Archive for March 2016

ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW   Leave a comment

Martin IS Great – Final Thoughts…..

I’ll have to admit, and I’ve been on a lot of trips in my life, but the trip my sister and I took to Fort Lauderdale couldn’t have been more perfect…well, there was only one small glitch going through security on the way home.

We each carried a small piece of luggage and a knapsack, both of which went on the plane so we didn’t have to worry about checked luggage. On the way down, we were waved through security without a second blink, and the same would have likely happened upon our return if I hadn’t been wearing a Mockingjay pendant around my neck.

When I walked into, then out of, the full body x-ray thingie, the woman security agent told me I had set off a BREAST ALERT .  I thought a second and then pulled the pendant out, showed her, and said this is likely what did it. She looked at it, smiled, and asked if this came from the Hunger Games movie, which I told her YES and that I had purchased all the DVDs.  She asked if I had seen the last movie, and I had – so a  short conversation followed.  She said she had to check me anyways – I lifted my arms and said “go for it” and she copped a quick feel of my BOOBS and sent me on my way.  LOL.

Well THAT was a first!!

So anyways, looking back on this trip, neither me nor my sister could think of anything negative to say about it. I mean NOTHING. Jet Blue was perfect… the hotel was perfect and very accommodating, the party was perfect, Uber was perfect, all the meals were perfect, the theatre was perfect, Marty’s friends were perfect, and meeting Marty was the highlight of my trip and was what mean the most to me.

It was great to me his good friend Allen. Allen and I have been in touch before when Marty landed in the hospital for one reason or other. So nice to have been able to give you a hug Allen.

Glenn, who drove down from Georgia was very personable and always had a smile on his face. Loved meeting you Glenn!!

It was great meeting all your friends, Marty, at your party – unlike any party I’ve attended. So tasteful and delicious.

But my main reason for going was not only to share a wonderful time with my sister, but getting the opportunity to finally meet my dear friend who I’ve known since 2009 and is now considered a part of my family. We all love you Marty!  Thanks for being such a classy host, making sure everything went smoothly for us, and making my day a little brighter, as you continue to do each and every day of the year!!


Do you believe in fairies? Have you ever seen one? What do you feed them? How often?  Do they sleep in a bed? On a hammock? Are they real? Are they related to elves, gnomes and leprechauns? Have you ever seen a male fairy?

Why, all of a sudden, this interest in fairies? In November I went to another Dollar Tree store and on one of the shelves there was a box labeled “Fairy Catcher Kit” that said “Grow your own beautiful blooming plants that attract fairies”. It has a decal, a germination disk, a fairy mix seed pack for growing 5 blooming fairy plants!!


fairy catcher kit Collage

It also says “Each of these plants has an enchanting history. Many people throughout the ages have believed that these flowers can lure fairies to their gardens, make potent potions and keep humans safe from mischievous magical creatures. Now you can grow your very own fairy garden and catch your own fairies”!

It is now 4 months later and I haven’t caught any fairies—yet!!! I think I may have seen a couple at my Leap Year dinner party but didn’t catch them on all the photos that were taken.


The plants are growing beautifully so maybe in a month or two I’ll have a few fairies living with me!!!

Posted March 28, 2016 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized



“Hello, My Name Is Doris” Trailer

“The Divergent Series: Allegiant” Trailer

“My Name Is Doris” is a small $2-3 million movie showcasingproven veteran  Sally Field at her comedic and dramatic best while “Allegiant” is a $150 million movie starring newcomerShailene Woodley showcasing special effects.

Doris (Field) is a spinster working as an accountant who is grieving for the mother she has taken care of and who recently died and the life she might have had. She has become a hoarder and at times escapes into a Walter Mitty world now fantasising about a man half her age who has just joined the company. Is she eccentric in her dress and appearance, a senior citizen losing it or a dreamer who has never had a time to dream. With a supporting cast of Max Greenfield as the hunky new coworker, Tyne Daly as her best friend, Stephen Root as Doris’s brother and WendiMcLendon-Covey as her sister-in-law along with Peter Gallagher offer strong support but whether Field is being funny going clubbing at night with her young coworkers or hitting the right moment when letting the loose the long resentment she felt being her mother’s caretaker ‘we like her, we really like her’!

“Allegiant” makes the same mistake “The Hunger Games” did only a lot worse. Both young adult trilogies are stretched by making the third book into two parts and the third part of this “Divergent Series” adds nothing to what will end the story to be shown in 2017. In fact except for many of the same actors this chapter seems like a different film. 

Whereas Shailene Woodley stood out in “The Descendants”, “The Fault In Our Stars”, and the first two parts of the DivirgentSeries, here her relationships with her brother Caleb (AnselElgort), her love interest Four (Theo James), her ally Christina (Zoe Kravitz) or the irrational Peter (Miles Teller) are put in the background and the special effects brought forth adding nothing to what may be coming.

While many more millions of people will go to see “Allegiant” and it will make many more millions than “Hello, My Name Is Mary” I recommend the latter over the former.

