Archive for November 2020

Streaming reviews–week of November 22, 2020   1 comment

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1) “Loving”–film–Netflix–2 hours & 3 minutes–when I saw this movie in 2016 at the Gateway Theatre I raved about and, especially the performance by Ruth Negga–I was very disappointed when the movie ‘died’ at the box office–I watched it again and felt I was seeing it for the first time–Ruth did get an Oscar nomination for her role and her co-star Joel Edgerton didn’t but certainly deserved one–nominated as the best film of 2016 by many critics I will go so far as to say the best film of the decade–based on a true story IT IS A MUST SEE!

2) “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square”–film–Netflix–1 hour and 34 minutes–combine Dolly Parton and Christmas and what do you get? Tears! Lots of tears! The film is campy (Seems like Debbie Allen g(director and choreographer) hired every gay male dancer she could find), heartfelt, inspiring, soapy and feel good–at first hearing it appears to be more snogs by Parton than dialogue by but the songs are good and she has a first-rate cast singing them–it is a holiday film that will have you crying and will end with you feeling good, maybe even buying the soundtrack for the songs–thanks, Dolly!

3) “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story”–film–Netflix–1 hour & 59 minutes–songs, music, dancing, silliness, sappy scenes, robots, toys, etc.,–it is all here–it’s Christmas and ‘if you believe’ anything is possible–directed by and the story plus screenplay by David E. Talbert, this is is a lot ‘heavier’ than Parton’s ‘Christmas”, good but not as enjoyable–right now I would recommend “Christmas on the Square” over this but it will have you in the ‘season’ which is what it is about.

4) “Hillbilly Elegy”–film–Netflix–1 hour and 57 minutes–with Oscar-worthy performances by Amy Adams and Glenn Close they are stranded in a screenplay without any much-needed depth–I was surprised to see it was a true story and that made the film by Ron Howard even more disappointing–see the film for the 2 actresses who have both had many nominations but not any wins–so far–
and Howard, along with the screenwriter Vanessa Taylor, lets the ladies down

5) “We Are The Champions”–documentary–Netflix–3 hours & 8 minutes–season 1–6 episodes are you ready for a cheese rolling contest? How about a chili eating o9r fantasy hairstyle contest? No? Well, hang in there because there are a yo-yo, a dog dancing and a frog jumping company coming up! You will shake your head at each, laugh at each, wonder why they are doing it but you won’t stop looking!! I don’t think I will watch season 2 but I did have a good time watching these first 6 contests and wondered, “What next?”

6) “Sex Education”–series–Netflix–2 seasons for a total of 13 hours & 33 minutes–I am not into and mostly avoid series about teenagers but this got my attention from the beginning and I am now looking forward to season 3–yes, it is all about horny teenagers but it is also sweet, caring and gets you involved wondering where each kid’s story will go to and/or end up–a few of the kids reminded me of their counterparts in “A Chorus Line” which may have been one of the main attractions for me–these kids are real with all the drama, misunderstandings, social castes, mistakes, parent problems and life most teenage kids go through for better or worse.

Posted November 27, 2020 by greatmartin in Streaming

Happy Thanksgiving to all!   Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Day Sundown–After dinner!

Posted November 26, 2020 by greatmartin in HOLIDAYS, Uncategorized

Getting ready for 2021! :O)   Leave a comment

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One has to plan for the future and though I do it all year round I started last year by snapping a few clippings off the mother plant which I had for a couple of decades now. What was usually (and so-called when I bought it) referred to as a Christmas Cactus now seems to bloom all year round but especially at holidays.

And about 12 years ago Leap Year became officially a holiday for the plant as it started to have buds the first week of February and was in full bloom by February 29th!The original plant only had pink blossoms but the past few years there have been white blooms mixed in with them!

I am adding ‘instructions’ as to how to propagate the cactus but I must admit I just snap them off, stick in the dirt in the pot and everything works out fine. Let’s see how the twins do by November 2021!!How to Propagate Christmas Cactus

Posted November 24, 2020 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE, PLANTS

It’s magic!   1 comment

A year ago today I posted basically the same picture but these are all new. Every morning I walk out of my bedroom (no light in there for flowers to bloom! LOL) into my living room, kitchen, bathroom and see blooms of Holiday Cactus, Begonias, Geraniums, white pepper blossoms if not actual peppers. Yellow Cuban plant blooms in the inside of the entrance of my front door.

