Archive for May 2021

Tis the season for…..   1 comment

the Royal Poinciana and Queen Crepe Myrtle trees which last for a couple of weeks before the blossoms fall, get everywhere and turn the streets whatever color they are. The Poincianas are mostly orange but every once in awhile you will spot a different color from off orange to a deep purple. They are in the park, in front of houses, lining streets and every block your car drives down!

The Queen Crepe Myrtle trees, the 4 bottom pictures, are the very few blossoming plants of any kind we have on the Gateway driveway and whereas we used to have about 20 of them we now only have 7-8 and a few have been so butchered by the tree maintenance crew cutting them back for hurricane season I am sure they are doomed to be pulled out! To my knowledge I have never seen them anywhere else. They always remind me of Lilac trees but they have no aroma! Both trees love the heat and humidity of Florida and while the Myrtle blooms will last for months the Poinciana, as mentioned above usually has only a two-week span but both have leaves all year long.

When they blossom no matter what the calendar says it is summer!

Posted May 30, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

15 months later finall 2 NORMAL Days!!   1 comment

As a creature of habit, for 20 years of Thursdays, I would go to The Dollar Tree, CVS, Winn-Dixie,  and, sometimes if I needed things, also Office Depot and Home Depot topping it all off with a late lunch at Big Louie’s, Quarterdeck or Cafe Vico!On Fridays, it was an early movie, usually at The Gateway Theatre, and then Subways or Arbys for a ‘snack’.

Also about 16 times a year we went to either the Adrienne Arsht Theatre in Miami or the Broward Performing Arts Center on Tuesdays to see touring Broadway shows which abruptly stopped in March 2020 as did dinners at many different places before the shows!

Then the epidemic came!!!  ARGH!! No movie theatres, no touring Broadway shows for 15 months and no restaurants, old or new for about 13 months.

About 2 months ago, and a vaccine, we started to tiptoe back into restaurants for lunch, generally going to those we were familiar with, knew would be following the rules, such as the new 17th Street Quarterdeck, IHOP, Arbey’s, Big Louie’s and after our second vaccine started to try new ones like the Brazilian steakhouse Rio Minas.

Then the good news came–The AMC and Regal chains were reopening but the best news of all was The Gateway Theatre, under new owners, was opening up!NORMAL came back this week!! Did the old routine of shopping on Thursday and WENT FOR LUNCH at Big Louie’s and yesterday, Friday, WENT TO THE REOPENED GATEWAY THEATRE TO SEE A MOVIE ON THE BIG SCREEN AND THEN A SNACK AT SUBWAYS! Okay so it wasn’t a good movie but next week it will be official when “In The Heights” opens up–a show I loved when the Broadway touring company appeared here and the coming attraction trailers really have me excited!! (Ironically, I will be using the gift certificate I got on my 21st Leap Year birthday, Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Nabu American Fusion Buffet restaurant–which didn’t survive the epidemic!)

Now just waiting for the touring Broadway shows to return to Miami and Broward and my life will be normal plus I can start looking for a new, good restaurant to plan my 22nd Leap Year birthday on Thursday, February 29, 2024!

Posted May 29, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, MOVIES, RESTAURANTS

Streaming reviews for week of May 23, 2021   Leave a comment

1) “America Me”–movie–Netflix and Amazon Prime–2 hours & 5 minutes–1992 film with Edward James Olmos–violence, crime, gang warfare and redemption–NOTHING YOU HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE

2) “Without Remorse”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 50 minutes–Navy seal is out to revenge his pregnant wife’s murder–don’t look for any sensible explanations for anything–just sit back and ENJOY THE ACTION IF THAT IS WHAT YOU LIKE

3) “Wild Mountain Thyme”–Amazon Prime or HULU–movie–1 hour & 42 minutes–Come on–a love story set in Ireland where everyone and everything is beautiful and poetic–NOTHING NEW BUT A GOOD LOVE STORY/MOVIE

4) “The Sons of Sam”–Netflix–Documentary–4 episodes–4 hours–a good conspiracy story that can’t be proved–I LOVE TO HEAR THAT NOO YAWK ACCENT SPOKEN IN THE STREETS!