Posted March 25, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

bad things happen to good people   Leave a comment

 it is very puzzling for me when something happens to this good person! LOL

It has taken me 2 hours to just type this so everything is okay–i just can’t type–will explain when i can *:) happy

Life is still good

Posted March 18, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

Getting old ain’t for sissies but I love it!   Leave a comment


It all started the weekend of New Year’s 1999/2000 when I was 64. After eating a 4 pound ham all by myself and drinking about a dozen diet sodas I was rushed to the hospital with congestive heart failure!! Since then it has been downhill!

Recently I read a post on another site by someone who was afraid to go to doctors of any kind and I thought back on my medical history. I have become very greatful for the doctors, and yes meds, that have taken care of my health the last 16 years and I am sure I will be seeing more of the former and getting more of the latter but, at least, they are there for me.

When I was younger I had the usual hospital visits liking getting my tonsils out–I remember being rewarded with ice cream! I went to the hospital twice after that for stitches above my right eye when I returned to Memphis from New York to an ice storm and being drunk slipped on a step going up from the garage to my townhouse and for appendicitis  in the 1980s.

I spent most of my life eating what I wanted, smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day for 60+ years (I started at the age of 12 so I would look sophisticated–thanks Hollywood!), drinking alcohol until eventually I had blackouts. It seems the body is not so forgiving as I thought losing 100+ pounds in 1967, stopped drinking in 1981–okay, I didn’t stop smoking until 2008–all would be well.

And then that New Year’s Eve weekend came!!! Since then I have been diagnosed with COPD, PAD, gout, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, A-fib, neuropathy, not to mention going to the hospital over the past 15 years for:

Putting stents into my legs–6 over past 15 years

Angiography/angioplasty–June 10 and July 18, 2014

Arterial blockage and peripheral artery disease   May 26, 2014

Aorta (pig–in a Jewish boy!!!) valve replacement July 21, 2008

Cellulites hematoma  December 6, 2013

Patella Fracture May 27, 2015

Cataract surgery October 10, 2013 (left eye) and May 8, 2014 (right eye)

Skin ulcer May 18, 2014

Broken Knee cap October 2, 2015

Carotid endarterectomy (right side) October 19, 2015

 Among some of the visits, or what I call ‘vacations at the hotels Broward and Holy Cross hospitals!!

 All in all at the age of 80 I feel I have come through all the ‘sins’ of my youth in pretty good shape–heck my insides may be a mess but my outside in still good looking!!

I live in a senior citizen residential area and I look at other 70 and 80 year olds and they are using walkers, carry oxygen tanks, are dependant and behaved themselves when they were younger–at least I have the memories and am still independent! Okay I take 12-14 medicines but I can still go to the movies, theatre, restaurants, shopping, drive a car but most of all enjoy life!

If I had to do it all over again, would I change any of the bad habits I had? NO! I enjoyed the smoking, drinking, eating all the ‘wrong’ foods and for what I consider the ‘small’ price I am paying now I would do it all over again.

And as my favorite song says: (Sadly she isn’t)

Posted March 16, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

Who do you write for?   1 comment

My last two published books
I have 6 manuscripts sitting on my desk–one is a play, 2 are nonfiction and the other 3 are fiction. All in all I have 8 books published and I self published my last two. I wrote them all without any audience in mind–the one and only book I ever wrote with readers in mind was the last one published called “Letting It All Hang Out”. I mainly wrote to clear my head of ideas that have been there for awhile. Even the non-fiction books which were motivational for people who wanted to lose weight were my thoughts on my battle with fat.
Of the ones mentioned in the first paragraph the 3 I called fiction (and the play) are actually nonfiction (I don’t remember the term Truman Capote used regarding “In Cold Blood”)–though the characters are fictionalized (law suits, you know) the events, places, etc. are real.
The one completely fictionalized is “…And The Oscar Goes to…” where I was trying to put my mind in a actresses point of view.
“The Free Prisoner” –This was published in 2005 and, I think, my best book–it is about a gay boy in the Bronx ‘coming out’ in the 40s and 50s.
“Five Sided View Of A Man” –a two act play–1 set–6 characters–a man at 60 looks back on his life one decade at a time
“The Gay Pariahs” ) Gay life from the 1940s to the 1990s seen through the eyes of the main character and his friends, lovers, etc.
“For What We Had” A true love story from the meeting of the 2 main characters through a newspaper ad and what leads to the breakup and the aftermath–told through letters, notes, cards, diaries, etc.
“The Looks Of Love” 2 Gay, Jewish, Yankees move to the deep South in the 70s–though the relationship is a financial success it is a very destructive one.
When you write who are you writing for?

Posted March 16, 2016 by greatmartin in BOOKS, Uncategorized, WRITING


The Chef’s Palette is an adventure in dining and certainly a change from your normal lunch! Run by John Masi, and qualified chefs from the Culinary School Of Arts in Fort Lauderdale, all the prep and cooking is done by students.

Only open 2 days a week reservations are a must and you can get an idea of their 3 Course Prix Fixe lunch at for $15.95 plus tax per person. (A note about tipping later.)

