Archive for July 2022

Going to the Mall   1 comment

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I don’t remember the last time I have gone to a mall! The Galleria–high end–Mall is less than a mile from where I live and I don’t remember the last time I was there. Luiz came down from Pompano and we decide to go there as Julie was cleaning my place and I didn’t want to be in her way.
The first thing that struck me upon entering the mall was how quiet it was. I’ve read, that because of online ordering, malls were closing all over the country and many name stores no longer anchored malls. (Saks and Neiman Marcus are gone from this mall and a lot of stores I never heard of have opened.)

The next thing that hit me was that my legs were in worse condition than I thought as I had to stop many times due to the pain in my calves BUT it didn’t stop me from making it to the chocolate shop (photo lower left corner) where they were handing out ‘samples’! I did behave myself and had only 2 samples!

They had redone the whole food court area but one of my favorite sit-down full service restaurant was still there–Seasons 52–so we decided to go there for lunch (last 3 photos) and they didn’t let us down–good food, reasonably priced, excellent service.

I did love browsing in the ‘art’ store where I could have bought the parrot (4th picture) for ‘only’ $4,000 BUT I wanted the full standing horse (3rd picture) though I was afraid to ask the price! LOLIn the center of the mall they had a welcome desk and were giving out coupon books but what got me was seeing a Western Union section–I don’t remember the last time I saw a Western Union office anywhere!

In the first picture you can see Luiz buying out the soap store!I took 2 videos on my phone but as much as I try I am unable to download them!In any case this Galleria Mall may soon be out of date because I just saw this on their home page yet I don’t understand why they would make a big change as this section of Fort Lauderdale will soon be under water as many are predicting but aren’t doing anything to prevent it!

In any case with good company, a good lunch (and let’s not forget the chocolate samples!) it was a different, pleasant afternoon!

https://www.galleriamall-fl.com/redevelopment/

Posted July 30, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 7   Leave a comment


1) “Anything’s Possible”–Prime–movie–1 hour & 36 minutes–Synopsis: Coming of age story that follows Kelsa, a confident high school girl who is trans as she navigates through her senior year–I bashed Billy Porter in my last post for his now getting boring shtick in “Cinderella” but as a director of this film he certainly redeems himself–I don’t know who Ximena Garcia Lecuona is but she writes a great, important screenplay here–for many people, like me, or who don’t really know or maybe don’t even understand what being trans means this is a moving lesson in trans 101–a must see for people who want to learn about a subject they don’t know much about and are open to education!

2) “Martha Mitchell Effect”–Netflix–documentary–40 minutes–Synopsis: this documentary profiles the cabinet wife who spoke out during Watergate–I don’t recall much about Martha Mitchell except she was a ‘loud, blonde Southern Belle’ who wouldn’t stop talking which is/was a good thing because she exposed Richard Nixon (and her husband) for the thieves and liars they were–this is a primer for those who never knew about Martha Mitchell or those who have forgotten about her as soon there will be a major movie starring Julia Roberts as her–we need more women like Martha Mitchell in government!

3) “My Fake Boyfriend”–Prime–movie–1 hour & 30 minutes–Synopsis: a young man uses social media to create a fake boyfriend to keep his awful ex lover out of his life and it all backfires–whether it is a same gender or opposite gender or whatever mix–a good story has you involved and hoping for the “Hollywood” ending!  This is about 2 men plus an opposite gender couple so you have 4 people to root for–a lot of eye candy–male kind–and a bad picture of today’s young adults.

4) “Master”–Prime–a horror film–1 hour & 31 minutes-the story of 3 women facing race problems and, on another level, a story with witches, ghosts, nooses, etc., not quite meshing together–I felt very let down, very disappointed with the many twists being a ‘so what?

5) “Don’t Make Me Go”–Prime–movie–1 hour & 49 minutes–Synopsis: a single father learns that he has a fatal brain tumor and decides to take his daughter on a road trip to find the mother who abandoned her–the opening line of the movie starts with the daughter saying, “You won’t like the way this ends”–the father has a major decision to make and his daughter has to learn why certain choices are/were made–I loved it but then I am a sucker for love–all and any kind!

