Archive for August 2020

Geraniums, orchids, a lost pepper and lizards!!   Leave a comment

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1) Don’t know how I missed this pepper when I was picking my ‘crop’ the other day!!
2 & 3) I forgot to fix picture 2 which has Lori on the top and her kid Leonard on the bottom while in #3 is Larry the father/husband! They are their every time I go over to John’s apartment!#4) There is a tree right outside my window that every once in awhile pops up with a mysterious orchid no rhyme or reason. Mother Nature at work.And then there are my Geraniums all in full bloom with more blooms ready to open in 4 different colors.
We had a ‘feel like’ temperature yesterday and then the rains came and it dropped down to a ‘low’ of 79 and right now the storm clouds are gathering and the wind is increasing so it should get a little ‘cooler’ shortly! 
Summer in Fort Laudedale!

Posted August 31, 2020 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, MOTHER NATURE

Blueberries, Peppers and Nature   2 comments

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Let’s discuss the Blueberry muffins first-(#2)! I have a friend(I AM NOT MENTIONING NAMES!) in Maine who wrote this post about all the blueberries she has picked from the bushes on her place. She also had pictures of blueberry pie and cobbler that she baked and then talked about having so many blueberries she didn’t know what to do with all of them–even mentioned giving them away to people. Now, this is a friend! Do you think she would send me any blueberries? Do you think she (I AM NOT MENTIONING NAMES!) would make me a blueberry pie or cake or cobbler and send it to me? NO! I had to go into Winn-Dixie and buy blueberry muffins! Mini ones at that! I may have to rethink who my friends (I AM NOT MENTIONING NAMES!) are!

On the other hand, I picked my crop of peppers today (#5) and the first thing I did was give most of them to my neighbors! (Not that it is a bribe for them to continue cooking homemade dinners for me, plus ‘goodies’ every now and then!) I am amazed by how all these peppers, for months now, all started with a few seeds from ONE green pepper! I don’t understand why they are different shapes and colors and still taste like the original bell pepper! (Granted a picked a few before they fully developed but I use those in meals I make after chopping them up.)

We have been having a lot of HOT weather even for South Florida with a week of ‘feel like’ temperatures over 100 degrees and humidity up in the 90% range. Also, this is rainy and hurricane season but we just dodged 2 tropical storms and have had very little rain IN Fort Lauderdale. Seems the surrounding cities, towns and counties are getting rain but not us. We have lizards sunbathing (#1), birds picking for food after lawns have been sprinkled (#4) and when I look out my window (#3) I see green trees and sparkling water!

Posted August 29, 2020 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, MOTHER NATURE

Streaming–Week of August 24–4 winners!   Leave a comment

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1) “Rake”–series–Netflix–5 seasons–  first season 8 episodes–7 hours and 8 minutes–a lawyer whose name invokes exactly what he is–I have been alternating between him and “Lucifer” and I can’t stop laughing! Not easy to get laughs out of a case of cannibalism but Rake does! How do you beat the devil as a detective and a rake as a lawyer? Both are MUST SEE series!
2) “Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You”–documentary–Netflix–1 hour and 30 minutes–one of the most successful producers bringing such diverse shows as “All In The Family”, “Maude” and “The Jeffersons”  he was also a vocal political activist along with being a devoted father. He was/is a warm funny man and at the age of 93 is as busy as ever. A MUST SEE TO FEEL GOOD!
3) “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin”–documentary–Netflix–1 hour and 39 minutes–mainly known for his series of columns turned into a successful TV series and book plus a sequel of both, “Tales of the City”, Maupin was an excellent writer, a gay man, funny and is known to gossip such as being the first to ‘out’ Rock Hudson and his experiences with the actor.  Along with showing what gay life was like in San Francisco from the 1970s to today he talks about his stable marriage with his husband Christopher Turner who is 30 years younger than he is. The most surprising part of his life is his being raised as a straightlaced North Carolina boy who had a grandfather who became a senator and fought to have his slaves–‘property’-be allowed to move from State to State. Along with that his first job as a writer was working for Jesse Helms. I don’t agree with his ‘outing’ people but this is a first-class documentary, many parts very touching, including how he came out to his Christian Southern parents. A MUST SEE!
4) “Tig”–I reviewed this earlier this week and just bringing it up here again as I was really impressed with Tig Notaro’s documentary at showing what goes into making a standup comedienne and how she beat cancer with humor. DON’T MISS IT!!