When I have been out whether I come in through the front or back door I am hit with red, white, yellow and pink blooms.People compliment me on my ‘green thumb’ but I don’t have one. All I have is good lighting and, as I like to joke, I threaten them to bloom or I’ll see and they start popping up right away!

Sadly none of these flowers have an aroma or if they do not a strong one.  Maybe in 2021 I’ll start looking for indoor Lilacs, Roses and other flowers that have an aroma and bloom indoors—any suggestions???

Until then I am going to start trimming the big mother Holiday Cactus plant, picture 2, and start growing more like the ‘baby’ I started last year–see pictures 1 and 4.I might, if they have them, in February/March, buy some of the bulbs that The Dollar Tree usually has for sale.

Posted November 21, 2020 by greatmartin in GARDENS, PLANTING, PLANTS

Streaming reviews–week of November 15, 2020   Leave a comment

1) “The Crown”–Netflix–series–Season 4–10 episodes–5 hours and 50 minutes–the best season so far–strong performances by Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II, Gillean Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana commanding the main roles with the latter going from a shy, deer in the lights, a girl growing into a woman with a secondary Emerald Fennell as Camilla, who certainly will be more in front in season 5. Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Tobias Menzies as his father Prince Philip shows the weaknesses and strengths of men ruled by women with the former almost making you feel sorry for him.  A MUST SEE!

2) “Diana In Her Own Words”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour and 52 minutes–There is no way a person can NOT feel sadness for and about her. I watched this after “The Crown” which was a smart move–watching a fictional series like The Crown you know that private scenes and conversations between people are made up by the writer and you hope there is some reality in what they say and do–Diana In Her Words makes a lot in The Crown more real. A MUST SEE!

3) “The Life Ahead”–Netflix–Movie–1 hour & 34 minutes–how dare Sophia Loren get old?!? Most people who watch this will remember the Oscar-winning actress at the height of her fame and her ‘lusty’ appearance–she still has that ‘what made her a star’ glow and the movie is a ‘small’, sweet, entertaining film–I originally saw Simone Signoret in the first movie version of this, called “Madame Rosa”, and Loren’s performance is as effective as Signoret’s as the Jewish former prostitute who takes care of sex workers children and still bares the number given her in a concentration camp–a must-see for those who remember Loren in her fame days.

4) “Dash & Lily”–Netflix–Season 1–8 episodes–3 hours & 22 minutes–Dash is anti-Christmas while Lily loves everything about it–through puzzles in a red notebook the two finally meet–a cute, fun series and a good ‘get in the Christmas mood’ start for the holidays–wonder what season 2 will be about–enjoy.

5) “I Am Thinking Of Ending Things”–Netflix–Movie–2 hours & 14 minutes–don’t waste a minute seeing this unless you want to see Toni Collette give a very rare bad performance!

Posted November 20, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Streaming

That time of the year!   1 comment

Twice a year I get a crewcut, usually May and October, which started a few years ago when I decided I am tired of having to fool with my hair every day plus when it gets long it is really a pain–same with beards, mustaches, etc., and I know as I tried them all over the years!!

The only thing I have done consistently over the past 2 decades is grow/keep the mustache and that doesn’t seem to grow and/or get bushy!!In any case, I usually get the 2nd crewcut of the year in October or November so that it will look good by February 29 or in ‘off years’ at the end of February and then by May it gets unmanageable again–my hair doesn’t grow fast.
Luckily we have a Salon on the Gateway premises and Nora gives haircuts by appointment only so I called her yesterday and got the crewcut today!

Another change coming—guess what’s going on under the mask?!?!?!? LOL

Funny but I remember all this nonsense with the hair started in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1972 when I had the ‘hairstylist’ spray gray coloring in my sideburns to make me look more distinguished as Director of Operations for Weight Watchers of Memphis, Eastern Tennesee and Western Arkansas for when I made TV appearances or had newspaper interviews not to forget ‘free open meetings’ –and now I have all the gray–naturally!

Posted November 17, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Welcome to MY neighborhood!!   Leave a comment

No ocean and no sand, which are a mile away, (you can see the high rises on the beach in the back of the 2nd picture) but we have the sky–Victoria Park–all were taken at 4 PM on Sunday and Monday so I can’t quite explain the 3rd shot (The camera? Not the cameraman!!)

