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Last Week of June 2022   Leave a comment


1 to 3) Wilton Manors is home to THE GAY PRIDE PARADE every year and this year thousands showed up to show off! Wilton Manors is a small ‘island’ city adjacent to Fort Lauderdale and is known for https://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/wilton-manors-is-officially-the-second-gayest-city-in-the-country-6465438   it is also know for its “Love Wins” bridge  https://livinginoaklandpark.com/2021/03/10/in-wilton-manors-love-wins/  It has the Gay Rainbow Flag colors and is near a high school so I am surprised the Florida governor hasn’t signed a law banning it—yet!!

4) No that’s not me but I get a kick out of it every time I see it!

6) A typical weather week in Fort Lauderdale in June–and, by the way, our weather meteorologist is Bette Davis!

7) Indoors or outdoors I never get tired of Mother Nature whether it is growing peppers from seed (first picture) or clipping a stem of a bush and putting it in a pot and growing the Cuban plant and the bright  living 24 hours, yellow bloom or the striking Queen Crepe Myrtle tree outside my window.

8) We have lizards all over the grounds and a lot of the times you can’t see them–this one caught me eye running away from me–the tail starts at the tip of the arrow–can you see it?

9) Last but not least what’s a week without eating out here and there? Ice cream at Baskin Robbins, a cheeseburger at the Quarterdeck and the best pizza in town at Big Louie’s–my last job before I retired and one of the very few restaurants that I ever went back to eat in after I stopped working in it!Now waiting to see what July brings!

Posted June 27, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

STREAMING REVIEWS–GAY PRIDE MONTH–JUNE 2022–PART 3   Leave a comment

1A) “VITO”–Prime–documentary–1 hour & 33 minutes–Vito Russo was known for his book “the Celluloid Closet” but is one of the most important people as an activist in the fight for Gay Rights–this is a powerful and must see film who should be known by every Gay person, especially Gay Republicans to see how they helped destroy a whole generation of their friends and are doing it again today–yesterday by not fighting their leaders regarding AIDS and today regarding the laws they want to pass and, once again, take our Rights away–1B) I am very proud of this donation I made to make a film of “The Celluloid Closet”–“VITO” is a MUST SEE film who shows what Gay Pride is and can be done joining with others

2) “Gay U.S.A.”–Prime–restored documentary–1 hour & 18 minutes–shot on one day by 25 different camera crews of nation wide Gay Pride parades when the future looked hopeful–a lot of people, interviews, answers to “Are you Gay?”–people in all sorts of dress and undress–a wide look at who a ‘Gay person’ is and there is no one answer–this is a must see by all Gay people, especially now, when our future is in doubt again and we will have to fight to retain those Rights we won and continue to fight for other Rights

3) “Queen”–Netflix–Polish series–4 episodes–3 hours & 19 minutes–Silvestre is a star drag queen in Paris who is also a famous suit and costume designer–he left the small Polish mining town he was born in without seeing the daughter he had and now has heard from her daughter, his granddaughter, asking him to return to donate his kidney to her mother–the first meeting between him and his granddaughter goes fine but his daughter wants nothing to do with him including getting the kidney that can save her life–sounds ‘heavy’ and it is in parts but it also funny, campy and you’ll drop a tear or 2 but you know how it will end before the end comes–it is fast moving, entertaining, casual and there to watch whenever you want–I watched all in one evening and hope there is a second season

4) “City Of Queens”–Peacock–documentary filmed in London–1 hour & 22 minutes–can you define the difference between a cross dresser, a drag queen, a trans and/or a gay person? Back in the 1960s I had an ‘affair’ with a person I thought may be a drag queen or cross dresser but now, decades later, I realize he was transgender (that’s a whole other post)–sadly he committed suicide 3 years later as he just couldn’t deal with it or did he have anyone to talk to in the 1960s–a lot can be learned by watching this–if nothing else how strong these people can be not only doing what they are doing but surviving how badly they are treated, what they have to put up with–you may or not laugh, cry with/for them but you will feel the love in  community that shares many hardships within and outside of queer spaces–more important it is their way of life and they give hope to a new generation following in their footsteps