5) “Who Killed Sara”–Netflix–season 2–8 episodes–5 hours & 40 minutes–NOT AS GOOD AS SEASON 1 BUT DOES  ANSWER A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS FROM THAT SEASON

6) “Special”–Netflix–Season 2–8 episodes–3 hours and 50 minutes–easy show to binge in 1 or 2 evenings–story is written by and based on Ryan O’Connell’s life–he is a gay guy with Cerebral Palsy and how people, gay and straight, interact with him and his strained relationship with his mother–SHORT, TOUCHING, SWEET AND FUNNY

7) “The Startup”–Netflix–series–3 seasons–25 hours–it wasn’t until episode 8 that I lifted my fist in the air and shouted “YEAH!” (I live alone so I can do things like that!) I usually don’t last with a show that long but something held my interest and did for 3 seasons–all the Internet talk went over my head but the LEADS WERE NOT PEOPLE YOU USUALLY SEE WORKING TOGETHER IN A SERIES AND THEY WERE ALL INTERESTING

Posted May 28, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

Wind gusts, breezes, temperatures, the canal and, YES! BETTE DAVIS!!   1 comment

1, 2 & 3) Bette Davis (yes, that’s her name!) is our ABC evening weather forecaster and she is great! She smiles, laughs, feels empathy and sympathy and looks great. Okay on another note she is very accurate. We have been having 3 great weeks of what we call ‘tourist weather’–yes it seems that with temperatures in the high 80s it would be warm, even hot and, maybe, uncomfortable but that is far from the case. The dew point and humidity is VERY low, especially for this time of the year, plus we are having ocean wind gusts sometimes going in the high 29 or low30s miles per hour which makes sitting directly in the sun, with that breeze, very comfortable!

4) I will have to take another picture in a month–this is an orchid that blooms every year since Irene put it on what I call our Wilma tree!! When hurricane Wilma in 2005 hit us it almost demolished the tree and though it took a year or two it came back fully. In fact, they have to trim it every hurricane season as it has grown so much.
Back to the orchid–a few years ago Irene put it in the tree and it bloomed beautifully and then the plant disappeared but the following Spring and every Spring since it comes back and blooms beautifully! More pictures to come!

5) It is pretty hard to see but on the left is a guy working/cleaning the yacht and they have a full-time crew cleaning, it seems, 24/7!! One of the guys said since it is so open to the elements you have to keep at it–worse than owning a home!

6) The house across from me is getting ready for Memorial/Decoration Day and their annual BBQ! Those are 2 inflated Uncle Sams!

The rest of the pictures are sights I see looking out my window. This time of the year, with the great weather, people are out on the water on all sorts of crafts plus the big boats coming and going from and to the islands.

Life is good!

Posted May 25, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, WEATHER

I threw away (A) food!!!   Leave a comment

I was in The Dollar Tree last Thursday as usual and looking over their frozen food items I saw 2 new ones being Veggie meatballs and burgers. I have tried the so called phony veggie burgers which are FALSELY called hamburgers as they are not made out of any kind of meat and therefore are not burgers–but that’s a whole other rant!

Looking at the 2 boxes I decided to try them and got one of each. On Saturday, as a snack, I decided to cook up the  ‘meatballs’. There were 8 of them and though, as in much of these make believe meat substitutes, they had a high sodium count, I went for them. I put them on one of my red plates, sat at my dining room table and took a bite–for me a small bite!

I could not believe how bad, awful, sickening they tasted but–being fair–I took one more bite and, if possible, it even tasted worse!

Over 85 years I have survived baby food, my mother’s cooking (she couldn’t!), Marine Corps food, many bad restaurants and very varied foods but there has only been two foods I vowed to never have again and that was Oyster plant which was on the Weight Watchers list of ‘free’ foods so I had to taste it. Oyster plant and tofu—no matter what you cooked it in and/or how you cooked it–tasted like bad cardboard and I vowed never to have either again. (In my defense I tried over 20 different recipes with tofu and the tofu tasted like nothing else it was cooked in!)

I threw out the other 7 and 3/4 ‘veggie meatballs’ out and that hurt!! I was thinking of feeding them to one of the resident’s pets but couldn’t bring myself to do that let alone offer them to a neighbor to taste!!

