Archive for October 2021

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2031   Leave a comment

As far as I can remember I only got ‘dressed’ once for Halloween and that was when I worked for Wags in 1986–yes, I’m the ‘cat’ guy! And with me are two of the waitresses that I worked with.In the upper right hand picture were taken at a bar that used to be on Davie Boulevard that was on the north side just west of I-95. It was a piano bar/nightclub and restaurant where I had my 1980 Leap Year birthday. The pictures were taken there during Halloween 1981.

The picture on the left is our local channel weather forecaster Bette Davis–yes, that’s her name–she is really a delight and very accurate. This is her official weather report for Halloween this year!I post this every year–read and enjoy–I edited it a bit.

Gay Holiday

Halloween: Our American LGBTQ Holidayby Irene Monroe on October 26, 2016Halloween is America’s gay holiday.In the words of the lesbian poet and scholar Judy Grahn, Halloween is “the great gay holiday.”And this weekend of lavish costumed theatricality will attract everyone, but especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) revelers.

Back in the day Halloween, the night before All Hallows Day (All Saints Day), was linked to the ancient Celtic festival “Samhain” in the British Isles, meaning “summer’s end.” And because the celebration is associated with mystery, magic, superstition, witches and ghost, the festivity, not surprisingly, was limited in colonial New England because of its Puritanical belief system.

But today it’s an LGBTQ extravaganza that rivals — if not out-showcases — Pride festivals.Long before June officially became Gay Pride Month, Halloween was unofficially our yearly celebrated “holiday,” dating as far back at the 1970s when it was a massive annual street party in San Francisco’s Castro district.

By the 1980s, gay enclaves like Key West, West Hollywood, and Greenwich Village were holding their annual Halloween street parties. And the parades the night of Halloween did and still do draw straights and gay spectators out to watch. (WATCHING THE PARADE IN KEY WEST RIGHT NOW ON THE NEWS!)

Gay cultural influence on Halloween has become such an unstoppable phenomenon here and abroad that anthropologist Jerry Kugelmass of University of Florida published a book in 1994 on the new trend, titled “Masked Culture,” describing Halloween as an emerging gay “high holiday.”Nicholas Rogers, author of “Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night,” points out that while Halloween is enjoyed by everyone, “it has been the Gay community that has most flamboyantly exploited Halloween’s potential as a transgressive festival, as one that operates outside or on the margins of orthodox time, space, and hierarchy.

Indeed, it is the Gay community that has been arguably most responsible for Halloween’s adult rejuvenation.”As Halloween flourishes as a gay cultural phenomenon, so too flourished a backlash by the fundamentalist Christians with their “Hell Houses.”And these Christians targeted our children.(Believing Hell Houses are no longer up and running in 2016, I’ll speak of them in the past tense.)Hell Houses were a contemporary form of both anti-gay bullying and witch-hunting. Created in the late 1970s by deceased fundamentalist pastor, the Reverend Jerry Farwell, Hell Houses were religious alternatives to traditional haunted houses.

They were tours given by evangelical churches across the country design to scare and bully people away from myriad sins. And one of those sins is homosexuality.In 2006 the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) put out a report titled “Homophobia at ’Hell House’: Literally Demonizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth” explaining how hell houses specifically targeted youth.

“Instead of spooking youth with ghosts and monsters, Hell House tour guides direct them through rooms where violent scenes of damnation for a variety of ’sins’ are performed, including scenes where a teenage lesbian is brought to hell after committing suicide and a gay man dying of AIDS is taunted by a demon who screams that the man will be separated from God forever in hell,” the NGLTF stated.

A study published in the “Journal of Psychology “stated that a strong belief in Satan is directly related to intolerance of LGBTQ people.

Religious leaders who supported Hell Houses believed that by scaring LGBTQ youth into “heterosexual” behavior they are saving their souls.

However, the message that “homosexuals” are going to hell can have a deleterious impact on our youth. But with Halloween flourishing as a gay cultural phenomenon our children, too, can joyfully go door-to-door trick-or-treating.Our influence on culture is being acknowledged and celebrated more as we come out.

As Kwanzaa is a black holiday, and St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, maybe someday soon Halloween will be officially acknowledged as a gay holiday.Happy Halloween!

Posted October 30, 2021 by greatmartin in HALLOWEEN, HOLIDAYS


About 2 weeks ago I decided to take on a project I had been thinking about for about a decade. I have over a thousand pictures in photo albums and I wanted to copy and put them on USBs—-even out and bought a dozen of them—hey I’m not an IT, I don’t have any idea how many pictures one holds–but they were sitting next to the desk top computer until two ago.

