Archive for March 2022

55 Years Later Still Celebrating My Anniversary!   1 comment

Every March 29 & 30 I relive the worst night of my life and the day that I started the rest of my life. (The following are notes from previous years of posts and my diaries from 1967.)

On Wednesday evening, March 29, 1967, I left the Brass Rail, a restaurant I was working at in NYC on 47th Street and 7th Avenue, got drunk, stopped at the Stage Deli and had a Hymie’s Special (a triple-decker sandwich) with a side of French Fries. Stopped at a bar near Columbus Avenue and 75th Street, close to where I lived, and, oh yes, I might mention I walked from the deli about a distance of 30 blocks and had a nightcap which consisted of 3 scotch on the rocks. I left the bar and went next door to the pizza place and got a large pizza with everything on it to go.

I was 31 years old, fat, drunk, nauseated and hated myself for many reasons but, as I ate the pizza, mostly for being fat which I blamed all my failures on. I wanted to commit suicide but I didn’t know how or have the guts. (Pardon the pun.) I didn’t have the nerve to slash my wrists. I didn’t know how to get a gun and if I shot myself in the head I probably would have botched it–though I had been an ace shooter in the Marines–and wind up being a vegetable seeing and hearing everything but being unable to communicate. I couldn’t/wouldn’t overdose as I might botch that up too. Hang myself? What in my apartment would hold me up long enough?

I ran out of my apartment and walked from 75th street to the Everod Baths on 28th street stopping at a few bars along the way. I walked out the next morning feeling helpless, hopeless and not knowing where to turn.

Condensing the next 10 years into a few sentences: On Thursday, March 30, 1967, I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting at 12:30 PM on 57th street. I went on to lose over 100 pounds getting down to 167 pounds (for at least a week!LOL) I went to work for WW as a lecturer, meet the man who trained franchise owners to be, we became partners, moved to Memphis where we opened a franchise. In 1972 I went into Transactional Therapy which took me through the next 48 years with a lot of ups and downs but never thought of suicide again!

Today, 55 years later, I am so glad that I didn’t commit suicide. l smile remembering the so many good things I have experienced and dismiss the many failures I have had since then because I woke up this morning to a beautiful day–Monday, March 30, 2022!

Posted March 30, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE

Streaming Reviews Week of March 27, 2022   Leave a comment

1) “The Puppet Master”–Netflix–Documentary–limited series–3 episodes–2 hours & 7 minutes–for what should have been an exciting British true true thriller–a con artist manipulates people over 2 decades to the present–I found the first 2 episodes boring–you can watch the 3rd episode and know the whole story and shake your head in wonder not only how it happened but how it ends–badly!

2) “Capitani”–Netflix–series–season 1–12 episodes–5 hours & 34 minutes–filmed and created in Luxembourg, in French with subtitles available–a police inspector, in a strange town, investigates a possible murder with 2 local police officers—one,  an inept male and another a smart, competent female–there are teenage twins involved making for a good tale but the screenplay has too many questions about them–confusing last 5 minutes that makes no difference who did it–I won’t be back for the second season!

3) “Beautiful Boy”–Amazon Prime–movie–2 hours–as much as you may love a child and don’t want to turn your back on them sometimes you have no choice–this is a story about a father (Steve Carell) who does whatever he can to help his drug addicted son (Timothee Chalamet)–both actors are dynamite in their roles–it is a true story written by David Sheff and his son Nic , both giving their own versions of what took place–a hard movie to watch but one that should be seen (in spite of one of the worst soundtracks I have ever heard in a film!)