Posted August 28, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

Tig Nataro   1 comment

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If you know Tig Notaro you must see this–if you don’t know Tig Notaro you must see this! In any case, she is a brilliant, funny person and doesn’t see the cup half full but completely full!Anyone who knows me or reads my reviews knows that I am not the best audience member for a stand up comic but since getting Netflix I watch 1 or 2 a week to give them a chance to change my mind. I find most of today’s comics, male or female, loud and foul mouth plus not being funny.I don’t know how I heard of Tig but I did come across her name as a comic on Netflix and decided to watch her show and I am so glad I did. It takes place in a year’s time starting with her show at Largo’s that made her a breakout comedienne and ends a year later revisiting the club.
Along with finding out who she is we watch how a comic can take a word, a situation and over time make that word and situation a 1-hour show with a lot of laughs encompassing serious matters.Her opening line at that first Largo’s show is, “I have cancer, how are you doing?” A lot happens to her over that following year from wanting to have a child and not having a partner, the cancer diagnosis, her ‘breasts are trying to kill me’ which she gains enough confidence to make it a very funny ‘bit’.
The recording of that first show makes her a star which she isn’t quite comfortable with. You travel with her to the seedy clubs she does shows at, you meet her friends, you get to know her, you laugh with at her, you come to care for her and hope for a happy ending.This is a documentary about a person you will be glad to get to know!

Posted August 26, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINER, ENTERTAINMENT

Plethora of picking peppers!   1 comment

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As usual, on a Sunday afternoon, I get the watering pot out and water the plants starting with the ones in the kitchen. As I water the pepper plants I sort of look through them to see if the ONE monthly pepper has started to sprout. I never know where I will find it as they could be anywhere in, outside of the plant. Imagine when I saw 2 peppers in that kitchen plant, which is the first pepper plant I started a few years ago and it never produced more than one pepper at a time let alone in one month.
From that point on I started investigating all the plants and I don’t think there was a single one that didn’t have a pepper growing on it! There were all kinds, shapes and colors!! Some are hard to see/find as they seem to be just another green leaf. Where did that orange pepper come from? Right now I have 26 peppers growing so who knows what is ahead for me. A pepper pizza? Salsa? Stuffed peppers? Peppers and sausages pasta? I might even try a pepper cake instead of a carrot cake!! (I don’t think so!)
And it all started with some seeds from a pepper I bought and now when I use these peppers I’ll throw the seeds in pots.

Posted August 23, 2020 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

Streaming reviews–8/21/2020   Leave a comment

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If I post this and you read it in enough time tonight at 7 PM on  the Broadway production of “Newsies” and at 9 PM on PBS The Lincoln Center hit revival of “The King and I”.
Notes” Season 5 of “Lucifer” starts tonight–see my review August 7–a MUST SEE show–detective story but very funny when the Devil is banished to Earth by his Father–meet his brothers, mother and here and there everyone else you know from hell–and his therapist, his female detective partner, etc.

1) “Pick of the Litter”–documentary–netflix–1 hour and 19 minutes–with a lot a awwwwww there is also a lot of education about how seeing eye dogs are trained–from the first, I picked 2 to pass all the tests and even though one didn’t make it the dog became a great pet companion!  MUST SEE!!2) “Leonard Soloway’s Broadway”–documentary–prime video–1 hour and 27 minutes–for those who know what goes on backstage and for those who always wanted to know what goes on backstage of the legit theatre this is excellent. Soloway produced and/or stage-managed and/or was general manager for over 100 Broadway shows this is a fun look not only of the business aspect of the theatre but, also, what it meant to be ‘Jewish and Gay in the ‘old days’ and for those who were Jewish and Gay in the old days. Oh, yes, there is the ‘gossip’, tales out of school and many famous names involved in the tales or to tell them.  MUST SEE!3) “The Promise”–movie–netflix–2 hours and 12 minutes–based on the true story of the Armenian genocide in 1914 with a little “Hollywood” romance thrown in. Okay, but the ‘romance’ interferes with film.4) “A Kid From Coney Island”–documentary–amazon prime video–1 hour and 29 minutes–a surprising and interesting story of a boy, Stepho Marbury, from the ‘hood’ who uses the love of basketball to get to the top and how he gets mistreated but takes his life back by going to another country.
5) “Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids”–stand up–netflix–44 minutes—sorry I laughed a lot more watching 1 episode of “Lucifer” or “Schitt’s Creek”–skip it.6) “The Great Heist”–series–netflix–6 episodes–4 hours and 7 minutes–don’t waste your time and go watch “The Money Heist”–based on the same true story but on so much better!7) “Happiness Adjacent”–movie–amazon prime video–1 hour and 36 minutes–man and wife goes on a cruise–wife seasick from the minute she gets on the boat–husband meets a single gay man and has an affair with him–different and leaves a lot of questions opened, probably more so for a non-gay man watching it than a gay man who can fill in what happens after ‘the end’. An interesting topic allowing for good conversation after.8) “Schitt’s Creek”–series–netflix–77 episodes–28 hours and 14 minutes–complete seasons available– don’t let the title turn you off–from beginning to end this is a warm, very funny show with an expert cast! MUST SEE!