Posted July 27, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

FOOD, FLOWERS AND FLOODS   Leave a comment

With “variety being the spice of life” I must admit that the older I get the less ‘variety’ I have in life—unless you call visiting 10 doctors variety and I don’t, including getting up in the middle of the night for a dentist visit!!–as I find myself following a routine every day BUT even within a routine I vary things a little bit!

I may go to JMarks restaurant (first and seventh pictures) and have the steak each time I go but I do vary the potato! Then on other days I may go to IHOP (pictures 4 & 6) when I want something ‘light’ and will usually order either the cheeseburger or cheese omelet but this time I ordered off the ’55+ menu’ and I won’t do that again! A half a sandwich and 2 onion rings? No thanks.

I do love the variety of blooming flowers I have in my apartment (second picture) as there are always new blooms every day and I really don’t do much except water them once a week and they reward me with colors!

It is THAT time of the year in Florida! We have had a very ‘dry’ rainy season but was reminded that it is also hurricane season by the yearly handout (third picture) of the “Hurricane and Flood Guide”! September and October are usually when we get hit with a hurricane though we have been lucky for the past decade as the hurricanes have missed us. There is a dangerous sign this season though because one of the  names on the new list of hurricanes is Martin!! (PS I ain’t evacuating!!)

With that in mind I guess I will just have to eat the box of a dozen cookies (fifth picture) that I ordered for someone else!!

Posted July 26, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 6   Leave a comment


1) “Worth”–Netflix–film–2 hours–Synopsis: In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks a lawyer faces an emotional reckoning as he attempts to put a dollar value based on the lives lost–the aftermath of 9/11 and what was paid out–how much do you base it on and what–age?  Potential? Education? Income? Possible income? Father? Single woman?–Would you want to name a number? ‘Dramatics’ are kept to a minimum but the question is not an easy one to answer

2) “Hustle”–Netflix–film–1 hour & 57 minutes–Synopsis: a washed up basketball scout discovers a phenomenal street ball player while in Spain and sees the prospect as his opportunity to get back in the NBA–I haven’t always been a an of Adam Sandler but he brings a warmth and sweetness to the film–It’s the “Rocky” of basketball and it still works!

3) “Sylvie’s Love”–Prime–film–1 hour & 55 minutes–Synopsis: Star-crossed lovers passionate about jazz in the late-’50s/early ’60s New York–it paints life in New York City at that time when interracial couples are accepted–I love a good love story and this is a good one with a great soundtrack of old songs by some of the best in the business (and which I could listen to all day and do!)

4) “Cinderella”–Prime–film–1 hour & 53 minutes–Synopsis: really? You need one?–a new cast–Cinderella wants to be a businesswoman–bring in Idini Menzel as the wicked stepmother and have her sing ” Material Girl”–the only negative I have is Billy Porter’s schtick–not funny anymore (and I will have to eat those words when I review his latest movie “Anything’s Possible”!)–no matter how many versions you have seen of Cinderella it is always a winner!

5) “Procession”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 55 minutes–Synopsis: it follows 6 men who suffered abuse by priests looking for peace–this is not an easy film to watch especially as we realize we, as a society, failed them–and the priests, mainly, just walked away–I have never been physically abused and I don’t recall ever reading stories about abuse by rabbis but male or female, priests, rabbis or any adult abusing a minor should not be excused and allowed to walk away–see this film!
                                      

Posted July 23, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 5   1 comment


1) “Pray Away”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 41 minutes–synopsis: former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma–I have never felt bad, wrong or any other negative emotion about being gay but many people due to parents, their religion, society, has made them feel that way–this is still rampant today as it was when ‘gay conversion therapy’ was applied by Exodus International in 1976–this is not an easy film to watch as their victims talk of burning themselves with quarters into their skin–“Pray Away”does a stunning job
2) “I Want You Back”–Prime–rom/com film–1 hour & 56 minutes–newly dumped thirty-somethings Peter and Emma team up to sabotage their exes new relationships and win them back for good–it’s funny and romantic and though you know where it is going what more do you want from a romantic comedy?
3) “Marry Me”–Prime–rom/com film-1 hour & 52 minutes–Synopsis: music superstars Kat Valdez & Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans but when Kat learns seconds before her vows that Bastian has been unfaithful she instead decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd–ridiculous? Of course but you get to see Jennifer Lopez dance, sing and go from one fabulous outfit to another and as I said above “it’s funny and romantic and though you know where it is going what more do you want from a romantic comedy?” Well the ‘more’ is JLO with this salute to rom/coms
4) “The Tinder Swindler”–Netflix–British Documentary–1 hour & 54 minutes–Synopsis: posing as a wealthy, jet-setting diamond mogul he wooed women on line, then conned them out of millions–now victims plan for payback–people have been very harsh to these 3+ women  who were swindled by this piece of &^%$ but who hasn’t done a stupid thing in the name of love??–Sadly it ends with showing ‘crime does pay’ for this guy considering what he did and might make you angry at the guy (and the law) but a couple of things the women did will have you saying “YEAH!”