4) “I Want You Back”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 51 minutes–Peter and Emma have broken up with their lovers– how they meet and plan to either get their lovers back or get revenge is what the screenplay is about–if after the first 10 minutes you don’t know who will end up together you haven’t seen too many Hollywood romantic comedies–this is a good example of a Hollywood romantic comedy with a good cast, smart writing, good locations and quick moving–a fun movie

5) “The Highwaymen”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 12 minutes–the movie is another take on the Bonnie and Clyde story but from a different point of view–the director, John Lee Hancock, does a first rate job and the screenwriter, John Fusco, goes straight where it has to–what makes a run of the mill film good? A cast like Kevin Costner (who I don’t particularly care for as an actor) and especially Woody Harrelson with an excellent cast supporting them

Posted March 28, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Series, Streaming

“The Lost City”–Movie (seen in a theatre) review!   Leave a comment

‘They’ (senior citizens) always say ‘They’ (Hollywood) doesn’t make them like used to–well, here is one like they used to! 3 big name stars (Sandra Bullock as a very successful novelist who has lost her desire to write romance novels where Channing Tatum has been the cover model, with flowing blond lock, and Daniel Radcliffe as the villain(!) plus let’s throw in Brad Pitt in what would be called a cameo) are put in an action/comedy with lush scenery. Throw in a little PG sex–nudity—in the ‘old days’ they never showed it but indicated as they do here.

It helps that Bullock is dressed in a tight sequined suit and Tatum is buff, and is in a left to the imagination nude scene, plus some of the scenic shots must be seen on the large movie screen, especially the spectacular mountains with several falls. Another plus she has a sidekick/manager, Patti Harrison, who provides a lot of laughs.

The plot is simple—like in the ‘good old days’–with Radcliffe’s villain kidnapping Bullock because, of her novels, he thinks she has the key to a lost city and a buried treasure he wants. Channing wants to become her real life hero and rescue her so the story-line works to get him in following and meeting up with her. Don’t ask me how Pitt gets involved because 1) I don’t know and 2) if I didn’t know he was in the movie I wouldn’t have known it was him.

After a certain point it falls apart but so did most of the Hollywood movies in the old days yet it holds your interest and fun mood up to the end and tries to have fun with the credits.

It’s not all positive such as Radcliffe starting off great but then the screen writer lets him down and he reverts to appearing as a young kid on an adventure or an actor miscast. I don’t get the whole Brad Pitt casting except, maybe, to get his audience into the theatre because it is in most of the publicity releases and appearances. Oh, yes, they should have let the audience see what Bullock sees in the leech scene with Tatum! LOL

Go to a theatre and spend two hours watching/enjoying a movie ‘they’ would have seen in the old Hollywood plus most theatres are not crowded and all are following COVID guidelines.

Posted March 27, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW

Review: Broad Shoulders Sandwiches Restaurant   Leave a comment

These are my own personal preferences! If lunch is going to cost me $30+ I want full service. I have nothing against fast food, standing at a counter with a menu in my hand or up on the wall and deciding what I want and standing there paying and then having to get the food, though here Cherry brought the food to our table (and took the order, dealt with the credit card, had to go to the any time someone left to close it.)Don’t get me wrong–Cherry did an excellent job but, sadly, the only thing she didn’t do was cook the food!
We had a bowl of Shrimp & Sweet corn chowder and a bowl of Chicken & Andouille ($8 each) and both were excellent (though served without crackers, a roll or bread) so we were really looking forward to our main courses, especially the Rueben sandwich ($18) which they are ‘known’ for and the Shrimp Po’Boy ($15), deciding to share.
Where to start? The corned beef was almost non-existent and was overcooked on the grill and how do you make a Po’Boy tasteless as this one was. Okay, we are in a high inflation period but even then at their prices, the sandwiches are served without a side of any kind but you can pay an extra $5 for coleslaw or potato salad and $6 for macaroni and cheese or baked beans.
Yes, menu prices everywhere are shocking but with one soda (I always drink water) plus tax, the check came to $55.10 and, of course, a tip jar (which I don’t think is fair to Cherry but that’s another post!)
There are too many delis that serve Reubens that are way much better than the one we got and give food service.
I would suggest IF you are going there have the soup and maybe, one of the sandwiches recommended in other reviews. I really hate to be negative but I’m not going back and I will be surprised if they are still in business a year or two from now!And, pardon the pun, but you don’t need broad shoulders to lift the sandwiches! (If that’s even the reason for the name of the restaurant!)