Posted August 21, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

PAD—Part 3–the end   Leave a comment

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(Last full-length picture of me in shorts–5-6 years ago!)
I don’t remember the first time I had to stop completely walking to the Gateway Theatre as the pain in my calves was just too much! Each time I walked to or from the theatre I had to make stops because of the pain though it lasted very briefly and I could walk again but, eventually, it was taking too much time and pain to walk the mile.Since 2001 I had been going to see Dr. Arison every 6 months and he would make me come back the following week to have a scan taken of my legs and then would call me the following Saturday to say everything looked the same. Every 6 months he would ask me about how far I was walking before I felt pain and he would say that I should just walk through the pain!  (I won’t say what my reaction to that was!) Little by little, it would be less and less until 5 weeks ago, I decided to actually count how many steps I was taking before the pain hit and I was really surprised that it was only 200 steps! I knew I had an appointment with him on August 10 and decided to wait until then to discuss it.I told him what happened with my counting of steps, my finding it a chore to walk down to Karen Bay, not feeling any pain except when I was walking, even in my apartment, along with panting for breath when I walked, especially walking upstairs. He had a trainee with him and he had her take all the vitals and at times I wasn’t sure whether he was talking to me or her but finally after all that was done he started talking directly to me saying that he didn’t think it was the aorta valve, which I had brought up, and that when I went to see my primary doctor in September he could check it out.Dr. Arison then said I had 4 choices starting with losing some weight–he had noticed I gained weight since I first started to see him 19 years before though he knew I had lost 16 pounds that January. The second choice was to start walking every day and no matter how bad the pain to just keep walking as soon as I stopped and the pain went away. The third choice was to go into both legs and either replace the stent(s) or move them around to get the blood flowing more freely. The last choice was to do nothing and he said eventually that would mean amputation either of one or both legs. He said that wasn’t to scare me but to let me know what was ahead. He added that if either or both legs experienced pain when I was just sitting or when I was sleeping or increased to such a point that I felt I couldn’t walk anymore that I should call him immediately.What struck me as odd was that for the first time he said nothing about doing a scan and why I didn’t ask him the reason I still don’t know! He said that choices number 3 and 4 were ones he didn’t want to do and wouldn’t do number 3 because of what was going on in the hospitals in South Florida right now and at my age it was even more of a risk. Regarding number 4 it was not an option as far as he was concerned. Obviously that narrowed my choices down to number 1 and/or number 2.
I have been walking every day down to Karen Bay and back to my apartment at 2 in the afternoon and sometimes in the late evening. It is not really enough steps but it is a start. I am also aiming to walk back and forth to the Gateway Theatre whether it opens again or not. I have started to lose the extra pounds I have gained aiming for a half to a pound a week with a number in mind that I want to weigh when I go see my primary doctor on September 23.
When you look at me doing whatever I do whether walking or not you would never suspect that I have PAD, COPD, diabetes, a valve replacement, Afib, now and then attacks of gout, ED, etc., and take 15 meds a day but thanks to them and the squad of doctors taking care of me at the age of 84 I really don’t have a complaint in the world. Okay, so I don’t like the color of my legs or all the ‘bruise’ marks I show on my arms and upper torso due to the blood thinner but that is all ego and I can live with that–more often than not!!
All I have to do is get up every morning—well, late morning–and I am a happy guy!

Posted August 17, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

PAD—Part 2   1 comment

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I have always loved walking whether it was in New York city strolling from Greenwich Village to Central Park or Miami Beach going from First Street and Ocean Drive to 23rd Street and Collins Avenue.

I am bringing this up because my first meeting with Dr. Arison really wasn’t a good one as he explained I had claudication in my legs and seeing my puzzled look added that it meant too little blood flow through the arteries in my legs. He went on to tell me what Peripheral Artery Disease, better known as PAD, was which was plaque building up around the arteries in the legs caused, mainly, by smoking and, in addition, high blood pressure and cholesterol caused by foods and lifestyle. He then went into what all this caused including in some cases inability to walk. After that I sort of spaced out until he gave me his card and told me to call his office and make an appointment to talk to him more about what was going on and what could be done.

By the time January 31, 2001, came around I had lost 16 pounds, taking 15 medicines from blood thinners to bringing down my cholesterol, blood pressure, inhalers for COPD, pills for prostate, fluid retention, diabetes, potassium replacement, to name just a few and, oh yes, back to Dr. Arison, stents in each of my legs.At my first appointment Dr. Arison explained to me what was going on, what could happen and what he would like to do which was to put me in the hospital in the morning, put stents in both legs and I would be on my way by the afternoon which is exactly what happened. I am not sure how many stents he put in each leg but I know over the next 15 years and, up to today, I have had 6-7 stents total in both legs.