It is taking a lot longer than I expected because so many pictures brought back so many memories.

An example is the first set of pictures. They were taken at the Melody Diane Bakery in Sunrise, Florida, and was owned by my aunt Flo and her husband Richie. He did the baking, she took the money and they both said about me, “He is the official taster!” The first picture is Flo and me outside the door, Richie checking the rolls and, Flo at the cash register. I could and did spend many hours thinking of Flo and how important she had been in my life. She was the first person who taught, showed and expressed unconditional love to me.

Then there was the card I came across. It took a little investigation but I was finally able to trace it back to my 10th Leap Year birthday which I held in the Memphis Hilton Hotel inviting my closest 300 (!!!!) friends but I still haven’t figured which of the 300 sent that card!

It is fun going over the past with so many good memories–I have a feeling I may never get all the photos transferred to the Internet as I have only done about 20 pictures in two weeks—I think!

Posted October 29, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, LOVE

Fall AKA Autumn in Fort Lauderdale in October   1 comment

All you have to do is look at the first picture and you know what the news is all about! IT RAINED! If you are like me you can sleep through anything so a rain storm, no matter how heavy, doesn’t wake me up. All I have to do is walk from my dark, no light allowed in, bedroom to my living room and can’t but help look out the windows and there they are! The egrets who show up after a storm to get their easy pickings meal!

It is Fall in Fort Lauderdale which means the rainy season is over, we have 2 more months and hurricane season will be over so, of course, having beautiful weather for 2 weeks with little or no rain when the rainy season is over the rain falls.

We had 1 inch of rain in an hour yesterday and today it is raining off and on but the sun is battling to come out!

Talk about the sun–13 more days and we lose that extra light I love at night as Daylight Savings Time kicks in.Meanwhile I have my inside plants blooming and telling me it really is still summertime! The Begonias, the Holiday cactus and the babies, along with Geraniums in their reds, whites, pinks and variations on those colors are all in bloom.Not to be outdone the peppers—see last photo–are blooming and turning into green peppers!

Things might change next week because it seems we may go down into the 60s one night next week! I may have to go up North to warm up!

Posted October 25, 2021 by greatmartin in GARDENS, LIFE, MOTHER NATURE


1) “Athlete A”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 43 minutes–about the case brought against a doctor for physically abusing gymnastic athletes including Olympic contenders–hard to listen/watch some of the then girls, now women, talking about what happened–WHEN THEY FINALLY FACE THEIR ABUSER(S) YOU WILL TEAR UP–A MUST SEE

2) “Found”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 38 minutes–3 children were given away by their birth parents (enforced by the country politicians) due to the one child per parents unless you could afford to pay $8,500 for each child–we follow the 3 girls who are adopted by different American parents–as they grow older they get interested in finding their birth parents though they are obviously loved and brought up with many things they wouldn’t have had–THE GIRLS FIND EACH OTHER AND BUILD A DEEP RELATIONSHIP MOVING THE VIEWER TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF ADOPTION AND MAKING ONE’S OWN FAMILY

3) “His House”–Netflix–English movie–1 hour & 33 minutes–a refugee couple from South Sudan move to London–voodoo, ghosts, a dead child, people coming out of walls, floors, ceilings and lights going on and off by themselves–A GOOD HALLOWEEN HORROR FILM

4) “Strong Island”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 47 minutes–a Black man is shot and the man who shot him goes free–we hear what happened that night and the dead man from his 2 sisters, parents and best friend–A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE–REJECTING THE KILLER’S PLEA AS SELF DEFENSE–YOU HAVE TO ANSWER THOSE AND OTHER QUESTIONS

5) “Justin Bieber: our World”–Amazon–documentary–1 hour & 34 minutes–preparing for a virtual performance we follow all the work involved–I know of him but was not familiar with him as an entertainer–you hear one song you have heard them all except for a slow tune and the ONLY difference is that there are only 3 performers on stage otherwise all is the same from the crotch grabbing (men and women),  even in the slow songs, repetitive lyrics, the stage loaded with dancers, musicians, fireworks, etc. His crew, many with him 11 or more years, love him and he loves them–EVERYTHING IS A LOVE FEST AND EVERYTHING IS A BORE EXCEPT–WELL, NO EXCEPTIONS

6) “Operation Hyacinth”–Netflix–Polish film–1 hour & 52 minutes–based on a true story that happened in the mid 1980s–secret police tracking down homosexuals and entering their name into a data base which would eventually have 11,000 names–our hero, a policeman, similar to Al Pacino’s role in “Cruising”, may or may not feel he is gay too, while investigating a possible serial killer of Gays–hyacinth is the Polish equivalent to the Americans pansy when referring to Gays–the possibility of the policeman being gay does add a layer, somewhat of suspense, but aside from genre movies of detectives in the 1940s and later films REGARDING IS HE OR ISN’T HE AND THE MCCARTHY WITCH HUNT MY FEELING WAS BEEN THERE, DONE THAT–NOTHING COMPELLING OR MAKING IT A MUST SEE