5) “Closet Monster”–Netflix–Canadian film–1 hour & 29 minutes–we meet Oscar when his parents are breaking up and he is 7 years old–next we see him as an 18 year old virgin–he had witnessed a gay bashing and it has stayed in his mind ever since–he has a girl friend, not a girlfriend–he meets a /’wild’ guy his age at a Home Depot like job and ‘something ‘ happens which is left to your imagination–he wants to go to makeup school hoping to go into the movies working on ‘monsters’–there is a horror scene that may make you lose sleep–I didn’t quite understand how he ended up where he did nor whether he is or isn’t gay–it is a complex movie but the cast is first rate and this is far from a ‘regular’ film on any of its various subjects

Posted June 26, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, GAY, Streaming

“ELVIS”–MOVIE THEATRE REVIEW   1 comment


There is something special about not expecting much from a movie only to be delightfully surprised and such was the case regarding “Elvis”. I was never a fan of Elvis Presley though when I heard him I liked his singing of some songs but his ‘moves’ I thought were funny. I never saw him in concert except on his worldwide TV spectacular and, if I recall, I didn’t see the whole thing. I, also, know that director Baz Luhrmann loves big gestures and with Elvis I knew he would probably go overboard.

Austin Butler does a great job as Elvis! He has the looks, the moves and though I read some of the songs were sung by Elvis I couldn’t tell the difference where they were his voice and where it might have been Butler just as I couldn’t tell if it was the real Elvis or Butler in the last few minutes of the movie.

Elvis was born a year before me and though I have lived twice as long as he did we both went through some major events in the USA including the assassinations of Jack and Robert Kennedy plus Martin Luther King. We both lived through the Korean and Vietnam wars, the sexual revolution and segregation attitudes.  Our main difference was that he had Colonel Tom Parker played by Tom Hanks—more about him in a moment! The Colonel wasn’t one nor was he a US citizen which caused a major change in the  relationship between him and Elvis. He made Elvis one the highest paid actors in Hollywood, was responsible for  getting him on and making a star of him on TV and followed with record breaking concerts plus made him a recording star with more million dollar selling of single records than any other male artist. I know most of what we are told about Elvis in the movie but very little about Parker who was a conman from the get go and took, at the least, 50% of all of Elvis’s earnings.

Baz Luhrmann does, as expected, a spectacular job of directing the many musical various musical numbers plus others besides those of Elvis. The big problem seems to be the 4 screenwriters seemed to have many different ideas of how to approach the various stories in the screenplay and the editing by Jonathan Redmond, Matt Villa and Luhrmann not only mixing everything up but extending the movie to 2 hours and 39 minutes when it could have easily been cut but at least 30 minutes!

The big (no pun intended) to me was Tom Hanks as Colonel Parker! Hank recently came out saying that straight men should not play gay men in movies even though he won an Oscar doing just that. After seeing this I think he should also say that only fat men should play fat men in movies or, like many have, thin actors should eat and get fat instead of getting using latex, botex and whatever else to make his appearance very distracting in addition to having  an accent that just doesn’t fit who the character was. More is told about the man in the end credits than the screenplay does and those faults are strictly on the director’s and actor’s shoulders!
Though I make a ‘big deal’ of the problems in the last 2 paragraphs I strongly suggest seeing this and seeing it on a movie theatre screen if for no other reason than the performance by Austin Butler but there are other reasons to see it.

A note, for whatever it is worth, the theatre auditorium was more crowded than I have seen in awhile plus I am willing to bet most, if not all, of the audience were over 60!

Posted June 24, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW

STREAMING REVIEWS–JUNE 2022–PART 4   Leave a comment

1) ” Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live”–Netflix–1 hour–part of the Netflix ‘Netflix is a joke festival’ being shown in separate statements–I LOVE Jane and Lily and would see them in anything anywhere because just seeing them make me smile–they basically introduce the acts, all who are women except at the end one man comes on–Jane and Lily answer questions that have been submitted by audience members–if only that was the hour but no we get comediennes who prove they can use the ‘f’ word as often as men and be just as ‘dirty’–Jane is the only one (sorry but Lily used it once!) who didn’t use it but then she wasn’t/isn’t a standup comic–sorry, I didn’t laugh once at any of the comics though Jane and Lily did make me smile!

2) “Spiderhead”–Netflix–1 hour & 47 minutes–I am not quite sure what kind of movie this is supposed to be–a mad scientist goes crazy or a sci-fi movie regarding control of minds–is it a take off or a farce or a comedy or thriller or what?!? All I can say is I watched it to the end and all I can tell you is that it a story of a doctor(?) who gives killers all kinds of drugs to control them but…….just from this film I have become a big fan of Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett–it’s hard to tell where the story is going but stick with it.