Posted March 26, 2022 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS FORT LAUDERDALE

Canary/Canari Melon and an update on my meds   1 comment

1) It is no secret that I love food and will eat anything (except oyster plant!) at least once if not more.  Going to The Pantry once a month is like having Christmas once a month—the Christmas of Santa Claus. They receive goods from Trader Joe’s and from other stores, which is passed on to us from beef, chicken, veal, fish, vegetables, fruits, salads, breads, desserts, etc., and, my favorite time there is the ‘extra room’. You are allowed to pick two items from the shelves as there aren’t enough of these items to give to everyone and I, eventually, got the idea these items came from local stores/groceries that dealt with foreign goods like Italian Torani sugar free classic caramel syrup or local Tarazi Falafel mix and Mike’s Huli chicken dippin’ sauce–those weren’t even the exotic items!

When I got home last Wednesday and emptied the boxes I saw a Canary/Canari melon and after putting everything away (including a Cookies & Cream bar cake made with Oreo’s)  I googled the melon and then decided to go for it so I cut, sliced, peeled off the rind and ate a few chunks. It was a little bit more white than honeydew and tasted a little bit and found it to be sweet with sort of a pear taste. I then remembered in google it said something about acquiring the taste of fruits around it and it had been in the bin with pears! I haven’t tried it yet with other fruits but then again I don’t think I would buy it.

2) I had an appointment with the Infectious Disease doctor with a list of questions and without going into too much detail, just a reminder or if I didn’t tell you: I was in the hospital for about a week after falling in my apartment and it seems I got infected blood from a cut in my big right toe. I was given a IV in the hospital of anti-bionics and when I came home it was continued until the end of January when I was switched to 2 pills a day, Minocycline,  which the doctor said I would be taking the rest of my life.

Among the side effects, aside from the crazy schedule of taking one every 12 hours I couldn’t take them 2 hours before or after eating and/or taking other medicines and/or vitamins, I was itching and scratching all over my body, my skin was drying up from head to toes, I wasn’t sleeping well but the craziest part was that I had lost my appetite for 2 weeks in early February and though I liked losing weight I had lost over 20 pounds since I started taking the medicine I was getting concerned because since I got my appetite back in March I was eating like I did 40 years ago, and I mean EATING, and I kept losing weight. I never thought I would complain about losing weight but I continued to lose a pound or 2 a week and, no, I am not fading away to nothing but I am still above my old Weight Watchers goal and my own goal but it doesn’t make sense and I am worried health wise.

Long story short—I start a new med tomorrow taking 3 tablets a day and I don’t know about side effects yet though she did warn me about diarrhea and that I should stop the pills and call her immediately!!

I have all the fun!!!

Posted March 23, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, HEALTH

PART 2–of two movies that are ‘must sees’ and may disappear soon!   Leave a comment


“The Invisible Thread”–Netflix–Italian romantic/comedy/drama film–1 hour & 30 minutes–dubbed in English and English subtitles available–a teenage son of 2 Fathers makes a documentary about his parents–when he was born, to a surrogate mother, still in his life, in Italy 2 men couldn’t adopt a child–it wasn’t until Leone was 11 that 2 men could legally ‘wed’ in a civil union and now, when we join him at 15 both their names could be on his birth certificate.

The second half of this movie took me completely by surprise as did the ending but from his opening words you are on Leone’s (played superbly by Francesco Gheghi) side even feeling his frustrations at his classmates thinking/saying he is gay because, let’s face it, his 2 fathers are! Things start to pick up when he meets the twins Anna and Dario-the former a sweet girl and the latter a bully who thinks nothing of beating up his fellow students. 

As we start getting caught up in Leone, Jacopo, his best friend and the twins, the film suddenly takes a twist going in a direction that will take you completely by surprise involving the two fathers, the surrogate mother and……Well I don’t like to give spoilers but just let’s just say that whether gay or non-gay people, marriages, parents are, basically, all the same but the second half of the movie will surprise you with a few twists and turns.