5) “Emergency”–Prime–1 hour & 45 minutes–Synopsis: ready for a night of legendary partying, 3 Black college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unexpected situation–at the beginning it starts off with a heavy scene in a class where a White lady professor is discussing the ‘N’ word and for the next hour and 20 minutes you know what is going to happen before it happens–the last 20 minutes makes it worthwhile to watch the whole movie–will it end in the hospital? Prison? The cemetery? Life doesn’t always reflect a Hollywood movie!







Posted July 17, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Streaming

My window to the world!   1 comment

I can just sit in my apartment and watch the world whether it is seeing 4th of July fireworks (see the first picture and the one under it–my camera doesn’t show it but the fireworks were up closer and huge!) and then a week later the full moon (second picture) stopped by to great me.

I don’t have to go out to see the world as I have it in my apartment with peppers growing, (picture 4) geraniums blooming (pictures 3, 7, 8) and the bright yellow flowers of the Cuban plant (6,7,8,10, 12) surrounding me. All the blinds, except in the bedroom, are up 24 hours a day and I can see the moon trying to come up as the sun goes down or the rare shooting star. I see huge yachts coming and going or people riding in their canoes and kyacks and I love grabbing my camera and taking pictures of them laughing, enjoying themselves and life.

which overlooks Karen Bay and on the north end you can see busy Sunrise Boulevard but in the evening nothing distracts from the sky reflected in the water or being able to see the stars so clearly as if you were in the country. Sitting in a chair, whether during the day or evening, and hearing the quiet of the waves every once in awhile disturbed by the motor of a boat speeding, looking up and seeing the sun or moon brings a peace, a smile, a joy of life that I feel no matter what is happening around me or the world!

Come on down!

Posted July 14, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 4   Leave a comment


1) “7 Prisoners”–Netflix–Portuguese film–1 hour & 33 minutes–synopsis:to provide a better life for his family in the country 18 year old Mateus accepts a job in a junkyard in Sao Paulo for his new boss Luca but becomes trapped in the dangerous world of human trafficking–this is not an easy film to watch as it follows what one person does to be ‘free’ though he will never be–a hard, basic film of a coming to age story of poor life in Brazil.

2) “All The Old Knives”–Prime–film–1 hour &42 minutes–synopsis: Two CIA agents and ex-lovers are brought back together years after a failed rescue attempt and forced to blur the lines between profession and passion–a tale of global espionage, moral dilemma and deadly betrayal–a spy/love drama and I still don’t know ‘why’ about the ending But watching Chris Pine, and especially, Thandie Newton get there is interesting and holds your attention.

3) “The Protege”–Prime–action film–1 hour & 49 minutes–synopsis: rescaued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody, Anna is the world’s most skilled contract killer. However when Moody is brutally killed, she vows revenge for the man who taught her everything she knows–violent, silly, fun, lots of fights, shooting, crazy escapes, weird love talk but Maggie Q is dynamite and a joy to watch–go for it–enjoy it–cover your eyes now and then–and forget it.

4) “Found”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 38 minutes–synopsis; the story of three American teenage girls–each adopted from China–who discover they are blood-related cousins–their online meeting inspires the young women to confront the burning questions they have about their lost history–taken to a strange land in a world that is already strange to their just opened eyes and adopted by people they will never look like this is their story and of the women who adopted them accepting their daughter’s need for answers–the girls, Chloe, Lily and Sadie plan a trip to China and we join them in their search for whatever they can find–there is no easy answer to their quest but you will feel their emotions as they discover, not all, things about their early journey.