3) “Outer Range”–Prime–series–season 1–8 episodes–7 hours & 20 minutes–is this a sci-fi western or a western sci-fi? Is there a difference? There is a hole in the center of the earth (that I think goes into another world) on a ranch–people are thrown or jump into the hole and some return 8 years later, some don’t and who the heck is Autumn? Josh Brolin is an interesting actor who always gives a first rate performance as he does here and if you want to know some of the answers season 2 is waiting for you.

4) “Bathtubs Over Broadway”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour and 26 minutes–for many years there was a part of show business that many people didn’t know about called industrial shows–the shows employed many people who made a living working them or in between Broadway shows–many stars came from them and many established composers wrote the music for the shows–the shows were put on by big corporations for their employees–I know about them because my dad took me to 2 Milikin shows–one of the shows, in 1956, cost $3 million while the original production that year of “My Fair Lady” only cost $500,000–Steve Young who was a long time writer for the Late Show with David Letterman and became interested in the recordings of these shows when David started doing “Dave’s Record Collection”–he takes us on a journey looking for and finding these rare recordings and meets, introducing us to singers and dancers who did the show and makes this documentary a fascinating trip to ‘yesterday’–thanks to my Facebook friend who steered me to this.

5) “Toy Boy”–Netflix–Spanish series–season 1–13 episodes–11 hours & 5 minutes–all I can say is that it took me 3 episodes to realize that I had seen, and reviewed, this before and watched 2 seasons so it couldn’t have been THAT bad!

2 Songs I never heard sung by men before!   Leave a comment

Every once in awhile I have to remind people I am still here! ) (Or I have too much time on my hands!!

And to add to that: https://youtu.be/362zHV05GSA

First time I ever heard it sung by a man and he is as powerful as Jennifer Hudson (in the movie) and Jennifer Holiday (on Broadway)

If the shoe fits wear it!!! Me sarcastic???

Pisces horoscope

Today

You could find yourself in a socially awkward position today. Any unkind or critical remarks that you have made lately could come back to haunt you. Your sarcastic wit can be very amusing, but sometimes you need to watch how you express those sharp Pisces edges. You might need to make peace today and express some sympathy and apologies towards someone. Don’t be afraid to act a little humble!

Posted June 21, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, LIFE, MUSIC

ROSSINI BAR & GRILL REVIEW FORT LAUDERDALE   2 comments

Walking in the door the first impression was that Rossini was a new place, sterile-looking, with no warmth and certainly not Italian!  We were greeted by 2 servers telling us to sit where we would like. Very quickly we were brought a large bottle of water and glasses filled with ice plus a basket of bread and side dishes each with oil and Balsamic vinegar on each.
We ordered an Antipasto Di Pesce (Shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari in a tomato sauce with spices) $17* for an appetizer, which was served beautifully but looked better than it tasted. It wasn’t bad but nothing special.
I ordered Lasagna $18* which was just okay while Allen had the Ribeye Con Gorgonzola E Tartufo $36*. He said the steak was very tender but he didn’t care for the topping so scraped most of it off. Again the plate was served looking beautiful
In addition, he had a diet Pepsi $3.50 so with tax added after the 50% off promotion our check came to $39.87 plus a $15 tip bringing the check to $54.87 to $24+ each for lunch.

* We were there for lunch–about 1 PM and though they advertise 50% off for lunch and dinner we were given the dinner menu–the appetizer was $2 more than the lunch menu as shown on their web page as was the Lasagna and the steak wasn’t on the lunch menu.

I have sort of gotten used to sticker shock seeing restaurant menu prices
but if you are advertising something I would suggest changing your web page and just say 50% off the menu all day 11 AM to 11 PM. Also, this is the second restaurant in 2 days that I have seen “Pay with cash and save” printed on the check, assuming they will charge the customer what the credit cards charge the business but there wasn’t a charge added on either restaurant check.

Bottom line: the service was fine, the dishes presented nicely but the food was just okay and at regular prices plus tip would have come to $92 for lunch  
which is too high.

STREAMING REVIEWS–JUNE 2022–PART 2   Leave a comment


1) “Toscana”–Netflix–Danish film–1 hour & 30 minutes–IF you are a food lover the first 10 minutes will get you hooked–it did me!! IF you love breathtaking scenery this is for you–IF you like to see a wise arse chef get his dues, or IF you don’t, this is for you. IF you would you like a fantastic sandwich for a snack? This is the chef for you! IF you would feel good about a woman showing that “I can cook anything better than you” chef doesn’t know everything this is for you! Oh, IF you would like a little romance and a love song sung in Italian this is for you! IF you love watching people fall in love with food this is for you! IF you can finish this sentence, “The most important ingredient when cooking is_______?” you’ll love this movie! IF not you will just enjoy it!