Director Mario Simon Puccioni gets good performances out of the kids, especially Francesco Gheghi, and the two dads played by Filippo Timi and Francesco Scianna, who, like many couples, will make you wonder how they ever became a couple!

Puccioni co-wrote the script with Luca De Bel & Gia Luca Berradini, sometimes stumbling over the comedy and drama mix but giving honest portrayals of real people.

Both “Into The Wind” and “The Invisible Thread” are certainly worth seeing not only for the stories and the performances but for the silent moments, so rare in Hollywood movies, that are as moving as those with the ‘action’, both moving the film along!

I really would like feedback from anyone who sees these two movies!

Posted March 21, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW

Two must see films that might ‘disappear’–Part 1   Leave a comment

I saw 2 excellent films this past week that may be missed for different reasons.  Though both start off like “Haven’t I seen this before” reactions both take a turn before that makes them be different from the themes they have be affecting, new, touching and definitely worth seeing!I am going to give them each their own post and, without giving away too much, go more into detail about each.The first in “Into The Wind” which is the title of at least 6 other pictures and may be hard to find as the one that usually pops up is one starring Sean Penn made in 2007 so  this will get you to the ‘right’ film:

“Into The Wind”–Netflix–Polish film–1 hour & 48 minutes–first and foremost I fell ‘in love’ with Nia Miettelica who plays the role of a rich girl who falls in love with, I assume, (more about that in a minute!), ‘a guy on the other side of the tracks’ played by Jakub Sasak.  She takes a familiar role and makes it her own from her first appearance on the screen to the end. Her every action is an expression of how she is feeling physically and intellectually, very moving whether whether she is opening up or closing down. You feel her joy and sadness. We learn a lot about her from the death of her mother 5 years previously, her current life with her father and his desire for her to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor, stepmother and baby brother and her involvement from the moment she sees Sasak.
It is a romantic comedy drama and the chemistry between Miettelica and Sasak ignites the screen and so many of the wordless scenes between them are as effective as the words the screenplay gives them.

While we are told a lot about Nia’s character and background, Ania, basically all we know about Jakub’s is that he is a waiter, a babysitter and, most of all, a kite surfing instructor, nothing much about his background and, yet, you fill in the missing information. She is on her annual vacation with her family but from the minute the two of them are in the same scene they are what we care about and in their first kite surfing lesson you will be caught up in their ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl and will there be or not be a ‘Hollywood’ ending’?

The performances by the two leads are what make this film a must see but the themes of grief, who someone is, heartache, family conflicts, conflict are all grounded and real.

The direction by Kristoff Rus, the screenplay by Julian Kijowski & Patrycia Mnich and the cinematography by Michael Pukowiel along with the chemistry and acting by Nia Miettelica & Jakub Sasak all make this movie a must see with even the scenes without dialogue getting to your heart.

Yes, I am a sucker for romance and, certainly, drama so I plan to see this again very soon!

Posted March 20, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Streaming

Weather and Food–I can talk about both all day every day!   Leave a comment

1)  The charts talk for themselves–except for one day with rain it has been great down here for the kids (and adults) on Spring break and today is another warm, beautiful and sunny day!

2) One win and one loss—Organic Apple Banana Crush can be either frozen or not but in both cases neither are good! The Mozzarella and Tomato salad is very good but a bit high on the calorie side. Both are from Trader Joe’s which I got at The Pantry—love the latter!!

3) Allen and I eat out lunch on Thursday after going to the Dollar Tree, CVS, Winn Dixie and, occasionally other places and we need to replenish our energy so it is off to lunch usually alternating between full service and ‘fast’ food. This is a favorite spot of ours, Big Louie’s, and generally we have a pizza but Allen had pasta with meatballs, a salad & garlic rolls (Yes, I stole one!) and I had Stromboli which is a pizza rolled up in disguise!!  And Sheila is still one of the best servers in town!