I now have a box of 2 Veggie ‘burgers’ in my freezer. Will I try them? When? Can I put enough cheese or mustard and/or ketchup to cover whatever fowl taste they may have? Should I give them a chance? Should I give them to a resident I may not like too much? (If they are as bad as the ‘meatballs’ there isn’t anyone in the world I hate that much!!

)How can I throw out more food? I keep hearing millions and millions of mothers talking about the ‘starving kids in (pick a country)’ and the guilt is overwhelming but if I ever contemplate comfiting suicide I will go back to The Dollar Tree and buy a couple of boxes of ‘Veggie Meatballs’ as that is the ONLY reason I can think of for eating them ever again–and what if they don’t work??? NO! I WILL NEVER EAT THEM AGAIN!!!!

Mmmmm—but what about the ‘Veggie Burgers’? Dare I?

Posted May 23, 2021 by greatmartin in FOOD

Streaming reviews week of May 16, 2021   Leave a comment

1) “The Circle”–Netflix–Reality show–2 seasons–season 1 12 episodes–9 hours & 42 minutes– not my sort of reality how–too much negativity–DIDN’T/WON’T WATCH SEASON 2

2) “Monster”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 40 minutes–I had to watch it–I LOVE Charlize Theron and she was great in another movie titled “Monster” and Jennifer Hudson–I said if they didn’t win an Oscar for their roles (Theron in Monster and Hudson for Dreamgirls) I would never go to the movies again–WHEW!! They both won!) BEEN DONE BEFORE & BETTER

3) “The Upshaws”–Netflix–comedy series–season 1–10 episodes–4 hours & 31 minutes–I didn’t laugh once–gave up–I LIKE WANDA SYKES BUT….

4) “Why Did You Kill Me?”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 23 minutes–a mother uses social media, and her niece, to find the men (man) who killed her daughter–though the mother is far from perfect DOES ANYONE DESERVE TO LOSE A CHILD? 

5) “The Clovehitch Killer”–HULU/Prime–movie–1 hour & 50 minutes–search for a serial killer–too many holes in the screenplay–LEAVES TOO MANY QUESTIONS AT THE END

6) “Dance of the 41”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 40 minutes–I am surprised I never heard of this before–based on a true story of 42 members of gay men in the upper echelon of Mexican society including the son of the president of Mexico–became the first society to be spoken about in the Mexican media–AN OPULANT PRODUCTION PRESENTING LIVES THAT WERE CHANGED FOREVER

7) “Safe”–Netflix–thriller series–season 1–8 episodes–6 hours–first 7 episodes interesting, intriguing, following a linear story–IN EPISODE 8 IT FALLS APART AND RUINS EVERYTHING

PS Season 2 of “Who Killed Sara?” has returned to Netflix and the last season of “Bosch” has returned to Prime while “Lucifer” will return to Prime May 28 and on the same date “The Kominsky Method” pairing Mike Douglas & Kathleen Turner will return to Netflix.

Posted May 21, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

Another week in Fort Laudersundale!   1 comment

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Bette Davis (#1–and yes that is her name!), our weather forecaster, was right as usual saying we would have a breezy, low humidity, mostly sunny days all week and it has been just like that with temps in the high 80s but that breeze making it feel a lot cooler!

Sadly Fort Lauderdale is on a building craze–more then 80,000 apartments/condos are ready and the building is just starting!! The Yankees are invading us! Every building is trying to take the title of ‘tallest building’.

With more building, more people moving in and more traffic leaving Gateway is becoming less of an option when I can sit at The Point and still feel the city is ‘out there’ not where I am!

Of course walking into my apartment and being greeted by the Cuban plant blossoming keeps the good feeling going!

Medical problems or not it is great to be alive and living here!

Posted May 19, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

Welcome to Fort Lizarddale, Florida   2 comments

No matter where you go once you step out your door you will see Lenny Lizard or one of his relatives roaming around Gateway–it is a way of life here and most people don’t pay attention to them.  They do keep us insect free as far as I can tell. I don’t remember the last time I saw a mosquito, fly or ant around. Also, I don’t recall ever seeing one in my apartment unless they come in during the night. 