5) “Merli-Saopere Aude”–Netflix–Spanish series–8 episodes–6 hours– synopsis: Pol Rubio starts to study philosophy at the University of Barcelona while the relationship between him and Bruno begins to strengthen–Pol meets new friends, new teachers apart from having to face conflicts within himself and who he is–each character is interesting and worth the time to get to know them–as interesting as the students are and their relationships to each other it is their professor Bolana who is the most interesting and she is the most explored character in season 1–as they learn who they are we learn who they are and each has a chance to walk away with the series–I can’t wait for season 2!



Posted July 12, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Streaming

Am I just a grumpy old man or ???????????   1 comment

What does it mean when menu prices are no longer giving me sticker shock? What is it doing to me mentally when I am seriously thinking of not eating out anymore? Am I finally ‘POOR’ or just a grumpy, cranky old man??

This past week we went to two old standbys that we hadn’t been to in a long time and I was unhappy with both for different—but I think justified–reasons!

On Thursday we went to Pomperdales–a ‘New York type deli’–that I used to go to AFTER I got weighed at my primary doctor’s office which was next door and no longer is. All the years I went to my favorite deli in New York I never remembered waiting on myself and yet here I place and pick up the order, get a drink (in my case water) and have to clean up after myself ! And this cost me $18.49 and tax coming to $20 but that’s not what I am complaining about (well, at that price I am not happy waiting on myself!)—hope you are sitting down because I am sure you never expected to hear this from me–the sandwich was too clumsy to hold and eat because it was so thick! I had ordered a Reuben and between all the meat centered in the middle of the rye bread plus the sauerkraut plus the thousand island dressing with each bite part of it fell on the plate or on me! It was sloppy and, consequently, not enjoyable! Putting half the amount of meat or even just spreading it out between the 2 slices of bread more evenly would have made it a lot more enjoyable to eat!

Oh yes, that $18.49 sandwich was for 8 ounces of corned beef while you could get one for $23.49 for 12 ounces of corned beef–at a little bit over $2 a pound for the meat I would have been very happy getting 6 ounces of meat!

Okay, if you are over the shock of me complaining about too much food how about if I told you I didn’t have a piece of the great carrot cake at Lester’s where we went on Friday?! Lester’s is a landmark diner in Fort Lauderdale not far from where I used to live and go to all the time! (Before I forget–they have a Reuben Sandwich for $12.99) They have done a lot of renovations and it is all sparkling metal and glass now with red accents.

I ordered the seafood platter which came with Stuffed Shrimp, Shrimp Scampi and Tilapia for $21.99 including soup and a side dish. Since I was having the Scampi I asked for linguini as my side dish. It is a full serve restaurant and our server Lisette was excellent. The soup was good, served with crackers, though a bit salty. Ah, remember the old days when you got a basket of bread and/or rolls and butter when you ordered platters? In any case the dish looked good when it came. The Tilapia was a good sized piece  while the shrimps were big and though the stuffing was just piled in a scoop over the shrimp tasted good. The Scampi had a good garlic and oil covering but it all laid on a dish of cold pasta! Yes, I could have sent it back to have the pasta warmed up but didn’t instead (lesson learned as a server–never return food!!  That’s another post!) telling myself I would have the carrot cake afterwards but I didn’t because the cold pasta just turned me off plus, as much as I don’t like to do it I was concerned about what it would cost these days because they do have a great carrot cake and serve a big slice. With tax and tip lunch—in a diner!–came to $60!!

I love eating out but how many lunches can I afford to spend $45-50? ($20 Thursday and $30 Friday!) That plus going to a movie would eat up my Social Security very fast. As it is not going to the theatre (and miss seeing touring shows) plus eating dinner out has ‘saved’ me money to a certain extent.

So do I 1) give up eating out?  2) Just be a grumpy, cranky old man? Or 3)??????????????????

Posted July 9, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 3   Leave a comment

(Including one of the best comedy series in years!)