Posted October 24, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

“Dune”–movie theatre review   1 comment

As nicely as I can put it “Dune” is the most boring movie I have seen in 80+ years of movie going! I have a feeling that unless you have read the book it is based upon you will be as lost as I was after the first 30 minutes of this 2 hour and 35 minute film. I was so bored I had no desire to even try to figure out what the story was about!

Yes, it is filled with special effects but after the sand shifting and/or swallowing up people what seems every 2 minutes it gets boring!

What is outstanding is the musical for at least the first half hour and then it becomes just loud noise.

There are a few spots where subtitles are used and I wish they had been used throughout the movie.

On the plus side are a lot of the cast members such as Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem among others and though Timothee Chalamet has that sad, confused look down pat he really doesn’t have much else to portray.

Oh yes, besides the cast, the first special effects, the beginning 30 minutes of soundtrack music the other plus is the ‘praying mantis’ look of the airplanes.

There is a part 2 being produced now and I will NOT be there to see it!

Posted October 22, 2021 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIES, Uncategorized

Week of October 20, 2021   Leave a comment

#1 and 5  Rainy season is over but we have 6 more weeks of hurricane season–whatever ‘season’ it is the weather has been beautiful (some might even call it ‘cool’ going down to the 70s overnight!) Only problem are the King Tides which floods the property but but Noon all is dry.

#2  For people who might think all I eat is carrot cake!! Every night, with dinner, I have a tossed salad with various lettuces, onions and tomatoes, a baked Idaho or sweet potato and grapes while it is a glass of orange juice and an apple with breakfast#3 and 9  Jeff with his guide dog which he is training–the dog is great but right now too friendly with everyone

#4 and 6  Little by little we are being taken over by Iguanas–in #6 the number is right under the tail of this Iguana on the side of the tree–some are growing toooooooooooo big

!# 7 and 8  Hard to see in number 7 but the squirrel fades into the tree while in number 8 his head is right above the number

# 10 the tree orchid growing bigger and more beautiful each day

#12 What is nature without pigeons???

#11 Have you ever heard of Ranchers (trade name) steaks? With prices going sky high people really can’t afford to buy steak consequently they go on sale before the end date and I get one every Thursday as a treat–they really are the best beef steaks I have ever had and in some cases I am getting a NY Strip under $5 a pound–I add a salad and a potato and, somehow, I don’t know how that happens, I see a dark chocolate bar sneaked in–well, dark chocolate is healthy, right?

Posted October 20, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE


1) “My Name Is Pauli Murray”–Amazon Prime–documentary–1 hour & 31 minutes–I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of or known about this woman–she has so many ‘firsts’ to her name and so many people are indebted to her for what did for them–she was the first female alum of Howard University’s law school, graduating at the top of her class–she co-founded NOW–she did sit-ins 20 years before they became known of–she refused to move to the back of the bus years before Rosa Parks–YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM TO SEE WHAT THIS WOMAN ACCOMPLISHED

2) “Shared Rooms”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 15 minutes–the film follows 3 different couples–the first couple meet through a web site–the second are roommates–the third find themselves ‘parents’ of the nephew of one of them–each story is basic and quick–A FILM FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S

3) “From Zero to I Love You”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 46minutes–a lot of subjects not normally talked about in gay films from inter-racial to married men cheating on their wives with men–AN INTERESTING FILM MORE FOR THE SUBJECT THAN THE TELLING

4) “Giant Little Ones”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 32 minutes–Ah teenagers, young love, gay, straight, transgender, misunderstandings—I am so glad I was never a teenager!! IT IS AN ‘OKAY’ FILM WITH TOO MANY CUTS, SHORT SCENES

5) “Meeting Point”–Netflix–Yugoslavian movie–1 hour & 29 minutes–Man and woman, strangers, meet–complete opposites–trying to find meaning in their lives–JUST MISSES BEING GOOD/INTERESTING–BECOMES BORING

6) “You”–Netflix-series–season 3–10 episodes–8 hours & 10 minutes–Joe, as a killer, has finally met his match, Love, has married her, they have a son and now live in a suburban paradise and immediately she kills a neighbor–no, you are not crazy rooting for Joe–SEASON 4 HAS ALREADY BEEN ORDERED–WITH 2 KILLERS CAN THEY LIVE EVER HAPPILY AFTER?

