By” is an important part of “Casablanca” as are “Again” in “Road House” and “Que Sera, Sera” in “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and this movie too has a song that becomes an important part of the story, by Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash, called “Speak Low” which is heard throughout the film and impacts the ending.

Nina Hoss, as Nelly, may not have the sexuality of a Lana Turner, and is a beauty in her own right, but she is the equal of Barbara Stanwyck in the acting department. She can and does say a lot with a look, her eyes through bad or good and the way she holds herself. You watch her progression from a scared, downtrodden woman to the beautiful, confident woman she was before the war. Ronald Zehrfeld, as her husband Johnny, who thinks that she can pass for his wife that could help him put his scam over has doubts about who she really may be but not enough to stop him. Zehrfeld has a romantic innocence that makes him seem less the villain than he is.

Another major, but undeveloped, role is Nina Kunzendorf as Lene, who does a lot for Nelly but their relationship isn’t quite defined and is unceremoniously out of the film before the halfway mark.

I was told by Allen that the film was an analogy of Germany after the war but I will admit it went right over my head! It might account for why I didn’t like the film as much as I expected to but it did introduce me to Hoss, Zehrfeld and Petzold enough for me to want to see the previous films they have made together.

“Phoenix” is a German film with (some poor such as ‘sit up‘ instead of ‘sit down‘) subtitles running 98 minutes.

MOVIE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj9_LUgf_mA

Posted August 11, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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