For the first course I had the Grilled Octopus with white beans, Piquill peppers and frisee while Allen had the Mezze platter consisting of Balsamic Greek Yogurt, eggplant caponata, pickled vegetables and served with grilled honey yogurt bread. Mine had too many beans and not enough octopus but was nicely presented and tasted fine. Allen loved his plate and gave me a taste of the eggplant. There was also a vegetarian black bean soup available.

For our main course I had the grilled flat iron steak served au poivre with steak frites and grilled asparagus. It was a good sized tender steak and the peppercorn cognac sauce was excellent as was the asparagus. Though I didn’t care for the high pile of thin fried string like potatoes Allen thought they were great. He had the pan seared Florida’s fresh local catch–cod today–in a citrus beurre blanc, served with a side of fennel and orange slaw and beet farro. The third selection was smoked barbecue chicken.

The only complaint I really had was the rolls that were made on the premises by the students should have been served warm.

We shared a dark chocolate torta caprese and a chocolate lava cake both served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and a glob of whipped cream.We were also served a small plate of assorted treats. I had coffee ($2) and Allen had a diet coke($2). The check with tax and tip added came to $46 and I charged it.

It wasn’t until I got home that I looked at the charge receipt and noticed that tip was crossed out and the total was changed from $46 to $36. A little confused I emailed Mr. Masi and he explained that the students weren’t allowed to accept charged tip. I wish I had been told that when I signed the charge receipt.

I really enjoyed the lunch and the staff worked together smoothly but as a professional server for 38 years it sort of annoyed that the table wasn’t crumbed between courses or completely pre-bused before dessert was served. Yes I know the staff is getting trained for the kitchen but they have to know what is being done out front as it all works together with what’s cooking in the back and how it is presented in the front.

The Chef’s Palette is a place that should be on everyone’s list to dine and more than once. As soon as I see the menu has changed I’ll go back!

P.S. I did return the following week and gave the server a cash tip.


Posted March 14, 2016 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized



“Dough” is a small ‘art’ independent film that tries to tackle too many different storylines but shines on the main one. It is a story of an old Jewish baker Nat (Jonathan Pryce) who takes on the Black, Muslim African son,Ayyash, (Jerome Holder) of his store’s cleaning lady as an apprentice. Ayyash, accidently, drops the stash of marijuana he sells on the side, into some dough he is mixing and before you know it the bakery that is on the verge of going out of business has long lines and a demand for challah and other dough items.

Price and Holder are excellent in their roles with Philip Davis, Ian Hart and Pauline Collins giving strong support in this warm, sometimes funny 94 minute movie.

“Dough” trailer

10 Cloverfield Lane” is a mix of sci-fi, horror, psychological, suspenseful, damsel in distress thriller and survival movie. Fifteen of the last 25 minutes are some of the most tense times I have spent watching a movie. In addition the soundtrack music of Bear McCreary sometimes is annoying but at most times add to what is happening on the screen.

Most of the story asks if Howard (John Goodman) has really saved/rescued Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) or is he a psycho? Have aliens invaded earth making the air inhabitable or is Howard keeping Michelle and Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.) prisoners for his own twisted reasons?

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is not as claustrophobic as “Room” was and certainly more well furnished not to mention more extended with many rooms for a lot more incidents to happen.

While the main theme is whether Goodman is crazy or not it really revolves around Winstead who has the audience on her side.

Though slow starting at first setting up the story those 15 minutes near the end are worth the wait!

“10 Cloverfield Lane” trailer


The next 4 years will whiz by but I will have great memories from this year of my 20th birthday. There will be the two Geranium plants I got at The Home Depot with a gift card and the orchids that I hope I don’t kill by over-watering. I will be busy getting my new address book up to date and will have a ball–or go crazy–filling in my new password logbook that I got at Barnes & Noble withanother gift card. Oh yes I will be eating Subway sandwiches and going to the Coral Ridge AMC theatre and the Gateway Theatre with other gift cards.

I have plans for the Target gift cards and that Visa debit gift card will come in handy! Might buy the recliner I want with those and the generous cash gifts I got. I’ve already spent my Winn-Dixie gift cards on food treats!!

Staring today I am going down to the Point getting some sun for at least an hour and start reading the 3 books I got. On Sundays I’ll have a special treat reading the New York Times.

For the next 4 years I’ll be able to look around my apartment and I’ll be able to see one of the center pieces I had on the dinner table and in 2 weeks, if not sooner I will have all those photographs taken by my guests developed along with a CD of each. I might even take one of the balloons, when they deflate, and either make it part of the collage I am planning–that alone should take me 4 years!!–or put one on the wall.

I’ll remember seeing “Phantom of the Opera” in Miami and “Kinky Boots” in Fort Lauderdale, the latter with Glenn seeing him for the first time in over 40 years, Mary–a lot more about our meeting in another post–and her sister Pat.

And how can I ever forget the M&Ms and NOT eating them for a month?!? Plus I have some of the engraved pens that I hope will last for awhile along withthe taste of the great food at Cafe Vico. And how could I forget that cake??

Time to start planning for my 21st birthday in 2020!!!

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