This is what I see from my window! Who could ask for anything more?!

We will be having a ‘cold spell’ this week with temperatures only going to a high of 79 degrees and one morning will be in the 60s but no complaints as today (Monday) and yesterday (Sunday) it was in the 80s with a low humidity and no rain!

Posted November 16, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Reading books again!   1 comment

After my ‘cry’ for books to read I received 13 (!!!!) from Carol, Susan, Betsy and Bob and I must admit it was really fun getting back into reading.They ranged from autobiographies and biographies of Sally Field, Vivien Leigh, Tom of Finland/Artist, Cary Grant to the best of Edgar Allen Poe, Great American Short Stories, 101 Great American Poems plus a few fiction novels and a major find for me of a Gay father writing to his Gay son which is a gem and that I have read 3 times–so far–standing up in the rear.
There is a certain feeling I have when I am lost in reading a book, other people’s words that I don’t get in magazines, papers, blogs, etc.
I am going to donate the books to the Gateway Library we have here for the residents!

Posted November 15, 2020 by greatmartin in BOOKS

Streaming reviews–week of November 9, 2020   Leave a comment

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1) David Attenborough “A Life On Our Planet”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 20 minutes–and 2) “Somebody Feed Phil”–Netflix–Documentary–Season 1–6 episodes–5 hours & 35 minutesBoth have very interesting subjects but the narrators, David and Phil, resulted in my not looking at the films about 20 minutes in!

3) “Snowden”–Netflix–Film based on a true story–2 hours & 14 minutes–only Oliva Stone film I have ever liked was “Wall Street” and this doesn’t change that–first time I have ever seen Shailene Woodley NOT have chemistry with her leading man though Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a good job as the title character–the love story in this ‘true’ story should have been left out–the love story only slowed down a complicated film.

4) “Time”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 21 minutes–based on the premise that ‘Love =s only valid expression’ it shows the fortitude of a wife’s love bringing up 6 boys by herself and teaching them a love for their father who has been in prison for an unfair sentence because of race. The crime was shown but the reason glossed over which affected the rest of the film.

5) “Saturday Church”–Netflix–Movie–1 hour & 22 minutes–part “Pose”, part reality–it is never easy being yourself especially when a teenager–the dancing and singing add a lot of weight to the film.

6) “The Endless Trench”–Netflix–Spanish Film–2 hours & 27 minutes–based on true stories that took place under the Franco regime with this one concentrating on a man who spent over 30 years hiding in his own home with the help of his wife–too long–too confining–interesting but too confusing.

7) “Social Distance”–Netflix–Anthology–season 1–2 hours & 43 minutes–episodes last from 16-23 minutes each–looking at the way we communicate during an epidemic–in particular the COVID -19 virus.


Posted November 13, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

It feels good!   1 comment

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I’ve been wanting a bigger higher wattage microwave oven for awhile now and have kept my eye on a 1000 watt Oster microwave even if it wasn’t red at Target! A few months ago it was $119, then it was dropped to $89 and this past weekend $69.

Using my Red card I got an additional 5 % off but here is the best part–I paid $0.00. (Shipping was free) How do you ask? I use as my major search engine (sorry Chuck!) plus the first thing I do when I turn on the Internet in the morning is click on the news stories, plus their subject of the day and then their rewards for extra points. Oh, I forgot to mention, you get points, anywhere from 5-75, for your clicks. I will average about 200 points a day and after they have grown enough one of the rewards I take is a $5 Target gift card, though there are many choices.

I usually have a goal in mind such as a new microwave, a new computer monitor and now a new point and shoot digital camera. It may take time to get the gift cards but I have plenty of time!

By the way, in the little box on top of the microwave box, there is a package of Nestle Crunch bars that I got as a gift for Mac who lets me use his car once in awhile and let me tell you it is getting harder and harder to find that particular candy bar plus it no longer has Nestles in its name!! (And, no, I didn’t take a one!)

I have to end here because it is time for me to try out my new microwave and, by the way, if you know anyone who wants/needs a 900 watts microwave (I still have the manual!) first one here gets it!!

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Posted November 11, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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