4) As most of you know I didn’t have a birthday this year being born on February 29 but the ‘freebies’ came in anyway! How could I refuse any sandwich of my choice, fries and shake at Arby’s? They have one of the best Reuben sandwiches, including those in delis! We had 2 shakes, 2 Reubens, 2 fish sandwiches, 2 fries and 2 sodas (and with other coupons) the whole bill came to $18+ change! $9 each for lunch? Unheard of these days!! More important, the meal was good and Darlene behind the counter with a long line waiting to order and the drive through lined up with cars did a great job!

Have you ever had a Canari Melon from Guatemala? That’s new to me and trying it tonight –well let you know in the future how it was. Another ‘gift’ from The pantry!

Posted March 19, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANTS, WEATHER

Streaming Reviews–March 17, 2022   Leave a comment

1) “Who You Think I Am”–Prime Amazon–French film–1 hour & 41 minutes–if you are not familiar with Juliette Binoche this is the film to see–she is mesmerizing whether just looking at her or watching her act or just being–from the hair on her head to her toes she embodies her line “I can deal with dying but not with abandonment!”  If you are familiar with her you won’t miss this film!

2) “The Andy Warhol Diaries”–Netflix–miniseries-6 episodes–6 hours & 37 minutes–If you don’t know anything about Warhol you may be shocked and if you do you really won’t learn anything new about him–was he gay? Listening to the naysayers and those who thought he was and the quotes from his diary nothing is ever said as if he would come back from the dead and haunt them–The series is interesting but can easily be fast forward over half of it–certainly not for prudes!

3) “Dior & I”–Amazon Prime–French documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–the debut of Raf Simons as the face of the House of Dior is what this is about but we never really get to know much about his assistant/partner Pieter Mulier, him or Dior–it is the behind the scenes of what goes into making a Dior couture collection premiere–how Simons works, not speaking French, and the women who actually do the work is interesting but the models faces scared me!

4) “Lucy”–movie–1 hour & 34 Minutes  5) “Lucy And Desi”–documentary–1 hour & 48 minutes–both on Amazon Prime as is previously reviewed “Being The Riccardos”–in all 3 films you will know more about Lucy (nee Ball) & Desi Arnez than you ever wanted to but like me you will laugh as each film has 3 of Lucy’s funniest clips that I roared at then and still do–just as funny as they were that is how sad their ‘ending’ was–the one thing I learned new was about Lucille Ball being mentored by Buster Keaton–if you can see all 3 starting with the documentary, then “Lucy” and finally “Being The Riccardos ” it would be far from a boring evening!

6) “Tiger Orange”–Amazon Prime–film–1 hour & 15 minutes–I find it very rare that any filmmaker doing 2 or more jobs on a film does the film justice and this is a perfect example– this is a rare story of two small town brothers who are gay, one, ‘in the closet’, staying home to take care of their father who is dying  and the other becoming the stereotype ‘in your face gay’ and returns home when their father dies–Mark Strano stars, produces, co-writes and does the production design while Wade Gasque directs, co-writes the screenplay and co- produces–Strano is a good actor and Gasque a good director but since they had so many voices in the film that should have been 2 hours of striking drama is instead a film that could have/should have been reduced to 75 minutes–the saving grace of the movie is the cinematography of Lila Javan!

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter!   Leave a comment

By now everyone knows I am in awe of Mother Nature as she accomplishes things no one else can!As an example if you look at the photos above you just get an idea of what she did in 24 hours. Miami had a high of 91 degrees on Friday then at night dropped into the 60s followed by a 46 degree temperature in the morning! Fort Lauderdale followed suit and now a couple of days later—Tuesday—it is Spring with high temperatures of 78 and an annoying rain that is more like a drizzle as you would expect in March!

(Click on the above for the complete article)

“Have you ever heard of the saying, “March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb”?While the saying most likely started as a reference to astronomy, referencing the position of the constellations Leo (a lion) and Aries (a ram, or lamb) in the night sky — it quickly evolved into a succinct summation of March’s changing weather as the seasons change from winter to spring in the Northern Hemisphere.”

Don’t know if that applies here and I am curious what awaits as we approach April!!

Posted March 15, 2022 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

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