1) “The Weekend Away”–Netflix–thriller movie–1 hour & 31 minutes–synopsis: Two best friends, Beth & Kate, who have overcome personal setbacks and no matter what life throws at them they always look forward to their annual weekend away. This year they are on a trip to Croatia and everything is perfect until Beth wakes up to find Kate missing–a fast moving mystery with simple but good twists and one ‘red’ herring which everyone will fall for–a lot of suspects and the one you don’t think did it didn’t nor the other one!
2)’Handsome Devil”–Netflix–English/Irish movie–1 hour & 34 minutes–synopsis:Ned & Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their boarding school. The loner and the star athlete at this ruby mad school form an unlikely friendship until it is tested by the authorities–no matter how many times I may see this genre and no matter how many times I will know the ending I will still be moved and cry for the generations after me–what sets this film apart from many of the others is the power of the two leads Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine as odd couple pals and Andrew Scott as one of their teachers.3) “Sinatra: All or Nothing At All”–Netflix–documentary–2 parts–total 4 hours and 5 minutes–synopsis: Sinatra, the bad, the good, is an up-close and personal examination of the life, career and music of the legendary entertainer told in his own words and examined by many close to him–no one sings like Sinatra and no one ever will–we follow him from his birth to his death, his ups and downs, his marriages and affairs–the man who had it all, lost it all and got most of it back–just to listen to him sing the 11 songs throughout the documentary at what he thought would be his last concert is worth your time!
4) “Chloe”–Prime–series–6 episodes–5 hours & 34 minutes–synopsis: Chloe is a woman whose social media obsession with a childhood friend intensifies after the friend dies–I watched all 5 hours & 34 minutes and don’t know why I did–interesting, predictable, stalking mystery  yes but ??????????
5) “The Lake”–Prime–Canadian series–season 1–8 episodes–4 hours & 27 minutes–synopsis: Justin returns from living abroad in the hope of reconnecting with the biological daughter that he gave up for adoption. His plans go awry when he finds out his father left the family cottage to his stepsister–smart, clever, funny, different (and except for 10 minutes in the 6th episode) and perfect–outlandish, sarcastic, with the exchanges between Julia Styles and Jordan Gavaris pure gold–I don’t want to oversell it BUT I can’t wait for season 2 as this is one of the best series I have seen in years!

Posted July 8, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS JULY 2022 PART 2   Leave a comment


1) “MR. MERCEDES”–Peacock–series–season 1–10 episodes–8 hours & 40 minutes–all 3 seasons available–a Stephen King thriller with excellent performances by retired Detective Bill Hodges (played by Brendan Gleeson) and homicidal tech Brady Hartsfield (played by Harry Treadaway) as adversaries–with superb backup from Mary Louise Parker, Jharrel Jerome and Holland Taylor with David E. Kelley the show-runner and screenwriter of King’s novel the first season will want you to see the other 2 seasons as soon as you recover from season 1.

2) “Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots”–Peacock–movie–a man from Los Angeles visits his friend in San Francisco to look for a guy he met on grinder–he just lost his job, his friend is a drug addict–the spend the night going around to clubs–aside from not wanting to have friends like he does as a rule the same person shouldn’t star, write the screenplay and direct a movie and this films shows why–don’t waste your time.

3) “15 Years”–Prime–Israel film–1 hour & 29 minutes–synopsis:  Yoav’s demons start haunting him after his best friend becomes pregnant without telling him and after his boyfriend of 15 years starts talking about having children too–his life unravels and self destruction seems inevitable–Yoav (Oded Leopold) is 42 years old and Dan (Udi Persi) is 38–the former is scared to death of growing old–did Alma (Ruti Asirsai) and and Yoav have sex or did she have a ‘procedure’? Yoav shuts out anyone he gets close to or gets close to him yet he has a good relationship with both Alma and Dan–bottom line? I really enjoyed this film though I didn’t understand it.

4) “Doom of Love”–Netflix–Turkish film–1 hour & 40 minutes–synopsis: After his ad agency goes bankrupt an indebted Firat falls for a singer at a yoga retreat and joins her on a journey of self-realization–a quiet, scenic love story about a man finding himself through yoga, meditation and love–nothing special but easy to watch and has a ‘different’ ending.

5) “God’s Favorite Idiot”–Netflix–season 1–8 episodes–3 hours& 31 minutes–synopsis: a tech support employee becomes the unwilling messenger of God–Ben Falcone co-stars with and wrote the script for his wife Melissa McCarthy–when she is funny she can have you rolling on the floor with a look but other times you sit and wait and wait and wait and nothing happens–I kept on waiting, waiting and waiting but nothing happened–I really can’t see anyone–especially me–watching the next 8 episodes that are scheduled to be shown ???????–no date given–hope not filmed yet!

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