Posted October 19, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

“I’m Still Here” “Being Alive” Part 1   1 comment

I’ve always said I was born at the right time—on a special day! I was born on February 29, 1936, just as the USA was coming out of the Depression–I was too young in the 1940s to fight in WW2–just the right age to enjoy the prosperity of the 1950s and definitely the right age for the sexual revolution.

I was born at a time when kids got polio vaccines, chicken pox vaccines, shots for measles and never questioned them or saw theories about the government putting ‘something’ in the shots you get!  It was safe going into hospitals and coming out alive!

It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve, 1999-2000, that I became very acquainted with medical insurance, hospitals, doctors and, oh yes, meds! That weekend 60 years of smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes and having blackouts from drinking too much lead to congestive heart failure!  Now at 85–soon to be 86–I take 15 pills a day plus a blast from an inhaler not to mention a few
‘when needed’ pills. Plus I average 5-6 visits to doctors, dentists and ophthalmologists a month.

Luckily, except for my new cardiologists, and their competence will be tested soon, I get along with all my doctors, in particular my primary doctor. A delayed and much discussed operation to replace an aorta valve that was originally replaced in 2008 and a question of inserting a pacemaker came up—all this with 2 new cardiologists–is now set for November 16 and that is all I know.

I’m thankful for the meds and the docs who have kept me alive so far! I look and feel good for an ‘old guy’, have slowed down a little bit but nothing major to stop me from enjoying what I enjoy though really not as much energy as I had yesterday! LOL

Right now I am hanging in for my 25th Leap Year birthday!


Posted October 18, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE


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Sorry but I never get tired of Mother Nature and, in fact, she is the first thing I check on when I get up in the morning–no matter what time it is!! She has really been surprising us this week with what ‘we’ call Fall weather! It is rainy and hurricane season yet we are only getting light rain showers now and then and not a hurricane—so far–this season!

The most amazing plant to me is the Christmas cactus which I have renamed the Holiday Cactus (#1) because she blooms all year round!!! From the original plant I snapped off a few bits here and there, put them in pots (#2) and within a few months they started showing buds and are now blooming. I gave Terry & Chuck a small plant and within a week of their getting home it is in full bloom! The ones you see here with the buds will be in bloom in a couple of days and I will take their pictures!

Then there are the pepper plants (#3) and I never know when they will provide peppers let alone what colors the peppers  will be as is the case with my yellow and green peppers though they are from the same pepper seeds!!

Last, but certainly not least, is our mysterious orchids (#4) which blooms every year about this time with the white ones on one side of the tree and the purple ones on the other side and each growing a bit more every day!I LOVE MOTHER


Posted October 17, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

Streaming Reviews October 2021 Part 3   Leave a comment

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1) “The Voyeurs”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 56 minutes–what I thought would be a take off on “Rear Window” turned out to be something quite different–a young couple, moving into a new apartment, observe a couple across the way having sex and not really caring that others could watch them–I DEFY YOU TO NOT WATCH THE LAST 30 MINUTES AFTER WATCHING THE FIRST 80!

2) “The Starling”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–a husband and wife each deals differently with the death of their young child–A SWEET, TENDER LOVE STORY THAT JUST MISSES BEING MOVING AS IT SHOULD BE

3) “The Defeated”–Netflix–limited series–8 episodes–6 hours & 7 minutes–looks at the world of Berlin at the end of WW2 and the 4 countries wanting to control it–a New York policeman looking for his brother and a woman in charge of a makeshift German police squad whose husband is missing join forces–CONFUSING BUT HOLDS YOUR INTEREST

4) “Rita Moreno: Just a girl who decided to go for it”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–Rita is a dynamo and does say something about living alone that hit with me–she lets you see the woman behind the makeup, even let’s you see her without any makeup and then how she achieves her ‘look’–she is not afraid to talk about her being raped (doesn’t really make clear if it is the same guy who represents her now)–the only minor complaint I have is that she doesn’t acknowledge Chita Rivera’s contribution–COULDN’T HAVE ENJOYED THIS MORE AND SHOWS WHY IT IS

5) “Enola Holmes”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 4 minutes–the niece of Sherlock goes looking for her mother who has disappeared–her two uncles are on hand to help her–but they don’t help the movie–TOO LONG AND TOO CUTE–OH WHERE IS WATSON WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

6) “House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths”–Netflix–limited series–3 episodes–2 hours & 15 minutes–the cult like murders of 10 family members–AFTER THE FIRST EPISODE I CALLED IT QUITS (A RARITY FOR ME!)


Posted October 16, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

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