2) “Perfect Pairing”–Netflix–Australian film–1hour & 42 minutes–just by watching the first 5 minutes, along with the title, you know what this is all about–with wine! If it is in Australia you will see it here: sheep shearing, a kangaroo though I missed the koala–instead of cooking like in “Toscana” here we are dealing with wine making and selling and love–you have to see the last look of Max’s dog looking at Baaabra–if you like the movie above you will also like this one!

3) “Halftime”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 36 minutes–mostly revolving around Jennifer Lopez rehearsing and doing the halftime show at the super bowl it also looks at the lady ready to tackle the second 50 years of her life–she is Latin and wears that with pride–you feel her disappointment, her resigning to losing, the best supporting actor’s Oscar for “Hustlers” which everyone thought she would and deserved to win–while the documentary shows THAT green dress and doesn’t touch on the renewal of her and Afflick but this is an entertaining hour and a half though you won’t learn anything new about her but the hard work she does o be her best.

4) “I Love Dick”–Prime–series–season 1–8 episodes–3 hours & 32 minutes–of course the title is a double-entendre with co-star Kevin Bacon’s film name giving his co-star Kathryn Hahn the chance to say/do a lot of leering, on the edge of ‘dirty’ lines–sex, nudity, a lot of nudity, mainly woman showing full frontal nudity while men show a butt here and there–if I didn’t know better I would have sworn this was written and directed by a man but no, it is written and directed by a woman and shows that women can be as crude and crass as men!

5) “Dirty Lines”–Netflix–Dutch series–season 1–6 episodes–4 hours & 37 minutes–two brothers start a first time sex phone line in Amsterdam–a lot of sex tapes, sex talk–and, guess what? It was written and directed by a man and just shows how crass and crude men can be and women (see #4) can learn even more than them–it is being sold as a comedy–I didn’t laugh!

Posted June 17, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Series, Streaming

Peppers, Geraniums, Cuban Yellow plants and a Full Moon!   1 comment

We start off with:

7 PM

86°

RealFeel® 92°

Hot Yes, I know it is hot all over–Memphis hit 100 degrees today!–but we have been living with this heat since March so it is nothing new but, yes, IT IS HOT! And as Bette Davis, our weather expert told us, that it will be that way all week and with the Sahara dust that has helped keep the rain going away we won’t have it this week so the rains will be back!

We all had a full moon this week and Mother Nature, with a sense of humor or I was seeing things (see the last photo, top line, right) but she had to be playing with my camera making the full moon a heart!
On the line of photos are just a few of my pepper plants and they are all colors and sizes plus showing from the blossoms to the forming of the peppers! In the fifth picture, far right, are my Cuban plants with their yellow flowers ‘looking’ at the pink Geraniums!

The bottom line starts with another pepper growing but I love the last 3 pictures! When I get up in the morning–well, not too early–I swing my feet to the left and I look directly through the wall fan between the bedroom and living room and I see the same Cuban plants and pink Geraniums that I talk about in the previous paragraph. Though you can’t tell I see/have a clear view and I almost don’t mind getting up in the morning!

As I get old—passed the “I am getting older” stage–I find 1) My body can’t take the heat like it used to though I still love both–the heat and my body! and 2) I love what appears to be the simple thing like a pepper growing or a flower blooming–welcome to MY world!

Posted June 16, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE, MOTHER NATURE, PLANTS

STREAMING REVIEW–JUNE–GAY PRIDE MONTH–PART 2   Leave a comment


“LIGHT IN  THE WATER” ON PEACOCK STREAMING
DOCUMENTARY–1 HOUR& 15 MINUTES– if you ever hear OR WAS ASKED OR ASKED “Why do ‘they’ need gay pride? What do they have to be proud of? What if I wanted to start a straight pride movement?” have them see this! If you are GAY see this and see why it is so important for you to vote in EVERY election!

From 2 guys starting a swim team & water polo club a ‘family’, a safe place and a new movement were found!

The fight for equality in sports is still one that we deal with on a daily basis in the LGBTQ community, however we have made some incredible strides over the past 50 years that has brought us much acceptance across the boards. It wasn’t always that easy, and a new documentary from LOGO proves that in a time when being openly gay was a lot more difficult than it is today.