Instead of my trying to explain what a stent is, and does, let me quote this from  “A leg stent is used to open blocked blood vessels in the leg. The device is typically placed in the artery after a balloon has been expanded to clear out the blockage. This procedure is called an angioplasty. The stent widens after the balloon is blown up and then the balloon and the wires that guide the process are removed from the blood vessel. The stent will then fit snugly in place and the blood is able to flow through it.”

After the first operation I felt immediate relief and I could walk to the Gateway Theatre–about a mile–and back without any problem. Without having to look it up, a couple of years after the first stent insertions I remember having it done again. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago I started having problems with both legs.(To be continued, and finished tomorrow!)

Posted August 16, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

PAD = Peripheral Artery Disease   3 comments

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The New Year’s weekend from December 29, 2000 to January 2, 2001  was one of my most memorable though I only remember half of it! Somehow I had called 911 and was taken to Broward Hospital (or was it Holy Cross?) where it seems I had congestive heart failure and, as one of the nurses told me a day or 2 later I kept complaining that I couldn’t find my flip-flops!  

From my diary: “December 20, 2000, diagnosed with atrial fibrillation–whatever that was—Doc said I could have a stroke–should, but probably won’t, stop smoking (that would happen 8 and a half years later!), change eating habits (I did lose 16 pounds in January), was given Coumadin and Toprol XL  to take. My calves are killing me, can’t walk without pain–what if I can’t work? On December 26 I had an echocardiogram and on the 27th I was given a holster heart monitor. In hospital all New Year’s Weekend!”

By the way, I suppose I should add that early December 29 I had eaten a 5-pound ham, 2 liters of diet cola and half a carrot cake— mmmm–wonder why I had congestive heart failure?

Up until that New Year’s weekend, I wasn’t really that doctor or hospital oriented. Oh sure I had the childhood diseases but as an adult, I didn’t go to doctors regularly and I think the only major operation I had was when I had my appendix taken out sometime in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I do know it was a Thanksgiving week because I was working at the Fisherman’s Wharf and I was concerned I wouldn’t recover enough to work Thanksgiving Day and weekend and make the money I needed. I did.

From January 1, 2001, to this past Monday, I have been seeing all kinds of doctors on a regular basis and on January 1, 2001 I would meet a vascular surgeon Ron Arison and it was him I saw on Monday and the reason for this ‘report’ and PAD!(To be continued)

Posted August 15, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS

7 Netflix reviews   Leave a comment

Inline image 1) A MUST SEE–“IMMIGRATION NATION”–DOCUMENTARY–6 EPISODES–6 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES–I don’t care how much you think you know about immigration in the United States you don’t know anything!! Do you have any idea how many veterans have been deported after serving as, say, a Marine, honorably for years who has done no wrong has been deported and can’t get back into the States? Do you know how many billions of dollars ‘illegal’ immigrants pay in taxes every year? Do you have any idea how many kids are taken away from their parents? Do you know how much private companies in cooperation with ICE make for each immigrant ‘caught’? Do you know our laws are being broken by our law enforcers? Do you have any idea how many immigrants don’t get paid for the work they do for contractors with ties to politics? PLEASE WATCH THIS!
2) John Leguizamo’s “Latin History For Morons”–solo stage performance–1 hour and 30 minutes–he is a brilliant actor and comedian and there is a lot to learn here plus a lot to laugh at if only he would clean the language up (but that’s my ‘thing’!)
3) “The Claudia Kishi Club”–short film–17 minutes–Having seen “The Baby Sitter’s Club” figured I might watch this–basically shows how an Asian character affects other characters–as the ‘Club’ this is mainly for teenage girls.
4) “The Governor”–Nigerian series–Season 1–13 episodes–9 hours and 37 minutes–your head will spin seeing the costume changes of the lead actress who becomes  Governor after the previous Governor dies. I’ve watched 5 episodes so far and a lot of the acting is off-putting as are some of the secondary storylines but Caroline Chikezie as the new Governor is a winner. Also, the main story of a woman handling a ‘man’s job’ is strong.

5) “Work It”–the movie–1 hour and 33 minutes–Teenagers in high school enter a dance competition. Nothing new but goof free form dancing except the female lead who really can’t dance.
6) “As Long As I’m Famous”–the movie–1 hour and 32 minutes–name dropping trash but not even good trash!
7) “The Lost Husband”–the movie–1 hour and 30 minutes–seen this type of movie a million times but the ‘hot farmer’ is hot! Sadly no chemistry with the female lead.

Posted August 14, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Streaming, TELEVISION

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