It is ‘rainy season’ here and hurricane season starts June 1 but so far whatever rain we have gotten comes during late evening or night. Our days, like today, are sunny, bright, warm, lower humidity and a cool breeze making it a pleasant afternoon though many make think a temperature of 82 degrees is hot, it isn’t!

Along with the rainy season comes the arrival of what seems like new birds–though you might not see it there is a bird in back of the trees in the picture next to the weather chart and it has been standing still for a long time!

I never get tired of looking out my window or going down to The Point and just relaxing!

Posted May 15, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

Streaming reviews for week of May 9, 2021   Leave a comment

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1) “The Innocent”–Netflix–limited series–8 episodes–7 hours & 47 minutes–why, oh why, do some pivotel scenes have to be filmed in the dark?–good mystery–interesting story lines–good cast–A WINNER!

2) “Feel Good”–series–season 1–6 episodes–2 hours & 32 minutes–2 lesbians with issues meet and live together–Mae Martin, who also wrote it, is a Canadian comedienne who, sorry, ISN’T FUNNY & NEITHER IS SHOW

3) “Disclosure”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 40 minutes–a follow up to “The Celluloid Closet” in 1993 based on the book by Vita Russo–dealing with transgenders in film–at this time in history SHOULD BE SEEN AS SHOULD “THE CELLULOID CLOSET”


5) “Master of None”–Netflix–series–2 seasons–season 1  4 hours & 53 minutes–season 2–5 hours & 28 minutes–10 episodes each–a New Yorker trying to figure out his life–COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!

6) “Love of Duty”–HULU–season 1–5 seasons–each episode about an hour–SUGGESTED BY A FRIEND BUT BECAME TOO VIOLENT FOR ME

7) “Tell Me When”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 37 minutes–a romantic comedy that is neither romantic or funny–NOTHING YOU HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE

Posted May 14, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

Doctors, appointments, Insurance, rides and more!   1 comment

I really thought things would start looking up today as I had an appointment with the ‘cardiovascular surgery team’ to set up the day I would go into the hospital for the aorta heart valve replacement of the 13-year-old pig valve I have that is really not working up to par which is why I was getting short of breath very quickly. They were to give me instructions of what to expect including an overnight stay, cutting out the blood thinner for a few days before, recovery time, etc. WRONG!!

It seems because of the delay in meeting with them—not MY fault!– the insurance referrals not only ran out of appointments with them but they would need to redo the CAT SCAN and another test as insurance would not approve this procedure based on the ‘old’ (March29!) tests! Yes, we have to now schedule the 2 tests before we can schedule the aorta operation because that will decide whether they will enter through the thigh, the chest or the heart with the balloon. They will call me with the appointments for the tests at the hospital–you know–the hospital that lost my bridge that I still haven’t had the new one fitted properly.

I was then handed a pamphlet and wouldn’t you know the first page I open to is page 20 which is entitled “What Are the Risks?” and the first listed is Death, followed by major stroke or major vascular complications, life-threatening bleeding event, heart attack and on and on and on. All that doesn’t bother me because the 14-15 meds I am taking already list the side effects that I can die, among other things, from taking them!

So far I have accomplished 0 and to add insult to injury I had arranged a free ride with my HMO. The driver picked me up at 10:30 AM for the 11:30 AM appointment and I was there by 10:45 AM.  I won’t get into having to be up in the middle of the night so I would be ready but the injury added to the insult was that I was finished with the ‘team’ at Noon and my ride didn’t come to pick me up until 1:30 PM and I finally got home at 1:50 PM!!

I know, as a rule, the drivers are great at picking you up early enough for the appointment but they are bad news as far as picking you up to get your home! Allen would have gladly taken me but I figured there was nothing major and their parking situation is horrendous but I didn’t want to bother him and knowing the driver might be late to take me back I had a book to read while I waited but, come on,  3 hours and 50 for a 30-minute appointment!??

I may be a patient but how patient is a patient supposed to be? (Okay, I thought that was funny.)

Now I wait, patiently, for one of the team members to call me with the test dates–I may be breathing regularly by my 22nd birthday!

Posted May 10, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

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