 The film reveals the untold story of a group of gay men and women who found one another through their love of competitive swimming, ultimately becoming a family and a force for the LGBTQ sports movement.

   “The West Hollywood Aquatics Team – who also go by “WH2O” – were pioneers in gay sports. With a current roster of more than 180 individuals, the organization initially grew out of a group of athletes training for the first Gay Games in 1982. During a time when being gay and being an athlete was considered an oxymoron and the AIDS crisis only increased homophobia across the U.S., WH2O prioritized inclusion and dignity and combated stigma.

As one of the original members states, “if you could swim, you could live…or at least you were alive for that moment.” And another: “swimming was about celebrating and rising above all the darkness that was around us…and striving to show the word that we are not being wiped out by an illness.”

Light in the Water reveals the inside story of a group of trailblazers who personified the change they wanted to see and created a legacy for equality in sports that lives on in the team today.”

It is produced by Patty Ivins Specht and Lis Bartlett and directed by Bartlett. Executive Producers from Logo Documentary Films are Pamela Post and Taj Paxton.

A MUST SEE

Posted June 15, 2022 by greatmartin in Documentaries, ENTERTAINMENT, LIFE, Streaming

EATING OUT—-NO MORE?!?!   1 comment


Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE eating out! How, why, when did it all start? I don’t know the real answer but I remember, as a kid, looking forward to my father coming home on a weekend because 1) my mother cooked  (mainly boiled) everything until it was well-done and then 15 minutes more! I knew when my father was home it would be hot bread and bagels from the bakery, fresh salmon and cold cuts from the deli and then, after going to the Paradise Theatre to the movies , it was a Chinese dinner. To this day I remember my dad taking me to the Sun Luck West Gourmet Chinese restaurant in mid-town Manhattan and ordering me a frozen Daiquiri (without the rum) though I don’t remember the occasion!

Wherever I traveled I remember the restaurants I ate at including the Lloyd’s Coach House–a steak restaurant–where I ate a 72 ounce steak, a shrimp cocktail, salad, baked potato and cake Ala mode all for free because I ate it in less than an hour (and I still have a picture of the bill!)–in Laguna Beach, California, the Hawaiian Luau, in New York City Marchi’s (my favorite restaurant of all time), Piccolo’s in Miami Beach in the late 1950s, where I worked as a waiter for a couple of years, Big Louie’s here in Fort Lauderdale for pizza and Cafe Vico where I had one of my best Leap Year birthday party ever. I have never forgotten Pappy’s Lobster Shack in Memphis, the King’s Cross restaurant in Sidney, Australia and I could go on and on and I have pictures of restaurants over 60 years that I ate in.

What brought this all up? Allen and I had lunch at Catfish Dewey’s which opened in 1984 and was a big favorite of mine for their all you can eat Shrimp Monday & Tuesday night plus, yes, in a fish restaurant, all you can eat beef prime rib ribs–I honestly don’t remember what the shrimp cost but I think under $12 and the ribs were about $15. I looked at the prices when we went for lunch this past Friday and those items were double the price. As it was since neither item was on the menu for Friday so I ordered a seafood platter which was $30 and very not worth it. Allen had scallops for about the same price so by the time his (soft) drink taxes and the tip were added we paid $40 each—for lunch!!

Little by little, though still shocked, I have been getting used to the rise in prices due to Covid, shortage of supplies because of the Russians war on Ukraine, inflation, though an average of $15-$20 per person for lunch in a full service restaurant can certainly hit/hurt the budget!! In fact the cheapest ‘meal’ (well a ‘treat’ after the lunch) was a one scoop ice cream cone at Dairy Queen!

Like most people I find the budget getting tighter, prices of everything items going up and, yes, inflation is hurting.  When Covid first hit we stopped going to the theatre and eating dinner out plus it was awhile before the movies reopened and going every Friday and sometimes a Tuesday wasn’t important anymore nor were movies.

Theatre going is gone–movie going is fading–is eating out next? Can I give up jambalaya at the Quarterdeck? Garlic rolls at Big Louie’s? Fajitas at Tequila Sunrise?  Cheese Omelet with a side of pancakes at IHOP? A NY Strip at JMark’s?

How can I not try out restaurants for my 22nd birthday? WHAT? NOT HAVE A LEAP YEAR DINNER PARTY?!

Posted June 14, 2022 by greatmartin in RESTAURANTS

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